Head Game Maker
I'm sitting, just biding my time. Waiting to strike.
I promised Comet the greatest games of all time, and I am going to deliver.
I wipe a hand across my glistening forehead, most probably spreading grease and oil across my brow, but for once I don't care. Unlike past game makers, I prefer to create my inventions myself. It may take a toll on me, but the result is always exactly how I imagined it. Besides, I don't trust anyone but myself with my creations. Others will not understand them, they won't be able to feel how they feel and communicate with them the way I do, they would never understand.
The numbness setting into my legs finally forces me to stop working. I lift myself off the floor of the lab and take a step back to admire my current work. Cleaning a hand on my yellow overalls I allow a smile to take shape on my lips.
Angels. That's what they are, literally. Stone statues carved into the shape of angels. At first glance, they would never seem out of place in the arena. Simple old, worn statues. But these are no sculptures. I wired them up, and they are going to create havoc in the area. But they are not the main event. They are merely the pilot fish. Scavengers. Tiny, leading my little tributes to the big fish. And the main event is yet to come.
Satisfied with my work, I turn the lights off to the lab and take the lift back to my office on the 13th floor. I walk softly past Kirlias, and don't give her a second glance.
"Wait, excuse me miss," I turn, and stare golden daggers at my assistant.
"This better be good Kirlias."
"Um, it's just that, well," She stutters and I let out a dramatic sigh,
"Spit it out Kirlias."
"President Comet is waiting for you in your office, I tried to contact you by phone, but there was no answer. He insists with talking to you." My blood freezes. This can not be good. I glance down at my dirty yellow overalls. There's no time to change now.
Sucking in a quiet breath, I open the glass door to my office, letting the cool air brush over my exposed pale skin. President Comet sits on my desk, as cool and as calm as ever in a light blue suit, his dark red hair brushed into violent spikes. His broad stature casts a dark shadow down on me, and makes me feel even more intimidated than I already am.
"Golden." His voice fills the room, and instantly I can hear the tension in his voice.
"President Comet, what brings you here?" I press, trying to hide the nerves in my voice. Whenever the President comes, it's never with good news.
"I want what ever you've constructed, into the arena. Now." I stare at him, my face most likely conveying my emotions. He turns his head to me, expectantly.
"Did you not hear me? Now, Golden."
"But… Sir I-" I begin to reason, but he raises his hand to cut me off.
"Now. Golden, what part of the word do you not understand?"
"Sir," I try to reason with him, "They're not ready. I need at least another day to complete their circuits, otherwise-"
"Do I need to remind you that you answer to me? If I, the President, tell, no, direct you to do something, do you refuse?" I hang my head down, feeling like a child in school, being scolded by a teacher. Only this time, it's my life in the balance.
With that, he simply leaves, gliding out of the room as calmly as he entered, leaving me alone once more.
Why do I fear him so much? I know that he is the president, but surely that is not what scares me. No, I decide. It's not so much the position he has, or the power that he holds over Panem, it's him. Sure, there are rumors that fly across the Capitol. He apparently killed his own wife to prevent the likelihood of children. He goes through Game Makers, Secretaries and Arena Designers faster than they can bring in new ones. It's the aura of mystery that surrounds him, and it is how he keeps control.
My angels are not ready. They will surely backfire in the arena if I send them in now. I let out a sigh. Fine. If he wants my creations in the arena, then I'll put them in, whether they are ready or not.
Making final preparations, I reach across my desk and pull open my bottom draw, revealing a small piece of paper. I delicately draw it out and hold it gingerly, reviewing the words written on it. My list of current tributes, and their deepest darkest secrets. This will give the Capitol something to talk about.
Mace Stranol- fears being unable to prove himself
Eve Cane- fears being unable to escape
Bassolo Thomas- fears the unknown
Calvin Wilson- fears for the safety of those around him
Seery Janeston- fears losing control
Sammy Tennant- fears being alone
Lucy Gray- fears being left behind
Rochelle Hunter- fears losing those close to her
Pomona Carver- fears being forgotten
Hayata Dise- fears showing her true self
If the Capitol wants a game, then I'll give them a game.
Mace Stranol's POV
"Pomona will you just slow down for a second! The tributes aren't going anywhere."
