Thursday, 10 October 2013

The Beginning Of The Games + Day 1

And we're back. The following is the combined perspectives of everyone's entries. From here on, you will have to submit one entry per two weeks, just as before. You will cover a single day in those weeks. Remember to confer with your alliance members and to REREAD THE RULES.
Before that, though, here are the pack contents that have been taken.

 - 1 empty 250mL bottle
 - 2 boxes of 25 crackers
 - 1 box of ten wooden matches
 - 1 heat-reflective blanket
 - 4 slices of dried beef
 - 2 sheets of plastic
 - 1 coiled wire of 10m
 - 1 bottle of iodine
 - 1 pair of heat-preserving gloves
 - 1 pair of night-vision glasses
 - 1 awl
 - 1 heat-reflective sleeping bag
 - 1 box of 25 crackers
 - 1 pair of night-vision glasses
 - 1 heat-reflective sleeping bag
 - 2 boxes of 10 wooden matches
 - 7 slices of dried beef
 - 3 boxes of 10 wooden matches
 - 2 awls
 - 4 slices of dried beef
 - 1 box of 25 crackers


As the gong sounds, most competitors move forwards off their pedestals. At once, Ganz from 11 trips over her feet in eagerness and buries her skull into an upturned hatchet, becoming the first death of the Games.
The only tributes that manoeuvre themselves in the opposite direction are Inkbright of 8, Nemesis 6 and Sky 3. Nemesis submerges himself in the 10m stretch of water at once and soon encounters Sky once on dry land again. He manages to submerge her head into the water once again and drowns her in a few short minutes.
Meanwhile, many of the other competitors have sprinted into the very heart of the Cornucopia. Every competitor for Districts 1 and two reach the Cornucopia and emerge with weapons. Cain of 2 guards the weapons while the other three go off to hunt. Inkbright acquires rope of a fair length after tripping over it and then follows Nemesis across the water. Vicissitude of 1 kills Life of 7 and Braginski of 5 takes down LeStarre of 10 with a knife to the neck. Gray of 9 plunges a knife into the skull of his fellow District partner, Leamy, and then heads for the water stretch with a blue pack.

Wolf of 6 has secured a blue backpack and has retreated into the forest along with her allies, Inkbright (who finally made it to dry land after a good minute or so of panicking in the water), Leno of 8, and Nemesis, while Cat from 12 follows suit, though not part of the pack. She carries a green pack and a few different assorted items. Gray works up the courage to plunge into the water, crosses it, and sprints for the jungle where he lingers out of sight, waiting for the bloodbath to pass. Threatening of 4 has secured a red and a green pack along with a spear, and has ended the life of Goran from 10. Somewhere in here Braginski kills LeStarre from 10. 
Rose of 4 and Daniels of 11 have both caught up with Threatening, another complete alliance, with a single orange pack and a few knives. Rose suffers a knife wound to her shoulder, and the trio head for the forest. Cain kills Fitz of 7 with a sword.
Phoenix retreats into the jungle a fair distance away from Gray with no weapons and a yellow pack.

Cieran Sever, Vestige Vicissitude, Ariston Nevmer, Miss Cain, Nixion Strange and Sparky Braginski remain at the Cornucopia as the career pack of the Games. 
Eden Threatening, Death Rose and Tug Daniels run through the forest as an alliance. 
   Alvard Nemesis, Christine Wolf, Cambric Leno and Star Inkbright also dwell in the forest as another alliance.
Flame Phoenix runs from the Cornucopia in the jungle, alone. Shaun Gray also resides in the jungle, though on the outskirts, watching the careers.

The bodies of Helena Sky, Darcy Fitz, Niamh Life, Elizabeth Leamy, Pullus Goran, Kestrel LeStarre, Tarny Ganz and Robby Shepard litter the concrete slab and make up the dead. The cannon fires seven times. The bloodbath comes to a close. The games begin.


Start. You have two weeks to submit your entries to me via email [] and then comment them on this post after getting my permission. By the 24th of October this has to be completed. If you need extra time, this is fine, as long as you have a good reason for it, as always.

Due to reduced internet speed tonight, it appears I can't upload the maps containing information on water streams or the time it takes to cross certain areas of the arena. Those will be uploaded tomorrow.

Certain conditions concerning different areas of the arena are also in the process of being written and will be uploaded as soon as they are completed.

Updates And Announcements:
Statistics [In-Games] page has been updated.


  1. I wasn't PANICKING. I was DROWNING!
    . . . WHILST panicking. XD
    But the point is, I was panicking not because the water was being watery like water, but because I was drowning. Which was because the water was being watery like water. But that's not the point. Or maybe it is, I don't know. I don't actually KNOW the point.
    . . .
    I don't even know why I'm saying this.

