I wake up with a jolt, but don't open my eyes. I feel different, and I realize I'm standing up, with my neck craned to the side in slumber. How did I get like this? I feel ropes holding me up, and rough bark against my back. I'm tied to a tree. Perfect. I keep my eyes closed and stay still, pretending to sleep.
"When are we going back to the cornucopia? The feast will be starting soon and I ain't missing it! We ought to be there, Doger!" I should've known. The careers somehow found me, and kept my alive so he could kill me in person. Not a good idea, cause I'm not going down without a fight.
"Do you ever shut up? We're going later, now cool it before you end up in the sky!" He loses it with her, I guess she has been getting on his nerves. I guess he regrets saving her image in the training center when I insulted her.
"Whatever." She spits back and I hear her leave. I also catch the sound of a crackling fire. I slowly open one eye, and none of them are facing me. A fire is a ways away from the trees, as not to start a forest fire. I open my other eye. I gather my bearings, and drag my right hand down to my belt. My knife is still there. Idiots. My pack is next to me.
I slowly grab the knife, gripping the silver handle, and bring it up against my ropes. I'm almost through sawing when one of the careers turn around. I freeze, and almost drop the knife. It's Fisher. He looks at me, nods, and turns back to Doger.
"What are we going to do with that one?" He asks, keeping Dogers gaze at him. He's asking what to do so he can do it himself? Or is he distracting him? I take the opportunity to finish my stroke through the last rope, an I'm free. In all my excitement I forget to be quiet while grabbing my pack. They all turn. I freeze again, and look to Fisher. His expression is unreadable, but he throws his fist over Doger's head with such force he crumples. The boy from one lunges at me, with a knife. I fall to the ground trying to get out of the way, and the knife finds itself deep in my torso, near my hipbone. I scream without thinking, and bring my knife over my side and stab it in his right temple before he can bring the knife back down. My hip hurts so bad I wish the girl from one to kill me then, but Fisher spears her in the back, and the point comes completely through her. A cannon goes off, but I'm not sure for who. The another. The only one left here is Doger, since the other girl left. Fisher wastes no time, and starts to pack up some belongings in a huge duffel bag.
I black out more from pain than blood loss.
I smell blood, and heat. I feel the ground around me, hoping and praying that it's not the wasteland ground. It's not, I'm deeper in the forest.
"What?" Fisher's voice says, and I hear him approach me. I open my eyes, but have to immediately close them, my head aches worse than my hip.
"Ow!" I whisper. He laughs. I open my eyes again, and try to focus them on Fisher's face above me.
"What happened?" I say through gritted teeth."
"Let's see, you almost got yourself killed, and me. I had to carry you all the way here, you know." He notes sarcastically. I laugh.
"It's not funny. You're in pretty bad shape, for being the girl who's going to win. You've been out for two days." Doger must have told him about our fight. Or he saw it. At the thought of the careers, my eyes light up. He know exactly what I'm thinking.
"Girl from one, aka Leah, and boy from two, Owen. Doger and Quin made it. I doubt they'll last long. All they did was fight. Here, eat." He hands me a rabbit leg, and the breast of some bird I don't question. I eat all of it, and an entire bottle of water. Wait, where did he get that water?
"Where's the water from?"
"There's a stream up there a little."
"Good, good." I answer relieved he didn't get it from the wasteland. I smile, now I can go back and poison the other pond. Now the wasteland is really off limits.
"I poisoned the water in the wasteland, and the ground over there. Don't go there, or you'll die even of you touch it with just your skin."
"Good to know. You got poison?"
"Yeah, in my pack."
"Cool. Cause I put some in Doger's water." I laugh with him, but he suddenly stops.
"What's this?" He asks, holding up Alpine's torn shirt. I sigh
"The girl from six, Alpine. She died, and I took it." I don't mention the fact I killed her. He doesn't question me any further, although he wants to.
"Who else died?"
"That's it." He answers. I get worried fast. Something else is going to happen soon, I know it. And I guarantee it's going to drive up to the poisonous wasteland. He goes back to refill our many bottles he took from the careers.
3 water bottles
A package of dried meat, a few apples, some baby carrots, and a small loaf of bread in food.
An extra belt
Three knives, a spear, and a bow. Perfect to fit in with my arrows.
I smile, and try to get up, but cry in response to the pain. I wipe my eyes again and load my belt with the knives I can barley reach.