After yesterday, I feel like I've lost all the confidence (or what little confidence) Pomona had in me. I got shown up by that District 10 boy, Sammy got away and Pearl almost killed me. If it hadn't been for Pomona, I would probably be dead.
"See that's where you're wrong." Pomona stops in front of me, yet doesn't turn to face me. "The tributes are moving. They are not just going to stand and wait for us to come and kill them. And it would help if I wasn't stuck with a stuck up District 2 boy who moves at a turtles pace!" I stifle a laugh,
"You know it seems like you aren't really that keen to have me around." It's a joke, but the girl seems to take it the wrong way.
"No. I don't want you around, if it were up to me then long ago I would have left you're little 'career pack'." She spits the words at me like she doesn't believe my group was up to career pack standards, which slightly hurts, even though all of them are now dead.
"So why don't you leave?" I hiss back. If she has a problem, why is she sticking with me?
"Because I-" She suddenly stops, and I see for the first time that she is not looking directly at me.
"Because wha-" She is quick to hush me and I look at her with distaste. Who does she think she is? I'm the leader, I know what I'm doing and now she is acting like she is in charge, and is hinting that I am a burden to her!
"It's getting dark." I roll my eyes at her.
"Yes, that's what happens when day moves to night." I reply sarcastically. She shoots me a death look.
"That's not what I mean idiot, 2 seconds ago it was light, and now it's almost completely dark." I take in what she is saying, and realize she is right. Just a few minutes ago we had been walking in full light, and now I can barely make out her figure as she stands in front of me. But the thing is, I don't want to acknowledge she is right. I'm the leader. I'm always the leader. So instead, I shrug.
"So? The game makers were probably bored, want to end the day quickly so that they can get to the next." She shakes her head, and I can make out a cunning smile overtaking her face.
"No, something is about to happen."
Just as she says that, beams of bright light appear in the sky, as if someone turned on several torches above the clouds. They provide illumination in the darkness, but I can't help but feel that that isn't their main purpose.
I count them in turn. 10 beams of light. 10 tributes left in the games.
Pomona and I can only stare as figures seem to begin to descend from each beam. They look human, yet I can make out the silhouette of wings on their backs. They appear solid, like statues. They are in odd positions though. All are covering their eyes in one-way or another. Some with their hands, others with books or other objects carved into their grasp. They seem to land on the ground, dispersed across the arena floor, and I realize, one is near us. It stands, remaining still, unchanged, across the campsite from us, and I can now make out its features in better clarity.
I turn to Pomona, and catch her smiling.
"Tributes of the 46th annual Hunger Games." A voice suddenly seems to fill the arena, and I instantly recognize it as the voice of Golden, the Head Game Maker.
This cannot be good news.
"Congratulations for making it into the top 10! Now, it's time to challenge you. Across the arena, statues have been deposited. 10 to be exact. It is up to you to choose whether you face them, or whether you run away. I leave them with you, and it is up to discover their secrets. I leave all of you with one piece of advice. Don't blink."
The voice disappears, along with the light, and the arena is plunged back into complete darkness.
The first thing I register is Pomona's giggling.
"Will you stop that!" I whisper harshly, "Grab a match or something." A small flicker of light appears as I hear her strike a match, before she gently touches it to a fallen branch to create a torch.
As she directs the torch in the direction of the angel, we both freeze.
It stands in the same position as before, it's eyes covered, but it has definitely moved closer. I suddenly feel like I am in a horror movie. Pomona turns to me, directing the torch back at me so that she can make out my face.
"Wait!" I quickly stop her and grasp the hand she is using to hold the torch.
"Don't touch me." She growls but I ignore her threat, moving her hand and torch back so that it the light is focused on the angel again.
It's moved again.
"Don't move your torch." I say under my breath, as if the creature may hear me. Maybe it will. Pomona for once nods without argument and we stand, unmoving like the statue. "What now?" I ask, fearing what her answer may be. Golden gave us two choices. We could run, or face it. Knowing Pomona, she would probably choose the second option. Instead to my relief, she shrugs and I let out an audible sigh of relief.
"Wimp." Without thinking I am drawing out my mace, ready to smash it onto her head. She remains unfazed.
