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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6. The Interview

Dear Friend,

I am terrified. Tomorrow is surely the day I die.

Lydia and I trained separate today, so we could be individually prepared for our interviews. I spent the morning with Murdoch, as we tried to figure out what I am going to be like in my interview. They like us to pick a personality, that the Capitol citizens can work with, and decide what sort of person we are. Murdoch said that I should appear quiet and clever, and kind of endearing, which he said wouldn't be so hard for me, as I am them anyway. He told me some of the questions Caesar Flickerman might ask me, and helped me come up with some answers.

In the afternoon, Lydia and I switched, and I worked with Horatia. She is here to teach me how to present myself during the interviews, and how to be polite.

"However, I don't think you need too much training, I think you are a very nice, polite little boy, and your parents have brought you up marginally well. I think I shall miss you once you have died." Horatia told me. I did not tell her that I am actually not as young as I appear, and that I don't really intend to die, if I can help it. If I did, I think she might change her mind about me, and I was quite enjoying her thinking well of me, as I don't think she does to other people very often.

When that was done, we were handed over to our stylists, who put yet more make-up on me, despite my objections. They spiked my hair into a sort of small quiff, which I think looked terrible, and I thought I'd surely  be the laughing stock of Panem, before I remembered some of the hair-styles they have here. I'll look meek compared to them. Padma dressed me in a white, metallic suit and a grey tie and shirt, and told me I looked charming. I did not look charming, I looked weird, and not at all endearing, a little scary really.

They escorted me down a corridor, and into a room, full of the other tributes. My eyes searched around the room, and rested on Lydia. She wore a very pretty, silvery dress, with metal flowers in her blonde hair, which was twisted into a bun. She looked very grown up, at least fifteen.

"Your dress looks pretty." I say to her, remembering what Patrick once told me, about not complimenting a girl on her face, but her outfit, because she picked her outfit, but not her face. However, I don't think that rule really applies here, since none of us picked our outfits.

"Thanks, I love it. My stylist chose it well. You look handsome."

"Thanks." I say, but I don't think she really thinks I'm handsome. I look ridiculous, and she knows it.

Suddenly, the crowd outside cheered, and we all stood up. We watched the screens as the girl from District 1 mounts the stage, her brow furrowed. I guess she went for the aggressive, 'don't-mess-with-me' look. And it worked. One by one, the rest of them went onto the stage, showing themselves off and talking about their families and how they're going to win. Finally, it's Lydia's go, and I wish her luck.

Caesar asks Lydia lots of questions about home, about the Capitol, and about her family. She answers sweetly and polite, and I guess she's going for the 'cute' look. When her interview is done, I watch her leave the stage, and a man calls me in.

As I walk onto the stage, the crowd cheers, deafeningly, and I know my ears will ring all night long. Caesar stands up, his midnight-purple hair in a funny, long ponytail, with a sort of quiff at the top. I remember last year his hair was orange, so he's had a major style change. He takes my hand, and shakes it firmly, before offering me a seat. I sit, neatly on the sofa, and try to remember what I'm meant to be doing.

"Charlie, Charlie, nice to meet you. So Charlie- How are you finding it here?" He asks, and I notice how wide he opens his mouth when he speaks, showing off his glistening, white teeth.

"Er- It's alright. It's very different to back home, but I'm enjoying it a lot." I say, as loud as I can, which turns out to be very loud, due to the microphone they've shoved in my pocket. I hear my voice echo around the room, bouncing on every surface. I sound like a scared little mouse, who's been given a mega-phone, loud but squeaky.

"Good, what in particular?"

"Well, the food is great, and I think everyone here has the most amazing clothes, so much more interesting than back home."

"Yes, I would expect. So, Charlie, how are you hoping to win the games? Any secret talents you've hidden?"

"Well, not really. I guess I am quite smart, you know, I can make fires and stuff, to keep warm, and I know how to hunt stuff now. I guess I'm just not as ignorant as some of the other tributes might be."

"Yes, well that seems like the way to go. So, are you missing home? Your family, friends?"

"Yeah, I miss it so much. I mean, I love it here, but I love it there too. I miss my family, and my friends especially."

"Yes, so do you have a girlfriend back home?"

"Nah, not really?"

"Not really? Is there any girl you like?"

"Well. There's my friend Sam. She's really pretty, and so nice, she always makes me laugh. I miss her so much right now."

"Well she'll have to go out with you now, won't she?"

"No, I don't think so. She's a lot older than me, and I've already told her how I feel. She has a different boyfriend."

"Oh well, that's such a shame. I'm sure she misses you too. So, you should win this, go home, and if Sam won't have you, I'm sure another lovely lady will fall for you."

"Hmm, I doubt that."

"Nonsense. Anyway Charlie, that's all we have time for, please, give it up for Charlie!" He shouts, and the audience scream, as I rush off the stage. I race into the corridor where my team dropped me off, and they're all waiting for me.

"Wow, Charlie, that was great, well done!" Horatia called, dragging me into a hug. They all pat my back, and we walk off to our rooms. I don't feel like watching the other tributes, and neither do they.

Now I am in bed, restless. I'll never sleep. Of course I won't. Who does sleep on a night like this? I won't be able to write tomorrow, because I don't think I'll be allowed paper.

I guess I'll speak to you soon.

Love always,

Charlie

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