Hunger games: Noah

Book one

Ellie Graham

Hunger games is by Suzanne Collins

We've all heard Katniss Everdeen's story of how her and Peeta won their games. But what if someone else won. What if the district three boy had won. This is Noah Anderson's story of how he won the 74th Hunger Games…

My name is Noah Anderson.

My home is in District three. Technology.

I am 16 years old.

Today is the reaping.

I am scared.

My girlfriend, Ivy, is scared.

I think just about everyone is scared.

I head down to the kitchen, where my mother has made me breakfast. I don't feel very hungry though. I never really do have much of an appetite.

"You excited about the reaping?" She asks.

"That's one way to put it," I retort.

She laughs a bit. "Ivy said she is going to meet you by her house. You better hurry."

I run up to my room.

My mother has a gray suit for me to wear.

After I'm done getting dressed, I run outside.

Ivy lives only a few houses away from me.

I can see her house.

"Hey!" Ivy yells.

She runs up to me and hugs me.

"You're going to protect me at the reaping… right?" She asks.

"Yes. Of course I will."

Ivy suffers from PTSD. When she was nine years old, her older sister, Star, was reaped to go in the Hunger Games. Star's death was bloody and brutal. Not to much after, her parents were beaten to death. I am the only family she has left. I am the only one to keep her sane. I must be here for her. She has red hair and sea green eyes. I think she is really beautiful…

We walk to the justice building.

Our fingers interlock.

They prick our fingers.

Then we join the crowd of people.

They show us a film about the Dark Days. How the districts rebelled against the capital.

"War. Terrible war." The film starts. "Widows, orphans, a motherless child. This was the uprising that rocked our land. 13 districts rebelled against the country that fed, loved, and protected them. Brother turned on brother until nothing remained. And then came peace. Hard fought sorely won people rose up from the ashes. And a new era was born. But freedom has a cost. When the traitor was defeated we swore we would never know this treason again. And so it was decreed that each year, the various districts of Panem would offer up in tribute one young man and woman to fight to the death in a pageant of honor, courage and sacrifice. The lone victor, bathed in riches would serve as a reminder of our generosity and forgiveness."

Yeah… generosity. If that was true, they wouldn't send children to fight in the Hunger Games.

Ivy whimpers a bit. I hug her.

"As always, ladies first," the escort, Fuchsia Firestripe says.

She grabs a slip of paper from a large glass bowl.

"Ivy Clearsky."

No. No. No. No.

Ivy cries into my shoulder.

I am crying too.

I can't volunteer for her. She's a girl. I'm a boy. It doesn't work that way.

I can't let her go.

I won't let her go.

"I volunteer!" I hear a scream.

I turn around and see Ivy's friend, Amelia Jones.

"Thank you," I say, still sobbing. Amelia nods.

"It seems as if we have a volunteer," Fuchsia squeals.

Fuchsia starts clapping energetically.

Everyone else is silent.

"Oh… now for the boys!" She reaches into the bowl and pulls out another name.

"Noah Anderson."

Oh no.

That's me.

No one volunteers.

Ivy squeezes me.

I can't leave her.

The peacekeepers come.

They grab me.

"Ivy!" I shout.

"Wait!"

I am dragged onto the stage.

Amelia and I shake hands.

"Happy Hunger Games! And may the odds be ever in your favor!"

We are both led into separate rooms.

They tell us that our friends and family will be visiting us. I only have two friends, Ivy and Amelia. And ever since my dad died, it's just been me and my mother.

The door opens. Ivy and my mother walk in.

Ivy hugs me.

"You're going to stay with my mother. She's going to take care of you." I hug her.

She nods.

I face my mother.

"I won't be around to take care of her. Don't let her starve. Don't let anyone hurt her."

"Ok." My mother hugs me.

I turn to Ivy again.

I hug her.

"You're going to be okay," I tell her.

"Please try to win for me."

"Maybe I can, I'm smart, you know."

She whimpers a bit.

"I love you," She says.

"I love you too."

A peacekeeper comes in.

"Ok, time is up," he says.

I plant a kiss on Ivy's lips.

I about cry when they take them out of the room.

I see that my mother has put something on the chair.

I pick it up.

It's a locket.

I see a picture of Ivy on it.

I hug the locket.

We are led to a train.

I see Fuchsia.

"Your mentor, Beetee, will be here in about…" she pulls out a clipboard, "…15 minutes."

I sit there, staring at the locket.

Amelia sits beside me.

"What's that?"

"It's a locket. My mother gave it to me."

She looks at the picture.

"You must really love Ivy." She smiles.

I nod.

"Why did you volunteer for her?" I ask.

"We have all been friends since before kindergarten. Our jobs are to protect each other."

"Yeah. You're right," I say.

Our mentor walks in.

He studies us for a bit.

"My name is Beetee. I am going to be your mentor."

He seems like a nice guy.

He sits down beside us.

He turns to Amelia.

"I saw how you volunteered for Ivy. That was very brave."

Amelia smiles.

"And you, Noah. Was Ivy your girlfriend?"

"Uh… yes."

I feel a bit sad. It hasn't even been two hours yet and I already miss her.

"Are you okay?" Beetee asks.

"Yeah. Uh… can I go to the bathroom?"

He nods.

I find the bathroom.

I go in.

I just sit on the floor and cry.

After about 15 minutes I decided I have been crying for long enough.

I walk out of the bathroom.

Beetee is talking to Amelia.

Fuchsia is checking out the food.

They all turn and look at me.

I think they can tell that I was crying.

"Hey, are you okay?" Amelia asks me.

"Yeah. It's just… I miss Ivy." I start crying again.

She nods.

"You might win. You might see her again," she says.

No.

I won't win. I'm going to die in the arena.

I want to scream. I don't know what is wrong with me.

Beetee hands me a glass of water.

"Ivy is going to be okay," Amelia says.

"I know. It's just… I'm never going to see her again. I'm going to die in the arena." I start sobbing.

Fuchsia starts to complain.

"If the other tributes ever hear you cry like this they are going to kill you. That would reflect badly on me, your mentor, and maybe even your district," Fuchsia complains.

I start to bang my head against the table.

I can't stop crying. I wish I could stop. I would stop, but I can't.

"Hey, Noah, come look at this!" Amelia grabs my arm.

She goes to one of the windows.

"We're at the Capital," I say.

I think I've finally stopped crying.

I just now realize how big the Capital is.

"Wow. It's huge," Amelia says.

"Yeah."

"And here we are. The Capital," Fuchsia squeals.

Fuchsia looks at me like she just swallowed a lemon.

"We're being filmed, so if you start crying again, so help me…!" Fuchsia yells at me.

"He's going to be fine if you stop yelling at him," Beetee says.

The people in the Capital are dressed in bright colorful clothes. Some have their hair dyed and even have their skin dyed.

I don't get it.

The people in the Capital are basically made of money. Then you see the districts. Most of the districts are starving to death. The districts are struggling to survive.

I'm a bit angry.

The Capital tells the us that they are generous, kind and giving.

That's a lie.

One of the damn biggest ones I've ever heard.

They open the train door.

The screams and shrieks of these people are extremely overwhelming.

I cover my ears.

Fuchsia gives me a glance that tells me to wave to these people. So I do.

Why are these people so excited. Do they even know what the games are?

Sending children to the Hunger Games is not something even the Capital should be excited about.

I'm really angry.

The Hunger Games are just entertainment to the Capital.

The Hunger Games are a punishment to the districts.

Families have to send their kids to fight to the death in the Hunger Games.

I am all my mother has.

I'm all Ivy has.

I don't know what they are going to do without me.

There are thousands of people here. Just to see the tributes.

I feel like I'm going to puke. I can't handle large crowds that well. It's probably why I only have two friends.

Our escort leads us both to separate rooms. She says that they are going to get us ready for the chariot parade.

I am instructed to sit in one of the chairs.

My prep team comes in.

One of them says that her name is Lydia. She has dark skin and long hair that she has dyed dark pink. She also says that she is thrilled to have me here. I can't say the same. I don't want to be here.

Another one says that his name is Chord. He has dark brown hair and light skin with a music note tattoo on his wrist.

The third one's name is Andrew. He has curly blue hair and dark skin. He says that he is my stylist. He seems pretty nice.

"I'm going to go work on the costumes," Andrew says.

He leaves the room.

They instruct me to let them bathe me.

I'm not going to go into detail with that…

I'm not really sure, but I think they are discussing what they should do with me.

Not much more, I hope.

I'm thinking of Ivy.

I start crying.

"I'm sorry, but we have to get you ready for the tribute parade," Lydia says.

"No. No. It's not that. It's just… I miss my girlfriend…" I am crying more.

