Silence [Hunger Games Fanfiction]

Traumatized by her brother’s death, Raven Verona desperately wants to escape her past. But when she is chosen for the 31st Hunger Games, that becomes impossible.


An unwanted admirer.


A true soul mate.


23 enemies.


Let the Games begin


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8. Eight

I didn’t sleep well the first night on the train. Nightmares plagued my mind, and I couldn’t stop thinking of my mother’s face. I knew that was the way I would always remember her, crumbling and screaming. No matter how I tried to block the image out, it wouldn’t work. At around five in the morning, I gave up and roamed the carriages for a while. I went back to the dining car and found Eli sat alone, painting his toenails on the table.

 “You know, Eli, people have to eat off that table. We don’t want your feet all over our food,” I teased. I made him jump and his hand was brushed off course.

 “Raven! You made me smudge!”

 “Sorry,” I mumbled.

 “Well. Why not get some food now that you’re here? You’re going to have a long day today.”

 “What exactly does today involve?” I asked, piling sausages, eggs and toast made from fine Capitol bread on to a plate.

 “In my opinion, today will be the best day for you! You get to have a full makeover! You’ll meet your stylist, and your prep team, and they’ll make you look presentable for the Opening Ceremonies! I can’t wait to see what they do with you. Hopefully they’ll bring out your eyes. They’re your best feature, you know.”

 “Err…thanks?”

 “It’s a compliment! Not that I’d expect you to understand. You know nothing about image.”

 I raised my eyebrows, but said nothing. I wasn’t in the mood to argue with him. As I settled down to eat, Logan entered the carriage, wrapped up in a dressing gown, and with a cup of hot chocolate in his grasp.

 “Morning,” he said sleepily, plonking down in the seat beside Eli.

 “Sleep well?”

 “What do you think?”

 I smiled “Me neither.”

 He slouched lazily in his chair, and pushed his hair off his face “I just passed Valeria in the corridor. She reckons we have around an hour until the train pulls in. Fancy going for an explore?”

 I nodded eagerly. For some reason, the thought of spending some time alone with Logan again appealed to me. There was something about his presence that relaxed me, despite his flirtatious manner and cutting tongue. I shovelled down the rest of my food and we set off in the opposite direction to the sleeping quarters. We walked in companionable silence for a while, until we reached a large window at the end of the carriage. Though the train was travelling at a high speed, I was able to see rolling countryside.

 “Do you think it’s much different in other districts?” Logan asked “I mean, we must be somewhere near District 1. I’ve always been told it’s one of the richer Districts, but maybe in a way, we have it better in 10. Who knows what other people have to deal with?”

 “It’s odd, isn’t it? Thinking about other Districts. I think it’s fascinating.”

 “Me too. I guess if you win, you’ll get to see them on the Victory Tour.”

 I nodded, but said nothing. I didn’t want to discuss the Games. But Logan had other ideas.

 “Maybe we’d be better prepared if we came from 1. They say that they train the kids there, just in case. Can you imagine?”

 I shrugged “I don’t think there is any way anyone can be prepared for the Games. Physically, maybe. Emotionally? No.”

 I thought back to how the Games affected people at home, and immediately thought of my mother. My mother was always badly affected by the Hunger Games. She always refused to watch, keeping her eyes closed and hands clamped firmly over her ears while the rest of us watched on grimly. She always visited the families of the dead tributes of our District, and gave them a small donation of money or food as a way of saying sorry for their losses.

 One year, when I was about six, she said to me “I’ve had enough of this. Too many lives are being forgotten. I’m going to make something that will make their memory live on.”

 And she did. It was just after the Games had finished, and she gathered the families of the deceased tributes to help her with the plan. She took a square of fabric from a piece of clothing of the two tributes and sewed them together. It took several years for me to figure out what the idea of it was. When I was twelve, twelve pieces had been sewn together. People began to hear about the piece she was making, and people who had previously lost loved ones to the Games began to donate pieces of clothing. On each patch in neat stitches, my mother wrote the child’s name. By the year Jonah went into the Games, the piece was huge. It was like a giant blanket. And each year, mother would go to the families of the tributes and give them the blanket, as a reminder that the tributes are never forgotten. After Jonah went in to the Games, she couldn’t bring herself to carry on, and so I took over. I wondered if she would do it herself that year. I had an image of her and Logan’s mother huddled over the blanket together, sewing our names in golden thread. I blinked hard to remove the image from my mind, and pressed my palm against the cold glass of the window. I longed to be outside. I should have run while I had the chance.

 Suddenly, the windows darkened. We were nearly there. To reach the Capitol, the train had to pass through the tunnel in the mountains separating the Districts and the Capitol. I reached for Logan’s hand, suddenly very nervous. He gave it a comforting squeeze and I felt a little safer. Well. As safe as you can feel when you’re being taken to your death.

 We stood in silence. All that could be heard was the quiet growl of the train’s engine. And then, the carriage was flooded with light once again, and I saw my first glimpse of the Capitol. Despite my hatred for the city and everything in it, it was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. I could imagine being stood at the top of the highest building and staring down at the rainbow city, with its strange monuments and landmarks. The Capitol people saw us arriving and began to push and shove to get a better look. I hid my disgust at them and tried to dredge up a pleasant smile, waving demurely at the strange creatures outside the window. Logan, however, remained cold and unwelcoming. After a few moments, he turned his back pointedly, and left the carriage, dropping my hand coldly. I tried not to let my smile waver and continued to greet the Capitol citizens. After all, sponsors are important, and one of them might take me on…I thought.

 As the train pulled into the station, I let myself relax again. I never thought the Games would be easy, but I realised then that every second counted in keeping me alive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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