Bloody Rain- A Hunger Games FanFiction

The Hunger Games has rolled round again for the 58th time- 24 more children will be choosen and 23 will not return home. The winner, will recive Wealth, Fame and Nightmares of the horror they experience within the arena.

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1. The Reaping

Winning these Games was not worth the pain and anguish it cost me. I may have escaped with my life but in truth I wish I were dead- I wish I had died at the hands of another tribute I wanted my blood to be spilt just like my friends. I am afraid to close my eyes because when I do- I see him, lying dead. I see her, lying motionless in another’s arms. I then see the one who caused it all; dying, at my knife- her eyes filled with plea and terror but by then- I was to far gone. I was too afraid to let her win and slit my own throat. Now- I wish I had run the blade across the curvature of my neck and let the blood run into the dirt like the rain. It’s too late now- I am now, safe and sound, sitting in a large chair waiting for the 58th Hunger Games re-cap to begin. I see my stylist, Ontario, standing at the edge of the stage; watching me with sad eyes. Behind him, I see my escort- Olivine- her bright blue hair standing out in the darkness of back stage. She seems pleased that I have won- I feel sickened that I have one. I turn my attention to the large screen as President Snow utters the final sentences of his speech. His cold, snake like eyes stare into me- and I can feel my heart begin to slowly die underneath his evil stare. I glance up at the screen as it slowly begins to play the first live footage of the Reapings. It hurts to watch- and as I do, I think back to where it all began, and how I got here.

The morning of the reaping was sunny- clouds absent from the clear powder blue horizon. When I wake- it’s gone past nine. The reaping is in a matter of hours, and though the sky is clear; I can sense the heavy grey cloud that hovers around us today. I look round and see that my sister- Katelyn- is still asleep. She has always been the heaviest sleeper out of the two of us, she has probably had the best nights sleep ever achieved by someone the night before the reaping. I however, had tossed and turned all night- my dreams invaded by demons and monsters that threatened to take my life away.  I sit, and glance around the small bedroom. Sunlight dances across the mint green walls and the large chiffon white curtains billow in the gentle breeze. I close my eyes and listen to the sounds of the waves that crash against the shore- before it withdraws itself from the land before crashing against it once more- while the calls of sea birds add to the morning orchestra. I let out a heavy sigh- knowing I have to get up and do some work before the reaping this afternoon- perhaps go help out down at the docks or help mother prepare dinner for later.

“Danica?” I hear Katelyn yawns heavily as she slowly wakes from her deep slumber

“Yes?” I say opening my eyes and turning to her, smiling as she rubs her eyes groggily.

“What time is it…?”

“Gone Nine-“ I say climbing out of bed and going to my dresser to get some casual clothes out to wear down to the docks. She groans loudly before slumping back onto her pillow

“Seriously….” “Yes, seriously” I pull on a tank top and some knee lengthen trousers

She rolls her eyes before rolling over to catch a few more winks of sleep. I laugh to my self quietly- shaking my head as I walk out into the hall way. Our house is quite big- with the downstairs being open plan with glass windows on every available space of wall with neutral toned furniture. We were wealthy, yes. This was because My father is a well established fisherman, he hauls in over 200 fish a day with the help of some of the local boys- he knows which fish to keep and which to throw away, he comes from a family of fisherman and has been fishing since he was small. Today- he would be at market but that doesn’t mean that Evan would not be down at the docks. Evan was my best friend- he wasn’t a career and he wasn’t rich; he was just Evan. We’d known each other since we started school and nearly everyday I would go meet him on the docks where we would both haul in shallow water fish. I scurried down the stairs and rushed past my mother who was carrying her small shopping basket- which was un-doubtedly filled with goods that we would feast on that evening.

“Danica!” she scowled as I slipped on my shoes and ran out the back door.

I didn’t stick around to hear her complain- I just continued on the sandy path through the large sand dunes that lined the coast from here all the way to the edge of District 4. It was a short walk to the docks, and I could see the masts of sailing boats before I even climbed the steep incline of the path. I smiled and hurried on, sprinting up to the crest of the hill. When I reached the top, I saw all the men and woman- working hard down by the waters edge. Men were returning from out at sea, their wives and sons ready to take their catch to Market. Hundreds of colourful flags billowed in the wind as the boats all bobbed up and down in the incoming tide. The boats and jetty’s were full of chatter this morning, some happy- some not so. I paid no attention to these peoples conversations; I merely slide between them- heading towards the end of the jetty. Perched on the edge, crouches a tall, lean boy with mustard coloured hair. His skin is sun kissed and his eyes are chocolate brown. As I approach, the boy turns and smiles a cheeky grin; slowly standing to reach his full height of 5 foot 6- which in comparison to me, is quite tall.

