Opinions and Truth - The Last Hunger Games

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Chapter 24

Defeating the Final Five

The sound of a cannon snaps me out of my trance, as I stare at the pool of water. There’s no evidence that a young girl was there only seconds ago. There’s no evidence of the four bloodthirsty mutts that jumped in after her.

A small sob bubbles its way up my throat, but I swallow it down hard. There’s no time to wallow over other people’s deaths. I have to make sure I’m safe.

Scrambling to my feet, I look wildly around.

The silence feels strange in my ears compared to the loud noises only minutes before. I look towards the trees, where there are no signs of the mutts or Zevran and Maddi.

My heart squeezes together painfully at the thought that Maddi could be dead, but then I remember that there have been no cannons for them. I’m not sure which thought is worse- that she is being chased by mutts, or that she is running alongside the wicked Zevran.

My arms sear with pain as I stand still, trying desperately to think of a plan. My eyes snap to my arms, where a harsh red graze trails from my bicep to wrist on the right arm. I clench my teeth together, trying to ignore the pain.

I take a few steps forwards, not wanting to stay in the area, but I’m hesitant. My mind is jumping from thought-to-thought, so much that I can’t get any sense of what to do.

I feel my eyes watering with frustration. Do I help Maddi, or do I find somewhere to hide? Loyalty of safety?

The bubbling stream catches my eye, so lively and innocent in the midst of a war. That’s what makes the decision for me. I have to find my best friend.

I leap over the stream, using a rock as a stepping stone, before running into the trees. I take my knife from my belt, holding it in front of myself for defence. How many people are left now? Seven, now that Lanta has gone.

Another cannon boom echoes through the mountainside, stopping me in my tracks.


A loud noise follows the cannon. The noise is so loud it makes me want to clamp my hands over my ears, yet the suddenness of it leaves no time to react. My first thought is of a horrible thunderstorm, the loud rumble and clashing of sounds- like swords battling, yet a thousand times as loud. It is one of those noises that you will never be able to describe to enough accuracy to really know what it feels like unless you are there to witness it.

Most people would run away from the sound. Instead, I run right towards it, dirt flying behind me as I try desperately to reach the source of the sound. I use my knife to slice through the greenery that flies in my face, holding me back.

My emotions are flying wild as I pray to God that the cannon I have heard isn’t for Maddi.

I can’t be sure where the noise came from exactly. I’m sure that it came from somewhere in front of me, so the only direction I follow is forward. I keep myself running in a straight line, only moving aside to dodge trees.

The sky darkens as I keep running and running. At some point, I know that I must have realised that I’d gone too far, yet I never think to stop. My leg muscles scream in protest as I keep moving through the trees, not pausing for breath. My eyes stare straight ahead, my arm only moving to let my knife rhythmically cut through leaves and bushes.

Luckily, I don’t come across any other Tributes. Well, luckily for them anyway. In my automatic state, I’m pretty sure that I would slice through them as though they are just another vine in my path.

Eventually, my legs begin to stumble as my body collapses with fatigue. I fall to my knees panting, and clenching my hands over my knife.

With one fierce motion, I stab the ground, yelling with frustration.

I can’t believe that after all that time trying to find Maddi, I’ve lost her. After everything, she is taken from me in less than a minute. The only thing I can do is to wait and see if her face is in the sky tonight. The thought is not comforting, but it is the only thing I have to keep myself sane.

Taking a deep breath, I pull the knife out of the dirt and push myself back to my feet. My legs stiffen with lactic acid as I stand upright. My shoulders ache considerably due to the weight of my backpack. It’s a miracle that my backpack is still safely on my back.

I look around for the first time. I’m still near the bottom of the mountain, but this time I’m at the opposite side than I have been for the majority of the Games. It’s generally the same over here. The view is the same and the weather and conditions seem normal. The only things that are different are the trees. Instead of all being the same species, there’s a mix of different types.

I spot a nice-looking tree, with sturdy branches that look easy to climb and a thick crown of leaves that can hide me from other Tributes.

I ascend the tree easily, taking care not to damage my grazed arms too much. Funnily enough, my distorted little finger doesn’t pain me too much. In fact, it looks pretty dead, almost like it’s all turned into a skeleton. I try not to let it worry me too much. Hopefully I can’t die from a little disfigured finger.

I find myself a nice spot in the crown of the tree, settling myself on a couple of close branches, with another as a foot rest. Removing my pack from my back, and putting my knife in a small crevice in the branch, I let myself lean back into the trunk, closing my eyes briefly.

All I want is to rest, but I know that I’ll have to drink and eat and clean out any cuts first.

I sigh, opening the pack. Luckily, my canteen is full from the river, so I take a couple of mouthfuls, cherishing the feeling as the water runs down my dry throat. I then close the lid, replacing it in the bag. Who knows where the nearest water source is? I’ll have to keep some back.

I decide to break into my food supply. There are two cooked rabbits in there, and a collection of berries and roots, from my day hunting with Colin. I use my hands to rip apart the rabbit meat, chewing it hurriedly and forcing it down my throat. The other rabbit, and the plants, can wait until tomorrow.

Once done, I force myself to look at my arm. To my relief, it’s not too deep - after all, it’s only a graze – but I quickly notice the dirt and grime that is in the cut. I can’t let it get infected.

I grit my teeth together. I’m faced with the choice of either cleaning out the wound with my remaining water, therefore being left with no liquid to drink, or leaving it and hoping that it doesn’t get infected.

I stare it angrily, trying to make a decision, when I notice the parachute slowly hovering down onto my lap.

A smile spreads across my face, as I open it. There’s a small green container with a thick cream. There are no instructions, but it’s pretty easy to work out what I’m supposed to do. I spread it over the wound, instantly feeling a cooling sensation across my arm. I use about half of the ointment, before closing the lid and placing it in my backpack.

“Thank you,” I whisper, looking to the sky.

I make myself comfortable, spreading my sleeping bag over my legs to keep warm, before I let my eyes close. I listen to the sounds of the forest, the soft tweets of birds singing and the loud rustle of the bushes below.

The rustling grows louder, until it’s directly under my tree. I furrow my brow, wondering what animal could be so noisy.

“Where’s Blaze?” the harsh whisper causes my eyes to snap open.

Not daring to move, I peer through the leaves to see two dark shadows below.

“Gone to find wood for a fire,” a lower voice replies. My eyes widen as I realise that two of the Careers are stood underneath my tree. Since Blaze isn’t present, it must be Aquilla and Blaine.

“Again?” Aquilla asks, her voice accusing. “That’s all that girl can do, look for fire. I say we should kill her off now. She’s no use to us at all. She only gets in the way,” she complains.

Blaine sounds a little unsure as he replies. I can’t see their faces, but I sense that he’s looking around to make sure no one can hear. “But, shouldn’t we have three, so we can, you know, outnumber the others?”

I listen carefully, my eyes widening as I realize what I’m listening in on.

“What’s the use when she’s just dead weight?” Aquilla replies. “She’s coming back, let’s kill her now.”

“Okay,” I hear Blaine reply grimly. Aquilla obviously has a knack for convincing people.

I hear the sound of a sword being drawn from below, as the crunching of leaves comes closer. Blaze is approaching.

I have an urge to yell out, to warn her, before she gets to them - the back-stabbing couple.

Before she can utter I word, I see the glint of a sword in the moonlight, and then the sound of a gasp fills the air. My hand flies to my mouth as the cannon goes off. She is gone as quick as a light.

As though just on time, the Capital anthem fills the air, distracting me from the thump of her dead body hitting the ground. The two figures below look to the sky at the same time.

Lanta’s face fills the sky first, her face so innocent, staring right at me. A pang of remorse hits my heart, though not for long as my breathing quickens.

Please not Maddi, I pray, waiting for the next face to reveal itself.

Relief washes through me as the face in the sky is obviously not Maddi, followed by a sense of regret. Pedro’s stare goes right through me, causing me to shiver violently. My boyfriend of three years is dead, and the last words I spoke to him are “I hate you.”

Then Blaze’s face replaces Pedro, another person taken by death.

The sky goes black as the anthem ends, and my gaze returns to the ground below. As quiet as night, I see two shadows slinking into the trees. No one can be underestimated in these Games.

This is the final five.

New chapter!

*Okay, so I took ages and I'm sosossosososososososo sorry. I've been focusing on my Watty Awards (the Wattpad awards) story, The Player Game- which you should check out by the way winkwink- but I sat here for 45 minutes and just wrote. So here's a chapter. There's only a couple of chapters until the end! :O I'll set myself the aim to get them done in the summer holidays, which have now started. :3*


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