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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15. Living in a Nightmare

Dust swirls around as the beast comes into view. It's about ten feet tall, walking on four legs, its flesh coloured with fine hairs poking out at various parts. But the most terrifying thing is the head. It's featureless, save for the giant mouth that covers its entire head, lined with razor sharp teeth. It roars again, saliva flying everywhere. Luke loads his bow, and I prepare my knife. The thing turns to face us, and without warning, it charges.

I run in the opposite, screaming. The others have the same idea. Luke launches an arrow into its massive leg, but it's unfazed. It takes another step, causing the whole area to shake.
"Run!" Olyver cries out, and I don't hesitate in following. We turn a corner, entering a smaller tunnel. I stop to catch my breath for a brief moment, but in this time it breaks the wall down, its massive black claws still pristine. It charges again, and we move out of the way, Olyver and Kai on one side, me and Luke on the other. The beast tumbles forward, into the sludge. It's completely submerged.

I stand near the edge, confirming its death when it leaps out, barely avoiding crushing me. I'm underneath the flesh coloured nightmare. I stab it with my knife, but nothing happens. Normally, Muttations are designed to either spur a tribute into action, or draw two parties together. They're normally easily killed, and easily replaced. But nothing is even scratching this. That's when it hits me. This isn't an ordinary Mutt. This is a creature that won't stop until we're all dead. Of course, it's been days since this alliance has killed anyone.

I roll out from under it, clutching my knife for dear life.
"We can't kill it. Run! Get out of here!" my voice is hoarse, my heart rate unnaturally fast. I scramble up, and bolt just as it swipes the floor. So far, the only weakness this thing is showing is that its reflexes are slow, but I know that that could be fixed by a push of a Gamemaker's button. Either way, I take advantage of this and run for my dear life. I catch up with the others, and Kai pushes me to the floor as the beast tears through the wall again. It grabs him, and I let out an unearthly scream at what it does.

It shoves his upper body into its mouth, and crunches down, his still squirming legs slumping to the floor. It lowers its head to eat them too, and I run off, not wanting to see the remains of my ally devoured by this thing. I catch up with the others, and I begin to shake.

"We have to get out of here somehow," Olyver says, pulling out a dagger. He's right, as long as we're in the sewers this beast will attack us. But running from it has just succeeded in dragging us in deeper. Its distant growls slowly grow louder.
"Whatever our plan is, we don't have long to execute it," I say, my heart beating at an unnatural speed.
"Okay, our plan is to split up and go in different directions. That way it can only go for one of us. We'll meet up at the golden building. The exit for it is marked by a golden ladder. We should be safe there," the growl sounds dangerously close now.

We walk to an intersection with bridges. Luke goes to the right, and Olyver continues straight. I go left. I look behind me and see the wall break down, and the beast appears again. Not looking back, I run down my tunnel, finding it goes downhill slightly. The growling becomes distant again, eventually becoming too distant to be heard.

I carry on, but at a much slower pace now the danger's passed. The floor is slightly damp, and a clear liquid drips from the ceiling every now and then. The flowing green river is to my right, still bubbling and steaming, and casting strange shadows in certain places. I'm suddenly aware of the silence. It's slightly unnerving.

A rodent scurries past my feet; it's the same type as the one that figured out a way through the Cornucopia's traps. I follow it for a while, before it loses its footing, and falls into the sludge. I stop. When the last one died, it was just before the hidden axe stuck itself in Samuel's head. I gulp back the tears brouht on by the memory. That means that there probably is something hidden nearby that'll kill me.

Suddenly, a crack appears in the floor, and it begins to fall apart. I jump across the growing gap, and the entire tunnel begins to crack. I was right, the rodents do warn you of an incoming disaster. Chunks from the ceiling fall down, and I race to get to the end of the tunnel. The cracks grow larger, and everything falls apart faster. It's upset the river, and it begins to splash, narrowly avoiding throwing a splash at my face. A rock hits my shoulder, causing extreme pain to course through my arm.

Finally, the end's in sight. I'm just about to make a sprint when the entire path falls apart, sections floating in the river. I'm floating further from the end of the tunnel, and the ceiling is about to cave in. Taking a huge risk, I leap across, barely making it. I run around the corner, and it finally gives in, a pile of rubble behind me.

I carry on down the winding tunnels, looking for the golden ladder that'll signify the end of being in this hellhole. But I have no luck, I haven't even seen a regular ladder, and I'm still going downhill.

A loud sound blasts down the tunnel, and for a moment, I think the beast has found me. But the sound is too brassy and melodic. The anthem, that's what it is. Even though I can't see the screen from down there, I know what's on there.

Kai. Immense grief fills me. He was the one I related to most. I remember how he returned to his mutilated partner just to hear her last words, how he comforted me with my own partner's death. I perform the same salute he did when he saw his partner's face in the sky. I clutch my hands to my chest, then cup them together, as if holding something precious, and open them, as if letting a butterfly go. I think it's sending my blessings.

Suddenly overcome with fatigue, I lay down, curled up against the wall. I feel too exposed, but I doubt anyone would be tribute hunting here. I close my eyes, and the world slowly melts away as I succumb to sleep.

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