The Nightmare Games is a Hunger Games one-shot by Avery FireFlame. Enjoy!
Darkness hovers stiffly over my thoughts, like a dense fog trying to rip my skull out of my shivering head. But the darkness doesn't settle to comfortably over my nighttime dreams, for its prepared when my scheduled Hunger Games nightmares take their toll once again.
Suddenly I'm completely alone in a shadowy thicket. No- I'm not alone. There are rotting logs and deadly trees waiting to lock me in their tangled grasps. And.. there's another person here. I can feel a faint breath on my neck, accompanied by a soft buzzing. The rough gasps behind my neck increase, and the buzzing begins to blind my ears with piercing pain. All I can do now is swirl around to find… Glimmer. The buzz of the tracker jackers continue to drain away my acknowledgment of the real world. The morbid trees and logs of death wisp away so I can only see Glimmer now. The tracker jackers pick away at her beautiful face. I'm forced to keep watching, until her golden face has been torn into a sickly skull, crawling with mutant wasps and dead skim.
Before I have time to blink, the scene is gone. I take a breath of relief, but all too soon, for a new horror is morphing together right before my eyes. It's Marvel, the tribute from District 1. I shudder as the tangled tree vines enclose around his stomach. He yells for help, but I cannot hear him. But his silence is the most horrific sound ever to hit my ears. Marvel yelps with no cry as the trees continue to devour him. The darkness then devours the trees, until everything is gone. Marvel and Glimmer are out of reach now.
Without warning, I'm falling into a thorny abyss. My body grows numb as I whirl down the deep tunnel without a single feeling or thought. I just know I'm falling. The sensation of no sensation is all too great.
When I'm halted, a distorted view of my meadow at home takes form in front of me. Only this isn't my meadow at all. The wind is wickedly slow, and there is a deathly smell of roses creeping through the air. Two more bodies form in front of me. It's…Gale… and someone else. No, no, not Gale! Glimmer and Marvel were one thing, two tributes who wanted to drink my blood in the Arena, but I couldn't begin to think of the horrors my traumatized mind was about to inflict on my best friend from 12. Finally, the other body melted into view. It was Thresh, who I also have great care for. He had saved me in the Games.
I had never expected what I was about to see. Both completely unarmed, both Thresh and Gale dashed across the meadow of shadows, with furious faces as their only weapons towards each other. I couldn't look away, no matter how hard I jerked out of my invisible prison. I accepted my fate and watched in utter pain as Gale and Thresh locked in closer to each other. Shocked, the ground opened up for less than a second, and I could barely catch a glimpse as both boys were sucked hopelessly into the ground, before even reaching one another. Now they could spend the rest of eternity in my tangled prison of nightmares along with Glimmer and Marvel.
The barrier was gone! Finally, I flipped my eyes shut, wanting to keep them that way for the rest of this nightmare, but something flickered them open again. Prim's scream. My eyes opened, and I didn't take less than a second to plan my next move. I just ran.
Darting through the dark domain, I was relieved that my body was finally moving on its own, but I was still trapped in these nightmares, with Gale, Thresh, Marvel, and Glimmer. After several minutes of running, the screams only sounded farther away. I couldn't reach the terrified yelps. I couldn't reach Prim. How could my mind be this cruel?
Collapsing on the rotting tangled floor, I cried and cried for help. I had lost Prim and Gale. Now there were only two people left for my nightmares to devour. Little Rue or my love Peeta.
But wait! The tears on my weeping eyes evaporated into a portal of glossy light, shining brilliantly at the end of a distant tunnel. Getting up on my feet as quick as I could, my body bolted for the array of light. Then I saw it.
My blood turned ice cold, again blending into the depressing atmosphere of the nightmare. I saw it out the corner of my eye: Peeta and Rue huddled up on the thick and unfriendly ground, shivering with fear. But the portal of light… it was closing up! I had to make a choice now.
Sweating icy weeds, I didn't know what to do. Peeta and Rue were dying, but if I didn't escape, would I ever get out of this nightmare? You know what, I let Glimmer be picked apart in the shadowy domain of the tracker jackers. I allowed Marvel to be slowly dissected by a tangle of evil weeds. I couldn't even answer Prim's helplessly screams in the dark. Rue and Peeta were NOT going to perish in this dream. It was too anyway to escape, for the portal of sun and warmth was already obliterated by darkness.
Trying so hard to smile, I extended a cloudy nightmare hand towards Peeta, and he grabbed it, weakly smiling back. All three of us screamed in horror. Dark crisp vines shot like bullets out of my face, eyes, chest, and hands, trapping Rue and Peeta in a thorny hold.