Hey guys! I'm so happy that I was able to update within the same month as my latest chapter. All your feedback from the last chapter is appreciated. Thanks guys!
My worse fear has come true; I've lost some readers. I'm very sorry for having you guys wait a long time for the previous chapter, and I hope I'll get you back.
"We need to move the body before it starts to smell." Vinera wipes the sweat off her forehead.
"I'll get the tail." Sebastian, who was quiet the whole time, speaks.
Evan goes to the opposite end and Caiden stands in the middle of the mutt's body. They start to lift it up and I walk over to my spears. Picking up the ones that are on the ground, I push them into the sheath and throw it over my shoulder. Vinera is right behind the boys, kicking the mutt's head then running in the direction it rolled in to kick it farther away. She doesn't want to pick it up. The face freaks her out and she doesn't want to look at its still-open eyes.
I can still feel the pain from the scratch, but the gel Vinera applied has prevented it from feeling a whole lot worse. Marina stands next to me and starts asking about my well-being.
"It's fine." I tell her.
"Are you sure?"
"Yes, Marina I'm sure. I'm not a baby. I'm okay." I say in annoyance.
"Okay. I think that it'll get infected if you sleep without a bandage." She says slowly, scared that I might snap.
I nod. "I'll put a band-aid on." I begin to walk into the cave, but she pulls my arm back.
"I'll do it. You might mess the gel up." She says.
Sitting next to my sleeping bag, I wait for her to nurture my scratch. Marina steps over her sleeping bag to get to the pack and pulls four medium size band-aids out. It takes about a minute for me to see that it's a teal blue color. When she comes back, she sits right in front of me with her legs crossed.
"I don't want a drop of gel to be left out when I put the band-aid on." She starts to take the plastic flaps off of one band-aid
She holds the band-aid up to my face, but puts it back down and starts moving the gel around. Her goal is to keep all the gel in the middle of each scratch so it'll heal better with the gel and band-aid. The other four come back inside, and I can smell the sweat that the boys produced during their hard work.
"Carrying that mutt was hard work." Caiden swings his arms back and forth.
"Was it too much for you?" Sebastian cocks an eyebrow.
"No. I'm not complaining. In fact, lifting that much weight helped these fellows." He motions to his muscles.
Vinera rolls her eyes. This tells me that she finds Caiden being conceited annoying.
"Amethine," I turn to Marina. "Face forward."
Facing forward, I feel the first band-aid being applied. The other three are put on shortly afterwards.
"Thank you." I get up.
"No problem." She nods.
"Evan and Caiden, you're keeping watch tonight."
Evan nods, okay with the idea, but Caiden isn't. "Come on, I'm tired." He groans.
"And so am I, but trust me, I'm way more exhausted then you are." I retort as I get into my sleeping bag. Sebastian, Marina, and Vinera are preparing for slumber, leaving Caiden defeated.
Evan heads for the mouth of the cave to start and I hear Caiden stomping right behind him.
Just to make him mad, I say, "Nighty night, Caiden! Don't let the arena bugs bite!" in a high-pitched voice.
We need to split up. It's already down to the bottom eight and we're still hunting together and sleeping in the same camp. That's going to change today, which is actually good timing since I plan and heading back to the forest near the Cornucopia. Maybe I'll just go hunting with my soon-to-be- ex-allies and hold most of the game, then when we're about to split, I'll get out of this side of the arena and hide in the forest that's on the other side.
That'll be real entertaining for the audience, but I'm not going to do that. It's a stupid plan. I'm confident that I can outrun all of them, but my disadvantage is the log that I'm going to have to cross. Crossing it is not very difficult for me, but these guys will have their weapons out and I've spent a lot of time with them to know that they're not idiots when it comes to aiming. I won't be able to defend myself when they send their arrows and shuriken stars. The one and only thing I'll have my hands on is the rope and I am not going to risk my life by using one hand to hold on and the other to hurl spears back. Plus, I'm not going to waste my spears.
Opening my eyes about half an inch, the bright yellow glow enters and I shut my eyes.
"Rise and shine, golden goddess!" He kneels down beside me and shakes me. I guess this is payback for teasing.
I send my knee to his stomach in retaliation and he groans. He starts to lean back slowly, and then lays down on the ground. Vinera sees this and scolds me. She doesn't help Caiden up, not wanting to make their relationship obvious. I smirk a little and pretend I'm still sleeping. It's no use; someone else might've witnessed it. Getting out of my sleeping bag, Caiden starts to get up slowly.
"You really can't take a joke." He breathes out, his hands still on the place I kneed him.
"You really don't how serious I am about my sleep."