"I am no weakling, peasant. Who do you think you are anyway! I'm stronger than you will ever be!" I growl at her through clenched teeth. No one questions my ability.
"Yes, but you don't think things through," She replies calmly, " And right now, I don't believe either of us are staring at that statue."
My heart sinks, and as swing my head to where I think the angel was, and I am met with a face of stone.
My body freezes up, my mind growing blank. I can't turn away from it, I can't even move.
I stare into the angel's eyes, and it stares back into mine.
Bassolo Thomas's POV
I see Eve lock eyes with me, and I know she doesn't know what to say to me. I don't know what I want her to say to me either. That she's sorry she killed Monalisa? That she didn't mean to? I don't want her to say any of these things, because I know that as sorry as she is for taking away her life, nothing she can say will bring her back to me.
I barely knew her.
We set up camp a few hours ago by the stream, in an effort to gain some rest after the past few days. I knew Eve was restless staying with those Anti Careers, but we stayed with them anyway with the hopes of coming out of the alliance with something to show for it. Of course we didn't. Who knows where Hayata is now with that cloak, and if I'm honest I don't even care anymore. She can keep it. It cost Monalisa's life.
As we sit by the fire, I can see Eve struggling to create words in her mouth. Several times I think she might say something, but then she stops, shutting her mouth tight as if she is afraid what she will say is the wrong thing.
"Bassolo? You know I didn't mean to kill her right?" I nod my head, but at the same time I write out a sentence in Monalisa's old notebook.
It doesn't matter though.
The impact on Eve is instant. Those four words hold so much pent-up emotion. Even though I know she didn't mean to, she still did it. She showed me her willingness to kill. I thought Eve was different. I allied with her because, despite everything, she seemed to care. Not just about herself, but about me. Now I think I need to reconsider even that.
"I said I was sorry, and you know that there is nothing I can do to bring her back Bassolo, hell if there was something I could do I would!" Her voice begins to rise and I meet her eyes, "And I'm sorry if you think I am to blame but you need to get ahold of yourself! If you ever thought that you were going to get out of here alive, then you would have considered the fact that she would have to die to do so, so I'm not sure why you are getting so emotional!"
That's the Eve I knew before all of this. The cold one, who locked out all her emotions. analyzing her beforehand, I had deemed her ruthless, ready to kill to survive.
I stand up from the fire.
"Bassolo? Where are you going!"
I don't turn around, I simply keep walking, in what direction I am not to sure. I just know that I need to get away from Eve. I hear her getting up from the fire and running towards me, gripping my hand tightly. I stop, but only for a second to see her eyes pleading. I simply tear my hand away from her.
I start running now, desperate to get away from her. It quickly dawns on me that I am throwing away an ally that might keep me alive but I no longer care. Maybe I've changed in this arena too. Before, I was so timid and shy. Now look at me, I'm a mute, yet something else has changed. I've seen friends die, I've been opened to the horrors the games have to offer. And I'm scared.
I run until I think I can't run anymore and simply collapse in a heap. My chest heaves heavily from the strain of running. I'm not fit enough, or strong enough for that matter to make it very far. All I have is my intellect, and even that seems to be failing me now. I left Eve. My only friend alive, and now I'm alone. The cold façade I put on in front of Eve fades, and I let myself begin to wallow in my losses. Tears overcome me, and I allow myself to cry.
I consider running back to her, pretending that the whole thing never happened. But when ever I think of my district parter's face, the hollow feeling in my stomach from the loss of Monalisa builds and I find it hard to move.
How am I meant to survive alone? I'm 12 years old, I don't stand a chance. You've made it this far, part of me thinks. But that was because I was with Eve. I'm sure Tucker and Sammy would have killed me if it were not for Eve.
As I wallow in my thoughts, I don't register the sound behind me until it is too late.
When I suddenly turn around, I can make out a stone statue. It's on of the ones Eve and I saw earlier descending from the sky. I immediately regret my decision to leave Eve behind. What if she is trapped with an angel as well?
I turn and take off running, thinking that maybe I can outrun it, but the thing moves faster than my eyes can see. I make it 2 meters before the thing appears in front of me, cutting off my view of the arena.
