Saturday, May 5, 2012

Electrify- Chapter Three: My Competition

Chapter Three- My Competition

  On the train, Cavan and I were introduced to our mentors through Lylac. There was Shannon, a beautiful woman with glistening red hair and kind green eyes. She had a voice like sweet honey and a smile that was nearly reassuring. Abel was tall and a bit on the quiet side. He shook Cavan's hand, ruffling his messy black hair. Although he had a strong build, I could not see any ferocity coming from him. Shannon didn't seem like your typical deadly victor, either.
  I remember many of the reaping from the other districts. District 1 had Phaenna, a beautiful girl with reddish-brown hair, and Spark, who had a sort of devilish smirk. District 2 had the most disturbing reaping by far. The tribute girl was named Violet. She had long, black hair and fierce eyes that could pierce through your heart without a spear. She had a demented look to her, as if she was born to kill. There was something very dark about her, indeed. Even my stomach found it all a bit unsettling. The male tribute was called Crim. I couldn't help but think of crimson, the color of blood. His name also rhymed with 'grim', a word that could be used to describe his appearance. He had dark brown hair and the same smirk as seen on Spark, but with just a dash more evil. I couldn't say I had ever watched a pleasant District 2 reaping.
  I believe the name of the District 3 girl was Charity, but I couldn't quite catch the male's. It sounded hard to pronounce- very strange. The third syllable sounded like 'Pete', so I nicknamed him 'Peter'. District 4 reaped a pretty blonde girl, Erin, and a boy named Travis volunteered in the place of a twelve-year-old. Then the recap of District 5 rolled, and I was a bit disappointed when I noticed how pale I was. Shannon commented that it wasn't very noticeable, and that I had done a nice job keeping my emotions inside. We saw Cavan volunteer for tiny Felix, and Lylac commented on how good she looked on camera this year.
  District 6 reaped Phoebe, a harmless-looking girl with hair like Phaenna, and Davy, who had a semi-strong build. District 7's Echo seemed confident, and the male, Clinton, had obviously gained his strength from years of chopping wood. Great, handy with an axe, I was sure.
  District 8 had fierce-looking tributes called Medea and Cronus. Medea especially, as she had that devilish Career look to her, which wasn't exactly common with other Districts. District 9's tributes seemed just a bit timid and weak. Maya reminded me of myself, not having any apparent strength, but Jasper appeared to be a bit strong. District 10 provided Kalliope and Kirk, who seemed to be strong and smart. District 11 reaped two dark tributes named Rhea and Linus. Finally, there was Tethys and Pluto from District 12, both obviously from the poorer class, as they were underfed and sullen-looking.

"And that's your competition!" Lylac shrilled a little to excitedly, switching off the television.

"Think about which tributes stood out to you. The ones you may have to look out for." Abel said.

  I took Abel's advice and thought about the disturbing ones and the strong ones. The Careers were Phaenna, Spark, Violet, Crim, Erin, and Travis. However, the ones I was worried about were Spark, Violet, and Crim. Spark seemed annoyingly devilish, one of those you can never get rid of and just wish they would die already. Those tributes were almost always Careers. Violent- I mean Violet, and Crim looked bloodthirsty. Don't think I shouldn't be judging them so, as this is usually the case with District 2. A little less than ten years ago, a District 2 victor won after she ripped another tribute's throat open with her teeth. I was only six, and don't remember watching that part, but I recall people talking about it.
  So there was Spark, Violet, and Crim. Who else? There was Clinton from 7 and Medea and Cronus from 8. Kalliope and Kirk, possibly, although Kirk was stronger. That was basically it. Spark, Violet, Crim, Clinton, Medea, Cronus, and Kirk. Seven of the other twenty-three tributes-not counting Cavan-were at least a little of a threat to me. Sure, Cavan was strong, but it would be a bit awkward to assume he would come after me. Well, only awkward because he was in the room as I thought about this. Seven out of twenty-three doesn't sound like a lot, but that's nearly one third. I reminded myself that half of the tributes usually die in the bloodbath at the Cornucopia. Naturally, one positive perspective triggers two negative ones. I was weak and had no skill, meaning I was one of the most likely to die on that first day. And then, even if I did somehow survive, most of the other tributes who survived would probably be on my list of predators. Seven predators out of what is about twelve? And the 'predator' status was only something I gave to those who looked skilled. Heck, timid Maya could be perfectly capable of sticking a knife in my back!
  All this negativity spurred me to come up with something good. What if I had some sort of hidden power? Something waiting to be discovered in the Training Center. I remembered my token, Dew's shining gift. I held the golden bolt in my hand. I would electrify. Yes, that's what she told me. I would do great out there. Electrify. For the rest of the night, that's what I told myself. I would electrify.

