I think I sleep for a full night… but, for all I know, it could've only been an hour. I have a feeling I'm going to end up losing track of time. Or I already have.
I sit up in the crib and almost hit my head on the tin airplane. It makes a high-pitched squeaking noise, so I quickly reach up and stop it.
Then, I hear beeping. It's a loud and highpitched noise, and I think it just might be a bomb or something.
I dart under the covers, like that will protect me when I blow up.
Then I hear the creaking of someone else jumping out of a crib.
"Dang," she says, and I hear her footsteps coming closer. "I'm not going to hurt you, 2."
I sit up, "Thank God. What's the noise?"
She giggles, "It's a sponsor parachute, ya big dummy!"
I sure hope she's joking. I slowly reach for my mace but she whirls back around and I drop it.
"Be careful, 2. I may look harmless, but I am NOT fish bait."
I hop out of the crib and we look at the parachute together.
"You're lucky," she says, "Someone out there believes in you enough to give you something."
I take the silver canister and look inside. Food.
A smile spreads across my face as I hungrily take it out.
"I was so hungry!"
I look over at the girl, who's slowly walking away.
I decide that I owe her one, just for telling me what the parachute was. I hold out a piece of jerky to her.
As if she was expecting it, she whirls around and skips back to me, plucking the meat out of my hand with a smile, taking the lantern she got and skipping out the exit on the other side of the room.
I'm really glad she's gone, and I can have this room all to myself. I hop back into a crib and close my eyes.
I'm awakened by a scream. I scream, whipping the knife I had claimed out from my pocket and studying my target.
She's not one of the tributes… Or at least not one that I recognized. In fact, this girl looked much too young to be a tribute.
Her bright red eyes practically glow as they stare into my soul angrily. The girl herself, though, looks calm.
"WHO ARE YOU!?" she screams in my face.
"E…. Elijah Crowley, District 2… Who are you?"
"What are you doing in my house?" she asks.
Now it clicks. The dark hair, crazy outfit, unnaturally red eyes… This girl is from the Capitol.
Something looks familiar about her, though.
"This… This is your house?"
"It IS. And YOU'RE in it. Why?"
"B…Because… It's an Arena."
"We all have to fight to the death here…"
But this girl seems clueless.
She walks away from me and steps up on the crib beside mine. "What do you mean, we all?"
"I mean, me and 23 other kids-" I suddenly remember that a good number of them are dead by now.
"Well, that sounds like fun. I'll have to be there to watch."
I don't trust her. I already know this girl is nothing but trouble. I take out my knife, to kill her before it's even over.
When I look back up, her eyes flicker from that scary red back to a soft maroon color.
And I finally figure out where I recognize her from. "You're Ashley Duermin!"
Her head snaps back around to look at me, "How do you know my name?"
I recognize her. She always went around the District with the little kids from the orphanage.
Yes, I remember it quite distinctly: Ashley is an orphan.
I remember back to the attack on District 2, when I saw the group of orphans in chains. She was probably there. And now she's here, claiming that this is her house or something.
I frown, thinking about everything they must've done to her.
She glares, obviously thinking about it. "N…No! NO! I've lived HERE all my life!" she screams at me, "HERE!"
I gulp, her red eyes practically flaming with rage.
She takes a hideous stuffed animal from the crib, proceeds to smack me in the face with it, then stomps out, "I'VE NEVER STEPPED FOOT IN YOUR UGLY DISTRICTS!"
I bury my face in the covers again. It seems I've made yet another enemy in this place.
I put a finger in my mouth, figuring that if I did poison myself, I should at least try to suck the poison out of my system.
I spit it into the bushes beside me, and a hissing comes from the plants.
It almost sounds like they like it.
Suddenly, I see a glint falling from the sky above.
Could it be?! It couldn't… I'm too little…
NO! IT IS!
I hop up and squeal with excitement at the sight of a sponsor parachute.
It's a blanket. And it's for me!
Words cannot describe this feeling. It means I've been doing something right.
I carry out the heavy blanket and sigh. It's actually pretty heavy, and very fluffy.
I quickly wrap it around myself and grin.
Then, I hear howling in the distance.
Howling and screaming, that is.
It's one of the boys. And the noise seems to be getting closer.
Suddenly, I see a little girl.
She's not very big, she has dark hair and glowing eyes. She scares the crap out of me.
"Another one! And I'm guessing you're going to be feeding my plants?" she then laughs like it's a joke, but I'm not so sure.
"I'm Ashley. I live here. And who are you?"
"Rosalind Bichler. District 3."
She makes a face, "Ew. Isn't 3, like, really poor?"
I nod, "I guess…"
Her eyes flicker for just a second.
"Do you want to go inside?" she asks.
"You sure?" she holds up a key, "This key can unlock every room in the house. It's yours, but you have to find something for me first."
I shake my head, hugging my blanket to my chest and shivering.
"I want a weapon. After all, that kid from 2 was ready to kill me."
"Kid from 2? Who, Elijah?" Because now I know Paulina is dead.
Her face contorts to an evil scowl, "Yes."
"So, you want a weapon?"
She shrugs, "It has to be nice."
I shake my head, "No way. Sorry."
She shrugs, "You better watch yourself in this garden."
I hear the snapping of an angry plant, and with one stomp Ashley shushes it.
Then, the howls of the mutts suddenly get very much louder, and even Ashley jumps.
The 8 boy is running away from huge dogs… Muttations! I get up and try to scramble away when Ashley raises her arms and yells, "STOP!"
And the mutts run, whimpering, back into the woods.
Spinniwebber (I don't know his first name) collapses on his knees, and, though I don't see the color that he is, the fresh blood on his exposed skin shines in the moonlight.
I hear a hideous hacking noise come from him, and crawl over.
Ashley makes a scoff in disgust. "Stupid teens…"
She turns back to me and smirks, "Good luck, 3."
And she's gone just as suddenly as she appeared.
And I'm left with a dying tribute in my arms.
Sweat glistens off his face as he looks up at me with dying eyes.
"R….R….Rosalind…" he says, reaching up a shaky hand and touching my cheek lightly, "Is…Is that you…?"
I nod, tears streaming to my eyes.
"I'm… I'm glad it's you…" he chokes out weakly.
"I can keep you alive…" I say quietly, voice an octave lower than usual, "We can."
"You need a miracle," he says, trying to sit up and collapsing back down again.
"I can get one," I say, "I can." I run my fingers through his hair.
"Why do you care? " he asks, "We haven't even said one word to each other… Ever… Until now, I mean…."
"Well, you're a person… I'm a person… If it were me, well, I'd hope for a gentle hand to die in, too…"
He weakly nods.
I realize what I've said, "No, no… No… I didn't mean… I didn't mean you'd…"
He reaches up and puts a finger on my lips. "if it is meant to happen, it will. Thank you for being here."
I hold him in my arms. I think he falls asleep there.
A tear tickles my cheek as it rolls down and drips at my feet. Then I close my eyes andtry to get some sleep, too.
My alliance and I have claimed the kitchen, dining room, master bedroom and bathroom for ourselves.
We wander around the house in the day, looking for other tributes. Then we cook food from the kitchen and have a feast at the dining room. Then we all sleep for the night.
Since I'm the girl and Platty and Drake don't want to sleep together, I get to the sleep on the bed every night.
They make a rotation, Platinum then Drake in bed with me. The other one sits on the floor and take watch.
It's really nice. But, we haven't found anyone else yet. These guys are all good at hide and seek, but we'll find them.
"I'll cook tonight!" I offer, dancing into the kitchen.
"Good, you're right where you belong," Platty mutters.
He's getting a lot better at the whole joking concept. Drake glares at both of us, but doesn't take any action to prevent it.
The two boys buzz around, watching me cook.
I turn on the oven and look in the fridge for something to cook.
Then I hear a voice, "HEY!"
We all look around to see a little girl with dark hair and freaky red eyes.
"YOU'RE IN MY KITCHEN!"
"Who are you?" Drake asks, grabbing a sword.
"My name is Ashley and I frickin' LIVE HERE. AND YOU'RE IN MY KITCHEN!"
