The winner of today’s sponsorship vote is…Alejandra Guzman of District 9!
Congrats Alejandra, you get a free attribute point added to your lowest attribute (Charm).
The path stomped out through the tallgrass seemed like a godsend at first, a trail to track down a tribute too foolish to cover his or her own tracks. So once I found it, I’d eagerly pounced on it and charged forward, wanting to catch up to the tribute and turn this final 4 into a final 3.
It took me a few seconds to realize that no tribute would have made it this far and made such a careless mistake. Only a few seconds, but enough for me to curse myself for charging so willingly towards what clearly would have been an ambush. The signs are all there. A weaving path rather than a straight one, clearly done to give a would-be predator more opportunity to stumble upon it. Grass flattened and trampled, but deliberately so, done more forcefully than even my running has left behind.
Somewhere up ahead, someone’s waiting for me.
So I change tactics, skulking alongside the path slowly and peering forward until the trail starts to straighten out, signalling that I’ve nearly reached the end. I stop short, gripping my chain whip tightly in my right hand. I decide to take a risk.
“I see you,” I say firmly to no one. The words come out much louder than I would have thought. Sound carries so much further in this near-empty arena. The words have their intended effect. Alejandra pops up from where she’s been hiding in the tallgrass, quite a ways off from me but very close to where her false trail ends.
My feet remain rooted to the ground. At this range, there’s no way she could manage to get an accurate shot at me. Still, I know better than to charge towards her while she’s got me in her sights. Twenty steps closer and I’d already have an arrow in the chest. Alejandra doesn’t take shots she has no chance of making, but when she does fire, she never misses.
We stare across the vast, empty plain before us, each of us waiting for the other to make the first move, to tie up the last loose end of our now-slaughtered alliance. Full minutes pass, the sounds of the billowing tallgrass resounding throughout the arena.
I realize what I’ve just said long after the words escape my mouth. If Alejandra is shocked by my offer, she doesn’t show it in her face, though I see her bow dip ever so slightly towards the ground. Another minute passes before she nods cautiously.
“We’ll meet here,” she says. “When it’s time.”
Eleanor nods forcefully, and then turns to run before I can change my mind.
As if I even would have. One tribute off my back for a while is nothing but good news to me, especially considering I know next to nothing about my remaining competition. The male from 4 has always been a looming, invisible threat to me since I watched him snake off into the tallgrass on the first day of the Games, but I’d honestly forgotten the woman from 2 was still alive until she made an appearance at the Feast and bludgeoned me in the head. It’s coming back to me now, in short bursts, though bits and pieces of that massive confrontation are still hazy. Was it Hannah who died when the weapons fell from the sky, or was it Danae?
It doesn’t matter. What matters is finding the woman from 2 and the man from 4 before they find me.
I knew I’d make it this far. It’s why I wasn’t panicked when I realized I’d be going into the arena without an alliance. I certainly handled it better than the other tributes who went at it solo, almost all of them doing so not by choice. I still remember Josh from 9 begging Ahmae and myself during training to join up with him in an alliance. My district partner may have taken the bait, but I didn’t. Josh was weak, marked to die. Him even lasting four days in this arena was nothing short of a miracle.
His district partner’s still out there, one of the last fledgling members of the super-alliance that controlled the Cornucopia up until the feast. She’s the last archer in the arena, and if I manage to duck under the arrows she fires at me when we eventually meet, a quick slice across the chest will finish her off. That’s assuming I can move fast enough.
My back throbs again as I shift slowly up to a sitting position. The amoxicillin I was lucky enough to find in the bottom of my pack has staved off infection, and the massive wounds I incurred during my fight with the man from 6 have scabbed over, but they still hurt like hell. I’ve lost a lot of blood, enough that I’ll probably need transfusions once I win and get out of the arena (Attribute Point Lost). I can stand, but even walking for five minutes sends me into dizzy spells and forces me to take a breather on the ground.
I’ll recover. Just need to bide my time, let the competition thin itself out. District 4 will be in the final 2 again, and this time we’ll take home the crown.
Strongest Tribute: Sierra Strom (D2 F)
Most Agile Tribute: Jai Ferrick (D4 M)
Most Cunning Tributes: Jai Ferrick (D4 M), Eleanor Roth (D11 F)
Most Charming Tribute: Sierra Strom (D2 F)
Strongest Overall Tribute: Sierra Strom (D2 F)
Attribute scores have been altered due to today’s events. Please note the changes on the respective page.
The benchmark for Day Fifteen has been posted on the home page!