Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Fourth Hunger Games Chapter 16: Horrific

Chapter 16: Horrific

Likewise, education can direct people toward good or evil ends. When education is based on a fundamentally distorted worldview, the results are horrific.” - Daisaku Ikeda

Sometimes the way you respond to horrific, evil deeds is the measure of one's self as a man, as a nation, as people, as a community.” - James Wood

Tiara smirked as she spied on Ezra through the brush. It was amazing the soft boy was still alive. She chalked it up to luck and nothing else. Welcome luck though, as she'd been growing bored ever since ditching Troy hours ago and was just itching to have some more fun.

Hey! Ezra!” To say that the boy was startled would be an understatement. The boy had been watching his surroundings closely, and Tiara sneaking up on him had shocked him to his core. To make matters worse: it was Tiara. She wasn't exactly the first tribute he would have chosen to come in contact with.

Want to form an alliance?” Tiara asked in amusement as the boy scrambled for the small knife that was his only weapon.

Ezra stared at her in shock before stuttering out, “Are you serious?”

Tiara's smirk only widened. “Of course I am, dear Ezra.”

Ezra knew it was a horrible idea, but he really didn't have much choice. If he said no, he knew he'd be killed on the spot.



Coale tossed and turned as he tried to sleep in a small crevice he had found as a hiding spot. He didn't feel safe (probably never would again), and he was finding sleep impossible. How was he supposed to rest when there were five people out there that wanted his blood. Well, okay. Maybe four. Ezra didn't want anyone's blood. But none of that made anything more reassuring. All Coale could think of was the horrific things that had happened to him since the games started. He'd never rest again.


He'd lost her. Troy had been carefully following Tiara for almost a full day before she just disappeared. Now he would have to track down another tribute if he hoped to have any fun. He couldn't believe this. He'd been so careful. How did she disappear like that? He had to admit: Tiara was good. She would be a challenge when their confrontation came, and he planned to make that confrontation come soon. He wanted to get it over with. No doubt it would be a nasty fight, but if he could get her, then the path to winning would be clear for him.


Chloe's dehydration had worsened, and the longer she went without water, the harder it was for her to search for the water that she needed. Never had she thirsted so much. It was torturous, and Chloe couldn't find the strength to go on any longer. She wasn't surprised when Tiara appeared. It wasn't as if she had bothered to hide herself well. Chloe put up no fight. She doubted she could struggle if she tried. She was too weak and miserable to even be scared of what she knew was coming. The darkness was a blessed relief.


Jocelin scrubbed hard at blood that had attached itself permanently to her skin. Her skin was raw from the useless effort to clean it. Even in the areas where she had managed to get rid of the residue, she still felt the blood's presence. It had become a part of her that would never be gone. The thought only made her scrub harder.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Fourth Hunger Games Chapter 15: Need

I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.” - Maya Angelou

All you need is ignorance and confidence and the success is sure” - Mark Twain

Chloe tried to stifle her cough, not wanting it to draw attention her way. Her throat was dry, as she hadn't had water for most of the day. She had somehow gotten disoriented, and she could no longer find her way to any of the water sources she'd been around earlier in the games. At first, she'd been attempting to find an alternate source, as the other tributes were likely around the ones she'd already found. But with no such luck, she'd been discouraged after searching for the well-known stream for hours. All she wanted was water. She was desperate for it. Some berries she'd found had helped a bit, but they weren't an adequate substitute. She couldn't be far from the stream. At least, she hoped not.


Coale sighed as he looked at Ezra. “I guess this is it,” he said somewhat reluctantly. “There are only seven of us left. Soon it will all be over.”

Ezra nodded before holding out a hand for Coale to shake. It briefly struck Coale as odd considering where they were, but he took the offered hand anyway and shook it firmly.

I really hope we don't see each other again,” Ezra said as they stepped back from each other.

Me too, Ezra. I really do.”


Jocelin squinted as she opened her eyes. It was much brighter than it had been when she closed them, and she realized that she must have been sleeping for quite a while. It took several seconds for everything to catch up with her and her horror to return. Then, she remembered her blood covered hands and face and... everything.

Looking down, Jocelin could see that the blood had dried. Only a vigorous scrubbing would remove it now. The thought brought new tears to Jocelin's already raw eyes. She felt calmer, as if she had somewhat accepted that she was a murderer, but she was by no means okay. Every part of her hurt, not physically but emotionally. It was as if Jocelin's soul, if such a thing even existed, had been put through a shredder.

Jocelin knew that she'd been laying here for far too long, and the area didn't provide much cover to hide. She was lucky, or unlucky rather, that no tributes had stumbled upon her and finished her off. The smart thing to do would be to move on, but Jocelin couldn't find the strength to stand, let alone walk.


Troy had been alone for more than a day now, and he was quite enjoying his solitude. As a career, he'd always envisioned his experience in the games as being surrounded by a group. He knew he'd be alone eventually, but he'd never given that part much thought. He liked this separation though. The gamemakers had tried to herd him towards the others several hours ago, and Troy had complied. He had no other choice. The lightening would have gotten him if he'd disobeyed. As it was, his clothes were soaked through, but dodging the small fires that sprung up around him had been invigorating.

They'd led him straight to Tiara though, and it had caused Troy to hesitate. He'd been expecting one of the weaker tributes, not a fellow career, but apparently the Capitol was really itching for some conflict if the gamemakers wanted one of the remaining careers gone. Still, Troy was hesitant. Of all the people in the arena, Tiara would be the toughest to take. She'd proved just how strong she was when they were in an alliance, and Troy wasn't looking forward to being in opposition to that. So he pulled back and hid. He continued watching, but he wouldn't make a move just yet.


