[Stuff in brackets said by Caesar Flickerman]

(Stuff in parenthesis is said/thought by Ponyboy)


Narrated by Ponyboy Curtis

[With commentary by yours truly: Caesar Flickerman!]

[Welcome, one and all, to the 1st annual Curtis House Hunger Games! Our tributes are Darrel Curtis Sr., Susan Curtis, Darrel Curtis Jr., Sodapop Curtis, and last, but not least, Ponyboy Curtis! May the odds be ever in their favor!]

I was sitting on my bed, eating the first page of The Carpetbaggers (it was oddly sour) when we got the call. Darry answered it, and I heard him say, "Curtis residence, Darrel speaking." [Oh, he gets very polite when he's on the phone, unlike young Ponyboy. Ponyboy usually says, "A- yo-yo-yo, this is P-boy, wassup?" He must think it makes him sound like some sort of rapper.] I didn't listen to the rest of the conversation, because the book was getting good…well, if you call more sour 'good'. I heard him call Sodapop a few minutes later, so I figured that Soda'd gotten into trouble with the fuzz– I mean, the po-po. I mean, the coppers! I MEAN THE POLICE. [Such as polite child, going through so much trouble to explain what the police is.] I just hoped he hadn't gotten into too much trouble; that would mean we couldn't go to Dally's birthday bash this afternoon! [Just a question: what exactly does a Dally birthday bash consist of? A bash sounds exactly like something Dally would do…especially if it involves mailboxes.]

"Yeah?" Soda yelled back over the blasting radio.

"I gotta talk to you."

"It wasn't me, blame it on Steve…ie Nicks! Ha! You thought I was going to say Steve Randle!"

I heard the radio turn off, and Elvis immediately stopped singing Jailhouse Rock. "Hey!" I yelled down, pounding a foot on the floor so they'd hear me down there. "I like that song!" [Oh, is the youngest Curtis attempting to bring the house down – literally – on his siblings and claim the title of Victor for himself?!]

I heard Darry and Soda talking in low voices, and I expected Soda to yell, "Steve did it!" but amazingly, he didn't. Huh. I guess he hadn't gotten into a whole lot of trouble. Hard to believe. Or maybe he'd knocked Darry out! My heart lifted. This day was going better than expected!

Suddenly I heard footsteps, and my door opened. There stood Darry and Sodapop, looking oddly revolting...well, more so than usual. I quickly stashed the book under my pillow, 'cause if Darry saw me reading that, he'd beat me with my own leg…while it was still attached. Yeah, Darry prides himself on his vast knowledge of human torture. [I personally think it would be torture in itself just having to live with Darrel, but that's just my humble opinion.]

"What'd Soda do now?" I blurted out, hoping neither of them would see the corner of the book sticking out from under my pillow.

Neither of them spoke for a second, but the evil [Woah, woah, woah, hold the phone! Why are they leering evilly at Pony? Have they teamed up? A Career pack, ladies and gentlemen!] looks on their faces worried me. "What happened?" I asked, getting a little concerned. Had Darry somehow found out I'd stolen the book from his room?!

"Pony…" Soda finally spoke in an obviously forced strangled sort of voice [Oh, look: Sodapop literally has one hand wrapped around his throat so he can talk like that] before clearing his throat and taking a deep breath. He looked over at Darry, but Darry was staring at the floor. Soda flashed me a quick thumbs-up. "Mom and Dad got into a car accident coming home from Judy's."

[Ooh! Have we already eliminated two of our tributes? {shouts to someone off-set} Ready the cannon!]

I was elated; obviously the assassins had done their jobs well. "Are they dead– I mean, alright?" I asked, sticking to the script Soda n' me had come up with. [Ooh! I wonder if Judy was a part of this assassination attempt, too.]

He looked at the ground for a second to hide his smile before meeting my gaze. "They died," he said leeringly.

I stared at him, not allowing myself to believe it quite yet. Then, faintly, I thought I heard what sounded like a cannon in the distance…but it was probably just my heart thumping loudly because of how excited I was. I finally forced myself to look upset. "C'mon, Soda. Don't joke about that."

Soda looked like he was holding in a laugh. "It's not a joke, Pony."

I felt like I couldn't breathe, I was so happy. FINALLY! MY DAY OF TRIUMPH HAD COME! [Oh my goodness, I had a slight heart attack; I literally thought he said, "FINALLY! THE DAY OF TRUMP HAD COME!"]

"Pony…" Soda came towards me and stretched out a hand. I kangarooed out of his reach. "Nya nya, can't catch meeee!" [What, is he two?!]

"No." I could hear my voice shaking; I had to sound upset in front of Darry. "No, Soda…" My eyes actually started welling up with tears of joy, and I just hoped Darry thought they were tears of sadness.

"It's okay, Pony, it's okay," Soda said energetically, reaching towards me again, and this time I let him pat me on the head; we had to keep up appearances, after all. I buried my face in my hands, not crying, but laughing silently. Oh, my parents had never suspected a thing! [OOHH, the sneak!]

"It's gonna be okay," I heard Soda hiss, a laugh nearly escaping his lips, "It's gonna be so awesome."

[Oh- here comes Darrel; now, I want to see if Darry's going to notice the hole…]

I heard the floor scream in protest as Darry schlepped over and crashed through the fake floorboards Soda and I had used to cover the giant hole in the floor. [Ooh, he didn't see that one coming!] There was a scream as he fell, and Soda and I high-fived each other. Three down, one to go! The only question was…which of us would it be?! [Which indeed…]

Suddenly, I felt a little woozy. I looked at Soda, who pulled his hand away from my arm. I saw a grin on his face and an empty syringe in his hand.

[{Gasps} Oh! It seems as though Soda has back-stabbed Ponyboy!]

I gasped, slowly fading away. "You…didn't!"

His grin got bigger. "I did! I don't horse around with this stuff, Pony!"

Not only was it the lamest pun I'd ever heard, it was also the last thing I ever heard. [Sound the cannon!]

The end.

Of me, that is. I'm sure Soda's living happily (alone) ever after.