The Celebrity Games

"May good fortune follow you wherever you go!" The celebrity games, only one rule: Kill or be killed. When the royal family took over the world, region 13 of England rebelled and in consequence, got nuked within an inch of its life. As payment for this rebellion, the royals instated The celebrity games where each year a celebrity would be chosen and the country that they're from would have to produce two female or male competitors to compete in a chosen arena, fighting to the death. As a prize for surviving, they get to marry the chosen celebrity. But this year is going to be so different...

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8. The competitor's parade

After my prep team had finished with my hair and makeup, they allowed me to open my eyes and take in the full effect. Staring back at me from the wide floor-length mirror was someone who I didn't recognise. This person was... Me? I waved my hand at them and the person did too. It had to be me then, there was no other explanation.

Moving closer, I inspected my reflection more intensely. My hair had been straightened and sleeked back into a formal up-do with just a hint of that sparkly powder dusted onto it, causing it not only to glitter when it hit the light but also to lighten it so it was almost white, kind of like a platinum blonde. My makeup was amazing too, the palest of pale pink lipstick with a coat of sparkly clear lip gloss over the top, white and silver eyeliner with pale blue eye shadow and a contrasting pair of black fake eyelashes that had minuscule diamonds stuck onto them so when I blinked, it looked as if I had tiny frozen water droplets on my eyelashes.

With a massive grin on my face, I turned around to my prep team and gave them all a big hug to show my appreciation. Honestly, the look on their faces just warmed my heart to the very core. Just then Damien swept in through the doorway to see for himself how this ended up.

To be honest, he looked rather shocked. "Wow, love. You look... amazing. I'm sure no competitor has looked this good ever. Well, apart from me of course." He marvelled, taking it all in, looking me up and down.

"Uh, thanks." I said nervously, fiddling with my sleeves.

"You should learn to take a compliment, love." He advised, pausing a moment to get something out of his pocket and handing it to me. "Here, that Gok bloke wanted me to give you this."

Opening my palm, I found a silver chain necklace with a blue crystal water droplet on the end of it.

"Ooh, put it on!" The pink haired lady squealed. I had forgotten my prep team were still here. Oops.

"Yeah, he said you had to wear it." Damien insisted, raising his eyebrows in impatience. "Go on, you need to be at the stable in two minutes!"

Placing it around my neck, I said my goodbyes to my prep team and followed Damien down a labyrinth of corridors until we came to a wooden door. When opened, it led to a massive wooden stable full of competitors and their chariots. Damien ushered me over to our designated chariot where I found a grinning Lizzie Girdling, a nervous looking Nicole, someone who looked like her stylist fixing the last details of her outfit and Gok, standing ready for my arrival.

Nicole was wearing a black fitted lycra jumpsuit with a hood and ballet slippers, her hair was also in an up-do but was messier than mine, with bits of loose hair falling down to give it that 'just got out of bed look'. Her makeup complimented her outfit well, with blood red lipstick, coated with a shimmery orange and gold lip gloss. She had black and gold eyeliner and a yellow-y orange eye shadow dusted on her eyelid. Unlike me, she didn't have any false eyelashes on, just a lot of mascara and her cheeks had a light coating of blusher on too. Currently, she had her hood down but her stylist was pulling it up and prepping her for what was to come. As she turned towards me, I caught a flash of gold reflected off her and saw that she had a necklace on, identical to mine except that her chain was gold and the crystal was a deep red colour.

"Now, Francesca. When you get out there, you'll probably think that you're going to fall off the chariot but whatever you do, don't hold onto the railing. You're not going to fall off, I promise." Gok reassured me, smiling warmly into my icy blue eyes. "Oh, and don't be alarmed at Nicole being set on fire too, its not real flame."

"What?! You're going to set Nicole on fire?" I yelped, trying to keep my voice as low as possible so the other competitors couldn't hear me.

"Its a fake fire and this jumpsuit is flame retardant anyway so even if there was a real fire, you wouldn't get hurt." He laughed, helping me onto the chariot. Nicole was already there, waiting to be lit up like a bonfire. We were the last chariot out so we had about five more minutes until the whole empire would see us. My survival in the games basically rests on this and the interview we have to give in two days. Not to mention the rating we get from training which we get four days after that, then is only three more days until I have to go into the arena.

Slowly but surely, one by one the chariots were being let out, starting with region 1 and then ending with us. The grand finale. Usually known as the grand flop in our case, but somehow I figured this year would be different.