    . . . Yes.

    But - do we comment our previous entries here? Because, and I quote, you said "there will be another post containing the summary of the bloodbath events following this one which your entries will be commented on." So do we comment them on? Or do we not need to, as the summary summaries? I don't mind either way - just asking.


    1. This is a very good point.


    2. Oh jeez, I meant to reply to this ages ago, and I'm only just remembering now.

      Uh, I decided against getting people to comment their entries of the bloodbath, because instead of getting people to correct their entries this time around, I simply asked them for details that needed fixing (colours of packs, assigning CPU's, etc.). As such, many of the submitted entries are completely wrong and wouldn't go well here. There are only three people with comment-ready entries and I just didn't think it was worth the effort to follow up.

      Especially since it takes people longer than the two weeks to complete regular entries anyway.

  2. Day One

    Within seconds I’ve made it to Nixion’s side. Even thought Miss and I made a deal, I can’t trust these guys to not kill him. Vestige is the first to speak.
    “Thanks, by the way.” She says. I frown slightly.
    “You took out the girl with the bow and arrows.”
    “Ah, yeah, well. She was aiming for Miss, and I made a deal. I wasn’t even sure that you used that weapon, anyway.” I say. She chuckles.
    “Braginski, now would be an awful time to have a flaw.”
    “I assure you, I have none.” I flash a smile. “Speaking of having no flaws, I’ve come to the conclusion that staying on the side of the ring doesn’t share that trait with myself.” Is that good? Right to the point. That’s good, right? Yes. Now back it up. How? Think on your feet, Sparks. Who’s the biggest competition?
    “How’s that?” Miss asks. Think, think, think.
    “Well, the person who scored the next highest is from District 4. She’s going to be our biggest competition for now, and she’d be the best swimmer in the Games. Why make it so she can get to us with less trouble than us to her? We’re a bigger group, so it’s harder for us to move efficiently.” They all look at Ariston, who nods after a moment.
    “Sounds legit. Where’s camp going to be?” He asks. I shrug.
    “Wherever you want, dude.” I say. “Nixion, get to work.”
    “Carrying stuff is your job, remember?” I ask. He frowns at me and speaks.
    “Wouldn’t it go faster if we all carried stuff I mean-“ I grab his collar and slap him.
    “It’s not your job to think, Nixion, it’s your job to carry. I suggest you start doing that now.”
    “But I just thought-” I throw him to the ground and kick his side.
    “Every time you speak, you get a kick. Have you got anything else to say before you start working?”
    “N-“ I throw my foot into his side again and he groans.
    “Anything else?” He shakes his head and I pull him to his feet. “Good.” I shove him towards the supplies and brush my jacket off. I look back at the Careers.
    “I’m afraid he still needs to be broken in. But I should make it clear, I’m the only one who’s allowed to harm him. Is that okay with you?” They all nodded and I nodded back. “Great.” I walk back over to where Nixion is deciding where to start.
    “By the way, if I see you pocket anything, you’ll be dead before you even realize I caught you.” He only nods in response. He’s learning. How marvelous.

  3. I few hours pass by. I’ve taken off my jacket since the Bloodbath, monitoring Nixion’s work. As he carries the final bag across I walk back into the Cornucopia to make sure he didn’t miss anything. Satisfied, I walk back to the ring of water. On the other side the Careers have set up a camp. Throw my jacket back on and, as a second thought, pull the watch off and tucking it into one of the zipped pockets of the jacket. I walk ten or so metres away from the water to get a run up. I sprint forward and dive into the water, swimming down and (hopefully) forwards. I touch the other side of the ring and kick up to the surface. Thank god Ryder encouraged diving. Ain’t that right. I climb out of the ring and put my watch back on as I walk over to the camp. The boys set up a rack of some sort, which I throw my sopping jacket over. It’s heading towards the getting dark part of the day now, so I sit down and Sever tosses me an apple. I catch it and set it down beside me, I don’t want to eat it before I have to. Ves sets down the throwing knives next to me and I smile at her in thanks. I watch Nixion loitering around the supplies.
    “Nixion, if you’re hungry take an apple. No more.” I say. “And keep watch.” I add. He does as I say, and I’m about to take a bite of my apple when he taps my shoulder.
    “What is it?” I ask. He points to the trees on the other end of the Cornucopia clearing where I can see none other than that idiot Phoenix walking towards me. Hey now, you quite liked him this morning. No emotions. The other Careers are all standing up watching him walk over to us with his hands empty and in the air.
    “Let me handle this, if you will.” I say, slipping a knife into my pants, against my hip.
    “I’m unarmed!” He calls. I can’t help but roll my eyes.
    “Do you have a death wish, Flame?” I call. Might as well make this good for the cameras. They’ll eat that nickname up in the Capitol. Phoenix smiles and lowers his hands.
    “Sparks! You can convince them to let me stay with you guys, right?” He’s about fifteen metres away now. Get him a bit closer.
    “Gee, Flame, I’m not sure.” He slows down a little. He’s about eight metres off now. “Not another step closer.” I say. He stops and frowns.
    “Sparks, it’s just me, I don’t have any supplies. You can trust me.” He says. I laugh. I properly crack up. That’s the funniest thing I’ve heard in ages. Oh wow he’s completely oblivious.
    “You’re of no use here, Phoenix. You have until I count to three to get out of my sight. One.”
    “Sparky, it’s okay! I’m harmless!”
    “Sparky!” he steps forward, his arms out in passive surrender. I pull the knife out and throw it at his face before he can move closer. It hits him dead in his left eye, and I can’t help but smile at how shocked he looks.
    “I told you not to come any closer, Flame.” I chuckle, walking over to his corpse. I bend over and grip the handle of the knife. I tug it out of his head and wipe the gooey mess off the blade and onto the grass. I walk back to the camp as the cannon fires and toss the knife onto the ground.
    “So, what’s for dinner?”

