Death's Haven

Submitted into Contest #66 in response to: Write about a contest with life or death stakes.... view prompt

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Fiction Suspense Sad

Nick was sleeping in what he thought was a safe underground bunker that some survivors had abandoned a long time ago. Nick thought that only the survivors knew about it, but he was wrong. He remembered the metal door swinging open and a group of men and women rushing in. They caught him quickly, blindfolded him, and dragged him to a some sort of vehicle to take him who-knows-where.

Nick began to pound on the metal walls; his eyes were adjusting to the dark, and he saw markings on the wall that made him stop wasting his energy. He knew the symbols and where they came from; Nick knew where he was and what he was now a part of. He was one of the hundreds of unlucky people chosen for the world's deadliest game where only one survives; Death's Haven.

Nick was no fighter and definitely no killer, but he would have to do what he would have to survive this game. As if it was on que, the sound of rattling hit Nick's ears. He turned around quickly and saw metal doors starting to open up. Light peeked through the growing crack, and sounds of cheering got louder. Nick prepared himself for what was about to happen, and swallowed his terror.

"Welcome to the field, Nick Owens!" someone shouted as Nick walked out into the light. He was in a dirt stadium, with millions of people cheering as loud as their voices could handle. Nick looked around for the speaker, and spotted him on a balcony smiling wickedly down at him.

Nick gave the announcer an angry glare, and thought, "How am I supposed to get out of this one?" Nick had been on his own since this whole started. His parents and little sister were the first one's taken and after a while he accepted that they were probably dead. "Nick, you will be given a dagger for weapon, a 1/2 gallon of water, and a one day head start. You will be released in a jungle where there are other contestants waiting. Your job is to survive for one month, good luck." the announcer finished.

Two men appeared behind Nick, grabbed his arms and led him off the arena grounds. Nick tried struggling out the men's grasp but they were stronger then he was, and soon he was pushed into another chamber of sorts. People in uniforms and masks came from the shadows and dressed him in a black uniform; then he was pushed out into what appeared to be a jungle type area. Metal doors shut behind him, and Nick looked to his side; there was a 1/2 gallon jug and a sheathed dagger. "At least they weren't lying." Nick mumbled, picking up the objects off the ground. He looked at the jungle ahead, took a deep breath, and started on his way.

One week passed after another and Nick was tired, thirsty, and hungry. He had one encounter with another contestant, and now there was a deep, infected cut on his left arm, but he managed to survive but only because he was forced to kill. There was dirt covering every inch of his body, and his uniform was cut in in so many places. He had found some food like raw fish in a small stream, but after weeks of eating just that Nick could feel sickness growing in his stomach.

Nick gave out a cough as he sat under a giant jungle tree. He was so used to the mosquitos buzzing in his ears, that he didn't even bother with them when they flew by. The infection had caused Nick to not be able to move it anymore, so he made a sling out of vines, but it caused the infection to get worse and more painful.

Nick's eyes were growing more tired as he saw the sun set. "Three more weeks. I only have to survive for three more weeks." he mumbled to himself. He was not just going to lay down and die; Nick would fight until his last breath to beat the game that killed his family.

Nick was just about to doze off when the sounds of footsteps coming closer, woke him back up. Grabbing his blood-covered dagger with his good hand, and getting to his aching and shaky legs Nick prepared himself for the oncoming threat. The footsteps stopped and he heard...crying?

Nick peeked around the tree, and what he saw made his heart skip a beat. A girl with a torn up uniform just like his, bright green eyes, long black hair, skinny and weak looking body, and dirt, blood, and scratches covering her face stood before him. Nick shook his head in disbelief as the girl stared at him in shock. "S...Serena?" he stuttered, cautiously walking toward the girl. The girl stumbled backwards making her terror of him clear as day. "Serena, if it's you then it's me, Nick. Y...Your brother." Nick stuttered, dropping his dagger to let her know he wasn't a threat.

The girl squinted her eyes, as she started to recognize who he was. She gasped and almost fell forward sobbing; Nick caught her with his good arm, and let her sob into his shoulder. Tears streamed down his face as thoughts raced through his mind; Serena was only seven, and Nick knew there was no way she could have survived on her own.

Once Serena was done sobbing, she pulled back from the embrace, and sniffed several times. "Serena, how are you still here? It's been seven months." Nick asked, kneeling down to her eye level and stroking her hair. "I...I managed to sneak away when they... were trying to take you, mommy, and daddy away. They chased me, and after months...of being alone.. they caught me and put me in here." Serena answered, trying her best to not hyperventilate. Nick wiped some tears away off her face and led her to his spot under the tree to try and calm her down.

"How long have you been out here?" Nick asked, once Serena was as calm as she could be. Serena was hesitant to answer, but eventually she answered, "Two or three weeks. It's hard to keep track." The sound of Serena's voice cracking broke Nick's heart; she once had the sweetest most innocent voice of any child.

Serena went into a violent coughing fit, and Nick quickly started to look around for any extra water to clear his sister's pipes. He found a 1/2 gallon jug that was halfway full of water he had tried his best to purify. It wasn't that most tasty but it would have to do for now. Nick grabbed the jug with his good arm and gave it to his little sister.

