A Game of Chance [A Hunger Games Fanfiction]
Author: Phoenix Summers

Chapter 18
Arena, Day One (Part Two)

-Mia Elgarven, District Eight-

I run way from the bloodbath, pumping my legs as fast as they will go, almost throwing myself down the manky stairs leading to the ground. In my haste, I accidently dislodge a stone.

A very important stone.

I realise this when the floor falls from beneath me, and I plummet forwards, screaming my head off.

Thankfully, I was not too far from the ground when I fell. But I still tremble from my near death, my heart racing. I shouldn't be here.

This is no place for a girl from district eight.

I start to stand, but my knee collapses beneath me. I frown. I didn't feel any pain when I landed.

Curious, I look down, then look away, retching.

What was once skin is now only a mangled mess. Sharp splinters from the rocks have sliced my leg up so badly that my nerves have been destroyed. I can see right down to the bone.

I pass out there and then.

I wake up, and look around me drowsily, wondering where I am.

Then I remember; I am in the arena.

I close my eyes, and let out a long, drawn out groan. I am in the place of my nightmares. The place that I always wanted to avoid.

My most recent memory comes back to me and I let out a squeak. I still can't feel any pain, nor any other feeling, in my leg.

I swing it round to look at it, and my mouth drops open in surprise. Somehow it has been bandaged up, and with what seems to be an expensive bandage, too.

Relief fills me instantly. The only people of whom would have done that are my allies - the other district eight tributes. I scan the air eagerly looking, but I can't see them anywhere.

I wait for what seems to be an age, before I hear voices. I tense, straining to work out who they are, then relax. It is my allies, after all, then. I owe a lot of gratitude to them.

Rose glances over in my direction, then, upon seeing that I am awake, nudges Pritt, gesturing in my direction. They break into a run, heading in my direction.

I attempt to stand; to greet them, but topple over. I land with a thud, and stay lying down, as it is painfully obvious that I will not be going anywhere soon.

Rose and Pritt's worried faces come into you view above me. Rose bends down, and asks me, "How are you feeling." I stare at her, nibbling my lip.

"Not good."

She winces when I say this, and begins to tell me about all my injuries, and how they have treated them. I quiver in shock, and block out all her words. The last thing I need is to be sick again.

Having thought about being sick, a queasy feeling rises up inside of me. I promptly turn my face away from her. Immediately after I have done so, I am sick all over the ground.

Pritt steps away from me hurriedly. "Gross," he proclaims, staring at it in disgust.

Rose is more lenient about it. "Mia, perhaps you should..." she stops taking as I cut her off in mid sentence.

"Where's Poppy?" I look around wildly. "Where is she?"

Pritt shakes his head. "The District ten boy got her. The one in the career alliance."

I feel numb inside, as well as outside, now. Poppy was young. She was my friend back in District Eight, someone of whom I could rely on. But now she is dead, slain by one not much older than myself.

I start to shiver again, beginning to go into shock, thinking all about the time we spent as best friends. I'm not even sure if I was that much of a good friend to her.

My allies, by now, recognise the symptoms that lead to me going into shock. They react instantaneously- Rose hurries to get some cold water to jolt me back t reality, and Pritt kneels beside me, a troubled expression on his face.

I remember that he volunteered for his older brother for the games, to let him have a long and happy life.

Sometimes he acts so mature for his age that it is hard to believe that he is only nine years old, and in previous years, was not even eligible for the reaping.

Rose comes back with a handful of dirty water. She looks despairingly at Pritt, and explains that it is the only water she can find nearby. Pritt just responds with a curt nod as she chucks the water over me.

Unsurprisingly, it has no effect. One of whom is numb all over will not feel a few droplets of lukewarm water, no matter how dirty.

I can feel myself slipping further and further away from reality, retreating into the safe haven of my mind. My eyes are squeezed shut, I do not want to see the world.

That is, until I feel someone wrapping their arms around me.

My eyes jolt open in shock; shock that I can actually feel something, and shock that someone has just shown me a gesture of kindness in this Godforsaken arena. Unbidden, tears rush to my eyes, and I let them fall freely, filled with awe.

Pritt steps back, and stares at me in silence for a few moments, childlike care and innocence radiating out from him. "Are you okay now? he questions, sitting down beside me.

I dry my eyes on my T-Shirt, and in a choked voice, reply "Better, I think". I hang my head in shame. The sponsors must have crossed all of us off their potential victors sheets by now, all because of my injury.

Rose comes over, squats down beside Pritt and I, and states the obvious in a calm and collected voice. Our plan for the arena.

"What I propose," she begins, "is that we try to remain hidden as much as possible. The buildings would be an ideal place to hide in, as they are sheltered and have plenty of spots that we can crawl into, in cases of emergency." She then turns and addresses me. "Plus, then, when Pritt and I go to collect food, you are not out in the open." I nod silently to this, glad that I don't have to kill anyone, yet.

Suddenly, there is a rustle behind us, and we whip our heads round to look at the bushes.

A tribute steps through, and cocks her head at us, smiling innocently. "Nice plan," she says. She then narrows her eyes at us. "Such a shame that you won't be around to try it out." She sneers at us, particularly at me.

Somehow I muster up the courage to squeak, "We outnumber y-you. You cannot ki-kill all of u-us."

She just surveys me, an amused expression on her face. She makes a gesture with her right hand, and a team of tough looking tributes come and stand behind her. Her, plus two girls, and three boys.

They all look thirsty for our blood.

She lets out a light laugh. "Oh" she smiles. "I think you'll find that it's quite the opposite." Smirking, she says something that chills me to the bone. 

"Ready to die?"

 

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