AMHS Hunger Games – The Elegy (Day 1)

Part 2 to the Faculty Hunger Games


As promised, we have examined and analyzed your votes and the statistics of our AMHS teachers, and decided on a winner. However, we have decided to elongate the actual AMHS Hunger Games into five articles, increasing the suspense and stakes with each release of The Talon. In each article, expect to see six fallen tributes. Today, we start at 24.

Along with the actual outcome of the Academic Magnet Hunger Games, we have predicted what survival skills, combat strategies, and alliances all of our teachers would utilize in the Games. What measures will Ms. Hurt take? Spoiler, none. Where will Ms. Smith hide? What Latin elegy will Mr. Garris recite? As we take our readers’ votes into consideration, we have decided to use the numbers to assign Sponsors to the Games. Sponsors are rich citizens in the Capitol, as well as family and friends in the tribute’s district, who send parachuted gifts to their tributes (often food and supplies). The more votes a District has received, the more gifts and aid they will obtain throughout the Games. To say the least, bonds will be broken, limits will be pushed, and no one is safe (even you, Mr. Johnston). Without further ado, we present our second article in this five-part series: Academic Magnet Hunger Games- The Elegy!

The road to hell is paved with good intentions

— Mr. Johnston

The Arena

As you may know, every Hunger Games has a different arena, consisting of a Cornucopia, various challenging terrains, and hidden tools. To begin the Games, our tributes will stand in a ring, on podiums, around the Cornucopia, a horn filled to the brim with weapons, food, and supplies. In this version of the Hunger Games, the AMHS campus will serve as the arena. The Cornucopia of the Games? The courtyard. From the bus loop to the Library, every inch of the campus is fair game. The game’s arena being the school’s campus offers our tributes either a major advantage or hindrance, depending on their familiarity with the buildings- perhaps some of our pre-relocation teachers (specifically Mr. Johnston) know of ancient campus secrets. Who will make camp in their classrooms, and who will establish dominance in the Cornucopia?


Day 0 – The Night Before (11 pm)

RING!! RING!! RING!! RING!! RING!! RI- Mr. Rush slams the snooze on the faulty alarm clock (he set it to PM instead of AM) stationed on the shelf beside his soft, warm, queen-sized bed, linen sheets royally enwrapping him in a protective cocoon. Tomorrow, he will be on the AMHS battlegrounds, fending for himself and trusting nobody- except, of course, his wonderful friend Mr. Stackhouse, who has also woken up to the screeching of the alarm. Sleeping in the bed across from Rush’s, he puts his head down and doses off again. 

In the room next door, Ms. Yackey is seated peacefully on the windowsill, staring into the rising sun. Her eyes gleam despite not getting a wink of sleep, most likely a skill she developed from caring for her newborn. She has volunteered as a tribute instead of Dr. Lupo, voluntarily committing herself to the Hunger Games. Meanwhile, Dr. Lupo watches from home (very unlikely actually, she has made it pretty clear that she has no interest in the Games). 

 Across the hallway, Mr. Cosgrove is at the foot of his bed, superseding push-ups, planks, and wall sits, working for hours to prove all of his doubters wrong. The 5 votes that Ms. Frazier and Mr. Cosgrove received are nothing short of an embarrassment, and he knows they will be unable to rely on sponsors to win the Games.

It is 13 hours until the trumpet marks the beginning of the battle, and our tributes are all preparing in their own way. After some sleeping, some training, and some reviewing strategies, the next few days are sure to be a turmoil of shock and despair. The one thing that everyone shares in common is determination- each tribute will do everything in its power to win. 

Day 1 – The Bloodbath (8am)

Our beloved tributes line up in the Cornucopia, preparing for the most important sprint of their lives.

