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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14. Falling Apart

"Samuel! Samuel!" I run to him, slumped on the floor, a worryingly large pool of blood surrounding him.
"Samuel, you have to get up. Please. Get up. Get up!" I'm shaking him, the tears dropping down my face. His eyes open slightly. They're drained of life.
"Elektra, I'm tired,"

I sit there, shivering, watching the snow fall outside my window. It's the middle of December, and we don't have heating tonight. I see Samuel in his bed, shaking.
"Samuel, are you cold?" I say, my breath visible. He nods, shaking harder. I grab my blanket, and huddle around him.
"Elektra, it's cold,"
"I know,"
Elektra, I'm tired,"
"I know,"
"Elektra," he lets out a sob, "I want to go home,"
"I know," I embrace him tighter, and he drifts off in my arms.

I hold him closer. He's shivering, and his breaths are growing shallower.
"Samuel, don't go. Stay. Please!" he's dying. I know it. But I don't want him to go. He grabs my arm, and stares right into my eyes.
"Elektra, don't leave me,"

I sit next to Samuel's bed. He's in there with the flu. On his 7th birthday, of all days. I stroke his hair. He coughs, and looks at me. He's awake. I stand up to get his present, but he grabs my wrist.
"Elektra, don't leave me,"
"I'll just be a moment," I grab the wrapped gift, and hand it to him.
"Happy birthday," he unwraps it, and looks at the gift. A wind up mockingjay, that plays the anthem of Panem when wound up. He embraces me in a tight hug.
"Thank you,"

I run my hand through his bloodstained hair, sobbing. He weakly wraps his arms around me, and begins to cry.
"Elektra, I'm going to die, aren't I?" I can't say anything, can't do anything but hold him close, and make his last moments as comfortable as possible.
"Elektra," his voice is weak, "Elektra, thank you. For looking after me when we were younger. I always thought of you as a big sister,"

It's my first reaping. I'm terrified. What if I'm picked? What if I die?

Samuel holds my hand. He's only eight, but he's braver than me.
"You'll be fine. Aren't big sisters always okay?" I wipe a tear away.
"Yeah, you're right,"

His breathing is slowing. He buries his face into my chest, the axe protruding out. I'm sobbing and shaking. I hold him, hearing his breathing becoming shallower and slower. His grip goes slack. A cannon. I let out a wretched sob, and hold his lifeless body even closer. His skin's gone a deathly white. But I don't let go. I feel the heat leave his body. A trail of blood is flowing from his mouth. I lay him down, and close his eyes. I gently kiss his forehead, as if even the slightest touch could shatter him.

"Goodnight, Samuel," my voice is barely a whisper, my throat and heart ache. I'm racked by another sobbing fit. I sit next to his body, and watch as the hovercraft lifts his body out of the arena.

Gone. Fine one minute, dead the next. A flurry of emotions explode from inside. I scream, I tear the grass up, I punch the trees. After my energy is drained, I slump to the floor, and cry harder than ever.

I hear footsteps. I look, and see the others. Olyver, Luke and Kai. I hear the anthem. They all look to the sky, but I don't. I know who's on there. The music stops, and Kai puts a hand on my shoulder.
"Elektra, I'm so sorry," he comforts me, and they don't move until I've calmed. Olyver hands me a bottle of water,
"All that crying must have dehydrated you. Here," wordlessly, I take the water. Once finished, we move back into the sewers. Something is giving me a nagging feeling down here, but I ignore it. I sit, back against the wall, my knees huddled to my chest.

Eventually, Olyver speaks up, "He was a good kid, he didn't deserve to die like this," he sighs. This infuriates me.

"How dare you. He's gone, and all you can say is 'He was a good kid'?!" I punch him in the chest.
"I hate you! I hate here! I hate it all!" I punch the wall, before sobbing again.
"I miss him. I want him back. Why. Why did he die?!"

"Elektra, I know how you feel," it's Kai. He was close to his partner too. But he's living on. I'm suddenly filled with shame. I've given up.
"We've all lost our partners to this game. We're all heartbroken. But this is also what keeps us going. When Lynn died, I held her in my arms, and do you know what she said? She said 'Don't give up on life. Win this, for me.' I'm sure their partners said something similar. If Samuel were still here, I'm sure he'd be telling you to cheer up and keep going. But he's not. So I'll say it for him. Keep on going, keep on living. Don't give up until you've taken your last breath. So let's keep pushing forward."

I get up. He's right, I shouldn't waste my energy mourning, I'll have plenty of time when I win, for Samuel. We move deeper into the sewers, following the network of tunnels. I eat another bag of nuts. None of us have given in. We'll keep on living.

I hear a sound, and I recognise it as the growl of the sewers. The wall begins to shake, dust flying off. Every feeling becomes fear as cracks form in the wall. We back off, and the wall collapses, debris falling into the sludge below. I let out a horrified scream as a shape emerges. It roars. It's the master of the sewers, and we're trespassing in its domain.

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