In the fiction bracket, it’s down to just Chief Bromden, escaped mental patient, and Little Bee, the refugee who will do anything—inspiring or unsavory—in the name of her survival. Who will win and advance to the Final Four in Lit Madness?
Bromden feels he and Little Bee are kindred spirits, as both have endured more than their share of hardships. As a refugee, Little Bee knows what it is like to be unwanted; as a Native American, Chief is all too familiar with that sentiment. But maybe the onetime mental patient has endured one trauma too many. The electroshock therapy meant to fix his brain has left him even more scrambled than before. Maybe Little Bee wants this more than he does.
Little Bee watched Jo March fail miserably (and fatally) to rattle Bromden by impersonating Nurse Ratched. This refugee knows that it will take a much more subtle—and, yes, insidious—method to break him down. What, you’re surprised that sweet Little Bee is valuing her survival above all? Chief’s escape from the hospital was his greatest achievement, but what more does he have to live for? He can’t make it in the real world. Little Bee can. Since escaping Nigeria with its corrupt soldiers, she has survived detention centers and brushes with immigration and still held on to her freedom by her fingertips.
WINNER: Understanding that she has pushed men to suicide by the mere sight of her, Little Bee regardless knows that her best bet is to sneak up from behind. She hides out of sight behind a boulder, hefting a heavy rock in her hands. Watching as Chief searches for her, she throws her voice, taunting him about being unable to save Billy and McMurphy. As he grows increasingly agitated, she quietly pads up behind him, holds her breath, and bashes him over the head.
It’s now a battle to the death between Tiger Lily and the Boy Who Lived. He’s faced down one of the Darkest Wizards of all time with his trusty wand. She’s stared down pirates and is a natural in the Games’ forest environment. Only one can be triumphant and advance from the Young Adult bracket to the Final Four of Lit Madness.
At this point, Harry is desperately wishing for a Portkey out of this arena. Or maybe the Marauder’s Map to help him find Tiger Lily, or his invisibility cloak, or… well really just any of the items he’s always had to rely on when in trouble. He’s already spent time aimlessly trudging through the wilderness, but at least that time it was part of a mission to find Horcruxes. The Game is wearing him thin, and without the usual support of his two best mates, his morale is dangerously low.
Tiger Lily is not feeling the strain of the wilderness. Harry may have spent a year in a magical tent, but there is none of that here. Tiger Lily feels at home in the arena and any injuries she has suffered are easily cured using her shaman father Tik Tok’s teachings. Having Tink around is soothing, though Tiger Lily wishes the fairy would stop playing with Harry’s Snitch and giving away their position. If only Harry didn’t remind her of another free-spirited boy…
WINNER: Using sharp rocks and pliable tree branches, Tiger Lily creates a bow and arrow similar to the ones she used to hunt with. Suddenly, she hears a rustle in the bushes, and out comes Harry. Harry’s dumb luck finally runs out as Tiger Lily traps him at the base of a cliff. He raises his wand, Expelliarmus on his lips, but she fires an arrow and knocks the wand out of his hand before he can speak the spell. Tiger Lily nocks a second arrow. With the rage from Peter’s betrayal and the grief from her father’s death, she lets the arrow fly. As the arrow heads towards him, Harry mutters something a wise mentor once shared with him: “Death is but the next great adventure.”