Mercy (A Hunger Games fanfic)

Avea Thatcher isn't like most careers from District 4, she has no interest in the games or the fame and glory that come with being Victor. But after her twin sister, Lyra, is executed, her older sister, Xanthe, decides to volunteer for the 56th Hunger Games as a form of suicide. Avea knows she has to be the one to fight in the games if she is to save her sister and keep her family together. Seen as a traitor by the careers, Avea struggles to stay alive in the arena while keeping a vow she made to Lyra and herself to not let anyone suffer before they die.

"Before I black out I make a vow to myself: 'I will never let anyone suffer like she did. I will never let anyone suffer like my sister did.' And then I'm pulled into the blackness."

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11. Chapter 10

I stand on the patio and look over the Capital. The leather bracelet around my wrist, the one that belonged to Lyra and is now my district token, reminds me of everything I've lost: my sister, my home, my family, and now hope. I want to remember everything I've lost, everyone I've lost and let it give me strength. An idea comes to me, an idea to remember everyone who is important to me but I've lost; I sneak into the kitchen, the sun still well below the horizon, and borrow a sharp knife. My bracelet lays flat on the table and I pull out the knife and carve something into the inside of the bracelet. When I'm done I look down on the name of the person I've lost, Lyra. The name is on the far left leaving plenty of room for the people I'm bound to loose. I wonder who will put my name on the bracelet since I'll be with Lyra soon.

The moon is still well above the horizon and I wonder if my family at home is too restless to sleep as well and is looking at the same moon. My family... I may never see them again; the only way I'm going home could be in a pine box, pale, eyes closed, made over to cover up a gory wound, and very much dead. I run to the bathroom and puke up dinner, the thought of leaving my family makes me sick to my stomach. I go back to the patio and wait.

The sun touches the horizon and I return to my room knowing Junia would be coming to retrieve me. I was right, only fifteen minutes after I return to my room Junia comes in and gives me a simple t-shirt and pants to wear until we get to the Catacombs. Before we go I'm allowed a last few minutes with Grace and Jay.

"Any last words of wisdom?" I ask them.

"When you get to the Cornucopia you can't just watch your allies backs, you have to watch your own," Grace says, both she and Jay know about my allies and our plan. They are surprisingly okay with it.

"I'll keep my eyes open," I promise.

"Don't just think about getting away from the Cornucopia when you've gotten everything you need, think about where you're going to. If you don't you could end up without water and dehydrate," Jay advises.

"Of course," I nod.

We all pull in for a group hug and I get the feeling that I'm leaving my family all over again, but at least I know they'll be looking out for me in the arena.

"Remember what drives you," Jay says as I walk towards the elevator, " it's what will bring you home."

I run up to him and hug him one more time and say, "I will."

Junia and I take the elevator to the roof and wait for the hovercraft. I can't shake the dream I had last night, I'm still pretty certain I'm going to die.

"Are you ready?" Junia asks interrupting my thoughts.

"It will be over with soon," I reply unable to look her in the eyes.

"Don't say that, Avea. Your so strong and brave, I know you can do it," she puts her hand on my shoulder.

"I guess we'll see," I say still avoiding eye contact.

"You won't just win because your strong and brave. You'll win because you're special, you're different. You stand up for what you believe in and don't play the game by the rules," Junia says.

I finally look at her, "Do you really think so?"

"I know so."

I smile as the hovercraft appears above us whipping my hair into wild tangles. I begin to climb a ladder but it freezes me into place and I'm pulled aboard the hover craft. Still frozen in place a woman comes up to me and inserts a needle into my arm that leaves a bump behind.

"Tracker," she explains. Of course, it would be a tragedy if a tribute died without them getting it on film.

I'm unfrozen and I take a seat next to Junia. She holds my right hand in both of hers. We zoom over the Capital, the brightly colored buildings blurring together in a rainbow cityscape. No one in the Capital is awake yet,but when they do wake up they'll be eagerly awaiting for the blood to spill. If I went now I could make it, I could jump before they stopped me, I'd land on the streets below instantly dead and at peace, but I know that I couldn't even if I got the door open someone would grab me. I give up on the hope of ending it all now and look out the window trying to enjoy the view. The windows blacken signaling that we are getting closer to the arena, though; I'm not sure if I'm getting closer to death or home.

The hovercraft lands and Junia and I step out; we are under the arena in the Catacombs. I take a quick shower since this probably the last time I'll be clean in awhile and the hot clears my head. When I step out I see that Junia has my outfit for the arena ready. There's the basic underclothes and a black T-shirt followed by tight, army green pants and a tight, black jacket. On closer inspection I see that the pants have extra padding in the knees and shins, while the jacket has the same padding on the forearms.

"What do you think?" I ask Junia as she braids my hair into the same fishtail pattern that she did for the interviews.

She studies the outfit carefully before saying, "I can't tell by the clothes what kind of weather there will be, but because of the extra padding I'd expect some rough terrain."

"What kind of rough terrain?" I ask trying to get as many details as possible so that I could be prepared for what was to come.

"Probably something rocky and steep," she replies still examining my outfit. Rocky and steep I could do, there were plenty of cliffs overlooking the ocean in District 4 and I'd climbed many of them.