Electrify- Chapter Two: Visitors

Chapter Two- Visitors

  In the Justice Building, which seemed to lack justice most of all, few people came to visit. My mother was escorted into the room carefully, then sat on the red, velvety couch parallel to mine. Not that she needed to see me, anyway. My mother had lost her sight in an accidental explosion at the electrical plant she worked. With her eyesight, some mental abilities also fled, so she hasn't been right in the head since. Still, she can understand most concepts.

"Katia." she whispers softly, outstretching her arms. This is a nickname only she calls me, which makes it all the more special. I stand up and rush into her embrace, tears beginning to roll down both our cheeks. "Win for us. Please." she says in broken English, the missing fragments lost forever in the explosion.

"I will," I promised. I began to wonder how my mother's mental state would deteriorate from now through the Games. Would she be all right?

We continued to hug until the Peacekeepers escorted her out. As it took an extra amount of time due to her blindness, the thing was a long, dragged out process, and made things all the more painful.

I dried my eyes for my next visit, which turned out to be a girl from school. Dew Moony was a quiet, geeky sort of girl with golden blonde hair with jagged ends and thin, light orange glasses. She adjusted her white jacket nervously and stood awkwardly, too anxious to sit.

"My stepfather made me come here…I mean-" she struggled to fix a potentially offensive statement. "Perkins is against Cavan, so he's forcing me to support you- not that it's a bad thing!" Dew obviously lacked confidence in her ability to say the right thing.

"It's okay, just relax. But what's the deal with Cavan?" I knew Howard Perkins was a very disagreeable man, and had personally felt sorry for Dew when he and her mother had announced their engagement the previous year.

"He and Mr. Cutler have had a few falling-outs lately. Neither one of them really have decent social skills."

I expected her to defensively ease any harshness from the latter statement, but she did not. Good, so she wasn't a total pansy.

"So, to radically display his disdain, he's trying to convince us all to help you out as much as we can. Not that we really have a choice." She looks down to the ground, sadness surely brimming in her eyes. It's true, pushy old Mr. Perkins always gets his way.

"Well," I try to word this in a not-so-selfish way, "I guess it's good someone may actually be sponsoring me." I sprinkle a touch of my low self-confidence so that the sadness would soften any edge.

"Yeah, but I would sponsor you anyway. Cavan has never really been nice to me. You're one of the few people who are, actually."

I look up, surprise shimmering a bit too obviously in my eyes. Sure, I don't makes puns out of her name or flat out put her down, but those are some pretty low expectations. Nevertheless, I accept the compliment. Dew Moony may be a reticent outcast sort of girl, but in that way she resembles me. My only real friend was Flynn Caster. Well, she wasn't my real friend, anymore. My anger began to rush back, but I hold it in.

Dew holds something out to me. Something shiny and beautiful. "Here, I want you to take this."

I peer into her cupped palm at the golden puddle. It's a necklace. A golden chain with a dazzling charm in the shape of a lightning bolt. "It's beautiful." I say, carefully accepting the chain.

"Will you wear it? As your district token?"