I stare petrified into it's now uncovered stone eyes, and then everything goes white, and I lose consciousness.
Pomona Carver POV
Mace just disappeared. He looked into the angel's eyes, and both of them just disappeared in a flash of blinding light.
I shrug indifferently. At least this gives me a chance to escape. I mean, the only reason I stayed with the careers was because one, they offered me protection, two, I figured I could get some kills through them, and three, they were expendable.
Honestly the only reason I ever bothered to stay with Mace was because if we ever got into a life threatening fight with another tribute, I could just ditch him and get away safely.
So instead of waiting to see if he ever comes back from where ever the angel seemed to take him like a good little ally, I grasp my torch, check my remaining knives, shoulder my backpack and start moving. The further away I get from those angel things the better.
I keep walking through the arena, keeping an eye out for tributes and stone angels. A few times, I think I am being followed, but when I turn around, there is no one there. As my thoughts start to wonder due to the silence and the darkness, I begin to think of home.
I wonder what they are thinking? This is a side my family and friends would have never seen before. They knew I was a tomboy, everyone did. I always wanted to be like my older brothers. The thing was, they never wanted to be around me. Maybe I want to prove to them that I really am tough enough to handle the horrors these games have to offer. When I come home, everyone will love me, adore me. But… what will my family do? They've seen me kill and torture innocent little children here, enjoying their pain and suffering. I shrug. They'll just have to deal with who I am.
I find it hard to navigate in the dark, even with my makeshift torch. I hear crys erupt from the arena as no doubt angels have found other tributes. So far I have been lucky, but how long will my luck last?
My question is quickly answered when I hear the crunch of leaves behind me.
I quickly turn in the direction of the sound, moving my torch with me. I see it faintly, the outline of a stone angel. It's weird. Its covering it's face, but the one I saw attacking Mace didn't. But it had been before.
Don't look into its eyes.
"Ok," I say, not really talking to anyone in particular, "You don't move when I'm looking at you, so all I have to do, is not look away." Then I remember the advice Golden had given, before she had unleashed this hell. Don't blink.
Crap. How the hell am I meant to do that! I stare intently at the statue, trying to hold my eyes open. Maybe it would have been a good idea to stick with Mace. Then again, I have no way of knowing where the angel took him, maybe it killed him on the spot. No. That would be to easy. The Capitol needs to be entertained by the deaths of the tributes.
So I keep staring, blinking one eye at a time, but as the time draws out, it becomes harder and harder. All I have to do is wait till the sun rises, I think. Surely that is the cut off point for these angels, when they become deactivated. Golden wouldn't keep them in the arena for the whole time would she?
My eyes begin to water, and my stupid reflexes kick in immediately. Before I can stop myself, both eyes shut, and I blink.
I quickly snap my eyes back open, but I can already see that the statue has moved significantly closer and I curse under my breath.
"What the hell am I meant to do now!" I can't stop myself from yelling. There is no way I'm going to be beaten by some stupid statue. I'll stare at it all night if I have to.
Of course, someone or something really wants to make that hard for me, and suddenly I hear a rustling behind me, and another pair of tributes. I recognise one of the voices, Eve the girl from District 3.
Honestly, I thought she would have been dead by now, but apparently not, and now she's behind me and there is nothing I can do about it, I mean I can barely move.
"You just going to kill me from behind? Wow that's warrior like." I snicker. I hear her approach me from behind, yet she makes no move to attack me. Wasn't she with her district partner? I wonder what happened to him. He's probably dead by now.
"You really are thick aren't you." She replies calmly. I growl at her response. She continues anyway, "I kill you and no one will be looking at it. Then it will move quicker than I can react and move onto me."
"Exactly." I smirk. She's not as dumb as I thought. "So what are you going to do? Leave me?" For a minute I think she has left, but then I hear her foot steps approaching me, and a hand on my backpack.
" In a minute." I've never felt so powerless as he pulls off my backpack and takes ever knife in my belt, securing them in her own.
"I would think twice about doing that." I warn, "I could very well simply turn my head away. The angel could go for either one of us."
"But you wouldn't. You're too self preservative for your own good."
"Unlike you?" She might be shaking her head, but I can't tell since I'm alittle preoccupied staring at the angel.