Serena grabbed it and drank as much as she could. Afterwards she took several deep breaths and relaxed. Nick silently sighed and took his sister into his good arm and cradled the sleepy child until she completely dozed off and soon he did too with only one mission now on his mind. "Protect his sister at all cost."

Days passed, and soon there was only one week left of the competition. Nick had gained several more cuts on his body, but it was all worth it because Serena only gained one more scratch on her back.

They were both constantly moving, but they were also constantly hungry and dehydrated stopping every hour for a drink at the stream they always stayed close to. When there were others near by, Nick and Serena would always have to either hide or bolt for it, barley making it either way, and Nick never saw one of Serena's precious little smile through the entire thing.

Soon it was two days before their month was over and they would be let go if they survived. Serena was too walk that day, so Nick decided to stay next to her and keep watch, and if anyone showed up he planned on fighting because he was too weak to carry her anywhere.

Barking sounded in the distance making the siblings perk up. Nick looked at Serena, who just stared back in pure terror. "Serena, if anything happens to me you need to run without looking back." Nick said, gripping her trembling hand. "N...Nick?" Serena asked, her voice shaky and scared. She didn't understand what was happening; where was her brother going? Nick looked down at the jungle floor trying his hardest not to cry, and then he looked into her eyes, kissed her her forehead, and mumbled, "Love you sis."

Nick got up and left, hearing his sister yell and sob for him not to go and right then and there the waterfalls of tears he had been holding for days came spilling out.

The dogs were in his view, and Nick took what he thought was going to be his final breaths. A man with a sword was behind the wild dogs, and Nick took out his dagger with good arm. He started running in the opposite directions knowing that they would follow him away from Serena, who was sobbing silently behind the tree.

Nick wasn't able to out run the man and his dog for very long because of how weak and sick he was, and he collapsed to the ground, while his throat begged for water.

Nick turned his head when the barks became ear-blistering and the dogs pounced on him and bit his bad arm. Nick screamed out as the sharp pain erupted throughout his entire left arm, and took his dagger and plunged it deep into the animal's side. The dog gave out a loud, high-pitched yelp and collapsed dead next to Nick.

Nick took several quick breaths before finding himself at the mercy of a sword. "End of the line." the man said, wickedly. The man was about to stab Nick straight through his heart, and Nick squeezed his eyes shut waiting for the end, but it never came. A high-pitched gasp and the sound of a sword stabbing someone echoed though the empty jungle.

Nick recognized the gasp and his eyes jolted open to find a sight that made him go into shock in a pure instant. Serena, his precious sick little sister, the girl he had sworn to protect from any harm from the day she was born, had a sword going through her heart and her blood was dripping on Nick's uniform. The man pulled his sword out and shoved the dying girl to the side like a rag doll. This motion gave Nick enough time to reach for his dagger and stab him where the man had tried to stab him; the heart.

Nick knelt down beside Serena, tears from his eyes dripping onto her wound. Serena coughed out a few drops of blood and she looked up him and gave him one more smile. Nick embraced her tightly not caring that blood was getting on uniform. He felt Serena's slow, warm breath and then he heard her final words, and they were words he would never forget.

Serena's breathing stopped and her pulse faded to a halt. Nick stayed by her side he had become too dehydrated to cry more tears, and her body became cold. Nick gathered logs and vines, tied them together, and placed his sister's body on and sent it flowing down the stream. "You didn't deserve to die like that. You should have lived a long happy life. Married a good man and had kids." Nick said out loud, as the raft flowed out of sight.

He knew it was time to move on, so he did. He managed to survive the next full day, but only because his sister kept telling him too in his mind. When his month was up, a truck came to pick him up with two other survivors; a young female adult, and a middle aged male. There had only been three survivors out of the three hundred that were sent out that month.

Once they were back, they were given medical attention and treatment; then they were fed food, given one-million dollars each because they had "won" the game, and then they were sent on their way.

As he walked out of the cursed arena, Nick paused, looked back, and knew what was next. He would start a rebellion; a force that was tasked into saving people from that game. Nick turned to walk away, mumbling his sister's parting words, ""Don't fight out of revenge, or anger, fight because you know it's for cause and you know it's right."

November 01, 2020 04:05

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8 comments

User_2443 0967
16:51 Feb 21, 2021

Omg wowwww This is so beautifully told and great descriptions!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Phoebe DeNeve
20:29 Feb 21, 2021

Thank you! The main character was based off of a former friend.

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User_2443 0967
01:16 Feb 22, 2021

Cool!!!!!

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Phoebe DeNeve
20:37 Feb 22, 2021

Yeah, Death's Haven is one of my favorite stories I've written. My friends have told me it's like the Hunger Games.

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User_2443 0967
22:23 Feb 22, 2021

Lol even cooler!!!!!

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Phoebe DeNeve
00:48 Feb 23, 2021

I hope you've been liking my stories so far. :)

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Phoebe DeNeve
23:45 Dec 10, 2020

Just to let everyone know I meant to say "only a few survive." Not "only one"

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