24 tributes. 1 arena. 1 Cornucopia. A plethora of glorious devices and goods piled into the horn on the chessboard, reflecting the shining sun on its gleaming silver surface. It is two minutes until the start of the AMHS Hunger Games, and a tense silence hangs above our 24 tributes, circled on the perimeter of the courtyard. The order is as follows: District 1 (Garris and McCormick) in the main breezeway, closest to the gate. To the right of them stands District 2 (Orr and Akery) as well as District 3 (Schmidt and Beuk). The breezeway parallel to the art room presents District 4 (Langley and Johnston), District 5 (Desbrow and Flo), and District 6 (Hoofstetter and Officer Watson). On the concrete closest to the main building stands District 7 (Stackhouse and Rush), District 8 (Cassidy and Smith), and District 9 (Hurt and Yackey). Finally, the sidewalk leading to the gym holds District 10 (Cosgrove and Fraizer), District 11 (Percy and Bortz), and District 12 (Crye and Grayson).

A measly squeak escapes Ms. Hurts’ mouth, and the countdown begins. 60, 59, 58. Ms. Desbrow and Mr. Flo exchange a smirk. 46, 45, 44. Mr. McCormick licks his lips in excitement, he has prepared his entire life for this moment. 32, 31, 30. Mr. Percy expresses his classic tranquil yet knifing glare. 17, 16, 15. Under his breath, Mr. Garris rehearses his Latin elegy, reciting “Necessaria Morte Mori” (Death is Natural) in apprehensive whispers. 9, 8, 7. Mrs. Smith’s eyes dart around rapidly, scouring the campus for her hiding spot. 6, 5, 4. Cosgrove stretches into a lunge, locked onto the Cornucopia, fully prepared for the 100-meter dash of his life- he is, after all, “the fastest adult in the building.” 3, 2, 1. DOOTOOTOO!!! The trumpets signal to begin and the chaos is released. 

Instantly, Mr. Stackhouse cannonballs from the sky. What? You guessed it, Mr. Rush has flung him into the Cornucopia. Stackhouse snags a silver hockey stick and throws a silver baseball bat to Rush, tossing on a backpack full of food. The inseparable duo sprints to the upstairs of the building, then up to their renowned nook, consisting of both of their classrooms by the far staircase. There, they set up camp. We’ll come back to them in a moment.

Meanwhile, Mr. Garris has climbed onto the Cornucopia as promised and recites his final Latin Elegy. Mr. Percy rocks the Cornucopia, shaking Mr. Garris in an attempt to conclude the torturous elegy- and right then, Mrs. Pinckney appears beside Garris, grabs him, and vanishes with him into thin air. Somewhere outside of the arena, a cannon sounds, marking the elimination. Mr. Garris is the first one out.

Down below, Mr. Crye scurries to grab the bow and arrow he had trained with as a youth- but he is intercepted by Mr. McCormick. Armed with his sharpened femur (where did he get it from? The fake coyote, we think), McCormick stares deep into Mr. Crye’s soul. We call this stare the freshman’s inferno. Similar to Mr. McCormick’s effect on his freshman bio class, the horrific stare of his twitching eyes sends Mr. Crye into a deep, motionless shock. However, right before Mr. Crye can hit the ground, Ms. Pinckney appears, catches him in her arms, and vanishes once more with the sound of the cannon- Mr. Crye is the second one out of the Academic Magnet Hunger Games. 

You may be wondering where our eliminated tributes have disappeared to. Well, dear readers, we appreciate your worry and would like to clear up any confusion you may have. Situated on an island 50 miles from Charleston’s shore, Ms. Do is keeping the eliminated teachers in ISS, locking them within a replica copy of her room. Before you fret, let us enlighten you on their lavish stay. Our beloved tributes will receive classic teacher amenities, including hot teacher gossip, unlimited faculty lounge snacks, dice for grading papers (joke), and no parent emails. 

