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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18. Eighteen

I finally pulled myself together, and headed off to Logan’s room. The events of that hour in my room will always be a strange mess in my memory, and I don’t even know if what I remember is true. All I knew was that I was on the brink of madness. One final push, and I’d have been over the edge.

 I knocked on his door and waited. He came out several seconds later, looking rough. His hair was ruffled, and the shirt he wore was creased.

 “Sorry. I fell asleep,” he admitted sheepishly “I thought it was best to get as much sleep as possible.”

 “Sorry to disturb you.”

 “No worries. I invited you, remember? Come in.”

 I stepped inside and sat down on the bed to make myself comfortable.

 “I see you still haven’t tidied your room.”

 He laughed “Funnily enough, I have things I would rather be doing.”

 I smiled back, but got back to business “So. What’s the plan? Go to the Cornocopia or run?”

 “I think we should go to the Cornocopia. Think about it. We have no idea where we might be put. Our skills will be useless without food to keep us going and weapons for attack. And we have an advantage over most. There are two of us.”

 “But what about the Careers? And Roger…”

 “If we don’t go to the Cornocopia, they’ll hunt us down anyway. We at least need something to fight them with.”

 I considered it quickly, then nodded in agreement “Ok. Sounds good.” I paused “Do you think we have a chance? Really?”

 “I think you need to put it out of your mind and get some sleep. But yes. I think we do. I think you do.”

 I hugged him, and said the words that needed to be said “I love you, you know that?”

 “Of course I know. Who doesn’t?”

 I laughed, a proper laugh. He was the only person able to make me laugh. I stood on my tiptoes and kissed his cheek.

 “Good luck, Logan.”

 “Good luck, Raven. See ya at the Cornocopia, okay?”

 “OK.”

 I headed back to my room and clambered under my duvet, but I knew I wouldn’t sleep. To keep myself occupied, I closed my eyes, stretched my fingers and imagined I had a piano sat in front of me. I bent the index finger on my right hand, and I could hear faintly in my mind the blissful sound of middle C. How I had missed music. I let my fingers soar through the air, hearing each note louder and louder each time. I played all the songs I knew. And then I finally came to the one I wrote myself. Once more, I wiggled my fingers to prepare, and began to play. And in my head, I sang to myself the lyrics

 

With trembling knees

And only the devil to please

You stepped into shadow

 

They have no room for the brave

All that they crave

Is your fear

 

Souls are made to be broken

The darkness has already spoken

And there is no going back

The road ahead is forever black

 

An undesired way to die

Another tear that will never dry

Gone forever

 

And even should you return

Hell doesn’t come without a burn

That lasts forever

 

Souls are made to be broken

The darkness has already spoken

And there is no going back

The road ahead is forever black

 

 I couldn’t hear the piano any more, not matter how hard I tried. The magic had gone, and I was left with a feeling of complete emptiness. And I felt alone. More alone than I thought it to be possible. I couldn’t stand being on my own any longer, so I headed to Drew’s room. I know he told me he’d see me in the morning, but morning was too far away from my liking. Besides, I knew he’d be awake. The day before the Games? He’d be suffering as much as me, if not more.

 I found him huddled in the corner of the room, like I had the last time I had been there, but he wasn’t screaming. In fact, I think what I saw was worse. He stared blankly ahead of him, seeing nothing, or maybe everything, I don’t know. I sighed and shook his shoulder. Luckily, this seemed to work and he snapped out of whatever trance he’d been in.

 “Raven, what are you doing here?” he asked wearily.

 “I couldn’t sleep.”

 “That makes two of us then. Order me a hot drink, will you?”

 I rolled my eyes at his rudeness “I’m the guest! It should be you waiting on me! Where are your manners?”

 “Well seeing as you barged into my quarters uninvited, I’d say your manners aren’t up to scratch either. Now shift!”

 Grudgingly, I ordered him a coffee, and myself some herbal tea. He raised his eyebrow at my choices, but said nothing. He clambered to his feet unsteadily, as though drunk, and wobbled his way over to the couch. He clutched his head and moaned.

 “I have the worst headache ever.”

 “Maybe it’s because you haven’t slept in over a week?”

 “I never sleep,” he said with a small smile. I handed him his coffee, and he sipped it, the creases in his face softening as the drink warmed him up.

 “That’s much better. Thank you.”

