AMHS Hunger Games – Johnston’s Demons (Day 2)


An eerie fog looms across the arena, enveloping the AMHS campus in a blank mist. Sully Johnston sits upon the silver cornucopia, staring deep into the horizon, beyond the trees lining the football field. Dawn is an hour away, and his night watch will soon end.

Battling the weight of his eyelids is the easiest fight for Johnston. The treachery towards his loyal friend is heavy on his chest, a brick weighing a thousand pounds, seeping deeper into his heart every minute. The grass below him shudders, almost in reaction to the thoughts resonating in his head. Mother Nature has signaled her disapproval, and he understands that he will pay the price of his betrayal.

Somewhere near the bus loop, a shadow stirs. A figure, tall and sleek in the distance, rises like a butterfly out of its cocoon. His arms extend, wings of freedom emerging from the dark figure’s body. Johnston sits alert; he feels the surface beside him, scrambling for his javelin. For a moment, Cassidy’s face flashes on the creature’s shoulders. Then, in a wisp of smoke, the demon disappears.

A whine escapes Johnston’s mouth, and he drops his javelin. Eyes wide with despair, the scream of Cassidy, consumed by the arms of Ms. Pinckney, plague his thoughts. “I regret it,” he whimpers.

The sun has risen, and the day has begun. Rush and Stackhouse enjoy a hearty breakfast, sent down with silver parachutes from the skies above. This meal was provided by you, the voters! “Lovely meal,” enthusiastically remarks Rush, provoking a hearty laugh from Mr. Stackhouse. The two friends merrily enjoy their sponsored meal, the apprehension of the Games overlapped by the cream cheese toast and perfectly cooked omelet, festive on their tongues.

The roof creaks. Rush snaps still, and Stackhouse freezes mid-bite. Very slowly, Rush reaches his hand out toward his bat. A thump resonates from above. Rush’s hand hovers in place, and he stares directly into Stackhouse’s eyes. “Get the stick,” he mouths.

A second thud sends the roof collapsing down, bricks and rubble cascading into the combined rooms. Orr leaps into the Psych hallway, her Gov textbook in hand, her mischievous grin extending past the barriers of her face. Somewhat resembling the Cheshire Cat, Orr spins to face the two teachers, clutching her weapon with a fierceness that no one, in any condition, should ever have to encounter. 

Rush takes Stackhouse into his arms, holding him above his right shoulder in what almost looks like a rocket launcher position. Shockingly, that is exactly what has happened. Rush pumps his shoulders back, and Stackhouse is sent flying at Orr. 

She dodges this human missile in a leap of stunning agility, and slowly cranks her head back to look at Rush. She squats down, and leaps 16 feet in the air, far above the perimeter of the broken ceiling, and lands directly behind Rush, who somersaults out of harm’s way. Lunging towards his bat, he is intercepted an inch from the handle by – you guessed it- a Gov textbook. The thousand-ton weapon now flies back into her extended arm, and Stackhouse gapes at the mechanical wonder. Ms. Orr’s Gov textbook is nearly identical in function to Thor’s hammer. 

Rush is slow to get up. Without his bat, his battle ability is limited] it appears. Gazing towards Orr’s towering and soon victorious figure, he pleads: “Spare me.”
Orr is caught off guard. Mr. Rush, asking for mercy? Something doesn’t add up, something is terribly wrong. She stares back at him, confused. Did he really just ask her to spare him?
The moment of shock was all that Stackhouse needed. “DUCK!” he yells, as he sends his hockey stick flying like a boomerang towards Orr. The diversion created by Rush was successful. Roaring with laughter, Rush slams down towards the floor as the stick spirals directly toward the defeated Government teacher, inches away, when Ms. Pinckney appears and vanishes, taking a frozen Orr with her. Ms. Orr is the seventh teacher eliminated in the Games.

High up in the cafeteria rafters, Ms. Smith sits. Quiet and determined, she meditates, waiting, hiding.

Desbrow and Flo camp in their hallway, the spacious rooms serving as a chamber for their inventions. In his room, Flo wears a welding helmet, crouched beside Desbrow’s wheelchair. Desbrow sits beside him, sorting the tools and materials they gathered from the Cornucopia. Today, they are modifying the blasters on the chair. The wheels are now all-terrain and explosive-proof, and offense is now a primary focus. The classroom is quiet, and tense with the hunger for food. Four saltine crackers, a bag of beef jerky, and a jar of dum-dums remain. The scarcity of food is a problem they will address at a later time.

