Chapter Sixteen

Day 1 (cont.)

By the time the sun was high over our heads, my leg couldn't take it. I knelt down and gave a moan.

"Let me see," Audry said. She had me spread my leg out. She inspected it and then punched the underside of my thigh. I game out a cry. Ethan and Jackie shushed.

"There was a slight bruise," Audry said "I should have looked at it earlier because its worse than a slight bruise now. Maybe if we can find a cave-"

"Or some trees," Bonnie said. I had nearly forgotten her because she was so quiet and clutching onto Ethan. She pointed at some pines up ahead.

Jackie picked me up to avoid any worse injury to my leg. We ran to the trees and Audry pointed out the curve differences in the grass. The plain we were on had light green colored grass. Just as we entered the forest of pines, there was a perfect curve of dark green grass to match the pines.

We weren't a lot deeper into the pines when Wade said this might be enough covering. We were surrounded by brush as well.

"Put Alanna down," Audry said to Jackie. Gently, Jackie put me down in the grass.

"We need to look through the packs for a first aid kit," Audry said. At that moment everyone tore into the packs they had. I went into mine but found no first aid kit. Just several knives, crushed crackers, a packet of 20 matches, cold bread, and two empty containers for water.

"Here Wade," I said and gave him the knives.

"Oh, thanks," he said. He stuffed the knives into his belt, which was already occupied with four knives, and gave me the bow and quiver of arrows in return. I counted the arrows. 24. It game me the idea of how I could shoot every tribute in the arena, even myself, just once and kill them all. I shuddered at the thought.

Ethan held out a first aid kit, which was hard to recognize as one. It was black and had a dark red symbol on it, declaring I'm a first aid kit!

"Is this one?" he asked.

"Yes," Audry said, with a confused look on her face. She opened it up and gasped.

I peeked inside. "Is that everything you can find in a hospital?" I joked.

"Nearly, oh, this is high-quality stuff and if I'm right…" she took out something that looked like a rag stuffed with cardboard. Two black velcro straps hung off it. She rubbed it between her hands and felt it with her head. Then she wrapped it around my thigh and I felt instant coolness. I let out a sigh.

"With this stuff alone we can live through pretty any injury except losing our limbs and out necks getting slit," Audry declared while locking up and first aid kit and stuffing it in her bag.

Bonnie, Hugo, and Jackie gave an eww.

"I guess this won't help at all then," Wade said and pulled out the white, normal, tiny first aid kit.

"Hold onto it, just in case," Jackie said. Wade slipped the white first aid kit into his pack.

"Alanna, see if you can move around," Audry said.

Ethan helped me to my feet. My leg still did hurt a bit, but I was able to walk around on it. Then we began to check through our packs, trading whatever weapons the other could or couldn't use, and dividing the food if we ever got separated. Because Bonnie didn't have anything to carry with, Ethan and Bonnie counted as one.

"We should get moving," Wade said and looked at the sky. Hardly through the tall trees I saw the sun slipping away and the sky turning into dusk.

"I'd say its nearly 6 or 7," I said "We did trudge through those plains for a while." I recalled the pain I had felt in my leg, getting worse every step I had taken.

"Maybe we should scale a tree," Ethan said "Only I can't."

"Me neither," Audry said.

"Okay, lets see," Wade said, standing up like a general "Who can't climb a tree, or anything in this matter?"

Ethan, Audry, and Jackie couldn't. Me, Bonnie, Ethan, and Wade can.

"I saw you climbing the rock wall," I said and pointed at Ethan.

He shook his head. "The tree is too slick and the branches are too thin. If we can find a mountain-"

"Never mind," Wade said, "So the four of us should try to help you get up a tree or we'll go up and you on the ground," Wade said.

"I like to sleep on the ground," Hugo said.

"Then if someone likes to go night hunting, the four of us will more likely go," Audry pointed out.

"I think we can defend ourselves," Ethan said.

"Or be bait," Hugo said and looked at Audry.

"What do you mean?" Audry said, her voice getting small and squeaky.

"You can't even handle a mere knife nor are you strong," he said "So someone is more likely to take you as a free kill."

"You are so mean!" Audry squealed.

"Hugo is right," Jackie said "Someone nearby will think Audry is just some unlucky sleeping victim of him or her then we just come out of hiding and-"

"Cannon shot for them, not my sweet little youngling," Hugo said and nuzzled Audry. She only moved out the way.

"So then we should all be hiding except put Audry in the open," I said "But, what if it goes wrong?"

"We're in the Hunger Games and everything is wrong, Alanna," Wade said "And someone has to die sooner or later or the Gamemakers will send out something that could wipe us out."

"Good point," I said "But it isn't really fair to Audry."

"Someone is on my side," Audry cheered.

Unaware of the slipping darkness, the anthem played. We looked in the sky and saw the five bloodbath victims. The boy from Three, Johnny and his district partner from Nine, and both from Ten. Then the sky went dark.

