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Boy with the Trident
When I woke up this morning it was completely dark, but I was greeted by the calming and familiar sound of the waves splashing against the shore. Even though I woke up long before the sun rises, I’m used to it. In District 4, the fishing district most of the city is busy just right after the sun rises. My father and I always get up earlier then everyone else in the town to fish. It can be risky at times fishing in the darkness, but it gives us an advantage over all the others who fish, and that’s a lot of people in District 4.
Today we had to wake up three hours earlier than usual to get a decent amount of fish before the special event. Today is a day of fear for some and for others, honor. Today is the reaping. Every year the Capitol forces each district to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen from each District called tributes to fight to the death in the Hunger Games as a punishment for the Dark Days. Long ago, the thirteen Districts rebelled against the Capitol and lost. As a punishment they destroyed District 13 and created the Hunger Games.
For most Districts, this is a day of fear, but in our district it’s a day of honor. Every year many teens from our district train for the Hunger Games. It’s technically against the rules, but no one seems to care. The only Districts that practice this are District 1, District 2, and District 4. In Districts 1 and 2, who volunteers first will represent the District. Our District has a much more orderly way of deciding things. The town simply picks the two who we think should represent our district in the Hunger Games the males vote for the boy and the females vote for the girl. If your name is not called, you simply volunteer. Most people don’t argue the rule we have. Not many train for the games, so if you don’t get picked one year, then you’ll have many more chances in the years to come.
This year I was given the honor of representing the District in the Hunger Games along with another girl named Annie Cresta. This is unusual considering I’m only fourteen. The district usually picks someone around seventeen because they have gotten the chance to train longer. For example, Annie is sixteen. Most would think I would think I would have a disadvantage because I’m so young, but I ended up winning by a land slide.
The only person I know didn’t vote for me is my dad. He’s never wanted me to train for the longer yet I won by a landslide and I have no idea why. His dream for me is to take over the family business when he dies. My mom argued with him for many days that if I did enter games I did enter the games that I would most likely come back. The only thing that my mom cares about is the money I’ll bring back if I win. The victor is granted large sums of money and a new house to live in. Our family is already in the upper class of our district, but my mom always wants more. She doesn’t share the bond that I share with my dad because she doesn’t go out fishing with us every day. My dad and I share a bond that’s grown over the years that is now unbreakable so he was more tentative about letting me go into the games. My dad was hard to convince, but he finally gave in. If we weren’t going out fishing today, my dad would be a nervous wreck.
By the time I get dressed and walk down to the beach, my dad is already down by our boat ready to go while I’m still half asleep.
“It’s about time you got here. I’ve been waiting for almost half an hour now.” My dad tells me in an eager voice. I know he can’t wait to get out on the water. He sounds just like a little kid about to receive a present.
“Dad, it’s three in the morning, and this is really early anyways. Don’t worry we have plenty of time. We don’t have to be back until noon.” I said trying to calm him down a bit.
“We have plenty of time?!” He says almost shouting now. “Finnick, you’re well aware of what day it is today, and you don’t seem to realize how afraid I am of losing you!” I shut my eyes tight. I’m well aware that my father is worried for me and doesn’t want me to enter the games, but the only thing that’s been on my mind is that how happy he’ll be when I win and come home. He of course is thinking negatively and thinks I’ll never come home. I go over to him and try to calm him down.
“Dad, I know you’re terribly worried about me, but I assure you that I’ll be fine.” I pause for a moment. “Look the only thing we can do now is make the best of the time we have together now. Let’s stop wasting time and go out on the boat and try to have fun.” I tried to tell him in my calmest voice. The smallest smile came across his face.
“I guess your right son.” He jumped onto the boat and offered me a hand to come aboard. “We’re all ready to go. I prepared the boat while I was waiting for you.”
“Well then let’s get moving.” We started off at a slow pace trying not to wake everyone else. After we were as safe distance away from the town, we picked up speed heading towards our fishing spot. About half way to our fishing spot, we’re stopped by a Peacekeeper monitoring the waters.
“Good morning,” My dad says in a cheery voice to the Peacekeeper.
“May I see your fishing license sir?” He asks my dad. My dad hands him the license. The peacekeeper takes a careful look at it and hands it back to my dad.
“Isn’t it kind of early to be out fishing?”
“Yes, it is very early, but my son will be going off to the Hunger Games later today and I wanted to get in one last fishing trip together.” The Peacekeeper shifts his glance over to me.
“So you must be Finnick?” He asks me. I nod my head. “Well good luck in the games. It’s been a while since we’ve had a victor.”
“Thank you.” I tell him. He smiles. “Well have fun fishing, but be careful. It can be dangerous fishing at this time.”
“We will.” My dad responds. We then continue our journey to our fishing spot.
When we reach the spot I help me dad set up the nets and put out the fishing hooks. All there’s left to do is wait, but there usually isn’t much waiting when I’m with my dad. It’s almost magical when my dad fishes. He puts so much pride into his work and I know he always has fun. The fish are like drawn to him or something because I swear we always get the most fish no matter how many other fishers are around. I’ve seen others try to steal our fishing spot, but they never get as many fish as we do. One time I saw my father dangle a small net over the edge of the boat and the fish literally jumped into it.
We don’t see many fishers all day. A few pass by every once and a while but it’s much quieter than usual. At around eleven thirty we start to head back. While my dad is steering the ship he calls me over.
