The Criminal's War: The European Hunger Games

The Criminal's War: The European Hunger Games

In the ruins of a place once known as Europe lies the region of Lavinia, made up of ten different countries; Britannia, which governs Lavinia, Germania, Frankland, Swizlova, Latinia, Austino, Ukresia, Estolavia, Ruska, and Polskina, which was responsible for the one and only horror of Lavinia, the Criminal's War. The Criminal's War is a series of games held every two years, in which fifty criminals are placed in the arena to kill each other off. There are no winners. Only death.

Chapter 20

The Quickly Dwindling Chapters of Rinzen Paltry

*Rinzen Paltry's Point of View*

My knees scrape the bleached tiles as I struggle, screaming at the top of my lungs. The sound is echoed around the building as others are dragged towards a simple, comfortable chair, which will transport you to the arena… where you will, in turn, surely die.

My nails are bleeding from the innumerable amount of times I’ve raked them over the Ties’ fabric. Every time I lash out again, though, their grip on me only becomes tighter. At one point I fall over, but they haul me back up and drag me on, ignoring my raw screeches and blistered bare feet. My own gaze spins out of control as I try to take in everything I can before I’m pushed into the plush chair that is my metaphorical demise. The short moment of comfort I feel is torn away from me abruptly as the Ties hold me back and buckle me in. I will only be released in the arena so that I can fight.

I swallow a whimper as the snug stool falls back so that I’m turned towards the ceiling. It slides open at a dreadfully slow pace, and I’m blinded as the bleak sun beams right into my face. “No,” I beg whoever is still with me in this room. I attempt to turn my head, but I’ve been secured tightly. “Please, I—”

The static of a walkie-talkie interrupts my plea. “We’re bringing her up at your signal,” someone says, sounding a tad disgruntled. “Is everyone nice and cozy?”

“Copy that,” another voice crackles. “Everyone’s nice and cozy.”

My heart is thundering swift as a rabbit’s. I try to hold back the nausea that’s overpowering me. All I’ve done is robbed people of their food so that I, too, could eat. How can surviving be called a crime? How can someone dare to send children into their death, as if it means nothing at all?

I think of Greta’s story about the Hunger Games. I’m not sure which government is crueler; the one who once ruled Panem or the so-called democracy of Lavinia. While Panem made sure only children could compete – for fun – at least there was one survivor, someone who could bring fortune to their part of Panem. In Lavinia, the age range for the Criminal Wars is wide; its purpose is to rid the country of people with less-than-pure intentions. But there are no survivors… the only outcome is death.

I squeeze my eyes shut and try to cross my fingers. “Please, please, please,” I whisper. “Please let me live.”

“On the count of three.”

My lids fly open again and I gasp, struggling harder at the bonds that hold me back. I’m unable to choke back my sobs as they contort my face into a mask of fear. I can feel wrinkles form in my forehead; my mouth open and close in horror; tears drown my vision. “Please!” I beg, my voice skipping an octave. “Please – I’m just a child!”

No one answers, and the chair groans to life beneath me. I become mute with fear as I move upwards at a sluggish pace. It’s pushing me towards my destiny, and I’ve got little choice to no choice in the matter. The only thing I can decide on is whether I want to be murdered in a minute or have some sweet hours left to digest the fact that I will be executed.

Either way, I’m going to breathe my last in a matter of days.

My name is Rinzen Paltry, and this is the story of how I died.

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