“Hey Evan” I smile back

“What’s up Danica?” he asks, throwing another crab line into the blue

“Nothing, really” I shrug, picking up a spare crab line before flinging it outwards too “just thinking about the reaping that’s all”

“Come on, I doubt you’ll be picked”

Evan was 19, but wasn’t smart when it came to school so was kept behind a couple of years until I came up. He had no reason to fear today- he must have forgotten how it feels to know that your name is among the thousands in one of two glass balls. How it feels to know that though your chances of being reaped are slim, they are there. And how that feeling, the feeling of knowing you could be picked, is always there- looking over your shoulder alongside its partner; Death. I roll my eyes and reel in a fresh crab, throwing it in the bucket while it tries desperately to escape after it’s made the wrong decision. I can tell Evan senses my uncertainty because he puts one of his arms round my shoulder and gives me a squeezy hug. I shove him off jokingly.

“I’d volunteer for you-“ he brings in his line- putting another crab in the bucket

“You know you couldn’t even if you were 18” I laugh

“Why not?” “Well-“ I say lifting the bucket up as he reels in the line

“for one you are a guy not a girl” He wraps the lines up before shoving them in his bag

“And for two?”

“Well…they say” I begin to walk down the dock towards the entrance of town and more importantly- the market-“that when it comes to volunteering…..you don’t do it because you are too damn afraid to do so”

Evan pauses for a moment before walking quicker to catch up with me “I wouldn’t be afraid- not for you”

I snort and Evan stops me by grabbing my arm. I turn and look into his eyes scowling- but his eyes are filled with compassion and lust. Emotions he feels towards me but I do not feel towards him. He has fancied me- or should I say loved me- for a very long time. I am his school boy crush that he has never grown out of. I found out his feelings a couple of month’s back- during the Victory tour of last years Games. We were celebrating and he had pulled me aside from the party I was having at the house. He pulled me out into the sand dunes; before he told me he loved me and then kissed me. Being my first kiss- I was not entirely impressed. The kiss was not exciting, it was not electrifying and it was not amazing. It was the complete opposite of all those and more. He knew how I felt- but I couldn’t understand why he wouldn’t just leave it alone.

“Evan” I sigh frustrated

“Hear me out Danica” he begs as I pull away and walk into marke

“I heard you out and you know how I feel towards you- we are just friends”

“You’re more than just a friend to me and you know that! You know that” he quickly jogs to keep up with me “I love you” “And you know I don’t love you.” I snap turning to give him a dirty look “So will you just leave it alone?”

He looks saddened- which hurts me but he needs to know the truth. I sigh again and turn to walk on, to find my father and give him the crabs that we had caught; but as I do, someone walks into me and I nearly drop the entire bucket full of crabs. I stumble back right into Evan who heroically catches me before I can fall. I blow the strands of messed up hair out of my face in order to get a look at the person I walked into. It’s a boy, with long sandy blonde hair and ember brown eyes- his skin is quite pale despite living in the sunniest District in Panem- and he stares at me terrified. It takes me a few moments to recognize who it is- its Perseus Hartley, brother to Ginger and Nia Hartley who are both a year older than me. Perseus is in the year below but he has developed quite a name for himself for being the worst career in the history of all careers. He is quite lanky and is far too skinny to be able to lift more than 3 bags of sugar. It’s quite funny really but its nothing to laugh at when he is being beaten up by his peers.

“Sorry” he mutters quietly

“You should be” growls Evan- who is probably the person Perseus is scared of him

“Evan” I scowl straightening up before turning to Perseus “its okay Perseus”

The shy boy simply nods before scurrying off into the crowd like a timid little mouse. I slowly turn to Evan, infuriated by how he had just treated Perseus.