“I forgot to pull in the front net.” He signals for me to take the wheel. “Steer the boat while I go pull in the net.” I watch as my dad goes over to pull in the net. You really supposed to stop the boat fist then pull in the net, but my dad has so much experience and we’re already late I guess he decided to pull it in now. He seems fine and almost has the entire net in, but at just the wrong time the boat goes over a large wave and my dad loses balance and falls overboard.
“Dad!” I call out to him. I immediately stopped the boat and ran over to the back and threw the anchor over board. I frantically run up and down the side of the boat where he fell in yelling for him. I immediately hear a faint reply from far away.
“Son, I’m okay. Don’t even bother coming in after me. I can swim to you faster.” My dad is a very good swimmer coming from District 4. I can just barely see him about one hundred and fifty yards away bobbing up and down in the water. He’s approaching fast is nearing the boat when the worst possible thing happens.
Behind him not very far away is the dorsal fin of a great white shark. My eyes widen in fear for him, and my first instinct is to yell out to him, which was probably the worst thing to do. He pauses to look behind him and sees the shark. He begins to swim faster, but so does the shark. I’m stunned and confused about what to do for a moment. Jumping in and trying to save him would just kill us both so I frantically search the boat for something to shoot the shark with.
Laying on the ground is my only trident. I’ve used it for years and have killed many things with it. I run to the other side of the boat aiming at the shark, but then I realize how accurate I must be. Too long and I will miss the shark and my father might be doomed, too short and I might actually spear my dad, but I have to give it a shot. It’s the only way I can save my dad. I carefully take aim following the swimming pattern of the shark and throw the trident into the water. I watch it fly through the air and burry it’s self into the shark right behind its dorsal fin.
The shark thrashes around for a while and then sinks into the water along with my only trident. A wave of relief comes over me. My dad swims for the boat and climbs on. I quickly rush to grab him a towel to dry him off. He takes a moment to dry himself off with a towel and then gives me a strong embrace. When he lets go he speaks.
“Finnick, you saved my life and I’m so proud to have a son like you.” He pauses for a moment. “Son, I couldn’t bear to lose you in those games. I know you have always been strong and intelligent, but I never wanted you to leave.” He pauses once again. “Now that you have just saved my life, I know that you will win the games.” A smile spreads across my face.
“Thank you dad, I never could have imagined doing something without your full approval. I promise I will do everything it takes to win the games. Don’t worry I won’t disappoint you.” My dad smiles,
“You’ve always been good with that trident. If there was a trident in the games for a weapon you would win for sure.” This causes me to smile.
“Yeah but I doubt there will be.” My dad looks at his watch.
“We must hurry back now. We’re already fifteen minutes late.” My dad hurriedly pulls in the anchor and speeds off towards the shore. It’s already twelve thirty by the time we get back. The reaping isn’t until two, but my mom wanted us back by twelve so we weren’t rushed.
It’s a good thing that our house is not far from the beach. When we walk in the front door of our house we’re surprise to find it empty.
“Where do you think mom is?” I ask my dad
“Probably out spending the money we work so hard to earn.” He mumbles. He’s probably right. While my dad and I do all of the work for the family, my mom just goes off shopping all day, and most of the thing she buys are worthless. My dad frowns. “You better go and get ready for your big moment.” I go to my room to get changed. My mom spent weeks looking for the outfit for me. In the end she settled for something plain and simple. A sea green button up shirt with plain black pants. Most people in town would expect me to wear something much more expensive because of our status, but this is what my mom wanted me to wear so I might as well make her happy.
It doesn’t take me long to change so I go out onto our back porch to watch the sea. I sit down in a very comfortable chair right in the middle of the porch. It may be the last time I’ll ever get to see it in my life, but I have to keep thinking positive.
“Hi Finnick,” Penny Mayflower shouts as she appears from nowhere in front of me. She’s been my next door neighbor and close friend ever since I can remember. She’s in the same class me and is very pretty and all the other boys at school love her. I’ve never really been attracted to her. I think of her more as a good friend. When she appears she startles me and I almost fall off of the chair I’m sitting in. She laughs when I started.
“Penny, you almost scared me half to death.” I tell her. She laughs.
“That was the point.” She tells me like it was obvious. She flicks her long brown hair behind her shoulder which is braided for today.
“Well you wouldn’t want to kill me now. Then the town would have to pick another boy to represent the district.” Her smile disappears, but she forces herself to smile again. I know that she’s not happy about me going into the games either.
“Finnick, you know that I’m not happy that you’re going into the games, but I’m your friend and just know that I’ll be supporting you.” She shuts her eyes for a moment and pauses. She talks in a softer lighter voice now. “Just promise me that you’ll do anything it takes to win those games no matter what, okay.”
“I promise.” I respond in just barley a whisper. “You and my dad are the main reasons why I want to come back.” She smiles. She takes a seat in the chair next to mine, and for a moment we just watch the sea together. After a while she breaks the silence and turns to me.
“You know, your dad and I aren’t the only ones upset that you’re going.” I turn to her.
“Really?” I ask “Who else would there be.” She rolls her eyes.
“Almost every girl that goes to our school.” She replies flatly. I look at her confused.
