The Sholatine

The Sholatine

{BY: HELEN HE & THAIS SILVA}

Emmaline

The Sholatine has arrived again, today was spinning day. I groaned into my pillow, wondering if this was gonna be the last I’m ever going to be able to do that. Slowly I got up and looked out my bedroom window, people were already up and outside, waiting for the wheel to spun. I made my way to the kitchen, where I hugged my 18-year-old brother, Connor. We ate quickly without a word, dreading the day and we headed out.

The Dread Wheel, as most people call it, stood in the middle of the town. People gather around it, scared and wary. Then those hateful Laminas from the Lubilar came and welcomed everyone to the 100th Sholatine. I resisted the urge to slap the Laminas grins and smirks into tomorrow-land. All the torture the Laminas and the Capitol has done to the Levy family. When my father was younger, he had been in the Sholatine, that’s why we have a house and enough food for 3 meals a day. He survived and trained the tributes for a month, then watched them die. But this Sholatine, I was prepared.

Me and my brother already discussed this, we knew what was going to happen if one of us got picked. I prayed that the plan would work, if it didn’t, well, we were gonna be about as alive as a rotting rat. Silently we walked to the center of town where the Dread Wheel stood. The chunk of smooth but cursed piece of metal glinted under the rising sun. The words Rombaira 7 were especially bright. Here goes nothing…

We watched in fear as the wheel spun,

Cluck, cluck, cluck…

Then it stopped on the worst possible name other than my brother or my friend Zelda Gale. It was me.

“This lucky year goes to… Emmaline Jessilynn Levy!” The Lamina called out with a nasty grin on her face.

I panicked, yes, I said I was prepared, but now my insides twisted and I wasn’t sure if I could even make it up to the stage. Then I noticed that everyone was watching me so I stepped up and waited for the boy tribute.

“And the boy tribute…” I held my breath and waited, the Lamina gasps and grins “Connor Nixon Levy!”

Oh my gosh.

Avery

I jumped up from my bed and fell down on the floor, almost breaking my nose. I always forget that I’m top bunk.

“All kids report to the training house immediately!”

“Ugh, why today, why, just why?! And and-”

“Now you scoundrels, move!” I looked at the girl next to me, she would definitely be the next one dead.

I have been doing well in the training and would not die soon. But I do feel bad for Ivora, a tribute from last year, she died such a sad bloody death, I hope I’m not going to end up like her. Then I snapped back to reality and ran towards the door followed by lots of kids in their gray uniforms that completely matched their expression perfectly.

We were walking a while now pass the Punish Room 1, Training Course 7, and the cafeteria. There it was the Wheel of Doom as we kids call it with a big fat 4 in middle, the number of our Rombaira, in other non-complicated words island/prison 4. And there “Let’s see who of you brats is our girl tribute for the Sholatine?” The Lamina said with a grin and spun it. I crossed my fingers for it not to be me. But luck was not enough.

“Congrats Avery Zeda Sebastian!” Ugh, why me? Well, I do have better chances of surviving than some of the girls here but still, I am bound to get crushed by  Rombaira 1,2 and 3.

“Ok brats let’s see who is or boy for the Sholatine” and another spin and

“Congrats Cascot Deltanine!” Really it had to be Cascot, the guy who almost killed me because I was better at archery than him. Ugh, I have to sit down.

“Now come on you two, we need to get you out of those gray suits and put something nice on you.” And we were herded through the green portal and into the Vera-Gaula.

Emmaline

Deep breaths, deep breaths, I tell myself. I or my brother getting spun was surprising enough, but both us?! Gosh, what kind of luck does the Levy family have?! Rotten luck probably. I sighed and slowly followed the Laminas to the portal. It glowed a beautiful emerald green. It would’ve been fascinating, if not for where it actually takes you. The heat covers me then we appear in the Vera-Gaula, a hotel like place where we get ready for the Sholatine Course. The Laminas show us our rooms and we parted ways; the boys were separated from the girls.

“Try not to get killed BEFORE the actual course.” Connor hugs me.

I smirk, “Is that advice for you or me?”

I wasn’t gonna see him for almost 2 weeks, I sigh. “Let’s get this over with.” And I trudged into my new bedroom. It wasn’t half bad, very fancy, but not exactly homey. I sigh and collapse onto the neatly folded bed, wrinkling it. Somehow, I smiled at that. I fell asleep quickly into a dreamless sleep.

I woke up in a cold sweat, barely managing to not scream. No dreams, good thing. But being a lucid dreamer, I remembered what happened yesterday. The sun was just appearing in the horizon line, but I still got dressed. I needed fresh air to sharpen my senses. I wander into the sitting room and onto the balcony. The fresh wind carried a sort of sweet, fragile scent that I loved. I sighed, is this going to be the last time I’ll smell this scent? I truly hoped not. I was transfixed, but not enough to notice that someone was sneaking up behind me. “You shouldn’t do that,” I told them and as I suspected, they froze. “If the was in the course, you would have a knife, sword, or dagger at your throat. Wanna test it?” I heard them walk away.

I spin around to find myself facing another girl. How many Probably from Rombaira 4 because of her way-to-fancy dress. Rombaira 4 hasn’t won a single Sholatine since the 88th Sholatine.

“So, you here to try to boast about you winning?” I sneered. The Rombaira 4s were all like that.

“No, I just caught you here.” The girl frowned. I rolled my eyes.

“Say whatever you want.” And I walked past her, looking for Connor.

Avery

Why do we have interviews before we die that’s like somebody saying “Oh, we should have a ceremony for your death!” Also, why am I from 4?! I’m nothing like the people there. I actually want to be nice on purpose but anyways some lunatic people called the Laminas are taking me to a “hotel” more like a gigantic building that they keep prisoners and the kids who will go to the Sholatine. They usually separate the boys from the girls.

I went to a line of girls most look scared and look like they have never faced challenges except for some like from 1,2, 3,5,7 and well the rest looked like spoiled brats. And then I saw a girl hugging a boy who looked like her. Wait, brother and sister?! How cruel can the Ciroka get?! I followed the girls to my dorm room with my name on it.

“Great, another prison. Ugh!”

I saw that girl from 3 trying to sneak up on 7 because she probably thought, “if I eliminate those who are good, I will win.” But the girl from 7 said something I didn’t get and the girl from 3 gave up. I walked closer to the snack bar because I haven’t had a good snack since last month when I won it as a reward from winning a cage fight by stabbing a boy to death. Just thinking of it gives me the shivers and I ended up face to face with the girl from 7.

“So are you here to try to boast about winning?” Typical 7 reaction to when they see a 4.

“No I just caught you here.” she rolled her eyes in sarcasm, Again, typical 7.

“Say whatever you want.” And she walked right past me. Ugh.

Emmaline

I sighed. Tomorrow was interview day, we had to present our best skill and, obviously, get interviewed on live holograms. I swung open “my” closet and examined my choices. Pink, frilly, lacy, glittery, disasters was all there was. I took a deep breath, closed my eyes, and stuck my hand into the very back of the closet and pulled out a dress.

It actually wasn’t that bad. Dark blue, a few sparkles on the top, a knee-length dress covered with light blue lace. Not bad. I quickly put it on but grabbed my normal clothes too. There was no way I could sword fight with a dress on. I stuffed it in the bag we were supposed to bring and placed it by the bed. I was just about to lie down when there was a knock on my door.

“Anybody there?” I immediately recognized the voice, it was that girl from 4.

“What the Styx do you want!” I shouted from the bed.

“Just to team!” She answered, I hesitated.

I sighed and opened the door.

Avery

Girls always are overlooked by men, which sucks but that girl from 7 has skills. And if I team with her I’ll be able to kill twice as fast and you know I can always backstab her. But I won’t because they’re are 2 winners and we’ll be the 2, even if it means backstabbing my tribute and, well, time to go team. I walked down the hallway and knocked on her door. “Anybody there?”

“What the Styx do you want!” She shouted.

“Just to team!” I answered.There was a long pause.

Finally, she opened the door.

Emmaline

We looked very different in comparison. The girl had pale skin, black eyes, and chestnut hair. I had fair skin, blue eyes, and caramel hair. “Why don’t you come on in.” I sighed and said after a moment of awkward silence.

So she came in and we both sat down in the fancy red chairs.

“So, wanna team up?” She asked.

“Names first,” I interrupted. “I’m Emmaline.”

“I’m Avery.”

“Okay Avery, you know that it’s against the rules to team before the actual course, right?” I raised an eyebrow.

“So, no?” She looked deeply disappointed.

“Not exactly,” I replied. “But I suppose I won’t kill you in the course.”

“Really.”

“Uh huh.”

“Can’t we be friends?” Avery pleaded. “And, you know, get along?”

“Maybe.” With that, I stood up. “But first, I need to introduce you to my brother. He’s in the team too.” And I dragged her off.

Emmaline

I was glad that I had already picked out my dress. I put it on as fast as possible and grabbed my other bag. I quickly rushed through the makeup and examined myself in the mirror. Normally, I had no time for mirror gazing, the Vera-Gaula was really messing with me. Then I heard a knock at my door, again.

“Hi, can you help me please!” It was Avery.

Avery

Ok let’s see what’s in the closet I clicked a button and boom a shiny black dress with gray jewelry it was it was….Horrible! Why a dress? Ugh, and high heels? How am supposed to walk? Ugh, time to put this stupid dress on and not gonna use those shoes now cause I have to get my clothes for the second part of the interview. Wait, we have our own hair and makeup! How in the Wirta do you put on makeup?! I’m gonna go to Emmeline to see if she can do this madness. 5 really boring hours later, I knock on her door

“Hi, can you help me please!”

“What is it this time?” She groaned.

“Well I kinda sort of can’t do my makeup”

“Are you for serious?”

“Yeah.”

“Ugh, come in.” She opened the door her dress was beautiful and her makeup as well

“Sit down and let me do my thing.” She said

Avery

20 minutes later I looked surprisingly good.

“One last thing, how do you walk in high heels?”

“Really?!” she groaned.

“Yeah, we don’t use these things”

“Fine put them on and let’s get to work”.

I looked out the window

“It’s time to go.”

So we left to join the other tributes.

Emmaline’s brother was okay, I guess. But it was my interview time, I had worse things to think of. I walked into the interview room. The interview guy looked shocked after the girl from 3 left so I walked in discomfort not knowing what he was going to ask me.

“Hello, Avery Sebastian.”

“Hi.” I said awkwardly

“Why don’t you introduce yourself, Avery.”

“ I am a girl Rombaira 4 and my hobby is shooting for fun I also have a sister who is 19 at the time.”

“Do you think you can win?”

“Well I guess so from the training 4 gave me.”

“Do you have a plan on how to win?”

“Yes, actually I’ll use the strategies 4 gave me and all the training did pay off.”

“Who do you want to team up with?”

“Um personally, no one because I learned how to fight alone and I think I’ll keep it that way.”

“Why did you pick this outfit?”

“Well my favorite color is black and I wanted something that matches my Rombaira. And I also love gray and that is why I have this gray belt and jewelry.”

“Any relationships?”

“No not at this moment. But I really don’t know if I’ll have one by the end of the Sholatine.”

“What terrain do you want the Sholatine Course to be?”

“I really want it to have a forest theme because since I’m from 4 I don’t really see forests so this could be my time to finally see one.”

“Lastly, what skill are you going to present?”

“The skill I’m going to present is archery.”

“Thank you and that’s all the time we have.” as I left I saw Cascot giving me a look and to Rombaira 4 people that meant I’ll spare you. Oh goody. One minute he almost kills you and in the next, he shoots me a look like you are a weakling. I just need to lay down and wait for them to call me for the second part of the interview.

Emmaline

For the 3rd time this week, we lined up like 6-year-olds to get interviewed. I decided that I’ll introduce Avery to Connor before the interview so here we were, looking for Connor in the boring line.

“Do you see him yet?” Avery complained, wobbling in her heels.

“Um__yeah!” I waved to Connor.

He smiled and walked up to us. But his smile wavered when he saw Avery.

“Who’s this?” He asked me, slightly ignoring her.

“That’s Avery, he wanted to team with us.” I replied.

He took one look at her and said, “she’s from Rombaira 4.”

“Yep.”

“Alright.” He sighed, “good luck on your interview.” And he walked away.

After what seemed like forever, the interviewer finally called my name. I walked in, actually feeling confident.

“Ah, hello Emmaline Levy.” The man smiled at me.

“Hello sir.” I smiled back, father had always told me: be polite, even when you feel like punching them.

“Why don’t you introduce yourself, Emmaline.”

“Well, my name is Emmeline Jessilynn Levy, I am 16 years old, and I am ready to win this Sholatine.”

“Do you think you can win?”

“Yes. I have to believe that.”

“Very wise. Do you have a plan on how to win?”

“Sort of, but it’s not about winning.” I was determined to be honest.

“Oh, what is it about, then?”

“I can’t tell you, everyone will know.” He sighed at this.

“Who do you want to team up with?”

“I plan on teaming with my brother.”

“Why did you pick this outfit?”

“I just looked around for something not pink and girly.”

“Yes yes, any relationships?”

“No, of course not!”

He shooked his head. “What terrain do you want the Sholatine Course to be?”

“I hope it’s gonna be a forest or somewhere with lots of water, darker than usual, and with lots of animals.”

“Why is that, Ms. Levy?”

“Because the rainforest is my favorite terrain, and it’s calming for me.”

“Finally, what skill are you going to present?”

“The skill I’m going to present is sword fighting and accuracy.”

“Thank you, that’s all the time we have. Good luck”

I smiled and walked out. I saw some Rombaira 2 kids glare at me. I didn’t care.

Avery

So let me get this straight. I’m a girl from Rombaira 4 who spent her entire life training hardcore and boom, I’m in the Sholatine. And my only friend is a girl who threatened to kill me. Alright, yeah, I have a lot of things on my mind. I should just breath and wait to die.

Emmaline

Okay, so I said that I didn’t care what the Rombaira 2 kids thought about me. Well, that’s true, but it’s just hard to ignore huge, ripped, annoying kids that spend their day annoying the Simma out of you. Death threats usually work.

I was at the training arena, just doing some last minute practice. I was hacking the dummies into bits of straw and cotton when Atle, the worst Rombaira 2 kid I’ve ever met.

“Practicing huh,” he mused. “Afraid that you’re going to get 0?”

“No, but you might want to. After all, it was you who got beaten by Lexis.” I said, smug.

Atle’s face turned tomato red, “ya’ want a taste this blade?!” He brought out his sword.

“Let’s see if you get the chance to?” I spun Eclipse, my Stygian Iron sword.

This was gonna be a fight.

Atle charged me right away. I stepped aside and blocked his strike. As we fought, I learned his moves. Learning someone else’s moves was one of the first things you must do. I saw that he only had strength, and sometimes, even strength needs to bow down to wisdom.

We fought and I fell into a pattern. Block, block, and block.

“Too scared to strike?” Atle taunted, noticing that I haven’t been attacking at all.

Right after his words, I blocked a strike to my face and slashed at his unprotected legs. He yelped in pain and I took the time to disarm him. I pointed Eclipse at his throat.

“Say that again.”

I heard multiple clapping noises until it was applause.

“Go Emmaline!” I heard Avery.

I turned to the crowd and smiled. It felt strangely good to finally defeat Atle.

Avery

“Alright, Emmaline and Atle do not need to present their skills, they’ve already shown everything.” The man from the interview said, “the rest of you, move!”

I went to the second part of my interview but saw Cascot pull out a deadly, double-edged, celestial bronze sword.

“Nice sword.” I said, he looked back in surprise

“I’m so glad that you’re here not those girly girls back home.” He said smirking

“Well, it was either me or the 3 princesses.” The 3 princesses are these girls who think they rule everything, though they are good at fighting. But they tried to take me down once and it didn’t work.

“Well time for your interview Cascot, good luck.” I said helping him get ready

“Bye, and…good luck.”He turned around and started to walk away.

“You know that your interview is that way?” I said pointing to a huge sign that read: Rombaira 4 Interview.

He turned around and laughed

“Just like always.” And walked away. Yeah he always went the wrong way

“Yeah, just like home” I whispered to nothingness.

Emmaline

I sat down in the Vera-Gaula sitting room, pinching the bridge of my nose. It had been a stressful day.

“Nice sword play.” Someone with a thick British accent said.

I whirled around to see a guy, probably from Rombaira 5 because of his beige clothes.

“Um, thanks?” I wasn’t used to stranger giving me compliments.

“I’m Mylo, Mylo Ortiz.” He said after a moment of awkward silence.

“Milo, as in M-I-L-O?”

“No! M-Y-L-O!”

“Sounds like a girl name.” I commented.

“Shut up.”

Shut up!” I mimicked.

“Honestly.”

“Fine.”

There was another moment of silence.

“I gotta go, see you in the course!” He paused for a moment, “and may the Lubilar be with you.”

I smiled, “you too.”

 Avery

I don’t understand these feelings! They don’t make sense! I feel like I just ate 3 burritos! But it’s not the time to worry about these feelings. I have a few days until the Sholatine.

“All tributes report to the Vera-Gaula meeting room!”

I jumped and walked out of my bedroom. I walked down the hall and into the elevator where some kid was still in his PJs that were really disturbing dinosaur PJs. when I finally got out of the elevator I saw a girl from 9 she looked like slaughter a fly. There were a lot of kids there but the one who really stood out to me was Cascot.

Emmaline

Tonight was the last night in the Vera-Gaula. I didn’t like this place, but I’d rather live here than go into the course. I had practiced every single skill I had, though the thought of going in the course still made feel unprepared. But I was more worried about the plan. What if it didn’t work? Then me or Connor will probably get executed in public.

I forced away my worries and summoned the hologram.

“Emmaline!” My mother cried when she saw me.

“Hi! Where’s dad?”

“He’s talking to Connor. Oh, I can’t believe you’re actually in the Sholatine!” She moaned, “I’m so sorry me and your father weren’t here on the day of The Spinning!”

“It’s alright.” I reassured her, “I’ve got a plan.”

I told her about Connor’s escape.

“Don’t freak, this is the only way.”

“But it’s so risky!” My mother stressed, “the Ciroka could…” She trailed off.

“Like I said, only way. Everything is going to be fine.” I smiled reassuringly, and the hologram vanished.

I wished I could believe what I said too. I’m a strong girl, but every once in awhile I wish someone would pat me on the back and tell me everything’s gonna be okay.

Avery

Last night here great, why don’t you just kill me now! But today is the day I’m going to call my sister for the last time ah deep breaths and I summoned the hologram then my sister was standing in the middle of the room

“Hi sis…um” we just stood there in silence

“I miss you and…don’t die. You’re my last bit of family”

“I, I love you sis, and I hope you have a…nice life with or without me.”

“I love you too Avery, and you will win ’cause no one can shoot like you and I just know that you will win.”

“Thanks, can you tell Kyle I said hi, and I’m sorry for his sister.”

“Ok, bye Aves.”

“Bye sis, bye.”

Emmaline

Today was the day. The Sholatine was starting. I barely had time to get dressed and prepare for the day when we were all forced into a mosh pit of tributes. The Rombaira 2s and some other kids gave me the evil eye. I glared right back. Deep breaths I told myself. Then we were launched to our starting area.

I landed on my platform and immediately saw the heap of bags and chests in the distance. I could see the other tributes too. I watched tensely as the countdown appeared in the sky. 3… 2… 1… Go! I ran full speed to the the pile of supplies. I grabbed a bag and emptied a chest and ran off. As I ran, I tried to find Connor or Avery but it seemed like they’ve completely disappeared. As the sounds of explosions disturbed the air, I could only hope that they weren’t dead yet. I was distracted in my thoughts as I ran towards the rainforest, I didn’t see 2 other tributes coming at me.

My practice really came in handy. I ducked as one tribute swung at me, at blocked as the other slashed. Slash, block, slash, duck. Finally, I swung at the female tributes chest. She stumbled backward, clutching her chest. I whirled around and gave the other tribute a deep gash on his thigh. He limp-ran away. The girl came at me again and I had to stab. She fell and an explosion sounded, one of the first kills of the Sholatine Course. Not something to be proud of. I kept running, I jumped as an arrow flew past my legs, ducked as a spear sailed past my head, and stepped sideways as some tribute tried to stab me. I avoided all of them, there was nothing between me and the forest.

I didn’t stop until I was in the deepest part of the forest. Then I scurried up a nice “hiding tree” and examined what I had. Imperial gold throwing knives (Sweet!), food, more food (There’s a lot of food!), a celestial bronze sword (Jackpot!), and a stygian iron dagger, and healing cream. That was a real jackpot, even for a bag and a chest! I put all my food and healing cream into the backpack and then armed myself with a sword, dagger, and knives. I was ready to face some tributes! I wonder if Avery and Connor were doing as well as I was?

I was just about to call it a day and rest when I heard noises under me. I immediately unsheath my dagger and peered down from the tree, when I saw who they were, I nearly fell out of my tree. The Rombaira 1, 2, and 3 tributes had all teamed up! I’m dead.

Avery

Today is Sholatine day. I grabbed all I can (my shirt)and I’m send to a super tight pod of tributes and before I knew it we were teleported to the first course and from what I could see it was a forest well the first Rombairas always get teleported first and we wait for the rest. And good thing ’cause I spotted Connor he gave me a head nod and I knew were going to the middle,together. 3…2…1..Go! I didn’t think twice I sprinted this is what I’ve been training for my whole life and I knew I was going to be attacked so I went faster go! Go! Go! I kept saying in my head and yes one of the first I opened a chest and…yes! A bow with some arrows, a sword and an apple.

“So, you wanna be one of us?” said the boy from 2 holding his sword

“No, I’m good.” I charged holding my sword, and a pack of  alliances charged at me.

“Run!” I told Connor and he sprinted towards the forest as fast as possible.

“We didn’t want the kid from 7 any ways, what we want is 4 blood.”  And slash, I ducked a girls knife and charged at her with my sword. She blocked my hit and punched me in the gut it was painful but I’ve been through worse and I grabbed her buy her shoulders and kneed her stimach. She tried to pull out her knife but I was too fast and slash. The first kill of the Sholatine. The others looked at me amazed.

“You’re a good fighter, you can tag along with us for awhile.” The boy from 2 said, I took out my bow and pulled back.

“I won’t join you, but will you at least let me go?” I asked ready to shoot anyone who said no.

“Umm… Ok but you have to do us a favor.”

“What is it.” I said knowing it was a bad idea.

“You have to kill the 7 girl and her brother, and if you refuse we’ll hunt you down and when we find you… Let’s just say you’ll have the most brutal death that the world has ever seen.”

“I…I…I can’t.” I said I couldn’t kill her.

“Good then choose die, or join us” he said with a cruel smile, I had to do it.

“First things first, my name is Avery and I’m a Warrior.”

Emmaline

I left the tree the next morning at the peak of dawn. I didn’t need to pack, just a backpack and m weapons. I knew that the Numbers 1-3 alliance would be after me so my plan was: Be on the run until you find Connor, Avery, or a teammate. I walked stealthly through the forest, listening for noises. It reminded me of the forest training course me and Connor had to go through for the right of hunting. Then I heard footsteps, 8 o’clock.

Swiftly ducking into a wild bush. I watched as a tribute came towards my hiding spot. Apparently, she didn’t see anything and I mentally shook my head in disapproval. Lesson 1: Observe carefully. I was just about to back away when I stepped on a twig. Simma you twig! The tribute snapped towards my direction, at least she had ears. But now I had no choice but to stand up. Looking at the tribute, I felt like I knew him. We stared at each other.

“You’re Cam, Cal,” I struggled, trying to name him. “Cas,”

“Cascot!” We both said.

“Took you a while.” Cascot said, irritated.

“Do you WANT me to kill you?”

“What do you think?” He turned to walk away.

“Wait! Did you hear from Avery?”

“ No the last I saw of her she was killing 3 tributes, and Connor was running away…I’m sorry.” He said without turning.

I stuck my hand out, he turned to face me and raised an eyebrow. “You sure?”

“Yep.” He hesitated, I waited.

Then he took it, “we’re a team now.”

Avery

He explained along the way how we’re going to eliminate 9 and 10 and how I play a part in the group.

“Get it?”

“Yeah, but why are you being nice to me?”

“Well I saw you in the interview and you got skills and I thought we could win together.”

“Me. Wait, me?! The girl you threatened to kill?”

“Yep, you, we’ll talk later.” he smiled a kind of deadly smile and turned to the group.

“Ok, we need shelter, food, and blood so 1, you’re in charge of shelter.”

“And 3, food.” he turned to me.

“We were in charge of blood!” I looked at him and realized I’m not going to survive out here being nice. I have to win at any cost.

“Hey, um, about the deal of killing 7. I accept, and what’s your name?” I said.

“Me? I’m Atle your teammate.”

Emmaline

It was mid-day when me and Cascot finally passed the starting area.

“It’s about time,” Cascot said as we crossed into a much wilder part of the forest, or the course, whichever. “I feel like I’ve walked 10 miles! I never knew how large the starting area was!.”

“Come on!” I said, dragging him along, “we need to keep on going East.”

“Well I see, Emmaline decided to team with the factory work!” Someone taunted from behind, a cold feeling washed over me.

“Atle.” I spun around to see Atle and his team of 1-3 tributes (I’ll call it “Puny Group”). 5 people.

He must’ve seen that we were hopelessly outmatched because he laughed, “you’re dead.” He grinned.

“Run.” I whispered to Cascot.

“But__”

“NOW!” I screamed at him.

He ran, continued East.

And I drew my sword, “come and get some, then.”

They charged, me I ran. But this time, it was right at them.

I knew I would die trying to fight them off, so I hacked and slashed at some of the tributes, but then I lured them deep into the forest. I knew exactly where to lead them to.

Every year when there’s a forest, there would be a team that occupied the Black Skull Lagoon. I ran, and 2 tributes in pursuit. 3, 2, 1, I turned abruptly and the girl tribute slid past me. I attacked the boy tribute while holding off the girl tribute. But that as very difficult, and the girl tribute cut down and I nearly dropped my sword. Blood was pouring out from the large wound on my arm. The boy tribute took the chance and swung, I’d barely managed to block it. Then as he came at me I jumped aside and he fell right into the water, the girl tribute ran to look at his teammate and I pushed her off, right on him.

As they struggled in the water, I watched as another alliance came to finish them off. When they left, the bodies of the two tributes had sunk and the pure, clean blue water of the lagoon had been stained red.

Avery

It was about midday and Atle said he needs to finish some “unattended business,” and needs me to stay here with some of the rest of the team to guard the base while he’s away.

“So you’re going to kill without me? This is highly suspicious”  I said raising an eyebrow.

“Don’t worry Avery. You’ll have plenty of solo kills but this one I have to do without you.”

“Fine” I grumbled and turned away. I’ve grown close the the team now and they have as well and they know if anyone gets too close with a weapon they will end up with an arrow through their head.

“Ok, so let’s see if there is anyone dumb enough to try to kill us.” I said giving them an evil smile.

