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F014 - Jasmine Stone: Start

Jasmine was lying by the edge of the lake. Her hair and face were soaked with water and tears. She'd lost track of how long she'd been awake for but it wasn't like it mattered anyway. All she'd done was cry, deny and lash out. None of it had made her feel any better. Now she was just watching the sun reflect off the surface of the water. It would have been a beautiful image had the circumstances been different. She didn't feel much apart from empty. So much had happened since the announcement had been made.

Patriot High had been chosen for the forty-third edition of the Program.

She'd always been fascinated by the Program.

It was so close to a horror movie, especially when there were big killers who ended up hunting down their classmates. It was essentially the closest thing in real life to a killer from a slasher movie. Jasmine had always comforted herself by looking at it that way. It made it seem so far removed from her life. She knew horror movies weren't real. They were just for entertainment. No one really died in a horror movie, the Program was different though. Children really died, there were no special effects. The hero didn't always win and the killer wasn't some undead monster or spirit who attacked you in your dreams; they were kids too. The fact Jasmine was now stuck in that was the worst part.

She forced herself to sit up and rubbed her eyes with the side of her hands. They were probably red from crying so much. Jasmine couldn't even remember the last time she had cried. She'd made up for lost time though. She looked at her reflection in the water to confirm it; she saw what she had expected. Her eyes were read and puffy and the small amount of eyeliner she had put on was travelling down her face. Then she saw her necklace. She had worn it to every announcement day. She'd worn it for the first time for her first announcement day, after not being selected she'd decided it was lucky and only wore it on announcement days. She pulled it over her head and held it up.

"Some good luck charm you were." Her voice was horse from all the crying. She felt like throwing the necklace as far as she could, throw it into the river and leave it there. It wasn't lucky and she'd only been deceiving herself. What made her feel worse was that she'd stupidly believed it all. Instead of throwing it away she decided to place it back over her neck. As a reminder to herself that there was no luck. As she did she felt her hand brush against something else on her neck, something cold and metallic. She leant back over the water to check what it was. Again Jasmine wished she hadn't. It looked like a dog collar but made purely of metal. Jasmine couldn't remember getting it. She wasn't aware of any other version of the Program having them either. That was what made her scared of it the most. She raised her hand to touch it again but thought better of it. Instead opting to run her fingers through the water of the lake. It was ice cold but it didn't feel bad. She threw some of it over her face to try and wash off the eyeliner. It didn't work.

She put both her hands in the lake and splashed the water over her face. That was when the memory burst into her mind. Waking up handcuffed to a desk, the gunshot. The man with the red beret. He'd explained what the collars were. They exploded if you did anything the government didn't like. Break the rules and you died. Behave and you got to live longer. Not much of a choice. She slowly turned her head and saw the bag she had been left with lying on the ground. She hadn't even bothered looking it.

Standing up on shaky legs Jasmine walked over to the bag. It had an eagle printed on it in black, apart from that it was plain olive green the rest of the way around. She tugged at the cords holding the bag closed and upended it. The items that fell out were underwhelming. There was: four water bottles, a loaf of bread, other assorted bits of food, a flashlight, a map, a compass, a jacket and a box that once she opened it turned out to be a first aid kit...but no weapon. Jasmine thought everyone got a weapon. Had that changed too? There had never been collars before, so maybe they'd taken away weapons. No, the man with the beret had said they all had a randomly assigned weapon. She shook the bag in case her weapon had gotten stuck inside and something fell out. She quickly grabbed it from the ground.

It was an action figure.

She'd be given an action figure.

Did they want her to fucking talk to it or something?

She would have liked to feel her sadness start to give way to anger or frustration, but the truth was she was too burnt out for any of it. She just felt even emptier. No one who took part in the Program had much of a chance at survival but it was balanced out by them sometimes getting good weapons...not children's toys. Jasmine sat back down and tucked her legs into her chest.

There was no such thing as luck.

Jasmine buried her head in her knees.
Edited by Deamon, Nov 10 2012, 01:01 AM.
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Luck is for Losers · The Lake
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