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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15. Fifteen

 The next few days passed in a blur. After the first day of training, I stuck to Logan’s side as much as possible. I persuaded him to learn some combat skills, just in case. He preferred learning to use weapons that were more likely to injure than kill, so we spent a lot of time in the slingshot station. He promised that if we made it out of the bloodbath, he would teach me how to build a fire and how to recognize edible plants, which gave me more time to concentrate on weapons. Sometimes we were joined by Clementia at the stations, and it became normal for her to sit with us during lunch. Logan managed to keep himself from flirting with her, and during the evenings we’d sit together, watching old Hunger Games and chatting. I finally managed to get a few hours of sleep, though often I dreamt of unspeakable horrors. To add to my anxiousness, the private sessions with the Gamemakers were fast approaching, and I had no idea what I was going to do. The idea was to show your skills to the best of their ability, but I wanted to do something special. Something they’d never forget.

 The day of the private session arrived, but my idea only came to me during lunch. It was risky. Very risky. But when I discussed it with Logan, he thought it was a great idea.

 “Risks are memorable, especially if you do it right. Just make sure you do do it right, or you can guarantee the Gamemakers will make your life very difficult.”

 He was right. I couldn’t afford mistakes. He was called for his session a moment later, and I sat alone in the hall. A nerve wracking twenty minutes passed before my name was called, and I was led to the gymnasium. Most of the Gamemakers were sat slouched in their chairs, murmuring to each other and looking like they’d rather be anywhere else. I strode to the centre of the hall, chin held high, and nodded to the Head Gamemaker, who I knew to be called Rodolfus Chain. I stated my name, and was glad to hear that my voice was both clear and powerful. Chain noted something down, before looking at me expectantly.

 “Good afternoon, everybody,” I said “Please may I have a volunteer?”

 They all looked pretty surprised. It was practically unheard of for someone to interact with the Gamemakers, let alone ask them for assistance in their private sessions.

 “I’m afraid that won’t be possible,” Chain replied “No physical contact is-”

 “Oh, no, sir. There will be no physical contact, I promise,” I said quickly. Without the volunteer, I would have no plan. Luckily, a fat Gamemaker rose from his seat and began to make his way down the steps.

 “I volunteer,” he said “This had better be good.”

 I smiled “I can assure you, sir, that this will be the best, most exciting session of your career. Please stand in front of that target with your arms outstretched, like this,” I said, spreading my arms and standing with my feet apart in a star shape. Whilst he obeyed my request, I selected three good throwing knives.

 “What is your name, sir?” I asked, getting into position.

 “Brigham. Brigham Roach.”

 “Well Brigham, prepare yourself.” I aimed and quickly threw the knife. The Gamemakers let out a gasp, and then a sigh of relief as it landed on the target in between Brigham’s spread fingers. Several of them clapped, and I smiled, sending the next knife between his legs. Brigham laughed nervously, his forehead sweating.

 “One last one,” I promised. “But how about we make this a little harder? Has anyone got a piece of cloth I can use?”

 My audience were clearly puzzled, but reluctantly, Chain removed his red silk tie and handed it down to me. Smiling, I tied the material over my eyes, adrenaline pumping in my veins. I heard Brigham shuffling, as though he was trying to escape.

 “I suggest you stay where you are, Brigham. Or else this won’t work. Now tell me, everyone. Where should I aim?”

 “By his ear! By his left ear!” someone cried.

 “By the left ear it is, then.” I clutched the knife, and silence fell. Everyone was holding their breath, half doubting my ability to do it. I’ll show them I thought. I released the knife and waited for the thump. A cheer erupted from the Gamemakers. I had done it. I ripped the blindfold from my eyes, and stepped forward to shake hands with Brigham. He pumped my hand up and down hard, breathing hard.

 “Excellent show, excellent!” he gasped “Amazing…”

 The cheers continued, though Chain remained sober. I took several bows, before leaving the room, waving all the way. They waved back cheerfully, and I could see how impressed they were. I was elated. With my opening ceremonies success, plus my training session, I hoped sponsors would consider me. I practically ran to the lift, impatiently pressing the lift button to try and make it arrive faster. I couldn’t wait to tell everyone.

 “How did it go?” Logan asked excitedly when I returned to the television room. He was as hyped about the plan as I was, if not more.

