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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2. Speculations

The sound of a person hitting the floor wakes me up.

I look at the clock again: 7:03Am.

At least I got a good night’s sleep.

I sit up and look immediately at the floor surrounding Helena’s bed. Yep, she’s done it again. Ever since the last term ended Helena has started having nightmares about the Hunger Games, one of the books we studied for English Literature, and every morning for the past few weeks she has rolled out of the bed. This time she’s rolled out in-between my bed and hers instead of next to the wall, so I reach my hand down to her to pick her up.

“Have you had the dream again?” Clarissa pokes her head out of the bathroom and looks at us.

“Yep.” Helena says as she sits back on her bed. “This time Cato tied me to a tree and he set it on fire. It was horrible.”

“Need a hug?” I suggest. She shakes her head.

“I’m fine now. Anyway, it’ll just remind me of the flames licking my bones...”

“Don’t worry, it’s all over now.” Belinda says from the corner of the room. “I guess we’re all up anyway, and that’s good. Today’s important.”

“I’m not up yet. I’m still sleeping.” Sophia yells from her blankets, irritated. I don’t blame her. She’s really grumpy in the mornings.

“Do you want me to motivate you?” Clarissa calls from the bathroom, her mouth full of toothpaste.

"It won’t work. Nothing could ever motivate me for school." Sophia yawns and finally sits up, knocking the blankets aside. Her frizzy hair is sticking up at the front so she starts brushing it vigorously.

"So, anyone got any idea what the Trials are?" Clarissa says walking in. She is already dressed and ready. I’m not surprised; she has always been an early riser unlike the rest of us. Everyone starts to shake their heads. "Well someone must know, right?"

"Yeah, those are people that have done it before, and how many of them do we know?" I point out. "None. So we're not going to know until we try it."

"Wait a second." Carolyn suddenly sits bolt upright. She hasn’t said a word this morning. "We have never met anyone who's done the Trials. The oldest people we've ever known are Year 11's and we were never allowed contact with them. And we've never met any adults, have we? We've just had robots doing everything for us. I always thought that adults were outside the compound, but what if they aren’t?" Carolyn had pointed out something we had never realised. What if there wasn’t an outside?

"Maybe they all die in the Trials. Maybe we're all going to die! Just like my dream, maybe we are going to be in the Hunger Games!" Helena suddenly sounds very worried.

“Why would we have been born just to die though? We must have some point in living, we take up resources.” Sophia, always looking on the bright side.

"But we must come from somewhere. Two people must have had sex to make us." Belinda always thinks of the dirty stuff in any situation.

“It could have been IVF treatment.” Says Clarissa. I stare at them both. Why did they need to bring that up?

“Why are we even talking about that? Maybe we are just not allowed contact with them." I say, even though I’m fed up of guessing because it makes my brain hurt.

“I don’t know anymore. Helena’s theory is starting to scare me. Even though I know Sophia would do well, I’m not sure any of us could survive the Hunger Games.” Carolyn says quietly, shaking her head.

“Do I take that as a compliment?” Sophia murmurs.

"Well, we're not going to find anything out by speculating are we? The more we wonder the longer it'll take to find out." Everyone turns their head to me as I say it, and they mutter in agreement.

"But I don't want to know what they are." Helena whispers, but I'm the only one who hears. Fair enough though, she is the one who suspects that everyone is going to die, after all. We are going to find out eventually, but it’s the waiting that everyone dreads.

So Carolyn changes the subject to cute boys and most of us blush. Sophia and Helena both have boyfriends, called Maxwell Jones and Marcus Harrison, while the rest of us are still looking. I've got my eye on one boy though, and his name is Thomas Nelson. Thomas has golden blonde hair and hazel eyes which make my heart melt. He’s tall, strong, funny, kind and popular. Unfortunately, he's got a girlfriend, called Alexis Tyler. If Helena's theory is right then I want to have the pleasure of brutally murdering Alexis, the little bitch. People tell me my hatred of her is irrational, that she is actually nice and kind, but I know that’s just pretend. It’s just a cover. One day I’ll show the world, and Thomas will be mine.

The 7:30 bell goes off and the rest of us quickly change into our school-wear. We’ve completely lost track of time. We don’t want to be late for our breakfast! We file out of our dorm room, Room F12, to find that surprisingly, we’re the last ones out. Usually one or two rooms will come out late if they’ve over-slept or if the bell interrupted a gossip session. Room M3 and Room F18 are particularly bad for that. I figure that everyone was up early, thinking about what we could be facing this year. We all rush down to the breakfast hall as quick as we can; even Belinda, who rarely runs.

It's no surprise that the Trials are the main topic of conversation on the big, long table we eat around. As we were late we all had to sit apart, and I had unfortunately ended up near the popular girls from Room F7. They were never very bright and the only thing they usually are known for is sleeping with guys. Today, however, they are talking about the Trials instead of their latest sex episode which in some ways is a surprise. Even worse than that though, is that Room F7 is the dorm that Alexis is in, so I have to listen to her stupid voice as I pick through my ManuFruit. I keep my head down and try not to talk about the Trials with them, but I can’t help but overhear their conversations and time slows down even more. I would tell them to be quiet and eat their breakfast, but I don't really have that much power or popularity among my classmates. Oh well, I have friends and good grades, I bet popularity is not one of the tests for the Trials.

When the breakfast bell rings the chatter increases. People start to wander over to the school building - it's just at the other end of the hall - and we file into our form classrooms. I say goodbye to my dorm mates, as we are separated in classes. I guess this is it, the beginning of the Trials! I sit down in my seat and eagerly stare at the screen in which the teachers speak from and I wait for the news.

“Hurry up and show us already!” Benjamin Richardson shouts from the front.

I turn to my friend from Room F20 who’s sitting next to me, Miranda-Louise Benke, as we wait.

“Helena thought we’d be in the Hunger Games.” I say. Miranda-Louise smiles.

“I severely doubt that that’s what the Trials will be!” She laughs. We get along very well with the people in Room 20. “You know, she’s not the only one. Hilda was joking about it too.”

The screen in front of us turns on. Miranda-Louise stops talking immediately and her eyes grow wide. The familiar face of our Form Tutor flashes on screen.

"Hello class, welcome to the Trials."

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