 I nodded and sat down next to him. We weren’t the chattiest people in the world, but it was unusually quiet. Drew looked to be thinking hard about something.

 “What’s on your mind?” I asked.

 “I was just wondering…and I thought I could ask you. How did you… how did you get over your brother’s death?”

 I laughed bitterly “I didn’t.”

 “Then how come I’m in such a mess and you’re not?”

 “I’m not right either. I don’t feel right. In here,” I said, tapping my skull with my finger “I haven’t been right in a long time.”

 “Then what is the difference between us?”

 I thought about it. “I keep it in. You let it out. I’ve built a barrier, so that nothing gets out, but things still get in. See what I’m saying? One day, I’m going to be holding so much in that I won’t be able to contain it. I’ll explode. You? You explode all the time.”

 He laughed “I didn’t realise I was an explosive sort person.”

 “You’d be surprised.”

 We both laughed then. Okay, perhaps we were both a bit mentally unstable, and it wasn’t actually funny, but we both knew well enough that it’s better to laugh than cry. I nudged him.

 “Hey. Tell me your best memory. Your happiest one.”

 He wrinkled his nose “I don’t have many.”

 “Come on, there must be something you can tell me.”

 “I’m a terrible storyteller.”

 “I don’t care.”

 He closed his eyes, and didn’t say anything for a minute or so. Then they snapped back open “Alright. But this is just between us, OK? I don’t like to tell this story.”

 “Of course.”

 “Well…” he scratched his chin “I would have been ten at the time. I lived with my mother and father in a particularly poor part of District 10. But to me, it didn’t matter. We were…happy.” The word happy sounded foreign to his tongue, as though he didn’t quite understand the meaning of it “My birthday was approaching, which was always a dull affair. Of course, it was a little saddening that my parents couldn’t afford the time or money to make my birthday special. So I wasn’t looking forward to it, really.”

 “This is meant to be happy!”

 “It is! Just shut up and listen. Like I was saying, I wasn’t looking forward to my birthday. I thought it would be just like any other day. But when I got home from school that day, I was first of all amazed to find that my parents were home. Normally, they worked late with the animals, but there they both were, smiling with something held behind their backs. The second surprise was a small gift, wrapped in wax paper that they must have got from the butchers. I asked them what it was, and they told me I’d have to open it and find out. Inside, was a red yoyo. It sounds like an average present to anyone who is privileged enough to have a toy of their own, but to me, it was the best thing I’d ever received. Even now, I would trade all my wealth for that yoyo.” He dug in his pocket and pulled out the yoyo “Luckily I still have it. Here, have a go.”

 I played with it for a few moments, smiling. The string was grubby, and the wood needed painting again, but I knew it was only because it had been put to good use. I handed it back to him, and he turned it over in his hands, over and over. Then it clicked.

 “Hang on! In the arena…”

 “Yep. It was my District token.”

 “I thought that you had just found it!” I exclaimed. It surprised me that it meant so much to him, that he’d take it with him. His eyes were transfixed on his yoyo as he spoke.

 “That’s it. My best memory.”

 “If you don’t mind me asking…where are your parents?”

 I immediately knew it was the wrong question to ask. He stiffened, and his eyes widened.

 “I’m sorry, I’m sorry…”

 “No!” Drew gasped, sounding like he’d just exhaled all the air in his lungs at once, “No, it’s OK. You just caught me off guard. Do you still want to know?”

 I nodded, but with uncertainly. Drew went back to tossing his yoyo from hand to hand.

 “Dead,” he said simply, his eyes so distant that if he wasn’t talking, I’d be seriously worried “I was a nuisance to the Capitol. Still am. I did things that perhaps I shouldn’t. More trouble than I was worth, but I was young, and still well known in the Capitol. They couldn’t kill me. I was a victor. There would be questions asked. And so…they killed my parents. And I watched. Pow, pow!” he said, his eyes not moving, but his hands making gun motions to go with the sound effect “Boom! Dead. Gone. Gone. Gone…”

 I was terrified. It was like the night of his visions. He stood abruptly and ran to the bathroom. I heard him vomit, and I rushed to his side. He was curled up in a ball on the floor wailing. There was nothing I could do, but lie down next to him and let him cry on my shoulder. The floor was cold and hard, but in comparison to the pain I felt inside, it was a mere tickle. And it was there that we both fell asleep, trapped in a world of misery and torture.

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