"Oh. What is her name?" Lydia asks.

"Ivy."

"Oh. That's nice. I know a girl who has a dog named Ivy. But… the dog had died though…" She shakes her head.

How is this supposed to make me feel better?

"Um… that's nice," I say.

Chord comes over to us.

"Noah, you're almost done. We have only a few more things to do."

I nod.

I hope that they don't have to do too much more.

I just want to get out of here.

This is going to take a while…

I decide to think of Ivy to pass the time.

She's my favorite person to think about.

I love her so much.

Yes. I know that sounds cheesy…

I look at my locket for a while.

Ivy is so beautiful and sweet. I will always love her, no matter what.

"Okay, we're done. Andrew should be coming in a few minutes," Lydia says.

"Okay."

I'm pretty sure that Andrew will come in with a bunch of clothes for me to put on. If twenty three of us are going to die, why take the time to dress up twenty four of them.

I just don't get it.

I hear a knock on the door.

Andrew comes in with a bunch of shiny, silver clothes.

"This is what you will wear to the tribute parade. Since you're from district three, I was thinking that you could wear something that represents your district," Andrew says.

All I can do is nod.

I am instructed to get dressed in these clothes.

I look a bit strange in the costume.

My prep team comes and fixes my costume.

I am led to a large place.

I see chariots.

Amelia comes up to me.

I see she is laughing.

"These costumes are ridiculous!" She keeps laughing.

I nod.

We are instructed to get into a chariot.

A loud noise makes me jump.

It's only the anthem.

"Just smile and wave," Andrew says.

Our chariot is led behind district two's chariot.

People are cheering.

Amelia is waving.

I am not.

I don't want to.

I can be very stubborn sometimes.

If these people want us to die in an arena, why would I smile and wave to them?

Amelia elbows me a little.

She wants me to wave.

I shake my head.

She rolls her eyes and continues to smile and wave.

She knows how stubborn I can be.

Some girl throws a rose at me. I don't really know why but I throw it back at her face. I can be very rude sometimes.

This is not going to get me sponsors.

I'm going to die anyway. So why do I even need sponsors?

I start thinking of Ivy. I wonder what she is doing right now.

"Hey, you okay?" Amelia asks.

"Uh… yeah."

I look behind me.

In the distance, I can see that the district 12 tributes have some kind of fire capes. How does the Capital do things like this?

All the chariots are grouped together in front of a balcony.

I can see President Snow. He takes a napkin from his pocket and wipes some blood from his mouth. Gross.

President Snow stands up.

He holds up one of his hands to hush the crowd.

The crowd becomes silent.

He makes a speech.

The chariots are led into another place.

My prep team runs up to us. Fuchsia looks angry.

"I told you to smile and wave. It's not that hard!" Fuchsia is yelling at me.

I look at her like she is crazy… because… she is crazy.

Fuchsia storms off.

Andrew nods at me.

"You know, sometimes people like someone like you," Andrew says.

"What do you mean?"

"I mean… it's not everyday we meet somebody who doesn't smile to the capitol…"

I nod.

Fuchsia has finally calmed down.

She walks back over to us.

"Did I tell you about the penthouse y'all will be staying in?" Fuchsia says.

We shake our heads.

"Oh. Silly me!"

"Yeah… silly you," I murmur to Amelia.

Amelia laughs.

"I don't think we are going to find this funny," Fuchsia yells.

"So… where's this penthouse thing?" I ask.

"Follow me," Fuchsia says.

We follow her up into huge penthouse.

Amelia seems fascinated with the colorful walls and decor. I am… I am just tired.

I plop down on the couch.

Our prep team leaves.

I must have drifted off to sleep.

I dream of Ivy.

I wake up crying because I think of Ivy.

I miss her.

I look at the time on the clock.

1:04 am.

I realize that it's way too early for me to be awake.

I walk into a bedroom and lay down in bed (I had been sleeping on the couch.)

I can't seem to fall asleep.

I lay there.

Wide awake.

Staring at the ceiling.

I start crying.

I cry into one of the pillows.

I look up at the clock.

1:50 am.

This is gonna be a long morning.

Everything seems silent.

All I hear is my breath and the ticking of the clock.

I sigh.

I'm not going to be able to get any sleep.

I start crying again.

This is only the second day away from Ivy and I'm already restless.

I wanna throw up.

I have a terrible headache.

I play with my hair (which is usually something I don't do a lot.)

Come to think of it, it actually calms me.

I decide to go get something to eat.

I walk into the kitchen.

I grab a snack.

I open a cabinet and find a bunch of medicine.

I take some pills to help with my headache.

I walk back into my room.

I think my headache has finally gotten better.

I somehow fall asleep.

I dream of Ivy again. In the dream, me and Ivy had children. Yes. I know that's kind of weird, but I don't control what happens in my dreams.

When I wake up, it seems brighter.

I check the time.

6:53 am.

I go make myself some breakfast.

I don't think Amelia is awake yet.

I get dressed.

I run downstairs.

I see Fuchsia.

She turns around to look at me.

"Is Amelia awake yet?" She asks.

"No."

She hands me a black and red shirt with matching pants. She hands me Amelia's costume too.

I go back up to my room and I put on the clothes.

I decide that I should probably wake Amelia up.

I knock on the door of her room.

She opens the door.

"Good morning," she says.

"Hi. Fuchsia wanted you to put this on." I hand her the clothes.

"Oh. Ok." She goes back into her room.

I head back downstairs.

A few minutes later, Amelia comes downstairs.

Fuchsia looks at us.

"These are for the training center," she tells us.

I nod.

"Follow me," Fuchsia says.

We follow her to a huge room.

I think this is the training center. There are weapons and targets.

"We're a bit early so none of the other tributes are going to be here yet," Fuchsia points out.

About 30 minutes later, more tributes start to come.

I look at a chart on the wall.

Marvel- district one male

Glimmer- district one female

Cato- district two male

Clove- district two female

Noah- district three male

Amelia- district three female

Urchin- district four male

Alora- district four female

Dean- district five male

Foxface- district five female

Jason- district six male

Tamora- district six female

Wallace- district seven male

Sienna- district seven female

Sam- district eight male

Savanna- district eight female

Craigh- district nine male

Anna- district nine female

Tim- district ten male

Susan- district ten female

Thresh- district eleven male

Rue- district eleven female

Peeta- district twelve male

Katniss- district twelve female

Twenty four tributes are going in the hunger games. Twenty three will die. One will survive.

I know that I'm going to die. I'm not going to win.

It's time to start training.

Most people are trained with weapons. Some are learning about what plants are okay to eat.

I think I'm going to start with weapons.

I grab a machete. I heard that they were good to train with.

I'm not really sure what to do with it. Do I throw it?

Unsure what to do, I put the machete back and grab a bow.

I know how to use a bow because Ivy had shown me back in district three. We had found a small forest that no one had ever gone to. We spent a lot of time together here. We had gone hunting every once in a while.

I get one of the arrows ready. The bow is a bit different than the one we used back at home.

As I am about to shoot the target, I hear a yell.

I think that it's Cato.

He's yelling at Jason.

"Where the hell did you put my knife?" Cato yells.

"I don't know, I didn't put it anywhere," Jason answers.

I look up. I see that Rue has the knife and is giggling.

I laugh a bit.

A few others seem to notice her. Like the giant from district eleven. And the small curly haired boy from district four.

I see that peacekeepers are coming to break up the fight.

I continue training.

I don't know if there will be a bow in the arena. There are always knives. I should train with those.

I grab a few throwing knives. I see the girl from district two is extremely good at throwing knives.

I try to throw the knives. I miss the first two tries. But I think I finally got the hang of it. I don't think I'm really good at it though.

I grab a sword. I start chopping off the heads and arms of the dummies.

The careers seem pretty impressed with me.

I take a class on edible plants.

I'm not going to team up with the careers. They can easily turn their backs on you and kill you.

I throw a few spears.

I train with multiple weapons.

It's time for the sessions.

This is when we show the gamemakers our skills.

All the tributes are waiting for their names to be called. I will be the fifth person to go.

They call my name.

"Good luck," Amelia says.

I nod.

I am in a huge room.

I see the gamemakers are sitting together on a balcony.

"Noah Anderson. District three," I say to get the gamemaker's attention.

They study me with interest.

There are multiple weapons to use.

I grab the bow and shoot it a few times.

I use a sword and the machete.

I look at the gamemakers. They aren't paying any attention to me.

I'm angry at this.

I get the bow.

I aim at the wall.

I shoot.

The gamemakers are furious.

"You are dismissed!" One of the gamemakers yell at me.

I storm out of the room.