  4. *EIGHT


  5. I continued to move away from the cornucopia, alternating from jogging to walking when I got tired or bored of one. I kept up this pattern through the woods for about an hour, looking for a decent enough spot to camp. I passed a few good places on the walk but they were all too close to the centre of the Arena for my safety.
    After about an hour of walking, I reached a circle of pine trees and a few birches with deep moss and fern covering the floor. I picked the sturdiest looking birch and threw myself down against it, gladly taking the pain for the backrest. Once I got comfy and moderately happy about my choice in camp, I pulled my bag off of my back and tipped it up, spilling its contents onto the floor. I ended up sorting them in order of usefulness, the sleeping bag on one end and the plastic sheet on the other. I thought about the uses of the plastic sheet for a moment and then shoved the folded square back in my bag when I came up with none. I packed the remainder of items away but tucked the awl and the knife into the side of my boot.
    I stood up, making sure the blades were not making contact with my skin and had no chance of cutting me. After I was sure I wasn't in danger of cutting myself I looked up into the trees, surveying the head height branches. I picked a birch branch that looked sturdy and hauled myself up onto it. I climbed until the branches got smaller and weaker and hooked my bag onto the highest branch I trusted. I climbed back down and carved a spiral into the trunk with my awl.

    For the rest of the day, I set myself a challenge to keep myself occupied: to collect ferns for a shelter. I got to work slicing the fern stalks and putting them in a pile. Once I had achieved my target and collated a big enough bundle, I climbed back into the tree and retrieved my steel pole. I propped the steel pole up against the birch tree, forming a triangle with the ground. I then began layering the ferns on the shelter structure. Just before the daylight disappeared, I climbed back into the tree and took down my bag. I placed the glasses from my bag on to see if they worked as night vision, which they did, and finished up layering the ferns. When my shelter was finished and kind of blended in with the floor, I placed the plastic sheet on the floor of my shelter and got in my sleeping bag. I fell asleep straight away.

    Sparky makes her way over to Nixion’s side, and to us Careers. Ves speaks up first.
    “Thanks, by the way.”
    Sparky frowns, but only a little.
    “You took out the girl with the bow and arrows.”
    “Ah, yeah, well. She was aiming for Miss, and I made a deal,” I didn't even notice the girl with the arrows! “I wasn't even sure that you used that weapon, anyway.”
    Ves chuckles.
    “Braginski, now that would be an awful time to have a flaw.”
    “I assure you, I have none.” Sparky flashes a grin. “Speaking of having no flaws, I’ve come to that conclusion that staying on the side of the ring doesn't share that trait with myself.”
    I decide to speak up.
    “How’s that?” I ask.
    “Well,” begins Sparky. “The person who scored the next highest is from District 4. She’s going to be our biggest competition for now, and she’d be the best swimmer in the Games. Why make it so she can get to us with less trouble than us to her? We’re a bigger group, so it’s harder for us to move efficiently.”
    We all look at Ariston. He nods after a moment.
    “Sounds legit. Where’s camp going to be?”
    Sparky shrugs.
    “Wherever you want, dude. Nixion, get to work.”
    “Carrying stuff is your job, remember?”
    Nixion frowns and begins speaking, “Wouldn’t is go faster is we all carried stuff I mean-“
    Sparky grabs his collar and gives him a slap.
    “It’s not your job to think, Nixion, it’s your job to carry. I suggest you start doing that now.”
    “But I just thought-“ Sparky throws Nixion to that ground, and gives him a kick in the side.
    “Every time you speak, you get a kick. Have you got anything else to say before you start working?”
    “N-“ Sparky gives another kick in his side, and Nixion groans.
    “Anything else?”
    Nixion shakes his head, and Sparky hauls him to his feet.
    “Good.” She shoves him towards to supplies, and brushes off her jacket. She looks back at us.
    “I’m afraid he still needs to be broken in. But I should make it clear, I’m the only one who’s allowed to harm him. Is that okay with you?” We all nod. Sparky nods back. “Great.”
    She walks back over to Nixion who’s over at the supplies.
    “By the way, if I see you pocket anything, you’ll be dead before you even realize I caught you.” Nixion nods in response to her.
    I make a mental note to not get on her bad side.