“Great, so let’s move people!” A girl said holding some wood and an axe. It’s been a long time since Atle left, I actually know all of the tributes here. There is Rain, the girl from 1 who always carries an axe along with her. And Jemma, from 3 who I’ve grown really close to, she always has a spear by her side Also there is Ato and Arlo, they are always together. Arlo and Jemma went with Atle, and me and Ato stayed to guard. I made out a picture coming towards us it was…

“Atle!” I ran towards him.

“Hi Avery, um, we just lost Ash and Rain.”

Emmaline

Cascot’s gone, I was alone again. I trudged through the jungle. I didn’t think it would be a good idea to stop until I had a teammate, Puny Group could find me and that won’t end well (He still has 3 people plus whoever has joined). I sat down by a fallen log, wondering how much longer until the next terrain, it’s the 3rd day already. Behind me, there was a growl.

I spun around to find a gray wolf. It didn’t look rabid, so I approached it, it came forward too and nuzzled my hand. I jumped, strange. Wait, that must mean… I’m a minor?! I looked up and a silver token dropped from the sky. No way, I thought, examining the token, this was the sign of a minor! Putting on the token, I turned to the wolf, “guess you’re my companion now.” And I fished out some raw meat and gave it to… I need a name. “How about… Cato!” I smiled at the name, “Cato, let’s go.” And together, we walked away from the jungle, heading towards the desert; East.

Avery

“How did this happen?” I demanded.

“Um, well, we had an awful fight. Anyways we have some killing to do.” Atle answered, looking at me.

“Go get your sword Atle, time for me to show that I am with you guys.” He smiled again, that same cruel and ruthless smile. nd I did the same. Atle and I have been walking for a while and my feet were sore and he stopped me and pointed to a cave.

“There, we go on together ok?” He said, holding his sword ready to kill.

“Let’s do this.” We charged in. The boy took out a sword and charged at Atle while the girl and I had a bow and arrow fight. Shoot, duck, shoot, duck. I had to kill her so I ran towards her direction my sword blocking her arrows, a strategy I learned in 4. Jump, turn, strike. And she fell to the floor. Atle was still fighting but he wanted the kill so I decided to explore a little bit and water I found water, I took a sip and…I looked like one of them I looked like an alliance holding my bloody sword and with my chest plate and I thought, look out Sholatine course, Avery is coming!

Emmaline

Another 3 hours passed as I wandered around. I didn’t know where I should be going, all I know was to keep going East. Cato was so silent I actually had to check if he was still next to me. I was exhausted, and Cato was probably too but we couldn’t stop. Not yet, the next course; the desert, it was so close, yet so far. As I walked, I remembered the Winter Tulip. It had been the day of the 92nd Sholatine; Spinning Day…

I trudged through the snow. The words chanted in my head, she is gone, she is dead, she is gone, she is dead. Savy, me and Zelda’s best friend, had been spun. One minute she was with us in the crowd, the next she was up on the stage, going through the portal. Her death was hard on me and Zelda, but it was nothing compared to what Savy’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Faye went through.

They half-hoped she would win, I didn’t think so but I didn’t tell them. Of course, she was killed by a Rombaira 2, partly why I hated them so much. It was a snowy night, we couldn’t tell Savy’s parents her death until today. Their faces of sadness, pain, anguish. I had to escape into the forest. In the distance, I could still hear Mr. Faye’s sobs and Mrs. Faye’s wails. They’ve lost their only child, their only hope.

That’s when I saw it, a tulip. I was so astonished that I nearly walked right into a tree. It was a snowing January night for goodness sake! I crouched down by the flower and stared at it like it was an untouched chicken leg in a trash can. Still bright red with a touch of white and a splash of pink. Carefully, I pulled out the tulip, roots and dirt too. I ran home and placed the flower in a pot and gave it to Savy’s parents. It was still alive in their house somewhere, I hope it still brings them joy.

Avery

“Avery, can you and Jemma go hunt some tributes?” Arlo said helping sort the loot from yesterday. I took my sword and handed Jemma her spear.

“Let’s go,” I said and we continued east. Not after a while, I saw something moving in the trees.

“Jemma, you go on I’ll catch up”

“Alright.” She said and continued. I climbed up the tree and in it, I saw…

“Cascot?” I exclaimed.

“Avery? I thought you were dead!” He bent down and hugged me.

“Wow… Ok then, you have a lot to learn.” and I told him how I met Connor and joined Atle.

“You? You have an alliance?”

“Yep, but here.” I gave him a dagger and some food.

“Meet me after the next course, I gotta go and if they see you… Well, you get it.”

He looked at me, confused.

“Team with Connor and find me in the next course, Ok?” I asked.

“Fine, bye!” he jumped out of the tree and ran.

“You ok Avery?” Jemma asked looking up at the tree.

“Yeah, I’m ok.”

Emmaline

Finally! The desert! I broke into a jog and the grass below me slowly withered away until it was sad. I let out a whoop of joy. “Oh yeah!” I never knew I could be so happy to see a desert but honestly, I was sick of the muddy and humid air of the jungle. Running at full speed and with Cato yipping and barking happily at my side. Soon, I regained sanity and quickly ducked into a cacti city. The cactus could supply me with water, though I knew Atle would be here too, I needed to be on high guard.

Soon, I found a good hiding cave and settled down for the night. Though there was something weird, if I was a minor, shouldn’t I have a bag of loot? That’s what you get, lot’s of loot, a token, and sometimes if your (sponsor really likes you)a pet. I only had Cato… unless, no, not possible. Right? “Cato, can speak in people’s minds?” I asked.

Didn’t think you’d ever ask.

“Cato?!” I exclaimed, nearly jumping out of my skin. “You’re a, a Tranca!”

Indeed.

“Could you, change into a black panther?”

Cato suddenly was engulfed in darkness and then there stood Cato, the black panther!

“That is awesome!” He showed off a few more tricks before I went to sleep, it was his turn for the night watch.

And I feel asleep feeling at peace. Cato could be the ticket to survival!

Avery

The dessert, oh great. At least I have water, I looked to see Atle talking to Jemma and Arlo. They turned to me holding their weapons.

“We know you talked to that boy from 4, and let him go,” Atle said, holding his sword and I knew what was coming I took out my bow and pulled back the string.

“So what, now you want to kill Emmaline.” He stopped and smiled

“So what do you want to do?Your out numbered.” The 3 turned to me and grinned.

“Well I’m may be outnumbered but I have some tricks up my sleeve.” They laughed.

“Like what?” he said to tease me.

“Like this,” I picked up a rock and threw it at Jemma and she ducked.

“Ha, missed” I raised an eyebrow.

“Did I?” the rock hit the floor and boom a giant deadly trap sprung up from the ground and I jumped away they tried to follow but the ground literally ate them

“Good luck! Only 3 can come back from that trap and those 3 cannot be human!” quickly looting their backpacks, I ran away.

Emmaline

The morning was very sunny, which meant that it was going to be a hot afternoon. I packed quickly, got some water from the cacti (with only 1 prick!). Cato barked and ran up beside me. I suppose being a Tranca, you had more energy than humans, but I was going to take night watch tonight.

