The Hunger Games Larry Stylinson

In The ruins of a place once known as North American lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlaying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Harry Styles, who lives alone with his mother and younger sister Gemma, regards it as a death sentence when he steps forward to take his sister's place in the Games. But Harry has been close to dead before — and survival, for him, is second nature. Without really meaning to, he becomes a contender, but if he is to win, he will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

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3. Part 3

The moment the anthem ends, we are taken into custody. I don't mean we're handcuffed or anything, but a group of Peacekeepers marches us through the front door of the Justice Building.

 

Once inside, I'm conducted to a room and left alone. It's the richest place I've ever been in, with thick, deep carpets and a velvet couch and chairs. I know velvet because my mother has a dress with a collar made of the stuff. When I sit on the couch, I can't help running my fingers over the fabric repeatedly. It helps to calm me as I try to prepare for the next hour. The time allotted for the tributes to say goodbye to their loved ones.

 

My sister and mother come first. I reach out to Gemma and she climbs on my lap, her head on my shoulder, her fingers playing with my curly hair. My mother sits beside me and wraps her arms around us. For a few minutes, we say nothing. Then I start telling them all the things they must remember to do, now that I will not be there to do them for them.

 

Gemma is not to take any tesserae. They can get by, if they're careful, on selling Gemma's goat milk and cheese and the small apothecary business my mother now runs for the people in the Seam . Liam will get her the herbs she doesn't grow herself, but she must be very careful to describe them because he's not as familiar with them as I am. He'll also bring them game – he and I made a pact about this a year or so ago.

 

I don't bother suggesting Gemma learn to hunt. I tried to teach her a couple of times and it was disastrous. The woods terrified her, and whenever I shot something, she'd get all teary and want to leave. But she does well with her goat.

 

When I'm done with instructions, Gemma hugs me. “Maybe you can win. You're so fast and brave.”

 

I can't win. Gemma must know that in her heart. The competition will be far beyond my abilities. Kids from wealthier districts, where winning is a huge honor, who've been trained their whole lives for this. Oh they'll be people like me, too. People to weed out before the real fun begins. I don't stand a chance.

 

“Maybe,” I say, because I can't bring myself to tell Gemma that I've already given up.

“You will try, won't you? Really, really try?” asks Gemma, locking her eyes with my green ones.

“Really, really try. I swear it,” I say. And I know, because of Gemma, I'll have to.

 

And then the Peacekeeper is at the door, signaling our tiem is up, and we're all hugging one another so hard it hurts and all I'm saying is “I love you.” And they're saying it back and then the Peacekeeper orders them out and the door closes.

 

Someone else enters the room. Madge. She walks straight up to me. She isn't weepy or evasive, instead there's an urgency about her tone that surprises me. “They let you wear one thing from your district in the arena. One thing to remind you of home. Will you wear this?” She holds out the circular gold pin that was on her dress earlier. I hadn't paid much attention to it before, but now I see it's a small bird in flight.

“Your pin?” I say, confused. A token from my District is the last thing on my mind right now.

“Here, I'll pit it on you, ok?” Madge doesn't wait for an answer, she just leans in an fixes the bird to my shirt, above my heart. “Promise you'll wear it into the arena, Harry?” she asks. “Promise?”

“Yes,” I say. “I promise.” Madge gives me one more gift. A kiss on the cheek. Then she's gone.

 

Finally, Liam is here. “Listen,” he says. “Getting a knife should be pretty easy, but you've got to get your hands on a bow. That's your best chance.”

“They don't always have bows,” I say.

“Then make one. Even a weak bow is better than no bow at all.” I just sigh. “Harry, it's just hunting. You're the best hunter I know,” says Liam.

“It's not just hunting. They're armed. They think,” I say.

“So do you. And you've had more practice, real practice. You know how to kill.”

“Not people,” I say.

“How different can it really be?” says Liam grimly.

The awful thing is that if I can forget they're people, it will be no different.

 

The Peacekeepers are back too soon and ordering Liam to leave.

“Don't let them starve!” I cry out, clinging to his hand.

“I won't! You know I won't! Harry, remember I – ” he says, and they yank us apart and slam the door and I'll never know what Liam wanted to tell me.

 

It's a short ride from the Justice Building to the train station. We have to stand in the doorway of the train so the reporters can photograph us multiple times. I don't know if I'm imagining it, but I think I catch Louis Tomlinson staring at me more than once. Maybe it's just the sun reflecting off a camera.