Outside, Yackey sits perched with a small bag beside her. Binoculars in hand, she peers into the windows of Flo’s room, spying on the mischievous designs within their invention chamber. Yackey zooms in on the wheelchair, hoping to catch a glimpse of any new designs she could take advantage of in her attack. Her eyes widen with surprise as she notices the turbojets attached to the bottom rim. Zooming out, Yackey flushes bright red- Desbrow and Flo are staring directly at her. 

She slams down to the ground, rummaging around to find her supply sack. She finally feels a soft cloth, and clutches it intensely with fear, her knuckles white and her face pale. Did they really see her? Would they attack? Does she run or does she fight? Thousands of questions rush into her head, and a panic consumes her. She discreetly peeks up, and finds that they are no longer there. She flings around, rolling about the grass in an attempt to stay hidden, scanning every degree of her vision. But they are not there.

Or so she thinks. Desbrow plummets out of the sky, Flo seated in his sidekick compartment. Together, they speed behind Yackey as she attempts to run away, sprinting at an inhuman speed to evade the two inventors. Just when all hope seems lost, Yackey has an idea.

She reaches into her bag and throws up a shower of…pacifiers? Thirty or so baby pacifiers rain down onto Desbrow and Flo, following the three tributes like angry bees, a red light blinking inside of the mouthpiece in all of them. In an instinct-incited jolt of desperation, Desbrow slams down the EJECT button, Flo’s compartment detaching and trailing off as the thirty pacifiers explode. At that exact moment, Desbrow has flipped a switch that magnetizes Yackey onto her wheelchair. That was petty, Ms. Desbrow.

Mrs. Desbrow watches the mushroom cloud disperse, an assertive figure in a black cloak gracefully sweeping the fallen tributes into her arms, before they disappear. Flo and Yackey are the eighth and ninth tributes eliminated. 

Stunned, Desbrow stumbles towards the disassembled wheelchair. “I will avenge you,” she promises. She scoops up the parts and makes her way back to the classroom.

Meanwhile, in the computer lab, Buek and Schmidt are designing a lethal slime grenade (funny) using their technological expertise. Their food supply is critically low, and they have directed their energy into creating an attack, planning to seize the Cornucopia and take the remaining food. As Mrs. Buek bends down to grab a hard drive, the ground shakes, and out erupts Mr. McCormick. He grabs her wrist with a force parallel to the stampede of seniors at 3:30, and dives back under with Beuk in his clutches. McCormick has dug a tunnel under their camp and pulled Buek deep into the maze of his burrows. After dragging her through the underground maze, he leaves her in a small cavity.

Hours go by. When Buek finally awakes, the hunger within her stomach is a monster, clawing at her insides, unable to wait any longer. She slowly blinks, finally regaining consciousness, and her eyes wander around the dusty room that she was left in. A dark shadow appears in her peripheral vision. It is, you guessed it, Mrs. Pinckney. For the first time, she is here for more than a moment. She is dressed in a beautiful, glimmering black robe, and carries a ten-foot scythe. Mrs. Pinckney floats with both dominance and elegance over to where Mrs. Buek is laying. She offers her hand to Buek, who takes it, accepting her defeat to hunger and thirst. Hand in hand, they walk through the tunnels to the ISS Island. Ms. Buek is the tenth tribute eliminated. 

Somewhere in the guidance hallway, change is happening. Ms. Hooffstetter has grown restless, and her savage temptations are giving in. Officer Watson, on the other hand, lies tired, wishing he had a K-9 at his side for the games. Suddenly, Hooffstetter roars. Then, she barks. Eyes wide, Officer Watson sits up. In front of him, on all fours, is The Hooff. Ms. Hooffstetter has transformed into a beast, a wolf of absolute destruction. Officer Watson smirks, then grins. “We win.”

The day grows old. The sun has set, and the night is creeping in. Johnston, being unable to sleep, begins his night watch again, volunteering to take the majority of the night. He settles atop the Cornucopia, and looks onto the horizon.

Johnston imagines Cassidy’s face shifting in and out of the gleaming stars, her laugh heard in every mosquito buzzing beside Johnston’s ear. A single tear slips down his cheek. 

