The 66th Hunger Games

66 years ago, the 13 districts of Panem rebelled against the oppressive Capitol, and failed. In order to keep the remaining 12 districts in check, the Capitol devised a new way to control them. Each year, one male and one female between the ages of 12 and 18 shall be offered up to compete in a sporting event known as the Hunger games, where they shall fight to the death until one remains, a victor that' be revered as a celebrity in the Capitol and live a life of luxury.

66 years later, the tradition still goes strong. See through the eyes of 15 year old District 3 tribute Elektra Sparke as she enters this deadly game. However, the one person she never thought would be her fellow competitor is, and she takes it upon herself to protect him. However, in a deadly arena where your death is in every direction, nobody can be trusted.

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10. Death is Your New Best Friend

Running. That's what I should be doing, but I'm not. I'm looking at the spot where a tribute was killed before the games even began. I spot something. Samuel, running out with a backpack. This stirs me into action. I sprint off my platform, grab the nearest backpack, and make a beeline towards the taller buildings.

But I don't make it far before I'm being pursued. The pair from 4 are right behind me, the girl armed with a trident, the boy tossing knives at me. One knife hits my arm, and I scream in pain. I'm going to die in the bloodbath. The voices of the two Careers changes direction, and I look as they throw countless knives at Samuel. No, not Samuel. The boy from 11 with a similar appearance. He cries out as the gleaming trident pierces his chest, blood spewing everywhere. I run faster, dirt becoming solid pavement. I look up, and this one glance tells me the arena's design. A city, filled with towering buildings that pierce the clouds. I glance behind me. My pursuers have left me alone for the time being.

I continue walking through the empty streets. All the buildings look immaculate; it's almost unnerving. Afternoon soon turns to evening, and I settle inside one of the many buildings. I open my backpack, when a deafening explosion sounds out. For a moment, I think it's another mine blowing up, when I remember it's the cannon that signifies the death of a tribute. Another one fires, and I count 8 in total. Which leaves 16 of us left. The pain in my arm increases, and I see a large gash, but it isn't that deep. I open my backpack, and find a half full bottle of water, two bags of nuts, a roll of bandage, and a knife. It's not as sharp as the ones in the training centre, or the one the boy from 4 threw at me, but it'll still prove useful. I tear some of the bandage off the roll, and wrap it around my wound. This should keep infection away for now.

The sun's going down now, and I find out none of the buildings have electricity. At least they're insulated. I drink a mouthful of water, and a handful of the nuts. They're not as flavourful as the ones in the Capitol, but here in the arena, I should be grateful they're not poisoned.

I'm startled by the loud blast of the anthem. It's as if someone's put an entire orchestra right next to my ears. A bright light appears in the sky. It's the screen that shows the fallen tributes.

First up is the boy from 5. Which means Samuel made it out alive. Then the girl from 6. Both from 7. Both from 9. The girl from 10, and the boy from 11. I make a mental note to look for either the pair from 12 or Samuel tomorrow.

I'm woken by a scream. I look outside to find the girl from 5 writhing in pain, flailing her arms wildly. I then see the golden swarm behind her. Tracker jackers. They encompass her, her shrieks growing wilder and more desperate. Her skin begins to bloat, her stings inflating. She stops screaming, and begins grasping her throat. Her windpipe must be shut off. Finally, she stops moving and slumps to the floor, lifeless. The cannon confirms her death. I look for a moment, before the wasps begin to move towards my building. One gets through a crack in the window, followed by thousands more. Quickly, I grab my bag, and run out the back exit, slamming the door shut as I go. Now, I'm not in a back yard, like I expected, but another street. I see the sun slowly rising, at least I slept the night. I walk down the street, followed by two more, until I hear voices.

I draw my knife, and retreat to the shadows, praying I'm not found. I look around the corner, and see the party responsible. The boys from 6, 8 and 10. The boy from 6's eyes meet mine, and he moves towards me. I grip my knife so hard my knuckles turn white. I look up, and see him just inches away from me.

"Hey," he says, as if this is just some regular conversation, "How's it going?"
"Fine, fine. If it weren't for the fact we'll all be dead within a few days," he chuckles at this.
"I'm not going to hurt you, we helped each other in training, remember? I told you the secret of Nightlock," I remember. I also remember promising an alliance with him.
"So, you're proposing we ally?" I'm still sceptical. He could have my death already planned out.
"Yeah. I am. So are you okay with this?" I could ally with them for the time being, then break off when I find Samuel.
"Alright. But don't try any backstabbing. I'm highly perceptive," I'm not. But I hope they'll think so.

Turns out they actually have quite a few supplies. Five full bottles of water, a week's worth of food, and enough medical equipment to raise the dead.
"Luke! Get a bottle of water and two packs of dried fruit," the boy from 10 pulls out a large water bottle filled to the brim with water, and two big packs of dried fruit.
"Olyver, you sure you want to give her this? What if she runs in the night?"
"She won't. I'm sure of it," he hands over the supplies. At least I'm not in danger of starving.

Suddenly, the boy from 8 runs around the corner, then back, terrified.
"O-Olyver. Careers. Coming. Run!"
"You heard Kai, let's go!"
Just as I pack the last of my food into the pack, I hear the shouting and cheering of the Careers, and look behind me to see the girl from 8 staggering, bloody. The rest of my alliance have vanished, except for Kai, who's seen his district partner. I then see the slightly open drain cover. The sewers. I fully open the cover, and Kai begins to yell.
"Lynn! Lynn!" he begins to run forward, and I grab the back of his shirt, stopping him. I watch as the boy from 2 hacks at her with a sword, cutting off both her arms. The only sounds are her wretched sobs and his sadistic laughter. I look away, and jump down into the sewer. I barely touch the floor before I hear the cannon. I take a look at my new surroundings. A river network of luminous green sludge, paths on either side of the rivers. Kai still hasn't come down. Luke goes back up, and pulls him down. His eyes are puffed up from excessive crying, and he's shaking.

"Gone," Of course, that was his district partner, "She's gone, but I promised. I promised her family," he trails off, sobbing. He composes himself again, "I promised them she'd get home, not get mutilated by a deranged killer," he clenches his fists, shaking again. His voice reduces to a whisper, "Lynn. Lynn, I'm sorry. I swear, I'll make sure that monster dies. I won't let him win." his voice catches on 'win', and he buries his face into his hands, shuddering.

Olyver climbs back outside.
"Clear!"
We climb back up, and just as I leave, I swear I hear a low growl. But that's not worth thinking about now, not when your death is lurking around every corner.

We find another abandoned house, and decide to spend the night there. We finish unpacking when the anthem begins. I look out of the window, seeing today's deaths. The girl from 5. And Lynn, the girl from 8. Kai makes some sort of salute to her image. I drink some more water, eat a little more food, and drift off.

So I didn't find Samuel. I hope he's doing all right...

I wake early, the sun not yet fully up. I hear a faint whimper from outside. I clutch my knife, and peer out of the window. Upon seeing the source of the sound I drop my knife. Bloodied, weak, and completely defenceless, but alive.

Samuel.

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