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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15. Video

Although Saturday is meant to be our day off, we are called in for a surprise assembly. Having anything school related on a weekend is unheard of here. We knew that it would be something related to the Trials, so we all prepare for the worst as we file into the main hall.

The seats had been put up again, and the dummies had been folded into the wall. It seems almost normal once again. We find ourselves in the same seats as Monday, and instead of wild chatter, we have graveyard silence. A lot of things have changed since Monday. The 5 gaps indicate that.

Abigail Knight.

Cameron Cain.

Brandon Jarvis.

Matthew Denton.

Georgina Revel.

All gone. All dead.

And soon they won’t be the only ones.

The screen lowers down from the ceiling. I almost don’t want to look at it, after all the half-truths it told us.

Suddenly, the black screen starts playing sounds. It takes a minute to work out what it is. Voices.

“Hello there student. Please, come and sit down. My name is Steven Baxton and I am the head of this compound, J102, and you are just starting the Trials, are you not?”

“Yes, I...”

“Please, let me do the speaking.”

The man’s voice is cold like ice, but it burns in the back of your brain like fire. Our head teacher is not to be trusted, I can tell. What I can’t tell was who the other voice belonged to. I can’t even determine what gender it is, as the voice was so quiet and it was cut off.

“So, it has come to my attention that you have not done any work today. You sat around and gossiped, didn’t you?” He pauses. “Yes, of course you did. Now that is not acceptable, is it?” Another silence. Every word he says cuts into my head like a sharp blade.

“Abigail Knight?”

The room falls silent. We all know what’s coming. We don’t have time to cover our ears.

“It’s time to say goodbye.”

“What?”

“Say hello to the afterlife for me.”

An image finally flashes up on the screen to accompany the sounds. There is a desk, with Abigail on one side and the ‘headmaster’ on the other. He has dark brown hair and small square glasses pushed back way too far towards his eyes. He is cool and collected as he gives Abigail an evil smirk as her eyes grew wide. He is calm. Eerily calm.

He is even calm when he whips out the gun and blows her brains out.

 

I almost see it in slow motion. Her eyes blinking in shock. Her hands reaching to her mouth. Her mouth opening to scream. The scream just beginning before the bullet slices through her tanned skin and she is forever silenced.

The fact that the clip plays for 7 more seconds and the head teacher smiles satisfied all through it freaks me out a bit.

I hear Jayce-Ann burst into hysterical tears at the back of the hall.

Then the next clip starts.

 

“Cameron Cain. Pleased to meet you.” The head extends a hand to Cameron. He takes it, trembling like mad. “Why so nervous Cameron?”

“Uh...” He just sits in the chair without saying a word.

“My name is Steven Baxton and I’m the head of this compound, J102. I’m also the head of the Trials. I oversee everything that happens in that hall.”

“Murghg...” Cameron gurgles, obviously terrified.

“But enough talk. Let’s get onto the order of business. Your death. Say hello to the afterlife for me.” The gun comes out again and rams it’s bullet into his head. His eyes bulge and splatter as the bullet splits open his pupil. I hear someone throw up a couple rows behind me. As soon as his head hits the table the clip finishes.

 

“Brandon Jarvis. Pleased to meet you.”e Hhhgds

 

“Don’t kill me.”

“Oh, I’m sorry Brandon, but I have to.”

“NO!” He shouts, suddenly breaking down in tears.

“So this one will be short. Lovely.” I hear Steven mumble as he pulls out the gun slowly. Brandon screams as he notices it, and he freezes when his finger hovers over the trigger.

“You’re giving me time to aim. I do love it when you lot are scared senseless.” He says directly to the camera, directly to us. I shiver. He turns back to a Brandon, almost about to leap out of his own body out of nerves. “Say hello to the afterlife for me.”  That’s the third time he’s said it. Roberta’s even said it. The bullet splits his head, slightly sideward’s, as Brandon flinches at the gunshot. It rips apart his ear and his eyes dull the second it makes contact with his skull. His mouth hangs open as he slumps back to the chair.

 

“You aren’t fucking killing me.”

“Hush, Matthew Denton. No need to fight.”

“I...” He stops struggling and he falls onto his seat. “I won’t fight. I’m ready.”

“So, hello Matthew. My name is Steven Baxton and I am the head of...”

“I don’t care. Just get it over with. Just quickly, kill me quickly.”

“So I won’t do the whole song and dance. I’m sure you lot will enjoy that.” He addresses the camera again.

“Just fucking do it!”

“Alright, if you say so Matthew. Say hello to the afterlife for me.” His line, again. Matthew scrunches his eyes as the pistol fires the bullet into his head. We all know which one is coming next. Our last one.

Georgina Revel.

 

Watching it on the screen was not as scary as being there in the moment.

“I am sorry Georgina, but I’m afraid you will have to come with me.” Roberta says calmly.

“No.” Georgina says with determination. The crowd looks at her with stunned shock. I spot myself. I cringe.

“I am afraid you cannot disobey us in this situation. You have been chosen today. You have to come with me.”

“Well I’m not going.”

“Why not Georgina?”

“I’m not waltzing straight to my death. I’m going to fight it. Because I don’t want to die. Today I’m going to go to bed and wake up tomorrow alive. There is nothing you can do to make me die.”

“Are you sure about that Georgina?”The ArmBots rush in on cue.

“What? No! Stop it, get off! I’m going to get free. This won’t change anything. I’m surviving today and there’s nothing you can do about it!” Her death is only seconds away. There is even more tension in the seats of the hall than there has been already this morning.

“Are you sure about that Georgina?” Georgina begins to fight back even harder. This is it.

“I... don’t... care! I’m gonna... I’m gonna live and you... can’t... kill me! I don’t give a fuck! I’m living... past today! You can’t... make me... die Roberta!”

“Are you sure about that Georgina?” Here it comes.

“Yes... yes I –”

“Say hello to the afterlife for me.” And here it is.

Roberta pulls out the gun from her pocket and fires it at Georgina’s head. She crumbles to the ground as the crowd jumps and shakes.

The screen goes blank.

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