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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7. Part 7

Dawn is breaking through the windows. Slowly, I drag myself out of bed and into the shower. I arbitrarily punch buttons on the control board and end up hopping from foot to foot as alternating jets of icy cold and steaming hot water assault me. Then I'm deluged in lemony foam that I have to scrape off with a heavy bristled brush.

 

When I'm dried and moisturized with lotion, I find an outfit has been left for me at the front of the closet. Tight black pants, a short sleeved black, gray, and red T-shirt with a large number 12 on the back, and leather shoes. I put them on and sweep my hair to the left, in my usual style and head towards the dinning room. Zayn didn't give us an exact time to meet for breakfast but no one has contacted me this morning and I'm hungry.

 

I load a plate with eggs, sausages and batter cakes covered in thick orange preserves. As I eat, I watch the sun rise over the Capitol.

Zayn and Louis come in, bid me good morning and fill their plates. It makes me irritated that Louis is wearing exactly the same outfit I am.

 

I will admit I'm nervous about the training. There will be three days in which all of the tributes practice together. On the last afternoon, we'll each get a chance to perform in private before the Gamemakers. The thought of meeting the other tributes face-to-face makes me queasy.

 

When Zayn has finished several platters of stew, he pushes back his plate with a sigh. “So, let's get down to business. Training. First off, if you like, I'll coach separately. Decide now.”

“Why would you coach us separately?” Louis asks.

“Say if you had a secret skill that you might not want the other to know about,” says Zayn.

Louis and I exchange looks. “I don't have any skills,” he says. “And I already know what yours is, right? I mean I've eaten enough of your squirrels.”

I never thought about Louis eating the squirrels I shot, I didn't even think he knew about them.

“You can coach us together,” I tell Zayn. Louis just nods.

“All right, so give me some idea of what you can do,” says Zayn.

“I can't do anything,” says Louis. “Unless you count baking bread.”

“Sorry, I don't. Harry. I already know you're handy with a knife,” says Zayn.

“Not really. But I can hunt,” I say. “With a bow and arrow.”

“And, are you good?” asks Zayn.

I have to think about it. I've been putting food on the table for four years. That's no small task. I've better aim than Liam, but only because I've had more practice. He's a genius with traps and snares. “I'm all right,” I say.

“He's excellent,” says Louis, with a slightly dreamy look on his face. “My father buys his squirrels. He always comments on how the arrows never pierce the body. He hits every one in the eye. It's the same with the rabbits he sells the butcher. He can even bring down deer.”

 

This assessment of my skills from Louis takes me totally by surprise. First, that he ever noticed. Second, that he's talking me up.

 

“Louis is strong. He can lift a hundred-pound bags of flour, I've seen it,” I say.

“Yes, and I'm sure the arena will be full of bags of flour for me to chuck at people,” he says, rolling his eyes. “You know what my Mum said to me when she came to say good-bye? She said maybe District Twelve will finally have a winner. I realized she didn't mean me, she meant you!” Louis bursts out. I'm surprised. Did Louis's mother really say that?

 

Zayn tries to break the silence. “Well, there's no guarantee there'll be bows and arrows in the arena Harry, but during your private session with the Gamemakers, show them what you can do. Until then, stay clear of archery. Are you any good at trapping?”

“I know a few basic snares,” I say.

“That may be significant in terms of food,” says Zayn. “Oh and one last thing. I want you by each other's side every minute.”

I bite my lip and stalk back to my room. It's such a joke. Louis and I going along pretending to be friends when we'll just have to kill each other in the arena.

 

 

It's almost time for us to meet Katy Perry. I brush my teeth and fix my hair. By the time I meet Katy and Louis I can feel my anxiety is rising again as we make our way down to the training rooms which are below the ground level of our building.

 

The doors open into an enormous gymnasium filled with various weapons and obstacle courses. We're the last to arrive. The other tributes are gathered in a tense circle. As soon as we join the circle, a tall athletic woman named Atala steps up and begins to explain the training schedule. Experts in each skill will remain at their stations. We will be free to travel from area to area as we choose.

 

Louis nudges my arm and I jump. He's still beside me, per Zayn's instructions. “Where would you like to start?”

“Suppose we tie some knots,” I say.

We cross to the empty station where the trainer seems pleased to have students. When he realizes I know something about snares, he shows us a simple, excellent trap that will leave a human competitor dangling by a leg from a tree. We concentrate on this skill for an hour until both of us have mastered it. Then we move on to camouflage. Louis is genuinely seems to enjoy this station, swirling a combination of mud and clay and berry juice around on his skin, weaving disguises from vines and leaves. The trainer who runs the camouflage station is full of enthusiasm as his work.

“I do the cakes,” Louis admits to me.

“The cakes?” I ask.

“At home. The iced ones, for the bakery,” he says.

Now I remember them. Gemma loved to look at them and would always drag me over to look at them.

 

 

On the second day, while we're taking a shot a spear throwing, he whispers to me. “I think we have a shadow.” I throw my spear, which I'm pretty good at actually, and see the little girl from District 11 standing back a bit, watching me. She's the twelve-year-old, the one who reminds me so much of Gemma. I pick up another spear, while Louis throws. He misses, but I think he will get better with more practice. Hopefully. “I think her name is Rue,” he says.

Now that I know she's there, it's hard to ignore the child. She slips up and joins us at different stations. Like me, she's clever with plants, climbs swiftly, and has good aim.

 

On the third day of training, they start to call us out of lunch for our private sessions with the Gamemakers. District by district. I walk into the gymnasium when they call my name. Instantly, I know I'm in trouble. They've been here too long, the Gamemakers. Had too much wine, most of them.

 

I walk over to the archery station and choose a bow and string it. I then select a target but even as I pull back on the bow I know something is wrong. The string's tighter than the one I use at home. The arrow's more rigid. I miss the target by a couple of inches and lose what little attention I had been commanding. I shot again and again until I get the feel of these new weapons. Sure enough, after a few minutes I'm hitting the target perfectly. It's excellent shooting. I turn to the Gamemakers. A few are nodding approval, but the majority of them are fixed on a roast pig that has just arrived.

Suddenly I am furious, that with my life on the line, they don't even have the decency to pay attention to me. That I'm being upstaged by a dead pig. Peasants!

Without thinking, I grab and arrow, notch it, aim and send it straight at the Gamemaker's table. I hear shouts of alarm as people stumble back. The arrow skewers the apple in the pig's mouth and pins it to the wall behind it. Everyone stares at me in disbelief.

 

“Thank you for your consideration,” I say. Then I give a slight bow and walk straight toward the exit without being dismissed.

 

Author's Note:  Chatper 7 is done!  Hope you guys liked it, don't forget to fan, favorite and comment!  :) 

~Catnip    

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