September 12 - 18

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September 12 - 18

Post by Adley☮ on Sat Sep 12, 2015 1:20 am

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Challeng by Jerryth
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Hallelujah for The Cross

Post by Melody on Mon Sep 14, 2015 1:43 pm

No offence to you and your kindred, Jerryth Wink But this was the Hunger Games after all xD

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A shiver runs down my spine. I grip the cold handle of a hatchet. It's stained with blood.

It's the twenty fifth Hunger Games—the first Quarter Quell—and they decided to do something special. More horrid than forcing children to fight to the death. More blood chilling than killing the people you know; the people you love. More soul crushing.

Worse than death.

It's quiet now. Dark. The sky is a ruddy red, the shade of blood, and a behemoth moon hangs high above the arena. It's too large, too red, to be natural.

The Capital invented a special kind of mutt this year. I'm not sure how they did it. They took some sort of bat, and though I shudder to think of it, humans. They say the bodies of those from previous Games—the bodies that weren't too mutilated or eaten or broken at least—and combined the two into a thing of ancient legend.

Most of the common stuff of legend has been poured into these evil beings. The cannot stand light, and these vampires can be killed only by a wooden streak through the heart or decapitating it. Or so the Game Makers announced.

My token is a small golden cross. My grandmother gave it to me on her deathbed, and I have cherished it. I've never read a Bible, not a real one, but my family retells the stories over and over.

I believe them.

The days are disorienting here. It's dark most of the time; as far as I can tell, it's the fourth night. The brief times it is light the sky is a blood red, and the vampires retreat to some unknown pits of evil. I don't think the sunlight will actually kill them, but I do know it would not be good for them.

I haven't killed one yet. In self defence, I've killed three people. Two girls, hardly older than me, and one boy that I stuck down simply by luck with my hatchet.

I'm short. I'm a girl. I'm from district twelve. They don't expect me to know how to fight.

Every night, every morning, every waking second, I've prayed. I know I would not be alive now if I hadn't. It's only by the grace of God that my blood still flows through my veins, constantly pushed by the beating force of my heart.

It don't know how my heart can still work; it's broken.

I brush a strand of long dark hair from my eyes, and settle down against the cold stone of a cliff. I can't rest too long, or the Game Makers will send some malady my way. I learned this the hard way on the second day, when an acid blood rain had poured down on Trent, the other tribute from twelve. I was just on the border of it. I still have burns on my hand and cheek.

I hate this light. Nothing has any depth. Everything looks dead.

I hear a rustle above me. My hatchet comes to the ready and I rise. I don't want it to be human—God, please don't let me kill again—but I still fear of what else it could be. They are not natural.

I place my hand over the cross. It's warm from wear it rests against my skin.

Another muffled snap echos in the night, the sound of footfalls. The hatchet is my only weapons. There are few trees in this rocky terrain, with only a small forest in the center, where the carers have gathered. Should it be a mutt, I have no stake for the heart. I doubt I could deliver a strong enough blow with the hatchet to sever the neck.

There are no faux clouds over the moon right now, and I can make out the most basic of shapes.

I approach the sound, I can't outrun it, and I hear it approach me. A figure, cloaked and grinning wickedly confronts me. For a second, I think death would be nice. This world has fallen. I want to go home—my real home. The one my Father has prepared for me.

Then I know I can't. Not yet. This world is dark, very dark. That is why the small amount of light I can provide is so important.

I grip the axe all the tighter. Murmuring a heartfelt plea to God, I lunge forward, swinging widely at where I guess the neck to be.

I couldn't have missed more horrible had I been trying to do so in broad daylight. Carried by the force of my swing, the blade hits against stone with a dull ringing sound.

The beast hisses and lunges at me. I don't scream—I wonder if that only happens in movies?—but I quail and fall to the ground. I twist my ankle violently.

I struggle desperately, but I feel two clammy hands grip me. I'm pulled up roughly into a sinister embrace. Somewhere in the dark the hatchet lays. It's no good to me now.

I finally do scream as I feel teeth searching for the most tender spot to sink into. In a frantic haze of blind fear, I kick my feet backwards. I connect, and there is the cracking sound of bone and sinew.

In a growl of pain, the thing recoils, loosening it's grip on me somewhat. The face terrifies me. I recognize it as the male tribute from five two years ago, though in the eyes there is a hate more fierce and pure than any mortal could possibly contain. There are fangs. The eyes, once blue, are bloodshot.

I've seen enough blood to last a lifetime.

“God, save me,” I plead out loud. I can't—I can't become one of them."

It hisses once more and the grip on my wrists tightens so hard I think it might break. Then a thought comes into my head.

Sing.

It sounds so absurd, I nearly dismiss it. But then, especially given the circumstances, who am I to question what I do not deem logical?

So I sing.

My voice is shaky and quite at first. It slowly grows in intensity.

“Up to the hill of Calvary, my Savior went courageously. And there he bled and died for me. Hallelujah for the cross.”

The grip tightens more, and the mutt slowly advances.

“And on that day the world was changed. A final, perfect lamb was slain. Let earth and heaven now proclaim, Hallelujah for the cross.”

I want to cry, but I strength beginning to flow through me. Suddenly, a tiny ray of light—not red, but pure and white and beautiful—falls from a crack in the sky.

Presumably the top of the infrastructure that separates the arena from the outside world has broken. Just enough to allow light to flow in unchecked.

The vampire before me releases his grip and puts his hands over his eyes, gouging as if to remove them from his body. He makes a horrible sound, and I see his skin burn and boil. He retreats on all fours, like the wretched animal he is, into the forest.

A tear rolls down my cheek and I continue into the next verse as I sink to my knees in trembling relief:

“Hallelujah for the war He fought. Love has won, death has lost. Hallelujah for the souls He bought... Hallelujah for the cross.”

I fall to the ground in exhaustion and pain. An announcement comes over the hidden microphones: the Game has been cancelled do to "technical difficulties".

I know it won't be long before a hovercraft comes for me. I might be dead by tomorrow. They likely won't air this part of the game. They might make up a different ending—I suspect they will. Probably few will ever hear of this.

But I know this act of defiance, no matter how small, was important. Maybe one day someone can end this horrible rein of tyranny. I know it will end eventually, but I mean before then. So many innocent people are suffering. So many lives are being lost.

Maybe if one more tribute stands up, this will end.

What good I’ve done could never save
My debt too great for deeds to pay
But God, my Savior, made a way
Hallelujah for the cross

A slave to sin, my life was bound
But all my chains fell to the ground
When Jesus’ blood came flowing down
Hallelujah for the cross

Hallelujah, hallelujah
And when I breathe my final breath
I’ll have no need to fear that rest
This hope will guide me into death
Hallelujah for the cross

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Re: September 12 - 18

Post by Adley☮ on Wed Sep 16, 2015 2:17 pm

The moon of blood had arrived. With it came fear, terror, death, destruction and fire, yet here I was, admiring the velvet hue enveloping the goddess of the night. My attention was immediately drawn back to the reigns in my hand, as the pageant coach hit a small bump. I should not have treated myself to a glimpse of the moon, six horses racing down a narrow track in the middle of the night is far from safe and requires incredible skill on the drivers part (and a good deal of luck). Then again, this may be my last night alive.
As the coach almost slid to a halt, I jumped down from the seat. Ignoring the numbing pain in my rear caused by the rough journey, I opened the coach door to usher out trembling monks. They were huddled over a small wooden box containing our only hope.  Everyone stopped as a piercing screech echoed across the valley.
I interrupted the monk’s muttered prayers by yelling “Move!” They scurried across the courtyard to meet a running blacksmith, waving wooden javelins with large eagle plumes fastened on the ends. The blacksmith dropped his javelins as the monks opened the case, revealing four enormous red arrow tips.
“Where’s Ulric?” I asked.
“He’s in position.” Stated the blacksmith as his trembling hands prepared iron clamps.
Another screech echoed across the valley, this time it was louder. Just as the blacksmith finished attaching one of the arrow tips to a javelin, the courtyard lit up with the light of dragon fire. Everyone ducked as a fire ball smoked our carriage, instantly sending burnt horses into a panicked stampede. I couldn’t help but look up. For a split second I saw a pair of enormous wings, carrying the red scaled leviathan. His hide was as shields, eyes like the break of dawn, sparks and fire brands shot from in-between his razor teeth and smoke poured from his nostrils.
“Take these to Ulric!” shouted the blacksmith as he handed me the finished arrows. I grabbed the reigns of the blacksmiths panicked steed and scrambled onto her back. My heart seemed to slow as we galloped up the hill. The pines in front of me grew the slightest bit lighter, as massive red wings swooped down, almost touching the tree tops. I ignored the impulse to look up and concentrated instead on the path in front of me. Suddenly the stallion swerved to the right as the dragons tail flicked past us, breaking the limb off a tree as though it were a twig. I instinctively corrected the horses path avoiding a boulder, that tail flick was aimed at me.
I reigned in the horse as we reached the top of the hill, but it was too late. The dragon had managed to rip Ulric and one of his assistants to pieces. Miraculously the ballista was untouched.
“Can you fire this thing?” I asked the remaining assistant, trying to hand him the javelins. The assistant only trembled. I swallowed, then silently and efficiently loaded a javelin into the ballista. Not knowing how it worked I judged the arms at 400 pounds. The javelins were incredibly light, they would go far. Finding the trigger, I swivelled the mechanism, attempting to point it at the ever moving dragon.
A few seconds later the dragon did a long low swoop almost in front of me. My vision went into slow motion as I aimed the tip of the javelin a few paces in front of the dragon then fired. The javelin went whistling only a pace in front of his head, causing him to bend his mighty neck and look at me with burning eyes. The dragon’s current trajectory caused him to swoop towards the village, but I knew he was coming back for me. Without delay I began turning the ballista’s crank, I was too weak.
“Get over here and help me!” I yelled at the trembling assistant. His confused face turned into an expression of resolve as he grabbed the other side of the crank and began turning. Looking over my shoulder I saw the dragon turned around, ready to propel itself towards me. My body began to shake as I pitted my strength against the crank. I almost dove to grab another arrow as soon as I heard the ropes clicking into place. In went the arrow, then I turned my gaze towards the sky to see the massive leviathan practically on top of me.
I struggled to aim the ballista upwards, frustrated that it was moving so slowly before realizing that my eyes perceived the world into slow motion. As soon as the tip of the arrow was aimed I pulled the trigger. Immediately after I dove off the ballista’s platform as the dragon’s mouth opened to release flame.
I heard and saw no more.
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Re: September 12 - 18

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