I go to the penthouse and lay on the couch.

Amelia, Beetee and my prep team come.

"Do you realize what you have done?" Fuchsia screams at me.

"Calm down, Fuchsia," Beetee says.

"Calm down? Calm down? Do you even know what he has done?" Fuchsia scoffs.

"Shh! There about to announce the training scores," Lydia squeals.

We all watch a huge screen.

Caesar Flickerman starts with Glimmer's score.

He's about to announce Amelia's score.

"Amelia. District three. With a score of… seven."

Our prep team is cheering.

"Noah. District three. With a score of eight."

I did pretty good. Not the best. But not the worst either.

"Good job!" Amelia says.

"T… thanks," I stutter.

It's time to go back to the penthouse.

Ugh.

Another night of crying and suffering. That's how it's been the last four nights.

Back at home, I have only cried myself to sleep a few times. Only because I miss my father or Ivy's family or maybe it's because of my depression. Please don't make fun of me.

We are at the penthouse.

"Well, good night," Amelia says.

"Yeah… good night." I think I'm already crying.

"You okay?" She sits down on the couch beside me.

"Yeah…"

"You miss Ivy, don't you?"

I nod.

"Um… I'm going to go to bed," I say.

She nods and leaves me in the living room.

I pull my knees to my chest and rock myself.

I am not even in the arena and I'm already questioning my sanity.

I walk to my bedroom.

I feel like throwing up… again.

I have a terrible pain in my stomach.

Maybe I'm just hungry… I did skip dinner. That's probably only part of it. Most of it is depression and anxiety.

I fall asleep. It took until 2:59 am, but I do eventually doze off.

I dream of Ivy again.

I wake up at 5:30 am.

My stomach doesn't hurt anymore.

I walk into the kitchen and make myself some breakfast.

Amelia comes and sits in the chair on the left side of me.

"Were you okay last night?" She asks.

"Yeah."

I don't eat any of my breakfast.

"Here," I pass the plate to her, "I'm not hungry."

I walk out to the balcony.

Amelia soon does the same thing.

"Why'd you go?" She asks.

"Uh… I had to… get some fresh air."

"Well… if you say so. Do you want me to leave you alone?"

"Yeah," I say.

She walks back into the penthouse.

I'm usually not going to make my friends leave me alone, but at a time like this, that's all I can do.

I sit there, unable to do anything, for about twenty minutes.

I walk back into the penthouse. I see Beetee chatting with Amelia.

"Hey. I'm glad you finally come to join us," Amelia says.

I sit down on the couch.

"I was talking to Amelia about some survival skills," Beetee says, "when the games start, don't run towards the cornucopia. It's a bloodbath. They're trying to pull you in. Now… what do you do if it's cold?"

"You build a fire," Amelia answers.

"No. That is a good way to get killed," I say.

Beetee seems impressed.

The next two days we go over survival skills.

The next two nights I lay awake and cry.

Today is the day of the interviews.

I don't socialize too much so I don't know how I'm going to handle the interview.

"Hey," Amelia says, "um… can we practice our interviews together. I mean… none of us like talking to people that much so…"

"Sure."

"Beetee told me that we should try to make them like us."

"I'm going to have trouble with that," I say.

"It's easy. We have to act nice and sensitive, but we also have to act tough."

I nod. That doesn't sound too hard.

I hear a knock on the door.

"We have costumes for y'all!" I hear Fuchsia's squeaky voice.

I open the door.

My whole prep team comes flooding in.

Fuchsia hands Amelia and me costumes for the interviews.

"Here, put these on real quick!" She shrieks.

Why is she so excited about this?

I go into the room and shut the door.

The costume is a black suit with a yellow shirt.

I put on the suit and it fits just fine.

The moment I walk out the door, Fuchsia starts to squeal.

"They're fantastic!" Her loud squeal rang through the room.

"Ugh… can you stop squealing like that?" I yell.

"Why?" She asks.

"Because it's getting annoying."

She sits back down on the couch, looking a bit disappointed.

"Ok… now that I can actually concentrate, what do we say at the interviews?"

"You can talk about life back in district three, or maybe you can talk about Hunger Games strategies, but if you talk about strategies, make sure not to give too much away, the other tributes will be watching," Beetee says.

A few hours have passed.

"Okay. It's time for the interviews!" Fuchsia squeals again.

We walk out of the penthouse.

She leads us to the back of some kind of stage.

We get in line with the other tributes.

I really don't know what I am going to say. I think I'll just make it up as I go. .

It's time for my interview.

I walk onto the stage.

The crowd is cheering and it makes me feel overwhelmed.

"Noah Anderson! District three!" Caesar shouts.

I sit down on the chair beside him.

"So… tell us a little bit about yourself," Caesar says.

"Well," I don't know what to say.

"Do you have any special girl at home?"

"There is one girl," I say, "her name is Ivy. The girl Amelia volunteered for."

He nods.

"I… I miss her." I start crying again.

"Oh…"

I hold my face in my hands.

"Do you need to…" Caesar doesn't have to complete his sentence.

I run off the stage, past the line of tributes.

I hear footsteps following me so I run faster.

All of the sudden, I am pinned to the wall.

"No. No," I gasp, struggling to breathe.

My vision is getting blurry but I can make out who this is. Cato.

"You trying to get some sponsors, huh? You think you're going to win. Well think again," Cato grips my throat tighter, "there's only one winner, and that's me!"

I struggle to get out of his grasp.

"Don't try to run away from me!" He shouts in my ear.

"Please!" I can only think of one word to say.

"Oh… I see. You wanna get back to your girlfriend. Well that's not happening!"

"Hey!" I hear a shout, "leave him alone."

It's Amelia.

He lets go of me.

I can only stand there, gasping for air.

"Oh… coming here to save your little friend, are you?" Cato hisses.

He leaps up at grabs her neck.

I pounce on his back.

"Ah…!" He yelps.

Wow… I'm not even in the arena yet, and I'm already getting in fights.

Cato trips.

"You little…" Cato starts to get up.

"Run!" I shout to Amelia.

We both run away, laughing.

"That was hilarious!" Amelia giggles.

"Yeah… I almost passed out at the beginning, but it was funny when I jumped on his back."

"Yeah…"

"Why'd you come and save me like that?" I ask.

"We're friends… right?"

"Yeah."

"That's why I did it, because we're friends and friends protect each other."

"Yeah."

I start crying again.

"You okay?" She asks.

"I just miss Ivy. Tomorrow is the Hunger Games, unless some kind of miracle happens, then this is probably going to be my last day," I say.

I still remember the last time with Ivy. I remember kissing her. The way she had hugged me.

"I think we need to go back to the penthouse," She says.

She hugs me.

We walk back to the penthouse.

I sit on the couch, crying.

"I think I need to be alone for a while," I say.

"Okay." She walks out of the room.

I cry myself to sleep.

The next thing I know, it's morning.

Oh no.

We are led into a hovercraft.

They put a tracker into my arm, which hurts really bad.

I am later led into a room where my stylist says a few words.

I step into a glass tube.

I see the arena. How could such a beautiful place have so many deaths?

Wait something isn't right.

I count the pedestals.

1…2…3...25. What? There should only be 24.

Ivy!

Ivy is on one the pedestals.

What is she doing here?

She can see me. She must know not to run off the pedestal yet.

I watch the clock above the cornucopia.

60…

Oh no.

50…

What do I do?

40…

I see a machete.

30…

Ivy seems to be interested in a bow.

20…

No. No. No. No. No.

10…

I'm gonna puke.

Boom!

I run off my pedestal.

Ivy is already at the cornucopia with the bow in her hand.

I never realized how fast she can run.

Finally, I am at the cornucopia.

I grab the machete.

Ivy is running towards the forest.

I follow.

Oh no.

I look behind me.

Marvel is running at me with a spear in his hand.

He throws it.

It lands in the ground. It could have killed me.

I pick it up and run.

He seems to be occupied with another tribute…

I am in the forest.

I look back and see the cornucopia.

So much blood.

I have to catch up with Ivy.

I walk through the forest for a while.

I hear crying. It sounds like Ivy.

I run.

I think I'm getting closer.

"Ivy!" I say. Not too loudly though, I don't want any other tributes to hear.

"Noah?" I can hear her.

She runs up to me and hugs me.

"What the heck are you doing here?" I ask.

"I… I was captured."

"Why?"

"I don't really know…"

The cannons start.

Twelve cannons have gone off.

Ivy and I sit on a rock. She leans on me.

"Hey," I say, "we're going to get through this together. I love you." I hug her.

"I love you too." She starts to cry.

I think she is having anxiety.

I hug her. She can't handle PTSD without me.

