Disclaimer: I do not own The Hunger Games. They belong to Suzanne Collins.
Note: Almost at the end, just one more fallen tribute and then we conclude with the victor! Don't let me waste your time with my ramblings, haha, let's keep the pace going. Onwards with the chapter!
District Ten Female
Name: Mare Sunwalker
Training Score: 9
Odds of Victory: 14-1
Fact: She was an expert yodeller and had four yodelling championship wins to her name.
Mare missed horses.
It seemed like a strange thing to miss after being forced into a vile deathmatch for the nation to watch, but that was how she felt. Horses were graceful, horses were noble…
…Horses were so purely Ten. Would she ever make it home? It wouldn't be long now until she found out if the answer was yes or no, and she didn't want to think about if it were the latter answer.
It felt strange being the sole female left standing, the other eleven all having been killed already. It felt stranger that she was so close to going home. Just two more boys were left to kill and then she'd be free, or at least as free as a victor could be. Her district's only two victors, Stallion and Lammy, sure didn't act like they were free.
Well, it was better alive and under watch than dead and… well, dead.
Just one career and one outlier. Mare forcefully told herself that she could do this, she would do this. She'd been more than ready to kill the girl from Four almost three weeks ago, she could summon such nerve once again in the final hours of the Hunger Games.
It felt strange to have been in the arena so long and watched the faces of twenty one tributes appear in the sky, whether it was the boy from Seven so long ago to that awful brute from One the previous night.
Mare couldn't help but think back to what Lammy, her mentor, had told her about her own Games just two years ago. The sixteen year old trapper had been in the arena for twenty five days until her final opponent died to her traps. She claimed to Mare that she should always think about her life outside of the arena and clutch happy memories like a lifeline, because the longer the Games lasted the more they would mess with a tribute's head. It was only Lammy's thoughts of her dad and her friends that had kept her from losing it due to isolation.
Only in the last few days had Mare needed this advice. Prior to that she could at least count on Piggy to keep her sane. He'd always been by her side just as much as she was on his. The bloodbath, the search for water and shelter, battling crocodile mutts, run-ins with other tributes.
The last time she ever saw him, when he'd given her the opening to flee and stayed behind to battle a trio of sadistic careers.
Mare forced herself to think of the good times, not what his corpse may have looked like.
In a world without the Games she would have loved to have been something more with him.
"Come on Mare, head in the Games girl," Mare whispered, taking a deep breath in and out.
But she couldn't keep her head in the Games, not when her thoughts kept drifting back to thoughts of her home that seemed so close and yet so impossibly far away. Her doting parents, her three lovely little brothers, her dear Grandpa, her quirky cousins…
Mare clenched her jaw and forced the tears to remain in their ducts. She wouldn't cry until the final cannon boomed and only she remained.
She could almost hear the sounds of horses neighing happily.
Mare kept on walking, for that was all she could really do. She wasn't going to tempt the Gamemakers into sending a mutt after her for staying in one place for too long. They were surely itching for any chance to mess with the tributes and force another fight.
Mare walked and walked, never stopping until the sun was beginning to set on the arena. It was only her knowledge of the water in the trees that kept her from losing her energy. Any time she felt thirsty she could just smack her crowbar against a tree and drink what she needed.
She had to wonder just how Lammy had managed to afford to send her a crowbar three days ago. Perhaps she'd ask once she got out of the arena.
Mare froze when she saw movement in the corner of her eye. It was the boy from Two, armed with a sword and clearly in a bad mood. No doubt annoyed over how he'd not found anybody.
Mare, practically by instinct, began to trail behind the boy from Two. The career boy didn't notice her, too focused on what lay ahead of him. It gave Mare ample opportunity to take stock of how her opponent looked physically – he looked like crap. Bruises, dried blood and skin that had been scorched by the acid once prior.
Hope began to swell in Mare's heart. He was still a tough tribute, but the boy from Two had lost much of his advantage.
There was no mistaking the way that he was swaying from dehydration every so often.
