AMHS Hunger Games – THE FINALE


A bright blue sky. White clouds with wisps of gray mist outline mystical scenes in the sky; One cloud illustrates a slithering dragon, and another resembles a leaping rabbit. Behind the majestic layer of clouds, warm yet vibrant pink envelops the atmosphere. The melancholy day ahead is overlapped with this silk-threaded sky— beautiful colors and textures composing a memorable sunrise. The heavens above seem almost welcoming. Regardless, an intense gleaming orange rising from the horizon marks the beginning of the end: the final day of the AMHS Hunger Games. 

In the center of the courtyard lie the two competitors from District 6, transportation. Officer Watson is proud. His strategy and masterful control of the beast beside him have earned him a guaranteed finish in the top 4. His partner, The Hooff, is emotionless. With a transformed mind and body, she is a hollow shell of the caring pedagogue she once was. 

Officer Watson rummages through his belongings, his back against the silver Cornucopia reflecting the beautiful sunrise. Despite being overloaded with goods and weapons from the plentiful horn, Watson has chosen a narrow collection of utilities, stored away in his navy blue satchel. Food supplies and combat tools fill the majority of his satchel’s volume. He zips up his satchel, throws it over his sore shoulders, and nudges The Hooff awake. 

We would say that she stirs and groggily rises from her sleep as she crosses the bridge between sleep and wake, however, that is far from the truth. Supernaturally, The Hooff springs to all fours, entirely unfazed. She licks her lips, her eyes blank. Her pupils have dilated to an unnoticeable size, condensed to mere crumbs in the vast white spheres residing in her eye sockets. Today, District 6 is ready.

Covered— no, painted with color, an insanely brilliant orb of pure energy rises further beyond the horizon, slowly threatening to intrude above our campus. It isn’t orange. Perhaps the peel of an orange, with a consistency that seems almost poisonous. A natural neon, beautiful in nature yet disturbingly venomous in its composure. The color resembles that of incandescent molten rock, an unfathomably radiant projection of light produced by an effusive explosion, propelling lava across the once-blue sky.  It is dawn.

The main AMHS building is demolished. Ruined. Rubble and dust plague the innards of the castle which once housed a glorious learning institution. Shattered tiles infest the floor, and broken desks are scattered about into a maze of debris. Mr. Rush scoots a seemingly decomposed ceiling tile out of the way as he emerges from his golden slumber. Mr. Stackhouse is already awake, squinting at a silver parachute on the ground, his eyebrows tightly furrowed. He is observing the gifts they received the day before.

If you recall from our previous article, the two tributes from District 7, lumber, have been gifted packages from their loyal sponsors (you). Among the gifts are “a muzzle, a jar of jelly (or is it jam?), a questionable yellow serum, and some sort of machine resembling a rocket launcher.” While Rush and Stackhouse are currently clueless as to how this randomized collection of items could propel them to a win(it is important to note that no author introduces items for the sake of adding them).

“Good morning,” enthusiastically remarks Rush. 

Stackhouse glances at him with slightly wide eyes, and chuckles. 

“Big day,” he responds.

Rush stands and begins collecting their food and weapons into his brown backpack. The calm between our two friends does not come close to reflecting the urgency resonating throughout the AMHS campus.

To call the final destruction of the main building a “cacophony” would be a severe understatement. Watson and The Hooff jump into a combat stance as BANGs and BOOMs echo throughout the courtyard, bricks and shards of glass raining from the sky like an apocalyptic meteor shower. Rush and Stack have entirely torn down the back wall of the main building, erasing the border between their residence and the courtyard. A chimney (we have one?) lands inches away from Officer Watson’s right leg, as he dodges other fragments of rubble in a dance of survival. 

The debris and smoke settle. The figures of Rush and Stackhouse emerge as the dust escapes the air, and Watson and his beast stare, shocked. The two remaining districts glare deep into each other’s eyes, the inevitability of only one victor eroding any particle of morality left. 

Suddenly, a rush of understanding surges through Rush’s body. He reaches into his backpack with a slow nod at Stackhouse, and the two teachers pounce away from one another, leaping in separate directions. Rush has gotten out the rocket launcher and now scrambles to open the jar of jelly.

Officer Watson doesn’t budge. With a collected inhale, he tilts his head to the side, squinting at Rush. The Hooff glares up at him, one single command away from unleashing havoc upon her opponents. Watson points at Stackhouse, and The Hooff is off. At lightning speed she races towards the teacher, as he side steps to his right and spins back left. This fake move buys him a moment of time, enough to sprint behind the Cornucopia and find open space.

Watson has not taken his eyes off of Rush. Still fidgeting with his belongings, Rush has managed to pry open the jar of jelly and is now struggling to find the syringe. He finally takes it out, and plunges it into the sweet fruit preserves. Watson’s eyes widen with fear.

