The 87th Hunger Games. Ariella Demari of District 8 was reaped at age 14, along with Mark Kolb, her boyfriend. They shined in everything, and we're loved by the Capitol. Showered with sponsor gifts, things were hopeful for the beautiful couple. One of them will win, but they soon learn winning the Hunger Games is no happily ever after. The story starts on the last day of the games.
Ch. 1: Career HuntingEdit
Silence. I nodded to Mark who was sitting across from me a couple feet away, his white blond hair camouflaged in the white snow bank. Anya, the District 1 female was slowly tracing the eyebrows of the cowering 12 girl, Martina, with a knife. I clenched by fists; Martina had saved my life More than once in the arena, and was my best friend during training. Anya loved to put on a show and grab attention, and I knew she wouldn't kill Martina- yet. I clutched a silver knife in my hand, a precious sponsor gift. Mark, Martina, and I were gobsmacked when I received a whole set of them, the perfect weapon for me.
"Where's your bodyguard, Quinn?" Anya teased. Quinn was Martina's older brother, Martina being 14 and Quinn being 16. "Oh THAT'S right. He's dead. Boo hoo for you." she said, digging her knife in to her cheek a little further. Martina winced, causing a trickle of blood to run down her face, and freezing on the side of her face. I winced, knowing her wounds must be burning from the cold.
I resisted the impulse to strangle Anya, but timing had to be perfect, and it would kill Martina if Anya was hit.
"On three." I mouthed to Mark. "One, two, three." On three, his spear knocked the knife Out of Anya's hand, and my silver dagger buried itself into the back of her neck. I rushed to Martina to heal her somehow.
Suddenly, Mark rushed next to me, and fell to the ground. He was gushing blood at an alarming rate. I looked up, and saw Chryselle from District 2 holding a bow, aimed at me.
Ch. 2: Don't DieEdit
My knife sank into her chest, powerful from my fury. I didn't even stop to collect it, and instead leaned over Mark
"Mark! Stay with me! You will be alright!" I beg vigorously, shaking his shoulder. Small hope, but how can I let him go? He would die protecting me, and i would never get over it. He gave me a half smile that i recognized from the Reaping. I remember the Reaping vividly, as if it were just yesterday. Of course, it was only 2 weeks ago.
We were strangers than, and after my 12 year old brother was called, Mark quickly volunteered. Tears were welling up in my eyes, until Mark walked onto the stage. I recognized him from school, even though he was 15 and I was 14. He gave me the half smile that he would become famous for in the Capitol. It became my sign of safety. But now it would mean death to me.
Mark was a phantom to me at first, never seeming like he cared about me. But one day I was practicing with a spear, my weak point, and all of a sudden his arms encircled mine, and showed me how to throw it. From that day on, we sat together, talked about ourselves, and shared stupid banter. It didn't take long for me to realize I loved him.
I barely heard Anya and Chryselle's cannons, but Mark caressed my face, assuring me they weren't his. "Why did you take the arrow? You're so stupid!" I sobbed.
"I would take a million arrows for you." He breathed. His hand dropped from my cheek, and his cannon sounded.
Ch. 3: Last BreathEdit
Martina lays wheezing next to me, and three corpses litter the ground. I slowly gather the packs of the fallen and lead Martina to a cave, and watch the hovercraft lift my beautiful Mark up. Quietly, I clean Martina's face with a wet cloth, and examine my supplies. I have 5 packs including Martina's. Mark, Chryselle, Anya, and mine. I already know the contents of Mark's pack, and obviously my own. Chryselle had a quiver of arrows and her bow, which were useless in my hands. But Martina was more than adept with a bow, so I resisted the urge to throw the weapons that killed Mark away.
Anya's pack held dried beef, an apple, a pack of crackers, flashlight, night vision goggles, full water bottle, a thin sleeping bag, a small coat, and some matches. But Chryselle's held the mother load. A tent- a wonderful luxury in this freezing arena- and hot packs were in it, something that would be beneficial times infinity. It was a blinding white, and impossible to see, no doubt that it would have several high tech features. A piece of roasted meat (possibly polar bear?) was wrapped in foil, and there was a nice big bag of dried fruit. Best of all, two canteens of water! The snow in the arena doesn't melt, and I had just finished the water in my bottle. I fed Martina a couple of peanuts from Chryselle's pack, and thought of who was left.
Danny from D2 was still alive, as well as the tall and slim girl from 4. They are the only careers left, and they probably believed me to be dead. Which would make this an opportune day to kill them. The only others were the D6 pair, who would die soon enough. BOOM! BOOM! I had a feeling they weren't career cannons.
Martina stirred, and I shook her softly. She rolled over and suddenly screamed.
"Martina!" I rolled her back over and there was a big bloody wound in her stomach. A silver knife lay soaked in blood where she just rolled over onto. She glared at me with eyes that broke my heart.
"I..thought..." She coughed up blood on my shirt, but I made no attempt to clean it. "We were friends." my eyes widened when I realized the implications. She thought I had stabbed her, that this my fault.
"No! I just-" BOOM! Her last words stung me, and I wished her last breath could have had more value.
Ch. 4: The FeastEdit
I left her corpse in the cave. I grabbed all the packs and transferred the supplies into just 3, throwing the 2 smallest into the fire. No one will have it now. I grab my knives, and decide to go and kill the rest of the tributes. Easy as pie, I thought gloomily.