"I've already lost everything. My district partner left me because he thought I had turned into an animal. Maybe I have. But the thing is, now I have nothing to lose."
"You didn't run after him?"
" He wouldn't have wanted me too."
And then she is gone. Just like that, and I am left staring at this stupid angel, without any supplies. Oh well, on the positive side, she didn't find the knife I keep in my cloak.
Mace Stranol's POV
When I open my eyes, I see a bright white light, and I am 99% sure that the angel has killed me. But if it had killed me, surely I wouldn't be aware right now… right?
As I become increasingly aware of the fact that I am not well, dead I realize that I am face down on the ground. I make out a hand outstretched and gratefully take it and the support it offers as it pulls me off the ground.
Then I realize who the hand belongs to. It's my brother, Hammer. I don't know how in hell he is here, but I bet it's some Game Maker's ploy to get some heart-felt emotion out of me. It does the complete opposite.
Immediately I ball up the front of his shirt with my fist and force him to lock eyes with me. His proud smirk is the same as I remember.
"Hey little bro, how things going?" he asks, the smirk still showing on his face. I am about to push him away when I notice the sword in his hand, and the mace secured in my own. How did that get there?
I quickly step away from him and draw my weapon, ready for whatever the Game Makers throw at me. Hammer just laughs.
"You were always so keen to prove yourself Mace. But did you ever think that you could match up to me? Your perfect older brother? Remember, I trained for these games, you barely did. I won the love of mom and dad. You didn't. Face it, I will always be better than you, at everything." A low growl seems to emit from my throat as he says the words I have thought over and over since I can remember. It's true. Hammer was always the favorite child, and I was always forgotten in the shadows. No matter how hard I tried, I could never live up to the standards he set. Until now. I'm the one who is going to come home as victor not him. This is my chance to prove myself. So I strike out at him. Wielding my mace, I aim for his legs but he is quick to deflect it away with his sword. Hammer has more muscle strength than me, so I'll have to rely on my speed if I want to take him down.
I try to surprise him by lunging for his stomach, then at the last moment moving to throw my weapon at his head, but he seems to guess my attack and simply doges with ease.
"You forgot Mace, I taught you all of those moves." And he's right. Everything I learnt was from my father and my brother. Every move, dodge and reflex comes from them.
My brother charges at me and throws me to the ground, pinning me underneath with his weight. Effortlessly, he removes my mace from his hand and discards it behind him, positioning his own sword at my throat.
"Game over little bro."
I frantically try to force myself out, but all I can hear are the same words, repeating themselves.
"You have failed. You have failed. You have failed."
I feel the sword press into my skin; feel the blood rush to the wound, and instantly, my world goes black.
Rochelle Hunter's POV
The arena has gone dark. I don't know what's happening. All I see is flashes of dim color. Blurs of vaguely distinguishable images. Snaps of reality, mixed with darkness.
And then I make out the face. Her face. The girl from District 12, Hayata? I remember her from training. She was with Alex, her district partner. Where is he now?
No. I shouldn't be distracting myself. I need to focus.
She claws at my face with her nails, laughing like an animal, as if she is enjoying my pain. I try to force her off my body, but she is too heavy. Instead I try to find my weapon in the darkness, but my hands grasp at the grass, coming out empty.
I draw a knee up and manage to kick the girl off me long enough to scramble to my feet. My weapon lies behind her, and I know that I won't be able to grab it soon enough. Then I see Lucy, approaching Hayata silently from behind. I try to shake my head in a subtle way to tell her to leave me and hide, but she either doesn't see me, or chooses to ignore it.
Before either I or Hayata can react, Lucy, little small tiny Lucy, jumps onto her back. I hear Hayata howl in protest as she becomes disoriented and tires to violently shake Lucy off, but she holds strong, her small arms warped tightly around her neck clinging for dear life.
I clutch the knife in my hand and run to aid Lucy. I know that I'm going to have to kill this girl if I want to keep Lucy safe… but I don't know if I can. I don't know if I can go on with the weight of another tributes death on my shoulders, knowing that I am the one that ended their lives, took them away from their families.
In the corner of my eye, I catch the swaying of deep green vines hanging loosely from the branches of trees, and suddenly I have an idea.