“Finnick, have you looked in a mirror lately. Every girl that has ever seen you loves you. Everyone thinks your gorgeous, and don’t even try to deny it.” I take in her words for a moment. I know that she’s right. It’s hard not to notice when everyone stops to stare at you whenever you walk by. I’ve just never thought of myself that way. I’ve always thought I was average looking. I don’t want to upset her so I reply.
“It’s a good thing you’re not going into the games because then the town might lose the two most gorgeous people ever.” This gets her to smile, but just slightly. I don’t know why, but I can tell that there’s something else bothering her deep down. I don’t want to upset her even more so I don’t ask her anything.
We then go back to quietly watching the sea. After a while my dad comes out to join us. For a few minutes we all just sit there watching the sea and I’ve almost forgotten about the games, frozen in this moment that I know cannot last forever. We all return to reality when we hear a door slam behind us and my mom walks into the house. We all turn around to look at her. Well, my dad was right she was out shopping because she walks in carrying tons of bags. She takes a moment to look at us, but then drops her bags and comes running over to me. She forcefully grabs my arm and yanks me out of the chair. She then drags me off of the back porch and into the house.
“Why are you just sitting there admiring the sea? You only have minutes left until the reaping! You should be practicing while you can!” She shouts at me.
“I’m sorry it’s just that I wanted to spend my last few moments here relaxing and not having to worry about getting killed.” She gives me a scornful look and let’s go of my arm.
“Well it’s too late to anything about it now. It’s almost time for the reaping.” She looks back at Penny and my dad. “Did you hear me? It’s almost time for the reaping. Get off of your butts and let’s go!” Penny and my dad get off of their chairs and run out of the door. I try to follow them, but my mom stops me. “Look, I’ve very proud of you Finnick. I know you can win, and you know that we will be rooting for you. A small smile forms across my face.
“Thanks mom,” She hugs me and then I run off into the crowd already waiting outside. It’s hard to tell if my mom’s being sincere though. I know she’s probably blinded by greed, but I keep telling myself that she’s my mom and wants me to win because she loves me. Once I’m outside I find Penny. She hasn’t gotten very far.
“Hey, what happened in there after we left?” she asked me.
“Nothing really, she just told me that she wants me to win and stuff.” I told her
“That was nice of her.”
“Yeah I guess. I just can’t tell if she’s being sincere or not.” It’s the last thing I can say to her before we’re herded off onto separate areas of the town square. The town square is directly in front of our house. Even though it’s always busy, there’s always plenty of room to walk around because it’s so big. The only day it’s crowded is reaping day. District 4 is really big and the town square can’t hold the entire population, so people watch from giant televisions in the side streets. None of the kids look that worried and they have no reason to be. We already know who’s going into the games so no one has to worry about anything.
On the stage in front of us are the two reaping balls with everyone’s name in it. There are four chairs. In one sits the mayor of District 4, the one next to him is empty in memory of Greogr a victor who won about five years ago, but died from an alcohol overdose. In another sits Mags who’s about sixty five years old and is the lat living victor from District 4, and in the last one sits Hali Judson the Capitol woman who shows up every year to read the reaping. Unlike most people who live in the Capitol, she didn’t die her hair or tattoo her body. She kept her natural hair color and speaks with a slight Capitol accent.
At two o’clock sharp the mayor begins to read the long drawn out speech he’s required to read every year about the history of the Hunger Games. After he’s done reading the speech, he sits down and Hali comes up to the podium to speak. She wishes everyone good luck and then begins to pull out a name that will be the male victor. Some kid I didn’t even know existed got picked and before he can reach the stage, I step up and volunteer. When I get up on the stage Hali asks me.
“Now what is your name?”
“Finnick Odair,” I reply
“Well I wish you the best of luck. I’m sure you’ll do fantastic. She then picks then picks the girls name. Everyone already knows that Annie is going any ways so no one really pays much attention. She doesn’t even have to volunteer because her name is called anyways. Hali still asks for volunteers though. Then something nobody expects happens. Out from the area roped off for girls my age steps out Penny volunteering to take Annie’s place. Nobody including Annie knows what to do. No one has ever broken the secret rule we’ve made. Everyone looks shocked, but I’m the one who is most surprised. I come to the realization that only one of us can come back, and that either Penny or I will be dead in a matter of days. Annie just stiffly walks off of the stage while Penny steps up to take her place. I shoot her a deadly look, but she’s not paying attention. Her eyes are looking straight ahead trying to find the faces of her parents, worried sick about her. Hali who thinks nothing is wrong comes over to Penny.
“And what is your name?” She asks her.
“Penny Mayflower,” She responds in a quiet voice. Hali then turns to the crowd of people.
“Let me present, The District 4 tributes!” She says in a cheery voice. The Panem national anthem plays and then we are both escorted by peace keepers into the Justice Building where we are allowed one hour for goodbyes. The put us both in separate rooms, but I wish we were in the same one. I need to tell her what a stupid mistake she made and how she knows I couldn’t kill her or watch her die, but I guess that will just have to wait. My first visitor is my dad and he basically just gives a pep talk and tells me how proud he is of me. When our time is almost up he becomes more serious.
“Now Finnick, I know that you were surprised about what happened with Penny, but you need keep focused on winning.” He pauses for a moment. “You know what has to happen.” I’m very aware of what has to happen. Only one f us can come back, and that means Penny will have to die if I want to come home. If it’s down to us to at the end, I couldn’t force myself to kill her. The best possibility is that someone will kill her before I do.