Are you familiar with Despicable Me 2? The purple minions and the healing serum which turned them from purple to yellow? If not, please be ashamed, and try to enjoy the rest of the scene without understanding this allusion.

The Hooff leaps over the Cornucopia as Watson screams for her assistance. With lightning speed, she flies at Rush, who at the last moment manages to toss Stackhouse the spiked jelly and the rocket launcher. This move has cost him any chance of escape— The Hooff is inches away from him; her snarl accelerating toward his neck like a 4-seam fastball. 

BOOM! She is tackled away by Stackhouse, who has absolutely decked her into oblivion. Massive enough to be put on a “Top 10 NFL Hits” YouTube video, this shoulder-to-shoulder splits the sound barrier as both tributes fall to the ground. Rush and Officer Watson stare dumbfounded, about sixty feet apart. The jelly and rocket launcher lay by Stackhouse’s side, directly between the two standing contestants. 

The Hooff and Stackhouse begin to stir. Watson and Rush glance up at one another, look back at the items beside Stackhouse, and in unison begin to run. The Hooff, shockingly back up on her feet, follows suit.

The three tributes run towards Stackhouse, equidistant from each of them. The distance decreases with each millisecond; however, Stackhouse is close to regaining his composure. His eyes flutter open, and through a confused squint, he sees three figures rushing toward him at a panicked speed. His hand flies to the rocket launcher, and he hears Officer Watson shout “NO!”

Loading the jam into the opening of the launcher, Stackhouse urgently signals to Rush: Stop. Everyone is about a second away when Rush finishes his sprint, as Stackhouse slides the loaded launcher to his feet – and The Hooff pounces at Stack for her final blow. 

Pinckney appears and snags Stackhouse from between Watson and The Hooff, both a millimeter away from him. They nearly collide head and slam to the ground. 

A moment of silence passes, and a tear slides down Rush’s cheek. He mourningly raises the launcher and fires a spoonful of jelly into The Hooffs gaping snout.

In a piercing shriek, the beast transforms back into a human. The body of Ms. Hooffstetter, weary and shocked, has snapped out of her possessed form. She now stands on two legs, and looks up in horror at Officer Watson.
“What have I done,” she sobs. 

With another launch of jelly, Pinckney appears in a wisp of smoke. She grabs a sorrowful Hooffstetter by her hand and vanishes into nothingness. Two final contestants remain Officer Watson and Mr. Rush.


Intermission – Presenting a heartfelt story of love and loss by Laura Robertson:

Hey. This battle scene is very intense and a quick intermission is necessary to maintain a healthy pulse. We will take advantage of this break to enlighten our faithful readers on the behind the scenes of the famous AMHS Hunger Games series. Along with this series breaking article viewing records, it has formed and strengthened lifelong friendships. While reading, we recommend you listen to Going Home (from “Bleach”) by LucasGitanoFamily, to better fit the mood of this enthralling, real-life story.

It all began with co-writer, Laura Robertson (12), having the idea to write a hunger games series featuring our Academic Magnet teachers. Boris Pekar (12), the other co-writer, was completely enthralled by Laura’s genius idea and wanted nothing more than to be a part of its creation. This is where the collaboration between Boris and Laura was conceived. Barely friends, these two Talon writers were about to embark on a drama-filled, yet worthwhile journey.

After releasing the first two pieces of the Hunger Games series, Boris and Laura were slowly becoming close friends. However, they often faced conflicts. Laura constantly tried to write in the articles but then Boris would go back and delete what she wrote, writing it again in his own words (as he just did with this sentence). While Boris is a talented writer, it hurt Laura’s confidence to have her hard work constantly deleted. After expressing her angst, Boris promised to make a conscious effort to appreciate her writing. In retaliation, Laura even bought Boris a giant brownie to demonstrate her appreciation for his work (Fun fact: Boris is lactose intolerant and thus kindly refused to eat the brownie). Besides this occasional dispute, Boris and Laura continued to produce fantastic stories about the Magnet teachers in the Hunger Games. Until one December evening, during Boris’s first outside-of-school appearance in almost four months, Laura remarked to Boris and some other bystanders: “everything goes downhill when Boris gets involved.” This rash and impulsive statement, amongst many others, left a heavy cloud of tension between these two co-writers. Despite several days of not speaking, Laura and Boris pushed this tension aside to work together to write the 3rd edition of their series. However, Boris could not bear to even look at Laura after what she said to him the other night. Laura knew she was in the wrong so she wrote Boris a massive apology paragraph in the comment section of their shared Hunger Games google doc (he did not have access to his phone). In her apology paragraph, Laura admitted to being “so out of line Saturday” and that she “genuinely felt so bad.” 