 “Excellent,” I said, with a smug feeling inside me “How about you?”

 “So-so. I used a slingshot to take down some moving targets. I doubt it will get me a high score, but I suppose it doesn’t matter too much for me. I can’t wait to see what you get!”

 Neither could I. We arranged ourselves comfortably in the television room, and even the stylists joined us. I strained to hear the scores over the sound of Annabella screeching about some party she went to. Roger got a ten, which was a little unnerving. Seems he must be good at something, I thought. Minerva, the tall girl from 2 with light hair, received a nine. In fact, all the Careers got eight or above. My heart was thumping hard against my chest as Logan’s score was announced. He’d got a seven. I patted him on the back, and he looked quite pleased with himself.

 “A lot better than I expected,” he said. Everyone was congratulating him, when he shushed them all.

 “Quiet! Raven’s score is next!” he said. Everyone stared at the screen expectantly. Eyes still glued to the screen, I fumbled for Logan’s hand. My palms were sweating and he squeezed my fingers in reassurance. The number flashed on the screen. Ten. Ten. Ten…

 “Ten!” Annabella and Felix cried in unison. I surprised myself by leaping off the couch and hugging Drew fiercely. He was a little surprised, but laughed a little, and hugged me back. I hugged everyone in turn, even Felix and Annabella. Leonie ordered some wine, and a toast was proposed to me and Logan. Eventually, still catching up on sleep, I returned to my room. I wanted to be in a fit state to prepare for the interviews the next day.

  When I got into my room, I was startled to see the blonde Avox. She was as surprised as I was, and jumped back slightly, dropping the towel she was holding. I ran to pick it up for her, and handed it back.

 “Hi,” I said. She said nothing, of course, just gave me a nervous little nod. She turned to scurry from the room, but I grabbed her arm, which stiffened under my touch.

 “Wait! I want to talk to you!”

 She shook her head violently.

 “Why not?”

 She drew a finger across her throat in a death motion. I shook my head.

 “No. I won’t let that happen. Sit, please.”

 She hesitated.

 “Please?” I repeated. Slowly, she shuffled over to the bed and sat on the very edge, as though she was ready to spring to her feet at the slightest problem. I ordered two mugs of hot chocolate through the machine, and it arrived several moments later, steaming and giving off an amazing aroma. I handed one to her, and she gripped the hand so hard her knuckles went completely white.

 “What’s your name? Can you act it out?” I asked. She wavered.

 “Can you write it?”

 She nodded, and I fetched her some paper.  In tiny, neat handwriting, she wrote Pandora.

 “Pandora…that’s a beautiful name. I’m Raven.”

 She smiled slightly and nodded. There was a moment where I didn’t really know what to say. I was holding back from asking the question that had been bugging me for days, but in the end I went for it.

 “Why are you an Avox? What did you do?”

 She drunk some of her hot chocolate, partly I think to gather her thoughts. Then she put down her mug and made several gestures with her hands. I studied them hard, and tried to interpret them.

 “They…killed your family?” she nodded assent, then made her fingers run on the palm of her hand “So you ran away?”

 She nodded again, before using her other hand to mime picking up the running figure.

 “And they took you away? Picked you up in a hovercraft?”

 The snipping motion in front of her mouth confirmed it. I patted her shoulder, and was surprised when she leaned forward and hugged me. I didn’t want to let her go when she was so vulnerable, and I realised she wasn’t going to pull away either. She was crying. We stayed there a long time, knowing that life for both of us was never going to be easy. Eventually, I pulled away and fetched a tissue. Her crystal blue eyes were still gleaming, and she dabbed her eyes delicately, nodding to me as a thanks. I told her I would be back soon, and went to shower. I knew I had to help her in some way. I couldn’t stand the thought of her stuck in the Capitol for the rest of her life. I put on a robe, and returned to the bedroom. Pandora had fallen asleep, her hair spread over the pillow and her breathing heavy. I smiled sadly and carefully pulled the duvet from underneath her so I could drape it over her frame. Then I climbed in next to her, pulling the covers over me as well.

 “If I win, I swear I’ll come back for you. I’m going to get you out of here,” I whispered. Then I snuggled into the pillow and for the first time in a long while, my dreams were pleasant.

 

 

 

 

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