“I know, but I promise you that I will try my best to win.” Before I can say anything else Peacekeepers drag him out of the room and I can barely hear him say I love you to be before they slam the door shut.
The next people to come in and see me are Penny’s parents. I bet they were surprised about to today as much as I was, and I can tell by the looks on their faces that their not happy with her decision. They sit down on a couch and immediately start asking me questions,
“Did you know anything about what happened today?” her mom asks me.
“No, I’m as surprised as you are about it.”
“Did she even hint at doing anything about it?” her dad questions.
“I’m not aware that she did.” Penny would never joke about something like that. She’s always been terrified about the games and everyone knows that she is. That made it even more surprising when she volunteered.
“Are you sure?” Her mom asks me looking me straight in the eyes.
“I’m sure.” They seem to relax a little, their glad that she wasn’t keeping secrets from them because her parents know that she tells everything to me. I try to make them feel better.
“Look I’ll do whatever I can to protect her in the arena. I’ll make sure that she’s the one coming back and…” Her mom cuts me of before I can finish.
“No, don’t do that. I know for a fact that she won’t let you. I know you have a family to come back to as well as Penny and I know her main goal of volunteering was to keep you alive. Just promise me one thing.” I nod my head and she continues. “Make sure that you don’t abandon her in the arena. I know she’ll be scared to death and the worst thing I could see on television is her being killed the first day because she too terrified about what to do. I’m not asking for you to let her win, but just don’t leave her by herself.”
“I promise. I won’t leave her.” Their time is up and they leave the room. The next people to come in are just some of my friends from school. They just congratulate me and tell me to win and things like that, and of course they ask me if I knew about Penny’s plan. My last visitor is a surprising one. I’m defiantly not ready when Annie Cresta walks through the door. I wonder why she decided to come. I’ve only spoken one word to her and it was to congratulate her for being chosen as a tribute. When she walks in she doesn’t even sit down, she just stands there looking down on me like I’m smaller than her. I stand up because I don’t want her looking down on me.
“Why does everyone think I knew about that?” I exclaim.
“Well you are her girlfriend aren’t you?”
“No I’m not.” I tell her. “We’re just friends. She has plenty of other friends at school as well.”
“Whatever.” She responds.
“Don’t be upset, since you got cheated this year you’ll probably make it next year. It’s not like you’re eighteen yet.” She doesn’t seem to be paying attention to me though. She was staring off into the distance somewhere when she suddenly looks me in the eyes.
“You have to kill her.” She says in a forceful voice.
“What?!” I exclaim.
“Yes, you have to kill her, and I don’t want someone else killing her for you. You have to kill her.”
“You know I can’t do that.”
“Look.” She snaps “Do you want to win or not.”
“Then promise me you’ll kill her.”
“I can’t do that.”
“I’m not leaving here until you promise even if I have to kill the Peacekeepers.”
“I promise.” I feel forced to because if I don’t I know Annie will hurt me in some way.
“Good.” She responds she then leaves and makes sure to slam the door behind her. I’m left alone for a few minutes before the peacekeepers come to collect me. There are only two things I can think about. One is the fact that my own mom didn’t come and wish me goodbye, but that’s not too surprising. The other thing that is more important is the fact that I’ve made too many promises and I know for a fact that I can’t keep all of them.
A few minutes later the Peacekeepers come to collect me from the room. Penny and I am led down to the train station where there are many camera crews and interviewers waiting, but I’m too upset to be talk to any of them. We both board the train and the doors shut behind us and we’re on our way to the Capitol. We stand there in silence until Penny breaks the silence.
“Please don’t be mad at me.” She says in a small voice.
“Why shouldn’t I be? You know you made a stupid mistake today!”
“I know I did, but I have reasons behind it, and I wanted to protect you.”
“I don’t care you still shouldn’t of did it. “I wouldn’t have had a problem killing Annie, but you know I can’t kill you! I can protect myself! I didn’t get voted to represent our District by chance!”
“Finnick,” she says in a calming voice. “You don’t know the real reason why you won.” I’m taken by surprise.
“What do you mean?” I ask her.
“You won because every guy in the District is jealous of your looks. They figured this was the perfect opportunity to get rid of you. Sure, you athletic and everything, but no one back at home thinks you have a chance at winning.” When she says this I’ taken back. Thousands of emotions run through my mind anger, fear disbelief, but most of all betrayal.
“Is that really true?” When she nods her head I know she’s telling the truth.
“I also promised you dad that I would watch out for you in the games.” I smile slightly.
“Yeah, well I made a lot of promises myself too.”
“Like what?” she asks.
“I promised you and my parents that I’d do anything it takes to win. I promised your parents that I wouldn’t abandon you in the arena.” I pause debating whether I should tell her the last one, but in the end I decide to tell her because she has the right to know.
“, and I promised Annie Cresta that I would kill you.” She stands there in shock for just a minute, but then responds.
“Well, I’m going to make sure that you don’t break any of you promises.”
“You know I can’t kill you. I’ve already told you that.”
“Well I guess we just have to wait for the games then.”
“Well isn’t this exciting!” Hali said as she walked into the room. “Please sit down,” she motioned for them to sit down.
“I’ve heard a lot about you Finnick. I’m sure we will have a victor this year!” Hali told me. I smile. I look over at Penny who looks down. I try to give her a reassuring smile.
“Don’t worry,” I tell her. Everything will be fine. I see her brown eyes look back up at me.
