Title: Jessica vs Elizabeth
“Oh, Lizzie, isn’t it romantic?” Jessica squealed.
Elizabeth gaped at her twin. “They’re expecting us to kill each other.”
“Yes, but we get new clothes and we’re paired with a boy!”
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. No money is being made from this work. No copyright infringement is intended.
Notes: I am going to post this, unbeta’d as it gets written for NaNoWriMo2017. I will post a clean, edited (hopefully coherent) version when it is finished, but if you want to see the raw, error-laden process of my word-vomit, here it is.
Also, Rosey changed her display name on Twitter and made my day.
On the subject of awesome, Raven has a surprise for all of you… it should be up by the end of #NaNoWriMo
Jessica woke up in a water park. Or that was her first assumption. There was a patch of darkness right between trying to kill Lois Waller and waking up in a swirling vortex of filthy water.
She rubbed her eyes and tried to take in the surroundings that were whizzing past. There were fallen trees in the water around her, and she could hear the screams of other tributes – she thought she heard someone calling out for Lois – but the water was moving too fast for her to really process anything.
She whizzed past a long-haired brunette and thrust out an arm to her, but the brunette went under the water and didn’t resurface.
How could there be so much water? Jessica had never heard of such a thing before. Maybe the gamemakers had tilted the arena so the water spilled over them – like a big snow globe or something.
Suddenly, Jessica was thrust under the water by the weight of something pressing down on her. She choked on a mouthful of foul water and kicked for the surface. Something was caught around her neck and she tried to free herself.
Her head broke the water, and she found Bruce Patman clinging to her, screaming his head off. She kneed him between the legs – or tried to. The water resistance prevented her from doing anything other than appearing to move closer. Bruce gripped her even tighter.
“Let me go!” She yelled.
“But we’re engaged!”
Jessica dug in her pocket for her trusty throwing star – it was still there, thank goodness! – and gripped it tightly. “I don’t want to be engaged!” She burst out. “I don’t like you. You steal my accomplishments, you’re all clingy in private, and you liked Sandra Ferris!”
And with that, she drove the sharp end of the blade into Bruce Patman’s lying, bragging throat and opened it up. His hands flew to his throat to staunch the flow of blood, freeing Jessica from his grip.
A cannon boomed overhead, and Jessica let out a carefree giggle.
Lila woke up coughing. She had apparently come to a halt in some shallow water, against a thatch of trees that had managed to withstand the tidal wave. She dragged herself upright and waded towards ground. The water was only knee deep, and seemed to be receding quickly, not with the same force as it had appeared, but still enough to pull at her feet as she walked.
She scanned the area hopefully, but there was no sign of Lois. There was no sight of anyone really. She turned until she found the mountain – so, between her and it lay the cornucopia.
She stood staring in that direction for a few minutes, weighing up the pros and cons. Or, actually, after a bit of pondering, she realised she was merely listing cons: probably the rest of the tributes would head in that direction; Elizabeth might well head that way if the water receded so that she could pick up weapons; Lois would never do anything so stupid.
She just didn’t know what Lois would do next. Or what Winston would do. They’d do something smart. Something that would keep them out of the way.
She took another step and groaned. She looked down and noticed a large gash in her thigh. “Oh… ow!” She staggered out of the water and sat down hard. She considered crying, but it never really helped anything. Now she was aware of the wound, it hurt more than anything. She poked it experimentally. That hurt. Now what?
Lila sighed deeply. Her leg was flowing blood, not exactly gushing, but it was enough to make her worry. She didn’t know how to fix it, and she didn’t know where to go that would be safe.
The Hunger Games was officially the worst idea she’d ever had.
With light binking noise, a parachute arrived from above. She popped off the lid and found a a tube of superglue and some bandages inside. What was the superglue for? Lila found a note from Melissa inside. “Wash the wound with your mouthwash, then use the glue to seal the wound. It’s what it was designed for.”
Lila wrinkled her nose in disdain. Melissa couldn’t send a medic or an ambulance or something? “Why are you so cheap, sponsor? Are you buying things on sale?”
Still, it was better than nothing, and it did solve one of her problems. Lila dug out her mouthwash from the drawstring bag – at least she’d managed to hold on to that during the tidal wave. She had never heard of anyone using mouthwash as antiseptic before. Trust Melissa to do something so money-saving as to double-up on one of her sponsorship gifts. As a poverty advisor, she was amazing. As a lavish sponsor, she was hopeless.
She nearly leapt into the sun when her mouthwash hit the wound. She managed to bite back the screams, but several guttural groans slipped out. After about three minutes of deep breathing, she had the presence of mind to dab lightly at the wound with some gauze to dry it enough to glue it together. She couldn’t think too hard about using glue to heal a wound, so she just quickly got it done. She was tempted to slap the bandages straight on, but it occurred to her that it might end up glued to her skin, and she had no idea how long it would take to get out of the arena and she didn’t want to be permanently stuck to a bandage.
She sat for awhile longer breathing in and out and trying to work out what Lois would do (use her hockey stick to knock anyone down, survive, live) until she thought the glue had dried. She then applied a bandage. It wasn’t very neat, but she thought the bow she tied looked stylish, it had a kind of survival chic look to it.
She checked the rest of the contents of the drawstring bag – the toothbrushes and paste were still in there. She considered the contents. Nothing really weapon-worthy, but in a pinch, she could probably use the handles of a toothbrush to stab people. She pulled one out – Winston’s – and her heart gave a little lurch, one of her friends was missing, the other dead, and somehow she was still here.
She dropped the glue and the excess bandages in the bag, and when she could put it off no longer, she got to her feet. Rather than freak herself out by trying to plan out a big picture, she decided to make decisions as she came to them. Her first decision was to walk away from the water – find a path, and maybe a sensible place to hole up.
She hoped that if she kept making small decisions, maybe she’d find Lois.
She didn’t. She found Janet.
Janet, Lila noted with satisfaction, didn’t look particularly presidential. Her tribute uniform was ragged, her face was dirty, and her hair was a tangled wet knot on the side of her head. And she was still wearing the ridiculous unicorn headband that she had worn earlier. Probably because it was knotted to her head with her hair.
“Lila!” Janet looked pleased to see her. “About time! I’ve been looking all over for the Unicorns!”
Lila held up one hand and tightened her grip on Winston’s toothbrush with the other. “Stay back! Last time I saw you, you threatened to kill me.”
“Well that was then. Now you’re not with Lois. I think she had you under hypnosis or something. Imagine you saying that a fat girl could be a Unicorn.”
Lila glared. “As far as I’m concerned, right now she’s Vice President!”
“Sure, and Winston Egbert is taking you to the next dance!” Janet snapped back. “Oh, wait, he’s not because he’s de–”
She didn’t finish her sentence because Lila leaped forward and jammed the handle of Winston’s toothbrush into Janet’s eye.
Janet jerked several times before falling to the ground. Lila ripped the Unicorn headband from her cousin’s head. “Now I’m President! And Lois is Vice President!”
“Lila Fowler is letting her cruel side show,” Beau announced.
“I don’t think that’s the case, Beau,” Johnny said. “I think she’s changed, and now what we’re seeing is an angry young lady defending her friend.”
“So we have lost Brooke Dennis, Bruce Patman and Janet Howell in the tsunami. I must say, I was expecting a lot more violence, but I feel that the gamemakers wanted to liven things up.”
“Well, as I’ve said before, these kids are new to this as a concept, and I think it’s a lot to ask for them to start killing each other. Not everyone is a Wakefield with a terrifying serial killer buried beneath those all-American looks,” Johnny replied.
“So just to recap as day two draws to a close, still alive in the Hunger Games are: Belinda Layton, Elizabeth Wakefield, Ellen Riteman, Jessica Wakefield, Lila Fowler, Lois Waller, Rick Hunter and Todd Wilkins.”