 

Finally we're allowed inside and the train begins to move. The speed takes my breath away. Of course I've never been on a train, as travel between districts is forbidden except for officially sanctioned duties.

 

Our journey to the Capitol will take less than a day. We are each given our own chambers that have a bedroom, dressing area, and a private bathroom with hot and cold. We don't have hot water at home, unless we boil it.

There are drawers filled with fine clothes, and Katy Perry tells me to do anything I want, wear anything I want, everything is at my disposal. Just be ready for supper in an hour. I peel my clothes off and take a hot shower. Then I dress in black pants and a dark green shirt that brings out the color of my eyes.

At the last minute, I remember Made's little gold pin. I take a closer look at it and see it's a Mockingjay. They're funny birds and something of a slap in the face to the Capital. During the rebellion of the Districts, the Capital bred a series of genetically altered animals as weapsons. The common term for them was muttations, or sometimes mutts for short. One was a special bird called a jabberjay that had the ability to memorize and repeart human conversations. The rebells discovered this and started spreading all kinds of lies so the birds would repeat them to the Capital and the joke was on. Frustrated, the Capital left the birds to die off, only they didn't. They mated with female mocking birds and produced a whole new species, Mockingjays. The Mockingjays couldn't enunciate words, but could replicate both bird whistles and human voices.

 

My father was particularly fond of Mockingjays. When we went hunting, he would whistle or sing complicated songs to them and, after a polite pause, they'd always sing back. Not everyone is treated with such respect. But when my father sang, all the birds in the area would fall silent and listen. His voice was that beautiful. I haven't sung once, not since he's been gone. Still, there's something comforting about the little bird. It's like having a piece of my father with me, protecting me. I fasten the pin onto my shirt, and with the dark green fabric as a background, I can almost imagine the mockingjays flying through the trees.

 

Katy Perry comes to collect me for supper. I follow her trhough the narrow, rocking corridor into a dinning room with polished paneled walls. There's a table where all the dishes are highly breakable. Louis Tomlinson sits waiting for us, the chair next to him is empty. 
“Where's Zayn?” asks Katy brightly.

“Last time I saw him, he said he was going to take a nap,” says Louis, whose now staring at me. I look away and hope that I'm not blushing.

“Well, it's been an exhausting day,” says Katy Perry.

 

The supper comes in courses. A thick carrot soup, green salad, lamb chops and mashed potatoes, cheese, fruit, and a chocolate cake. Throughout the meal, Kay Perry keeps reminding us to save space because there's more to come. But I'm stuffing myself because I've never had food like this, so good and so much, and because probably the best thing I can do between now and the Games is put on a few pounds.

 

Now that the meal is over, I'm fighting to keep the food down. I can see Louis is looking a little green too. Neither of our stomachs is used to such rich food. But if I can hold down Greasy Sae's concoction of mice meat, pig entrails and tree bark I'm determined to hang on to this.

 

We go to another compartment to watch the recap of the reapings across Panem. One by one, we see the other reapings, the names being called, the volunteers stepping forward or, more often, not. We examine the faces of the kids who will be our competition. A few stand out in my mind. A monstrous boy who lunges forward to volunteer from District 2. A fox-faced girl with sleek red hair from District 5. And most hauntingly, a twelve-year-old girl from District 11. She reminds me of Gemma.

 

Last of all, they show District 12. Gemma being called, me running forward to volunteer. You can't miss the sound of desperation in my voice as I push Gemma behind me. I see Liam pulling her off me and watch myself mount the stage. The commentators are not sure what to say about the crowd's refusal to applaud. The silent salute. One says that District 12 has always been a bit backward but the local customs can be charming. As if on cue, Zayn falls off the stage, and they groan comically. Louis's name is drawn, and he quickly takes his place. We shake hands. They cut to the anthem again, and the program ends.

 

 

Just then, Zayn staggers into the compartment. “I miss supper?” he says in a slurred voice. Then he vomits all over the expensive carpet and passes out. Ew. Katy Perry wastes no time in fleeing the room, leaving me and Louis to take care of Zayn. Ewwwww.  

 

 

Author's Note:  Ok, here's Part 3.  Hope you guys like it.  Don't forget to Favorite, Fan and Comment!  Thanks for reading!  :) x

~Catnip   

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