I wrote this waaayyyy back when I was just starting out on when I was in the seventh grade. I rewrote it because, like I said, I wrote it in the seventh grade. It needed a fresh perspective.
Perfection. It's what I live for. Or lived for I guess, since I'm not alive anymore. But, when I was alive, I was perfect.
In District 1, every guy wanted me. I played hard to get, of course. Most of the fights in the training center were over me. My mother received much praise for have raised a beautiful daughter, so elegant, tasteful, graceful, intelligent, beautiful, and talented. I was the reason that she was voted president of the local lady's group. I heard people talking about me, saying that I was the golden child of the Ellis family, a victor for sure. My younger sisters all were told to look up to me. I made sure that I was one to look up to.
When it became my year to volunteer, the year I turned eighteen, I trained harder than ever before. My trainers taught me all different types of strategies for the games. Lay low. Join the Careers. Kill everyone you come across. Act weak until the end. I decided to mix them. Act weak, join the Careers, and kill everyone I come across. Hide my skills until many are gone.
I volunteered and raced to the stage before anyone else could. The guys didn't get a volunteer. They knew that the reaped boy was our best shot. Marvel Donner. He was a great fighter, I'd seen him in training. Our best spear thrower. He'd fought over me before, but I didn't let him have me, even when he'd won.
On the train there, (only a two hour trip since District 1 is so close to the Capital) I watched the recap of the Reapings. Me, ever so gracefully gliding to the stage, and Marvel, powerfully shoving through the crowd to the stage. For District 2, a tiny dark haired girl volunteers (is she suicidal?), and so does a massively hot blonde guy named Cato. I knew the second I saw him that we were meant for each other. But when they zoomed in to see the tributes shake hands, something flashed across his face seeing the tiny girl in front of him. Sorrow, or sadness. Like he wished she hadn't volunteered. I decide not to dwell on it.
The rest of the Reapings weren't very exciting. Only the massive guy from 11, Thresh, seemed like a threat. District 12 got a volunteer for once. Some girl volunteering for her twelve year old sister. I thought it was sweet that she would go to her sure death to save her sister, but I didn't think much more of it. A somewhat strong looking guy from 12 too, but he looked terrified. I doubted he would be much of a threat.
The brightly colored Capital people greeted us warmly as we arrived. I had envied the Capital citizens my whole life. Growing up in One, we made the items of luxury in our factories, but only a few lucky families got to live luxurious lives. Most of us would give anything to live there, me included. Dressing like that, every day would've been a dream come true for me.
Marvel and I looked amazing in the opening ceremonies. Pink feathers and glitter everywhere. I almost fainted when I saw how amazing I looked. It was a crime that the District 12 tributes made a mockery of us and our district.
"How dare they!" I screamed as soon as I stepped out of the elevator, Marvel following suit. Our mentor was already there, telling us that we could've put on such a better show. She alternated between yelling at us and yelling at our stylists. After the Tribute Parade Disaster, the interviews and private sessions were our only hope of getting sponsors. And if we didn't get sponsors… well, even the most independent people need help sometimes. I couldn't survive on my own. I knew I'd have to go through the poisonous plants part of training in the Center. Survival skills were always impossible for me. I could fight, swords and spears and bows, they were all easy. But when it came to the plants and basic survival skills, I was hopeless! I could only light a fire after hours of attempts, I nearly poisoned myself during dozens of plant tests, and I had nearly no patience for hunting. My trainers gave up on me after six weeks of failure back in my third year at the Training Center.
In training, we immediately became allies with the tributes from District 2, Cato and Clove. I could always feel Clove's eyes digging into my back while I flirted with Cato. It made me wonder if there was something going on between them. I quickly brushed off the thought, letting years of being the most beautiful girl in District 1 boost my confidence as it always did, but I was wrong. He didn't fall for me. But that's something you'll hear about later.
In the arena, I kept up the act. I'd acted like I sucked with weapons in training until my private session, and it definitely fooled all of the other tributes, even Marvel. My district partner was hilariously bewildered by my sudden lack of skill. I stayed by Cato's side the entire time. Clove looked at me in the arena like a cobra stalking its prey. She was terrifying. I was terrified. I tried not to fall asleep, afraid that she would kill me if I did. Cato obviously noticed, since he often took her away into the forest, probably to talk some sense into her, reminding her where they were. She couldn't afford to have a crush on him. Cato always avoided me after they got back. I wondered why.
When we cornered the Girl on Fire, I was overjoyed. After her, believed that Cato and I would take out Marvel and Clove when they least expected it. I'd kill Cato in his sleep before too many other tributes died and he tried to split us up, and later I would say in my victor's interview that killing him was the hardest thing I'd ever done. The more emotional spectators would start to cry, and I'd let a tear or two fall, all for the show. I would say that I hoped he could forgive me for it, but I had to be the survivor. Then, I could forget about him, go home to Victor's Village and eventually get married. My wedding would be one of the most grandiose Panem had ever seen. A grand ball would follow as a reception. My gown would be hand-crafted by my beloved stylist, Marianna, even though she messed up on my parade costume. She totally understood me, and I loved her. She was to be the first person I hugged once I won.
I feel asleep on Cato's arm, dreaming about my house in Victor's Village and the look in my mother's eyes when I returned home. I was awoken by a huge crash and Clove's blood curdling scream.
The next thing I noticed was the buzzing. It was everywhere. Buzzing in the arena? Only one thing in the arena ever makes such a noise. The sound registered in my brain just a few seconds too late. Tracker Jackers. All over me, Marvel, Cato, and Clove. I tried to get up, to grab something and leap to my feet, but I never did. I screamed for Cato, but he was yanking Clove away. He looked back at me, and I saw nothing in his eyes. He didn't care that I was dying. He only cared about saving Clove. That worthless little Clove, with hair the color of mud. How could he pick that over my gorgeous golden waves? Her eyes were the color of mud as well, but mine were emerald green, the most beautiful green that my mother claimed to have ever seen.
My entire body was on fire. That girl, Katniss was her name, she got away. With my bow. She took it, while I would hardly breathe. I stayed still, and the pain ate away at me. She looked at me once, and then my vision began to fade away. Before long I could see no more, and I wasn't anywhere, but I was somewhere all the same. Purgatory.
It was like standing on a cloud. There was nothing to see but the blue and white that's characteristic of a clear sky. I looked around and all I found was a glass window on the surface upon which I stood. When I looked through it, I could see the arena. The intention of the window was obviously to watch the remainder of the games. Marvel was the next to go. Katniss killed him, an arrow to the neck after he threw a spear into the littlest tribute's stomach. She was from District 11. Rue. I felt bad when she was reaped, since she was just so cute, and obviously not a fighter. I assumed she would die in the Bloodbath at Cato or Clove's hands and then she wouldn't have to worry anymore. I mourned her death silently from my bird's eye view.
"Hey." A familiar voice said from behind me. I whirled around and there was Marvel, and next to him, Rue. They both were dressed in all white. I looked down and saw that I was too. This realization immediately made me cringe. Mother had always been ashamed of my inability to eat without dropping food on my clothes. I hadn't worn anything white since I was twelve years old.
"Uh, hi?" I had no idea what to say to someone who just died. No one was here to greet me. I glance down at the arena once more, only to see an empty clearing. Both bodies have been removed, plus Katniss is gone. The newcomers join me at the window, and the scene changes. Cato and Clove are at the lake, arguing about supplies, since theirs have been blown up. I hoped Cato would get so mad that he would snap Clove's neck like he did to the boy from D3. Then she could finally get what's coming for her, I think. He doesn't, though, much to my chagrin. In fact, he doesn't attack her at all. Instead he storms off, leaving an obvious path in the foliage. Clove angrily throws five of her knives in a straight up-and-down line into a tree. I found myself suddenly glad that I'd never had to go up against her in a fight.
No one showed up for a while. The boy from 3 didn't ever appear. Why? I had no idea. Maybe he went to hell. Or he got a ticket straight into the real heaven, because this dump was definitely not where I was going to spend eternity.
I had to say, as much as I want Clove to die, when she got her head bashed in by Thresh, I was afraid of her arrival. Can she still hurt me in this place? Or will those knives be confiscated? My heart near stopped beating (well, maybe that's impossible, but you know what I mean) when I heard Clove scream out for Cato. I felt… bad for them. Like they could've had something real if they'd survived. Hearing Cato cry out for her made me want to throw up, I felt so bad. He held her, begging for her to survive, for her to stay with him. I won't ever want anything more than I want them to have won, together.
Clove's arrival was peaceful enough. She silently stalked off to another window to watch the remainder of the Hunger Games. I look at her once in a while, and sometimes I can see a silent tear drip off her face.
Then we were all there, watching Cato. He killed Thresh, avenging Clove. Then the girl from 5, Marissa, dies. She ate some poisonous berries. I wondered if she did it on purpose. Suicide. It felt like every year someone killed themselves near the end so to avoid a worse death during the finale.
The final showdown could have been far more dramatic. The remaining tributes were chased by mutts to the top of the Cornucopia, and then Cato put the 12 boy into a headlock before taunting Katniss with threats of her district partner's death. She shot an arrow into his hand and in that instant I knew that Cato Evans was not going to be the victor of the 74th Annual Hunger Games.
He suffered. I knew it. Being mauled by mutts for hours had to be unimaginable. I have to look away eventually. Clove had a far harder time than me. Tears were rolling down her face uncontrollably, and her back racked with sobs. It was so hard for her to watch, but it seemed that she couldn't look away. My motherly side took over and I cautiously approached her. She didn't acknowledge me; her eyes were fixed on the window below her as she watched Cato's slow death.
I don't know how long I sat beside Clove, rubbing her back while she cried. Katniss came to the edge of the Cornucopia closest to where Cato was. He said one word, and an arrow was shot straight into his skull. Clove let out a strangled cry and I hugged her while the sobs intensified.
"Don't worry sweetie," I murmured, "He'll be here with us soon." She let up a little bit, but her crying didn't cease.
Cato appeared, no longer covered in blood and gore as he was in the arena. His eyes were clouded over with melancholy, which intensified when he saw the sobbing Clove. He glanced at me, seeming surprised that I was trying in vain to comfort her.
"Clove." I whispered. She looked up and sees him, and the tears she was trying hard to keep in flowed freely at the sight. In a millisecond she was up and throwing herself at him. I'd never seen such an emotional hug. I couldn't believe that I had tried to get in the way of them, that I hadn't seen. I was so stupid in the arena. District 1 had most likely been the laughing stock of Panem while I acted that way. My mother… she must've been so ashamed of me. They probably kicked her out of her lady's club, and I couldn't imagine the tease that ensued upon my sisters.
A blinding light engulfed the area once all of us were, well, dead, and the most gorgeous and majestic door I've ever seen appeared. Pure white double doors that must've been made in old Italy. I read about that place in school back in District 1, how they made some of the most luxurious things of the old world, long before Panem had risen above all. Glorious. I stepped towards the doors first.
I reached out to touch the beautifully crafted handle, and it was so warm. It felt amazing. Like a spa massage in a door handle. Perfect. The door glided open, smooth as butter. I felt my thoughts melt away. And without a second thought, I stepped into the white light beyond.