"So we are," I say, taking a carton of eggs from the fridge.
"GET THE HELL OUT OF MY KITCHEN!" she shouts at us.
"What are you going to do, kid?" Drake asks, putting a hand on top of her head.
Her eyes light up like lamps. She starts to growl, teeth gritting. Then she starts to grow. Not grow grow, but her muscles grow and she starts to get slightly taller.
"What the hell is happening!?" I shout in horror.
"Let's get out of here!" Platty says.
"Yeah, right," Drake laughs, still not convinced.
Platty and I run off, leaving Drake behind. His heavy footsteps soon catch up with ours.
We slip into the bathroom and shut the door.
Ashley tears the door open and makes the most hideous screeching noise at the sight of the bathroom. She looks to be closer to her normal size already, and her eyes flicker just as she takes off, shouting, "IF I FIND YOU IN MY KITCHEN AGAIN, YOU WILL DIE!"
We all exchange glances. Drake's sea-green eyes flicker with confusion, Platty's blue-gray ones reflecting fear.
"What the hell just happened?" I ask between pants.
"No idea," Platty says, "But this is our hiding place, for now…"
We creep out of the bathroom, to the dining room.
"Guess we'll just have yesterday's scraps," Platty mutters. Drake and I agree.
We eat the leftover sandwiches from yesterday at the dining room table.
Nobody really says a word.
"Time to go to bed?" Platty asks after an eternity of just staring down the dining room table.
"Time to go to bed," I agree, suddenly feeling tired.
The dim light of the master bedroom is a comforting sight to me. The big queen bed is dusty but gets better with each coming night.
"Who gets first watch tonight?" I ask.
Drake sighs, "Me. By default," he growls.
"Good," I say with a yawn, climbing into my side of the bed.
Platinum curls up beside me, so we're back to back. I feel his lower back press against mine and suddenly feel too lazy to shift around.
I close my eyes and soon find myself drifting to sleep.
My flashlight flickers.
Then it shuts off completely.
Then it flickers back on weakly.
Then it flickers again.
Then it shuts off again.
I smack it with my palm and it flickers on again.
Then, my flashlight dies. For real. I sigh dejectedly.
I sigh, Throwing the flashlight at the wall. It makes a huge noise that seems to echo.
I jump, and lose my breath. I sit in the attic and pant.
Suddenly, every noise echoes.
Every little thing I see morphs into a demon monster out to kill me.
I have to get out of here.
If I don't get out of here I'm afraid I'm going to go insane: or worse.
I crawl around, hacking, and search for a door.
When I fail to find one, I collapse in a ball on the floor and whimper softly.
I close my eyes with the false hope that I can actually get some sleep.
The floor creaks. My head snaps up and I look around.
I reach around on the floor, feeling for my backpack.
But I can't even find that; it's way too dark to even see the hand in front of my face.
Or, at least, I think it's in front of my face. I can never really be sure.
I swallow hard, praying that something amazing will happen that I can get out of here without dying.
Hands seem to tighten around my neck. They squeeze harder and harder until I feel like I have trouble breathing.
I make a strained choking noise.
Then I realize that I'm just daydreaming. I can still breathe just fine.
Well, just fine actually isn't true, either.
It's dusty as hell up here, and it's so musty I can't even take a breath without hacking.
Soon, the constant wheezing and coughing combined with the sweat (what little I have left) dripping down my quivering figure make my body so exhausted I can't help but fall asleep.
Is it logical to have an ally? Of course not.
But I can't let Henry die. I can't let anyone die.
I have to do my best to keep everyone here alive: including myself.
I don't have a lot to go home to, but, if I end up back at District 3, I want to feel like I tried.
These idiotic Games are awful.
Not only do they kill innocent kids, but they're turning District on District.
If I kill Henry, will District 6 greet me with laurel wreaths and celebration? I would sure hope not.
Henry seems like a great kid. I have no doubt he has a whole lot of friends back where he came from.
So, anyways, if Henry ends up dead, District 6 will hate me forever.