Just when we were one from the front, Nicole's stylist ran up to us with a bright red flame on a long splint and held it up against Nicole's hood. As soon as it touched the material, her whole being burst into dancing flames, not too much but just enough to see her from inside her fortress of fire. I wanted to see if Gok was telling the truth so I swiped my hand through the flames a few times and nothing happened, no pain. Smiling, we started to move, out through the carved wooden archway and into the wide road that marked our pathway to the front of Buckingham palace where the empress herself lived, our Majesty the queen.

At first, people were shocked, looking amazed at this spectacle before them. I expected them to start throwing rocks at us like they had in one year, but suddenly they started an uproar. They loved us! That was when I remembered Gok's instructions. Grabbing Nicole's hand, I smiled my prettiest smile and held it aloft, showing people that we were proud to be from region 12, that weren't going to stand down and we're not going to be overlooked... That we were a team!

Suddenly I felt something change with my costume and looking up at the massive TV screens they had all over the place, I saw they were all focused on either one of us. Staring at myself on the screen, I saw my jumpsuit start to melt and flow as running water. It snaked up my arms, sizzling and steaming when it connected with the fire. It intertwined into my hair, pulling it down and letting it flow free. What I saw on the screen wasn't the ice queen I was before; what I saw on the screen was a water goddess, beautiful, flowing, unforgiving yet calm and free. I looked breathtaking...

As individuals, Nicole and I looked like chalk and cheese, but together we seemed powerful, like nothing in the world could stop us. We were stealing the show, quite literally. The only chariot they would show to the crowd was us and they were lapping it up. They were throwing flowers at us left, right and centre.

With my free hand, I started blowing kisses to the crowd and millions of hands reached out and grabbed thin air as if catching my kiss. When I waved, even more hands waved back and when I winked at them, they cheered even louder. I was loving this! Catching a brilliant blue lily that was thrown in my direction, I sniffed it, sending its heavenly scent into my nostrils. I shouted a thank you into the crowd to whoever had thrown it and held onto it all the way up to when we got into the gates of buckingham palace.

When we got there, Nicole's fire died out, but my water just kept on flowing around my body, sending me strength and confidence, keeping me calm and collected as none other than Queen Elizabeth II, empress of the world and monarch 'beloved' by all walked out onto her royal balcony. Normally I would either be struggling not to take out my bow and shoot her there and then, but something inside me just said it wasn't the right time to do it, that it would come... Just not now.

Suddenly and quite alarmingly she started to speak, her posh accent booming around the whole of London thanks to the speakers placed everywhere. "Welcome everybody to the twenty-fourth annual celebrity games!"

Back at home, the family would all be gathered around the TV at home and Mattie would probably be watching it with the rest of the town in the cinemas. It was either that or getting publicly flogged in front of the town hall. Everyone ops for the former rather than the latter, its just easier and less painful.

As expected, the queen rattled on for a while about honour and pride and something about britain and then more pride and honour. After a bit she said a few final things then introduced five boys onto the balcony with her. Five boys that I was already sick of looking at, but was going to have to suffer a bit more of if I wanted to survive. Five boys that made up One Direction.

When they came on, a wave of screaming crashed against my eardrums, causing me to wince and cover my ears with my hands. Looking up at the balcony, I caught the curly haired one staring at me but as soon as he realised I was looking at him, whipped his head away. Strange...

"Hey guys! We're One Direction!" The one with a shaved head yelled out to the crowd. Ha, as if they needed telling. The screaming only got louder and I realised that some of the competitors were screaming too. Raising my eyebrows, I made a mental note to not form an alliance with any of those fangirls.

They droned on about how excited they were for the games then sang one of their songs then handed the attention back to her Maj. As soon as she started to speak, the whole of the city stopped making noise and stayed quiet as to hear what she said.

"That was lovely, boys. It was so nice to meet you." She purred, shaking each of their hands as they walked back inside the room. "Now, let the games begin!"

Flopping down on my bed, I changed into my jimjams and took all my makeup off. I didn't really need to get changed out of my clothes because as soon as I stepped into the shower, it ran off me like the water it was. All I wanted to do was get to sleep, I know I had a busy day ahead of me because that's all Damien and Lizzie would go on about. It was 'Ooh, the interview this' and 'Ooh, the interview that'. They were so worked up about it, you would think that they were the ones getting interviewed.

Laying on my back, facing the ceiling, the last thing I thought about before my mind went blank was Matisse. Was he alright? Did he still hunt? Did he see me tonight?
But that was the last thing I thought of that day because the more I thought, the more I slipped into unconsciousness and the subconscious that is my dream-state. Slowly my eyes began to droop and I stopped thinking. Well, at least for a little while.
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