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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9. Chapter 9

Zayn takes us to the little base camp that they have set up in the trees, about a quarter mile away from the Cornucopia. There are several packs of supplies and two small tents set up.

As we enter the little clearing, Frazer leaps to his feet and wraps me in a tight hug that I reciprocate.

“I am so glad that you are okay,” he pulls away from me and holds me at arms length, “What on earth took you so long?”

“We ran into a bit of trouble.”

The smell of roasting meat distracts me from our conversation. Eleanor and another boy are huddled around a small fire, spinning the carcass of a small animal on a spit. He looks up as Frazer, Lisa, and I all take seats around the fire as well.

He holds out his hand for me to shake, “Louis. District Eleven.”

I note the bow and quiver leaning up against one of the tents, and remember how good he was at archery during training. I nod and take his hand.

“I’m Ina,” I toss my head at Lisa, who huddles beside me, “This is Lisa.”

We eat. The small portion of meat is fantastic, augmented with some apples from a sack of supplies. We let the fire simmer to a pile of coals as the sun goes down and night takes over. No faces appear in the sky tonight, as no tributes died. That worries me a little bit. I have no doubt that the audience in the Capitol was suitably entertained this morning by my brush with death, but by now they must be calling for blood.

And when the Capitol calls for blood, the Gamemakers always give it to them.

Frazer and I stay up for a bit to talk, and she takes the chance to question me, “Why did it take so long for you to come back?”

I shrug and wrap my jacket tighter around my shoulders and shove my hands into my pockets. The back of my knuckles brush against wooden feathers, “I got a little lost. And I got attacked by the boy from Nine.”

“Harry.”

“Yeah.”

“Are you okay?”

“Yeah. He never caught me. Lisa totally saved my neck,” I jerk my head back towards the tent that she is sharing with Eleanor.

Frazer studies me critically. 

“Is that why you wanted to team up with her? Because you felt like you owed her for saving your life?” I can tell he disapproves of my decision.

I scuff the ground with my foot

“Yes. No. I don’t know, I just felt like I could trust her,” I gaze at him imploringly, trying to make him understand, “I couldn’t just leave her on her own out there.”

“She’s dead weight. How well could she possibly do in a fight?” Frazer snaps at me.

We stay silent for several minutes. Then he speaks again, this time much softer, “This might actually be a good thing. From what I can tell, Harry is one of our biggest opponents right now, and he has…what, three allies?”

“Perrie, from Eleven. The girl from Ten, and that boy from Eight.”

“Eight could give us some trouble; he seems clever. Those girls don’t seem so bad though.”

I turn and stare at him, “And why is that? Frazer, did you see them in the Training Center? I would bet almost anything that both of them make it to the final eight.”

Perrie at least will. I don’t remember much about the other one.

Frazer leans forward and pokes the dying embers with a stick, his hair glinting grey in light of the dying fire. He seems unconvinced, but I am sure that he knows how dangerous it can be to underestimate an enemy.

“Perrie scares me a little bit, to be honest,” I whisper, wrapping my arms around my knees tightly.

“The girl from Eleven? Ina, she’s a foot shorter than you, and can hardly tip a scale and a hundred pounds. I think you could handle it if she attacked you,” he stands and dusts the back of his pants. “We should get some sleep.”

He strides off to make a round of our little camp, checking to make sure that nothing has been disturbed. I think he is paranoid that every other tribute is hidden in the darkness, just beyond the faint circle of light cast by our dying campfire, waiting for the chance to strike.

I leave him to it, and crawl into the tent with Zayn and Louis. Their body heat is a welcome change from the chilly temperatures outside. I fall asleep as soon as I can ensconce my body in blankets. Thankfully, I have no nightmares about my fellow tributes; instead I dream of home. Of Anya, and our little house by the willow tree.

I wake up feeling sad. I miss my sister so much it actually hurts. I would give anything to be able to see her again, but I know that will never happen. I want to curl up in a ball and cry. No, no, I have to stay strong. If anyone would saw, I would immediately be disregarded for being weak. I have to shut away anything that won’t help me stay alive. Right now, I need to focus on the games.

Louis has wrapped himself around Zayn like an octopus. He is smiling slightly. I carefully sit up, trying not to disturb them. I pull my boots on and run my fingers through my hair, trying to keep it out of my face. The straight-cut fringe keeps flopping down over my eyes.