I scoop some oatmeal out of the pot and into my bowl. The ones in the pot are our last cans of oatmeal. Taking my food outside, I see everyone else sitting around the same boulder that Evan, Gary, and Sebastian were sitting on the day of Gary's death. Evan is also eating his breakfast, and I'm glad. I don't want everyone to be waiting on me.
When I finish, I put the bowl in the utensil bag. After Evan finishes his breakfast, I tell him to do the same. We're going to drag the utensil bag with us on our hunt. They need some washing.
No one has to be told what to do after the last person is done with their food. It's good to know they're all aware of the routine. I will never tell them this, but it makes me proud. Walking into the cave, I arm myself and grab my pack. I wait for the others outside the cave.
Sebastian is second to finish, then Vinera, Marina, Evan, then Caiden.
"Someone needs to carry the utensil bag. The utensils need to be washed." I say.
"We're still going to hunt, right?" Sebastian asks.
"Ofcourse. We're also going to fill our flasks and wash the utensils." I reply.
Evan volunteers to carry it, and after waiting for him to fetch it, we start walking. Judging by the shade of the daylight, it's almost noon and it's really hot. No one says much when we walk. I'm blaming that on the heat. What if each of them is thinking about a plan to detach themselves from the alliance? This is my prediction for every one of them.
Evan-Since he's known me longer than anyone here, he might tell me that he's leaving.
Caiden- He'd make it obvious that he's leaving. He won't be scared to put it out there. The only person that he'll have a hard time telling it to will be Vinera. Who knows? They might leave together.
Vinera- Same as Caiden. She won't be afraid to say she wants to leave.
Sebastian-He won't say much when he leaves, but when he does he'll try not to hurt anyone's feelings. Though he may be gentle, he won't be shy to defend his reasons for leaving.
Marina- She'll be timid about telling everyone. She won't be able to look any of us in the eye when she does so. If telling us seems too much, she'll probably sneak off or try to be subtle about separating.
Every time we hunt in this area, I always see the tree as some type of halfway point. It's the same tree that the family of Mockingjays was perched on before we killed them. It's coming into view now. I'm in the front leading everyone there as usual, Sebastian is someone to my right about four feet away, Marina is walking right behind him, Evan is a few feet behind him with Caiden to his left and Vinera on his right. All of us are moving at the same pace, except for Evan who starts to fall a couple of feet behind.
"Take a five minute break." I order.
When I decide to sit down right here on the spot that we've come to a halt on, I change my mind.
"Let's sit under that tree."I point to the tree that we passed about ten feet ahead.
They all walk over there without a word and happily sit under the shade that the tree provides. Caiden moves around, looking for the spot that has the most shade. When everyone is settled in their own place, I place my right foot on the tree and use both of my hands to grab onto a branch and pull myself up. I sit down on the branch above the lowest one. Scooting near the trunk, I lean against it. The wind rushes by and the leaves flutter in the wind along with my hair that's too short to tie.
Staying like this for a while, I realize that our five minute break has turned into ten minutes. The others don't seem to mind and in fact, they're getting comfortable. It's been silent the whole time we stay under this tree. I get down from the tree and stand in front everyone. The silence had me thinking that some of them were taking a nap, but now I see that no one is.
"Break's over." I announce.
I start walking and hear the boots of my allies behind me. Sebastian offers to hold the utensil bag and Evan thankfully nods and hands it over. Now Evan's on my right, Sebastian is to my left, Marina behind me, Vinera next to her, and Caiden behind them.
We walk faster this time. I keep my eyes open for any game that will fill our stomachs and find nothing yet. My ears are on alert as well, and I'm glad that everyone is quiet; it helps.
The arrow impales the bird before I even see it. The only time it comes into full view is when in falls in front of me.
I turn to Marina. Everyone looks at her. She smiles shyly. I walk over to the bird and pick it up. It's not a Mockingjay, but its wings have are far more beautiful than one. The wings are brown, white, and red and looks like someone literally painted the bird. Its brown beak is slightly open and so are its eyes.
"Good job." I congratulate Marina.
"Thank you." She smiles humbly.
I attach the bird to my belt and we continue walking. When we finally reach the water hole, everyone starts to take their pack off. Sebastian spills the utensils out of the bag and they fall to the ground. The hole is untouched. The tarp and four rocks we placed over it looks just how we left it.
Vinera and Marina use their flask to collect water and rinse the utensils. They put the utensils that they've already rinsed back into the bag and move onto the next one. The rest of us get our flasks and purifying tablets ready. I find one tablet at the bottom of my pack and lay it on the ground next to my flask.
"You two-" I point to Caiden and Evan. "Follow me hunt while they rinse. Sebastian, you stay here and be on guard. They're paying attention to the utensils, leaving them vulnerable."
