The Scholarship

May 9, 2012
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The sound of bullets clashed under the dusk moonlight. Bodies fell dead on the floor, dripping blood. I ran across an empty plain into enemy territory. I had arrived at an abandoned arena, alive and unscathed. It was surrounded by thick grey walls of concrete and discarded bullet shells on the ground. Several marble pillars stood in every direction. I had to kill my way through the arena. I had to win the Rosetta prize; no matter what the cost.

I looked around to see if the coast was clear. “Hey, Sera,” I whispered. “It’s safe now. You better get ready.”

A girl jumped out of the shadows and ran to the top of a pillar. She wore a tight black jumpsuit and carried a long machete, covered in blood. Looks like I picked the right partner. We’re both high school seniors, hoping to graduate next term. I gave her the go ahead thumbs up. She nodded and took out her sleek sniper rifle. She crouched in a cheetah like position, waiting to attack.

I heard the sound of footsteps draw near the arena. I sent Sera a cautious look to stay hidden and wait. She signaled and went back to her usual stance. We both knew we had to act fast.

I quickly hid behind one of the pillars; my gun was ready to shoot. There wasn’t much cover in this area, so we would have to be on our guard. We were low on ammo, but I had a few grenades ready just in case. If all went well, the prize would be ours. The footsteps echoed louder and louder, until we faced a heavily armed gang of seniors.

Some wore the same tight jumpsuits as Sera and carried massive machine guns. A large, muscular fiend wielded a sleek rifle and a large metal rod. His scars proved he’d been in battles like this before. They were the toughest of the bunch – we were cornered.

“It’s useless Anderson! We know you’re here! Give it up already,” he shouted. He told a few of his gang members to shoot around and look for us.

I motioned Sera to move to the pillar behind them. This would give us the advantage and the perfect sniping spot. We moved briskly through the shadows, without being detected. From there, we couldn’t be seen and those idiots were sitting ducks.

The senior banged his metal rod against one of the pillars, partially smashing it to bits. He cursed into the air and threw his rod across the floor.

“Anderson!” he yelled. “You know we both want the Rosetta prize! My family is counting on me to win. I need this man!” He paused for a few seconds, lost in a sad daze. “So what’s it gonna be? You ready to quit?”

He waited for a reply, but I wasn’t stupid. He was just using that to give away my location - like I’d fall for that stupid trick.

“I see then,” he mumbled. His eyes gleamed in the moonlight. For a few seconds, there was silence. Then, a hurricane of bullets flew past us. How did they find out where we were? It was useless. I had to wait until they ran out of ammo. I saw Sera crouched behind a dark pillar. She was smart to have done that.

“Hey Gary,” I replied in the dark, “Sorry, but I ain’t losing to you. I want the prize too.” I came out of hiding and threw the grenades at the Gary and his gang.

BAM! The whole arena exploded, sending people flying into different directions. A large smokescreen filled the arena. I shouted, “Better luck next time!”

A few of the gang members were dead; others were coughing and gagging in the thick fog. I swept through the searing smoke and shot down anyone who was left. The smokescreen didn’t reach Sera, but it helped her snipe people from afar; bringing them down like a pro. The people who tried to shoot at her didn’t stand a chance. This was why I was her partner.

When everything cleared, Gary was the only one left standing. Sera and I approached him carefully, guns in hand. He stood there shaking and afraid to acknowledge what just happened. Within a few minutes, he had watched his fellow comrades die in front of him. Tears started to form around his eyes and he fell on his knees; begging for mercy.

“Please man… don’t… don’t do this. I’m sure we can figure something ou –”

BANG! I shot him straight through the head. His body falls on the floor and a pool of blood formed around him.

Suddenly, a giant screen appeared out of nowhere.

“Congratulations Anderson Bradley!” a speaker from the screen said. “You have just won the $100,000 Rosetta Scholarship Prize for the college of your choice. Please head to the main office to collect your prize.”

A golden staircase opened up from the sky. I looked around the messy arena. Blood was splattered all over the walls and bodies were soaked in pools of blood.

Sera followed me up the stairs. She kept her calm composure and stoic personality in check. It was one of her favorite character traits. Then she asked me, “Are you one step closer to your goal yet?”

I stopped and paused to think for a few minutes. Finally, a sly smile formed around my face. “Why yes Sera…” I answered. “Yes I am.”

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This article has 8 comments. Post your own now!

ritabelle511This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Jul. 14, 2012 at 11:46 am
I finally got around to reading some of your work! I really enjoyed this piece - it was very intense, and I felt like it fits the competition between students for college scholarships and acceptance.  Very well written and original, and I have to agree with Apollo77, it did remind me of The Hunger Games! I really enjoyed reading it!
WSwilliams replied...
Jul. 15, 2012 at 8:42 am
thanks! I'll continue to read some more of your work in the future.
Apollo77 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 12, 2012 at 11:45 am
I think that this is a creative comparison...usually people say that doing anything to reach your goal is admirable, but this is a look at how it can be, well, not...i feel like this is exactly the hunger games, except not and i dont know how i like that, but oh well. Pretty good!
WSwilliams replied...
Jul. 13, 2012 at 8:32 am
I wasn't trying to make it look like hunger games. whenever I write, i try to be original and I was just writing about what teens would do to get a scholarship, go to a good school, adn have a better life.
Apollo77 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jul. 13, 2012 at 12:29 pm
No i get that, i was just saying it seems extreme and the theme is not exactly rare...i think it is very original to compare such things...
WSwilliams replied...
Jul. 13, 2012 at 4:06 pm
Thanks! I'll keep in touch with you and I'm looking forward to read more of your fiction. :)
TTTeeSS said...
May 24, 2012 at 4:48 pm
This is a very creative and impressive piece! I loved the idea of it,
ShadowRealms said...
May 14, 2012 at 8:24 pm
Wow. This was different, but yet it makes total sense. I really loved it:D it's a different way to show how people claw their way to the top, and as you can tell, you already have the perfect amount of detail, and the way you portray your characters is divine. :)
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