A/N- Hey everyone, this is the beginning of what I hope is going to be an amazing 24 author collaboration!:D I have never done one of these, but I have some great authors so far and some great tributes so I'm sure it will work really well. Anyway this is just the prologue, I needed to write one so the story was allowed, so the first chapter wasn't just a long author's note. Anyway I hope you enjoy this prologue, and I hope you enjoy the actually story when it begins!:D
I can't escape ... the ash, the darkness, the pain of running towards the unknown.
It's the finale I know that much, the Gamemakers always have something special planned to give the Capitol a real treat, this has never happened before. The main mountain of this Arena just erupted, and through the darkness the faint blink of a bright orange glow tells me the lava is swiftly moving down the mountain edge.
How many tributes are still left? How many have I killed?
The Hunger Games, this blasted event is nothing like I pictured. I watched ever since the first one was broadcasted across Panem, I watched with a smile on my face and I trained from that moment on. On the 12th reaping I finally volunteered, knowing I could do this, knowing how fun it would be.
And then the bloodbath began ...
It was carnage, pure destruction everywhere. Tributes fell one by one, blades in their guts, arrows in their heads. It was the biggest bloodbath so far in the history of the Games. Fifteen died, leaving nine left. Seeing all that blood, all those dead innocent children changed me ... it's not right, and even now as I run through the trees without any clue of where I'm headed, I regret ever running to that stage and volunteering. I don't know what the heck was going through my mind, what sick thought pushed me to doing this. I just hope I can win and go home to make up for everything I've done in this Arena.
Out of the nine that survived, I was the only Career, I don't know how that is even possible but all the others died. After a week passed, four of the other eight were struck down by me and one other was killed by someone else. Now it's just us remaining four, running from the flowing lava and whatever else the Gamemakers have come up with.
I don't know who the other four are, I haven't been keeping track, but to survive a bloodbath of that level of brutality they must be skilled.
A branch snags my cheek and the sharp stinging pain causes a few tears to spring from my eyes. I wipe them away with the back of my dirty left hand and carry on sprinting through this dark, eerie forest. The noises here make this whole thing even worse, everything sounds dangerous yet no mutts have actually appeared. The birds sound like the mutts from last year that ripped you apart with their claws, the growls and ruffling of bushes makes you on edge, like something is about to pounce but it never does.
All I have to worry about right now is running, running from this lava and getting to safety.
Three left ... I'm nearly there. Having survived the bloodbath and everything else that has gone on I think I can do this. No ... I know I can do this. I trained, the other two didn't. If it comes to a fight between us, I'll win. I don't want to have to kill them, striking down so many has left a mark inside, yet if I hope to return I need to kill the other two if this lava doesn't get them first.
"Well done to you remaining three, keep up the good work!" The announcer's voice nearly makes me topple over, but I remain focused and maintain my pace through the trees. I quickly peek a glance over my shoulder, the lava is still quite far away which is good.
I've journeyed around the entire Arena over the course of these Games so I should know my way around, yet the darkness doesn't help, I can't identify anything here.
This is it ... the final two ...
Secretly I'm curious as to who my final opponent is, I hope they're weak yet I know it's unrealistic. To survive all this way they must be tough. I'm not really looking forward to a fight, but I can see that slowly the sun is rising and the sounds of the lava rushing towards me softens until when I glance over my shoulder I see that it's finally gone.
And then I see him ... standing outside the Cornucopia, surrounded by the bed of flowers where our plates were at the start. He looks tired, his face is covered in ash and his clothes are torn. A sword hangs by his side, but he doesn't seem to have the strength to rise it up and over his head to charge at me. I think this is the District Twelve boy, Ashley or something but I can't quite tell.
"Glitter ... just do it quickly." His voice makes me jump, if anything I didn't except him to talk as I advance towards him. He wants me to kill him ... I can do this ... can't I?
"Please, I've seen my best friend murdered, I've seen my only ally smothered in ash and suffocate, please just kill me and win." He drops his sword, gets on his knees and gazes into my eyes as I edge closer to him.
"Are you sure? I know your District partner was your friend, don't you want to fight in her memory?" I don't know why I'm saying this, I don't want to fight but I feel sympathy for this boy, he's faced so much and he's only fourteen.
"Yes, I have no family, I want to be with her again." He bows his head and I can hear that he has begun to cry. Slowly I edge so close to him that I can see the tears falling from his cheeks, I pull out my sword and raise it above his neck. I'm going to win ... I really am ...
"I'm sorry, I really am."
"You know you aren't like the other Careers. You were to begin with but you've learnt the error of your ways. For once I'm glad a Career is winning ... well done Glitter."
With tears filling the sides of my eyes I bring the sword down on his neck and fall to my knees as his cannon sounds ...
I won ... I actually won ...
"Glitter dear, wake up sweetie."
My eyes slowly flutter open, instantly the smell of bacon frying hits me and saliva fills my mouth. I sit up from my bed and rub my eyes ... once again I've dreamt about my Games. I wish I could just let go, I want to let go so much so I can move on with my life, but the District Twelve boy and all the others that died just won't leave my thoughts.
I rub my temple and sit up from my bed. At the doorway my mother is staring at me with the usual grin on her face.
"Had another bad dream?"
"Yes, I always do." I groan and stand up, putting my feet in my slippers and wrapping my dressing gown round my pyjamas. I hear my mother sigh as I pass her and her warm hand strokes my cheek but I push past and head downstairs. Our house in the Victor's Village is definitely very large, much larger than the house we had before. We were rich, but now we are so rich that we have no worries left, I no longer train anymore because I don't need to and even if I did I wouldn't want to. Mother and father quit their jobs so they could both be with me and my baby brother Blue. He's the sweetest little guy ever, when he giggles I can't help but laugh along with him. I dread the day he faces the reaping like everyone else, but thank god we live in this District. If, god forbid, his name is pulled out from that bowl when it's his time, someone will volunteer, I just know it.
Mother and father were never supportive of my strict training regime when I was so naive that I wanted to participate in the Games. I'm thankful for this, because Blue will not gain the sick thoughts of wanting to be a tribute when he comes of age. Our family is better off now I've won, a part of me is glad that I did volunteer and that I became a victor. I won't ever escape the horrors of what went on in the confines of the Arena, the Bloodbath is something that will be engraved in my memory forever, but there is still hope that one day the Hunger Games will disappear forever, a distant nightmare for us to look back on.
Not for me, not for Blue, but for all the children that have been killed in the name of entertainment these past twelve years. For everyone that will die in the future because of The Hunger Games and the Capitol's corruption. Even for those Victors who face a life of hell because of what they went through. Not everyone comes out perfect, not everyone returns with a smile and a promise to carry on with their lives ... there are those, and those still to come who are broken, the Hunger Games claims twenty-four victims each year, one may survive ... but truly they are dead inside ... I know I am, life may seem alright. But when my eyes close, hell reigns in my mind and that's just like being dead. Just like going back to the that awful bloodbath and joining the bodies on the ground.
And this year ... well this year is the thirteenth Hunger Games. Tomorrow twenty four more tributes will be selected, some volunteering others being chosen even though they are innocent and do not deserve such an experience.
Thirteenth ... the number thirteen has always been regarded as unlucky.
I pity the tributes for this year ... hell will truly be experienced for these twenty four. I guarantee the thirteenth Hunger Games will be remembered. Forever.
A/N- So what did you think? Leave a review with your thoughts, receiving reviews means everything!:D Thank you all