  7. A couple of hours pass, and I sit with Ves, Cieran and Ariston around our camp for the night. I see Nixion come over with the last bag of supplies, and Sparky on the other side, checking for any missed supplies.
    Ariston and Cieran have set up some sort of rack to hang our jackets. Sparky comes over, and hangs her jacket over it. Cieran tosses Sparky an apple, which she catches, and places beside her. Ves hands places down the throwing knives next to Sparky, and she smiles in thanks.
    “Nixion, if you’re hungry, take an apple. No more.” Says Sparky. “And keep watch.”
    Nixion does as he is told. I stare at the ground, none of us speaking, until I hear Sparky:
    “What is it?”
    I turn to face Sparky, who’s looking at where Nixion is pointing. I stand, as does everyone else. It’s the boy from 5. Phoenix. He walks over to us with his hands in the air and empty.
    Sparky speaks before anyone else can.
    “Let me handle this, if you will.” She slips in a knife against her hip.
    Phoenix calls out, “I’m unarmed!”
    “Do you have a death wish, Flame?” Sparky calls back.
    Flame. What a nickname. He smiles, and lowers his hands.
    “Sparks! You can convince them to let me stay with you guys, right?”
    “Gee, Flame, I’m not sure.” Phoenix begins to slow down, but only a little. “Not another step closer.” He stops and frowns.
    “Sparks, it’s just me, I don’t have any supplies. You can trust me.”
    Sparky laughs.
    “You’re of no use here, Phoenix. You have until I count to three to get out of my sight. One.”
    “Sparky, it’s okay! I’m harmless!”
    “Sparky!” Phoenix steps forward, his arms out in surrender.
    Sparky pulls the knife out and throws it, hitting him dead in his left eye. I see Sparky grin at his shock.
    “I told you not to come any closer, Flame.” She chuckles. She walks over to the once alive Phoenix, and tugs out the knife, wiping the blood and goo off. The cannon fires as Sparky heads back over, and she tosses the knife to the ground.
    The Capitol must have loved that.
    “So, what's for dinner?”

  8. Day 1

    The bloodbath is quite obviously over now. I survey the Cornucopia from my position in the jungle, safely obscured from the careers, but with a good viewing point. Convenient, really. Seven of the tributes lie dead on the concrete slab. One other floats atop the water surrounding it. I take note of as many of the other competitors that had fled as possible. Most of the other tributes are in the forest, I am aware, and I’m certain of at least one other tribute in the jungle along with me. As he passed, I glimpsed his face and identified him as the other tribute from 5. The possibility of hunting him down and putting an end to that problem occurs to me, but I shrug it off. As far as I could see, the boy had no weapons to speak of, and did not appear particularly threatening. If I had to kill him, I could manage it with relative ease. For now, I decided, I would remain here and survey the careers until signalled by Braginski.
    In honesty, I’m really sure if I’m going to get a signal from her. What her plan is from here, I haven’t the faintest. Hadn’t bothered to ask, because I hadn’t thought I’d be alive to see it from until very recently. As a result of this, I’m properly clueless as to when I should make my way over to them. My brain considers abandoning them and making my own way through the Games, but I decide against it. When it comes down to surviving, the person to listen to is Hayden, and he’s told me to ally myself with Braginski. I’ve done that, so now I should stick to that plan for as long as I can. Besides, I can abandon them later any time I feel like it. May as well get on their good side for now.
    I see Sparky knocking Nixion about, which doesn’t bring a grin to my lips, but amuses me to an extent. It would have to be made clear to the Careers that I’m not simply another Nixion to them. Whether or not Braginski makes that clear or I do, I don’t particularly care. The Careers still don’t intimidate me, nor does Braginski herself. The fact that I suddenly value my life is still surprising, but I’m sure that if I have to go out it won’t be on their terms.

