Feast


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1. The Search

I pulled my knees up to my chest, fatigue washing over me. I resisted the urge to flop down and sleep, as I knew they were looking for me. Things were too quiet and still, too. Nothing had happened in three hours- a feast would be coming.

Keeping a tight grip on my knife, I climbed into a bush, pushing away thorns and quickly swiping the head off a hungry rabid squirrel.

I had found out over a period of time that bushes were a perfect place to hide. With my dark green waterproof clothes, clustered in with many, I felt safe and warm, and it was easy to jump out of them. The only Tributes that knew where I hid were dead, so I didn't have to change where I hid.

Just as I drifted off, full of loneliness, a booming voice filled my ears. It was the farmiliar, friendly chirp of Claudius Templesmith.

"Remaining Tributes of the 79th Annual Hunger Games, prepare yourselves for a very different kind of feast."

I perked up, wanting to hear every syllable.

"Each of you Tributes are tired. hurt, hungry, parched, so we have decided to help you.

We are going to place four brightly coloured bags in the main arena by the Cornocopia, one for each District. It contains water, food, a weapon to suit your abilities, and something you each need. However, you will have to find it. 

They will be inside the Cornocopia, on top of it, in the middle, along the grass. They are easy to see if you look, but you must keep your eyes peeled and watch your back. The bags will be placed in the Cornocopia at the crack of dawn. And listen carefully to the next announcement- District 1 has a BLUE bag, 2 is RED, 6 is YELLOW and 9 is ORANGE. See you at dawn!" There was a crackle, and then silence. My mind buzzed with plans, ideas, attacks. I couldn't think straight. I needed to sleep, I needed to win, to get back to my sick sister. An orange bag floated my vision, and when I went to grab it, it drifted away...

***

When I woke, the sun was just beginning to rise. I got up and stretched my stiff limbs, took my knife out of my belt and looked around.

I was in the Spring part of the Arena- this year it had been split into the Seasons- Summer achingly hot with poisinous flowers and bees everywhere, Autumn stormy with all the animals feasting up for hibernation and hoping for a chunk of your flesh. Winter, freezing cold with ice and blizzards but plenty of fish if you can crack the ice, and Spring, ever-changing weather with crazy animals and hailstones a lot.

If the Feast was starting in an hour or so, I would want to get walking to the Cornucopia. I scoffed down some bacon strips and crackers, took a mouthful of water and scaled a tree for an apple. Us District Niners weren't the best at food and nature things, but  my mother was originally from 11 and taught us enough. I peeled the skin off with my knife and nibbled on that before putting the rest in my bag, along with several other poison apples.

The Hunger Games had to be the worst experience of my life- lonely and painful- hence the scars along my face and the limp in my walk, never fully healed from the arrow in the ankle. But finally it was drawing to a close, the Feast always marked the end of the Games. I had never been so determined to do anything in life, and no matter how much I pitied my victims, I had to get home to Brianna, my sister. I looked up at the sky and mouthed, 'I love you Brianna' and blew a kiss to the audience. I heard Claudius Templesmith cry, "oh how sweet, poor Tribute is missing home."

Soon the sun was high on my face, and I began to sweat almost as soon as I entered Summer, spritzing some bee repellent over me, something I had nicked from a Tribute I killed. My feet got clammy in my boots, and I took little sips of water, trying to save it.

Suddenly there was a shriek and my legs got swiped from underneath me.

A strangled scream escaped my lips as I fell, landing with a thud on my face, the sharp grass cutting it. The Tribute twisted my arm painfully, and just as they were about to break it, I took a deep a breath and used all my strength to whack my head against theirs. The world went dizzy for a moment, and I used the loosening of my arm to pull it away, grab my knife and elbow them in the face.

It was a girl, the one from District 6. She was red in the face and fear shined in her startling blue eyes. I twisted my body violently and landed my knee in her stomach. A strand of jet black fell over my face. I grabbed my knife and chopped it off, not wasting time fiddling about with it. 

The girl struggled against my grip. I was tired and hot, and wanted to get to the the feast and get treatment for my ankle and finish these stupid Games. With a grunt, I stuck my knife into her throat and watched her choke on her own blood. My stomach still churned at people dying and blood dribbling, but no vomit came up. I dipped my knife in a poisonous plant and headed on to the Cornucopia, feeling the canon break some mother in District 6's heart. Not my fault.

I could see Winter in the horizon, and braced myself for a slippery rush through it. I pulled on a pair of gloves and draped an animal skin over my head, wrinkling my nose at the smell.

At first Winter is fine, it just chills your bones and gets snowflakes in your eyelashes, but a half a kilometer later the blizzardy wind stings your face and you can't see through the tears in your eyes. I went as fast as I could, never stopping other then to scoop up a handful of snow and swirl it around in my mouth.

An hour later, I had reached the outskirts of the Cornucopia. My eyes scanned the perimeter for an orange bag. If one of the Careers had taken it there would be big trouble. Then I saw it, a small, flashy bag on top of the Cornocupia. Great. I had to scale up the slippery golden thing, while Kirby and Princess the two District 2 Tributes threw swords at my back.

Someone ran into the Cornucopia and disappeared inside. I didn't know what to do. Run after them? Maybe they had ankle treatment in their bag. Haha.

But Kirby from 2 did it for me. He sprinted in, his bow and arrow at the ready. I could just about hear the thumps and groans of the boy from 1. Kirby came out triumphant holding a blue bag, just as Princess raced in and began to climb the Cornucopia, towards my bag!

I grabbed a rock and hurled it at them before scampering around and hoping they wouldn't spot me run around the other side. The run was scary and my heart hammered against my ribcage with every breath.

"KIRBY! It's the 9 girl! Get her, kill her!"

I couldn't let myself get worried. I had gotten away from two  of them before, surely I could do it again. A bow and arrow was a flimsy weapon, I told myself.

I ran away from him, to the Cornocopia, in hope of a weapon, something bigger than my knife. Then I saw it the perfect thing- lying on the ground, the pin still on.

Kirby came into view just as I came out. He shot an arrow at me. It skinned my waist. Somehow, I had to lure him into the Cornucopia and corner him.

When the second one fired, I wasn't concentrating properly and it hit me in the thigh. I screamed in agony as it punctured my skin. Kirby charged at me as I gritted my teeth, pretending I wasn't watching his every move. When he lunged at me, I hurled the knife aimlessely at him. It stuck into his shoulder. My heart soared. I had a chance.

As he stumbled around, blood seeping out of his black t-shirt, I aimed a roundhouse kick into the stomach. He grabbed my leg and wrenched it back, and the grenade nearly fell from my pocket. One of the poison apples had fallen out of my bag, so I grabbed it on landing, feeling my arm snap. Faintness washed over me, I needed to sleep. Death seemed almost appealing, until I thought of Brianna, watching in bed.

I took the apple and stuffed it in his face. He just laughed, giving me enough space to cram it into his mouth. He couldn't spit it out, so took a bite and let it drop. I had to stay alive for another few minutes, get him off me...

All my fighting experience helped. I was strong and lean, and he was weakening from the apple. I bunched my knees up to my chest and tried to kick him off me, but he found an ounce of strength and pinned me down. I tried to keep breathing, soon he would get weaker..

The seconds ticked by, he punched and kicked my some more, cut my broken arm with the knife in his shoulder. I screamed as the veins burst, tears streaming down my face. Anger coursed through me, poison coursed through him. 

Finally kicking him off me, I punched him in the temple. It was like light at the end of the tunnel.. I was almost there, one clip of a grenade, a flick of the wrist...

Princess.

Her blonde hair stuck to her sweaty face as she ran along the Cornocopia. She leaped off it, and I only noticed her when she was above me. The sword in her hand made me lose all hope, and I screamed four last words as it stuck into my back.

"I LOVE YOU BRIANNA!!!" 

 

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