“I sure hope so,” She says.
The next day we arrived at the Capitol. I’ve heard stories of the Capitol before, but I never expected them to look this amazing. I thought District 4 was supposed to be nice compared the other Districts, but compared to the Capitol, District 4 was like a poor, dirty city.
We were then whisked away to the prep room where we were prepped for the chariot rides that were later that day. That was when I met my stylist Paisley.
“Hello Finnick,” She said as she walked into the room. “I will have the pleasure of working with you.”
“Nice to meet you,” I told her. She smiled at me.
“Well I’m sure you won’t have a problem getting sponsors in these games.” She said smiling.
“Why is that?” I asked her.
“You’re a handsome young man; about half the girls in the Capitol fainted when you got off that train.”
“I’ve been told I’m good looking before,” I tell her smiling.
“Good looks can be an asset, but they can also be dangerous in the arena.” She told me. “People with good looks are often considered week, so make sure you show everyone that you’re not to be messed with. I’ve heard a lot about you, so I know you won’t have a problem with that.” She paused for a second. “Now, for your chariot costume. I’ve talked with Penny’s stylist and the both of us have come up with the perfect idea.”
Later in the day it was time for the chariot rides. I was wearing no shirt with only green seaweed draped over my shoulders. I was wearing a sort of skirt that was bluish green and made me look like a merman. Paisley had given me golden trident for me to hold. I was impressed by my own chariot costume, but I was even more impressed by Penny’s. She was wearing an outfit similar to mine, but hers was in various shining colors of pink and purple. She had pieces of gold seaweed that made accented her brown hair. Her entire outfit made her glow in the low lighting of the room.
“Wow,” I said to her as she entered the room. “You look amazing,” She smiled.
“Thanks,” She said. “You don’t look so bad yourself.”
“Alright you two,” Paisley said coming up to us. “It’s almost time to start. I’ve looked around at everyone else and I have to say that you look the best out of them all, but don’t think about the rest of them. This is all about you. You want to charm the audience so much they don’t remember anyone but you.” She turned to me. “Finnick, I want you to charm all the girls out there. They’re your best chance of getting sponsors.” I nod at her nervously. I hear a loud horn sound. “That means we’re starting. I gotta go, go out there and be amazing.” She smiled at us one last time and left. Penny and I got on the chariot.
“You ready?” She asked me.
“As ready as I’ll ever be.” I tell her. Then, the chariot begins to move. As our chariot was pulled forward I put a smile on my face and tried the best that I could to get people to like me. I smiled at everyone and even winked at a few of the girls in the audience. I felt kind of awkward, but I was just following Paisley’s advice. As our chariot was pulled back into a building, Paisley came running up to us.
“That was wonderful you two. You really rock it out there. I’ve already had several people come up to me saying they want to sponsor you!”
“Wow,” I said. Paisley smiled at me.
“Just make sure you do as good in the training as well. Make sure everyone knows you are not someone to be messed with.” All of a sudden I heard a huge crash from behind me. I turned around to see the boy from District 2 had pulled a wheel off of his chariot and had thrown it at his stylist. Wow, I thought to myself. It’s the first day and he was already causing trouble.
“I don’t think he’s a person you want to mess with.” Penny said.
“Well making an alliance with him might be of your best interest.” Paisley told her. “Having someone like that on your side is better than having them against you.”
The next day it was time for training to begin. As I walked into the training room for the first time, I look around at the people who I would have to kill in order to return home. After looking around at everyone I knew that this wasn’t going to be an easy year. There were kids from Districts 11 and 7 that looked like they had trained for the games their entire life.
As training began me and Penny split up and went to different stations. Penny stayed at mostly non fighting stations, but she did find out that she was pretty handy with a bow and arrow. I tried out many different kinds of weapons, swords, bow and arrows, blow guns, but I found that I was best at throwing spears because it was the closest thing to my trident back at home.
As I was practicing my spear throwing at the spear station one of the other boys came up to me.
“You got a pretty nice aim.” He said as he prepared to throw a spear. Once the spear left his hand it hit the target right in the center.
“You’re not so bad yourself,” I told him. He smiled.
“I’ve had practice.” He held his hand out to me. “Sterling, District 1,” I put my hand out and shook his hand.
“Finnick District 4,” I responded.
“Nice to meet you,” He told me. He motioned over his shoulder. “That’s my District partner Jasmine over there.” I looked over to where he was pointing. I saw Penny at the knot tying station talking with the girl who I assumed was Jasmine.
“Huh,” I said. “That’s my District partner Penny over there talking to Jasmine.” Sterling looked over his shoulder and laughed.
“Well that’s weird how things like that work out.” I sighed.
“Now all that’s left to do is befriend that District 2 kid.” Sterling laughed.
“Why would you want him in an alliance? He’s crazy.” I looked over to the District 2 kid. He was currently at the sword training station and was brutally murdering a dummy wit h his sword.
“Viktor,” Sterling said.
“What?” I asked him confused.
“That’s his name, the District 2 kid, Viktor.”
“Even his name sound intimidating,” I responded. “But the way I see it, it’s better to have someone like him on your good side than your bad side.”
“When you look at it that way, I guess it makes sense.” Sterling responded.
“Yeah but I don’t think we’re going to befriend him by going over there and talking strategy.” I told him.
“I have an idea.” Sterling told me.
