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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4. Training day two

Dear Friend,

I think today must have been one of the best days of my life, as well as the day I met Sam and Patrick. I'm trying to make the best of my life now, because I don't have long left.

I woke up in high spirits, went in the shower for the fourth time in my stay here, then went down to breakfast. Horatia and Murdoch were arguing, like Lydia and I weren't even there, so I asked them to stop. I told them I didn't want to hear arguing on one of the last days of my life, so would they please talk about nice things, and continue their argument when I am dead. That made them silent.

We ate breakfast in peace, then we went down to the training center. Lydia was quivering, and stayed close to me as we went in. I felt it my duty to protect her, like she was my younger sister or something.

This time, we went straight to some climbing equipment.

"I think we'd stand a better chance if we kept high up in the trees, don't you think?" Lydia whispered in my ear. I nodded. We'd both watched the other games in the past, and knew the best tactics.

"What if there aren't any trees?" I wondered, out loud.

"There should be, Charlie." She said, and began to climb. Her hands moved effortlessly along the ropes, and she looked just like a tiny, little monkey. I climbed after her, but got really tangled up in the ropes, and ended up hanging from one leg, my hair tickling the ground. The laughter echoed around the room, just like yesterday. I felt tears bubbling in my eyes.

"No, Charlie, don't cry, you'll look weak. Stop it." Lydia shouted, and came swinging down.She carefully untangled me, and led me off to the weapons again.

"We're gonna find a weapon you can use, OK?" She said, and I nodded, sniffing. We try everything. Spears, axes, tridents, maces, knives and bows, until, at last, we find something.

"A slingshot? Really, Charlie?" Lydia said, as she watched me hit the bulls-eye for the thirteenth time with a small, elastic slingshot, with tiny grey pebbles. I smile, broadly to myself.

"You do know you can't kill anyone with that?" She said, angrily.

"Oh well. I can catch birds and stuff." I said, playing with the elastic on it. Lydia sighed, heavily.

"That isn't the point. How will you defend yourself?" She shouted, and I shrugged. I hadn't thought of that.

We sat down for lunch, and a nice, happy girl came to sit with us. I think she might have been from District Seven.

"Hi, my name is Aspen, you're Charlie, right?" She said to me.

"Good to meet you, Aspen." I said. We talked for a bit. Aspen volunteered for her best friend, Amelie, and is sixteen, a year older than me. She saw me with my slingshot, and reckoned I had a good chance of winning.

"That is, if I don't win." She said, laughing. I didn't laugh. Her weapon of choice is an axe, and I am eternally grateful that she is making friends with us, I would not like to be on the wrong side of her.

After training, I felt very happy, but something was missing. Sam, of course, was one thing, but something else. Books? That's it. I have not read a good book for what feels like a long time. Instead, I make up a story in my head. With me, Sam, Patrick, Mary Elizabeth, Lydia and Aspen.

In the night, I dream about the Games. I dream I die, different ways everytime. One night it's falling out a tree, another night I choke on a leaf.

I hope you're well, and are not feeling as terrified as I am just now.

Love always,

Charlie

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