"Hang on Lucy I'm coming!" As quickly as I can, I tear the strong ivy vines from the branches and rush over to Lucy's aid.
"Lucy let go of her!" She glances at my with a look of confusion. "Trust me!"
And so she let's go. I watch for a second as she gracefully jumps back from Hayata, landing a good few feet away before running and scaling a tree with ease. Quickly tying the vine rope with a familiar knot, I force my eyes closed as I hear Hayata charge at me. I think back to my days back at the ranch. Back before we had money to feed ourselves, back when I spent most of my days tending to sick animals and playing cowboys with my brother.
My arms begin to move, as the memory seems to awaken something inside of me. I let my limps act in what feels like the most natural thing in the world, and throw the vine rope. When I open my eyes I see that I have successfully lassoed the District 12 girl.
I let my instincts take over as I pull the rope sharply forward, bringing the girl to the ground with it. My feet pound against the ground as I run over to her collapsed and struggling body and the ground and wind the rest of the rope around her hands which are caught behind her back. Satisfied, I move to her legs and secure them as well, my hands moving on their own.
I allow myself to step back and a small smile to cross over my face. 'Cowgirl' is what my father used to call me. Finally, I drag the squirming girl towards a tree trunk and as gently as I can, secure her to it, preventing her from going aware. At least now she doesn't have to die by my hands.
"Lucy, you can come down now, it's safe."
The little girl climbs down the tree like a monkey and is quick to join me at my side. I grab my knife from the ground quickly before Lucy can see it and tuck it away in my belt. I then turn back to Hayata, who's screaming out like a wild animal. "I'm so sorry." And I truly mean it. No doubt some other tribute might come by now, and who knows what they will do to her. But I can't risk her hurting Lucy. I made a promise to Hale to keep her safe, and I am determined to keep it.
But then I see something move in the distance, and when I turn, my heart sinks. It's an angel. It's still far away, but no doubt it will catch up to us soon. I have to keep Lucy safe, we have to get away.
And so we do what we do best, run.
Taking Lucy's hand in my own, we take off through the forest, meeting a great river and following its path towards the large lake in the center of the arena. It's when I see Calvin and Seery run straight past us that I stop and pause. They didn't even try and attack us, what were they running from?
I risk a look behind us, and I don't see the angel. Maybe it didn't follow us. I turn to tell Lucy the good news, but just as I do, I see the angel appear in front of us, and then suddenly, both Lucy and the angel are gone.
"No!" I can't stop myself from crying out. Just like that, the Capitol has taken away my last lifeline, the last thing that was keeping me alive in this arena. "Bring her back to me!"
The one thing I promised to Hale before he died was to protect his sister. And I failed at that. That was the one thing he asked of me, and I couldn't even do that. I'm sorry Hale.
Bassolo Thomas's POV
A pounding in the back of my head awakes me, and as I stumble back to consciousness, I realize everything is white around me. Am I dead?
After a quick assessment, I realize the answer is a flat no. My heart is still beating, and I can still control my body movements. I stand up and push my glasses back up my nose before taking in my surroundings.
It's completely white. I'm both frightened and amazed at the technology the Game Maker's have. If I ever get out of here alive, I want to find out what mechanics they used to create this. A small smile escapes my grasp as the thought feels so familiar, so Bassolo, that I am able to convince myself that the games have not changed everything about me. I still love technology, still love to gain new information, and the thought gives me hope.
I'm so lost in my thoughts, that I don't see when notice when five figures approach me.
When I finally look up, I recognize their faces immediately. Two of them were careers. Jessica and Dylan. It pains me to look at the other three. The boy I saw with Sammy that day Eve and I were trapped in the net, Eve, my district partner, and Monalisa.
A voice rings out inside my head, and I am alerted by the invasion of my mind. Bassolo. You have always taken such pride in your knowledge. You show-off and boast about your cleverness. You think greatly about yourself and your knowledge, yet you fail to understand and take note of others. This will be your downfall.
The two careers advance on me, and before I can react are pinning me down by my arms against the cold white floor, smiling.
I scream out in surprise, but I quickly stop myself. Not for fear of my own life, but because I myself emitted that noise. In this world, I can speak.
