“We're born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we're not alone.” - Orson Welles
“If we lose love and self respect for each other, this is how we finally die.” - Maya Angelou
Ahnette wandered through the forest constantly on alert. She remembered coming back to find Fayth's dead body. It had miraculously been the only corpse she'd seen during the games, and the bloody sight had shocked her. Fayth had been so weak and innocent. She most certainly hadn't deserved such a cruel and gory end.
Plus, after spending the beginning of the games entirely alone, Ahnette had begun to welcome the company that companionship brought. Now, she was alone again and too distrustful to seek out an alliance. She realized that this was most likely how she would die. Alone. Ahnette could very well never speak to another human until she came face-to-face with her killer. Would she even speak to her killer? Would her killer be a sneak who denied her even the opportunity to see their face? The thought worried Ahnette even more as the morning sun rose a bit higher and the forest lightened.
The two boys were evenly matched. Not only were Huntur and Gerald both seventeen, but they had been graced with similar builds. Both boys had been struggling to overcome the other for a while now, and neither one was having much success. It was a test of stamina more than anything really, with them being matched in nearly every other area.
It seemed to be a twist of fate when Gerald got the upper hand on Huntur. Huntur felt humiliated as he waited for death to come. He was a career, yet he'd had no kills. His brash, egotistical nature had abandoned him as he whimpered in pain. Gerald, an unimportant District 8 boy, was about to get his second kill of the games, and this one was far more impressive than the young boy he had killed easily.
Gerald smirked with pride as he watched Huntur's final breaths. He waited until the cannon sounded before casually continuing on his way with a new confidence at his accomplishment.
The cannon had announced another death, which sent the current tribute count to ten. Chloe looked at her four companions as she debated with herself. Was an alliance really worth it at this point? There were five of them. Half of the competition was in each other's company. The gamemakers wouldn't let it stay like that for long. They'd have to start killing each other soon.
Coale and Tiara were having similar thoughts. Coale had been more than fed up with Tiara recently anyway, and now he had the perfect excuse to leave. Tiara had never really enjoyed having any of her companions around, and her hatred of them had only grown since she joined them. This alliance no longer put any of them at an advantage.
“Right,” Tiara spoke up to gain everyone's attention. “I know I'm not the only one thinking about breaking up the alliance.”
Coale nodded, while trying to conceal his hatred for the girl. “It seems like a good idea at this point.”
Kendrick shuffled his feet and looked at the others sheepishly. “Are you sure? I think it might be a good idea to stick together a bit longer.”
“Me too,” Jocelin agreed.
“Then you two do that,” Tiara shrugged. “I'm out of here.”
She turned and walked away, not even bothering to glance back at them. Coale cleared his throat awkwardly after Tiara's abrupt departure.
“Well, I guess I'll follow her lead.” He was a bit friendlier as he bid everyone goodbye. Unlike Tiara, he'd gotten along with these people, even if he still viewed them as competition.
Chloe nodded. “I'll be leaving too, I guess. Good luck.”
She offered a gentle smile as she left Kendrick and Jocelin behind.
Ezra watched Jocelin and Kendrick as he ate with them. He hadn't expected to be in another alliance so soon, but Jocelin had been adamant about him joining when she had come across him. Ezra had been prepared for a fight to the death, but she had excitedly babbled on about her “new friend.” Ezra had gone along with it because anything was better than death, and Kendrick had just watched Jocelin closely, as if analyzing her actions just as Ezra was.
The more the two boys observed, the more they thought Jocelin had officially lost her mind. The end of her and Kendrick's former alliance had seemed to snap something in the girl. It was as if she suddenly realized that death was coming, and she wanted to prolong it as long as possible. If that meant forming alliances with anyone she met and treating them with the utmost kindness, she was apparently going to do that. Kendrick would have been amused if it hadn't meant he was now stuck with a crazy person. Ezra was just at a lost of what to do. Then again, he had been lost since his name was reaped.
Jocelin watched her two companions closely as they slept. The sun hadn't been set long, and Jocelin's shift as watch had a lot longer to go. She hated sitting around in solitude. She wanted nothing more than to lose herself to unconsciousness, but instead she was stuck awake and trapped in the torture of her own mind. Jocelin didn't really understand what was happening to her. It was as if something had snapped in her earlier today. Being abandoned by a group that she had foolishly come of rely on more than she should have. It only added upon the loss of Fayth, who had been the closest thing she'd had to a friend here.
Now she couldn't trust at all, yet trust was all that she desperately wanted to do. That was why she had rashly pressured Ezra to join her and Kendrick. He had seemed like a decent human being, as decent as anyone could be and still be alive. He wouldn't hurt her, not in an alliance.
Yet a part of her mind kept telling her differently. There was no one she could trust. No one. Why did she stay with Kendrick and Ezra? She'd be better off alone. Kill everyone before they could kill her. That was the better plan.
She could kill them now. The thought began to repeat itself over and over in her mind as she watched them sleep. They'd never even realize. She could do it. Her second and third kills just like that. She'd be closer to relief...
Jocelin didn't realize what she was doing until her hands were wrapped around Kendrick's throat. What lasted only minutes in reality seemed to go on for days in her mind. Jocelin was in a daze as she watched Kendrick's eyes open as he gasped for air. The lack of oxygen seemed to weaken the already scrawny boy, and Kendrick was unable to put up much of a fight.
Jocelin was powerless as the boy suffocated by her hands. It took the cannon sounding for Jocelin to jump back to reality. Her eyes quickly found Ezra as he jumped up at the sudden noise. He seemed shocked as he stared at Jocelin, who was still frozen over Kendrick's limp body.
Suddenly, Jocelin's brain started yelling at her to run, and she bolted from Ezra's still shocked and confused gaze, as she tried to sort out what she had just done.