A clank resonates from below, and Bortz and Percy awake. The Big Three rise from atop of the Cornucopia, and look down to see Ms. Grayson, fiercely glaring at them with a bow in hand. “Your reign ends now,” she declares. Johnston smirks down at her. A fire burns in his eyes. 

Aside: (Before we present his quote, it should be noted that this response is in fact real. We, Laura Robertson and Boris Pekar, were both present when Mr. Johnston coined this phrase, and quickly wrote it down for the purpose of using it in the article. While we did remove the context within the quote, it is real. Real quote. Not made up.)

Johnston slowly, very slowly, breaks into a sarcastic grin. Everyone around him is frozen in fear, the apprehension consuming every last drop of their courage.

“I don’t care how much I love you, and I love you, I do…I have a little black indifferent heart. It’s a little black, cold, and indifferent heart. It doesn’t matter who you are. It doesn’t matter if you’re Laura Robertson, it doesn’t matter if you’re Vishwa Veeraswamy. A little black, cold, indifferent, little heart.”

“An intriguing soliloquy,” remarks Ms. Grayson, twirling the bow. After a few seconds of silence, Grayson springs her bow into action, loading an arrow (green, with eyed hands in place of the arrowhead) (Slaughterhouse-Five reference) into the elastic string. Percy jumps down, the Tralfamadorian arrow whizzing past his ear. Picking up a nearby boulder (how did that get there?) he slams it down at Grayson— who, at the last moment, is tackled out of the way. Dusting the dirt off of their shoulders, Bortz and Grayson stand up, hand in hand.

Ms. Grayson with her legendary Tramalfadorian arrow (wow)

“TRAITOR!!” roars Johnston, and points one wretched finger towards the two English teachers. Inhaling aggressively, he picks up a silver trident nearby. Grayson loads up her bow as Percy regains his shocked composure, while Bortz pulls out… a candle? The arrow flies towards Johnston, who stands there, unphased. The arrow flies directly to his feet, landing an inch in front of his feet. “Missed,” he laughs. Grayson and Bortz exchange a smile. 

The arrow flashes a ray of light across the entire courtyard, and transforms into a yard-tall Tralfamadorian. The green alien glares at Johnston, and he is spiraled back into time. 

He relives the removal of Cassidy. Shaking, he watches himself snap his fingers, hears the betrayed scream of his companion, and experiences his most regretful action in live and living color. He is shaking, near hysterics. This is his breaking point.

Johnston is slammed back into the present. Tears streaming down his face (this would never happen in real life by the way, unless you knock down his record player) he glares at the English department. Percy stares at him, confused. “Please,” he begs, “end it.”

Bortz solemnly looks down at her candle, and blows it out, “out, out brief candle.” In a brief moment, the flame is snuffed into nothingness. A shadow emerges from behind the cornucopia, and walks toward them. It takes off its hood. The gleaming eyes of Pinckney look at the math teachers with disappointment. She scoops an astounded Percy and a sorrowful Johnston with her scythe, nods at the Grayson, Bortz, and the Tralfamadorian, and in a swish of her cape is heard of no more. Percy and Johnston are the eleventh and twelfth tributes eliminated.

The trumpets signal that the first day is over. Percy and Stackhouse scan the sky in their caved-in hallway, as the names of fallen tributes flash. Ms. Orr, Ms. Yackey, Mr. Flo, Ms. Beuk, Mr. Percy, and Mr. Johnston. Half of the tributes have been eliminated, and only 12 remain.

Somewhere in Ms. Do’s office, Dr. Cassidy is screaming at Johnston. Now that a top-3 threat has been exterminated, will the Games be heavily impacted? Will Desbrow carry on Flo’s legacy? How is Ms. Smith doing up in the cafeteria ceiling? What will happen with the Hoof? So many more questions arise, as we put your previous inquiries to rest. While Cassidy’s soul now peacefully rests, the Games are now more intense than ever. As we proudly conclude this article of the AMHS Hunger Games, we urge our readers to look forward to the next release. Make sure to vote below to help your favorite teachers in the games! As seen with Stackhouse and Rush, these sponsors’ votes greatly help. Thank you for reading, and may the odds be ever in your favor!

This poll has ended.

Who Will Win The AMHS Hunger Games?


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