AN: I really struggled to think of an arena but my Dad helped me to think of it. Thanks Dad :D. Hope any readers are enjoying.

Chapter 9- A Prayer.

When I wake up, I am excited about another day in the Training Centre. The thought of spending a day with Marina, Marlon and Rosemary actually fills me with a kind of happiness. Until it all starts coming back to me. The session with the Gamemakers, the fire, the Interview, all of it. There won't be another day in the Training Centre, the only time I will spend with my friends is in the Arena. I'll be there in a few hours.

At breakfast, I can barely eat even though this may be my last meal. Maybe that's why I'm struggaling to eat it. Marina doesn't eat much either and she runs to the bathroom in the middle of eating some bacon, leaving me alone with Coby.

"I just wanted to say good luck out there." Coby says from his seat at the head of the table.

"Thanks, but I don't need your luck." I throw it back in his face.

Coby just shrugs, "Perhaps, but you need some luck, might as well be from me. The arena's not a nice place, you'll understand that once you're in there."

"Any survival tips?" I force myself to ask. "Apart from lay down while someone else dies."

"I thought you didn't need my help." Coby ignores my last remark.

"I said I didn't need your luck. Help would be very much appreciated."

Coby smirks, "Ask Trake, his advice will be better than mine."

Marina emerges from the bathroom, she looks dreadful and it's clear she's just been sick.

"You gonna be okay?" I ask as I help her to her room.

She nods but isn't convinced.

"Good luck, Marina." I say as she sits on the edge of her bed.

"You too, I'll see you in the arena."

"A threat?" I ask, a smile playing at my lips.

She shakes her head, "I got your back."
...

Standing in a small plastic tube helps me realise that I never got over my childhood chlostraphobia. The small space is suffocating and the air is stale. I've said my goodbyes to everyone and actually prayed silently before getting into the tube. More than anything, I am worried about Marina, she still looked awful when I last saw her on the plane. If you enter the arena sick then you're as good as dead.

The tube starts to raise and I analyse the arena. Big brick buildings stretch as far as I can see but they are destroyed, like a bomb has hit them. It's clearly some kind of abandoned city that's fallen into disrepair. We are stood in some kind of town square, a fountain in the space in front of us. Instead of water, the fountain is filled with supplies and everyone has a hungry look in their eyes. "60, 59, 58..." The Countdown begins and I start to feel sick.

I look at the people on either side of me, the first is a girl from District 10. She has her eyes closed and her hands clasped together.

"Our father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name..." She whispers to herself and her prayers bring tears to my eyes.

On my other side, is a boy, I think he's from 11. "I can't do this." He whispers under his breath and then he turns to me.

We look at each other for a few seconds as the Countdown continues, he's probably assessing how much of a target I'll be.

"20, 19, 18 17..."

The boy from 11 takes a deep breath and jumps from his stand. A loud BANG echoes, almost deafening me and smoke erupts. When the smoke clears, my ears are ringing and I can hardly hear the Countdown. The boy is gone, as though he never existed. The bang cut the girl from 10 off mid-prayer and now she stares at his empty spot, fear sends tears down her cheeks.

"3, 2, 1..."

Everyone starts running.