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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7. Patch

“Gregory Hamilton.”

I stare at the metal wall and count slowly. Fifteen. Sixteen. Seventeen. I count just to see how long each one takes. Twenty one. Twenty two. Twenty three.

"Claudia Hardwood."

After the announcer says the name of the next person, the floor moves from underneath me to another part of the wall and stops. So I look back at the wall and count. It’s a fun game. So far the most amount of time someone has taken is 34 seconds, and the least is 21. The data also adds up so the average time is 27 seconds.

"Joseph Hargreaves."

The floor moves again. I immediately start counting. Claudia took 28 seconds. Just around the average.

"Robert Harris."

The floor moves.

I count again.

God, I’m so bored that I have resorted to acting like a machine.

“Marcus Harrison.”

I have been standing in a queue for a few minutes for yet another vaccination. Nothing to be scared of really. We have them every few weeks when some sort of new illness pops up. We’re quite used to it. And it is the same every time; I have to stand away from my friends - in alphabetical order of last name, hello Timothy Hemmingwell and Isla Hobson - wait for a machine to call my name and then have it shove a needle into my arm. You'd be surprised how much you get used to it. Having an injection every month or so builds a sort of resistance. This injection is slightly different though. Normally we have jabs for illness, and normally they are jabs. Today, the reason is because within the space of an hour there have been 7 suicide attempts in our year alone.

Not surprising really.

“Alison-Lou Harrod.”

Nobody ate at dinner. We were all deadly silent, staring at the empty chair that was in-between Cassandra O’Brian and Bethany Parker from her room. After five minutes of silence, Cassandra tried to use the knives to slit her wrists, and Monica from room F2 copied. We were told to leave immediately after that by the announcer, but instead, as we were leaving, Maria franticly grabbed the vitamin pills we are meant to take and tried to overdose. She was taken by the ArmBots, kicking and screaming, back to her room. And apparently, according to Mellissa Hogan three spaces in front of me in the line, one person from her room, Susanna Waters, tried to hang herself. No-one wants to die at the hands of the school, and I'm not surprised. I’m not the sort of person that would try to; I think I would be too scared to commit suicide. I could never bring myself to do it. Well, especially after this jab.

“Timothy Hemmingwell.”

I’m next.

They call this jab 'The Patch' because that's kind of what it looks like: a big patch that they stick on your arm. It's not really a jab at all though; it’s more like a medical sticker. It looks like a burn plaster, and it's shoved onto your arm by the machine, then a needle is scraped across the edges - and into your skin as well - to keep it in place. Sound painful? The crazy thing is, no-one is scared. Not even me. I guess we're going to face worse in these 'Trials' than a Patch.

"Tamara Hensworth."

And I'm at the front of the line. I step off the moving floor and walk around the wall. There is a covered bit of the wall with a chair in the middle, with the machine around the side that delivers the vaccination. I walk over and sit down in the chair casually. As soon as I am there the machine springs into action. A metallic arm grabs mine and forces it up past my ear. The patch is suddenly slapped on, and the arm changes into the pointed metal. I wince as the needle drags across my skin, but it’s over very quickly. The machine stops and calls the next name.

"Isla Hobson."

I jump up and grab my arm - it hurt more than I expected - and I walk out of the covered room. Around the corner is the Pan*L, which is the main way to contact the nurses. After every jab it prints off information, and this one is no exception. Today it prints off a pale yellow sheet with my name on and tells me to return to my room. So I do what it says.

On the way I read the leaflet:

Tamara Elizabeth Hensworth

You have just received the 'Patch' vaccination for suicidal teenagers and students taking the Trials. You fall under the second category.

This vaccination protects you from all forms of suicide.

Hanging: It strengthens your neck muscles and respiratory system, so hanging yourself will not stop you breathing.

Overdosing: It changes your digestion system so if you take more than one dose of medicine in 24 hours, only the first will be broken down. The rest will be promptly excreted.

Drowning: It makes sure that all water entering the body is digested as it would...

I tear the top bit off and throw it behind me. I get the message; no suicide for me. Joy.

“Xavier Hoffman.” I hear behind me.

I skip to the next section: removal.

This Patch can only be removed by professionals who have a certain type of drug. Do not try and steal it from the nursing bank, it is not there. Also, don't try to break into the heads office; it has laser protection that only stuns you instead of killing you.

'Ha-ha, very funny.' I tear that bit off too. I look at the last section: side effects.

There are side effects for 1 in 2 people, 1 in 10 people, 1 in 100 people, 1 in 1,000 people and 1 in 10,000 people. If you experience any side affects not listed for you please let the nurses know via the Pane*L.

“Mellissa Hogan.” Interrupts my reading.

Tamara Elizabeth Hensworth:

You will experience the 1 in 2 people side effects because you are female. You’re periods will stop for the duration of the Patch’s time on your arm. It will return 3 months after the Patch is removed.

You will experience the 1 in 10 side effects because you are prone to migraines. If you try and overdose you will experience a minor migraine.

Thank you for taking the time for reading the leaflet on the Patch. If you have any inquiry's go to...

I screw up the last bit and throw it behind me. I shiver. Fabulous, two lots of side effects for me. At least I won’t have to worry about periods while I’m fighting my only friends for survival. I decide to get some good sleep so I go through as little arm pain as possible, although I know it won't be easy with the image of Abigail's head lingering on inside my brain. I’m going to have to get used to it, as more and more people’s heads will join hers. I hope mine doesn’t. I shrug my shoulders, but a sharp pain suddenly rushes through my arm. Why does it hurt so much? I decide to run to my room before it gets any worse, clutching my sore arm as it swings.

“Penelope Horner.” Is the last name I hear.

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