"We tried to be better, but we aren't. I don't think anyone could last more than a week here if they weren't willing to do bad things." - Alba Reyes

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Ella
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A crackle emerges from the darkness, followed by a dreaded but all-too-familiar voice.

"Do you kids know what makes Uncle Danya happy?"

What... no... go away.

The second day of our little competition saw twenty-one students bite the dust.

Twenty-one.

You know what that makes total? Forty dead.

Forty dead. Could've been thirty-eight if you'd bothered to do anything, huh?

Invisible walls emerge, covered in blood.

Forty dead, child. And you're next-


Mary Ann awoke with a start to find herself alone and surrounded by stumps. It was light out- Jeez, when did I fall asleep? Her senses returned, along with a cramp in her neck, which she rubbed gingerly with the palm of her hand-

Paper.

A piece of paper sat on the stump where she remembered her companion should have been.

"Dawne Jiang, Rose Codreanu, Tobias Elwin and Raina Morales- BY REIKO... Eva Lancaster..."

It took Mary Ann a full ten seconds to realize these were the names of the recently deceased. So she must have been the one... A chill made its way through her body, making her limbs shake as she counted the names.

Twenty-one new deaths. For a split second, Mary Ann found herself excited for predicting correctly- but crushing shame immediately punished her. Must've jinxed it or something. Though she knew that couldn't be the case, she decided not to use math for a whil- rustling.

She turned around to find RJ on another nearby stump, a map spread across his lap- noticing that she'd awoken, he waved.

She took the invitation and approached with a bittersweet smile. "Morning." She noticed both of their bags several feet away, neatly packed with their weapons sitting almost innocently on the packs of their respective owners.

"Guess we can't squat here forever, huh?" She kneeled behind him, resting her chin on his shoulder to view the map. "I think we're right around... here." She pointed towards the north of the map, and then motioned the area around it- "I've already been around here a couple times... I've just been kind of wandering."

hi i am a little bee

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The Cries of the Voiceless · The Felled Forest: North