 

“Evan that was not very nice” is all I can say- oh an how lame it is to say such a sentence “What? He walked into you-“

“I am not a China Doll Evan- I cannot be hurt by little bumps and scrapes.” I shout turning sharply on my heels- rushing between the people

“Danica-“ he calls after me

“I don’t need your help Evan”

I see no more of him- and by the time I reach my father, he is long gone. Knowing Evan- he is probably just standing there like an idiot staring after the dust I stirred up. My father looks up- his freckled cheeks grow as he smiles. My father does not look like me and nor does he look like my sister. We have his nose and his height but the rest of our physical features belong to our mum. He has ginger hair and a freckly pale face, while my twin, my mother and I all have slightly sun kissed skin and dark brunette coloured hair. The only other attribute I may have inherited from his gene pool was the thick eye brows which are so unlike my sister’s thin slithers of hair that sit just above the hollows of her eyes. I plop the bucket down and some of the sea water sloshes out onto the table, while the crabs desperately try to escape their sealed fate

“Good catch” my father says peering into the bucket of crabs

“Thanks” I lean against the table, picking up and oyster examining it within my hands

“Did Evan catch these?” he asks- snatching the oyster from my hand and placing it back into the ice box I nod looking round at the people in the market

“Yes, he caught nearly all of them”

“Where is he? I need to pay him”

“I don’t know- back there somewhere crying over the fact I scolded him for telling Perseus Hartley to watch out”

My father shakes his head, rolling his brown eyes- another thing I did not inherit from my father-“Well if you see him- tell him I have some coins waiting for him.”

I nod, un-replying staring at the oh too clear sky. I can still sense the heavy grey cloud hanging over the district and as the big hand on the clock slowly gets closer and closer to 12, the cloud grows lower and lower- descending slowly onto our heads. It will take two of us- a boy and a girl- before retreating leaving everyone else to think of the heavy grey cloud. Something does not feel right; something in the air seems to be constricting my thoughts- constricting my lungs in hale the oxygen needed to be able to think of what is not right at this point in time. I frown, thinking harder but I cannot find the wrong thing. My mind seems empty- and you cannot find anything in an empty space. I blink and look at my dad who is packing up for the day. I reach over to help but he simply shakes his head.

“You need to get ready- I’ll meet you back at the house”

I nod and don’t say anything more. I quickly jog back to the house- slowing to a walk around half way- my abdomen riddled with stitches. Curse my lack of fitness- I think to myself. Time is ticking closer and closer to the time of the reaping- so the moment I reach the doorstep, my over excited sister drags me into the house to prep me so I look pretty. She is already dressed in a buttercup yellow dress- her hair embossed with flowers. She shoves me into the chair before harshly wrenching the paddle brush through the frizzy mop I call hair. As she drags it through my tendrils- I can’t help but think of my conversation with Evan earlier about volunteering. It was common in District 1 or 2 to see a volunteer- mainly because everyone under the age of 18 and above the age of 12 is desperate to become a Tribute. Here, and in many other districts- it wasn’t as common but when it did happen it was either because the volunteer was insane or they were doing it out of love. I glance at my sister in the mirror as she manages to tame my wild frizzy hair- beginning to plait it with her thin delicate fingers. I pause for a moment; the question poised on my lips.

“Katelyn…” I ask slowly as I watch her over cross sections of my hair quickly

“Yes?” She looks up from her work

I take a deep breath considering if I should as or not before I say it “If I were reaped…would you volunteer for me?”

She pauses to think for a moment before she continues with the plait “No”

Surprised, I look up at her in the mirror “Why not?”

“Because you would hate me if I did”

She is right. If she volunteered in my place, though I would be grateful- I would be even more annoyed by the fact she is trying to protect me when we both know as well as I that neither of us stand much chance in the arena so there is no point in trying to save each other because either way we would be dead. She smiles at me completing her plait before slipping a large blue flower into the head of the braid. I turn in my chair to look at her.

“I wouldn’t either” I grin as she laughs to herself

Katelyn helps me get dressed into a powder blue dress with a white collar before we head downstairs. Our mother and Father stand making sure that bother of them look presentable. My father checks his watch and nods- meaning that it is time to head down to the reaping. My sister and I immediately clasp our hands together as we walk out the house and down the long street towards the town square. The grey cloud is almost upon us now- and I am afraid. I grip my sister’s hand tighter as the Justice Building comes into view- its large marble pillars glistening in the sunlight. We slow just enough to bid farewell to our parents before we join the other 17 year olds- our hands still linked. The clock nearly reads 12 and as I glance at the stage to see Mags, the only remaining victor of the many that came from District 4. She is getting quite old and her hair is beginning to grey. I wonder how she is feeling at this moment- knowing that two of the children amongst the sea of peoples, are about to be potentially sentenced to death.

