Raven : A 22nd annual hunger games story (fan-fic)

Submitted into Contest #55 in response to: Write a story that either starts or ends with someone asking, “Can you keep a secret?”... view prompt

7 comments

Fantasy Thriller

The ground was hard and the wind was harsh whipping against my cheeks. I shut my eyes as my lungs gasped for air and my heavy duty boots dug into the dirt. I know it's probably not smart to close my eyes but I had too, my head was spinning. I had come way too close to being stung by a stupid tracker jacker. I just needed a moment to rest before I had to start moving again. 


On the train, just after the reaping, my mentor told us to never stay in one spot for too long. Hearing those words slip out of her mouth sent a chill up my spine. It made the games feel real but not more real than it feels right now. Now I know that this is more than just a game.


After one last minute sprawled out on the cold grass I lifted my thin body up onto my feet. When I stood up and scanned the area I could hardly see a thing, it was too dark but I had to go somewhere. I started moving through the arena weaving in between trees and staying as alert as possible with no sleep. I tried to stay quiet and watched out for branches on the ground but it was no help that my waterproof pants made a swishing noise every time my thighs rubbed together. Just then my boot landed crisply on a twig that didn't catch my eye. The snap seemed to echo throughout the whole forest as I froze staring at the ground.


"Crap." I whispered under my breath hoping no one was nearby. A second later I heard another twig snap but I was still. Then the sound of swishing pants quickened behind me. I was being followed. 


My first instinct was to run. I was fast but I was also very tired. My body was in no shape to outrun anyone. I looked around hysterically trying to find somewhere to hide when I saw a bush out of the corner of my eye. I ran towards it and dove hoping the thorns wouldn't scratch me. My body contacted the ground like a brick as the leaves brushed against my face and tangled themselves around my limbs. I was anything but comfortable but I didn't dare move. 


I heard the swish of pants and the ruffle of grass under boots move past me. My heart beat in my throat as I laid there waiting until the sounds of the tribute hunting me were too distant to be heard. Once I was certain that I was alone I crawled out of the bush exposing myself to the cool night air. My boots crunched the grass as I walked aimlessly through the forest that lined the mountains but not long after I began my search for a safe place I could smell smoke. Looking over my shoulder, off into the distance, there was a soft glow of fire. My palms began to sweat and my stomach turned. Only the careers would be brave enough to showcase their hiding spot like that. I tried to back away slowly and silently when someone shoved me up against a tree and slapped their hand over my mouth. I was expecting to feel the sharp slice of a knife in my skin at any moment but I felt nothing except this tributes breath blowing against my forehead.


When I finally opened my eyes I saw a pale, dark haired girl, a little taller than me with bangs that almost covered her eyes, staring at me with desperation. I looked at her a little longer and realized that it was Jaz, the female tribute from district nine. She was sixteen, a year older than me. She was weaponless except for whatever was in the orange backpack slung around her shoulder over her long straggly hair. As I calmed down, realizing she posed no threat to me at the moment, I tried to pull her hand off of my face.


“Stop!” She whispered with urgency. “If they hear either one of us we're dead!”


Her eyes drifted past the tree I was pinned up against and watched the tributes sitting around the fire. She was just as scared as I was.


“Those are the careers over there.” She explained without taking her eyes off of the fire. “I started that fire and only left for a second to see if I could find something to eat. When I came back I saw them parading around it. It's a good thing I took my knives with me.” When she finished speaking she finally pulled her hand away from my mouth. “It's Raven right? From district six?” I nodded still unable to speak from shock. “Jaz. district nine. The only tribute left from district nine.”


“Oh...yeah. I'm sorry about what happened to Marco.”


“Don't be. He was stupid for thinking he could take something from the center of the cornucopia.” Her brown eyes were glued to mine. “You have to know your place here.”


“Why didn't you kill me?” I said. This was odd, especially coming from Jaz. She was pretty standoffish in training and even in the interview. I'd be surprised if even one sponsor gifted her somthing. Going into the games I thought she'd kill anyone the second they got too close.


“Because I knew you weren't going to kill me. You don't have any weapons and I know brute strength isn't your thing. Plus the careers would hear you scream and I can't have them after me. At least not on the first night.” Jaz sat down by the tree, with her back towards the fire, and motioned for me to join her. “We’ll wait here until they put out the fire.” Her words sounded like an order.