After supplemental essays worth of arguing and talking out their issues, Boris ended the quarrel with a picture. You might be wondering why this picture was so significant? It was a selfie taken on a school chromebook of Boris holding the brownie Laura had bought him a week earlier— half eaten. This simple gesture of his appreciation mended their friendship and even made it stronger.

Overall, while this AMHS Hunger Games series may appear to be just a creative and articulate Magnet twist on the classic Hunger Games, it is much more than that. These five articles have formed, harmed, but ultimately strengthened the unlikely friendship between two Talon co-writers. 


Let us return back to our story. Officer Watson and Mr. Rush look sincerely at one another’s faces, a thin layer of lacrimal fluid secreted across the surface of their eyes (tears). 

“It’s one of us,” observes Officer Watson.

“No,” snarls Rush. “It’s me.”

In an impressive display of athleticism, Rush leaps 20 feet in the air and summons his baseball bat from the ruins of the AMHS building. Like Thor’s Hammer, the weapon soars through the fallen bricks and lands directly into the palm of his outstretched hand. Lightning sparks in his eyes, and he levitates at this altitude, smirking down at Watson. Somewhere in the distance, thunder rumbles.

“FOR MY FALLEN FRIEND!!” he screams, and materializes an orb of energy in his free hand a cloudy-white sphere— a sphere of lightning, about 3 inches in diameter. He tosses it up, tilts his entire body backwards, and strikes it with his bat.

Watson’s face falls. With a deep breath of courage, the moderately frightened figure of Officer Watson grows three times as large. Now a towering 18 feet (more or less), Watson stands eye-to-eye with Rush. 

He catches the zooming lightning orb between his index finger and thumb, and smirks.

“Really?” he asks, and sends it back at Rush, who luckily deflects it with his bat (like a lightsaber). He whirls around and Watson steps to his left; however it is too late. Rush flies directly at Watsons shoulder and knocks him to the ground.

A crash sounds as Officer Watson’s now oversized figure falls to the ground. His vision is blurry, sans an electrified human far, far above him. As he shifts between consciousness and unconsciousness, he begins to see a clear, translucent, pale-white face.

“Cosgrove?” he mutters, and squints his eyes at the ghost. 

“Hello, friend,” answers the ghost of David Cosgrove, smiling down at Officer Watson. He winks. “Need some help?”

Another orb flies down inches from Watson’s head, piercing into the ground beside him with a cackle and flash of light. 

“I don’t have much time,” goes on Cosgrove, “but I recommend using Rush’s passions against him. Remember, he loves Jeopardy and the Orioles.”

He disappears.

With a newfound understanding, Officer Watson stands up. Rush now wields four more orbs, circling around his torso like Orion’s belt. “Orion’s belt…” thinks Officer Watson.

“CHRIS DAVIS CONTRACT!!!” screams Officer Watson, and Rush zones out. 

“42 MILLION,” he yells. “NOT EVEN IN THE LEAGUE!!!”

Rush’s lightning ceases, his orbs fall to the ground. Slowly, he floats back down, blocking out the horrible, hurtful insults about his baseball team. In a trance, he drops his bat and fall to his knees. Mr. Rush is now entirely defenseless.

Seizing his opportunity, Officer Watson shrinks back to normal size (evening the playing field). He picks up Rush’s baseball bat, and feels it around in his hands. He grips it, winds it back, and smirks.

“By the way, I’m a Texas Ranger’s fan.”

In unison, Pinckney appears and the bat comes swinging down. Rush has vanished by the time the bat makes contact with the ground, yet the collision with the Earth’s surface marks a loud echo of victory. Trumpets sound, and Officer Watson is flushed with happiness. Before pumping his fists in the air and doing a backflip in celebration, he takes a moment to mourn Cosgrove, Hooffstetter, and every other friend he made along the way. Officer Watson is the final tribute, and thus victor, of the AMHS Hunger Games.


Fireworks explode, confetti streaks through the sky, and the AMHS campus magically reconstructs back into its polished form. Fireworks by Katy Perry sounds throughout the arena, and Officer Watson is greeted with Ms. Pinckney, who takes off her Grim Reaper cloak and shakes his hand with pride. With an enthusiastic congratulations, Pinckney and Watson depart the gates of Academic Magnet.


Thank you to our loyal readers for tuning into all FIVE of our THREE THOUSAND word articles. Even though we are fully aware that none of you actually read them(besides Officer Watson), we would like to express our gratitude and display our appreciation for sticking with us throughout this incredible journey. Be it bringing honor and fame to The Talon, making us better writers, strengthening relationships, or even making Ms. Hurt finally like Boris (she fully admitted to asking Ms. Pinckney to remove him from her class during schedule-making), writing the AMHS Hunger Games has been a life-changing experience— and we couldn’t have done it without you.