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How Would You Survive the Hunger Games?
The Winning Entry
By Kayley H., 17
Washington
Words are powerful things. So often people throughout the world underestimate their infinite abilities. Words bring us together, tear us apart, create music and incite laughter. They can express emotion, tell it like it is and even save a life. So why couldn't they help me win the Hunger Games?

I've always been one for wordplay. Threading together simple, yet powerful, words like a grandmother with her needles and yarn or a spider with its web. I suppose I've always really wanted to be a seamstress of words, whether written or spoken. With my love of words comes the ability to use them in ways that others in the Hunger Games, bloodthirsty and angry with the world around them, would never dream of.

It would all begin in the interview. With the world watching in, I'd formulate answers that would leave the audience craving for more. Katniss, the girl on fire would be replaced by me, the girl with the silver tongue. Once the Games began, all it would take is to stand back and let the competition die down for a bit. I'd wait, leaving the horrible job of killing off weaker tributes to those with little conscious and no moral obligations. I'd keep to the shadows, as they say, living off the game and plants I managed to get my hands on. As soon as the competition narrowed down, I'd begin to do what I do best: speak. For it isn't the strength in my limbs that would keep me alive, but rather my ability to charm and persuade. Building alliances and fighting together to defeat others is what I would work on doing. I'd convince tributes that I would be a faithful companion, tell them stories, make them laugh. I'd be the one people wanted to know more about. And though never physically harming them, I would slowly have a hand in their demise.

There's no way to come out of the arena looking like a hero to everyone, though. There will always be the family and friends of those lost in the games who will forever look at the winner like a murderer. They will never forget the face of the one who killed their child, their brother, their sister or their best friend. I would promise myself to do whatever I could to not look like that murderer, but rather a storyteller. The girl with the silver tongue who told stories to the tributes, the one who kept them laughing until their end. I would try my hardest to never let the tributes know that it was I who set them up. I could never live with myself knowing that these children's last thought in the world was of me and what a terrible thing I'd done to them.

Confucius once said that "without knowing the force of words, it is impossible to know men," and without knowing men, I fear, there is no to way win the Hunger Games.
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