"You're okay," I tell her.

After about 15 minutes, she calms down.

"I think we need to get some sleep…" She says.

"Do you think you can climb a tree?"

"Maybe."

She climbs a tree.

I follow.

"Hey, um… did you have any training after they captured you?" I ask.

"Yeah. Some guy from district four named Finnick Odair wanted to mentor me."

"Why would someone from a different district want to mentor someone from district three?"

"I don't know. Apparently I reminded him of his girlfriend. I think her name was Annie Cresta." She talks while concentrating on climbing the tree.

She has already found a place to stay.

"Do you need help?" She asks.

I feel kinda embarrassed about this.

"Um… maybe."

She grabs my hand.

We rest in a fork in the tree.

She lays her head on my shoulder. She's so cute…

I hear the anthem play.

FALLEN TRIBUTES:

Alora (district four female)

Dean (district five male)

Foxface (district five female)

Jason (district six male)

Tamora (district six female)

Wallace (district seven male)

Sienna (district seven female)

Savanna (district eight female)

Craigh (district nine male)

Anna (district nine female)

Tim (district ten male)

Susan (district ten female)

Twelve people have died.

Thirteen are still alive, including Ivy.

I'm a bit sad about Foxface dying. She seemed really smart at her interview.

Ivy drifts off to sleep.

I start to cry.

Even though I am with Ivy, I am in this terrible arena. I am going to die soon. I'm not going to win.

Ivy wakes up.

"Hey, are you okay?" She asks.

I don't respond.

I have only just gotten into the arena and I think I have already gotten PTSD.

"You're okay." Ivy tries to calm me.

This is one of the worst things I have ever felt.

I can't think. I can't think straight, at least. I have some thoughts, but most of them are about the horrors of the games.

Ivy hugs me. I think she knows how I calm her down. So she is doing the same thing with me.

"Hey," she cradles my head. "You're okay. It'll be over soon."

I don't know what to say.

It's probably about midnight by the time I calm down.

"See," She says, "I told you it would be over."

"Yeah." That's all I can say at the moment.

"We need to get some sleep," she says.

I nod.

I drift off to sleep. I dream of the arena.

Oh no.

I see Cato, the same person who tried to choke me after the interviews. He is running towards me. With his large sword. I cannot outrun him. I can't even run. I am dead.

I wake up with a jolt.

Only a dream.

I decide to go hunting.

I can't go hunting with a machete.

"Hey, Ivy, wake up," I say.

I must have scared her.

She jumps up so quickly, she almost falls out of the tree.

"Oh… I'm sorry I scared you," I hug her so she will be calm.

"It's… it's okay."

"Ivy, baby, I was wondering if I could use your bow…"

"Um… why?" She asks nervously.

"So I can go hunting."

"Oh… umm… sure."

"Hey, you wanna come with me?" I ask her.

"Sure."

"Do you wanna do the hunting? Or do you want me to?"

"You can. I don't know if I am sane enough to…" her voice is full of sadness.

This makes me want to cry.

What is wrong with me?

"Um… Ivy, I'm not so sure I'm sane either…"

She hugs me.

"I just want to get out of this hellhole!" She cries.

"Me too. Me too."

We just stand there for a while, crying in each other's arms.

"Hey, are you guys alright?" A voice out of nowhere makes us jump.

Ivy shoots an arrow.

It lands in a tree, only an inch away from the head of the district four boy.

"Oh my god! I'm so sorry!" Ivy shrieks.

"Um… it's… alright. I was the one who scared you." He says, "my name is Urchin. How about you…"

"My name is Ivy."

"And my name is Noah."

"That's nice. You see… I don't have any allies, and I'm not teaming up with the careers. They'd kill me!" He pauses for a moment, "can I be your ally?"

Ivy looks uncertain for a moment.

"Um… sure." I say.

"Thank you!" Urchin comes and surprisingly hugs us.

"Do you have any weapons?" Ivy asks.

"Yeah. I have some throwing knives… but I won't kill you with them!"

I nod.

I see that he has a book bag.

"What is in the bag?" I ask.

"Oh! Just some things like food, water, ropes, and that kind of stuff." He sets it down on the ground and pulls out a bunch of supplies from the bag.

This is perfect. We now have a lot of stuff that will help us survive.

"Do you want to go hunting with us?" Ivy asks.

"Sure."

We walk for a bit.

"Can I borrow some wire?" Ivy points to Urchin's bag.

"Sure." He hands her some wire.

"What are you doing?" I ask.

"I'm building a snare."

It takes her a few minutes to get it set up.

"And… done!" She says.

She stands up.

"Now." She leans on my shoulder. "All we have to do is go away and wait."

Ivy starts to walk away so we follow her.

We are probably about a mile and a half away from the snares.

"So… what's it like in district four?" I ask.

"Well, it has oceans and beaches. There is a lot of fishing. My uncle, Finnick Odair, was a victor."

"He mentored Ivy…" I say, lost in a million thoughts.

"He did? That's cool…" he pauses for a second, "but very confusing. Y'all aren't in district four… so why would Finnick mentor you?"

"I have no idea. He was a nice guy though. He did say that I reminded him of his girlfriend, Annie Cresta."

"Oh. Annie Cresta. Yep, I can see why. You and Annie are both mentally unstable… I hope that didn't offend you."

"Oh, not at all. I get a lot worse things said to me in district three."

I put my arm around her. I know how she gets bullied at school. I get bullied too because I'm her boyfriend. It doesn't cause me to stop loving her though.

I hear a cannon go off.

Glimmer's face appears in the sky. I think it was the girl from district two.

"Oh! I almost forgot… we need to check the snares!" Ivy says.

We walk to the place where we set up the trap.

A huge rabbit lays dead in front of us.

"You hungry?" I pick it up.

They both nod.

I cook the rabbit, dividing it between the three of us, giving Ivy and Urchin a bit more than me.

Once we are finished, we realize how thirsty we are.

Urchin pulls out one of the water bottles.

"You want some?" He says.

"Sure." I drink some water from the bottle.

He hands one to Ivy.

"I think it's time to get some sleep." Ivy says.

"Here, Urchin, get on my back and I'll help you up."

Ivy is already up in the tree.

Urchin hops on my back and I start to climb up.

Urchin lays in Ivy's lap. I get beside her.

I put our weapons on another branch and pull out a rope from Urchin's bag.

We work together on tying ourselves onto the tree.

"I'll stay awake and guard." I say.

The others have already gone to sleep.

"Good night, Ivy," I say as I kiss her cheek.

I can see her smile. I love her…

She drools a little, so I wipe it off with my shirt. It must have woken her up.

"What are you doing?" She asks.

"I don't know," I say.

She runs her hands through Urchin's curly hair.

"He's too young to be in the games," she says.

"Technically, he's twelve years old, so he is old enough."

"You know what I mean!" She gets a bit frustrated.

"Yeah." I wrap my arms around her.

She cries a bit, so I hug her.

"You're okay," I tell her.

We hug each other for about 15 minutes.

"Um… I'm gonna go pee…" I say.

"Ok." She hands me the spear that I picked up after Marvel threw it at me.

I climb down the tree.

I see some smoke in the distance. I decide not to investigate. It might be the careers. I wouldn't stand a chance against even one of them.

Then I figure it out.

It is the careers. I can hear their hooting and hollering.

Oh my god!

I thought they were way in the distance. I was so wrong.

"Hey look!" They shout, pointing their weapons at me.

I can't outrun them. I can't fight them. I'll have to climb a tree. It'll take them a while to catch up to me.

They run down the hill. I have to be fast.

I start to climb a tree.

"WE'RE GONNA KILL YOU!" Clove says.

I see a pond near me. I wonder if these careers can swim…

"Wait…" Cato says, "aren't we going to ask him to set up the landmines?"

"Well, duh!" Marvel punches him in the shoulder playfully.

I hear the anthem.

FALLEN TRIBUTES:

Glimmer (district one female)

Cato seems a bit sad. Well… they did just lose a part of their career pack.

"We just want to talk!" Marvel says.

I grab the spear.

I start to cautiously climb down the tree.

They all seem to want to kill me.

"Ok. We need you to set up some landmines around the cornucopia." Cato starts to say, "but, if you don't… well…"

I know what he is going to say.

"You see, we already have Amelia over there. So we need you and Ivy to come and help," Clove says and calmly as she can… still not very calm.

"I can go get her if you want," I say.

"Ok. But if you try to run away…" Clove makes a slicing motion across her neck.

Wow… these careers are scary.

"Ok, I'll do it. Follow me and I'll find Ivy and Urchin." I start to walk.

"Wait!" Clove yells, "who the hell is Urchin?"