“Good afternoon Ladies and Gentleman-“ our mayor calls out into the crowd- the hundreds of Capitolie cameras trained on him “Welcome to another reaping…”

From there, he gives the famous 30 minutes speech on how we got to this- how the rebellion was so bad and what the Hunger Games is. As if we didn’t know all this before we arrived. It is tiring but we have to stand here and wait. If we didn’t turn up for the reaping then peacekeepers would come to our house to see if we were on our Death Beds. If we weren’t then we were killed. As he finishes his long winded speech- our Capitol escort, an electric blue haired woman wearing a hideous golden dress named Olivine, stands and makes her way to center stage.

“Welcome District 4, to the 58th Reaping!” she slurs out in her capitol accent “And may I wish you all a happy hunger games!”

It is the moment of truth- any moment now she will reach into the glass ball containing all the female names, pull out a slip of paper on which a name is written- Olivine will call out that name and whoever’s it is; then they are the female tribute. I feel Katelyn grip my hand tighter as she also knows what is about to come. I look at her, and notice Evan standing somewhere in the main cloud. He is not looking in my direction- he is busy staring hard eyed at Olivine also waiting to hear the names. I glance down slowly looking back at the stage.

“Now the moment you have all been waiting for- May the Odds be ever in your favour!” she calls out, strutting over to the ball which contains every girls name ages 12 to 18 “Ladies first!”

It grows beyond silent as she delves her hand into the first ball. She swirls the papers round before drawing a tiny slip of paper- folded in half by the moderators. She slowly makes her way center stage- smiling with her silver teeth. My heart beat increases as she slowly unfolds the slip of paper and her lips curl into a broader smile. Everyone, is waiting; even the birds and the wind have paused to listen for the girl tribute of this years annual Hunger Games. Olivine looks across the crowd before taking in a loud audible breath ready, to call the name of the District 4 female tribute to the whole of Panem. Katelyn grips my hand tighter as we see her lips begin to move into the shape that will allow her to speak the first name.

“Danica, Herring!”

A wave of gasps echoes through the crowd- Katelyn and I are just silent. We stare at each other in shock. How could it be me? Me, out of the 1000’s of names in that tiny glass ball- why did it have to be me. I can see tears forming in the corner of Katelyn’s hazel eyes and I know she is thinking the exact same thought as I am. I pull my hand away and I can hear her begin to wail and cry as I begin to walk towards the stage. People part for me, giving their deepest looks of sympathy. I don’t need it though- it isn’t going to help me in the arena. Olivine gestures for me to hurry- and I glance back at Katelyn- who is being held back by Evan. He looks distraught- lost. I look down as I climb the steps and stand on center stage. I reserve the feeling to cry- all I can do now is wait for Olivine to call out the male tributes name.

“Congratulations Danica!” she rejoices- though I don’t see much to rejoice about-“now for the gentleman!”

She crosses the stage again and I continue to listen to Katelyn cry my name. Danica Danica Danica is all I can hear. We never saw this coming. We were supposed to go to sleep together tonight- laughing and joking about the celebrations that occurred after the reaping but she wouldn’t be celebrating, nor would my parents. They’d sit at home and mourn me before I had even died. And my sister and I would sleep without each other in the other bed for the first time in our lives. I looked up at the cameras- most of which were trained on me. I swallowed the sickness I felt, the nausea not helping my nerves as my hand tapped repeated against my leg.

“Perseus Hartley!!”

I turn, in surprise. I also inwardly gasp. I watch as Perseus weaves his way through the crowd- he looks even paler than he usually does. He is also, like me, shaking. He comes up on stage- wide eyed like a rabbit caught in the headlights of a Capitol train. Olivine drags him center stage before throwing her arms out wide- a wide grin on her face. I look at Perseus and I feel sorry for him. I know that don’t want sympathy but I truly feel sorry for him. He had hardly any friends and now he was being thrown into the harshest games ever invented. He probably has less of a chance than I do.

“I introduce to you- District 4’s tributes for the 58th annual Hunger Games!!”

There are one or two measly claps amongst the crowd before everyone is gestured away by the line of peacekeepers that stand eagerly at the edge of the stage. I can still hear Katelyn wailing as two Peacekeepers escort both Perseus and I inside the Justice Building. As we enter, I look back at the square- knowing that I have been taken by the grey cloud and that I will never ever see that square again. The doors close, and my journey to the gates of hell begins.

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