I had forgotten all about that. Each tribute could bring one item from home. "Of course. Thank you." It was all I could manage to say. It really was beautiful. District 5's industry was electricity, and would be well represented.

"You'll electrify, Katelyn. Electrify." I can see a spark in her blue eyes, shining brighter than the glint of her glasses. "Wear it as a reminder."

"Electrify." I whisper. "I will."

I feel hope as Dew leaves. I feel like more than a tall, yet skinny girl without a chance. What if Dew was my true friend all along? In that moment, she was certainly a better friend than Fynn. Fynn. Anger from her betrayal rushed back. Would she even come to visit me? She didn't.

  Other visitors included a couple of other girls from my school, Vena Janson and Jenna Decker, who only came for a brief time to wish me luck. Still, it meant a lot to me. When it was time to leave for the Capitol, I suppressed what could amount to be a long bout of crying, sobbing, rather. I knew that once I stepped outside, cameras would be fixed on my face in an attempt to catch any emotion. I was escorted to the train, I didn't need to try to lie. My emotion had gone numb from the shock when I had suddenly realized that I was basically, inevitably going to die.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Electrify (A Hunger Games Story)- Chapter 1: The Reaping

  My fists clench up and my chest stiffens. I shakily make my way towards the stage, nearly forgetting not to act scared. I wished I could peel away the eyes that followed my every move, waiting for me to break down, contemplating my odds of survival. The air was silent as I carefully made my way up the steps.  It was almost hostile, the way every sound had stopped and fixed its eyes on me, as if I were prey. From then on, that's how I would be viewed- as prey.
  I stand awkwardly and fearfully as the male tribute is reaped. I could have sworn I had heard someone groan at the sound of the name. Felix Canta was not exactly someone you could bet on bringing your District glory. He was fourteen, a year younger than me, but appeared to be twelve. He had short, spiky black hair, and thick glasses to match. I could almost feel all of the pressure shift to me, as I was now our District's only hope. At least, I was, until the time for volunteering came.

"Here!" A boy my age shot up his hand as if he had waited for this moment his entire life, and ran towards the stage. Felix has met his salvation.

  Cavan Cutler was basically the opposite of a now relieved-looking Felix. He was tall for his age, and had a strong build. While the reaped tribute appeared as if he had never touched a butter knife, Cavan's family actually owned a store that sold knives as sharp as small swords. I had passed by the place once, but the rows of weapons hanging on the walls and the sight of Sean Cutler shouting at a disagreeable customer drove me away with a light shiver. Mr. Cutler was not a man to haggle with, and Cavan sometimes possessed the same obstinacy. Many kids at school were afraid of him and his overpowering muscles.
  With a bit of relief, almost all the pressure seemed to sink onto Cavan's shoulders. However, I realized that this meant no one would consider my survival. I would be an obsolete tribute, one of those who dies in the first twenty seconds at the Cornucopia. And if I had competition like Cavan, how was I to stand a chance? I was merely a skinny girl with a talent for math and botany.

"Let's hear it for Katelyn Fry and Cavan Cutler, our District 5 tributes!" Our escort, Lylac Gleam, awkwardly raised one of each of our arms, her enthusiasm comically contrast to my sullen face and Cavan's serious one.

  But then, it hits me. In the whirlwind of my reaping, I had forgotten something. A promise. But it wasn't mine. I angrily scan the fifteen-year-olds' section, my eyes resting disdainfully on a girl with dirty blond hair and skin a bit on the pale side. Fynn Caster meets my gaze, and my blue eyes pierce into hers expectantly. She was my best friend, and claimed to care about me more than anything. Just two days ago, at school, she had made a vow. She told me that if I were reaped, she would volunteer. She promised. I could see the guilt in her eyes, but there was something else. She was sorry, but not just because I was chosen. She was sorry for feeling glad she hadn't volunteered. I shook my head angrily, and switched my gaze. If I won the Games and came home, I would find a way to get back. I would get my revenge somehow. This, I promised myself.