While all the teachers run amok, attempting to collect resources and weapons, Ms. Hurt and Ms. Yackey, the District 9 tributes, find each other in the madness. In a brief huddle, they devise a plan to discreetly slip behind the other tributes and snag a backpack full of supplies, then meet at their designated camp spot: The room behind the PE concessions counter. The two tributes cautiously tip-toe around the fights occurring in the cornucopia, and Ms. Yackey successfully grabs the backpack full of resources and sprints with surprising agility to the planned rendezvous point. Ms. Hurt, on the other hand, is not as fortunate. When Ms. Hurt reaches down to grab a backpack, she suddenly feels a gust of wind and stumbles back. She raises her head to see Ms. Desbrow zooming around the Cornucopia in her bionic wheelchair, with Mr. Flo seated by her side (kind of like the little sidekick compartment on motorcycles in cartoons). This wheelchair is no force to be reckoned with, and you will likely see new upgrades as the Games progress. Today, we discovered that the dual-seat vehicle can accelerate up to 65 mph. With the press of a single button on her wheelchair, Desbrow launches two drones that lift up Ms. Hurt, only to have her elevation disrupted by the sound of the cannon. Out of nowhere, 15 feet above the courtyard, Ms. Hurt is embraced and evaporated by Ms. Pinckney. She is the third tribute to be eliminated from the Games. 

Twenty feet to her right, McCormick has his eyes locked onto another pursuit- his motive, it seems, is to avenge a fallen member from his district: Ms. Aydlette. Poor Ms. Akery is scrambling to escape the Cornucopia, sprinting towards the Cafeteria with two backpacks and a fishing pole (why would you grab that Ms. Akery) cradled in her arms. Frantically, she drops her items in an attempt to pick up some speed, but to no avail. Mr. McCormick is below her, yes below her, digging a tunnel at superhuman speed to overtake her position. In the blink of an eye, McCormick springs out of the ground directly in front of her. “Hello my sweet,” he hisses, and raises the femur towards her. Akery stands frozen for a moment, swallows, and is suddenly evaporated by Ms. Pinckney. The cannon sounds. She is the fourth tribute eliminated. 

When the trumpet first blew, our two tech-savvy tributes Mr. Schmidt and Ms. Buek raced to the Cornucopia. To no one’s surprise, these tributes have snagged a variety of robotics: extension cords, CPU sockets, motherboards, and other gadgets and gizmos. Afterward, these teachers dash to the computer lab: their second home. Unlike our other tributes, this duo escapes from the Cornucopia unscathed and stashed up. 

Meanwhile, Officer Watson, our favorite campus police officer, has set up camp with his district teammate, Mrs. Hoofstetter. After grabbing their supplies from the Cornucopia, the team walks calmly, but with purpose, to the guidance offices by the nurse. Although the guidance hallway lacks the answers to some of the most pressing college application questions (is GPA on a 5 or 6 point scale? Confirmed 5), there is an unlimited amount of snacks, comfortable furniture, and space to set up camp. As they establish their territory, Officer Watson cannot help but stare into space, wondering if his buddy Mr. Cosgrove is safe and sound. Regardless, Officer Watson and Mrs. Hoofstetter are in a secure position… for now. 

Back to our fan favorites, Stackhouse and Rush. After establishing the grounds in both of their rooms, Mr. Rush has an amazing idea. He grips his silver baseball bat and breaks down the wall between their classrooms to combine the rooms. Ultimate merge. Flushed by a wave of excitement, Rush and Stackhouse partake in a celebratory high five (awesome). By marking their grounds in this hallway, the duo has set themselves in a strategic position, capturing one of the staircases and entrances to the upper floor of the building. 

Johnston stalking his prey.

At the Cornucopia, three tributes remain. The rest have scattered across the campus, some successful in their endeavors and some not so much. Johnston, Bortz, and Percy circle the horn, scouting unclaimed resources that could be of any use. A squeak escapes the Cornucopia, and the team stops in their tracks. “Inspect,” commands Johnston. Percy walks to the front of the Cornucopia and takes a frightful glance inside. “It’s Krista,” he responds. Johnston remains silent, and Bortz and Percy exchange a weary glance. After what seems like a minute, Johnston states his decision: “Spare her.”

Dr. Cassidy crawls out of the Cornucopia, relieved. She is foolish to feel safe. At the snap of Johnston’s fingers, the trio surrounds Cassidy in a closed circle. “End,” grunts Johnston, and at that moment Ms. Pinckney appears beside Cassidy, grabs her hand, and disappears with her. A gentle chuckle of satisfaction escapes Mr. Johnston, and he returns back to picking around the Cornucopia. Dr. Cassidy has fallen victim to the first betrayal of the Games, placing fifth from the bottom of the rankings. 