    Nixion is put to carrying all the supplies from the Cornucopia across the water while the rest of the Careers go about setting up their camp on the other side. They converse and prepare and build and a bunch of other stuff that looks really boring, so I stop paying attention for a while and turn to examine what supplies I have.
    The pack I secured was blue, and no doubt the Gamemakers filled each different pack with a variety of items. I can only hope that there’s something warm in this pack, since I might have to wait the night out before I can approach the Careers. The contents consists of a pair of sunglasses, a sleeping bag, 2 boxes of matches and seven slices of dried beef. The sleeping bag is excellent, and the beef is a nice touch, but I can confidently assume that I’ll never end up using the matches, and I’m confident that I’ll be wanting as much authentic vision as I can while in the arena. Sunglasses mean nothing.
    I repack all the supplies into my pack and go back to surveying the careers. By now the sun is beginning to set, so I’ll have to make a decision soon on whether or not I should-

    Ooh, what’s this?

    The boy from 5 emerges from the jungle a fair distance across from my position and begins approaching the Careers. I look on in amusement, having a fairly good idea as to what their reaction to his presence would be.
    Needless to say, within a few more seconds the boy was lying dead with one of Braginski’s knives protrouding from one of his eye sockets. It is then that I decide to wait the night out and do something about them tomorrow.

    As night begins to fall, I take out my sleeping bag and secure myself in it. It’s not long before the Capitol emblem appears in the sky and the anthem of Panem begins to play as the faces of the dead are displayed in the sky.

  9. I slowed when Eden did. Tug tossed me my pack and I cursed when I caught it. "Great idea... Backpacks... Twenty points if we have medical equipment... My shoulder is killing me!" I whined, hoping no one would pay attention to me. "Sorry, I'm going to have to rant every now and then... Or else I'll go insane!" I shrugged and grit my teeth as pain lanced through my shoulder.
    I hunkered down to the damp underbrush and unzipped my orange backpack. I pulled out a coil of sturdy wire that would make fantastic snares with, a pair of weird gloves, two sheets of plastic and a bottle of liquid. I pulled open the lid and took a sniff, retracting quickly. "I got iodine!" She muttered with disgust. "Dad used to have this stuff in the garage. When he cut himself on the old boat, the splinters were nasty and yuck." I looked up at both the boys and grinned. "Now, let's hope that this works on my shoulder." I pooled a bit of the brown liquid onto my hand and pulled the the neck of my shirt so I could disinfect my wound.
    It stung when it made contact and I hissed through my teeth. I looked around then settled on tearing off the hem of my shirt, half bandaging her shoulder and tying it off with a bit of wire around it. "Okay..." I whispered and looked at my arm. "I'm not going to move that for a while..." I packed everything back into my heavy pack and looked at Eden.
    I didn't quite see what he had gotten in his pack and Tug was already leaning against a nearby tree, grinning. I sent a smile back at him as I fixed my shirt and straightened.
    I listened to Eden's thoughts on survival and nodded. Tug didn't seem to have a problem as he took my pack from me and shouldered Eden's spare. "I'm just going to put this out here right now," I said, sighing. "This mainly applies to Tug. Just because I'm a girl, doesn't mean I get special treatment. I'm probably just as strong as any of you." I rolled my shoulder for effect, stifling my curse of pain.
    Eden started to climb the tree and Tug followed. I monkeyed up - one handed - and higher than the other two. I was lighter than both of them, my slender physique made it easier for me to get to the top. "I wonder if they can see me now... Mum, dad, can you hear me?" I whispered to myself as I leaned against the trunk. The sun was setting. I was slightly hungry but my fear and nervousness stopped it from making too much of an impact. "Hey guys," I called down, my voice hollow. "If I die, I want you to know that you're both wonderful. I'm sorry if I've caused anyone any pain..." I took a deep breath. "Being a pessimist is overrated." I pushed my hair out of my face and leaned my head back on the rough bark. Please let me live... I thought and closed my eyes. I could probably spend the rest of my life up a tree and wait out the rest of the game... Hoping that the last few Tributes killed each other.
    "Oi, tonight we should go check out the Cornucopia!" Tug suggested brightly. "Maybe no one will be there yet! We could take it!" Tug was a few branches underneath Eden and I wondered how he could remain so calm.
    "Well, I ain't going. I'm hurt." I chimed in.
    "I'll go. I've got a machete." Tug replied. "Nice shot back there, bud." He said to Eden.
    I tuned them out. I didn't want to hear the tales of murder. Not yet, at least.

  10. The boys got up an started to head out so I assume they were going to inspect the Cornucopia. "Your funeral..." I muttered under my breath. With the boys gone, I realised I was completely defenceless. I froze up and slowly, very, very slowly, climbed further up the tree. At least I could take a look at my shoulder without the guys there...
    I pulled my arm out the sleeve of my shirt and peeked over my shoulder. I hissed as pain shot through me and the sight. It was a nice clean cut, stopped by my shoulder blade. I silently thanked God that it wasn't as deep as I thought.
    Sighing heavily, I put my shirt back on properly and sat back on the branch. I was happy I was so light. It was a convenience that could save my life and it was also a lot better when it came to safety around Eden and Tug.
    I didn't know what side they were on and I didn't blame them; even I didn't know what side I was on.

