The train to the Capitol was exceptionally big and to my pleasure, didn't jostle me around when it moved. Thelma ushered us down a long hall lit by crystal chandeliers that lined the ceiling.
"Well, this ismy most favorite part of the train!" she beamed as she opened an opaque glass door and shoved us into a brightly colored and over decorated dining hall. The
windows were draped with golden drapes and in the center of the room was a cherry wood dining table with sterling silver utensils and fine china plates at each seat. A section of
the room was turned away from the rest where a large, flat screen TV was stuck to the wall and next to the couches that faced it was a coffee table that had every type of sweet
and finger sandwich that you could imagine.
"Please sit," she grinned as she moved us to the couch. "Well, we'll wait here and talk while we wait for Electra!"
"Sounds good," Eddison flashed a smile. Thlema took this as an opportunity to plunge into a long-winded speech about what will be expected of us once we enter the Capitol.
"-and you must be on your absolute best behavior. I don't know what was acceptable in that little hick district of yours, but it will not be allowed on the train, in the hotel, at the
training grounds or anywhere else in the Capitol!" she lectured.
I jumped at this. "District 5 is not a hick district!" I yelled at her.
We were both on our feet now. "Now Tessla, I was merely stating-"
"Now Thelma, I don't know what is acceptable in your uptight Capitol, but talking bad about my district, will not be allowed on the train, in the hotel room, or anywhere else on
the planet!" I lectured her. "I will put up with a lot, but not the degrading of my district!"
Thelma sat back down and Eddison stared. The sound of clapping echoed from behind and we turned to see Electra Banner standing in the door way, her long, straight, auburn
hair rested on her back and her blue-green eyes gleamed.
"Well, the cry baby has spunk!" she joined us, taking a chocolate covered strawberry in her hand. It made my mouth water. I licked my lips and then realized 'Oh no! I blew my
cover! Quick, think fast!
I looked at her blankly and then widened my eyes and began to cry as I plopped back down on the couch.
"And she lost it," Electra sighed. "Great, Career bait again."
"Hey!" Eddison took offense. "I am not Career bait!"
"Yeah," responded Electra. " The vomit stain on your pants will really frighten the careers."
Eddison looked down at his pants and then went red in the face. "Th-that's not mine."
"It's hers!" he pointed to me, quickly getting angry. "She's trying to sabotage me!"
"I looked at him puzzled. I had been trying to do no such thing. All I wanted to do was give off a persona that told the other tributes that I wasn't worth the effort to kill.
I went pale.
"Really? You think this wimp tried to sabotage you? Honestly, It doesn't matter who is trying to ruin whom at this point. You're all going to die anyways." She stated rather
indifferently as she sat back into the couch.
"Electra! Don't tell the kids that!" Thelma butted-in. "I'm sure you will have a pretty, uh, reasonable chance at winning." She addressed the children. Electra helped herself to a
"H-how did you win?" I whimpered. Electra looked at me as she ate her cake. She chewed slowly, taking all the time in the world while testing my patience.
"Joined the careers and the first night," she made a motion that looked like she was cutting her throat with her hand. "Killed them in there sleep, took their supplies, and then
hunted down all the other tributes." She grinned.
"You killed them all?" Eddison asked in awe.
Electra turned to him. "Do you really think you can win without killing?" she questioned. "This is a game of skill and kill. It's what you have to do." She let that sink in.
When Thelma had enough of the silence she spoke. "Well! Why don't you two go get cleaned up and come back for dinner? Then, we can talk about strategy!" she cheered.
"Now I'll just get some Avox to come and show you to your rooms."
This room was twice the size of my room at home. The bed sheets, satin. There was a TV on my wall and then a remote that could change my wall to any scenery. I flipped
through them and then found one of the sky. A flock of mockingjay flew off through the clouds and the sun was bright. After staring for quite awhile, I made my way into the
bathroom and was in awe by how fancy the showers were. It probably took me five minutes to just fine the ON button on the panel of controls. Afterward, I changed into a
pretty pink tank top that flattered my curvy physique, along with a pair of tight blue jeans. Both of which, I found in the dresser opposite of the bed.
Then for the second time that day, I burst out into real tears. I curled up on the floor and sobbed for the mother and brother and friend that I had left to mourn my on-coming
death. I moved my head ever so slightly and saw Puppy lying on the floor next to my reaping dress. I held it close to me and, if possible, smelled home. I smelled the smog from
the power plants and then the smoke from the burning fire in the fireplace and lastly, the smell of the occasional cookie my brother would find and then hoard until it went bad.
Though the smell may not have all been pleasant to most, they reminded me of the place I called home.
"Tessla, dear, are you in there," Thelma knocked on my door.
"C-coming," I struggled to regain myself. I exited the room and followed Thelma to the dining hall while still clutching Puppy to my side. Thelma would not speak to me, however.
I believe she was still frightened after my outburst earlier.
"So nice of you to join us," Electra smirked as she saw us come in.
"Feet off the table!" Thelma screamed at Electra. Electra took her feet down and turned back to Eddison who had piled his plate high.
"So, where in the arena can I find water?" he asked.
"I dunno. It depends on the arena, stupid." Eddison continued to ask questions while I slowly filled my plate with rolls and pork and green beans. The food was heavenly. When I
was done, I headed back to my room, but not before turning back to ask a single question.
"W-what happens when we die?"
Electra turned to me, and for a second she looked old and pained. "They send your body home so… so that you family can burry you." That night I cried myself to sleep.
The next morning I woke up with tears on my face. Quickly, I wiped them off and got dressed. Holding Puppy I went back to the dining hall and ate breakfast in silence, while
everyone conversed about the Game.
"Always, always, always do what your stylist says and be nice to the crowds. That is how you win sponsors," Thelma explained. Today, her hair was turquoise and clashed with
her rosy pink dress suit, which was bedazzled from head to toe.
"We're here." Said Electra grimly as she looked out the train's window. "Come see."
I made my way to the window where I saw the train pull into the station. It was jam packed with Capitol citizens and reporters waiting to meet the tributes. I saw them waving
at us. And grinned and waved at them through the window. Maybe I can get some sponsors this way I thought.
"Alright District 5 tributes, look alive!" and we made our way off the train.