I ran, East is what my father told me. So off I go Cato by my heel, and towards East. I wonder how long it’ll be until I find Connor, Cascot, or maybe Avery. I sighed, all my human friends (which has so far been 1), are gone. Maybe one day… Then a sound caught my ears. Someone was near. I ducked into a cluster of cacti. I saw a girl, about 14  wandering around too.

She was armed, so I had to be careful. Cato must’ve really liked this girl because he ran right up to her.

Emma, look! Cato said in my head.

If Cato trusted her, then I probably could too. So I hopped out of the cacti, pulling out some spikes from my leather jacket. The girls jumped back and raised her sword.

“Woah! Friendly meeting!” I gave her my hand, “team?”

“You don’t even know me.” The girl responded wearily.

“But my Tranca does.”

Her eyes went wide, “Tr-Tranca?”

“Yeah, I’m a minor.”

Then a silver token dropped from the sky, the girl gasped.

“And it looks like you’re one too.”

Avery

I’ve had it! First I’m the kid who breaks her leg while in the course, then my parents die because my STUPID Rombaira goes into a “war” and bombs my house. And now this, I have not only brought shame to 4 and now I’m going to die a death that no one can stop, not even me. I saw something move in the distance and I took out my sword. It jumped ran towards me.

“Wow easy, now, it’s just me!” I looked up to see…

“You again!” Cascot! I hugged him so tight even I couldn’t breathe.

“Um… you probably want to look over your head,” I said pointing to the shiny silver coin over his head

“ I…I can’t believe it! I’ve been claimed!” I couldn’t either. I never get these things I always just stay there like I’m someone special which I’m not, I think he sees tears coming out of my eyes so he says

“Hey, you took out lots of tributes and-”

“One, and begged for mercy,” I said, looking down at the ground.

“Well, I ran like a chicken when Emmaline told me to.” He laughed and I smiled

“There’s just this thing with 4 and chickens,” I said imitating a chicken and then he did something that I could never forget. It was so unexpected that I jumped back.

Emmaline

We walked and talked; the girl’s name was Rubia Kentwell, Rmbaira 10, and indeed was 14 years old.

“So Emmaline, how are you so good at this stuff, you know, the whole Sholatine Course thing.”

“I’m not__” I started to say but was cut off by another question.

“I heard you have a brother…” Rubia trailed off. “You would want to win with him, right? But that would mean… You would have to kill me!” Rubia looked at me as if any second I was going to stab her with my dagger.

“I won’t kill you, don’t worry,” I reassured her. “I’ve got a plan.”

Before we knew it, it was already noon.

I shared the last of my food with Rubia. “We have to go hunting tomorrow.”

“And you can show me your hunting skills.” She said happily.

“But your Rombaira raises animals. Wouldn’t you be a vegetarian?”

She shook her head, “it just means that we barely get any meat.”

Pulling out my dagger, we jogged along the cacti city, searching for any sign of movement or sound. Then I spotted 2 deer, precisely, a doe and a stag.

“This is why I save my knives,” I whispered to Rubia and aimed one at the stag.

Thwap! The stag fell and the doe panicked and took off. Rubia pulled out a bow and shot at the doe, and it collapsed.

“Nice!” I smiled at Rubia, “all this is going to last at least 7- 8 days!”

Together, we dragged away the 2 deer, away from the setting sun.

“That was fun!”

I rolled my eyes but smiled. “This is what I do.”

Avery

He kissed me!

‘Ughhh!” I spluttered and punched him in the face.

“Awww! She’s blushing!” He teased me while holding his jaw.

“Do you want to live, or do you want to get pummeled?” I demanded.

“I vote live.” he said, raising his hand.

“Well let’s go!”

“First, tell me what you were up to.”

So I explained as much as I could.

When I was done, Cascot looked at me like I was a terrifying non-human.

“You joined the Warriors! And almost killed Atle!” He exclaimed as I told him what happened.

“Pretty much,” I said, heading toward the burning sun.

“Hey um, you know Emmaline?” he said, blocking the sun with his hand.

“Yeah… Is she alive?” I asked hopefully.

“Um… I don’t know.” He said looking down.

“Well I didn’t get sleep last night can you guard.”

“Yeah… I’ll guard”

“Good.” I couldn’t think anymore I closed my eyes and fell asleep.

Emmaline

In was midnight when I heard a scream from the other side of the cave. I immediately shot up from my sleeping position, dagger out. But what I saw was so crazy and horrifying made me drop the dagger.

“Rubia, NO!” I cried and tried to run to her but she screamed and attempted to stab me.

Blocking the strike, I pin her down and rip the knife out of her hands. She seemed weaker, but also insane.

What could’ve possibly happened to her?

She had some Wulars. Cato said in my mind, he had joined me in wrestling Rubia.

What?! I cried. That was why Rubia had gone insane, Wualrs can drive people mad, even kill them! Why did you let her eat it?!

I was asleep! He defended.

Letting out a groan I gave Rubia a shove and she clawed at my skin, leaving a trail of red. I wondered if anyone could hear us, with all of Rubia’s hissing, screaming, and yelling.

Pin her down!

Immediately, Cato was on top of Rubia. And in a flash, I quickly tied her up and stuffed some grass into her mouth, almost instantly she fell asleep.

“Well,” I said, standing up. “That was eventful, I’ll take first watch.”

Staring out into the night from our drafty cave, I thought about Savy. I never bothered to find out how she died, but it must’ve been gruesome. Life is very fragile, just a thrust or a strike and the fates snip a string. I wondered if the fates valued their strings much, or if they realized that each one was connected to a life. Did they even care? Perhaps someday I will find out. If the fates were in the mood for some sniping, then I hope they spare us.

If there was even an us anymore. I have no idea where Connor or Avery is, and Cascot ran. There is no “us” anymore.

Avery

Ok, I need to stop and put my things straight. Here is what I know I am a crazy girl who joined the Alliance but betrayed them, then I joined Cascot then he disappeared and now I’m on a pedestal in the middle of the air. Great! This is the 3rd course, Sky. And I’m all alone. Ugh. Why? Just when I started to like… No, I can’t think of this anymore I have to jump. I felt like a really sick monkey. REALLY sick monkey.

“That apple didn’t go so well,” I told myself.

The best time to get food poisoning! Oh goodie! I didn’t fight anyone so far and I’m not a Minor Emmaline. So is Atle and a girl called Rubia. I’m just not cut out for this I really am not… I… I am a nobody in these games! No one wants me to win I mean of course they would pick Emmaline! She’s heroic in every way! And nothing interesting ever happens to me and if it does I always am the STUPID one in that situation. I’ve been jumping for a while now until I found a giant pedestal and I’ll stay here until someone decides to walk over here and kill me. What would they say?

“Wow! I can’t believe anyone ever thought SHE would have a chance! I knew that from the day she first put on that uniform!” And my parents… I wish that it was me in that fire. I wouldn’t have to be here, I could’ve just been… free. And with that thought, I pointed a knife at my throat.

Emmaline

“Looks like even your little friend decided to run away!” I heard Atle taunt, he was right behind me.

I could feel the anger bubble in the pit of my stomach.

“That’s not true,” I growl, somehow it came out as a whisper.

“You know,” Atle continued like I haven’t spoken. “I could let you join my alliance.”

Wow, that got me shocked. Atle, my arch nemesis, just offered me to join him?!

“You mean it?”

“Yeah, of course! You could be very helpful.”

Should I? If I teamed with Atle, my chances of winning would be so much higher. I wouldn’t have to be alone, and teamwork has many advantages. But what about Cato? Cato absolutely hates Atle, I would have to abandon him! And Rubia, Connor, Avery, there was no way I could be with them while I’m with Atle…

“No.”

Atle looked stunned, “no?”

“No.”

“So then I guess I have to kill you.” He replied.

Our swords met and dust flew into the air. “Just like old times.” He murmured.

Emmaline…

That was Cato! And because I was distracted, Atle gave me a cut on the leg.

“Your skills have not improved.” Atle teased.

I hacked at his arms but it seemed like he had armor. Does that mean…

“You’re a Minor?!”

He grinned and slashed at my arms, “that’s right! Now, you are going down!”

Narrowly avoiding the swing, I backed away, slowly getting faster until I was sprinting away from Atle.

“Stop running away, you coward!” Atle yelled at me.

Please, please, Cato, find one. I begged in my head.

“Ha!” I was cornered, Atle and a cliff. “Either way, you die!” He laughed triumphantly.

“No.”

I desperately threw a rock at Atle. Of course, it bounced harmlessly off his chest, but it hit the ground and there was a metal click.

Pop!

“AH!”

And Atle vanished as the sand became a rock above him.

“Either way, I live, Atle.” I corrected him.

He couldn’t hear me, but the rest of the Lubilar can.

Avery

It was a Friday morning….

“Sis! Sis, where are you!” I yelled in horror. Everything was burning in flames. I quickly grabbed my necklace that my mom gave me and ran towards the living room.

“Mom! Dad!” I yelled, there was no answer. The smoke made me cough. I fell to the ground not knowing where to go, I was just 6, where would I go? Then I saw a face. A bleeding horrified face looking at me through the flames.

“Avery!” It was my mom.

“Mom!” I started to cry, I ran towards her but she pushed me back.

“I love you.” she fell backward, her entire body in flames.

“Mom?” I said quietly and started to yell.

“Sis!” I realized that dad was dead too because behind my mom’s body there was a man’s body in flames. The tears were stinging my eyes and the smoke was choking me. The world was fading away but I saw a girl’s face scared but brave pick me up and everything in my world drifted away, like a little boat in a big, blue ocean.

Emmaline

Shock. The first thing that I felt, then dread. Trust me, I could already imagine me falling stupidly to my death. How heroic that would be.

“This must be a new course,” I muttered to myself. “Never seen it before.”

“55th!”

I turned to stare at Aspari who was trying to jump to me, “what? What about the 55th Sholatine.”

“Don’t you remember?” She said impatiently, “they had a sky course. But they got rid of it because too many people died from falling. It wasn’t entertaining.”

Anger boiled inside me, after these stressful days of survival, I had forgotten how much I hated the Ciroka, the Sholatine had been for entertainment. I clenched my fists and made a running leap to Aspari.

“What-” She started to say.

“You know the girl from 9?” I demanded.

“Yeah, saw her in the middle…” Aspari said uncertainly.

“Well, go team with her! Stay with her!” I was at a full shout now. “Make sure she doesn’t die!”

When I reached her, I gave her a quick hug. And disappeared before she could speak, leaping across the platforms.

I don’t know how long it’s been, but I felt like I’ve just ran (or jumped)20 miles. Panting, I stopped and crouched down, it was kind hard to hide on a platform. I needed shelter, fast. Still breathing heavily, I continued on, maybe the Ciroka would take it easy on me.

Avery

My legs feel like mush after jumping all morning and my head is killing me. I was hungry too but this is no time to worry about my stomach I had to jump! And keep on jumping until I get out of this stupid trampoline. After hours and hours of jumping I heard a voice:

“As time passes, the world begins to crumble.”

My pedestal started to shake and cracks appeared. I had to jump… But to where? Everything was almost broken into a million pieces! Then the level nine earthquake began. No time to think! Just jump! I could feel the pedestal crack under my feet but I had to keep jumping, I can’t look back. Jump, jump and jump!

My feet were sore and my arms had pins and needles, then I heard an explosion and slipped.

Ughh great! This is my death Falling of a stupid pedestal!
My fingers slipped one after the other until one was left.

HOLD!

But no matter how hard I tried I knew this was the end, and the last finger let’s go of the last piece of hope. And there I was falling into nothingness to something caught me it was struggling to pull me back up but I could tell it was not giving up until I was up. There, I looked down into what seemed to be death, a black endless pit of darkness. Its fingers were slipping but it wouldn’t let go and I held on to that hope and it brought me up it was… Emmaline! But I almost fell again

“Ah!” but she held on. I heard feet running towards us and turned to see two girls in the same condition as us and looked at Emmaline,

“Talk later, survive first.”

We started to run towards them, so did they. I was on the edge of life and death and I was not going to fall into that pit again. The other girls were the only choice.

Emmaline

“Ah!” Avery yelled.

Before my brain could process what was happening, I realized I was running full speed for the other tributes. I yelled a war cry and we charged.

It felt weird, fighting with Avery, but it also felt like we’ve fought together for years.

Lang!

The sound of three metal weapons connecting rattled in the air. And the sound of an arrow finding its mark as one of the tributes howled in pain. I swung my sword again, driving the two female tributes back, one of them was pulling out an arrow from her arm. My muscles were straining and I was losing energy, but I swung my sword with all my strength, and to my left, an arrow flew past me. Both tributes fell to the ground. Dead.

I pushed Avery back and the bodies shimmered as explosions sounded, nearly deafening me.

“Well…” Avery began.

“That was horrible.” I finished.

“At least we’re alive.” Avery attempted at a cheerful tone, though failing miserably.

I stared at the place where the two tributes were, “but two lives ended to ensure that, only for a little while.”

Avery looked shocked, “don’t curse our luck!”

I shook my head, “can’t you see!” I looked at her, “Atle was hunting me… Now he is hunting us.”

Avery

“So… Emmaline,” She looked at me like she needed a break from all of this killing.

“Do you want to take a break?”

“Sure, we don’t have anything to do anyways.”

“So what do people do on breaks in the Sholatine anyway?”

“I don’t know, no one ever did it before.” She said with a puzzled look on her face.

“So I guess we… don’t die or kill?” I said putting my bow away.

“Well then… Let’s rest?” I said very confusedly.

“Yeah, rest.”

