It's Life and Death Now

Terra Witt is 13 years old living in District Nine in the strong grasp of the Capitol. When her name is drawn to compete in the 63rd Hunger Games, her adventure begins.


12. How to Die: Day One

A tall, thin women with blue hair and pink eyes steps up to a platform in the middle of the gymnasium once all the tributes are in a circle surrounding her.
I touch the intricate side braid that Lachlan did for me before we left nervously.
"Hello tributes," the women says. "Welcome to your first day of training. My name is Ulsifer. Before we begin let me explain the rules. First, no fighting with the other tributes, you'll have plenty of time for the in the arena. Next, explore our different stations. Dot ignore the survival skills. Most people want to learn how to throw a knife, but that is just as handy as knowing how to build a fire. You will first start off with three compulsory exercises. The first one is this," she points to a long sort of stairway. "This will test your balance. You are to run up and down the platforms in the fastest time possible. But, you will also have to dodge anything thrown at you. The next one is what we call the monkey rings. They are the red rubber rings in the back. This one will test your strength. You have to climb across the rings, but trust me, they look harder than meets the eye. We have made them slippery, so be careful. The last Is the nets over there." We all turn to a big net slung between two tall poles. "This one is similar to the rings. Climb across the net without falling. Once done with all three of those, you can start on your individual training. They are..." she reads off a list of the exercises, but I am to distracted by how much bigger everyone is than me. Stronger, bigger, and tougher than me.
When Ulsifer is done reading the list, she sets us off to do the assigned training.
We all line up at the stairway and the District 2 girl is first.
She runs up the stairs and dodges foam rods that are lunged at her. 
She get to the last step without even having one close fall.
The next person goes and then the next and the next. 
Most people discluding the careers, fall or wobble and almost fall.
When Baxter goes off he loses his balance but doesn't fall until the end when a knife is thrown his way.
He falls and turns quickly to where the knife was thrown. 
The District Four male is holding knives. "Oops," he says with a smirk.
The other careers laugh along with him.
"We didn't want it to be TOO easy," the District Two female laughs.
Baxter gets up with fury in his eyes.
"Hey! I said no fighting with the other tributes!" Ulsifer says strictly.
"Hey! In my defense, there's a target over there," he points to a target in the bow and arrow station with a knife flat and center in the middle.
Ulsifer looks strictly at him and storms off.
When it's my turn I quickly jump from step to step.
When the first foam rod is pointed my way I easily dodge it.
Another rod is lunged at me and I roll across two of the stairs. I sprint across the rest of the ten and quickly and easily with nothing to offset my balance dodge anything in my way.
I jump over the last black rod and land on my feet.
I snap back into reality and notice that everyone is staring at me.
I realize that I just got through the stairs as fast and agile as the careers.
I steady my balance and quickly walk to the rings. 
I glance at the gamemakers and see them bidding their heads at me in approval.
The head gamemaker, Alka Thorne, peers at me closely with her beady brown eyes.
Unlike most of the crazy Capitol fashion, Alka is quite normal.
Her long hair is bleached white with black underneath.
The only really odd thing is her very, very tall leather high heel boots that go up above her knee.
I get to the rings and stand behind the District Four male.
He turns around and faces me. Since he is tall, he bends down and quietly says, "You know, if you ever need someone to look up to in the games, we're always here."
I quickly and slightly nod my head.
"Cut that out Tao," the District One female says.
Tao laughs and stands up. "What is it Glisten? Does she look scared?"
He and the other careers laugh but Glisten just folds her arms and huffs.
When it is my turn for the rings, I realize my week side.
On the third ring my hand slips.
I reach up to the ring but my other hand fails me and I fall onto the "soft" mat.
"Not so tough are ya?" Tao laughs.
I get up quickly and walk to the nets where Baxter is being watched closely by the careers as he conquers the nets.
He is almost to the end when the net flips over. He almost falls but keeps a right grip on the nets.
He gets to the end and lets go.
He lands on his feet and turns to the careers. He bows to them and walks away to learn to make a snare.
I go next.
I climb up a latter and grab onto the thin black ropes strung together.
I start to crawl across and realize that it's not nearly as easy as it looks.
As I crawl across I remember Glade's words she told me when we discussed my technique further: "Don't make yourself stand out to anyone but the gamemakers. Don't let the other tributes know your weaknesses. If you can, find a fake weakness and use it. Don't be amazing at everything if you can be. Try sucking at most things."
I had just figured out the trick to conquering the nets.
Everyone was flipping over because they weren't holding it in the right spot.
I remember Glade's words and do something I really don't want to.
I flip the net over, making it appear as if I lost control of it, and I fall.
I moan as I hit the mat. 
"The ground it softer than the mats," I think as I get up and walk over to Baxter.
He has made a perfectly good fire and is now practicing roasting a squirrel. 
"Nice fire," I say.
He looks up and laughs, "She's a beaut ain't she?"
We both laugh and I walk over to the poisonous plants area.
A nice male with a bald head greets me.
"The best way to know if a berry is poisonous is to cut it in half. Take this one for example." 
He hands me a dark circular berry and I cut it in half.
"99% of poisonous berries will have a very minute, blue circle in the middle."
I look in the berry he gave me and I see a small blue circle, about the size of an ant's head.
"So this one is poisonous?"
"Ah! Very good! How about this one?"
He hands me one with a small red dot in the middle.
"Well, this one is red, sooo... it's safe?"
"Good! Good! Now! If you can't tell the color of the dot, try squirting the juice in between your skin and nail. If the juice stings or changes color, it's most likely poisonous. Now this doesn't work as well, so your best bet is the dot."
"Ok. How do you find out if a leaf in poisonous?" I ask.
"Very good question! You have to look at the small stems on the leaf. If it is a light green, it is safe. If it's dark green, it's dangerous."
He shows me to a table where there are leaves and berries.
I choose the ones that are poisonous and the ones that aren't. I score perfectly.
Next I move onto snares. The lady teaches me how to create good snares with even the weakest rope. I am not the best, but she sad that, with practice, I will at least be able to catch a rabbit or ensnare a deer's leg.
After that I go to the fire station where they teach me how to make a fire that doesn't smoke. They show me which branches and leaves are best to use and which ones smoke. They also teach me how to roast animals.
Next to the fire station, a young male teaches me what animals are safe to eat. He shows me how to look for good, safe animals and what parts to eat.
I learn to make medicine, drinks, poison, weapons, rope, and supplies, how to find and build shelter, and more.
Before I know it, we are sent back to our rooms.

Author's Note...
Do you think Terra will fail at weapons?
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