Someone has laid out a hot breakfast for me and I eat as much as I can stomach which is to say very little. I force down a piece of toast and a few bites of eggs wishing I hadn't after since I feel like I'm going to puke. After that I sit next to Junia shifting nervously and drinking a glass of water. A voice from above tells us to prepare for launch and I make my way to the metal plate that will raise me into the arena.

"Just remember how special you are. Be fierce for me, okay?" I nod and pull her into a hug not wanting to let go, but a glass cylinder comes down around me separating us. The plate below my feet begins to rise and I force myself to remain calm. The first indication of what the arena may contain is a bit of dry dirt that falls near my feet as I'm raised upwards. Desert? Prairie? I'm not sure.

My plate clicks into place and the voice of Claudius Templesmith booms overhead, "Ladies and Gentlemen let the 56th Hunger Games begin!"

I use my 60 seconds as best as I can. I begin by looking at the tributes near me, Eris is four spots to my right and Copper is only two spots to my right, besides them the District 8 girl is directly to my right and the boy from 10 is to my left. My allies are spread out, but thankfully so are the careers, though; I can't see Zale which scares me. Next, I scope out the Cornucopia; all of the weapons are near the mouth, so that's where I have to go to first. The supplies Mave and Harrison will be gathering are closer to the plates, so it'll take longer for people to get to them with weapons, but will will also take longer for me to go protect them. Finally I look at the arena, there is dirt and rocks everywhere and as I look to my right I notice the massive walls for the first time, to focused on the Cornucopia and my opponents to see them. We're in a canyon, there are a few slim paths that can be climbed which would lead you to the thick pine forests on either side of the canyon, and a river running on the left side of the canyon. The way I see it we're trapped. You could climb up one of the paths or you could just as easily fall off the path to your death. But, we can't stay in the canyon, that's one way to get yourself killed, we'll have to risk the climb my 60 seconds are almost up so I get in a position to run.

The gong rings out and I sprint as fast I can to the Cornucopia; I'm one of the first there and I load my belt with a packet of a dozen knifes and two tomahawks, while carrying two more tomahawks in my hands. Eris has a sword in her hands and Ronan has a spear, I grab a long hunting knife that I'll give to Mave. There is blood shed everywhere, Copper rips open the throat of the District 3 boy, Witt, the District 10 girl stabs the boy from 8 in the heart, and there is already at least 4 bodies on the ground. How quickly innocent kids turn into killing machines. It's disgusting, but then again I'm one of them.

I desperately try to find my allies, praying that they aren't already on the ground. Harrison is speedily grabbing supplies while Ronan defends, Eris is locked in combat with the boy from 7, I want to help her but I know she can handle it and besides I need to find Mave. I run through the mass of fighting bodies trying to find Mave. I've circled the Cornucopia twice and I still haven't found, I begin to panic.

The District 11 girl runs at me with a spear, I quickly flip out of the way and slam my elbow into the back of her head, she falls to the ground grunting at the impact. She tries to scuttle to her feet, but I kick her to the ground. I won't let her suffer, I'll make her death as quick as I can. I pin her to the ground with my knees so I can kill her fast, but she's strong. She knees me so hard on the chin that I'm seeing stars, she knocks me on my back and pulls out a small dagger. The dagger rushes towards my heart, I wriggle back and forth between her arms trying to get out of the way the dagger, one of her arms finally collapses and she grazes my left arm instead. She swings again, but this time she aims for my neck, I barely shift enough for her to miss, but she still hits my collar bone. Pain spreads through me like oil in water. The dagger didn't hit anything serious, but my collar bone may be broken. I breath through the pain, this girl is set on killing me so I'll have to kill her first. She hasn't pinned me down well, I easily bring my knees to my chest and kick her off of me. She lands on her stomach and this time I don't make the mistake of pinning her lightly. She squirms beneath me desperately trying to escape. I bring my tomahawk down on her neck without even thinking about it.

I don't have time to think about what I just did because I finally see Mave, she's on the outer part of the supplies. My heart stops, Aurora is running towards her with a long knife in her hand and Mave is to distracted to see her. The distance between me and Mave closes quickly, but not fast enough, Aurora will beat me to her.

"MAVE! MAVE!" I scream trying to get her to notice the girl running towards her, but the chaos at the Cornucopia is too loud for her to hear me. My only hope is to kill Aurora before she gets to Mave.

My tomahawk sails through the air as I release it from my hand, but Aurora is already on top of Mave. Mave's lips move in the motion of a scream that I can't hear as Aurora buries the knife in her stomach, Mave's black jacket darkens with her blood and a little dribbles down her chin. Mave shudders and then goes limp. My tomahawk comes into contact with Aurora's head a moment too late, her head whips back, her black hair floating around her head like a halo or devil's horns and she falls to the ground the tomahawk buried deep in her skull. They're both dead. I've never felt so sick in my life, I was supposed to be watching Mave but I wasn't, I had a bad feeling about Aurora but I didn't listen to it. Mave's death is on me.

Eris and the others are waving at me to hurry, so I sprint to Mave and Aurora's bodies. I grab all of the stuff Mave was gathering and pull my tomahawk out of Aurora's head before running to the other's. I don't stop running and they follow me.

Ronan runs up next to me and asks, "Where's Mave?"

"She's dead. 12 got her before I could find her. I'm so sorry," I manage to choke out.

Ronan doesn't say anything but I know what he's thinking because it's what I'm thinking, it's what we're all thinking: Mave's death is my fault.

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