"Okay, to refresh our plan," Wade said "Everyone hides except Audry, who sleeps in the open. Someone will find her, then we strike."

"I still don't like this plan," Audry whimpered "What if something goes wrong?"

"Nothing will," Ethan said "Just be able to wake us up by… screaming, like that. The person will think you're screaming in fright."

"I might be. But what if this person just goes for it while I'm sleeping?"

I suddenly felt really afraid for Audry. What if we wake to her cannon shot instead of this person who might show up? "What if I'm the bait?" I asked.

"No!" Wade and Ethan yelled. I looked at them.

"I am a more valuable person to kill than anyone else. Even Jackie, being from a Career District, isn't as worthy to take care of as I am."

"I can't believe you're even saying that," Jackie gasped.

"But people know you can fight, not like Audry," Hugo said. Audry slapped him.

"Can I, really?" I asked. I didn't feel like I could even hurt someone now.

"Both of you, bait," Bonnie said quietly. She sounded nervous.

"No," Wade said. He gripped my hand and helped me to a tree-climbing position. "Everyone, go as planned."

I sighed. As I scaled the pine, I saw Wade climbing up, Bonnie behind him. I looked down and saw Hugo unravel a small sleeping bag for Audry that was white. It stood out like a shinny piece of metal in the rust. I guess that would help. I felt sorry for her. What if Audry did end up dying? But I guess it is the way of the Hunger Games. People die. Period.

Ethan from below pulled out two sleeping bags from his bag, then hid his pack in the shrubs. He kept one for himself and motioned for Hugo to share it with him. Then he threw up the other into the pine me, Wade, and Bonnie were in. It was a dark green colored sleeping bag that was huge. The three of us could fit in it, even if Bonnie wasn't as small as she was.

Wade and Bonnie positioned it in the deeper part of the tree, but I kept looking down at Audry. The white sleeping bag was now a light gray and getting darker as the night fell deep. Audry warily pulled herself into the bag and looked around. She was alone, so I guess the rest of my alliance was hiding. I wish I could trade places with her. If Audry won, she'd probably have enough money to get more medical equipment and heal a lot of people back in District Seven.

But what if I won? Anything medical I could think of was to get my dad a prosthetic arm.

Wade told me that the sleeping bag was ready. Bonnie was already in it. Me and Wade joined her. Bonnie clutched my hand tightly. Wade's body leaned on me. Soon he feel asleep and Bonnie's grip lightened to nothing. I heard no other noises. Everyone was sleeping but me.

No, I was wrong. I heard Audry jerking from a noise. It was the soft steps of a rabbit I recognize so easily from those days in the Woods. Audry didn't know that. Though the pines blocked most of my view, I saw Audry jerking her head around and looking back and forth. Then she relaxed and laid down. It was hard to tell if she fell asleep or not.

I relaxed too. I looked up at the glowing slither of a moon and wondered who would live to see it again. But it passed quickly. Wade was next to me and I had a whole alliance below me. I was part of the Survivors, and the plan was that one of us would win.

I nearly fell asleep, then I remembered something.

"So far so good, Amy," I said "I'm just worried."

Day 2

I jolted awake to a scream. Wade and Bonnie had heard it. I looked down and saw Audry being towered over a girl with a red knife.

"Audry!" I cried.

Suddenly the girl was tackled. Jackie got her. The two of them wrestled on the ground. Ethan and Hugo joined them, and the three of them took the intruder down. I watched as Ethan jabbed her with his spear, Jackie using her axe, and Hugo punching her. Eventually a cannon fired.

Audry cried out and Hugo hugged her, but Audry reacted with pain. Hugo moved back and saw the bloodstains on Audry's right arm.

"She stabbed me," Audry cried.

"Its okay, the plan worked," Hugo said "We'll patch you up."

Jackie picked up the girl's maimed body and walked away with it in her arms. Ethan took out the giant hospital-in-a-box and opened it, but he had a confused look on his face. He had no idea what to use. Audry slowly looked over in it and took out a few thinks with her left arm.

Wade, Bonnie, and I slipped out the sleeping bag. I'm sure they saw what I just saw. We rolled it up slowly, still in a state of shock, and slowly slid down the tree.

Audry was putting some cream into the slabs her arm when she looked up. He face was red and covered in tears.

"I'm really sorry," I said.

"That girl wanted to torture me to death," Audry mumbled.

Jackie came back empty handed. No sooner did I see a hovercraft appear over the trees and snatch up the girl's body and vanish.

Audry picked up a bottle and poured all of its contents on her creamed arm. Then she asked for help wrapping it up.

"I will," Bonnie said before anyone else did. She knelt down and began to gently wrap the light brown bandages around Audry's arm. It was lighter than her skin.

"Who do you think that was?" Ethan asked.

"Who?" Hugo asked, who was keeping an eye on Audry.

"That girl."

"Maybe from Three," Wade answered.

"The girl from Three has black hair," Ethan answered.