Emmaline

As the first day in the Sky Course comes to an end, me and Avery had managed to find a floating hideout and are staying here for the night. I sat, my back to the fire as I wandered in my thoughts. “Cato, why don’t you go scout around, see if you can find some food.” I swear I heard him sigh in my head.

I laid down, weary. I was suddenly unsure if I should trust Avery. Sure, I was teamed (illegally)with her, but how will I know if she changes alliances… I closed my eyes, feeling Avery’s on me. I shifted uncomfortably and rolled over, facing the wall. I opened my eyes again and peeked at Avery, she was staring straight at me, and her hand rested in a dangerous position on her bow. But after me saving her life and wandering miles and miles across the Sky terrain, she wouldn’t really betray me, would she? I decided to just forget it and allowed sleep to take over.

Unfortunately, my suspicions were true. I woke to the sounds of Cato’s barking, and when I turned to sit up, I found and arrow notched in Avery’s bow. It took a second to register, but I saw that the arrow was pointed right at a shot for my heart.

Avery

If I want to win this thing with someone I had to choose now. I could see Emmaline sleeping so peacefully like she had full trust in me. But I could hear the sound of Cascot’s laugh and the sound of birds on the porch of our new hom,e and or new life together.

I… I… just had to kill Emmaline, even though I’ll never forgive myself I have to come home with only one of either Cascot or Emmaline. I got my bow out and pointed at her heart praying that her wolf wouldn’t notice, but I was wrong. Right when I pulled my arrow back, her wolf barked so loud she woke up and with a face of horror looked at my bow then me and two voices started to talk in my head,

“Kill her! Then you can come home and have a life with Cascot!”

“But Cascot? How will you even find him? And how do you even know that he’s alive?”

The two voices kept on going making me so dizzy and confused. But the second one made more sense so I lowered my bow

“I’m sorry… I’m just going crazy. Part of me is telling me how to be a girl from Rombaira 4, but the other, well, it’s telling me that I’d rather win with you than any Atle.” I stumbled over my words.

Emmaline’s face was full of anger and distrust.

“Just good night, okay?”

“Okay?!” She nearly yelled, “you try to murder me in my sleep and then you’re telling me to sleep so more?!”

“What? I-”

“No thanks!” She cut me off, “I thought I could trust you, guess I was wrong.”

“No, wait-”

“Come on Cato,” She grabbed her supplies, “we’re leaving.”

Emmaline

I felt torn, betrayed, and angry. How could she? I should’ve let her fall to her death, or killed her. Why did I even team with her?! I should’ve realized that Avery Sebastian was a sneaky one. I stomped hard on every pedestal I landed on and soon enough my ankles and feet were screaming in pain. I was forced to stop, but I made sure Cato stayed close, if some tribute decided to attack, well, I was definitely in the mood for recklessness.

About to call for Cato and keep moving across the Sky, I swung backwards and found myself face-to-face with a guy swing his sword like a madman. I blocked and yelled in my head,

Well Cato, I’m being attacked and it’d be nice if you came to help.

Berries. Came his reply.

What?

Grass.

I gave up and struck hard at the tribute’s blade. We were both pushing at each other with our swords, and I finally got a good look at the tribute. I recognized him.

Stumbling back, he took the chance to strike, and managed to graze my arm.

“Mylo!” It was his turn to stumble back.

“Random-person-I-tried-to-kill?”

“It’s Emmaline you dolt!”

“Oh…” He looked sheepishly at my bleeding cut, “sorry.”

I rolled my eyes, “good thing I got a look at you before I went for the kill.”

“You don’t have a teammate?”

“Well you’re going solo.”

He lowered his voice, “more people know about your alliance than you would think.”

My eyes widened, “does Atle know?” He shrugged.

We both shifted awkwardly, “why is everything so awkward?”

“Better question: why are you worried about awkwardness in the Sholatine?!” Mylo said loudly.

“You realize that we’ll have to kill each other eventually,” I noted.

“Yeah,” he said

“So you might want to leave before my Tranca comes…”

“Well,” he turned to leave. “Bye.”

Suddenly he turned back, “oh, and if you ever meet Avery again, I wouldn’t trust her.”

“Are you saying I should kill her?!”

No answer, he was gone.

Avery

I just can’t. I have been so lost for the past month. And totally forgot what Rombaira 4 wanted me to do. They want me to kill, and that is what I have to do. I’m done making allies; I have to win this thing. If it’s with Emmaline, well, then, that’s luck. But if I win with Atle… I can make my Rombaira proud and be the first person from 4 to win with someone in the most powerful alliance in the games. And I’ll be known as… No! I can’t let this Sholatine mess with me, I can’t give in to this game. But still, this is what I have to do.

I got up and walked towards the daylight, someone is going to die.  As I walked away from the “camp,” I heard a scream, then a call for help that I knew was not getting any. I started to run towards that sound, that death call just waiting for me to answer it.

Finally I arrived at the place where the screaming came from. I jumped into a bush (which was BIG) and saw a girl tied to a tree, trying to escape, but then a boy grabs her by the head and just bangs it on the tree. The girl starts to cry but the boy whispers something to her and with his knife which ends her misery.  Why would he do that? Make her suffer and then kill her. I’m not letting this happen. I jumped out the bush onto the boy, knocking his knife out of his hand.

“How do you like it?” I asked with my best evil smile as he had a pale look on his face trying to reach for the knife. I used mine to stab his arm which made him yell just like the poor girl he killed. I then punched him on his stomach making him spit out blood.

“Looks like the old Avery is back.” I said into his bloody ear as I stabbed him in his chest one time making him yell even louder.  I took his almost dead body and threw it at the tree where he took his final breath, filled with pain and sorrow.

Emmaline

The Sholatine was much lonelier without Avery, though I know I probably have no chance to survive with her. Who knows, maybe she’ll backstab me again. Looks like that promise went out the window.

Emmaline! A tribute is approaching! 12:00!

Jeez, Cato! Must you talk like a machine?

I hesitated a bit, then ran to meet the tribute.

I saw the female tribute twirling a bamboo spear, and she was standing on the edge of a cliff. I wondered if the tribute was friendly… but then she flew towards me in a blur and we fought circling each other.

“Hey!” I yelled.

“Yeah?” She screamed back and attempted to push me off the pedestal.

“We don’t have to kill each other!”

“Sure! And I don’t have to breathe!”

“I’m serious!”

I stopped fighting, and a very confused tribute came crashing into me. The girl stumbled, but I was too close to the edge.

“AH!”

I was holding on to life with three fingers. I looked up at that girl, and she looked down at me. My fingers were straining, I couldn’t hold on forever. The girl’s face was emotionless. But then she surprised me.

Her hand grasped mine and she hauled me up. I gasped and flexed my fingers, “why’d you do that?”

No answer. But when I looked into her eyes, I knew I had another friend.

She coughed and I jumped.

“What’s your name?” I asked.

“The name given to me is Savannah Parker.”

“I like the way you said it,” I smiled, this girl was different.

I am is way overused.”

We shook hands, “be careful.”

“Don’t die.”