Games We Play

Never trust the innocent ones. A screenplay/story from the Arena.


1. Panem, The Arena, an unspecified year of The Hunger Games

[Gentry is running.  She has been running for hours. She is carrying a filthy pack and clutching a scary looking knife.  A deep gash runs from her ear across the entire left side of her face, and she has a black eye.]



[She starts coughing, and has to stop. A sound behind her. Coriander is sneaking up behind her, clutching a large tree branch in her trembling hands.]


[Gentry rushes her, knocking her back against a tree.  Coriander makes a terrified squeak.  Gentry's knife is at her throat.  Neither of these girls is a trained fighter, this is obvious.]



No!  Don't!  I wasn't trying to kill you, I just wanted to stun you, I was just trying to leave, just let me live, please please please please---


[Gentry starts to press the knife closer, and Coriander starts to openly weep.]




Shut up!  Shut UP! If I take the knife away, will you shut up?







You're going to bring everyone right here.  Why were you sneaking up on me?



I don't know...I just thought if I hit you, then you wouldn't be able to follow me.




You're District 7.  You told Caesar at the Interview that story about having seven sisters.




Yes..yes I did.



Was it true?


My littlest sisters were born three weeks ago.  They're twins.


[she holds out her hand]


I'm Coriander.  Thank you for not killing me.


[Gentry warily shakes her hand, but is relaxing.  This girl is no threat.]


You're Gentry.  District 8.  [Gentry nods] I guess that sort of makes us neighbors.  



[a snort of laughter] 

Don't make me regret this.  [She steps away, and lowers the knife completely, but does not set it down or put it away.  Ever.]


[Coriander eyes the pack]



I have a canteen of water.  I found a river.  No food though.  Nothing grows out here.



Take me to that river, and I'll give you half my food.  We're not really allies.  This is temporary.  This is just a trade. Then we're on our own again.  I won't kill you if you don't kill me. [Gentry looks...lonely.  Her eyes give away the lie.  She wants an ally very badly.]


[Coriander nods enthusiastically.  Gentry makes her lead the way.]




[Later in the day]


[Gentry and Coriander have rested in the shade, and are drinking some water and nibbling at their sparse foodstuffs]



I made the first kill.  I think.  On the platform, I mean, I didn't even think about it.  I saw all the stuff in the Cornucopia and then I was just, there.  I didn't know what to grab, so I just stared at everything.  My brain was screaming run, run, but I was just frozen. A boy ran into me, District 12.  I grabbed the first thing I could [she brandishes the knife] and stabbed him. I snatched a pack and just slashed my way through.  [She absentmindedly dabs at her cheek, which is slashed and crusted with blood]



At least you fought. I just ran.  



Were you East? [points]



Yes.  The Careers followed me, but they're dead.  A...snake...thing with legs. It came out of nowhere. [She looks as though she might be sick] Only that District 2 boy, the scary one--Sicarius, I think--survived, and I think he killed it.




You think?




I ran.  [embarrassed] Again.




You survived.


[Coriander smiles, and passes the canteen of water/food]



I like your ring.  Is that from a...[girlish hesitation] your...boyfriend?



[shakes her head] It's my mother's.  My great-grandmother got married with it, and she gave it to my Grandmother, who passed it down to my Mother.  I was supposed to wear it when I got married.  And then [she shrugs, gestures at their surroundings] all this happened.  She gave it to me because she doesn't think I'm coming back.  



[Reaches out to take the ring, admires it, hands it back.]



I hope they send it back to her. 



I have a boyfriend. [trying to hold it together, crying anyway] I knew it would be awful but it's so much worse.  It's too much.  My mind can't hold still.  I never know if I'm seeing things, if shadows are shadows or if this is it, and then it's a rabbit and I feel relieved for one moment.  And then something else.  And something else.  It's always something else.  I'm so tired of being scared.


[composes herself]


I have to keep reminding myself, my coach said, what matters is being clever.  [to Gentry] We're both smart. The smart ones wins as much as the strong ones do.  Two years ago that District 6 boy won, and he was practically blind without his glasses.


[Screams/explosion/cannon shot/spooky shit is heard, very close.]


[The two grab their things and scramble for cover, diving into the undergrowth/cave/valley/thing]


  [In the distance, they can see Sicarius, District 2 Career, with a spear.  He is on the hunt.  Gentry grips her knife.]


[Coriander pulls at Gentry's arm. She is beginning to panic.] 



I'm scared.


[Gentry sets down the knife and clasps hands with Coriander.]  



You can do this.  You're stronger than you think we are.


[A sound.  Gentry turns to watch for Sicarius]


[Over her shoulder]

I don't think he'll be able to see us from--

[Gentry gurgles.  Coriander has picked up the knife Gentry set down to comfort her and stabbed her up between the ribs.  She pulls it out, and drives it home again, holding her hand over Gentry's mouth.  Gentry dies.]  


[Coriander pulls the pack off her back, and in a thoughtful moment, pulls the ring off Gentry's finger.]


[She stands up from the hiding place, shoulders the pack and steps into the open.]


[Coriander starts jogging away, cresting a ridge.  From the trees steps Sicarius.  She is holding the knife. Tense moment.  She runs at him, and as they meet she drops the knife and kisses him hungrily.]  



[Jokingly] Sorry I'm late. [He notices the blood on her]


[A cannon fires for Gentry]


[Coriander smiles. A predatory smile.  Sicarius grins proudly.  They are two of a kind.]



One down...


[She brings up the ring so they can both see it.  She admires it for a moment, and then throws it high and far.  A faint clink tells her it has landed where no one will find it.]


[The two run off into the dusky night, and are swallowed up by the trees.]





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