Mare crouched in the bushes as her bulky opponent came to a stop near a lake of acid. She carefully observed him as he leant against a tree, lost in thought. He had no idea she was there.
He still had no idea she was there when she exited her hiding place. He simply stepped away from the tree, oblivious.
He realised where she was once she roughly tackled him to the ground from behind, forcing him to eat dirt before he even knew what hit him. Mare tried her best to pin him down, readying herself to punch the boy in the head to daze him. From there… well, there was only one thing she'd be able to do.
Something the crowbar would make a lot easier than just using her bare hands.
The career was strong in spite of his injuries, elbowing back at Mare hard enough to send her sprawling backwards. He was up in a flash, eyeing her with contempt. Mare didn't let the brute see her fear. She wouldn't give him the satisfaction.
She'd only give him one hell of a fight! Mare wasn't trained per-say, but she had spent her life doing hard labour on a ranch. She knew she was strong enough to take the boy down. How much harder could it be than doing the same to wolves or wild boars that broke into the ranch's lands?
The boy from Two did his best to try and strike Mare, but he couldn't break through her crowbar blocks. All he could do was keep up the attack and start to slowly force her backwards.
"Give it up Ten!" he barked. "You're never gonna kill me, Ten!"
"I'm not Ten, my name is Mare!" Mare deflected another swing, sparks flying off of the colliding metals.
Mare did not listen to what the boy – the arrogant boy who volunteered for this shit out of sheer greed and selfishness! – said in response. She waited for her first opportunity to sock him in the jaw and dislodge one of his teeth.
They traded more insults between each other – apparently his name was Asterix – and didn't break from their clash. Mare felt sweat pour down her face and shivers spread through her bones. Surely these were better than blood pouring or a sword within her limbs.
As their duel went on the pair had unknowingly half circled each other in their attempts to push the other back and gain ground. Mare knew that boulders were behind her, but now she could see that the acid lake was right behind Asterix. All she had to do was send him into the drink and it'd be all over.
Well, at least until the other tribute – the boy from Eight, she reminded herself – crossed her path.
Mare dodged Asterix' expert flurry of slashes, putting her thoughts towards why she was fighting. For her life, for her parents, her grandpa, her brothers, for Ten, for everything that mattered in life.
Mare gritted her teeth. She wasn't going to let them down.
With such powerful thoughts in mind Mare forced herself to the limit, managing to get Asterix unknowingly backed to the edge of the river. He had no idea just how close his death was.
He realised it when Mare was able to dodge a would-be lethal attack and slam her crowbar onto his knee. Mare ignored the awful crunching sounds and the horrified look on Asterix's face. She swing the crowbar down on his chest and his head, damn near smashing Asterix's skull.
From there it was all too easy to punch him in the throat and uppercut him into the lake. The career had no time to scream or cry, becoming submerged too quickly to do anything aside gurgle and moan.
Mare panted and wheezed, her hands upon her knees as she watched Asterix die. It wouldn't be more than a few seconds before it was over.
Agony exploded in Mare's neck just a moment before the cannon boomed. She collapsed onto her side, clawing at her neck and fighting to breath. In an instant she knew it was hopeless. She knew she had lost.
An arrow was stuck in her neck, having entered through one side and pierced out the other. Mare instinctively took hold of the arrow and tore it out.
The blood flow only increased from then on. Mare crumpled over, weakly writhing on the ground as her life faded away from her. That damn boy from Eight, where was he hiding?
Mare was too weak to raise her head and look around for him.
She only had the strength to picture her family and the horses back home in her final seconds.
Mare took her final guttural breath before finally becoming completely still on the dirt beside the lake. Mere meters away from her Asterix' horrifically scorched body floated just as silently.
The cannon boomed.
Roughly fifteen meters away, standing beside a tree, Spool lowered his crossbow and tried not to throw up over what he'd just done.
It was over, both for him and the other twenty three tributes who were trapped in the arena with him.
Cause of Death: Arrow shot through neck (by Spool)
Time Lasted: 19 days, 20 hours, 7 minutes and 52 seconds
District Ten Eliminated
District Eight Victorious