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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8. Broken

I sit on my bed looking blankly around the room. I see nothing but pain and sorrow. Actually, I just see nothing at all.

All I can hear are the sounds of many screams bouncing around the corridor. These are the screams of the people desperately trying to prove the Patch wrong. They are not going to succeed. They know that. They know that, somewhere in the back of their broken minds.

Sophia's boyfriend, Maxwell, is in the room with us. He hugs Sophia loosely while she silently cries into his shoulder. He, however, stares blankly at the open door, with his blonde hair flopping in front of his face. Helena is sitting cross-legged on her bed, shaking, with tiny tears only occasionally dripping from her eyes. Belinda is repeatedly punching her pillow, mumbling nonsense to herself. She’s trying to get her anger and pain out, even though she knows it isn't working. But she keeps going, while quietly talking gibberish. Carolyn is curled up on her bed, whispering something repeatedly I can't quite make out, but is something along the lines of “I'm not worthy” and “I’ll never make it out”. Clarissa is in the bathroom like she had been this morning. But this time she isn't brushing her teeth, this time she is contributing to the screams of agony from the other rooms.

Me? I’m sitting on the bed with my head in a haze. Nothing is going in properly; it all seems like a dream. I can’t tell that I, too, have gone slightly crazy. Not yet. Because a crazy person never knows that they are insane.

We’re all crazy.

We’re all broken.

But how would you feel if you were told you were most likely going to die, along with almost everyone you know?

If you don't know then I hope you never find out.

Clarissa stumbles out of the bathroom all of a sudden in desperate tears. She is holding a sharp knife, which I have never seen before. Where has it come from?

"Look... look...the knife it... it stopped..." she chokes and clambers over her words as the tears well up and freely flow from her misty eyes.

"Look!" She screams to get our attention. Only I move, and that's only slightly. None of us pay any proper attention to her. She breaks down again and staggers against the wall.

"When... when I cut knife blood... when I... when..." She can hardly speak. After a few moments of mumbling she spits the complete sentence out.

"When I slice the knife against my skin, it... it... it goes better!" To prove her point she holds the knife up high and slashes it down with an almighty swoop. It catches on her arm, slitting the pale skin that hangs near her elbow. Her pain-filled scream echoes through the room, piercing everything like a clashing chord. The long, thin cut oozes with dark red blood and, sure enough, the cut closes up and makes instant repairs. Within seconds it's like nothing happened at all, the only indicator is the blood that has dripped on the silver, metallic floor.

"Stupid... stupid Patch!" She sobs like a child."I hate you!" She curses at the vaccine and raises the knife again. She bawls and shouts as she brings down the knife, but this time it lands in the middle of the Patch. She screams again, louder than before, obviously in great pain. But she keeps going, keeps trying to destroy the Patch that makes her trapped in this world. The skin heals before her, which angers her and makes her try again. And again. And again.

I feel a single tear flow out of my eye. My friends have all been reduced to insane children in the space of a few hours.

Clarissa yells as the knife continues to fail, as the cuts continue to disappear, as her mind continues to break...

She stops without warning, and crumbles to the ground. She stops screaming and drops the knife.

There is a moment of silence.

“I... I am nothing.” She says. “I am nothing but... a robot. We are nothing more than the creatures that give us this... this... pain. We are only here to die. Only here to learn until we have no further use. And the weakest of us die. We are... robots. The robots are taken away when they get old and have served their purpose and... and when they no longer have a purpose. They are taken against their will. As are we. As we will be. We have exceeded our purpose, and we must now... be disposed of. And we can’t fight. We cannot change our destiny. Because we are not in control. Our rulers make the decisions. Just like robots. We are robots. And no matter how much we fight... we will be beaten by those better than us. And those better than us are the ones controlling us. We are just...

“Nothing.”

Her words ring out in the empty room. She’s right. Maybe. Is she?  Are we really just robots controlled by something higher? Do we have any free will at all?

Yes. We do. We have the chance to fight for our survival. We may be made to die after we take our M*Es, but if we just accept that we are nothing then we may never make it out. If we do we can change things, so nobody else has to die.

Clarissa breaks the silence again with another scream. She’s picked up the knife again and this time, she had slashed her face.

She’s crazy.

We’re all crazy.

Even me.

That’s right.

I’m crazy.

And do you know why?

Because Clarissa's latest attempt made me scream, grab the knife from her bloody hands and take a large slice across my own arm.

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