Surprises: The 68th Annual Hunger Games

For 68 years the Capitol has held the Hunger Games to keep the rebellious Districts in check. This year will be full of surprises and shocking twists that nobody could have anticipated. So watch as the 24 tributes battle it out until one remains in an arena guaranteed to surprise the entire nation of Panem.

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10. A Game of Wits

Alanna Pyre, 12, District 6 Tribute

The platform rises, my stylist's hideous face still plastered in my mind. No, you must enter this with a clear head if you are to come out alive. The platform stops moving, and I'm in a black glass tube. I try peering through, but I can't make anything out on the other side. I hear a low voice echo around the arena; the countdown. Panic creeps into my very being as the countdown announces twenty seconds left. This isn't good. I can't see the arena, or my positioning. All I know for sure is that I'm facing the Cornucopia.

5. I take a deep breath, and prepare myself to sprint blindly towards the supplies.

4. I just hope that I'm not positioned between Careers. But the glass prevents me from seeing who I'm between.

3. A though occurs to me. With these tubes, it's impossible for the land mines to be set off. And the Gamemakers wouldn't waste their time planting mines that won't be used.

2. This means that the mines are elsewhere, but still close enough to be detonated.

1. I tense up as I think of the one place that they could be. Suddenly, a low gong rings out, and the glass shatters.

Sand. That's the first thing I register. I look straight ahead, and I see the Cornucopia sitting near what appears to be the ocean. So we're on a beach. I don't have time to figure anything else as I see the boy from 1 run towards me. I sprint forwards, towards the golden horn. I look around the floor. Normally there are supplies littered around the Cornucopia, but this year, they're all piled at the mouth. I see the girl from 4 run towards the mouth of the Cornucopia, when an explosion sounds out. A ring of detonations explodes around the Cornucopia, sending supplies, and parts of the girl, raining down. The smoke clears, and I still see the supplies. I dart towards them, my heart beating at a hundred miles an hour, my only thought to survive. I've almost made it when a massive force slams me into the soft sand. I look up, and see the boy from 2 pinning me down, a knife in hand. When did he get this? As he draws the blade closer, I grab a handful of sand, and throw it in his eyes. Temporarily blinded, he lets go, and I make a break for the Cornucopia. Already the tributes' blood has stained the once pristine sand, and I leap over the headless body of the boy from 3. I look ahead, and see the rest of the Careers at the golden horn, throwing countless weapons at the now fleeing tributes. I see a trident strike the auburn haired boy from 8 in the back, and he falls to the ground. I can't make it to the supplies without being slaughtered by the Careers. Unless...

They all turn to the girl from 10 as she runs for her life, but isn't fast enough to outrun a spear. Whilst they're distracted, I fall to the floor. I see a spear on the floor, and grab it. I lift up my shirt, and place the weapon inside, giving the impression it impaled me. I let my features relax, and close my eyes, remaining motionless. The screaming dies down until there is only silence. I hear laughter. It must be the Careers. 
"Oh yeah! That was awesome! You should have seen the look on that twelve year old's face when I sliced her head open!"
"Well, you should have heard the scream from that girl from 8! It was so high pitched and desperate!"
Suddenly, I hear an explosion. The cannons, telling us how many tributes have perished. They sound out for a minute or so, and I count ten. Ten tributes dead in the bloodbath. Just under half of us gone in the first fifteen minutes. I open one eye, and see the Careers collecting their weapons off the corpses. I hear footsteps near me, and shut my eyes. I feel the spear being pulled out from under my shirt, and I hear the Career walk away from me.
"That all the weapons?"
"Yeah. The hovercraft'll be here in a moment. Let's clear out, and find some more tributes!" I hear excited yelling, and I open my eyes to see them run off into the dense trees on the other side of the beach. Now...