"The boy from district four…" I say.

"We should kill him!" Marvel squeals.

"No! He can help us." I shriek. I really hope they listen to me.

They nod in agreement.

I tell them to follow me.

We walk for about three minutes.

"Hey," Clove says, "Come here, Noah."

I go to her.

"You see this," She pulls out an extremely small throwing knife. I don't even think it could kill anything. "I calm this 'the tiny devil.' And do you know why it is called this?"

"No," I reply.

"Because, it looks small, but it's lethal. Once it hits the target, it releases poison that will kill you slowly and painfully."

"How'd you get it?"

"A sponsor gift. I've got about five of them. I plan to use them on certain tributes. So, I plan to use them on the whole district three group, which would mean you. And the other two on the district twelve star crossed lovers."

On the tributes from district three? I'm gonna be sick…

I start to throw up. Oh my god. What is wrong with me?

The careers are laughing at me.

It is now morning. I hope Ivy and Urchin are alright. They are probably worried about me.

"Ivy! Urchin!" I yell.

"Noah?!" I hear Ivy's voice.

I hear running.

Ivy runs up to me and gives me a hug.

She notices the careers and loads an arrow.

"Wait! Ivy, they're gonna help us," I say.

She puts the arrow back in the quiver.

"What do they need?" Urchin asks.

"They want us to set up landmines around the cornucopia. For protection."

"Why do we have to go? How do we know if they are lying or not?" Ivy asks.

"Amelia will be there. And if we don't do it, they will kill us." I say.

"Oh. Well… let's go." Ivy starts to walk.

"No!" Cato shouts, "I'll lead."

The whole way there, Clove just talks about her knives.

We arrive at the cornucopia.

"Ok. Noah, Ivy, Urchin," Cato says as he points at the cornucopia, "I want you to take a long look at it, because it's the last place you're ever going to be!"

"What do you mean by that?" Ivy whimpers.

I wrap my arm around her so she doesn't get nervous.

"It means that after you are finished helping us, we are gonna kill you."

Ivy hugs me and cries into my shirt. I hug her.

"What the hell is wrong with her?" Cato asks.

"Nothing! Nothing is wrong with her." I say.

Urchin comes and gives Ivy a quick hug.

"Is she mentally unstable or something?" Clove asks with a laugh.

I grab Clove by the collar of her shirt and yell in her face. "You got a problem with that?"

"Nope." I can tell she is lying.

I let go of her, shoving her in the process.

"Look, if you want us to help you, you might wanna get used to it," I say, holding up my machete. Honestly, that was a threat.

"Um… I don't want anyone to get in a fight… so… truce?" Urchin says.

We all nod.

I see Amelia working on the landmines.

Ivy and I walk over to her.

"You need some help?" I ask her.

"Noah! Ivy!" She gives us a hug. "I missed y'all!"

"We missed you too." Ivy says.

We start to help her with the landmines.

"Do you have any weapons?" I ask Amelia.

"No."

"Here." I hand her the spear.

"Oh. Thanks."

"No problem."

"Ok, guys. It's time to get some sleep." Cato says.

"I'll keep watch," Amelia says.

The careers sleep in sleeping bags and pillows while Ivy, Urchin and me sleep on the grass.

Ivy whimpers a bit so I let her rest her head on my stomach and cradle her head for a while.

The next day the careers have been sponsored with beer and wine. Oh no.

They all seem to be extremely drunk.

"Hey, Noah. Have some beer!" Cato shoves a beer in my face.

"Umm… no. I don't drink." I say.

"Come on! You're so damn stupid!" Clove pushes me a bit.

"I said 'no!'"

Ivy and Urchin are still asleep.

"I think all of us are underage…" Amelia says.

"So?" Marvel says.

"Drink it or we'll kill you!" Clove holds the poisonous knife up to my face.

Well, if careers say they will kill you. They are most likely telling the truth.

"Ok. Only one though…" I don't wanna turn out like the careers.

I take a beer and struggle to drink the foul liquid. I feel like throwing up.

What did I get myself into?!

I can't stop drinking it! I've already drank four bottles.

"Umm… Noah are you okay?" Ivy asks.

I feel so sick that I can't say anything.

Ivy comes and pats me on the back.

"What did you give him?" She says as she picks up an empty beer bottle.

"Damn, Ivy. It's only beer!" Clove says.

"Beer!?" Ivy sounds really angry.

"Come on, Ivy. I'm fine. Damn, this stuff is good!" I say, half drunk.

"Oh no." She hides her face in her hands.

I yell a few curse words. I can't seem to control what I am doing.

"Here, Ivy, damn you need to have a beer!" I say.

"Oh no. No. No. No. No," Ivy shakes her head.

Mum would not be happy with me right now.

I suddenly get angry and punch marvel in the stomach.

He lets out a groan of pain.

Ivy is in the cornucopia, anxious and scared, while Amelia and Urchin try to calm her down. I want to help, I know I do. I'm just too drunk to do anything except yell, start fights, and drink beer.

I feel a terrible pain in my stomach. Marvel has punched me back.

"You little…" I start to shove him to the ground.

"You're so damn pathetic!" Cato tells Marvel.

We continue fighting for about an hour. We get sponsored with more alcohol.

The more we drink, the more drunk we are. I'm even too drunk to go and help my girlfriend.

I start to puke.

"Noah! Damn, you're such a lightweight!" I look over my shoulder and see that Ivy is now drunk.

Urchin and Amelia look at each other. They look pretty worried. Probably worried about our mental health.

Ivy throws a beer bottle at me. Good thing she is too drunk to throw right.

Ivy jumps on my back and makes me fall over.

Marvel and Cato are engaging in a fist fight.

The whole place is full of screams and shouts of all the drunk people.

Ivy gets in a fight with Marvel. Wow… she's aggressive when she is drunk.

It gets dark. It's night already?

"Urchin and I will keep watch," Amelia says.

Probably because they are the only two that aren't drunk.

I think all of us have calmed down a bit. I don't really feel too drunk anymore. Ivy on the other hand…

"I DAMN NEED MORE BEER!" She screams.

I walk over and sit next to her.

"No, Ivy," I say.

"Why not?!" She says angrily.

"Because, I don't want you to get hurt… or worse."

"What do you mean 'get hurt'!" She slaps me across the face.

"People do stupid things when they're drunk… like my dad. He got drunk one day and messed with a peacekeeper… it got too far and… my dad was killed." I wipe a tear from my eye. I was only three years old when this happened. It just makes me sad that I don't have a father.

Ivy falls asleep. I lay down beside her and wrap my arms around her so she won't go anywhere. She's drunk at the moment, but she's still just Ivy. And I still love her.

In the morning, Ivy is her normal, sweet self.

Ivy and I are the only two people who are awake.

"Noah," Ivy says.

"Yeah?"

"Did I get drunk last night?"

"Yes."

"Did I hurt anyone?"

"Well, you got in a fight with Marvel. That left scars on his face…"

"Oh."

She leans on my shoulder.

"Hey, are you okay?" I ask.

"Yeah. I just wanna get out of here."

"If you were out of this arena, what would you do?"

"I don't know. Well, first of all, I'd probably need some kind of therapy. Then after I have settled down I'd probably get married and start a family…"

"Oh. Who would you get married to?" I already know the answer to this.

"You."

I smile. She's so nice to me, even though I don't deserve it.

"Why are you so nice to me?" I ask.

"Because I love you."

The careers are awake and are looking at something in the distance. A fire.

"Y'all four stay here and guard." He points to Urchin, Amelia, Ivy, and me.

The careers run away with their weapons in their hands.

We work on the landmines a bit more.

"Hey! Do y'all need any help?" A voice says out of nowhere.

Ivy shoots an arrow but he dodges it. I think it's the district eight boy.

Ivy pounces on him, holding him to the ground.

"Wait! I just want to talk!" He says.

"About what?" Ivy says viciously. What the hell is wrong with her?

"I want to help you!" He gasps.

"How are you gonna do that?!"

"I'm smart. I'm good with throwing knives. And I'm good at setting traps. We can trap other tributes."

"Ivy, let him go. He has no weapons and it seems like he's telling the truth." I drag her off of him. Then I hold out my hand for the district eight boy. "Come on, buddy. Let me help you."

He grabs my hand and I help him up.

Ivy has my machete in her hand and she looks like she's about to kill someone.

"Wow… that was unexpected. My name is Sam. What's yours'?" He asks.

"I'm Noah. This is Ivy… the one who attacked you. There's Urchin and Amelia."

"Nice to meet you all. I've been watching all of you for about three days. Last night was… wow. When y'all got drunk, I laughed so hard, I'm surprised you didn't hear me."

"Yeah… and Ivy… I don't know what has gotten into her. She's usually really nice…" I say.

He nods.

"I set up that fire over there because I wanted to get the careers away so I could talk to y'all. Maybe y'all can convince the careers to let me live for a while." He looks at Amelia and blushes.

"Sure."

We wait for the careers to come back. Meanwhile I decide to talk to Ivy.

"What's up with you all of the sudden?" I say.

"It's just… ever since you talked to me about what I would do if I won, I was thinking… maybe we can. We would actually have to kill a few people but… then I'd get to be with you. I wouldn't have to be in this hellhole…"

"But… they only allow one person to win. Even if we both survived to the end, one of us would have to die…"

"Yeah. It was just a thought…"

I kiss her on the cheek. "I love you, Ivy."

She grabs my face and kisses my lips. "I love you too…"

The last time she kissed me like that was when I had gotten picked for the hunger games.

She gets up and walks over to Sam who is kissing all over Amelia… what?

"Hey, I'm sorry I attacked you…" she says.

"Um… it's okay." He gives her a quick hug to show her that he forgives her. It makes me feel uncomfortable. I don't know why. Maybe it's because this guy that I barely know has just hugged my girlfriend.

I walk over to them and put my arm around Ivy.

"Umm… babe, can you help me with something…" I say.

"Yeah… What do you need help with?"

"Umm… uh … you know what, never mind. How about you come sit next to me, I'm feeling pretty lonely."

She giggles a bit. "Sure."

She sits next to me and wraps her arms around me.

I start to get anxious.

"Hey, shh… you're okay." She says.

A cannon goes off.

Rue's face appears in the sky. I never did talk to her, but it still makes me sad. She was so young. And so clever in the training center. I'm 99% sure she was the same age as Urchin…

Urchin looks a bit sad.

"Hey. What's wrong?" I ask.

"Hm… oh… nothing…"

"Come on. Something is."

"Well… in the training center… I kinda had a crush on Rue," he says.

"Oh… I— I'm sorry…"

He doesn't say anything after that.

I give him a quick hug. It feels pretty awkward, but it seems to have made him feel better.

"Hey, is everything okay over here?" Amelia asks.

"Yeah." I say.

She looks doubtful. "Okay. If you say so…"

"Come on, we need to keep working," I say as I give him a pat on the back.

"Yeah." We both walk over to the others and start working on the landmines.

Ivy stands up and puts her arm around Urchin. "You okay, buddy?"

"Yeah… I just don't want to talk about it…" he says.

I find myself covering my ears as a blood curdling scream rings through the forest. I wait for a cannon to go off but something tells me that won't happen.

The cries of the Careers let me know to tell Sam that he needs to hide. I don't have to tell him twice. He quickly runs and hides like a small child.

Clove is here, no one else, angry as ever, staring at us. This doesn't seem good.

The other careers are probably tracking down more people.

Clove wipes the blood from her knife and narrows her eyes.

"I think…" she says, "I think it's time for a change in plans…"

Clove takes out one of the poisonous knives and throws it… straight at Amelia's leg.

Amelia's cries send shivers up my spine.

"NO!" Ivy shrieks.

Tears spring up in my eyes. The need to kill someone sparks up inside of me.

"WHAT. DID. YOU. DO?!" I scream.

"I killed her." Clove lets out a laugh.

I grab a machete.

I grab Clove's leg and pull her to the ground. Her screams fill my ears, making me punch her throat to shut her up.

With the machete in my hand, I start to stab her. Blood spraying everywhere. Her face, unrecognizable because of the terrible thing I have done to her. I know I have gone mad. I'm a killer. A monster. I can't stop. I can't stop stabbing the girl. My anger and sadness is controlling my every move.

"Cato!" She yells.

Her last word. Her cannon goes off. Her face appears in the sky.

I run to Amelia, crying.

"N-Noah?" She weakly holds out her hand. "I-I always… l-loved you…"

What? I new she was always my friend… I never knew that she actually loved me though.

"Y-Yeah?" My voice is weak from the tears and sadness.

"Yes. I-I was never j-jealous though. I- I knew that y-you and Ivy… y'all are good t-together."

"Amelia! Please! Please don't go!" Ivy shrieks.

I hug her.

"G-Goodbye…" she shuts her eyes and lets out one more breath. Her cannon goes off.

"No… NO!" I scream. One of my first and only friends is now dead. Gone from the arena, gone from the world.

Ivy wraps her arms around me.

"Noah…" Ivy says through her tears.

Urchin looks shocked and sad. Tears run down his face.

I can't say anything. The shock of this event overwhelms me.

"Clove?!" I hear Cato's screams. He sounds close by.

I feel a hand on my shoulder. I whip around and see Sam.

"Amelia?" He says.

"She- she's… dead." Ivy says.

"What?!" He shrieks. "No. No. No. No!"

He bends down and hugs her. "I- I love you." He kisses her lips.

He gets back up. "Kill me…" he says.

"What? Why?" I ask.

"Because! My girlfriend is dead! Everyone back at home hates me! I'm gonna die anyway!" He shrieks angrily.

Girlfriend?

"No. I'm not going to kill an innocent being like you," Ivy says.

"Clove?! What the f—?!" Cato's shouts aren't too far away.

"Oh god. We need to run!" Ivy yells.

I bend down and give Amelia one more hug and then I run after the others.

"CLOVE!" I think he noticed that she is dead. Mauled apart by a monster named Noah Anderson. I am the horrible killer who has done this.

Cato kneels beside Clove, crying and screaming. He doesn't notice that we are near.

Seeing how sad Cato is makes me realize that I am no better than the careers. I'm still a killer, just like them.

"Noah," Ivy whispers, "I got Clove's knives…"

"No. I don't want to make anyone else suffer! I want to die! Please kill me…" I'm having a mental breakdown from this.

She wraps her arms around me, cradling my head. "No. You're going to be okay."

"Look," Sam puts his hand on my shoulder, "you were doing what you had to do to survive. You did it… for Amelia."

"I'm sure everyone feels this way when they first kill someone, even the careers," Urchin says.

The anthem plays.

FALLEN TRIBUTES:

Clove (district two female)

Amelia (district three female)

Rue (district eleven female)

"There are less people left. We're going to need a better place to hide." I say.

"Hmm… maybe a tree…" Sam says.

"Yeah. But we will need at least two people to keep watch. A bigger alliance means a bigger target…"

"Noah and I will keep watch." Sam raises his hand a bit.

"Sure."

I remember that we haven't eaten in three days.

"Hey, Urchin," I say.

"What?"

"Do you have any more food?"

"Oh… yeah."

He hands everyone some food. Not enough to satisfy our hunger, but enough to stop the aching pain in our stomachs.

"Thanks, bro." I say.

"No problem."

We climb up a tree. Ivy and Urchin gets settled in a tangle of branches. Sam and I lay on a branch, up against the tree.

I wait until Ivy and Urchin are asleep before I start talking.

"So… Amelia was… your girlfriend?" I ask.

"Yeah. She was a good girl…" I can hear the sadness in his voice.

"Yeah…" I can feel the hot, salty tears run down my cheek.

"She loved you… you know that, right?" Sam says.

"Yeah." This is the only word I can say at this moment.

"And- I-" he stutters before bursting into tears.

I don't know what to do to help him.

"Hey… umm… don't cry. She is in a better place now," I say as I place my hand on his shoulder.

"Yeah. Umm… I don't wanna talk about this anymore. I'm gonna go to another tree branch. I don't want to talk to anyone right now," He says.

"Ok."

He climbs up higher into the tree.

I see Ivy climb down to where I am.

"Hey, you okay?" I ask.

"Yeah. I just… can't sleep…"

"I see." I wrap my arms around her.

She slowly closes her eyes and drifts off to sleep.

"Good night, my love," I say.

I stay awake just looking around the whole night. It's pretty boring, but I probably wouldn't have fallen asleep anyway.

I start crying. It has been a long, terrible day. I made my first kill and watched my friend die right before my eyes.

Ivy wakes up and hugs me.

"I miss Amelia," she says.

"Me too…" I feel like crying. I feel like throwing up. I feel like killing myself. The worst pain I have felt is the kind you can't see, the invisible kind, the kind that is only revealed in thought.

We hold ourselves in each others arms until morning comes.

No one is awake yet. I look up and see that Sam has drifted off to sleep.

I hear a strange beeping sound. A sponsor gift!

It lands on a branch beside me. I grab it and look inside.

A note.

Noah, I am so proud of you. Keep doing what you're doing because you might win. You're so close. Closer than anyone thought. Everyone feels guilty when they first kill someone. I definitely was. I know how close you and Amelia must have been. She loved you. You were both good friends. Your allies will help you. Protect you. A good alliance will never leave your side.

—Beetee

I feel my eyes well up with tears. I dig deeper into the gift and find a piece of bread. It's still warm and has a 3 carved into it. I split it in half and wake Ivy up.

"Hey, I think district three wanted us to have this…" I hand her one of the halfs. I see tears in her eyes.

"T-thank you, District three!" She says, holding up the three finger salute to a camera.

I join her as I take a bite out of the bread.

The others slowly walk up and we all make our way down to the tree.

"Attention, attention, tributes. The rule requiring a single victor has been… changed. From now on two victors will be allowed as long as they are both from the same district. Good luck, and may the odds be ever in your favor." The announcement says.

"Ivy!" I hug her, "We're one of the only teams left. We could both win!"

"Yeah! There is still the district twelve pair we have to get through, though…"

"Well yeah, but Cato is still in the games. And if he sees someone, he kills them, especially when it's at the very end of the game. So we should expect some cannons to go off soon," I say.

"Hey, guys. We need to get moving…" Sam says.

We all walk together, each of us with a weapon in our hands.

"So… what happens to the person who wins?" Ivy asks, "I mean… like I kinda know what happens, but…"

"Oh! I know what you mean… well… once a person gets out of the arena, it depends on the person, but they are probably going to need some kind of therapy. Mental and probably physical, too. Then they get to go home. Them and their families get to live in the victor's village."

"Oh wow…" she says.

"Well… um… what do we do now?" Urchin asks.

"I don't know. Maybe we can go hunting. Or… um… we could hunt for other tributes…" Sam says.

I don't feel like doing anything. I'm too tired. Too depressed.

"Um… should we just try to find camp…" I say.

"Hey, are you okay?" Ivy asks.

"Um… yeah…"

She gives me a quick hug.

I start throwing up. I've lost a lot of weight in the games. I've barely eaten anything and I've been throwing up a lot.

She comes over and pats my back.

"Hey, you're okay," she says.

Once I have stopped puking, I give Ivy a hug.

"Hey, do you want to go hunting?" She asks.

"Uh… Yeah…"

"Well come on, guys. I wanna try out Clove's knives," she forces a laugh.

We walk for a while, searching for any animals that we can use for food.

Ivy points to a deer which is eating grass by a tree. She pulls out a throwing knife.

She throws it just as the deer spots us and runs away. The knife hits the tree, but bounces back.

I'm not sure where the knife went through.

We all have looks of horror on our faces when we turn around and see Urchin… with a knife in his shoulder.

Tears run down our faces and we're unable to say anything.

Ivy catches him as he falls to the ground.

"C-can you sing?" He asks, shakily.

Ivy nods.

"Brought into the light at last by the cold, exposing sun. I was granted freedom tamed, to become the chosen one. Through the mirror, night reflected, miraculous to see. My soul threw away the mask that hides the deeper me. Breaking the dark of night, piercing through the painted white. Cut it all away from yesterday, till a new eras' in sight. Unlock the heart within, let it spread its wings and soar. Rising up in flight, through the dark of night. And fly on forever more…https/watch?v=ojL-5r3l8oo "she sings in the most beautiful voice I've ever heard. I can't say anything. All I can do is cry.

"PLEASE! DON'T GO!" I shriek.

"W-well, Noah, I don't really have a choice." He forces a weak smile.

"Urchin…" Sam whimpers in a quiet voice.

"Thank you, guys." He closes his eyes and takes one last breath.

"NO!" Ivy shrieks.

She grabs a knife. She holds it up to her stomach as if to commit suicide.

"No! Ivy stop!" I yell.

"What?! I'm a murderer! I killed him! I killed my best friend!" She yells angrily.

"No. It was an accident. If you were to kill yourself, I would go mad. I'd kill everyone around me and the most painful death I'd cause would be my own death." I pin her to the ground so she won't try to kill herself.

"Let go of me, you damn son of a…"

"Hey, stop it. Calm down," Sam says.

He grabs her and pulls her in for a hug.

"Um… Ivy… we need to leave. The hovercraft needs to come get Urchin," I say.

"No, wait. There's something I need to do first. Stay here for a minute." She grabs a knife and heads out to a patch of flowers.

I watch her closely because now that she is probably extremely suicidal, I can't trust her with any kind of weapon.

She comes back with a bunch of flowers. She starts to place the flowers on him. She takes the knife out of his shoulder and carefully places it in his hand.

"I'm sorry, Urchin," She says as she bends over and kisses his forehead.

She gets up, looks around and looks at a camera.

"THIS IS WHAT THE CAPITAL ENJOYS WATCHING! INNOCENT CHILDREN BEING KILLED," she yells just before having a mental breakdown.

I give her a hug. I want to scream. I want to cry. I want to die. But I need to stay calm for Ivy.

"Hey, it's okay," I say, trying to calm her down.

"No! It really isn't! My two of my friends are dead! I want to kill my self and I'll probably end up doing just that!" She shrieks.

"Please don't. I already told you what would happen if you did that. Please. Please don't kill your self…" I start crying.

She hugs me in her arms.

"Ok. I won't."

"I-I love you, Ivy…" I say, still sobbing.

She hugs me tighter and sobs into my shoulder.

"I hate myself," I say.

"Why? You didn't kill your best friend. You didn't try to commit suicide. What is there to hate?"

"He was… he was a good kid…" I stutter.

"Yeah. One of the only guys who didn't try to kill me. You know, you guys are the only people who even wanted to be my friends," Sam says with tears running down his face.

"Hey, I don't see anything wrong with being an outcast." Ivy pats him on the back.

When no one is looking, I take a knife and start cutting myself on my arm.

It's so painful, but I can't scream, no matter how much I want to.

Ivy turns around and looks at me with horror.

"Noah! Stop!" She shrieks.

She pins me on the ground and takes the knife out of my hand. She looks at me angrily right before planting an intense kiss on my lips. Whoa.

The hovercraft collected Urchin a long time ago.

Ivy looks at my bloody arm and takes of her jacket, revealing a black tank top. She takes the jacket and wraps it around my arm.

"There. Don't do that again," she says with a look of sadness and anger on her face.

I can't think of anything to say at the moment. All I can do is get up and inspect the bandage. It's really well made and could probably hold up for a few days, which is pretty good for something made from a jacket.

I've tried to cut myself many times before, but it has never gone this far. I've been suicidal many times.

"Uh… thanks," I say.

She yanks the collar of my shirt and slams me against a tree.

"IF YOU EVER DO THAT AGAIN… then… I'D KILL MYSELF!" She shouts.

"I- I'm sorry…" I murmur.

"I love you." She hugs me.

A cannon goes off and Katniss' face appears in the sky.

Katniss the girl on fire. The girl with the highest score.

She stood out so much the last three weeks. Probably got millions of sponsors.

I was so certain that she was going to win.

"Noah, we're the only team left!" Ivy says.

"Babe, you're right!" I didn't realize how high our chances of winning are.

"Guys, we better get going," Sam says.

"Yeah." Ivy picks up her bow and throwing knives.

I get my machete and follow Sam and Ivy.

"So…" Ivy says awkwardly, "uh… what are we gonna do."

"Well… I don't know, honestly," Sam replies.

"Wait!" She stops suddenly.

"What is it?"

"Shh!" She makes us be quiet.

She stays like that for a minute.

"There's water!" She yells as she starts running. We follow and end up at a deep crystal clear pond.

"Well, look who it is!" I hear a familiar scowl that sends shivers down my spine. Cato!

Ivy shoots an arrow, but he dodges it.

"Marvel, get the girl. I have a long death planned for Noah," he says with an evil grin on his face.

Marvel tries to grab Ivy, but she dives in the water.

He throws a spear at her but she dodges it, and it gets stuck at the bottom of the pond, only centimeters away from her face. He throws another one and this time it misses, but it scarred up her face pretty badly.

"Ivy!" I try to dive in after her, but Sam protectively holds me back.

Marvel dives in after Ivy. Ivy grabs the spears. Ivy is a great swimmer, I'm surprised she isn't from district four. She's like a fish. Marvel… he is obviously struggling.

I look at Cato for a second, who is cursing at Marvel.

I look back and it's a nightmare. The crystal clear pool is now blood red.

A cannon goes off and I can't see who died because the trees are in the way.

"NO!" I shriek.

It's now evening. It's gonna be getting dark soon.

Someone comes out of the water.

"IVY! You're okay!" I scream.

"No! This wasn't supposed to end this way!" Cato whines.

"Run…" Ivy whispers.

Cato looks away and we all run. Cato doesn't seem to notice us yet.