  11. We kept running, to that point where you’re in running mode and you just sort of run, despite the fact you want to stop. We weren’t running too fast, because the ground was infected with twisty bits of twig and soggy leaves that lay in wait waiting to trip people up, trunks that took up stances in your path, blocking your way, and branches that desperately grabbed onto you, like they were fishing for people to take home and eat for dinner. I thought for a bit about in which ways they would serve people, like - would they roast us or boil us or fry us or mash us like potato or eat us raw or did it depend on personal preference?
    We stopped when the trees had decided to form a pack to hunt us, and were crowding close, believing in safety in numbers, and so were too dense to run through. We stood there for a bit getting our breath back. The trees didn’t attack us. I think they’d decided they didn’t much like the look of us after all and were arguing whether to kill us anyway just because or give up and go home.
    “I say we hide in a large bush and see if anybody is following us, and change our route,” Alvard proposed.
    “Good idea,” I told him. Ooh, maybe that’s why the trees hadn’t attacked us, or at least why they hadn’t left – maybe they were waiting for the person following us. I almost told them good luck, but remember that they didn’t speak my language.
    We looked around for a bush, staying in earshot. “Do you know any good bushes to hide in around here?” I asked a tree, just in case it could speak my language. It pointed to the left. And to the right. And forwards. And backwards. And in multiple diagonal directions. It had a lot of branches; I don’t suppose it could help it. Must be hard to do anything, with all those branches getting in your way. No wonder trees couldn’t stand moving anywhere.
    “Thank you,” I told it, and wandered off in one of the directions it had pointed in.
    “Were you just speaking to that tree?” Cambric frowned.
    “Um . . .” I thought about it. “Maybe.”
    He looked at me like I was mad.
    Eventually, Christine found a large bush. No, she didn’t – she found a HUGE bush. I think it must have been conjoined large bush triplets. We all sat in this bush, one after the other, and there were trees (small ones) growing INSIDE the bush. What on earth.
    Alvard asked if we were visible, and Christine replied that we weren’t, even though we sort of were, because we weren’t Invisible, we just couldn’t be seen from outside the bush unless you looked carefully.
    I didn’t really believe anyone could be following us, but after a bit Charlotte Cat appeared, her knife out. I stopped breathing. She didn’t see us; she was moving determinedly along the path we had been going.
    After she had disappeared again, we pushed our way out of the bush monstrosity and walked away in a separate direction, communicating by pointing and nodding and shaking. We even managed to have a pointing/nodding/shaking argument, which was kind of impressive. It wasn’t much of an argument, though. Alvard pointed one way and Cambric pointed another way, and Alvard shook his head, and Cambric shook his head, and then they spent about a minute making aggressive pointing and shaking movements before Christine wandered off in another direction and we had to follow her or lose her.
    Once we’d walked for quite a while, I decided to smash the silence with a hammer. “That was a close one.”
    “Yep,” Alvard agreed, before launching into suggestions. “We need to find a large tree to camp out for the night. Then we find water, then a weapon.” He’d clearly been thinking about this.
    “Okay,” Cambric nodded.

  12. Alvard tosses us a stick he’d picked up, and looks around for another one. I get tossed a rock, though, coz I’m speckle. I caught it as well. That’s impressive, for me. I jiggled it in my hands a bit feeling proud, before my brain switched on and I frowned. “A rock?”
    “A stick?” echoed Cambric.
    “We need something to protect ourselves with. Pretend that stick is a knife and that boulder is a face-pounder.”
    We nodded, some of us serious and some of us just looking doubtfully at our so-called ‘boulders’.
    We kept on walking. I had a feeling everyone’s feet were beginning to hurt, but I only knew for certain that mine were. I wondered if I could just yell at the trees to come to my aid if I was attacked. Maybe hold up my ‘boulder’ (it’s a stone, for heaven’s sake. It’s about as heavy as a large paperweight) to point out that I had done them a favour by clearing up their forest.
    . . . Maybe not.
    Alvard told us to look around for trees.
    “Found one,” I said, pointing in numerous directions like a tree myself.
    He gave me a look. “I mean a tree we can sleep in.”
    “Okay,” I said. I started looking above me for large trees with good branches, and stumbled over a root, nearly mutilating it with my ‘boulder’, which jerked in my hands (I then realised I could put it in my pocket, and felt stupid for not realising it before. My wrists and fingers and arms were aching now).
    You would have thought that the rope incident at the beginning would have taught me a lesson, wouldn’t you?
    After a bit, we found one, and decided to climb up it. I’d always loved climbing trees. Look for handholds, look for footholds, don’t get any branches in your way, pull yourself up, look for more holds. But sometimes you didn’t need holds – sometimes you could just brace yourself against the tree trunk. I tried it on a fairly branchless section, and managed to get my body further up so my feet were almost level with my hands, then braced my knee against another branch and reach for another handhold. As I gripped on, my position shifted, I was less tense and my knee slipped away from the branch, causing my feet to slide away from me.

