Chains will be broken, the dead will rise. This is the moment we are alive.
Tulip Carbonne, 49, Head Gamemaker of the 90th Hunger Games
"Can I get you anything? Water? Fruit juice? Any other drink? I can fetch a specialty drink for you if you'd like, Mrs. Carbonne."
I force a smile, offering a supportive thumbs-up to the talkative assistant. "No thank you… Amelia, is it?"
"Correct!" cheers the mousy-haired woman, her small brown eyes squinted with sheer joy. "You actually got my name! That is just amazing!"
I stare at the floor. I did not sign up to babysit a hyper forty-year-old in the middle of a mid-life crisis, I am here to discuss the arena with Quinn and Violette. Why is there some squeaky, peppy assistant here? Why is she not an Avox? Why hasn't she been made into an Avox yet?
Amelia catches onto my disinterested frown right away. Surprising, she can't take any other hints. "Mrs. Carbonne? Are you sure about that water?"
I raise my paper cup. "I got a coffee on the way in, thanks."
I take a small sip of the coffee, its bitter taste leaving a sour imprint in my mouth. Setting it down on the wooden side table, I shuffle through the vast arena plans, eyes flickering proudly over the things I've spent so long creating. This year, I took a sort of spin-off of what the tributes will remember so, so clearly…
And I'll twist it.
This arena will be horrific, yet a true work of art. One such thing can only be dreamed up by such a brilliant mind such as mine; therefore, I have decided to hire only the best team this year to build the arena.
Speaking of team…
I pout, glancing at my ruby-encrusted watch. From my calculations, both of the presidents are seven minutes late. I can't stand for this. I have a meeting with the head of muttations in just three hours after the second meeting, plus I have to fetch lunch, and somewhere in there I need to schedule a foot massage for my tired, tired piggies…
The door opens with a soft squeak, and my eyes stare right into the doe-like ones of the vice president, Quinn Farlowe. She offers me a toothy grin, to which I reply with a tight-lipped smile. "You're late, Mrs. Farlowe."
"Please," she says like we're good chums, "call me Quinn."
"All right… Quinn." I narrow my eyes. "Care to explain why you are so behind on time? Punctuality is very important for me, you know. And where is that president?"
As if on cue, the president herself enters the room, olive green heels clicking importantly on the white tiles. She looks at me with a sort of amused, sadistic smirk. "Tulip, what a pleasure to see you again."
"Ah, Violette." I smile right back, this time offering a glimpse of my pearly whites. I can feel Quinn's eyes boring into me as Violette offers me a simple handshake. I wouldn't be surprised if she never got a handshake.
"May we call this meeting to order?" she asks hopefully, as if to redeem herself.
Violette purses her lips. "Actually, Mrs. Farlowe, I would appreciate if you told that speaking servant of yours—the authorized one—to fetch me a sparkling water. Lime. A few ice cubes."
"Certainly." Quinn jumps at the chance to please Violette, and I stifle a laugh. She doesn't earn respect by doing errands for her. The poor woman wants to get on Violette's good side so badly that she'll even tell a servant to get somebody else's drink. Funny, I find that utterly fascinating.
The timid, jumpy woman arrives with Violette's water in a slim glass, and I tilt my head. "Shall we get started, then?"
"Of course," Violette nods, pressing the frosty glass to her pale lips. "Tulip, can you spread out the Cornucopia plan?"
I reply with a slight tilt of my head, already unrolling the sheet and pinning it up on the corkboard. Violette stares at it with a sort of amused curiosity. Quinn gasps softly, her eyes greedily scanning the whole thing. And behind Violette, the servant drops a jug of water.
"What is this, exactly?" Quinn asks in a sort of strangled tone.
I murmur out the details, making sure to emphasize certain points with an incline of my voice, and I also take care to play up the arena's finest features with a dramatic waver of my tone. By the end of my speech, Quinn is gaping at the Cornucopia alone, and Violette's smirk is the size of District Seven.
"This truly is spectacular," Violette drawls. "I never really have seen an arena with this concept, and I do enjoy how you've stepped out of the box to define such delicate points."
"Yes," Quinn cuts in, her brow furrowing. I nearly snort— she is so unprofessional. "And… the Cornucopia concept, too."
I smile modestly. "I do appreciate your praise," I murmur. "And I thank you both for your feedback. I'll be taking my muttation ideas to Mr. Chimes, of course—"
"About Mr. Chimes," Violette clears her throat, standing up in the chair. I tilt my head. Is the man dead?
