Fallen from Grace (Hunger Games)

68th Hunger Games

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10. Countdown

    “So your last girlfriend . . .” Emily began as she and Liam laid in bed. Their hands played around with one another; intertwining their fingers, brushed their tips against their palms, and drawing circles on the back of their hand. Emily wasn’t sure how, but the growing romance felt far more natural than their acts of friendship. It took so long for them to be friends and only two minutes as a couple. And the weird thing was . . . it felt right.

    And that scared her . . .

    It was just too easy and they would have been something more before the Games. And it was too late . . .

    “Yeah . . . you’re the reason we broke up,” Liam admitted. “With all of them actually . . .”

    “ALL of them?” she chuckled.

    “Yeah . . .” he pursed his lips.

    “What did they all say? I thought they liked me.”

    “They did on first meeting. But then they noticed I treat you more than a friend. Like, how I treat you I should have treated them. They all got jealous and super paranoid, most of them thought I was cheating on them with you and the others get jealous.”

    “You’re a pretty bad boyfriend then,” she chuckled lightly and looked out the window. The sun was moments away from shining over the buildings. They’d have to leave soon. She couldn’t believe they had been talking all night.

    Liam kept himself from smiling and hugged Emily closer to him. He saw the sky lighten in color and the fear he tried to hide in his eyes shined just as brightly as hers. They hadn’t slept a wink and it was already tomorrow. He looked down to her and kissed her forehead. “I wanted to tell you for so long . . .” he muttered in her hair.

    Emily nuzzled closer to him and closed her eyes. “I love you . . .” she whispered. When those words escaped her lips she wasn’t sure if it was genuine or a heat of the moment mixed with fear . . . 


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    The redhead spun her head around left and right. Careers just two people away from her and Liam was nowhere to be found. A fence surrounded them all and broken buildings made of brick were beyond it. Weeds grew from the cracks of the concrete and moss and vines covered the half-destroyed buildings. An abandoned city destroyed by time . . .

    Beyond the booming of the countdown, Emily caught a strange buzzing sound. What was that? She looked toward the fence behind her and the buzzing was louder to her ear. Was that . . . an electric fence!? The Capitol seriously wanted to kill off most of the tributes that quickly!?

    How were they going to get out!? What could they possibly do to escape the trap!?

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    Think of something! Think of a way to get out! 

    Winnow waited for Emily in her prison cell before going into the arena. She stared at the redhead with sad eyes and gave her a hug when she walked through the door. “You were such a delight . . .” the woman spoke to her. Emily trembled in her arms as she hugged her back, though it wasn’t tight. When they released each other, Winnow walked over to a hanger with a white tank, brown cargo pants, and ankle boots. “It looks like you’ll be somewhere where you’ll climb a lot. I don’t know about the weather, I’m guessing it might be warm in the day and colder at night . . . it’s a guess though,” the woman shrugged.

    Emily nodded to her and changed into her arena attire, trying so hard not to shake violently with fear. But anyone that didn’t show any signs of fear before going in were liars. She had just put on the boots when the count down reminded her where she was. She so badly wanted to puke her breakfast she had to force down earlier and looked to Winnow.

    “You’ll be okay . . .” Winnow nodded, her voice had cracked and she looked just as ready to break down too. 

    The redhead swallowed the lump in her throat and stood up to hug the blue woman again. She was so kind to her since she came to the Capitol and she had been nothing but patient with Emily. And she obviously liked her too, despite having to hear her whine and freak out over ‘small things’.

    Ten seconds.

    Emily took in a deep breath and let go of Winnow before she turned to the tube. Her small body shook and it ached from the climbing during training. She was so scared. The tube closed behind her and the redhead looked toward Winnow with terrified eyes. Winnow pursed her lip for a moment and mouthed something to her. She couldn’t hear. But . . . it looked like Winnow told her a single word.

    Survive . . .


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    What to get what to get? Should she even be thinking about weapons? No! Run away! There was no way she’d be able to get out of the bloody massacre . . .

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    And Emily’s senses fired. Her body was numb, she swore she couldn’t hear anything, and it felt as if electricity shot up and down her body. It was time.

    Once the gong went off, Emily jumped off her pedestal . . .

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