The winner of today’s sponsorship vote is…Jess Edelblut of District 12!
Congrats Jess, you get a free attribute point added to your lowest attribute (Cunning).
She had struggled, fought for her life. But she was no match for me. None of them were.
I smile as I look down at my hands and arms, caked with her dried blood. I’d run back to the Cornucopia hunched over them, protecting them from the rain, so that God could see what I had to offer Her.
And She was most pleased! She once again allowed me to look upon Her face and rest in Her magnificence! I’d wept with joy in the rain all night.
Jess and the other woman will fall so easily, so soon. Their blood will uplift me to glory. She will be most pleased once again.
Crunching dead leaves alert me to the approaching tribute long before I see her. I know it’s her because of how light the footsteps are. Luke likes to run.
The woman from 11 rounds one of the only trees still standing in the arena, and for a moment I’m too stunned to move. It isn’t that I’d forgotten about her, because I hadn’t. I guess I just didn’t expect her to be the one to hunt me down. I didn’t expect her to start the fight.
Part of me expects the woman to turn and run, but the rest of me quickly realizes that she won’t. It’s so close to the end, and from what I saw in training, she doesn’t stand a chance facing either Luke or me. And when she takes a step forward, I suddenly feel like I want to run instead. It isn’t because I fear her, because no matter how brave she is, I’m skilled and she’s not. I’m scared because this is a death, another death that I don’t want on my conscience. Why couldn’t she have just found Luke instead?
“You can’t win this fight,” I call out, not really knowing what I expect her to do or say in return. It isn’t like she can just walk away, because if she does then she’s not going home either.
A silent minute passes, the two of us staring each other down as the wind throws ash up around us in spirals.
“Nothing is certain here, District Twelve,” the woman finally responds, pulling a small knife out of her backpack before tossing it to the side. “I can’t not try, not when I’ve come so far.”
The woman from 12 sighs and pulls out her own knife.
“What are you going to do?” she asks, tossing her supplies aside as well. “We both know you don’t know how to use that.”
“I’ll fight you the best that I can,” I say, trying my hardest to swallow my nerves. “I have no choice. Not when the alternatives are giving up and waiting for the arena to finish me off or finding District 4 and having him grant me a slow and painful death before he does the same to you.”
The woman bristles. “I’m going to beat Luke too,” she says confidently.
“Do you even believe that?” I ask, charging at her before she gets the chance to answer.
We’ve barely been fighting for seconds when I begin to drive her back, her dodges and stabs becoming more predictable. Neither of us have made a mark on each other yet. She’s determined, but I’m trained and she’s not. I roll and slash with my knife, slicing into her ankle. She falls to the ground with a shriek, scrambling back against the solitary tree, and I move quickly, pinning her knife-wielding hand under my knee and putting my knife to her throat.
She stares up at me, pain and rage emanating from her face.
“Come on then, District Twelve,” she snaps. “What are you waiting for?”
I look down into her eyes for what seems like a century, bewildered that this is happening to me again. This is like the male from 9 all over again. I know I have to kill her, but I’ve come to respect her for surviving as long as she has, and I really don’t want to.
Her eyes soften slightly, seeing my lack of resolve. She doesn’t struggle, clearly frightened but resigned to her fate.
“What’s your name?” I blurt the question far before I can think about the words coming out of my mouth.
The woman looks as taken aback as I am, but she answers after a moment.
“Amanda. I’m Jess.”
There’s more silence. I take my knife from her throat and instead position it above her heart. A faster, less painful death.
Tears brim in her eyes.
“Don’t leave me to him, Jess.”
I nod and close my eyes, pressing the knife down.
I’m already racing away from the tree when her cannon fires.
Strongest Tribute: Luke Vander Ploeg (D4 M)
Most Agile Tribute: Jess Edelblut (D12 F)
Most Cunning Tribute: Luke Vander Ploeg (D4 M)
Most Charming Tribute: Jess Edelblut (D12 F)
Strongest Overall Tribute: Luke Vander Ploeg (D4 M)
Attribute scores have been altered due to today’s events. Please note the changes on the respective page.