"I was forced to fire him," the president announces with dead eyes. "Turns out he was harboring rebel plans. In the end, I and a small group of closely trusted women took him, tried him, and found him guilty of plotting against us all. Using a lie detector test, we discovered that he's a native of District Six. A stowaway. He hopped on a train to the Capitol and built his way up from there." Violette frowns. "You never should have trusted him, Tulip."
This is unfair. I never even hired him.
"We've had him for four years," Quinn whispers, her eyes widened in sheer shock. "Would he really do such a thing?"
As Violette answers, the cogs in my brain slowly start cranking out a tuneless rhythm. It just doesn't add up. How would Violette know to inspect him? What was he doing wrong that she had to try him for?
As if she can hear my thoughts, the president whips her head back to me, a tendril of hair landing stylishly just over her eye. "It would be wise not to question me," she remarks haughtily, strolling across the room to the gargantuan picture window. "I've hired in his place somebody new. Once we have the actual arena meeting, with everybody involved, you'll get to meet them."
Quinn is quick to stutter. "Actual arena m-meeting? What do you mean, Mrs. Snow?"
I can't help but allow a laugh to bubble up, deep within my throat. "A meeting with, like she said, the most important people that are involved in these Games. The head of muttations, who I'm not quite sure is at the moment, the head of landscaping, the head of social interactions… Basically, the heads of everything."
Violette gives a miniscule nod. Her back is turned to me, so I don't even know if it's a nod or simply a slight ruffle of her hair in the breeze, but I take it as one. "We'll be meeting in just an hour. You haven't heard of this, Quinn?"
The timid servant squeaks, rushing over to the vice president. "Qu- Mrs. Farlowe, I f-forgot to tell you about this…"
Quinn's nostrils flare, but she sifts a hand through her soft red hair, calming herself down. "One of the most important meetings of the year, Amelia, and you forget to tell me?" She breathes heavily, a complete change from the skittish woman she was a moment ago. "This is just unacceptable!"
"Sorry," whispers the servant.
"No, it really isn't…" Quinn clenches her hands, her eyes squinted to slits. I'd look away as it is socially acceptable, but I'm so amused at the moment.
We whirl around to the sharp sound of Violette's voice. She stares at both of us stonily. "This is very unprofessional of you, Quinn. When I hired you, I expected you to do my orders as a vice president. I was very kind in allowing that… help in."
"No, I don't need you to explain." Violette folds her hands over her waist, basically hugging herself. "I'd like that servant to be turned into an Avox immediately. No exceptions. I myself will find you a new servant."
"What?" chokes the brunette assistant.
In response, Violette simply sneers. "That is right," she says, and with that, she exits, calling out lightly, "Remember, one hour."
A/N: Wake Up by Colton Dixon.
- contraryhungergames . blogspot . com - theirvictories . blogspot . com -
First off, before I say anything else, I'd really like to apologize to the submitters whose tributes were not accepted. I really did like every tribute in a certain way, but worst came to worst and I was only allowed to accept twenty-four. And for that, I apologize. A lot. And I'd also like to thank LokiThisIsMadness for helping me out with my victor's blog. It helped me so much, took a load off my back. :)
Remember to follow and review!
Onto the happier news…
One of these tributes will be Panem's newest victor! ^-^ Congrats to everybody who got in!
District One. Luxury.
Female- Carisa Lenette, 18
Male- Soren Valen, 18
District Two. Masonry.
Female- Eidra Nevett, 18
Male- Wraith Elvery, 18
District Three. Technology.
Female- Ellika "Ell" Mayes, 17
Male- Griff Forden, 14
District Four. Fishing.
Female- Juno Verdet, 18
Male- Meritt Cordeau, 18
District Five. Power.
Female- Maya Verone, 16
Male- Ezra Jefferson, 16
District Six. Transportation.
Female- Aria Verselis, 14
Male- Halcyon Chae, 16
District Seven. Lumber.
Female- Aspen Northwood, 18
Male- Brux Redragon, 16
District Eight. Textiles.
Female- Cayley Torreli, 17
Male- Tethys Acosta, 14
District Nine. Grain.
Female- Maysa Barric, 18
Male- Braxton Malory, 15
District Ten. Livestock.
Female- Shael Havern, 17
Male- Cade Bennett, 13
District Eleven. Agriculture.
Female- Kiera Brennan, 16
Male- Cole Tenacity, 16
District Twelve. Coal.
Female- Haven Faye, 15
Male- Kinton Machek, 16
So, yeah. Questions.
1. What are your detailed, honest thoughts on each tribute's blog blip?
2. Early favorites? Loathes? Neutrals? Charts are cool :)
3. How was my writing?