The Gamemaker


Angelina’s story from Seneca Crane’s perspective.

We were up high, safe in our balcony overlooking the tributes. Our bird’s eye view allowed us to see them come and go, some were scared, some were confident but all of them felt the anticipation of death, it was tinted in their eyes. It was amusing that they tried to impress us in every possible way because they thought it would save their miserable little lives.Throwing knives, spears at unmoving targets, hardly skilful. I have seen a cat do more impressive tricks than that. I could look at them all day and still have the same opinion. They are not a patch on a real citizen, these peasant rats.

In my opinion, bow and arrows were boring and far too common, I have seen all the tricks that are possible and all the talent over the years but it was always the same. Shoot, hit target or shoot, miss target. So dull. It was more exciting when the shot actually did some damage. A bit of tribute blood tends to liven up the proceedings. That boy from 12 was a little more interesting though, as he threw giant metal balls high into the air. It was surprising to see such a small youth have such a trick up his sleeve. He broke the tedium a little. Some played the game like that, pretending to be a sheep when in reality they were the dangerous wolf. So it didn’t come as that much of a surprise. Besides, it was only a score to show who has more potential, it was more for the audience to pick their favourite out of the bowl of sweets. None of them really stunned us. Until she turned up.

Another archer. I could barely look at her display. Her first attempt was pathetic.She didn’t impress us that Katniss Everdeen. Honestly, I thought there was more to her than that. We had heard that she was a possible star. We all sat patiently, waiting for the shot to be fired. “FWOOMB”. Miss. Laughter exploded from us all. Her chance to impress was gone, there was nothing she could do now to save her skin. She had lost our attention. She was now as visible as a ghost to us.

My thoughts turned to food,“Who ordered this pig?” I asked, more as rhetorical question than anything. Everyone in the room was ready to take a little detour from the proceedings. My eyes turned back to the giant pig, coated with a crispy vanish of fat. Now, this was definitely the highlight of my day I thought as I rose to my feet to help myself. The animal looked delicious, its head tilted up like a ballerina in the middle of a glorious pose, laying on a mountain of luxurious fruit ready to be devoured. It was the sight of a plump apple, sleeping in the concave of the pig’s mouth that really got my juices working. It was red and round, almost like a target.

One of my colleagues, Cassius came up to the table and congratulated me on my promotion, “You are doing a wonderful job, this might even be the best Hunger Games yet.” Cassius was just trying to kiss up, it wasn’t working, I could hear the loathing in his voice. His job was to get all the tributes to ‘play nice’ during training, but he had wanted the Head Gamemaker role. He was bitter,  he always tried to make his facial art more impressive than mine but he tries too hard. You need to have a more signature look but he changes his too often, a fashion victim if I ever saw one. Then it happened.

“THUMP” The apple was punctured by her speeding arrow, straight through the middle of the core. Now it was plastered to the red wall. The apple looked as if it had actually hit someone, red, like blood. We all stumbled back. Time sped up in that moment and my head jolted towards the perpetrator. That Everdeen girl. She had gained my attention after all.

Well, that girl certainly knew how to make a statement. I was shaking with the shock and the adrenaline hit in. I tried to compose myself so I wouldn’t give her (or anyone else) the satisfaction of looking weak. This girl could make the 74th Hunger Games one of the best ever and me the best gamemaker in the history of the Games. It was splendid. That girl stood in front of us, facing us down without holding back or any shyness visible. She was in the driver’s seat and we all knew it. When she spoke and said, “Thank you for your consideration” she spat the last word, sarcasm dripping from every syllable.

It was clear that I’ll need to really focus on her because it will captivate the audience. Katniss Everdeen will be addictive viewing  and the ratings will be higher than ever. I can see it now, “What will the girl do next with her explosive attitude?” That is all the people will be talking about. All will say that the Games have been exceptionally amusing this year because of  the great Seneca Crane. She will be the key to my success and glory! Now all I have to do is build her up as much as possible just to tear her down in front of everyone in the most dramatic turn of events. Ideas rushed to my mind as I watched her bold exit with her hips swinging side to side. She thinks that she can’t be controlled by us. Just wait until she steps into the arena, I’ll teach her how to play games.


About ncowie

I am an English teacher at Cromwell College in New Zealand.

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