A/N: So I'm going to assume people either clicked on this because they saw an open SYOT or they come from the Youngest Among Us. People who come from the Youngest Among Us, hi! You already know about To All the Hands I've Stained Red, and it's on my profile too, and I doubt that anyone who just clicked on this even knows what I'm talking about, so… I hope people will consider submitting. I pound out chapters very fast (you can ask readers from the Youngest Among Us, and they will confirm this). When I do Reapings, I get both my tributes and usually have a reaping out within two days. I'm not doing actual reapings this time, I'm planning to do flashbacks, but… well, you know how it is.
Anyway, thanks to the people who actually read all of that; enjoy!
Chapter 1 – Let's Forget Tonight
Celinda Oxford, 25, Victor of the 139th Hunger Games, District 10
We came so close last year. The last victory we had was the 143rd, which was Rhett's Games. Until last year, we hadn't had a tribute from our district come to the final eight since the Games that Rhett won. Lammy came so close to victory. I know her father—he's a very nice man, but he's broken by his daughter's death. He'd already lost his wife a couple of years ago. I can only hope that this year we do get a Victor. I suppose I'll have to wait and see. The reapings are in two days. I can't help but wonder what two poor children will be reaped this year. At least it's not like last year.
I get to my feet, wishing I could spend the whole day in my comfy, plush armchair by the fireplace, even though it's not even remotely cold. After all, summer is in full swing, and 10 is always hot this time of year.
I pad into the kitchen, taking a bottle of alcohol from the fridge. Neglecting to get a glass since I haven't done my dishes in days, I take a swig as the doorbell rings. That'll be Rhett.
Before I answer the door, I take another drink, feeling the fiery liquid burn down my throat as I set the bottle down on the counter. The doorbell rings again, and I yell, "I'm coming!"
Sliding across the wooden floor on my socks, I come to a stop in front of door and yank it open. "Hey, Rhett," I say, turning around and walking away without bothering to invite him in. He shuts the door, following me back into the kitchen. I grab my bottle, hopping up and sitting on the countertop. "What's up?"
His eyes sidle down and land on the alcohol in my hand. "I thought you were trying to stay sober until the Games are over."
I shrug. "Eh, I forgot."
Rhett sighs exasperatedly. "Giving up already?"
"No," I snap. "I don't give up. Haven't you figured that out yet?"
"Of course I've figured that out," Rhett says, sitting on a stool at the counter. "I don't want you to check out again and leave your girl high and dry."
"It only happened one time," I say, taking another drink. "And that girl didn't have a chance, anyway. She was only twelve, and she died in the Bloodbath."
"Need I remind you that you were only thirteen when you won?" Rhett says with his eyebrows raised. "You should have given that girl a chance."
"And I did," I say with a shrug. "but she didn't deserve a chance."
"Everyone deserves a chance," Rhett counters. I go to take another drink, but he snatches the bottle out of my hands and sets it up high on a shelf, too high for me to reach. I glare at him. "That girl was the only one keeping income to her family. Her little sisters starved to death after she died."
"What did you want me to do?" I ask incredulously. "She was twelve, tiny, hardly any muscle. Her predicted placement was twenty-second. Not a single person placed a bet on her. She was just another face in the sky."
"She was a child," Rhett replies stiffly. "who wanted to have a life. Who had a family to take care of. Who probably wanted to get married, to have children. But now, she's dead, just like so many before her."
"You have a one in twenty-four chance of coming home," I say. "Even if you're in an arena with twenty-four clones of the same person, there's no guarantee that you'll win. And the Games are never like that. There's always strong and weak tributes. That girl was a weak one."
"That doesn't give you the right to ignore her and do nothing," Rhett says, crossing his arms.
I slide off the counter and go to the fridge. Just as I am about to open the door, Rhett grabs my arm and pulls me away. "Why do you care so much?" I exclaim, shaking out of his grip. "We've never brought a tribute home. Why do you keep trying?"
"Because everyone deserves a chance," Rhett says. "There's potential in every tribute. I think, that with the right combination of tributes, every child we've ever mentored could've won. Like remember that strong eighteen-year-old boy we got the year after I won? Calhoun? He could've won if a different girl from 1 had volunteered that year."
"Yeah, but that girl did volunteer," I reply, opening the fridge door again.
"And the next year, with that tall girl, what was her name? Something that started with an A?" Rhett furrows his brow, his mouth forming silent words as he searches for that girl's name.
"Ainsley," I say offhandedly.
"Yes, that girl. She could've won if it wasn't for that boy from District 5." He sighs. "All of them could've won if there was a different combination of tributes."
"But they didn't," I respond, uncorking a bottle of wine. "Want some?"
"No." Rhett scowls as I hunt for a clean glass. I locate one on top of the fridge, just gathering dust, and try to hop up to grab him. I glance at Rhett imploringly. "Ugh, fine." He walks over, reaching up and taking the glass down. He hands it to me and I pour the wine in, knocking it back in one full swoop.
With my head spinning, I take my glass and my bottle and sit down at the table, refilling the glass. Rhett appears with a glass in his hand too, flopping down in the chair across from me and holding out the cup. "Just… give me some."
I smile lopsidedly, filling his cup. He takes a sip, looking at me with concern in his eyes. "Doesn't it feel good to forget?" I ask, my voice slightly slurred. I lean back against my chair, throwing my arm over the back. "Just… drift away. Not have to think?"
Rhett nods slowly, taking another drink. "I guess it does."
"You sure have a lot of mood swings," I say, taking a long drink of wine. "Two minutes ago, you were tellin' me off for drinkin' and now… here you are."
He shuts his eyes and holds out his glass for a refill.
What do you guys think of Celinda? Of Rhett? They both mentored in the Youngest Among Us, and are determined to bring another tribute home, as they came so close with Lammy last year.
The next two chapters will introduce the other two mentors. I'm not sure who the next one will be right now, but the second will definitely be the Victor from the Youngest Among Us, Macy, and hopefully by then I will have both of the tributes from District 1 and can get started the Reapings!
Anyway, here are the rules. They'll also be posted on my profile with the tribute list and form.
1. The tribute limit is five. If you do make five, at least one has to be a bloodbath. Not having enough to kill in the bloodbath is difficult, because you have to kill off tributes that should have made it further so it seems larger.
2. Reservations are allowed, and last for seven days. If you don't think you can make this, you can let me know and we'll extend your time limit.
3. Please, please, be detailed. Don't just give me adjectives for personality. Give me sentences. I reserve the right to refuse any tribute that isn't detailed enough for me to work with. I'm not creating characters, I'm writing them, giving them arcs. That's the whole point of a SYOT.
4. I also reserve the right to change anything I need to about your character. But if I have to change something, it's likely because you didn't fill it in, and you can bet I won't make them into a Victor or a wonderful character. I will make them a bloodbath.
5. Reviewed tributes are accepted, but PM is preferred. It keeps the tributes secret, and it's easier for me to find when I need to look at them.
6. This isn't exactly a rule, but please review. I know life can get hectic, and you don't need to review every chapter, but just check in once in a while. Let me know you're still reading. I'm not going to kill off a tribute just because their submitter isn't reviewing, but they likely won't win because of it. I don't need long, well thought out reviews (although those are always appreciated). You can simply say 'Great chapter!'. It lets me know that you're still reading.
Notes: Before you submit, please consult the info on the districts I have on my profile. It's fairly inconsequential, but there are a few things that you might want to know. Don't be discouraged from submitting to District 7. I allow twelve year olds to win and for districts to win back to back. It all rides on the tribute.
Anyway, here's form:
Backup District: (just in case the spot you submit to is taken or reserved)
Appearance: (faceclaims are fine)
Personality: (this should be a paragraph at least. Don't just give me adjectives. I either won't accept them, or if I'm really desperate, I'll take them and make them a bloodbath.)
Backstory: (same as above)
Family: (name, age, and a bit of personality. I don't need their appearances)
Friends: (same as above)
Weapon of choice: (it's okay if they don't have one)
Reaction/Reason: (outlying volunteers need to have a good reason. I don't want it to be 'volunteered because they're trained and they will win', unless it really fits with their backstory/personality)
Preferred Death: (not making any promises, but ideas are always appreciated)
Flashback: (Instead of doing Reapings, this will be how I introduce the characters. It doesn't have to be something wild, it could be just a normal, everyday scene. It can't be on Reaping day, however. You HAVE to put something here.)
Optional, but Appreciated:
Chariot Outfit: (I'll choose either this one or your district partner's)
Suggest Training Score: (please be realistic. A scrawny twelve-year-old is not going to get an eleven)
What do they show the Gamemakers?:
Why Should They Win?: