The 66th Hunger Games

66 years ago, the 13 districts of Panem rebelled against the oppressive Capitol, and failed. In order to keep the remaining 12 districts in check, the Capitol devised a new way to control them. Each year, one male and one female between the ages of 12 and 18 shall be offered up to compete in a sporting event known as the Hunger games, where they shall fight to the death until one remains, a victor that' be revered as a celebrity in the Capitol and live a life of luxury.

66 years later, the tradition still goes strong. See through the eyes of 15 year old District 3 tribute Elektra Sparke as she enters this deadly game. However, the one person she never thought would be her fellow competitor is, and she takes it upon herself to protect him. However, in a deadly arena where your death is in every direction, nobody can be trusted.

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6. Façade

I grimace as the strip of wax is pulled off my legs, leaving them red and smooth.
"Sorry!" the bubbly woman with the pink wig pipes, "But we have to ensure that not even the slightest trace of body hair is visible!" I just groan as another wax strip is torn off my leg. Naturally, I have little hair on my body. But apparently even the sight of follicles is a major imperfection in Capitol women.

"Now, can you undress for us? We want to treat your body all at once," the woman with a harp tattooed to her shoulder asks. I'm tempted to punch her, corralling me into this shampoo-scented room, leaving my legs red raw, and now wanting me to undress? If it weren't for the situation I'm in, I would have left by now. Reluctantly, I agree, and quickly remove my outfit, and the woman with blue lipstick and stars painted on her face gathers it up, and presses a button. A silent young man comes in, takes the clothes, and vanishes. "Don't worry about your outfit, honey. I've ordered the Avox to take it to your room in the training centre, so you'll see it again," she says, whilst rubbing an odd scented cream all over my body. They quickly rinse it off, before putting a lotion as pink as the woman's wig all over me. The second it makes contact with my skin, it feels like every inch of me is on fire. I grit my teeth as they wash it off my body, leaving it very pink, and very smooth.

"There! Like a blank canvas for Apollo to craft upon!" The bubbly pink woman exclaims. she says his name with immense respect. Although I'm so sore and tired, I wouldn't care if my stylist was President Snow himself. The three women walk through the door on the other end of the room, obviously to get this 'Apollo'. I spot a green robe draped over one of the desks, and quickly slip it on.

The door opens, and instead of the babbling women, a man walks in. I'm surprised at how normal he looks. He looks more like a District citizen than the typical extravagant look of the Capitol. His blonde hair is slightly shaggy, obviously needing a haircut. His glasses are simple circular ones that don't distract. The only odd thing about him is the fact he has a pair of headphones around his neck.

"Hello there, Elektra, is it? I'll be your stylist for the Games. My name's Apollo, if the prep team haven't already informed you of me," he says, sighing slightly. I might be imagining it, but there seems to be an almost sombre tone to his voice, "Now, if you don't mind, could you take off that robe? I need to make sure my measurements are correct," he instructs, and eases the robe off of me. He pulls some measuring tape from his pocket, and begins to measure me. I try to engage eye contact, but his headphones captivate me for some reason. Then I see the emblem on the side of it; District 3.

"Interested in my headphones?" he looks up from measuring me, "They're the only surviving pair out there. I got the first manufactured pair when they were first made, but the factory they were made in blew up or something," he finishes measuring, pleased with the results. But I don't care about my measurements.
"My father worked in the factory that produced the headphones," I say, "But he was killed when it went up in flames," I trail off, not wanting to relive that day again. Not now. 
"I'm so sorry to hear that. I couldn't imagine they would have sentimental value to someone else I had no idea existed until they were thrown into this bloody death-match of a game," he says, his words laced with venom. He obviously realises he's said something wrong, and quickly looks around, as if he's being watched, "Sorry, it's just I'm sick of all these wonderful designs of mine being placed on people who will be dead by the next month," he says, "And I'm also sick of having to compose the same music again and again. It's always the same triumphant, foreboding theme for Districts 1 and 2," he continues. So that's what the headphones are for, he's the composer for the music used in the reruns of the Games, "I'm hoping for a new District to win, so I can try other styles of music out," he glances at the clock, "Well, look at the time. We have half an hour before the Chariot Rides begin."

We walk through into another room, and Apollo blindfolds me. I instantly panic, thinking that when I take the blindfold off, I'll be in the arena; stark naked, with Careers armed, charging for me. However, the reality is far better when Apollo takes off the blindfold, and I'm dressed in my Chariot outfit; a black dress, with matching tights. at the ends of the sleeves, there are small devices, and I see the gear in the centre of the suit, coloured like the gears in the factories back home.
"Hope it's not too gaudy for you," he says, then hurries me to the elevator, and we head down to the basement.

When the door opens, I see 12 chariots, each with the Tributes boarding their respective District's. I see Samuel, wearing a matching outfit, with a woman with multicoloured hair, and a dress covered in fake stars. They quickly guide us to our chariot, and the wall at the far end opens up. I hear the screams of the crowd before the entrance is opened fully. We board the chariot, and the stylists give us our instructions.
"Samuel, I want you to look the picture of innocence. The crowd will eat that up!" the multicoloured woman instructs.
"And Elektra, smile and blow kisses. The Capitol loves that." Apollo says to me, "And one more thing," he quickly attaches the pendant to me. "I thought your District token complimented your outfit quite well."

And we're off. The horses pull the chariots out into the street, the evening sun setting. I see the crowd scream and wave and blow kisses in every direction. I smile and wave, as instructed, and Samuel begins giggling in a way only a child could. We turn a corner, and the street is lined with TV crews. Just as our chariot pulls into view, the gears on our chests begin to spin, creating cyan veins of light that reach every corner of our bodies, illuminating us in a captivating manner in the setting sun. The current reaches our shoulders and wrists, and the devices pour out smoke, concealing our bodies, but showing the veins of light. I wave, and the veins dance about, as if they're alive. Samuel spins, creating a ring of light. I see from the screens that we truly look stunning. The smoke subsides, and we appear, the black of our suits compliments the brightness of our light show.  The screen then shifts to District 4, who aren't wearing anything except fish tails that curve like an ocean wave. At least we outshone a Career District, I think, as the chariots pull to a halt.

We remain in the square, and I watch as the camera zooms in on each chariot. They do this a couple more times before the balcony above us lights up. President Snow appears on the balcony, and every camera zooms in on him.

"Hello and welcome, Tributes and citizens, to the 66th annual Hunger Games!" The very sound of his voice sends the crowd into hysterics. A loud fanfare begins, and the chariots pull down a street to a large building. As we make it through the entrance, I see Beetee, Wiress, Rory, and the stylists waiting to see us.

"Great job, you two. You really were quite a sight!" Beetee exclaims as the lights on my suit die down. They help us off the chariots, and I see the Tributes from District 12 looking over, obviously impressed, before their surly mentor mutters something incomprehensible, and drags them off.

We walk up a flight of stairs, to an elevator, and Rory presses the button marked '3'. We arrive on the floor, and step out of the elevator. Then it dawns on me. This is the Training Centre Tower. Which means that the Games are only a matter of days away. And tomorrow, I come face to face with the people that want to kill me.

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