Ms. Smith has secured herself a hiding spot- the near corner of the cafeteria, near the entrance to the restrooms. However, she is not strolling near the door, nor is she leaning up against the glass wall, careless to the high stakes of the Games. Instead, she is up in the ceiling, establishing her camp in the railings many feet above the ground. The way she is hiding in the ceiling, watching closely but never pouncing, is almost spider-like. Here, she sits in peace, relishing her time without EOCBs to grade and without foolish Research proposals to look over (I seriously think grounded theory will work Ms. Smith and I do read the textbook). 

Ms. Orr, a lone tribute, quickly grabs her weapon of choice, a hefty AP Gov textbook, and makes her way to the roof. Without an alliance, Orr must remain vigilant at all hours to survive in these ruthless games. To ensure “necessary and proper” protection, Orr positions a plethora of mirrors around her camp on the art building roof. The mirrors allow her to see 360 degrees around her camp. If any other tributes try to surprise attack her, Orr will be prepared for combat with her sturdy Gov textbook and first amendment right. 

Somewhere on the practice field, Mr. Cosgrove peeks from his ditch. The sun has fallen, and it will soon be midnight. With a plethora of supplies by his side, Mr. Cosgrove has solidified both his territory and safety; however, something is missing. Tomorrow, he will go looking for Officer Watson, his brother in these games and the only man he trusts. But for now, he is alone. 

The grass on the other side of the ditch rustles. Was it his imagination? A gust of wind, perhaps. No, the movement was definitely there. Holding his breath, Cosgrove squats down, gripping his favorite find from the Cornucopia- a silver Lacrosse stick (d-pole, for those wondering). The grass moves again. As silent as a student whose favorite teacher just got mad at them, Cosgrove locks his eyes on the moving patch of terrain, extends his back leg, and prepares for a start. 

Bursting into a full sprint (4.2 40-time, we predict), Mr. Cosgrove runs up on Ms. Langley, camouflaged in the plants around her. She dodged his first attack and whips out some whimsical concoction of her own, an orb-shaped chemical weapon constructed from the natural ground. Before he can find out what the orb will do, Cosgrove makes the hasty decision to scoop the orb and fling it, full force, out of the arena. A shatter is heard as a window of the mobile home, positioned right outside of the practice field, is burst into fragments (Joe Dragich moment).

Langley snarls at Cosgrove and dives towards his feet, however, he evades her savage pounce and sidesteps onto high ground. He lifts up the d-pole, staring directly at Ms. Langley, but a moment of hesitation brings him back to step zero. Langley is back on her feet and sprinting toward the baseball cages. In desperation, Cosgrove frantically looks around and notices a silver parachute with a greaser (greasy lacrosse ball, pretty self-explanatory) floating down. He hops and snags the ball, loads it into his stick, and takes his aim. Upon releasing the ball, Ms. Pinckney makes her final appearance of the day, this time flashing Cosgrove a thumbs-up while grabbing onto Ms. Langley’s arm. With the sound of the cannon, Ms. Pinckney disappears with our beloved chemistry teacher. A hard-fought exit, Ms. Langley is the sixth tribute eliminated.

The trumpets signal that the first day is over. Ms. Grayson scans the sky, as the names of fallen tributes flash. Mr. Garris, Mr. Crye, Ms. Hurt, Ms. Akery, Dr. Cassidy, and Ms. Langley. A quarter of the tributes have been eliminated, and 18 remain. With a sigh, Ms. Grayson climbs back through the window and falls asleep, in the downstairs teacher’s lounge. 

With 18 tributes left and the most dangerous members remaining, the next three articles are bound to be spectacular. We hope that the events of the first day have intrigued you, and remind you to look out for the next release of this five-part series, where we will resolve the suspense and eliminate 6 more tributes. Will the Big 3 remain in control of the Cornucopia?  Is McCormick still underground (yes, he has built a tunnel system beneath the school campus)? Will Cosgrove and Officer Watson find each other? Only time will tell. Thank you for reading, and we hope to see you next week!


Which District Will Win the AMHS Hunger Games?


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