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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3. Discovery

Unfortunately the form robot is not of any use. She tells us nothing of interest.

“After registration we require you to head to the main hall for your briefing.” It said in its feminine voice. Esmeralda presses the question button.

“So what are the Trials miss?” She asks.

“I’m afraid I am not permitted to tell you at this moment.” This is followed by a series of groans. “I am sorry for any inconvenience.”

“No you aren’t, you fucking heartless robot...” I hear Miranda-Louise mumble. Despite the fact most people respect and care for the robots some of us have always known that there is nothing to love in there. Me and Miranda-Louise are two of these people. In fact, I know of 7 people like this in total. It’s seen as disrespectful to believe that, and anyone caught is known to be taken for what’s known as a WASH. A brainwash, to be exact. In fact, Emma Payne in this form had one, although I suspect it hasn’t completely worked.

“You may chat for 18 minutes until you are required in the main hall.” So the quiet chatter begins. Danielle Bourne and Rowanaire Lloyd pull their chairs over to our table. Danielle is from Room F6 and Rowanaire is from Room F4, and we seem to get along, but we aren’t as close as I am to the people in Room 20 though.

“I can’t believe they are going to keep us waiting for another 20 fucking minutes!” Rowanaire says, a little too loud. She is not afraid to voice her opinions and she is a very strong person.

“Be quiet Rowan, not so loud! We don’t want to get in trouble...”Danielle is like the opposite. She is nervous and quiet, and strong in a different way.

“I don’t fucking care. I’m tired of this shit; I want to know what we’re doing this year!” Rowanaire is obviously in a mood today. I decide to tread lightly around her.

“I agree. In fact, I think everyone in this year agrees!” Miranda-Louise says calmly. Rowanaire stands up. Oh dear, what’s she doing?

“Then we can march on the robots and demand to know! We have enough people to start a rebellion, and we can...”

“Please, Rowan, sit down a second!” She’s talking dangerously, so I try and cut her off before she says something that she regrets. It’s not the first time though; when she’s angry she forgets what’s around us and her mouth spurts out words that we would, and should, never say. “There’s nothing we can do, apart from wait! And if we forget about it, then time will go quicker and we’ll know faster. Come on, we can talk about, um...”

“What is the thing that you’re most looking forward to outside the compound?” Danielle comes to my rescue. Even though she enjoys school, there is nothing that Danielle wants more than a chance to see the outside world. I relax as my friends start mindless chatter. Only 20 more minutes until the Trials begin.

And then I hear the sound of the 8:30 bell.

Where did the time go?

It’s time for us to know. It’s time for us to know what the Trials are!

We look at each other excitedly before we stand and rush out the door to meet with 220 other excited Year 11s.

 

In the hall, we waved goodbye to Danielle and Rowanaire as they sat with their friends, and we said hello to the members of Room F12 and Room F20. We jump around excitedly like 5 year olds and quickly rush to the middle seats. Suddenly the doors close, so we try and compose ourselves and we sit down politely. This means we are going to be told soon! I look down the row we are sitting on. Down my right are the members of Room F12, and on my left are the members of Room F20. The ones in Room 20 weren't in our Primary Division, so therefore I'm not as close to them as I am to the people in my room, but I get along with all of them quite well.

There's Lana Berg, who is really tall and slim, and is often quite quiet and studious. She enjoys her own company after school hours but during school she can be one of the chattier girls. She’s one of the prettier girls too, and she’s has her fair share of boyfriend dramas.

Eleanor Treble is the opposite of Lana: small and podgy. She is innocent and naive like Helena, but Eleanor is closer to her friends. In fact, while Helena has a lot of friends that she doesn’t know that well Eleanor is extremely close to Stephanie. They are almost inseparable!

Phoebe Duncan is a natural leader. She is smart and resourceful, and she is very confident too. I have a feeling though that she feels outside of our group. She is very good at making friends though; within minutes you can be talking to her like old friends. Because of this she’s become friends with the popular girls, and I think I catch her gossiping about her dorm mates every once in a while...

Stephanie Taylor is very kind and is a generally happy person. In fact, I have never seen her in a bad mood! She is the shoulder to cry on for most in her room and she is good at keeping spirits up. Her main friend is Eleanor, and I don’t know what would happen if they got separated.

There are two girls that are even closer than Eleanor and Stephanie are – which, if you met Ellie and Stephanie you would not believe there could be a stronger bond between two people – and they are Miranda-Louise Benke and Hilda Mirrant. They are so alike and so close they could pass for twins! Not like I've met any twins though. I've heard they exist but to be honest I've never met anyone with a sibling, let alone twins.

Suddenly all the chatter stops and we look to the front. The screen has lowered from the ceiling and it turns on, revealing the face that we see every time we have an assembly. He is old, with white hair and glasses that seem way too small to be usable. The robot's 'voice' booms out at us all as we ready ourselves for whatever could be on the other side.

"Welcome boys and girls, you are now in Year 11 so it is time for the Trials!" Then there's some awkward silence, like it wants us to cheer or shout, but most of us don't really know how to react. "Oh, look at you all. You are all so big! The oldest in the compound! I remember when you were little and just beginning your education at 3 years old. You used to be so cute!” He doesn’t remember. He lies to us. I feel nothing while the rest of the room smiles at the screen. “So, you must be wondering what the Trials actually are, eh? Well I'll tell you." 240 teenagers shifted to the edge of their seats.

"What we'll be doing this year, the Trials are..."

Silence.

"Tell us already!" Comes Bradley Cunningham's voice from the back of the hall.

"Survival skills!"

Another silence, but this time it’s a disappointed one. Nobody knows what it is, and we’re disappointed. I just feel nothing. There has to be something interesting and worthwhile about it.

"And included with that is learning how to use a sword and archery."

And that's when the whole room erupts with noise.

This year is going to be amazing.

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