What if Rosalind dies and I live? What will they think of the kid who killed his own District partner?
I didn't see her around that much. Only sometimes on my way to work in the morning, or from school in the afternoon. But I do know that she has a family. And that family loves that little girl. How would they even be able to look at me if she ends up dead?
These Games are such a problem.
They're a problem for not just me but all of the others.
I sit on the bottom bunk of the bed and feel just a tad claustrophobic.
Henry shifts on the top bunk and the bed creaks ever-so-softly.
I look up, heaving a sigh and running my fingers across the rough bunk. I'm already connected to not one but two tributes, but they'll both have to die if I want to escape with my life.
The door creaks open and I see the silhouette of a little girl standing there in the doorway.
Two dark pigtails swirl around and curl at her feet, and her red eyes glow in the dull light of the hallway.
"Please tell me there's nobody in here."
Henry sits up, the bed creaking.
"Sorry," he says, hopping down and neglecting to use the ladder.
She jumps, then mutters, "Damn."
"Aren't you a little young for that language?" I ask, crawling out of the bed.
"There are TWO of you?"
"Just two," Henry says simply.
"And who are you?"
"I'm Henry, District 6."
"I'm Kepler, District 3."
"Met your girl," Ashley says, then turns to Henry, "Where's yours?"
Henry shifts on his feet, still uncomfortable with the fact, "She's dead."
The little girl's eyes shine with evil, looking almost hungry.
"Nice," she says between giggles.
"Well who are you?"
"I'm Ashley. I live here."
"And, I have something that might be valuable to you," she says, holding a key in her hands.
"Opens any door in this house. But, I need something in return."
"A weapon. The kids here are INSANE. They all want to kill me! So, I want something to defend myself."
"Easy enough," I say, rummaging through my pile of stuff.
"No no no. Not just any weapon will do. I want a golden weapon."
She smiles sweetly and nods, "Of course! Give me that, and this-" she displays the key and twirls it around in her fingers- "Is yours."
We exchange a glance and shake our heads, "No way."
She shrugs and scoffs, "Fine. But keep in mind that if you don't have this key, well, any one of those other kids could. And you'll never be safe from them once they get it."
We exchange another fearful glance.
She stands on her tiptoes, still smiling sweetly, "Think about that. Bye, boys!" and she skips out of the room, leaving us scared for our lives.
ALSO, I decided to be helpful and make a list of the tributes and everything they need the most so you can decide what you want to give:
CHAMPAGNE, PLATINUM, DRAKE:
HAVE: Food, weapons, supplies, shelter
NEED: Lanterns/batteries, dusting materials
HAS: Weapons, shelter, supplies
NEEDS: Lanterns/flashlights, dusting materials, weapon of choice
DESPERATELY NEEDS: Food and water
NEED: Weapons, supplies, lanterns
DESPERATELY NEED: Food and water
NEEDS: Any other blankets, lanterns/flashlights,
DESPERATELY NEEDS: Food, water, bandages
HAS: Shelter, lanterns, limited food/water
NEEDS: Batteries, weapons, supplies
HAS: Shelter, blankets, weapons, limited supplies
NEEDS: Food, water, weapon of choice
WEAVER (AKA SPINNIWEBBER):
HAS: Uhm… His life? Barely?
NEEDS: Food, water, blankets, lanterns, batteries
DESPERATELY NEEDS: First-Aid Kit, Medicine
HAS: Currently, nothing she can find.
NEEDS: Food, water, blankets, dusting supplies, weapons
DESPERATELY NEEDS: Batteries, Lanterns/Flashlights
NEEDS: Food and water, blankets, lights, weapons
HAS: Limited food and water, supplies, weapon
NEEDS: Weapon of choice, lanterns/lights
HAS: Limited food and supplies
NEEDS: Water, weapons, lanterns/lights
HAS: Shelter, clothes, scraps from the Careers
NEEDS: Water, weapons
I PROMISE NEXT CHAPTER WILL INCLUDE OTHER POINTS OF VIEW!
QUESTION: (if you've even read through this A/N)
Who do you think should die next? (Excluding the Careers, because I need to sustain them)