  13. Alvard mostly caught me as I started falling to my death, and pulled me up. I got my foot in another foothold – a little hollow – and got my bearings back again.
    So much for awesome climbing techniques.
    “Thanks,” I told him.
    “No problem, we’re a group right?”
    It was an interesting question. We were a group – until some of us got killed, and eventually our numbers dwindled down until there were none left.
    Or, worse – we were a group, until most of the other competitors were dead and we started turning on each other in hopes of winning.
    I wasn’t going to turn on anyone. Too risky. I was going to run.
    I wondered about when I should run – when there were six competitors left? Too much, too little? - as I climbed, changing my body into different positions to ascend the tree, making judgments on which branches to use.
    Near the top, there were enough strong, thick branches for us to decide to stop. We all sat down in awkward positions, changed to different, still-awkward positions, and gave up with being comfortable. Christine pulled the rucksack off her bag.
    Ah, the rucksack. My metaphorical ears perked up. I mean, I do have non-metaphorical ears, but human ears can’t really perk. They just sort of . . . be there. I’m not too sure in the point in them, too be honest. I mean, I do get the hearing part, but why the random bit of skin sticking out the side of our heads? What purpose do they serve, other than freezing to death in cold weather and giving us more surface area to get injured on?
    The first thing she pulled out was some brown things. Then someone exclaimed about it, and I realised it was dried beef.
    Oh YES.
    We wouldn’t starve yet.
    She counted them. I could smell them now, or maybe it was my imagination. I wasn’t very close to her. Seven slices.
    Seven divided by four was one slice each and then some fractions. Hmm. There wasn’t really that MUCH meat.
    There was also two boxes, which we discovered contained matches. That sounded awesome, but when you thought about it it wasn’t really. We couldn’t light a fire, for fear of being discovered.
    There was also night-vision glasses, one pair, which WAS awesome. We could use those.
    Taking up most of the space was a sleeping bag. It looked like a proper kind of sleeping bag that would keep you properly warm, although that could be fake, I suppose. Anyway, it was awesome. “Shall we take turns with it?” I asked. I received okays in reply.
    Christine turned the bag upside down (not literally. Although she did do it literally as well, to see if anything fell out of it) trying to find anything else, but there was nothing. Or so she said. She wouldn’t let anyone else touch it.

  14. We cut one of the beef slices into four and ate that. The beef was hard and tasted a bit funny, but I was hungry, and it was food, so I ate it.
    You’d wonder why the trees didn’t take this attitude to us. I didn’t suggest it to them, though, for obvious reasons.
    Then we all decided to tie ourselves to the branches with my rope, you know, the evil one that tripped me up (hmm. Sleeping in an evil tree, secured by an evil rope. Not the brightest idea). Naturally, we all moved to different positions, having realised how uncomfortable our previous ones were, and shifted from uncomfortable position to uncomfortable position until we just decided to put up with one of them and lay there feeling uncomfortable. Christine had the sleeping bag, though, so she’d be comfortable. Hopefully. I wanted to look forward to using it.
    Some people can close their eyes and be asleep in five minutes, but I have to lie awake until it comes to me. I think some of us were asleep when the cannons boomed (Cambric was woken up and got annoyed. Haha), but I wasn’t. I counted, watching the faces in the sky. It was rather like counting the chimes of our clock at home. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven.
    Seven dead. Seven.
    Whilst I’d been theorising about evil trees, people I sort of knew had been dying, killed by people I sort of knew. Announced as calmly as if it were the hour.
    Maybe it was the hour, here. Maybe hours were like that.
    I thought about the people I’d seen in the sky. In the sky like stars. Like stars who’d shone brightly, then been blown out of existence and dissolved to black holes.
    They were only young. They’d had a whole LIFE. They’d barely lived. They could have grown up to be anything. And why were they killed? So the Capitol could remind us that they could kill us? Okay, we get the message, you don’t need to keep repeating it!
    I imagined Miss Cain killing Kestrel LeStarre. I didn’t have a clue whether she had or not, obviously, but it was easy to make-believe. Hitting her in the leg, the broken one. Kestrel crying out in pain and falling, a look of horror on her face. Miss stabbing her, or maybe slitting her throat, grinning, her eyes alive with adrenaline. Kestrel crying, pleading, and having to lie there knowing she was dying before the life slipped from her eyes. Her parents at home hearing about it. Maybe just staring in shock, maybe crying. They wouldn’t be able to function for a bit. Maybe they couldn’t go to work, or maybe they did and were really blank and unresponsive. Maybe they got fired, meaning the food slowly disappeared off the table. They had to explain to their other children why they couldn’t give them more food when they were hungry, why they had to stop eating breakfast. And what would they explain? They’d feel it was their fault for losing their job. They’d be overcome by guilt, making their mental state worse. Eventually, maybe they couldn’t take it. Maybe they’d decide to visit their dead daughter. Permanently. And how would the remaining parent cope then? The whole family could die of starvation.
    All this, seven times over. Twenty-three times over, actually. Twenty-three times every YEAR.
    And I was one of them. My family would go through this, too.
    I did quite a bit of crying, that night.

  15. We keep running and running until there is just a dense pack of trees.
    “I saw we hide in a large bush and see if anybody is following us , and change our route.”
    “Good idea,” nodded Star.
    We saw a large bush where novody would be able to see us. I jumped in and Star jumped in. In the bush next to us Christine and Leno jump into the one next to us.
    “Are we visible?” I asked them.
    “Nope. Are we visible?”
    We then sit there in silence, waiting until footsteps come up the path where we were. I see Charlotte Cat bound ahead, knife in hand, clearly following us. She continues down the path not knowing that we were in the bush. Thirty minutes later we emerged ,and went away from her and Charlotte, deeper into the forest.
    “That was a close one!” Star exclaimed.
    “Yep. We need to find a large tree to camp out for the night. Then we find water, then a weapon.”
    “Okay,” nods Leno.
    As we walk I look for anything we can use as a weapon, I find something that I could surely use. It was a stick, a large pointy stick, and one that could easily penetrate the skin.
    I toss a rock to Star, and other stick to Christine, and Leno.
    “We’ll make with these,” I told them.
    “A rock?” asked Star confused.
    “A stick?” asked Leno.
    “We need something to protect ourselves with. Pretend that that stick is a knife and that that boulder is a face-pounder.”
    Everybody just nodded.
    Night was falling in the distance, and we needed to find a camp. That’s when a large tree loomed overhead, one that we could stay in.
    “Lets climb.”
    I stated to climb up the tree, like a monkey. I quickly made it to the top and looked down. Everybody was making good. Star slipped and I quickly caught her, and bringing her up.
    “Thanks,” she said, obviously a little embarrassed that she slipped.
    “No problem, we’re a group, right?”
    When everybody was up to the top we opened the blue bag. Inside was 7 slices of dried beef, two boxes each containing 10 wooden matches, 1 pair of nigh-vision glasses, and 1 heat-reflective sleeping bag.
    We all got excited over the sight of food, and ate ¼ each, we finished one piece of beef.
    We then tied ourselves to the tree, all getting one of the four protruding branches, and stayed silent.
    “Who wants the sleeping bag?’ I asked.
    Christine answered,”I do.”

    My eyes were about to slip shut when I heard the cannons goof. One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six. Seven times. All faces of the dead popped up.

    All of these people had lives ahead of them.

    I found myself sleeping comfortably, but full of nightmares.

  16. Once I had gone a good way into the forest.
    Made sure no one had followed us, I planted my spear face up in the ground and set about reviewing what I had got in the bags.
    Death and Tug came up and threw their single pack into the pile. Three packs not bad.
    "let's see what we got in the bags. " I started routing through the green one passing Tug the red letting Death search through her own.
    I came up with a pair of night vision glasses some crackers and a few other bits.
    The others pulled out more crackers a blanket and some gloves.
    Death began to rub iodine on her shoulder while I made sure there was no one else near.
    I say we find a little hollow or a high place. So we can defend ourselves, I say we let the careers hunt down the other team, we'll just pick off anyone we find but if you want to we could raid the cornucopia.
    We can stay here tonight I said piling my stuff into my bag," Tug you keep that bag, we should all have one in case we get separated.
    There's a few big trees here so I suggest we get climbing.
    With my bag on my back and my spear in the crook of my arm I made my way to a branch about fifteen feet off the ground scratching my knees a few times in the process.
    When we were up Tug started up
    " maybe we should head to the cornucopia "
    Death said she was out because of her shouldered.
    " I'll tag along, I got a pair of night vision goggles in my bag. "
    I hopped out out of the tree and lumbered through the forest with my spear on my shoulder and Tug with his machete held loosely in his hand.