"No, dark brown."

"Oh."

"And this girl was bigger than the Three girl," Jackie said. She reached into her pack and began eating some of the dried fruit. It made me realize how hungry I was. I guess it was hidden by my dimming anger. How could they?!

I reached into my pack and pulled out some of the dried fruit I had been given- Jackie had had an abundance- and ate two of the apples. It was crusty and still had a bit a juice. Everyone else was suddenly hungry and ate as well. It felt weird and wrong. Someone had just died in our hands and Audry was injured, but we were eating?

I stood up. I didn't want to be here anymore. "We should get going," I said. Then I felt a pasty feeling in my mouth. I was thirsty and no one had water. The small amount of juice from the apples were tart and sour-like. It didn't help.

"Thirsty," Bonnie said.

We took the message. No water. We could dehydrate to death. We stood up and packed up and trudged along. We had to find water. The ring of water we had found by the Cornucopia was too dangerous, the Careers could still be there. Hopefully it wasn't the only source of water in the arena. I hoped not.

Through the pines, we looked for water, a pond or a lake or a stream. Audry was slow going and complaining because of the pain in her arm wasn't going away as soon as she expected. We told her to be quiet. She finally did shut up, but every once in a while she would give a moan.

By the time the sun was over our heads, we heard rushing water. We quickly ran in the direction with our empty water bottles drawn.

I thought it was a thin stream until I noticed the curving of the water.

"A second water ring," I said.

Hugo waded into the ring. The water reached his hips. He dipped his water bottle in like the rest of us and then drank the whole thing. "The water isn't deep nor cold," Hugo called out. Then he suddenly laughed.

I looked down and saw bluish-silver fish swimming around his legs or rubbing against them. I realized Hugo's long pants were off and probably stuffed in his pack. His jacket was tied around his waist.

Wade waded in took off his pants and jacket. The water made him sigh with relief. Suddenly, the two boys yelped and splashed out the water to our side. Then they looked at their bare legs, which was covered with tiny red marks.

"The fish bite," Wade said while beginning to put his pants on. Audry wanted to look at the fish bites.

"So Doctor Audry, are they venomous?" Hugo asked.

"One, don't call me that," Audry hissed "And two, the bites didn't break the skin. I guess the fish just like to bite."

"Oh yes, I remember those things," Jackie said and glared at the water "In District Four we call them The Biters. They're little fish that like to munch on human flesh. It hurts, but their teeth are so small and flat it doesn't peirce the skin. Even if they ever broke the skin, it probably wouldn't even bleed. The biters just bite and doesn't spread anything deadly."

"Good then," Ethan said "Now we know to cross this ring with our pants on."

Once we had anything that could hold water full, we crossed the river. The water was only up to my thighs. I could feel the fish rubbing against my pants leg, trying to get the flesh inside, but I giggled at how ticklish it was.

Once we had crossed over. I took in the how the terrain were different this time. It was like a jungle mixed with an average forest and vines on only the tallest trees. The solid ground and bright green grass was there to match the trees. I smelled a sweet scent of nectar and wondered if we'd find hummingbirds, maybe even mockingjays or robins.

But it was eerily silent. It was like they all evacuated.

"I'd expect to find life, but there's none," Wade said.

"The sky," Bonnie said. We looked into the sky. It was all gray and the sun had a hard time forcing through. Then we heard thunder.

"Is this how you return the favor?" Jackie yelled at the sky, possibly the Gamemakers "Make it storm on us?"

Suddenly, I realized how cold it was. At first I thought it was the water but now I knew the temperature was dropping.

"I think its going to rain," I said.

"Or some precipitation," Audry said.

"We better find some shelter," Jackie suggested.

"A tad bit obvious," Hugo replied.

There was a flash of bright lightning that flew across the sky. The rain came running down, along with hail balls the size of Jackie's fist. A few of us shrieked, aka all the girls and me, and we ran for cover. We found giant low-hanging jungle leaves by the ground and we ducked under them. Bonnie scaled the tree and came down with more jungle leaves. We put them over our heads for extra protection.

We watched the sky darken and the hail cover the ground like snow in time. We could move around if we wanted to, but we didn't risk it. The anthem played and the girl from Eight in the sky, who was the victim in our trap. No one else.

The weather didn't seem to get better but worse. By near total blackness the temperature was probably 0. We shivered and covered ourselves in blankets or wrapped up in sleeping bags. It hardly did anything. A fire now would be terrible to make and just be an unwanted signal we were here, so I thought we were going to freeze to death.

"Amy, I thought things were going to be good for once," I said "Its not. Please Amy, don't give up hope."

Slowly, we began to drift to sleep. Jackie was forcing herself to stay awake by slightly moving around. Time to time I realized I was waking up from a sleep I never remember.


You can probably guess how I'm doing the chapters and days now that we're in the arena. Reviews are appreciated. Don't be afraid to tell others about my story. Day Three begins next chapter. Who will be next to die then?