The first person to appear in my line of vision is the man I saw with Sammy. He stands over me and looks down to meet my eyes. I realize now he is the man from District 10, but I still can't find his name in my memory.
"We will each ask you a question. In your time in the arena, you have heard the answers spoken by us." My heart sinks. You think greatly about yourself and your knowledge, yet you fail to understand and take note of others.
The man continues, "Here is my question. On the day that Sammy and I met you, the day you got caught in our net, why did she cut you lose, instead of killing you right then and there?" I rattle my brain for an answer, but nothing springs to mind. I was too worried about dying that moment to care. Then I remember.
"She said she didn't know why she did it." I hold my breath, and for a moment there is silence, then the man nods, and disintegrates into smoke. Eve approaches me next, her face looking sadder than I have ever seen it, even if this isn't the real Eve.
" The day I saved you from the Reapings, when I stopped those bullies. Why did I do it?" She told me this before, I know she did. When… when that mutt was pretending to be her.
" You said because you pitted me." The words still cut deep and only come out as a whisper. Yet she nods and like the man disappears. The last face I am met with is Monalisa. Her face still looks the same, her smile appears genuine as she recounts the memory on her note pad.
Remember that one night we spent together, when we were allies? When we were alone, and no one was listening. I told you why I never spoke. Do you remember?
Her face begins to fall as I struggle to remember. She shared her secret with me, and now I can't even remember. The time ticks by, and eventually, I have to shake my head with defeat. How can I not remember?
Her body disappears in a flash of smoke as words ring out in my mind.
You have failed. You have failed. You have failed.
Jessica rises from my side, and I can do nothing as she digs her knife into my body where my heart lies. The funny thing is, I probably deserve it.
Lucy Gray's POV
Where… where am I?
As my eyes open, I realize I am on the floor. Carefully, I stand up. I look around, and all I see is white. Where is Rochelle? What happened to Hayata? She just disappeared.
There is nowhere to go where I am. When I move forward, I can't tell if I am actually making progress, because it all looks the same. There is also silence. I don't like the quiet. It leaves me with only my thoughts. So I hum. I hum the tune my Daddy taught me when I was little, but I think it was Mummy who taught him. He sung it to me every night when I went to bed then when he had to stay away a lot because he was working, Hale would sing it.
I giggle at the thought. Big brother could never hold a tune, and he would always sing off key to make me laugh. The memory makes me sad though. Because I know I will never get to see him again. He left me, just like everyone did. The thought leaves me feeling empty.
I keep walking, sometimes changing to a skip as a move across the white surroundings. I don't know where I'm going, but I have a compelling sense to move forward. Then, I see a figure in the distance. It walks towards me, shrouded by shadows so I cannot make out his face.
I walk towards it too out of curiosity, and as I get closer, I can make out a face.
My walk changes into a run, and I sprint over to him, laughter echoing out from me. He's here, and Rochelle had told me he had gone.
He picks me up like he always used to when we were younger, back when we were living together in District 1. He swings me about, his laughter merging with mine. I haven't seen him laugh for so long. It makes me happy to see it.
When he finally sets me down on the ground again, I encase him in a hug, still laughing with joy.
"Hale, you came back for me, you didn't leave me." I look up and see him smiling at me. "We can play games again! Like hide and seek, and tag and cowboys, Daddy will want to see you too, let's go." I grasp his hand with another smile and begin to walk in the direction I came in. But he doesn't move.
I turn to him, look into his face and see that he has stopped smiling.
"I can't come with you." I look at him to see if he is playing a prank on me. He always used to do things like this, but his fingers aren't crossed to show that he is lying. That was always a tell tale sign.
"But… why?" Tears begin to run down my cheeks, and there is nothing I can do to stop them.
"I can't come with you." He repeats again. I try to move towards him, but my body suddenly freezes in its place. I feel like I do when I play musical statues, only this time, I can't unfreeze.
I watch in horror as Hale begins to walk away from me, into the distance, leaving me behind.
"Hale!" I scream and I shout, but he keeps moving away from me. The tears now fall freely from my eyes and drip down onto the white floor. "Don't leave me!" I beg. I keep screaming but he keeps walking, never looking back, never responding to my pleas.
