The Trials

When an insane Prime Minister reads The Hunger Games and Harry Potter, he gets inspiration from them and creates the Trials for every Year 11 student to face. Every year, one is held in every school. 240 go in, and 1 comes out.
200 years later, Tamara Hensworth has a good life. She has good grades, good friends, and her heart set on a cute boy. But as the year begins, her life falls into ruin. The Trials bring destruction, despair, and most importantly, death, meaning Tamara is most likely going to end up dead, along with her friends and her boyfriend.
Tamara needs to fight for survival, but it's hard against people she's known her whole life. But what can she do? Die saving someone else's life or live and be responsible for many other's deaths?
This Movella was shortlisted for Movella of the year 2012 :) thanks to everyone who nominated me or voted for me!
Cover by Zoe Nightshade from World of Covers :)

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1. Awake

My eyes flicker open to find darkness similar to my previous sleep state. I roll over and look at the wall clock. 2:28Am. Great. I sit up and rub my eyes, because there’s absolutely no way I’m getting back to sleep without getting up and wandering around first. So I slip on my night-socks and stand up.

Forgetting my eyes haven’t adjusted to the dark yet and I fall down to the floor.

I slowly pull my body up and brush myself off – not likes there’s any dust on the perfect metal floor anyway – and listen out for any signs of movement. Nothing. I breathe a sigh of relief; I haven’t woken up any of my dorm mates. I pull my aching body back onto my bed as my head spins. I neaten the silver bed sheets and adjust the pillow as my clouded mind brushes away the cobwebs.

When I notice that my vision has become clearer, I stand up again – being extra careful this time – and start to walk to the door. I need to get out of this room; at least for a minute. I stop and look around at the six beds in my room. My bed’s empty. The others are occupied by one of my five friends. I smile at them. They all look so innocent when they are asleep. Not like how we are awake. I giggle as Clarissa throws her blanket onto the floor, but then I remember my task so I turn back and try and open the door. It’s locked. After about a minute I remember the curfew; the doors lock at midnight and unlock again at 6. I sigh and turn back to face my sleeping friends. Guess I’m going to have to pace in my own room.

I plonk myself back on my bed and think about the morning ahead of me. Tomorrow – no, wait, today – is my first day of Year 11. The big one. The big year. The year that really matters. We’ve already done our vital exams, the M*Es (Major Examinations), but we’re still here for another year. I don’t mind that, I enjoy learning some things in a strange way, but others can’t wait to get out. They can’t wait to get out of this restricted world and see outside for the first time, to live independently, to talk to more people than the 240 in our year or the 2640 in the rest of our compound, to meet actual adults instead of robots that do everything for us. But no, they have to stay another year. And what do they have to stay for?

The Trials. We have to pass the Trials.

I have no idea what the Trials are or what they entail, but the teachers tell us they’re a big deal. In fact, I don’t think anybody knows! We have always wondered what could go on in our final year. The Trials are kept a secret from all students who aren’t old enough to participate in them. I would ask my teachers more about them, but seeing as my teachers are programmed robots designed to only teach us what’s mandatory and no more, I’ve never really bothered. All I know is that one by one, the Year 11’s seem to leave the compound, into the outside world we have never known, never to be seen again. They just disappear one day, and we never hear from them again. Maybe some of them graduate early? But the others all look pretty solemn, and it’s always the stupid ones first... I guess I’ll find out soon enough.

My mind changes subject and I look at my friends.

On the bed closest to the door is Belinda Prince. She has straight, short black hair that puffs out at the end and big glasses that always fall off her nose. She’s one of the few people I know whose eyes are too damaged to have laser eye surgery, which is what the majority of people have here. I had to have it when I was 7, but her eyes were too far gone by then. Belinda is, well, odd to say the least. She is very opinionated and either thinks you are the best thing since the cure for cancer or she absolutely hates your guts. Fortunately I fall into her first category, which is good because I really like her.

Across from her is Carolyn Grant, with dark brown hair and so many freckles that they are becoming a tan. Carolyn usually comes across as being more subdued if you don’t know her, but once you know her well she’s one of the most confident, outgoing people you could meet. She’s extremely clever, and she strangely enjoys all schoolwork, so she’s always the one that does our homework when we feel lazy. Luckily she has perfected the art of faking all of our different handwriting styles. I don’t know how she does Sophia’s, because it’s so messy!

Next to Belinda is Clarissa Cleariver, who has bright bleach-blonde hair that looks like it’s been dyed, although no-one’s done that since the 23rd Century. She’s a passive character; she will only argue when necessary and therefore suffers in silence. However, when she does fight back there’s nothing you can do to defend yourself. You’ve lost already. Not her best trait, I have to say, but it has earned her some respect around the compound. I’d hate to be on the receiving end of it. Clarissa is also very trustworthy and reliable. She always listens to what you have to say, and I really respect her for that rather than for her argumentative skills.

Next to her is Sophia Nicolson, a brash character reflected by her fiery, frizzy copper hair. Sophia is tough and overpowering, but is a confident and cheeky friend with a permanent smile on her face. She is someone that you don’t want to be on the wrong side of, so being one of her friends is a good position to be in. She is liked by a lot of people surprisingly, although there are some people that have made the mistake of pushing her buttons, and let’s just say that it didn’t end well for them.

In the bed opposite is Helena Paterson. Helena is small and slight with dirty blonde hair and glasses that seem way too big for her. She and I used to be incredibly close friends, but we’ve began to grow apart. She is fun-loving and will stick with you, and for you, until the very end, but it doesn’t seem like she has grown at all since year 7; physically, mentally, and emotionally. She’s a nightmare for the clinics too: she is ill just about all the time! And even when she is vaccinated she gains some other cold, flu or virus. If there is a cold going round, she is always the first one ill. I always tell her it would be better if she ate more but she’s so fussy and stubborn, there’s no hope anymore.

And next to Helena is me, Tamara Hensworth with long, straight light brown hair, bright blue eyes, a caring attitude, a quiet heart and is the only one not asleep. I find myself yawning all of a sudden. Maybe I can finally fall asleep! I take off my night-socks and try to get some shut-eye. As I do, thoughts drift in and out my head.

So what are the Trials? Maybe they’re tests in different subjects, like an extension of the M*Es. Or maybe they’re physical training to prepare your body for the military or something. We never know what could be outside the compound; there could be a nuclear war on! They could be home skills or, or... like the Hunger Games! No, don’t be silly Tamara; the Hunger Games is just a book. Or maybe like the Tri-Wizard Tournament in Harry Potter? Maybe we’re learning magic! But that’s classic fiction from 470 years ago. That can’t be true, can it?

And that’s where thoughts end and dreams begin.

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