As I crawl outside, I see that Eleanor and Lisa are already up and are making breakfast. Its maybe and hour past dawn, and a heavy fog is blanketing everything, shrinking our world down to a circle of vague grey trees.

I sit on a log beside the fire and add a few more twigs to feed the blaze. Eleanor is frying pieces of bread on a flat stone at the center of the fire. A small pot of water is boiling next to it, smells like chives and meat.

Frazer joins us around the fire. He pulls several eating utensils out of a pack.

“Where are Zayn and Louis?” he asks me.

I jerk my head back at the tent, “Still sleeping.”

He rolls his eyes and goes to wake them. Eleanor dollops a healthy serving of stew into a bowl and hands it to me. It smells amazing. I have two slices of the bread as well. It seems like a lot, but all I've had since the Games began was a hand full of blackberries and some roasted meat. It all tastes quite nice.

Zayn and Louis stumble after Frazer. They are just sitting down around the fire when the cannon booms. I let out an involuntary yelp of surprise and drop my spoon.

The hovercraft appears in the grey sky, less than a quarter mile away. We all sit, frozen, watching as a set of metal teeth drop down, scooping a mangled body out of the trees. The tribute is unidentifiable in the distance, but I have a bad feeling that, judging from the blood that’s pouring off of them, we couldn't tell who it is anyway. But whatever happened, it was obviously brutal.

The howling begins.

Then everything erupts in chaos. Frazer is shouting at everyone to grab their weapons and run. Eleanor darts past me, but I am still frozen, staring, as the hovercraft disappears from view. That was so sudden. I wonder who it was? It’s a little too early in the Games for the Gamemakers to get involved directly, but those howls sound vicious.

Lisa grabs my arm and yanks me towards the safety of the trees.

“Come on, Ina, run! Go, go, go!” I let her take my hand and lead me.

We run for a while. The howls continue to get closer. I can’t hear any other signs of pursuit, but that doesn't stop my heart from leaping into my throat at any extraneous noise.

“Lisa, I left my knife,” I tell her as we slow to a stop behind a clump of boulders.

She shakes her head as she leans over and clutches a stitch in her side, “I think I saw Frazer grab it, it’s fine.”

Zayn is scowling as he twirls his spear around in his hands.

“Why did we have to run?” his anger is directed at Frazer.

“That was probably a pack of mutts, and I don’t know about you, but I don’t fancy dying like that tribute back there,” he glowers at him.

"Whatever, we could have taken them, easy!” Eleanor snarls, “We’re good fighters. We should have stayed and killed them.”.

He waits for Eleanor to finish, and coolly interjects, “We have only three really good fighters. Louis is good with his bow, but in a close quarters fight he would have been dead meat. Same with Ina and Lisa. So, as far as brutal fighters go, we only have three. Do you really want to fight a pack of what’s probably mutations with only three people?”

We all stand silent for a moment, digesting that. Then Lisa pipes up.

“We should keep moving. I don’t want to be around here is there is a pack of blood thirsty mutts hunting us,” she sounds really scared.

I reach out and wrap my arm around her shoulders, and she buries her face in my chest. She is right though, we need to keep moving. The howls have quieted, but those things could be anywhere.

Soon, we reach the shore of a lake. It is a vast expanse of azure water. Sheets of silver mist still cling to the surface, but they are quickly being dispersed by the rays of morning sunlight. Eleanor takes the lead, and heads along the south bank. The howls have fades out, but we still feel uneasy about staying near. Frazer had grabbed my canteen and knife as we were running away, so we have water at least.

Around noon, Louis stops us and heads off into the trees with his bow. We sit in silence, waiting for him to come back, hopefully with a belt of dead animals. No one talks while we wait; we are all to on edge, every muscle tenser than piano wire, fingering our weapons.

The sun is painting the water a bloody orange when he eventually does show up. He managed to shoot three rabbits and a squirrel. Eleanor manages to whip a fire out of nowhere, and we skin and spit them.

We eat and pick over the bones. We left most of our supplies back at camp when we ran, so we’re on tough ground as far as food goes. With lack of anything better to do, we find soft patches of dirt to pile together on and wait for sleep to come.

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