“Follow me, but not too closely far behind.” He then walked away and headed towards the knife throwing station. After about thirty seconds I followed him to the knife station. I picked up a knife and pretended to fiddle with it in my hands. I looked over at Sterling who was a few feet away from me. He nodded and then threw the knife at me and it missed me by one a few inches.
“Are you crazy?” I yelled at him.
“Look,” He said in a hushed voice. “The only way were going to befriend him is if he thinks were as crazy as he is.” It all made sense to me, and I nodded. I looked over and realized that Viktor was staring at me waiting for me to retaliate against him. I picked up the knife I was holding and lunged towards Sterling. We both ended up on the floor rolling around and two peacekeepers had to come and break us up. After our “fight” Viktor came over to us with another girl.
“Hey,” He said to us in a deep voice. “You two seem pretty good, forming an alliance might be in both of your best interest.” I looked at Sterling and we both nodded.
“As long as our District partners can be in the alliance too,” Sterling added. Viktor nodded.
“Sure why not,” he said. He pointed to the girl next to him. “This is my District partner Pandora.” She nodded towards us.
“Hey,” She said. I looked over towards the knot tying station and called over Penny who brought Jasmine along with her.
“This is my District Partner Penny,” I said. She gave me a weird look saying “Why did you ally with this psycho?” I just shrugged it off, trying to reassure her that everything would be fine.
“And this is Jasmine,” Sterling said after me. Viktor and Pandora both introduced herself.
“So,” Viktor said getting down to business. “Who do you is trouble?” Without even hesitating Sterling motioned to a group off the left.
“They’ll be trouble.” He said. “They’re from outlaying Districts, but if they bond together they’ll be trouble.” I looked over at them. There was a group of five kids standing over by the sword fighting station laughed and cautiously watching us.
“What Districts are they from?” Jasmine asked him.
“There’s the two from 11, Cale and Azalia, the two from 6, Helix and Ember, and the boy from 7 Eon.” Sterling said.
“Jeeze,” Viktor asked him. “How do you know all their names already?”
“I’m good at observing others.” Viktor narrowed his eyes at him like he was making a mental note for later.
“So it’s decided, the little group of five over there are our first targets.” Pandora said. We all nodded in agreement. I look over at the group of five, and I had the idea that they were thinking the same thing as us.
The next few days went by in a blur, and before I knew it I was being raised up on the metal plate that would bring me into the arena. As the metal plate clicked into place, I surveyed my surroundings. We were on an island, with blue water behind us a tropical jungle just behind the cornucopia that was sitting on a white sand beach. I looked over and found Penny six plates away from me standing next to the boy from 6 Helix, one of our main targets. I nodded to her.
We had gone over the plane so much it was drilled into all six of our heads. Run to the center, grab a weapon and go after the five. Taking out the others would be simpler so going after them first would be the best option for us. I looked around at the other tributes standing around me. Next to me on the right was the girl from District 8 and next to her was Viktor. I saw Sterling and Pandora a little bit off to the right standing next to each other. I couldn’t see Jasmine and I assumed she was on the opposite side of the cornucopia.
The sixty seconds slowly ticked down and the gong sounded and the games began. I sprinted forward as fast as I could not worrying about the girl from 8 on my right. I quickly picked up a spear and the six of regrouped in the middle. Sterling had a few spears in hand, and I saw Penny had a bow slung over her back, Viktor and Pandora had swords, and Jasmine had five knives in her hand. We looked around for the five of them, but none of them were to be found. They had all already run off into the jungle.
“Dang their fast,” Pandora said.
“Well, now we just take out everyone else.” Sterling said. None of the other tributes were even close to us yet, and they didn’t want to pick a fight with us, so we had to go after them. We all split up in different directions going after everyone in our paths. I saw the boy from three trying to get away so I threw my spear at him and he fell forward dead. When I went back to get a new spear I found that my allies were quickly eliminating the tributes around us. Jasmine had already taken down three tributes with her knifes, and Viktor and Pandora were slaughtering everyone with their swords, while Penny picked off the ones trying to run away with her bow. In just twenty minutes we had killed everyone in sight and the only ones left were either dead, or off in the jungle somewhere. Then, the cannons began to go off. There were ten of them. That meant that the only ones left were us six, the group of five, and three others that were lucky enough to escape.
“I think we did pretty good for the first ten minutes of the game.” Jasmine said.
“Not good enough,” Viktor said. “All five of them are still out there.” He turned to Penny.
“You could’ve easily taken out Helix; you were standing right next to him.” He said annoyed.
“I’m sorry,” Penny said annoyed. “But he’s twice my size and I’m pretty sure I would be dead right now if I attempted to fight him without a bow.”
“She’s right,” I said standing up for her. “Its better it’s the six of us against the five of them then five us versus five of them.”
“Guess you’re right,” Viktor responded but he still sounded annoyed.
“We should set up camp here for tonight.” Sterling said. “We can go after the rest of them tomorrow.”
Later in the day at sundown we heard another cannon fire. We didn’t know if the “fast five” (which was our new nickname for them) had gotten to them or if it was some kind of beast, but it didn’t really matter to us. It was just one last person we had to kill.
The next day we set out in pursuit to find the “fast five”. We knew they were somewhere in the jungle, but we didn’t know where. We hadn’t stepped foot into the jungle yet, so it was scary that they might have an advantage over us.
While trekking in the jungle, we stayed away from everything in case it was poisonous. Jasmine found out the hard way about the foot-long centipedes that secreted venom that burned your skin.
The good thing was we did discover a mango tree that was safe to eat from when we saw a small monkey like creature eating off of the tree. We made sure we knew where it was in case we ever did run out of food one day. We searched the entire jungle and we didn’t find a trace of the “fast five.” At sundown we decided to head back to our camp, but then we heard something. It was a small rustle in the bushes, but it was loud enough to catch our attention. We went over to investigate the noise and were VERY surprised to find the two tributes from nine making out in a bush. All six of us couldn’t help but start laughing. When they heard us they turned around startled.
“What’s the matter lover boy?” Pandora said to him. “Wasn’t expecting us to crash your date?” The boy from nine stood up and took out a small hunting knife.
“That’s not gonna help you buddy,” Sterling said, and then he stuck him in the stomach with a spear. Jasmine then hit the girl with a knife right in the heart. Two cannons went off.
“Now it’s just us and the five.” Penny said.
When we got back to our camp we were surprised to find that half of our supplies had been taken.
“Wow,” Sterling said. “They’re smarter then we though.”
“Now all we just have to outsmart them.” Pandora said.
“Tomorrow, we don’t stop until we find them.” Viktor said.
“Agreed,” the rest of us said together.
The next day we changed up our strategy a bit. Viktor, Jasmine, Sterling, and I stayed at the camp while Penny and Pandora went to go get fruit from the mango tree since we were now short on food. We thought we had everything figured out until we heard a scream in the distance.
“Pandora!” Viktor screamed as he got up and started running towards the sound of the scream. Sterling and I got up and followed him hoping we would be there in time to see some action, but our hopes were crushed when we got to where Penny and Pandora had been and found Pandora gasping for air on the ground with a huge knife wound in her side. On the ground were Ember and Helix, both with arrows through their necks. Penny had killed off both of them, but she had been too late to save Pandora’s life.
As soon as Viktor laid his eyes on Pandora on the ground, he dropped his weapon and fell to his knees next to her. He held her hand until she had breathed her final breath, but there was not a tear in his eye. Three cannons fire. As soon as the cannons went off, he turned his rage towards Penny.
“This is all your fault!” He screamed at her. “It’s your fault she’s dead!”
“I’m sorry; they just came out of nowhere. I did the best that I could!” She screamed back at him.
“Well your best wasn’t good enough.” Before anyone could say anything I watched in horror, almost in slow motion as he brought up his sword and swung it across cutting her head clean off her shoulders. A cannon fired. I was too shocked for a moment to even know what to do. My best friend my entire life, who volunteered trying to help save my life, was now dead because a psychopath with no emotions had just killed her. After the initial shock was over I pushed Viktor up against a tree and brought out my spear.
“What the hell is wrong with you!” I shouted at him in rage, my sword pressed up against his chest.
“You want to go at it right now!” He shouted back at me. I was about to force my spear though his heart when I was thrown backwards. Sterling and Jasmine had thrown me off of him.
“Just stop!” Sterling yelled at the both of us. “This is not going to help!”
“We can’t just kill each other off!” Jasmine added. “Because then guess what, they win and we look like idiots.” I looked at Viktor who had an evil smirk on his face and I stormed off in the other direction. Sterling was about to follow me, but Jasmine put a hand on his shoulder.
“Let him go. He needs some time.” I stormed away from the group and when I was a decent distance away from them I couldn’t help but falling to my knees and crying. I couldn’t compose myself so I was an easy target to attack at the moment, but I didn’t care. My mind just couldn’t process the fact that my best friend then I’ve known since I was born was now dead and not coming back. I didn’t even get the chance to say anything to her before she died. I never got the chance to thank her for everything she’s done for me. I didn’t even get to say goodbye to her.
What disgusted me the most was the fact that I couldn’t force myself to look at her body once Viktor had killed her. The sight was too horrible to handle, and I just couldn’t stand to look at her, and here I was crying like an idiot just begging to be attacked. I knew I owed Penny more than that. She volunteered so she could help me win. I know she would want me to win, so that what I had to do.
I was in the middle of having my mental breakdown when a parachute slowly descended next to me. I look up at the box next to me. It was much larger than any other parachute I’ve seen before. I knew it must’ve been for me so I opened it. Inside the box was a gleaming silver trident.
I couldn’t believe my eyes. Nothing this fancy had ever been granted as a gift before, and here it was in front of me. I must have amazing sponsors because this is exactly what I needed. This is exactly the thing I needed to win. I picked up the trident out of the box and gave a silent thank you to whoever pulled together to send me this. I weighed the trident in my hand and the familiar grip made me feel like I was back at home. I looked up and smiled. I knew exactly who I wanted to try my new weapon out on.
After Viktor had killed Penny, I never went back to the camp. Instead I plotted different ways that I was going to kill Viktor. I spent two days observing the camp, just watching to see what they did without me. I found one very good idea to how I was going to kill Viktor.
Because there was only three of them, Jasmine and Sterling usually guarded the camp while Viktor went and looked for food. They didn’t want to risk losing any more of their supplies, so they waited for the three that were left of the five to come to them. Viktor had made the big mistake of killing Penny, and not he was making an even bigger mistake by going off into the jungle by himself unguarded. When he was out looking for food that was when I would get him. I would make him pay for what he did to Penny.
I set my trap by the mango tree that they had been relying on for the past two days. I wove a net and set up a trigger wire by one of the ripest fruits on. If he went to pick the fruit, he would be caught in the net, and there I would be waiting in the shadows for him.
It took a few hours before I saw Viktor approach the mango tree. He was clutching his sword in his right hand. He still looked strong, but something in his expression had changed. Before he seemed afraid of nothing, but now he had a look of paranoia on his face. Afraid someone would jump out of nowhere and attack him Just like I was about to do.
I watched patiently as Viktor picked some of the fruit on the tree. I watched intensely as he reached for the fruit that I set up my trap around. As he grabbed the fruit a rope wrapped around his wrist and he was pulled upward as he was entangled in a net, his sword lying useless on the ground. I excitedly jumped out from my hiding spot with my trident in hand.
“Hello, Viktor.” I said calmly as I watched him struggle in the net. “You like my new toy.” I said waving my gleaming new trident in front of his face.
“Where’d you get that from?” He demanded. I just smiled at him.
“I have good sponsors.” I told him. I played around with my trident slashing it through the air. “You know, it’s a shame that I haven’t gotten the chance to use my wonderful new toy yet.” I told him. “Isn’t that sad.”
“What do you want?” He asked me. I stepped closer to him and smiled in his face.
“What do I want? I want you dead. I want you to pay for what you did to Penny.” I pulled my hand back and thrust me trident through the net and into his body. A second later a cannon want off. I pulled by blood stained trident from his lifeless body.
Now that I killed him, I didn’t know what I was expecting to feel. I guess I wanted to feel closure. That I had gotten revenge for what he did, but I felt nothing. I should’ve known that revenge wasn’t the answer to everything, but on the bright side, I was one person closer to winning these games, and I know that would make Penny proud. Suddenly feeling exhausted, I fell asleep against a tree, my trident laying against the tree next to me completely exposed. That was one of the dumbest mistakes I’ve made in my entire life.
I woke up suddenly and was surprised to find three people starting and smiling at me. I knew exactly who they were. Eon, Cale, and Azalia. I franticly looked around for my trident and was surprised to find that it was gone. They laughed at me.
“Looking for this.” Eon said holding up my trident.
“You know,” Azalia started to say. “I thought you were smarter than that.”
“You know how ironic it would be if you happened to be killed by the very weapon that was made especially for you to kill us with.” Eon said. “Now that would be funny.” He handed my trident to Cale. “Would you like to do the honors?” Cale grabbed the trident and approached me. He smiled.
“With pleasure,” He said smiling. He weighed the trident in his hand and got ready to throw it. As it left his hand and came towards me, I rolled to the right and the trident impaled itself in the tree right where my head was. I looked back at the tree and tried to grab the trident out of the tree.
“Get him don’t just stand there!” Cale yelled at Azalia and Eon. Eon approached me with a knife and right when he was about to stab me in the heart, he fell backwards a knife implanted in his back. I looked around and saw Jasmine already readying another knife and Sterling quickly approaching Cale.
“Long time no see Finnick.” Sterling said to me. “Why don’t you say we take out these losers?” I smiled at him.
“Gladly,” I responded. Sterling approached Cale with a determined look in his face. Cale had a sword in his hand, but he was backing himself up against a tree, which wasn’t the smartest decision on his part. Sterling had cornered him, and he had nowhere else to go, so Sterling easily impaled him in the stomach with his sword.
Jasmine on the other hand was less lucky. She had thrown all of her knifes at Azalia, but she had dodged them all. She was no defenseless as Azalia shot her at point blank range in the heart with an arrow. Just as Azalia had shot Jasmine, I mustered up all the strength that I had and pulled my trident out of the tree and sent it flying at Azalia who fell over dead on the ground. Four cannons went off. I went to go retrieve my trident and I looked up at Sterling.
“It’s just you and me now.” Sterling said to me.
“Sterling,” I began to say. “I can’t fight you.”
“Well if you don’t you die.” He said. “Do you think that I really want to fight you, but only one of can go home. The other one has to die, and I’m willing to put up a fair fight. I know you’re strong Finnick, you could possibly go home. Do you really want to give up your chances of going home because you don’t want to fight for it?” I shook my head and looked down.
“Alright,” I said. “Let’s do this.” I went over and shook his hand.
“Let the best man …” before he could finish his sentence I had thrusted my trident through his stomach and Sterling fell to the ground. I looked down at him and expected to see his face twisted with anger, but I was surprised to see him laughing.
“That was a quick one you pulled their Finnick,” he said in his dying breath.
“I’m so sorry,” I told him. He just laughed again.
“Don’t be. I’m sure you’ve made your family proud. It was an honor getting to work with you.” And with those last words his cannon fired. The last cannon of the games.
“Ladies and Gentlemen,” I head the announcer say. “I give you the victor of the 65th Hunger Games.”
As the hover craft took me away back to the Capitol, I had a lot of time to think. I was happy I was still alive, but I lost too many friends along the way. Penny, Jasmine, and Sterling, who I had actually killed myself. I trained for the Hunger Games because I thought it would be a fun adventurous experience and I would bring pride to my family, but the more I thought about it, the more wrong I thought I was. It was a very adventurous experience, but it was far from being fun. Overall, it was the worst thing I had ever gone through in my life.