I feel the cage closing around my heart, driving forward so violently that I fear my ribs might break.
Think happy thoughts. That's what Rochelle told me to do when Hale died. Think of the things that make you feel happy, because that is what you need to hold on to. And so I do. I force my eyes closed and think of the time Hale took me swimming for the first time back home, of all the times we played together, the horse back rides he gave me. Baking with Mommy. The smell of the cookie dough. I find my thoughts shifting to Rochelle. Protecting me, making me laugh, keeping me safe. All these things, I need to hold onto them.
When I open my eyes, Hale is gone, but I no longer feel sad. I feel hopeful. Hopeful for what is to come.
A voice suddenly fills the space around me, repeating the same single message.
"You have passed. You have passed. You have passed."
A bright light seems to shine around me, blinding me momentarily causing me to squeeze my eyes shut to avoid the glare.
When I open them once more, I am back with Rochelle back in the forest.
She looks at me, stunned, before smothering me in a hug so tight I can barely breathe.
"I didn't know what happened." She says, "One minute you were there, and then you were gone along with the angel." As she says that, I look up and realize that the angel is now on the ground, crumbled and defeated. I won its game.
"What happened to you? Where did you go?" Her questions are persistent yet… I can't find the words to answer. Instead I just shake my head and bury my head into her cloak, in a desperate attempt to shut out the rest of the world.
I can't stop the tears from coming. It's as if my eyes have been opened to every horror the world has to offer. How… how could the Game Makers be so cruel? They showed me images of my dead brother for what? Fun? Entertainment? This whole thing is not a game, that is what Hale was trying to tell me, and it's taken my brother's death to make me realize this.
I'm sorry Hale, I'm so sorry.
Rochelle hugs me tightly, as if she fears I will leave her again.
"Please don't leave me again. I don't want to lose you."
10 points to Gryffindor if you caught on to the Doctor who cameo ;)
Bet you thought I was never going to write this chapter did you :) Hi everyone! What has it been, 5 months? I don't think I can apologize enough for disappearing : ( A combination of my laptop clearing itself halfway through writing this chapter, writers block, exams and overall stress had left me with little motivation to write big chapters, thus why I have been working on smaller projects :D but I am back, and a new chapter will be out in a week hopefully :D Thanks to all who have PMed me as well, you know who you are I LOVE you ;)
Mace Stranol- let's face it, you always had a massive target on your back : ) but I still loved you
Bassolo Thomas- You and Eve were always a favorite of mine :)
D1: Jessica Rose- killed on Day 3 by Calvin and Seery
D2: Mace Stranol- killed on Day 8 by angels
D2: Pearl Chrysler- killed on Day 7 by Pomona
D5: Dylan DiMarco- killed in bloodbath by Jess
D11: Pomona Carver- staring at angel near center lake
D7: Sammy Tennant- dying near Greek ruins, cuts on cheek and arms and poison wounds. Head injury
D10: Tucker Levington- killed on Day 7 by Mace
D3 : Eve Cane- running from Pomona near center lake
D3 : Bassolo Thomas- killed on Day 8 by angels
D4: Calvin Wilson- running from angel near center lake, knife wounds on arms
D4: Seery Janeston- running from angel near center lake, knife wounds across body, injured arm
D7: Bramble Malcome – killed in bloodbath by Rochelle
D9: Kall Roswell- killed on Day 6 by a spear in Game maker's trap
D12: Alex Jackson- killed on Day 3 by Jess
D9: Monalisa Ryna- killed on Day 7 by Eve
D12: Hayata Dise- tied to tree near center lake, crazy and cuts on arm, cloak of invisibility in possession
D1: Hale Gray – killed on Day 6 by Greek Proteus Mutt
D8: Lucy Gray- resting near center lake, grazes on knees, bruises across body
D10: Rochelle Hunter- resting near center lake, head wound and cuts.
D8: Chiffon Burrel- killed in bloodbath by Hale
D11 : Hachet Gennard- killed in bloodbath by Pearl
D6 : Aurora Nevet- killed on Day 2 by Sybil
D6 : Zero Godwin- killed in bloodbath by Jess
D5 : Sybil Holloway- killed on Day 2 by Rochelle