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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Monster Games--Part One

The first installment in THE MONSTER GAMES, a harrowing tale of survival. (If you don't show up in this installment it's because you live in the Capitol or District 13. Be patient.)



Part One: The Drunks

“Hey guys,” Teech said in his best business casual voice, as he tied his third of four ties around his neck. He always liked to look his best on Reaping Day. “You going to the Reaping?”

“We don’t have a motherfucking choice, do we, motherfucker?” Danarr replied cheerfully. He was in a great mood despite the Reaping, as his wife, Dismyni, had yet to cheat on him that day.

“Yeah, a-doy,” Teech’s wife, Freideigh said with a roll of her eyes. “I mean, obviously.” She could be a real bitch sometimes.

Dismyni cried, “Oh, my God you guys, it’s almost FUCKING time to go to the Reaping! I hope the male tribute is hot this year.”

“Me too,” said Freideigh, as the men exchanged knowing but defeated looks. Sex addiction was the cross so many had to bear in District 11, the producer of alcohol for Twitternem. Twitternem was the society that had risen out of the ashes of the Videogum’s comment sections—once a prosperous civilization that, due to the ravages of several civil wars, had been abandoned by all but the most resistant to reading The Hunger Games book series, even though they know good and goddamned well those books are awesome.

Anyway. Teech, Freideigh, Danarr and Dismyni lived in District 11, where sadly more of the alcohol produced was consumed than exported to the other districts or the Blogitol. This was partly because the District 11 citizens were a bunch of full-time lushes who weren’t above stealing booze, and partly because the evil President Gabe had banned fun from the Blogitol. Either way, it meant the four of them were shitfaced as they made their way to the Reaping.

“Say,” said Freideigh as they walked to the town square, “I’m not thinking about anyone in particular, but have you guys noticed the lack of hot underage bakers in this district?”

“What?” asked Teech.

“Hmm? Nothing,” replied Freideigh, then high-fived herself for her smoothness.

“You guys, sometimes I wish we lived in fucking District 6,” Dismyni complained, so loudly that a couple of parents walking with their kids shot her nasty looks. “Oh my God, what is their FUCKING problem?”

“Shhh,” said Freideigh nervously. “Why do you wish we lived in 6?”

“Because that’s the karaoke district! I bet they have fun all the time.”

“I’ve heard it’s a pretty bleak place,” Teech interjected drunkenly. “They have a 22% annual suicide rate due to crappy ‘Don’t Stop Believin’ covers alone.”

The other three shook their heads sadly as they entered the town square, where they separated into two groups, boys on one side, girls on the other. They watched as highlights from the other Reapings in Twitternem that day played on the screen. They saw some familiar faces, some new; when Huckamitch from District 12 made his appearance, Freideigh and Dismyni both screamed “I’D HIT THAT” as loudly as they could manage. Upon seeing the male tribute from 12, Freideigh cried out, “I AM NOT THINKING ABOUT DOING ANYTHING IN PARTICULAR TO THAT UNDERAGE BAKER, PERHAPS AT MOST BEFRIENDING HIM!”, and everyone definitely believed her. The tributes from District 4, the main exporter of hot people, were a blindingly attractive male and female librarian. A little girl with an overlarge bow on her head bravely volunteered to “party” in District 3, the hair dye district, causing many an eye in 11 to mist over. They watched as a professional badass was chosen from District 6. He immediately tried to quit, then rejoin, then quit again, then, at last, he rejoined the Games for good. Then they watched the usual replay of the tragic events of District 13, just snippets of the tragedy—a woman winking at her medicine bottle, a mudskipper looking defiant, Scott Baio holding out his suspenders proudly, and, of course, Donald Sutherland pointing and screaming at the horror.

When the footage had finished it was District 11’s turn. Inchmin, the Blogitol citizen responsible for transferring the District 11 tributes to the Arena for the Monster Games, stepped up to the microphone.

“SMDH if you don’t love the Monster Games!” Inchmin laughed. “All right, let’s get those tributes chosen so we can go to the games.” He reached into a giant novelty martini glass to draw out a slip of paper, but instead grabbed two stuck together. “Oh, well, no time to separate them. We’ll send two female tributes this year. It’ll be great.

“And your female tributes are…’Dismyni Temare’ and… “Freideigh Baybee’!”

“Oh no!”

“How terrible!”

“Those poor girls!”

“Won’t someone save them?”

Dismyni and Freideigh’s voices overlapped as they protested their fates, but everyone else just sort of looked away and pretended not to hear them. Royally pissed off, they climbed the stairs to stand by Inchmin’s side.

“And now, our male tri—oops, grabbed two again. Oh, well! Accidents happen…to…’Teech Urman’ and ‘Danarr Aetor’!”

The raucous laughter of Dismyni and Freideigh’s voices were the only sounds carried on a haunting breeze through the town square. As the men reluctantly ascended to the stage, the two women began to plan.

“Oh, I am going to hook up with, just, like, ALL the male tributes in the Arena,” Freideigh declared.

“All of them?” Teech asked hopefully.

“Well…we’ll see. I'm just thinking...maybe the cute baker is hurt, and he needs someone to comfort him, and I put my arm around him and...we share a moment. That's all.”

“I heard Ryan Gosling lives in the Capitol, I’m going to totally stalk him,” Dismyni slurred.

“Oh, this is just fucking GREAT,” said Danarr. “I got chosen in the Reaping, and now my wife is going to slut it up in the Capitol.” He popped the top off of his beer and downed it in one gulp.

Teech opened a bottle of bourbon and began swilling. “I don’t know, man,” he countered. “Funniest motherfucker in the Arena wins, right? Well, we’ve got booze on our side. And NOTHING is funnier than drunk people.”

The girls nodded and downed their glasses of wine. The four of them looked at each other, grinned, then cried, “Freeze frame high-five!”

Next week—Part Two: Meeting the Other Tributes in the Blogitol