Demetrius hadn't seen anyone since Etin's death. With two kills on his shoulders, Demetrius figured he should be able to be alone for a while before he was expected to confront anyone new. Things had to be getting intense now amongst the others. There were only seven of them left. Demetrius would have never dared hope that he'd get this far, but he knew that it would be a stroke of luck if he got any further.

Demetrius had no desire to kill again. He'd spent his entire life trying to be kind to others only to enter the arena and become a killer. No more. He wouldn't end another life. He couldn't live much longer with the knowledge of what he had done. Demetrius had come to accept that he would die. It was what he wanted.

It was easy to find Ezra. The other tribute wasn't the sneakiest person around. He also wasn't the best for the job Demetrius was about to ask him to complete, but Demetrius wasn't about to be picky. Besides, he'd come to like Ezra while they'd been aligned together. At least he would die at the hands of a friend.

You want me to what?” Ezra asked in disbelief. He had been relieved when Demetrius had raised no weapon, but now he found his heart racing.

You heard me,” Demetrius answered. “You get a kill and get farther in the games, and I get what I want too.”

He added a quiet, “please,” when Ezra seemed hesitant.

Please forgive me,” Ezra murmured. Demetrius knew it wasn't directed towards him, as Ezra already knew all to well how serious he was. Instead, Ezra seemed to be speaking to the world as a whole. As if he wanted everyone watching to forgive him, to not view him as a murderer. Most importantly of all, however, Ezra seemed be be begging himself to do the same thing.

Demetrius' last thought before the world went black was a wish that sweet, pure Ezra wouldn't die as ruined as Demetrius. It was a wish in vain.


Tiara smirked as the cannon sounded. Eighteen down. Five more to go. Soon she would be the victor.

She listened closely to the rustling in the distance and chuckled to herself. Troy was following her. He was stupid to believe she didn't notice. It was clear that the Capitol had herded him here, but he was taking his time to confront her. Tiara figured that on some level he must have known that he would lose.

She was having a bit of fun making him follow her, but if he didn't attack soon, she would have to lose him. She was getting tired, and there was no way Tiara was staying up all night just to have fun leading another tribute around the arena. She'd get around to killing him soon, but if she could, she wanted to leave him for the big finale. After all, what better way to end on a bang than killing a fellow career?

Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Fourth Hunger Games Chapter 14: Young

There is no sadder sight than a young pessimist” - Mark Twain

Sometimes I think it would be easier to avoid old age, to die young, but then you'd never complete your life, would you? You'd never wholly know you.” - Marilyn Monroe

Ezra was still recovering from the shock of waking up to Kendrick's death when Coale appeared in front of him. Coale tilted his head in curiosity as Ezra remained stoic and watched the stream flow by.

Just kill me,” Ezra spoke softly. “I'm so tired of this. Just do it.”

Coale didn't say anything as he continued to study Ezra.

I'm not killing someone who won't even put up a fight. Unlike others in here, I have standards.”

Ezra finally looked up at Coale, and Coale was slightly startled by the darkness in his eyes.

I want you to do it,” Ezra growled.

Which is why I won't,” Coale shrugged. “You don't deserve to die a pathetic death. You're not escaping this hell hole without a fight. Come on, let's go find some tributes who will actually fight back.”

Ezra had no plans to follow Coale, but Coale didn't plan on leaving him behind. Coale's superior strength pulled Ezra to his feet, and the empty boy obediently followed behind.


Jocelin had never spoken to Ahnette, and that made the kill easier than the others. Jocelin's mind hadn't calmed down. She still had horrible thoughts running through her mind, and she knew this must be what it felt like to go crazy. So far gone was Jocelin that she had given up all hope of being a decent person. Ahnette didn't fight back very hard, but even still, Jocelin was amazed at how easy it was for her to overpower the other girl. There was blood. More blood than any of Jocelin's other kills had resulted in. She couldn't separate herself from the act as she looked down at the blood covering her body.

Jocelin held her face in her hands, even as she could feel the blood smearing everywhere. She fumbled with her canteen for a moment before dropping it onto the ground. She didn't deserve to be clean. She couldn't rid herself of what she had done, so she shouldn't remove the evidence of it either.

Jocelin curled herself up into a ball as she fell asleep under the slight shade that the forest provided.


Coale didn't have to look far for a tribute willing to put up a fight. Gerald had ambushed the two other boys just a couple of hours after Coale and Ezra had made their alliance. The fact that he was outnumbered didn't seem to stop Gerald. He was past the point of caring what happened to him, but he had to do something. Fighting seemed like the obvious answer, even if it shortened his life.

Ezra wasn't much help, but what little the boy did to help Coale was enough to give Coale the advantage.

Regardless of his seemingly tough nature, Coale hadn't killed yet, and as good as he was a leader, he didn't like the idea of being a murderer. He didn't like the idea of dying so young either though, so he couldn't stop himself from plunging his knife into Gerald's chest when he finally found an opening. After all, it was Gerald's own stupidity for attacking not one but two tributes on his own. He was clearly asking for death.

It was an oddly calming act for Coale. The regret he expected to feel didn't come. Ezra, who had done relatively nothing in comparison, seemed far more shaken. He may not have delivered the final blow, but he had helped. The boy who had always tried to help every creature to the tiniest of birds to other humans had helped kill. He could hear Coale calling him, but Ezra ignored him as he sank to knees and cried.