While snacking on mystery meat (which tasted better than it sounds), I take a stroll though the tundra. Lavender Selodona's voice resounds throughout the arena.
Tributes of the 87th Hunger Games! Today is a special day, because in one hour, the thing you need desperately will be at the Cornucopia! But not just anything. This could be a revived tribute.
She pauses to let it sink in for a bit. I realize what that means. Mark.
But, revived tributes can only be brought back to life by touch. They can be killed before they are touched. Be at the Cornucopia in an hour!
Before I hear anything else, I break into a sprint. Mark. Martina. Quinn. They might be there.
When I reach the Cornucopia, the large clock used for timing the beginning of the games is counting down. Ten, nine, eight, seven, six... Seconds feel like hours. Finally, I see the healthy but unconscious body of Mark. Chryselle and the D4 boy are also there, and I throw a knife at her body immediately, his getting hit seconds later. But I threw too late, and the D4 boy was already up and running, his partner close behind.sprinting towards my love, my hand reaches out, to touch his face, when an arrow catches my hand.
"Say goodbye to Mark." Misty, the D4 female, laughs, and releases the arrow.
Ch. 5: The VictorEdit
Dead. Again. I seethe with anger. I am unhurt, but Mark lies dead once again. Misty was speared in the back from the D6 female, whose partner died during the feast. I want to sit and mourn Mark a second time, but I see Danny approaching.
"Chryselle was supposed to kill you." He spat, hate filling his eyes. "I guess I'll have to finish her work. He stabs at me with a sword, but a roll away, and start to climb the cornucopia. I scream, and notice a fire. On the snow. How? All the tributes are stuck around the cornucopia, and I start to flick knives at different tributes. BOOM. The D6 female falls dead. I turn to flick a knife at the D4 male. But I don't see him. I see Danny, swinging his sword at me.
My instincts taking over, I ducked, and rolled to the side. I threw a knife, and it caught his cheek. Blood gushed from the wound, and his eyes burn with evil and death. He slashes again, and nicks my calf as I roll away. The pain burns through my leg, and I know I need to end these games. Fast.
BOOM. I turn my head for a split second and see the fire is closing in. The D4 lays burning in the fire. The final two. I have a plan, but its risky. But I don't have time to contemplate the choices. Without hesitating, I shove Danny off the Cornucopia, and point a knife at him.
"You have two choices. Fire, or knives." I snarl. He smiles, as if he knows something I don't. His sword is useless, considering I'm above him.
"Fine. Fire." He says slyly, almost suggestively. He slowly walks toward the fire, right by the body of the District 4 male. Before I realize what's happening, he grabs a knife from his body. He laughs maniacally, and It seems we've reached a stalemate. He's so far, it would be simple for him to evade my knives, and vice-versa.
There is only one way to end this. I take a deep breath and throw the knife. BOOM.
Ch. 6: BrokenEdit
The ground spun as I jumped down from the Cornucopia. I won. A hollow feeling overtook me. Overwhelming guilt quickly followed. Murder. I killed people- innocent or over wise. The face of the 14 year old boy from district 11 fills my thoughts. He was my first kill, and I will NEVER get over it.
A loud trumpet jarred my head.
Congratulations Ariella Demari of District 8! You have won the 82nd Hunger Games!
Applause from the Capitol rung through the arena, strong over the bitter wind. The ladder of the hovercraft swung down, and I froze when I got on, and was lifted on, only to be put into the hands of a gurney.
Throughout the chaos and bandages, my thoughts stayed on those who died. Martina. Mark. Quinn. And Martina died because of my knives. So many others died. I think of Mark, jumping out to save me, and Quinn, bravely fighting the Career. Quinn had stabbed him in the stomach, only to have the Career spear him through the heart.
A plastic tray of chicken soup, a roll, and water is placed on my lap. Small portions, but I barely finish it. The normal-ness and warmth of the food comforts me, and I can imagine myself eating this at home.
Home. I think of the small fabric shop that we live over. Now we can live in the Victor's Village. Now I can stop stealing from the markets. Now I can feed my family.
But this comes with a price. Will I ever look at a knife the same? Will the faces of the dead tributes haunt me? Could I have saved them? But would I have? The Hunger Games aren't exactly a great time to discuss humanity, and during them, I killed without question.
My mind flies to my friends, and suddenly I am filled with shame. I think back to when I met Martina on the rooftop garden.
"Don't you ever wish... That we didn't. Have to kill?'" She whispered to me, ringing a chime purposely. I sighed, knowing Cassidy, Raely, and Abbie would never get over me. Ever. I had to win. For them. My voice shook as I answered her. "Would you kill? For your family." She sighed and stared up at the dimming stars. The one thing that made the districts more beautiful. The bright and luminescent stars.
"Why make trade my innocence and morals for a game? All I have left is Quinn, and there can only be one victor." She said bitterly. My eyes widened.
"You mean, you'd rather die than live if you have to kill someone? Even in self defense?" I was astonished at her answer. If only it was outlasting everyone else. I could win at that.
"I probably will kill. But not for me. For Quinn. Only God can judge me pure or evil." she said softly. I hold in a laugh out of respect. But seriously? Who believes in this 'God'? If there really was one, they wouldn't allow a Hunger Games.
"Well, you're not COMPLETELY guilty. I mean, all roads lead to heaven. Right?" I suggested, trying to comfort her.
"But that's not it. There's one way. His way."
I wonder to this day who she meant.
But I know. I will never forget this. Or her. I hope.