Sebastian nods. "If they're done and we're not back, just fill my flask." I pick my flask up and shake it.
The three of us head north after the boys put their packs back on. The farthest we've ever been is the water hole. I take a spear out from the sheath and grip it tightly.
"Nothing?" Vinera asks as we approach them.
I let someone else answer since I'm pissed we came back empty-handed. Sitting on the ground, I pick my flask up and feel that it's full due to the weight.
"Thanks." I say to Sebastian.
"You're welcome." He responds.
"Should we continue hunting?" Vinera turns to me.
She looks confused. "I'll talk about that when we get back to camp." I state. She doesn't ask anymore questions and starts talking to Marina.
We stay here and drink our water, then fill it back up for later. We do this for fifteen minutes when I decide to get up and head back for camp. There's little conversation on the way back and no game. When we get into the cave, Vinera doesn't drop the hunting subject.
"So are we going to hunt tonight?"
"If you want to."
"What do you mean? You're the leader," She replies.
"Not anymore. We need to split up."
I'm the only one who hasn't taken off my pack and weapons. They all look at me after I say this, and all have different expressions written on their faces.
"It's the final eight and you all know what needs to happen now." I cross my arms.
"She's right. We need to split." Evan speaks up.
"What about the utensils? Are you just going to keep that bird?" Vinera questions and motions to the bird attached to my belt with her chin.
Taking it off, I hold up to Marina. "You're the one who killed it. Take it."
She looks at me then the dead animal hanging from my hand. She reaches forward and slowly takes it. Her eyes meet mine once more before she goes to put it in her pack.
"As for the utensils, we should just take what we need."
I pick the bag up and look inside. I only take a bowl and spoon. Carrying more than this will slow me down and now that I'm defending myself, I can't have that happen. I'll probably only use this bowl twice before ditching it and deciding to use my hands to hold cooked game.
After the bag is left on the ground, empty, everyone just stands around, looking at each other.
"Well, I'm leaving. When we see each other after leaving this cave, don't expect a conversation." I say and start walking out.
They stop standing like a statue and start to move. Getting their packs, they glance at each other one last time. Marina looks nervous as she watches everyone take their things while the others have a blank look. I'm already out of the camp, heading towards the other section of the arena.
Moving at a fast pace, I don't want anyone to catch up to me. Once we get out of that cave, we are no longer allies, but we're not going to kill each other once we step out. The killing starts when all the careers separate and whoever finds who will have no choice but to try and eliminate each other.
I reach the ravine that we discovered and put my hands over the rope. Taking a deep breath, I don't look down at the lava and walk along. When I reach the other side, I jog towards the Cornucopia. The capacity between the cave and the Cornucopia is the same, but the cave is wider. I step into the golden horn and look around. The crate of canned goods is still open and untouched. I smile. Neither Mina or Marcus trusted this. I look at rope and follow the long line. It stops at the upper corner. I reach up and take the tied spear.
I find the other tied weapons and untie them. Now the trap is harmless, allowing access to all these treasures. I stuff as many canned goods that can fit in my pack and force all the small spears into the sheath. I take the utility knives and long spears, too and walk out of the Cornucopia. Before I leave, I take the rope and tie it to my pack. Now it hangs next to my spears and the only thing I carry by hand are the two long spears.
Since I wasn't able to fit a few canned goods in my pack, I left it for whoever in the alliance remembered that there are still some supplies in our former camp. They can take it as a parting gift from me. If only I could attach a note saying, Even though we're not allies anymore, it doesn't mean I don't care about you anymore. –Amethine. I'd do that just to mess with whoever gets it. Most of them will be after me since I have most of the weapons and food, and I really don't care. I'm not scared of any of them. I want them to come after me. I haven't killed in a while and I'm getting bored; so is the audience. Maybe I should've given each of them information of my new camp as a parting gift so an epic battle will ensue.
I was a good leader, just like I knew I would be and they're all going to miss having me lead them.
The careers finally split. I realized that I've been forgetting to put what day it is in the arena for some chapters. After going back a few chapters, I found which day is what, and it helped me find out what day of the games this chapter is on. The death list is still the same, and in case you forgot, here it is:
District 3: Electra and Bolton
District 5: Augustina
District 6: Latteine and Nick
District 7: Sequoia and Tanner
District 8: Amber and Derek
District 9: Terraine
District 10: Bonnie and Timothy
District 11: Maggie and Feltrix
District 12: Calvin
The Remaining Tributes:
District 1: Amethine and Evan
District 2: Vinera and Caiden
District 4: Marina and Sebastian
District 5: Marcus
District 12: Mina
Let me know what are your thoughts on this chapter! Thanks for reading (: