Quinna Relling, 15, District 8 Tribute
The black glass that surrounds my tube is suffocating. I can't see anything, but I can hear everything. The sound of water washing up against something, a slight breeze, and the nervous sounds of the other tributes, each one less than a minute away from certain death. It's now that I realise it.
I'm going to die in this arena, but whether or not that's now or later will be decided in due time. Although, I'm better off than some tributes. Me, Flax, Ella, and Kyle have all managed to join an alliance of four, which is pretty high, and will most likely mean that we'll survive longer. The Capitol tends to sponsor large alliances, don't they? Or am I mistaken? No, I can't be. The last time someone won from 8, they were in an alliance of seven, and she survived by planting seeds of doubt into her allies, leading them to kill each other in suspicion. Their noise attracted the Careers, and she used her bow to take them all out from her vantage point in the trees. But I won't do that to my allies. We're all pretty good friends, despite the small amount of time we've known each other.
The metallic voice which had been previously just droning on increases in volume. Only five seconds left until the bloodbath begins, and innocent children begin to die. Panic wells up inside me, and take deep breaths. I've got to remain calm. I can't lose it. Not now. Kyle, Flax, and Ella will be there. I can meet up with them, and we'll survive.
The voice rings out again, this time surprising me. I begin to shake, and I feel tears welling up. What if I die? There's every chance I'm surrounded by two Careers, and what's to stop them from killing me the moment the Games begin?
There's not much time left now. I must remain focused, and meet up with my allies. Even if I'm too scared to do anything, Kyle will know what to do. After all, he's a sharp shooter with a bow, and brilliant with swords. Even if one of us is in danger, he will be able to help us out.
My heart is now pounding in my chest, and I'm beginning to feel faint. This isn't good. If I faint, I'll be as good as dead. And I can't let that happen. Not if I want to come home alive.
I feel dizzy as the countdown ends, and place a hand on the glass tube to steady myself. As I do this, I realise that I can smell salt in the air. Salt? That's odd. But that probably means that the arena is near the ocean. My eyes widen as I think of something. What if the arena is just a massive ocean, with the only land being the platforms? Then, suddenly, the glass I've been leaning on shatters, and I begin to fall as Claudius Templesmith's voice booms throughout the arena.
"Ladies and gentlemen, let the sixty eighth annual Hunger Games begin!"
The light is blinding, but I'm still falling. As my eyes adjust to the daylight, I catch a glimpse of the girl from 5 running past me, before I fall to the floor. The sand is soft, and cushions my fall. Mostly. I've landed on my arm, and a sharp pain is running through it. But it can't be broken; I wouldn't be able to use the knife that I have been training so much with during the three days in the Capitol. If it is broken, then I'm all but dead.
Clenching my teeth, I put all my weight on my injured arm, and stand up. It's not as bad as I thought it would be. Now that I'm able to move, I take in the battlefield in front of me. The tributes are still running off their plates, and two of them have gotten into a fist fight. I also notice how there aren't any supplies on the ground. A sinking feeling grows in my chest. That means that we'll have to get to the mouth of the Cornucopia if we have any hope of survival.
I take a tentative step forward, noticing that none of the tributes are bothering with me. I take this as a good sign, and continue to slowly walk forwards, before a figure shoots past me. It's the girl from District 4, heading for the mouth of the golden horn. Judging from her speed, she'll get there first, and once she gets a weapon, it'll be all over for a few tributes.
She continues to rush forwards, passing the small girl from District 6, and reaches the mouth of the golden horn. Her face lights up as she takes another step forward, her arms outstretched as she prepares to grab one of the several spears carefully placed in the Cornucopia. Then, all hell breaks loose.
Explosion after explosion sounds out as a ring of smoke erupts around the Cornucopia. In reality, this is only taking about a second, but it seems to be happening in slow motion as the explosive ring closes in on the girl from 4. She has just enough time for her facial features to contort into one of sheer horror, and her mouth opens to shout something; probably her district partner's name, as he is also looking just as horrified. But she never gets to shout the name, as the explosions finally reach her.
The girl from 4 disappears from sight as a cloud of smoke covers the entirety of the massive golden horn. However, just as I begin to realise that this probably means that all the supplies have just gone up in smoke, blackened bags and weapons rain down.
I barely avoid a throwing knife as it falls from the sky, landing in the soft sand below, and begin to slowly back away from the supplies that now litter the surrounding area. For a moment, I remain still, until I catch sight of Flax, who is running for one of the knives.
"Flax!" I suddenly cry out, and run towards him. At first he seems startled, until he sees who it is.
"Quinna!" He yells back, picking up the knife, "Any sign of Kyle or Ella?"
"None yet," I say in response, closing the gap between us. "How are you holding up?"
"I'm fine," He replies, his eyes darting around. I look to the Cornucopia, and see the Careers grabbing weapons.
"Well, we don't have long to find them," I say, "The Careers have got some weapons." As soon as I say this, Flax's eyes widen, and his breathing becomes laboured.
"We have to get out of here." He says, and takes my hand, "Come on! We'll stay for one more minute, before heading to the woods!" I nod in response, and we run around the carnage the unfolds.
Flax suddenly stops, and I see the boy from 3 run past us, and right into the boy from 1. His head is sliced off before he even knows what happened. I barely stifle a scream, but Flax remains calm, determined to find Ella and Kyle before the bloodbath casualties rack up. We continue to run along the sand, seeing a few tributes beginning to run into the trees. They're the smart ones, and here we are, looking for our allies. But we need them to survive; they're our friends, and we can't abandon them. I look ahead, and see Ella on the floor, picking up a charred slingshot from the ground, sand in her thick dark hair, and nudge Flax, pointing to her. His face lights up, but whilst he looks at her, I see something.
The boy from District 4 is running right at us, armed with a large trident. I let go of Flax's hand, and let out a horrified scream. I glance at Ella, and see that she's also noticed the horror.
"Flax!" I scream, my voice strangled and raw. This catches his attention, and he turns to face me, confused at what I'm screaming at. And before he's even aware of his fate, the tips of the trident burst from his stomach, blood bursting at me. Flax's eyes glaze over, and he falls to the ground, dead.
My entire body goes numb as I run towards Ella. Flax is dead. I can't believe it. There is no way he should be dead; he was always so calm and collected. Tears are now pouring down my face as I get closer to Ella, and I hear a scream. It's not her, so I don't bother to look at who it was.
"Quinna!" Ella cries out, and runs towards me, burying herself in my chest, shaking. The poor thing must be terrified, witnessing Flax die before her. She's only twelve, and she's already seen too much horror for one so young. As we remain in this embrace, I see the boy from 2 coming closer.
"Ella! Run!" I yell at her, and Ella's eyes widen as she lets go of me, turning to face the boy from 2. He's armed with a sword, and there's blood-lust in his eyes. He swings the sword at Ella, missing her, and in response, she loads her slingshot with a pebble from the beach, launching the projectile at him. It completely misses him, and he simply laughs, before delivering a kick to her stomach. She doubles over in pain, and falls to the floor. I can't do anything but watch in horror as he walks over to her, and lifts his sword
I scream in terror as the sword comes down, striking Ella's tiny skull. Her entire head splits down the middle, and blood flows from the two segments as her skull cracks. I turn away to prevent myself from seeing the full extent of the horror, and feel my stomach churn. Half of our alliance is already dead, which only leaves me and Kyle. I have to find him.
With speed I wasn't aware I possessed, I dart past the increasing pile of corpses, looking for my only remaining ally. But there's no sign of him. More tears flow down my cheeks as I begin to tremble. I don't want to be here. I want to go home.
As I feel myself on the verge of completely breaking down, I spot something. It's Kyle, running towards me, with a sword and bag. He found me! And he has supplies and weapons! We'll survive; I won't die here.
"Kyle!" I exclaim, more joy than I ever imagined possible, and run towards him, "Kyle! You're alive!" He remains silent, and continues to run towards me, expressionless. It's probably due to all the horrors he's seen in the past five minutes. But that doesn't matter; we've met up, and we'll survive. Kyle's stronger than Flax and Ella, and will be able to fight off the Careers. A smile bursts onto my face at the sudden hope, and tears of joy explode from my eyes.
That feeling is quickly removed by a feeling of intense agony in my chest.
I can't do anything but look in horror as Kyle drives his sword into my chest, a sadistic grin on his face. What just happened? Has he really just stabbed me? No, this can't be Kyle! He wouldn't do this!
"What's the matter?" He says with a smirk, "Thought you'd be safe?" My eyes grow wide. This is definitely Kyle. "Well, perhaps you should've paid attention in training. I got in with the Careers on the first day, Quinna." A whimper escapes my lips as the pain grows in intensity, but it's nothing compared to what I'm feeling mentally. Betrayal doesn't even come close. "That whole alliance? That was just a ruse to lead you guys to your doom, should you survive the bloodbath." I'm vaguely aware of fresh tears flowing down my face, but I feel myself go weak. "See you in hell." Kyle delivers one final push, before the pain explodes in my chest, and I feel blood flying from my mouth.
I'm aware of Kyle taking out the sword, and I then fall to the ground, feeling nothing as everything becomes a blur. I was betrayed; deceived, all by the one I thought I could trust. I can still vaguely hear Kyle's laughter as he stands over me, and it is the accompanying soundtrack to everything fading away, and my soul leaving this world.