I spring up, and dart towards the Cornucopia. I look inside the golden horn. It's filled to the brim with swords and backpacks. I grab two backpacks, a few knives, and a bottle of water. I put the water and all but one knife in the bags, and sling them over my shoulder. I look around at my surroundings. The ocean's behind me, and there's a dense forest ahead. I see a mountain in the background, and a few tiny islands just out in the water. There'll probably be a fresh water source somewhere, and some type of natural shelter. I look straight ahead, and decide on reaching the mountain. I'll have a good view of everything from up there, so I will be able to see if any attackers are approaching. But before I can get anywhere, I'll have to go through the forest. I walk across the beach, stepping over the bodies littered about. I walk over the armless corpse of the boy from 12, and past the lifeless boy from 7. I step into the forest, overwhelmed by the green. I continue onwards, moving further into the dense forest. I finally reach a clearing, and stop to catch my breath. It's late afternoon. I continue forward, seeing several strange insects on the plants, probably poisonous. The oversized leaves are dripping with some sort of sticky liquid, from the looks of it.

Suddenly, I hear something. I whip my head back to see a small rodent of sorts. The word squirrel springs to mind. But these are different. They have a thin layer of skin joining their arms and legs, and they're a bright gold. More float down from the trees, eyeing me up with their massive dark eyes. I take a step backwards, and they explode into action. They throw themselves at me, pinning me to the ground. I grab one of the small beasts, pulling it off me. It bites down on my hand, blood flowing. This sets something off in the others, and they sink their teeth into me as well, sending sharp pain running through my body. I roll over, crushing a few as their limp bodies fall to the floor, their oversized fangs still coated in my blood. I leap up, and run, a couple still clinging on to me. I suddenly trip, tumbling down a steep slope, losing one of my bags as the squirrels ravage it. I ram into a tree at the bottom of the hill, slamming my back hard. It's hurt, but not broken. I sit up, making sure I'm not surrounded again. It then comes back to me, what those beasts were. I learned about them in school; they're a Muttation used by the Capitol in the rebellion to attack the rebels from above. They were also used in the Hunger Games once, the second Quarter Quell, with 48 tributes instead of the usual 24. The odds would be sourly against me if I was in that Games. I get up, and scale the tree I slammed into. I reach the top, and sit on a wide and secure branch. The sun's nearly gone down, and I see a faint glow coming from the mountain. For a moment, I think I can smell sugar, but it must be exhaustion kicking in. Judging by the lack of cannons, no other tributes died after the initial bloodbath. Which means I still have thirteen other tributes to outlive. I sigh, and open my remaining bag. I find my bottle from earlier, still full, a bag of dried fruit, a roll of tape, half a box of matches, a half cracked knife, an arrow, and a jacket several sizes too large.

Suddenly, trumpets blare out throughout the arena. I quickly recognise the anthem, and look as the seal appears in the sky. Now I'll get to see who perished in the bloodbath. First up is the boy from 3, the one that was decapitated, then the girl from 4, that set off the mines surrounding the Cornucopia. The boy from 5, the boy from 7, both from 8, both from 9, the girl from 10, and the boy from 12. Which leaves almost all the Careers, and several outliers. I grab my bottle, and take a sip. I then open the bag of dried fruit, eating a handful. I grab my cracked knife, and use the roll of tape to tape the handle and blade together. It won't hold forever, but it'll allow me to use it as a projectile.

A yawn escapes my lips, and I realise just how tired I am. I look around again; the Cornucopia's out of sight, and I'm roughly halfway through the forest. Using the jacket, I tie myself to the branch, and close my eyes. I'm just beginning to drift off when one though invades my mind. Tyler managed to survive the bloodbath, which means he'll probably be looking for me, and it's wrong to not try to find your district partner if they survived the bloodbath. And if I just ignore him, my sponsor count'll drop to zero. I sigh, and feel my eyes grow heavy. Tomorrow, I'll figure out a way to get out of this, but for now, sleep is my only priority. I shut my eyes, and slip into the realm of slumber. After all, this could be the last time I get some sleep in my life.

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