The Hunger Games (A One Direction Fanfiction)

I make my way back to my room. I half expect to lay awake all night fretting, letting in all the emotions that have been strangely absent so far, but when I lie down, I’m out almost as soon as my head hits the pillow.

I’ve always been a surprisingly good sleeper. I wake easily, but I can stay in that twilight place between dreams and reality for as long as I want. In the morning, I choose to stay and try to relive all my happy memories of childhood.

In fact, I don’t even get out of bed until well past noon, when our train arrives at the Capitol. I feel sluggish, and slightly sick to my stomach with fear. This is it. I am now officially a tribute in the Hunger Games.

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5. Chapter 5

Ina's POV

I don’t feel like talking to everyone. Instead, I go straight to my room, and climb into the shower. It takes me a while to figure out how to work all of the knobs, but the boiling hot water feels really good on my sore muscles. We don’t get hot water at home unless we heat it first, and it cools pretty fast, so it almost isn't even worth it.

I end up staying in there for several hours, thinking about home. It probably isn't good for me, but I can’t help it. I have never gone this long without having Anya around to comfort me, and I find that rather distressing. For the first time, I really confront the idea that there is a very high chance that I could die. That in a matter of days, I could be wiped from this earth, all in the name of entertainment. I am no stranger to death, of course, having lost both of my parents as a young child. And people -neighbors, family, friends- die all the time in factory accidents. If the machines don’t get them, then the blood loss or infection will.

I realize that I am shaking. I can’t stop, even though the heat of the water is turning my skin from olive to ruby.

I get out of the shower and wrap a towel around my waist, mad at myself for indulging all of these morbid thoughts, and for staying in shower for so long because now I strongly resemble a raisin.

I sit down on the edge of my bed. Trent is sitting on my nightstand, where he has been living since I got to the Capitol. I pick up the little wooden bird and run my pruney fingertip over the carved feathers of his back, a habit that I developed as a small child. I was always fascinated by the intricate detail and realism that my father had managed to bring his art. He had been one of the finest craftsmen in our District, before he was killed. The details have been worn and softened over the years, but the thing still has a sense of faded beauty.

Someone knocks on my door and tells me that everyone is waiting for me.

I dress, and prepare to face the music. Hannah, Dean, and the stylists are seated around the dining table. I slide into my seat next to Frazer, and chose to ignore everyone’s questioning looks. The closer we get to the big reveal, the more I am sure that I did horribly. I ran and climbed a few things, how lame is that? I should have just thrown a stupid spear or something. I stab viciously at the potato on my plate, as though it is somehow responsible for my idiocy.

We eat in almost complete silence. As we finish eating, Dean finally asks, “The suspense is killing me. What happened?”

Frazer shrugs, “I threw a couple of spears, swung an axe. I did fine.”

He seems very nonchalant about the whole thing. Probably because he did so well.

“Ina, what about you?”

I get up from the table, and walk over to the area where we are going to watch the broadcast of the scores, “I did okay, I guess.”

I don’t elaborate, and something in my voice must tell them not pressure me. Anyway, we will find out soon enough just how bad I did. I pull my knees up to my chest and rest my forearms across them.

My score is projected first. My face is on the screen, looking serious and slightly uneasy. With a large number eight floating next to me.

I can’t quell the small gasp of surprise.

“Eight! I got an eight!” I look over at everyone else, wanting to confirm that they are seeing this, and that I’ve not just cracked under the pressure. They all nod and smile at me.

Then it’s Frazer's turn. He pulls a nine, and we all clap and cheer for him. A nine is pretty impressive. Most tributes only get between the five to seven range. The really athletic ones get eight to ten. I don’t think anyone has ever pulled an eleven or twelve before. So my eight is actually pretty good.

Zayn gets a nine as well, and Eleanor gets an eight. Liam gets a ten, which is rather impressive. The boy from Nine also gets a ten, reinforcing my opinion that he is capable and dangerous.

I drift for the rest evening in a silver cloud. I’m doing better than I had hoped for. Getting a decent score definitely ups my chances of getting sponsors in the arena, and I’m going to need all the help I can get if I want the even the slimmest chance of surviving the coming weeks.

The next day I hardly smile once. We have a day to prepare for out televised interviews. Hannah spends hours grilling me on how she wants me to act. She tells me that Paris, the woman who asks the tributes’ questions, will ask about my family. I don’t want to tell the Capitol about my mum, because I have no answers for them. I don’t want them to ask about my father, and the hanging. That I can give answers about, but that is the last thing that I want to talk of. I was unstable enough after it happened. Now, dwelling on the things that have happened in the past will lead me into a dark tailspin.

But I can’t help it.

I can still remember the way he looked at me before he swung from the end of the rope, even though his face is shadowed. I still hear his last words, reliving them over and over in my mind every time that I fall sleep. I can still hear his voice, screaming at me to look away. Eight years worth of nightmares have carved those moments into my brain.

I have nightmares when I go to sleep, and for the first time since I can remember, Anya isn’t there to quiet my screaming. After a few hours, I lay awake, huddled at the corner of my bed as the horrible shaking starts. I get like this sometimes, and find myself immobilized by fear, trapped by the monsters in my head.

I get in the shower and let freezing water pour over my face. It isn’t yet dawn, but just the prospect of going back to sleep horrifies me. The thought of staying awake horrifies me. I just can’t win.

I’m going into the arena tomorrow; I cannot afford to be tired. I will need all the strength I can muster. Every second of fatigue will give the other tributes a chance to murder me.

I am silent the entire time Avery prepares me for the interview. It seems to take years and seconds in the same breath. Today’s beatification progress is far less painful than the first one, at least. He complains a bit about the circles under my eyes, and says nothing about the deep gouges that I've managed to make in my arms with my fingernails, but I can see it in his eyes that it disturbs him.

Avery slathers me in the fine silver powder that had been applied to me during the ceremony. It makes my skin shimmer like it’s bathed in moonlight. I stare at the back of my hand as he applies into the rest of my body, amazed at the way that it comes alive when the light hits it.

It takes the better part of three hours to prepare me for the interview, but when Avery is finished, I look stunning. My eyes are the same color as a diamond, a pale shade of grey, so bright, that the hue seems to go on eternally. They are almost glowing. My once wavy brown hair has now been straightened and trimmed into a fringe that borders my eyelids. Tiny diamonds are scattered in my hair, and he has done something to it so that it shines in the light. Avery does a good job of covering up the shadows beneath my eyes. He must have magic fingers

He dresses me in a velvety, crimson coloured dress. The fabric is odd, not something that I have ever seen before. It’s softer than anything I’ve ever felt, and I spend the rest of our preparation time stroking the hem of my outfit.

As good as Avery has made me look, I still cant help but feel nervous. I try not to think about the fact that in less than an hour, I will be live on camera in front of the entire country. I drift in a daze as I am taken to the backstage area. I hate speaking in front of large groups. I think my stomach and my tongue are tied in knots. I have to do well, I have to make them like me. I have to act like I am okay, so that Anya doesn't worry about me. She will anyway, but I have to pretend like I am doing something productive.

Frazer slides up beside me and touches my shoulder. I jump a little bit, because he startled me. He looks incredibly, dressed in a charcoal suit. His hair has been trimmed into a short, blonde quiff, and his skin has been made to glow like mine.

He gives me a playful smirk, but we have no time to exchange words, because the music is starting, and we are all being ushered out onto the stage.

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A/N: One more chapter before they go into the arena, and shit starts to go down :D Who's excited?

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