We all get far away from the place, share a rabbit, and watch the anthem.

FALLEN TRIBUTES:

Marvel (district one male)

Urchin (district four male)

Katniss (district twelve female)

"Hey, you okay?" I say to Ivy, who looks scarred and depressed.

"I'm a murderer!" She yells.

"No. Ivy, you did what you had to… if you didn't, then Marvel would have killed you," I say, "in these games, it's kill or be killed."

"I killed my friend. Urchin didn't deserve to be killed. He was too young."

"Hey, Ivy, I want you and Noah to win. So, if it comes down to it, I will need you to kill me," Sam says.

"Now you want me to damn kill another one of my friends?!"

"Guys, I'm dead anyways. They're going to kill me if I win." Sam looks away.

"What? Why?" I ask.

"Because. My father was a murderer, and the people in my district blame it on me, even though my father has been dead since I was eleven, six years ago."

"Oh. Sam I'm so sorry…" Ivy gives Sam a hug.

I feel bad for the guy.

"Hey, at least you knew your father. I was three when my dad died," I say.

"Oh I'm sorry… how did he die? You don't have to tell me if you don't want to."

Ivy falls asleep on my shoulder.

"So… my dad went out partying one night and got really drunk. He got in a fight with a peacekeeper and it got a little out of hand. The peacekeeper shot him."

"Oh," Sam says, "my dad was killed because of a drug overdose."

"This is getting to be a sad, uncomfortable conversation, so… let's not talk about it anymore," I say.

"Good night, then. I'll keep watch," Sam says.

"Okay. Good night."

He goes and climbs onto a tree branch.

I pull Ivy closer to me. I suddenly get a burst of hope for getting out of here alive. Maybe I'm just over estimating myself.

"Ivy, babe, get up." I hate to wake her, but I need to talk to her.

"What is it?"

"I needed to talk to you about something."

"Sure. What do we need to talk about?"

"So… umm… if we get out of the games… uhh… would you want kids or not?" This is getting awkward.

"Um… yeah. But not after a few months."

"Months?! I was thinking years."

"Well… it depends on our mental health, I guess."

"Oh. Ivy, I will do whatever you want. If you want kids, then I'll make sure you have kids. If you don't, then I'm fine with that."

"Oh! Thank you… I'm a bit tired, so I'm gonna go to sleep." She lays her head on my chest.

She kisses my lips and falls asleep with her arms wrapped around me.

"Good night, love…"

The next morning, I wake up to a rustling in the leaves.

Someone is here.

I grab my machete and stand up.

I can see who the intruder is. The giant from district eleven.

Everyone else wakes up and realizes Thresh.

Thresh throws a spear an it hits my arm. It doesn't go all the way through but it hurts like hell.

"You son of a biscuit!" I shout.

I slice his arm open.

He groans in pain and falls to the ground. I stab him repeatedly.

A cannon goes off.

I just made my second kill.

I feel guilty.

I look at my injured arm. It's seems pretty bad. I take off the jacket bandage from yesterday and wrap my other arm in it. My suicide scars have gotten a bit better.

"Are you okay?" Ivy asks.

"Yeah. It'll heal in a few days."

"So… What are gonna do today?" Sam asks.

"Uh… we could act like careers and kill Cato and Peeta." Ivy says.

"Wait… that's all whose left?" I ask.

"Yeah."

"Well then in that case, that sounds like a good idea. Peeta is strong, but in the training center, we barely saw him train with any weapons. Cato… he's our only obstacle."

"Yeah. Cato would probably be at the cornucopia. Peeta could be anywhere," Sam says.

"We should just walk around and see if we find anything," I suggest.

We grab our weapons and start walking.

"Uh… I heard your conversation last night. I wasn't eavesdropping or anything, it's just… I was sitting on a tree branch right above your head… so… y'all are thinking about having kids, are you?" Sam says.

"What?! No- not right now!" I yell.

"Whoa. Dude, calm down. I was only asking because I think y'all would be great parents."

I feel very irritated right now.

"Okay. Just shut the hell up about it, will you? Before I beat your ass!" Ivy yells.

"Oh. Okay."

"We didn't mean to offend you or anything. It's just an uncomfortable topic to bring up."

"I understand. I am sorry."

It suddenly gets dark. The game makers must be about to have an arena event.

A sudden low growl rings through the forest. Oh god.

"Guys, run!" Ivy says.

We run and two dark wolf like creatures run out. Mutts!

Ivy is a very fast runner. She easily speeds away. Sam throws a spear at one of the mutts and it falls over. I think it is dead. But another mutt appears out of nowhere and takes its place.

"Ah! Damn, why the heck do they do this crap to us?" Sam yells.

The cornucopia comes to our view. Peeta and Cato are fighting on top of it. Oh god. Are we seriously going to have to join them?

Ivy effortlessly climbs up the cornucopia. She takes out a knife.

"Okay, doofuses, I got a knife, good survival skills, and I can kick like hell. So if either of y'all morons come after me, I will easily take your pathetic little lives."

Peeta looks stupid and calm as always and Cato just looks furious.

"District twelve guy, you too scared to do anything? Ha! I'm surprised you haven't damn died already, idiot!" She kicks Peeta in the… uh… you know what, and holds him over the side of the cornucopia. She takes the knife.

"Hm? I could kill you with this, but… why bother?" She takes out a much smaller knife. The poisonous knife!

She has a sly smile on her face.

She sticks the knife in his arm and he groans in pain.

She takes the normal knife and stabs him repeatedly. He screams and cries. Why doesn't this doofus fight back? It's probably a good thing, but still. He's so damn stupid.

A cannon goes off.

Ivy shoves Peeta off the cornucopia. The mutts year him apart until nothing remained of him.

Cato draws his sword but Ivy kicks it out of his hand. I feel useless so I take Cato's sword and rip open his leg.

Ivy throws a poisoned knife but misses.

"Damn!" She yells out of frustration.

She takes out another knife before being knocked down by Cato.

"You little— Ah!" She shrieks as Cato tries to stab her with the poisonous knife. He misses because Ivy has stuck a knife into his shoulder blade.

"Ah!" He shrieks.

A loud booming sound hurts my ears. The landmines!

A few of the mutts are blown to pieces.

"Ugh! Okay… Cato. Do me a favor, will you? Jump!" She yells.

"What do you mean, idiot?"

"I mean that you need to jump. Jump of the cornucopia, doofus!"

"Now, why the hell would I do that?"

"Because, you're dead anyway. Do you recognize the knife? They're the poisonous ones. So, I'm doing you a favor. Clove said the things kill you slowly and painfully. Jump now and make it quick!"

The mutts under us are clawing at the cornucopia. The metal horn is really dented. I wouldn't be surprised if it just collapses under us.

Cato has a look of pure pain on his face.

Ivy looks sad and frustrated.

"I'm gonna have to shoot that stupid head of yours!"

Wow. Ivy is the only person who has said or done anything the whole time.

She loads the arrow and aims at Cato's head.

"Ugh. Let's get this over with."

She let's go of the string. The arrow goes straight through his neck. He stiffly falls over. It's a bit creepy. He didn't move a muscle, neither did he blink or move his mouth. Maybe he was already dead. The poison from the knife probably made him stiff.

The cannon goes off.

Ivy's look of anger has turned into shock and sadness as she looks at Sam. No. They are only going to allow two victors.

"Kill me," He says.

"No!" Ivy shrieks, "I'll kill myself! I could never forgive myself if I did a damn thing like that!" She burst into tears.

She is on her hands and knees, crying.

I get to her current height and comfort her.

"I told you that I'm gonna die anyway. If rather die knowing that I did y'all a favor than to die knowing that y'all didn't live," He says.

It's too much. I burst into tears and hug Sam. This is the most uncomfortable hug I have ever given anyone.

"Oh! Oh god! Don't cry, guys. I'll be with Amelia."

The mention of her name makes me even more sad.

"But… I— I will miss you!" I yell.

"Well…" He gives us both a hug, "if y'all aren't gonna kill me… I guess I'll just let the mutts eat me…"

"No!"

It's too late. I can't stop him. He has already been torn apart by the terrible monsters.

There is an announcement… "Ladies and gentlemen, here are the victors of the 74th hunger games."

Ivy is still crying as she gives me a hug.

The rest is a blur. Im exhausted.

The hovercraft takes us and takes us to a hospital in the Capital. Or… at least I think it's a hospital. I'm not very sure. I was pretty dazed. I remember that people were screaming our names. We were sent back to district three, and that's where I started snapping out of my daze.

My mother ran up to me and hugged me.

Then I got some news.

Ivy and I would have to move to district four.

THE END!