A/N: Thanks to richards25, I-am-Cashmere-of-district-one and byrnebella for reviewing!
This chapter features an arena suggested in a guest review (beauthg), although I have changed the victor.
I hope you all enjoy the chapter :)
"I hear voices
They tell me to stop."
- Tom Meighan, 2011.
The 56th Annual Hunger Games
Harvey Collings (16), District 8 Male
Kasabian - I Hear Voices (2011)
I wake to the same terrifying monotony that I have risen to for the last week of my life.
Every day I have woken believing that day to be my last, and today is no exception.
The last week has been a whirlwind of emotions. Everything from excitement and hope to grief and despair has run through my brain in the last week.
And now? I'm just frightened.
The story started badly enough at the reaping two weeks ago today. It was a bad beginning simply because I was reaped to compete in the 56th Annual Hunger Games. In fifty-six years of our district offering up tributes to these sadistic Games, only one tribute has made it back. And it's been forty years since Woof entered the Games.
One out of a hundred and ten of District 8's young men and women have made it home. That's as bad as any other district. Less than one percent. That's definitely not a statistic that fills me with confidence.
I'm coming to my senses in the darkness as I remember where I am. Or, more to the point, roughly where I am. I don't even know anymore.
Buildup to the Games started harmlessly enough. I was never perceived as an outstanding tribute, but I did well enough to score an eight in training, and pulled off a decent interview. Enough to win over a few of the Capitol's people, at least. But whatever the sponsors had been impressed by clearly wasn't enough to give me lasting support, as I have haven't relieved anything in days. Not since I became lost in these tunnels.
Even early on in the Games, everything was fine for me. The arena was an open, sandy desert, which looked hostile at best. The cornucopia sat atop a large sandstone pyramid fifty feet above us, and the race to the top of the pyramid determined who gained the best supplies. I did rather well for myself, as despite being relatively small, I'm quite nimble and was the first to reach the top of the pyramid. There, I gained a large backpack full of food, water and medical equipment, as well as a small knife and a reflex bow and arrows.
I ran out into the desert, where conditions weren't as bad as I had first imagined. On the first night, I slept safely in an arena that then only held fifteen tributes. Two Careers were gone, too; well, one member of the Alliance (the girl from Two), and the boy from District 4 who, for whatever reason, had decided to go it alone.
It was only day two when the Gamemakers intervened for the first time. It was just after noon when the sandstorm suddenly came upon us, forcing us back towards the pyramid at the cornucopia. I arrived at the pyramid completely worn-out and wondering what the Gamemakers wanted of me, but gaps had opened up in the side of the pyramid, allowing me to enter inside it.
That was possibly the worst mistake I have ever made.
The insides of the pyramid were a maze of narrow, damp tunnels that seemed to go on forever in almost pitch-black conditions. Sometimes there were stairs or slopes, which mainly led me deeper below the pyramid. Occasionally the tunnels open out into brighter, open spaces usually filled with some sort of prize; food, weapons and the like. I always keep to the shadows, as I'm almost certain that the prizes will be trapped. Despite losing my bow and arrows when escaping the sandstorm, I still have my knife and my backpack. There is no reason why I should risk anything going for supplies.
Not yet, anyway. I have enough food to last me another four or five days. in three days' time, I might start getting desperate.
There are other problems, too. I think there are traps other than the ones that I suspect exist around the supplies. On multiple occasions I've heard noises in the tunnels. Low rumblings, a scuffle of feet, a scream and a cannon; someone or something is in here with us, preying on us. A couple of times I've felt as if the walls have been closing in on me, but as of yet, nothing has actually happened to me.
In some ways, that's the worst thing; nothing has happened to me. The Gamemakers haven't picked on me yet. It's only a matter of time before they do. It's torturing, mentally. The fear is probably worse than the pain.
It's not all been bad, though. It's cold, dark, and I'll admit it's a little scary, but other than that, so far I'm still in decent shape. I'm strong, well-supplied and well-armed. Plus, I'm almost certain that the Careers have split up. Although little has happened to me since entering the pyramid, the pool of victors has been whittled down to just six. The only two Careers alive are the boys from Districts 1 and 2, and I doubt they'll be together as I remember them arguing during training a week and a half ago.
As the day drags on (I believe it's day, as I can't actually see daylight anymore), I walk ever deeper into the maze of tunnels. I've given up on getting out. I just hope that the other five can finish each other off before anything happens to me.
It's almost the end of the day when I stumble across another opening, this one being about ten metres across. The cold stone walls are lit by two wooden torches attached the walls, giving the room a sinister feel.
I'm about to move on past when I notice him.
It's another tribute, silhouetted by the light of the torches, bending down to gather the supplies, seemingly unharmed by what I had assumed would be a trap.
I can't tell who it is until he turns round and his face catches the light.
It's the small boy from District 6; certainly no threat to me. I don't even think he's armed.
But this is the Hunger Games, and I know what I have to do.
The voices inside my head are screaming for me to stop as I draw the knife from my belt and advance on the small, terrified, helpless little boy.
In a week and a half, the 56th Hunger Games were over. When Harvey Collings of District 8 killed the boy from District 6 to cut the pool of tributes down to five, the Games were two days from the finale.
The boy from District 6 had been very lucky prior to his death; as Harvey had suspected, nearly all the piles of supplies in the arena were booby-trapped.
Harvey didn't have to kill again.
The next death was the boy from District 2 who was hunted down by his fellow Career from District 1.
The other two tributes, both of District 7, had allied when they met in the tunnel a few days before, and ended up meet their ends due to one of the booby-trapped piles of supplies scattered through the tunnels.
The final two, Harvey and the boy from District 2, met by chance, but the Gamemakers didn't want it to end that way.
No sooner had the two boys met did the Gamemakers start bring the roof of the tunnel down, forcing the boys upwards and towards the exit of the pyramid. Only one tribute managed to escape the tunnels; the faster runner, Harvey Collings of District 8, the victor of the 56th Annual Hunger Games.
A/N: If you enjoyed this chapter, please review! Constructive criticism is welcomed :)