The Perks of The Hunger Games

For the Fan-fiction crossover competition. When Charlie is reaped into the Hunger Games, he really doesn't expect he is going to win. He's quiet, small, and not the bravest, but definitely the most observant. This is his journey through the games. In the style of Stephen Chbosky.

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9. Day Three

Dear Friend,

I woke up, remembered yesterday, then cried for a bit. Tears are the only thing to relieve me of all the pain I'm feeling right now. Every time someone seems to like and understand me, they die. Except Sam and Patrick. Somehow them two have always got into risky situations, but got out, unscathed. One of them risky situations was making friends with me. I've dragged them into a world of sadness and depression, and they can't get out. If they died, I think I'd die too.

I decided I needed food, because despite my grief, my body was showing all the signs of needing it. I packed up, then went searching. There was nothing to be seen. No humans, no animals, nothing at all. Just the endless snow and mountains, going on forever.

They're going to pick up on this. They're going to see how far away I am from the others, and they'll want more involvement from me. It makes perfect sense. No one has died for at least seven hours, no one has moved for a long time. They need to entrance the viewers, who right now will be watching a blank screen. I decide to keep a look out.

What if there is no food on this side of the arena? I need to go back, and see what is happening. It's too quiet.

Annoyed with my wasted journey, I begin retracing my steps, along the mountain-line. Just as my thoughts begin to drift to back home, I hear screams. Not surprised screams either. Proper, agonizing, deathly screams, that can only mean that the Gamemakers have got their fun. Four cannons follow. Quietly, I crouch behind a rock, and peer into the valley below.

The scene below is devastating. Five seemingly lifeless bodies lie on the ground, surrounded by blood, which soaks into the snow, emphasizing the horror of it. Just as I'm wondering what happened, a huge, blood-spattered bear runs across the scene, sniffing at the bodies. The bear is a huge thing, most definitely not naturally born. It must be a mutation of the Capitol's. 

I watch the bear leave the scene, satisfied, and run towards them. Maybe they have food or supplies on them that could come in handy.

Gently, I turn over the bodies, and examine their faces. The first four are careers, but the last one takes me by surprise.

"Aspen!" I say, swallowing back tears. She stares back at me, and I notice she is breathing a little.

"Hiya, Charlie." She whispers, her voice raspy. "Ran into some bears." I look at her body, and know her injuries are incurable.

"You joined the careers?" I ask, trying to sound casual.

"Yeah. They needed me. Turns out none of them listened to all the survival stuff." She says, smiling. "I guess you might win now. Good luck, I hope it's you." She says, and groans. She shuts her eyes, and I feel her breathing slow down, to a stop.The cannon fires, and I stare at her. How have I outlived this girl? She's strong, and built for fighting.

As quick as possible, I search through their belongings. It seems this lot got the best from the cornucopia. There are knives, and they carry spears, and a lot of food, although I suspect they have most of it stored back at their camp, which I can just see, by the side of the lake. Shoving it all in my rucksack, I run back to the mountains, hoping the bears don't see me. I don't fancy being eaten by them.

Now there are seventeen dead, and seven left, and it's only day three. Two of them are careers, and whoever else they may have picked up along the way. The other four must be lurking around somewhere.

Avoiding Lydia's death cave, I pick out a new place to stay. This cave is more camouflaged, the entrance hidden by a snow drift. 

Sitting in my cave, I eat a bit of the packet food I stole, and feel a little better. I could win. Only six left, and while I am hidden and warm, they could be at risk of freezing to death, or being killed by another tribute. I have the upper hand.

I think I will sleep well tonight, knowing I have my whole District betting on me, my supplies, my shelter and my memories.

I hope you are alright.

Love always,

Charlie

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