Jaz and I sat there in silence for what seemed like forever until the vibrant flames were gone. When the light was extinguished she turned around to make sure no one was watching then stood up and ripped me up by the sleeve of my jacket. She looked at me and motioned to the dark forest ahead. Following behind what should be my enemy, I felt a surprising sense of security. I knew she wouldn't kill me, at least not yet. 


The two of us walked until the sun rose but never left the forest. It wasn't safe to go anywhere near the cornucopia or the mountains. Jaz hardly said anything to me the entire time but I guess no one is ever really in the mood to conversate in the arena.


“Well set up camp here for the day.” Said Jaz pointing at a log and a small area free of trees. “You stay here and guard the area. I'll go see if I can find some goosling or at least some berries.” The second she finished speaking she threw me a knife and was already off on her hunt for breakfast. As strange as she was, at least I'd be able to eat today.


Nervous to be alone after last night, I propped myself on the log and picked up the knife Jaz tossed at me. I gripped it tight, not sure how I would even defend myself with this. The only thing I knew how to do was tie a good knot. I was really hoping to grab a few ropes at the start of the games to set up a trap but when the horn sounded I ran. The ropes were too close to get and I know the careers would’ve had it out for me had I gone for them. 


After about an hour on that log, or what I thought was an hour, I heard a cannon. I shot up off of the log and quickly eyed up my surroundings. No one was in sight but the idea of another tribute nearby was still swirling in my head. My legs took me deeper into the woods trying to remember which way Jaz went. That cannon could have been for her but I prayed that it was just some other tribute. I was starving and couldn't hunt to save my life. As much as I hated to admit it I needed Jaz.


My legs shook and my heart raced as I traveled deeper through the trees. There was no sign of Jaz anywhere. I was just about to turn around when I saw Jaz pinned up against a tree by a tall blonde. My body was in shock as I saw the blonde slit Jaz’s throat and throw her down next to a dark haired boy, probably of about sixteen, with a knife sticking out of his chest. She clutched her throat as the blood drained over her hands and stained the grass. My breath quickened and my stomach turned. As soon as the girl let go of my only ally a group of other tributes emerged from the trees behind her. The blonde pulled the knife out of the boy’s chest and gripped it in her hand. The longer I stared at them the more I was reassured that they were the careers. My guts were ready to get rid of the rich breakfast I had before the games. I flinched at the sound of the cannon that went off for Jaz. Letting my instincts take over, I turned to run. Little did I know the blonde had already spotted me and locked me in as her next victim.


I was running faster than I ever had before. My whole body was trembling and my legs were on fire. The knife in my hand was almost slipping out from the sweat accumulating on my palms. I didn't dare look over my shoulder but I could hear the girl chasing after me viciously. It wasn't long before she had caught up and tackled me sending the two of us hurtling towards the ground. My body stung as hers landed on top of mine and flipped me over aggressively to see my face. I was panting and sore, helplessly trying to unpin my limbs from the ground when I saw her face, scratched and bruised. Jaz must've really put up a fight. There was a long bloody cut that ran diagonally under her shimmering left green eye.


“Any last words?” She spoke tauntingly as the knife in her hand rose above my throat. I opened my mouth as if to say something but there was nothing I really wanted to say. At that moment I could feel the cold metal touching the skin on my neck slowly so she could soak up every last second of my death. Just then I kicked up my leg as hard as I could taking her by surprise and throwing her off balance. When she realized I actually had a chance of getting away alive she stabbed the knife at my chest but missed as I flinched and grazed my shoulder instead. I tried to just kick her again but realized that I still had that knife Jaz had given to me just an hour ago. Before coming into the games I promised myself that I wouldn't kill anyone unless I had too but right now that was the only option I had. With all of the strength still left inside of me I drove my right hand, clutching the knife, towards her chest and pierced the skin just below her neck. As soon as I pulled the knife back out of her she tried to stab me, weakly, one last time before I rolled her off of me. She reached out and tried to grab my leg not wanting to admit defeat but her arm fell flat to the ground as she took her last breath. I stood there staring at her wondering how I had brought myself to do this. A moment later the cannon sounded and jolted me back to reality. I looked around remembering that her group was here with her not long ago but they were nowhere to be seen. After taking a deep breath I made my way through the forest ready to take a nap just about anywhere.


Eventually I had stopped walking and collapsed on the ground feeling the grass tickle my cheeks. There was no sound of anyone nearby so I was safe to shut my eyes for just a moment. 


