Sunday, October 21, 2012

Magic Week Presents PAGE TURNERS: The Twilight Games

Caroline Lewis

When the Hunger Games meet Twilight, there's no holding . . . 

 30 October 3012: Panem

You’re better than them . . . smarter . . . stronger. You can do this. You’ll make it back . . . Gale’s voice trailed in my head as I darted through the forest, ducking under branches without losing stride. The voices of the other tributes echoed behind me, ranting and raving like wild dogs on the scent of fresh meat. They were close, too close. I picked up my pace until I saw the perfect place for refuge. A towering tree stood about twenty meters ahead of me, thick with branches and leaves. I reached the tree within seconds and began to climb, scraping my hands as I ascended. The voices were now right beneath me, a jumble of anger and frustration. I tossed my backpack onto a branch and looked below me, smiling in satisfaction. One of the girls shouted something up to me, her hand in a fist, and then the pack was gone.

I waited for a couple hours, and heard many screams—some in celebration, but most in agony. A squirrel jumped down and observed me, cocking its head to the side in exploration of this new creature in its tree. I reached for my arrow and shot it down before it could make one more inspection. Couldn’t be trusted. As I packed it into my bag for dinner, the sky lit up. I checked my watch—8:00pm exactly. Six faces shot across the screen in the orders of their death. That left five of us now. I painted a mental picture of who was left and what their strengths were. You must survive, I told myself. If anything for Prim. Gale was up there, too. Good thing he was cute.                                               

In need of a water source, I jumped out of the tree with my pack and maneuvered my way through the dark forest. The faint sound of a stream could be heard in the distance, so I followed it until I found a large pool of water. I analyzed my wounds, taking advantage of my current position. The cuts were healing nicely thanks to my sponsors, but the bites on my arm were starting to ooze. It could be worse, I thought, much worse. I took out my squirrel and began to skin it, excited for my hearty meal.

After dinner and some time sharpening my arrows, I decided to set up my bed. I rustled through the brush on the ground in search of large leaves when I came across a small piece of paper: “A journey soon begins, its prize reflected in another's eyes. When what you see is what you lack, then selfless love will change you back.”  I turned the piece of paper over: “Lucky numbers 8, 16, 27, 42.”

What the Hell? I looked up in the sky, thinking the note contained a secret code from my sponsors. After studying the note for another couple of minutes, my head began to hurt and I decided to use the note as toilet paper. Thanks sponsors, I muttered under my breath as I wrapped myself in the sleeping bag and closed my eyes.

30 October 2012: Forks, Washington

You should stay away from me, I mean it. I’m dangerous . . . Edward’s words from so long ago rang in my ear as we ran from the army of vampires. Dangerous, pssh. What a jokester. I began to get a cramp in my leg so I asked him to carry me. He effortlessly pulled me on his back and sped through the forest. I asked him to slow down because branches were hitting me in the face. But he didn’t seem to hear me. I sighed loudly as we arrived at my house. I began to collect all of my necessities from my room, as was the usual protocol, and told Charlie that I was angry at him so that he would let me leave.

I checked my watch—7:56pm. We were late. Jacob agreed to meet us in the mountains at 7:30 to protect me from all of the danger here in Forks. Vengeful vampires, angry werewolves, I just couldn’t get a break. I asked Edward if we could stop at Panda Express before going to the mountain because I was hungry, so I made a quick order while Edward ate a bear on the way to the tent.

When we got to the tent, it was snowing, so I asked Jacob to turn into a werewolf so I could use him as a blanket. Plus, I liked petting him. I cuddled next to him inside the tent as Edward observed angrily, and opened up my orange chicken and chow-mein noodles. I was tempted to ask Edward to run and get me fresh Panda Express because mine was now cold, but I decided not to because I’m a good girlfriend.

After my semi-satisfying meal, I opened up my fortune cookie and read the small white piece of paper that lay in the center: “A journey soon begins, its prize reflected in another's eyes. When what you see is what you lack, then selfless love will change you back.”

I crumbled up the paper and threw it at Jacob who was snoring. I only liked fortunes that talked about my future with Edward. I snuggled between my ice-cold vampire boyfriend and very warm werewolf best friend dreamt about becoming a fierce female vampire.

31 October 2012: Forks, Washington

I woke up in a strange place, and for a second I thought I was still dreaming. I realized it was reality when I reached for my bow and it wasn’t there—even in my dreams I had my bow with me. I jumped up quickly and saw a giant mutation of something lying on the floor next to a white ghost. I pulled out the knife in my pocket.

“Alright, you have ten seconds to explain who the Hell you are. Are you a product of the Gamemakers?”

The dog looked confused, and the ghost stared blankly at me. Ten seconds up! I heaved the knife into the chest of the ghost and darted out of the tent, looking for another weapon. I grabbed a branch and began filing it against a tree to make the ends sharp. When the ghost emerged from the tent it began to emit some kind of sparkling defense mechanism, most likely darts, so I dove for the forest and ran as fast as I could. Then the ghost was in front of me. I stumbled backward in shock. There must be an army of them. Goddamn those Gamemakers, trying to make every arena stranger than the year before.

“Who are you and what did you do with Bella?” The ghost spoke.

“Katniss Everdeen from District 12. Who’s Bella?”

31 October 3012: Panem

I was jolted awake when I fell out of a tree and onto hard ground. I stood around, angry that Edward hadn’t caught me. Where did he bring me now? Did we move somewhere else last night? Then I heard an awful screeching sound followed by running steps. The vampire army, they’ve kidnapped me! I thought. I began running through the trees, tripping over every branch that stuck out in the slightest way. The sound was getting louder. Where is Edward!

“Hey! Hey!” I heard a voice call from nearby. It was coming from a small cave covered by leaves. A boy was waving me over to him. I hesitated, thinking that Edward wouldn’t like me talking to strangers, but decided that he seemed nicer than raging vampires. I squeezed into the cave, hitting my head on the roof. The boy pulled me closer inside as we watched a group of crazed children run through the forest with clubs and knives. I wanted to yell to them to watch out for the vampires, but they had already run out of view. I hope they survive, I thought.

My focus switched to the blonde boy sitting across from me. He had a very young face and was a little pudgy. Maybe he was part of Jacob’s clan.

“Are you a werewolf?”

“A what? No. I’m Peeta Mellark from District 12. What district are you from?” he asked.

I stared at him, and then looked away awkwardly, tucking my hair behind my ear. “District? I’m from the District of Forks, I guess. Where are we?” I asked.

“Umm, you’re in the Hunger Games.”

31 October 2012: Forks

“And the last thing you did was look at that piece of paper before you fell asleep?” The ghost asked.

“Yeah, now I’m in Spoons,” I said.


“Whatever. I’m not supposed to be here. I have to win the Hunger Games for my district. For Prim. For Gale,” I said as I sharpened my arrows. I stuck all twelve in my belt and picked up my bow.

“So you’re telling me that my girlfriend, the sole meaning of my eternal existence is in the middle of a death match?” The ghost seemed to turn even more pale than before, which I hadn’t figured was possible. He reminded me of Gale in a weird way.

“I have to go find her. Where is this arena?” He asked.

“No body knows. It’s something that is made by people called Gamemakers. The entire landscape is artificially created. They can control any and everything in it.”

The dog approached us and looked at the ghost. I quickly pulled back my arrow and pointed it at him.

“He says I have to stay here. An army of vampires is coming and they need me,” the ghost stated.

“The dog said that to you?” I asked, my eye still on the creature.

“Yes. Jacob change back,” the ghost commanded.

The dog suddenly shape-shifted into an overly tanned, shirtless boy. I tightened my grip on my arrow. “What the Hell was that?”

“He’s a werewolf,” the ghost said

“How do you do?” The mutant said.

“How would you do in pieces?” I said, still pointing my arrow at his head.

“You know, we could use her anger issues out on the field with us,” the dog said to the ghost.

“Maybe she could take my place. I have to find Bella. She can’t even walk on a sidewalk without tripping. How would she survive in an arena where people are trying to kill her at every second?” He said.

“Sounds like Forks if you ask me,” the human dog said.

Just then, another giant mutant dog bounded through the snow and howled.

“They’re here,” the ghost said.

31 October 3012: Panem

“Hunger Games? But I’m not even hungry,” I mumbled.

“Look, I don’t know how on Earth you got this far. I saw you trip five times in about two minutes, but I’ll help you if you help me. You look like you can be trusted,” the boy said.

“Umm, okay,” I said. “Are you at least threatening in some way? A vampire, werewolf, mummy, serial killer, anything?” I asked.

“Why would you want to be around someone threatening? What’s wrong with you?” He asked.

“I don’t know, habit I guess.”

“Well, this is what we’re gonna have to do to get out of here, Bella. We have to race to this thing called the Cornucopia and get some more supplies. There’s not that many of us left, but I have a feeling it will all end soon,” Peeta said. He grabbed his backpack and headed out of the cave.

I followed the pudgy boy through the woods until we came across an open field. A giant cone was at the center of the field. I thought of the date in my head: “They must celebrate Thanksgiving early here, where I’m from it’s Halloween today.”

“Bella, I don’t know what you’re talking about. That ‘giant cone’ is our means of survival. Especially if there’s bread. I can make a great bread pudding,” he beamed.

It was very quiet. The sun was setting, emitting colors of yellow, pink, and orange. I fidgeted with my hair as we waited. Then I looked at my shoes. I wondered if Edward had left me for good like he had done before. I remembered how I had begun to see hallucinations of him whenever I would do something dangerous. That would always bring him back to me.

I darted out into the field without thinking, eager to see Edward. Sure enough he materialized out of the air floating with me as I ran toward the Thanksgiving horn.

“Bella, you are an idiot. What the Hell do you think you’re doing?”

“I wanted to see you Edward! Did you leave me again?” I asked, out of breath as I continued to run.

“I think you need to see a psychiatrist,” hallucination Edward said.

Just then a knife flew threw Edward and right past my head, making him disappear.

“Hey!” I yelled. I turned around to find four other people running towards me. Then I saw Peeta tackle one to the ground. I didn’t know what was happening but I kept running. I finally made it to the horn and turned around yelling, “I win!”

“Bella, climb up!” I heard Peeta yell. He was running toward me and I could vaguely see something chasing after him. They were large wolves.

“Jacob!” I yelled. I leaped off the giant horn.

“Bella what the Hell are you doing? Get back up there, they’re going to eat you!” Peeta yelled.

“It’s okay Peeta, that’s my best friend right there.” 
But before I could run very far Peeta grabbed my jacket and started pulling me back up. Then I could see it was not Jacob’s pack at all, but a weird-looking mix of something completely different from human and wolf. I grabbed his hand and he pulled me back up, just as the dogs tried to nip at my feet.

We held each other at the top of the horn, watching the dogs circle us and attempt to jump up. All the other tributes seemed to have disappeared, most likely in the dogs’ stomachs. 

Darkness came and I realized that Edward wasn’t the love of my life, but Peeta was. Edward was too cold, too old, and just too stiff. Sure he provided a thrill, but Peeta knew how to handle a woman. Plus, he came from a family of bakers, and I loved sweets. The next time Edward materializes, I will have to break the news to him. And I knew he will be crushed, but he will understand.

Just then, a bright, giant ship came down.

31 October 2012: Forks

I focused on the open field, waiting for any movement from the brush. Then they came. 

Hundreds of ugly, limping, wet ghosts that looked just like the one next to me, only these ones weren’t as refined. I loaded my bow and leaped over the bushes into the meadow and charged. On my right was the dog, tearing the heads off of them, and on my left was the good ghost, shattering the other ghosts with his fists. He looked over at me and gave me an approving smile at my battle skills.

After the battle was over, we sat together, the ghost and I, looking at the sunset. It was much different than in District 12. The sun seemed brighter here, younger, full of energy and life.

“I’m kind of sad you’re leaving, Katniss. It’s nice not having to constantly protect someone from dangers lurking around every corner,” he said.

I don’t know if it’s because I saw a flash of Gale in his eyes, but I leaned over and kissed him.

Just then, the earth began to shake.

31 October 3012: Panem

The voice of Effie Trinket boomed through my ears.

“And our winners are: Peeta Mellark and . . . and . . . what happened to that other girl? Was she even in a district?” I heard her whisper to another person over the intercom.

I look around to see that I am in Peeta’s arms. I wriggle away, with a look of disgust on my face. I was back in the Hunger Games arena. I was out of Forks. Although I don’t know how I got here, I had somehow won the Hunger Games for my district. But it didn’t feel special. I thought back to the battle in Forks, with Edward by my side, that pale ghost of a man, and smiled. In the end, I got my arena battle. But the prize was lost.

31 October 2012: Forks

I suddenly felt cold, and realized I was holding Edward. I pull away, confused.

“What happened to Thanksgiving?” I asked.

“Bella, you’re back! You’re alive! Are you okay?” Edward asked.

“Yeah, yeah. Where’s Peeta?” I asked, looking around.

“Who? And by the way it’s Halloween, not Thanksgiving. You must have bumped your head.”

I sat down, feeling dizzy. I was back with Edward, and the pudgy, blonde baker’s boy was gone forever. He wasn’t perfect in every way like Edward, but had flaws like me. 
And I never got to try his bread pudding. 
I sighed loudly.

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Creative Writing Columnist, Caroline Lewis: 
My name is Caroline Lewis, I am a super-senior at Cal (they just can't get rid of me!), and I am studying Integrative Biology with a minor in Creative Writing. Some might be thinking, "Why, those have absolutely nothing to do with each other" but I love writing fiction, it's my means of escape from the rigorous world of science. I especially love to incorporate humor into my writing; sometimes you have to search for it, but don't worry it's hidden in there somewhere! I hope you enjoy my work as much as I love creating it, and I look forward to working with this great group at Unleashed.

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