The next thing I knew I was being gently kicked on my boot. I must have fallen asleep. Once I understood what was happening I lurched up and threw the knife still clutched in my hand at a pale, fluffy brown haired, tribute hovering over me. I was alert and terrified as I got up to run from what would probably be my death but was stopped when he grabbed the hood of my jacket.


“Stop!” The male tribute cried clearly in pain from my knife entering his right leg. “We’re not going to hurt you.” He let go of my jacket as I sat still on the ground. I didn't know if I could really trust him but he wasn't about to let me leave. I stood up and faced him as he removed the knife from his leg, tossing it aside. The tall, dark male tribute standing next to him wrapped his arm around his back keeping him steady while he balanced on his one good leg.


“Nice aim” He spoke sarcastically. “but do it again and your days are numbered.”


The two tributes in front of me turned around and began casually walking deeper into the forest. I was a little confused about the whole situation but they seemed pretty harmless.


“Follow us.” Said the tribute helping the other walk looking over his shoulder to make sure I hadn't made a run for it. As soon as he turned back looking ahead I quickly picked up the knife and followed behind them. I wasn't about to trail behind two tributes that could kill me with their bare hands if I was weaponless.


We walked for about a half hour until we came to the mountains and stopped to sit down at a hidden spot carved into the side of one. The tribute that I injured slouched down against the cool, jagged, rocks on the inside of the makeshift cave and rolled up his pants revealing a nasty gash just below his knee. 


“I'm Maguire.” He spoke surprisingly friendly and stuck out his hand.


“Raven.” I said, reluctantly accepting his gesture. Then sat down keeping a meter distance from him and the other tribute.


“This is Tobi.” He said Pointing to the tribute tending to his wound with a cream that must have been delivered to them earlier by a sponsor. “District four and eleven.” He jabbed his thumb towards his chest then motioned towards Tobi with a tilt of his head.

I let the information sink in then something dawned on me.


“District four?” My voice rose a few octaves. “Doesn't that make you a career?”


“Yes it does” A smile spread across his face pleased that I recognized his talents in this game. “but I don't want to be like them. They’re cocky, barbaric, and quite frankly they don't deserve to win.” 


“Oh.” I wasn't quite sure of what to say. Never in a million years did I expect to meet a career who would toss his advantage aside like that.


“I'm going to go down to the river,” said Tobi. “were almost out of water.” Just like that Tobi slung a navy backpack around his shoulder and was on his way.


“How long have you guys been allies?” I asked 


“Just about the whole time.” he spoke with gratitude in his tone. “I found him not long after the games started.”


My gaze drifted to the grass outside wondering how little my time would have been had Maguire and Tobi not found me.


“I saw you kill Venna.” He turned to look at me frozen in shock. 


“What?”


“During training I wasn't sure you could do anything other than hang someone.” His hands reached down to his leg and brushed over his cut to see if it was still bleeding. “I knew the crowd liked you at the interview, you’re a really likeable girl, so the sponsors might help you out but that's not enough here.”


“To be honest I was really scared.” I wasn't sure why I was bearing my soul to someone who could kill me at any moment. “I'm not really good at anything other than setting traps-”


“Yes you are, Raven.” Maguire was stern. I believed him though. I took on someone who was with the careers and won. Maybe I actually had a chance to see my sisters again.


“Raven?” 


“Yeah.” I was shockingly calm and more at peace now than I had ever been in the arena.


“Can you keep a secret?” 


Even at the strangeness of his words I remained somewhat relaxed and nodded, slowly bringing my knees up to my chest.


“I think you could win this.”







August 20, 2020 03:19

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7 comments

Danica Hunter
05:43 Aug 26, 2020

I thought this was an amazing fan-fic! Great job

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Jaymie R
05:46 Aug 26, 2020

Thank you!

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Wow, great job! I love the Hunger Games and this was a terrific fan-fic. One suggestion: you should proooobably mention this is a fan-fic, because the Hunger Games are copyrighting and you hafta give Suzanne Collins credit. Other than that, nice work! ~Aerin

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Jaymie R
20:15 Aug 20, 2020

Thank you so much! I will definitely mention that somewhere, thanks for the heads up!

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Of course! P. S. Would you mind checking out one or two of my stories? Thanks ;)

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Jaymie R
20:17 Aug 20, 2020

I would love to

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Thanks!

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