Mercy (A Hunger Games fanfic)

Avea Thatcher isn't like most careers from District 4, she has no interest in the games or the fame and glory that come with being Victor. But after her twin sister, Lyra, is executed, her older sister, Xanthe, decides to volunteer for the 56th Hunger Games as a form of suicide. Avea knows she has to be the one to fight in the games if she is to save her sister and keep her family together. Seen as a traitor by the careers, Avea struggles to stay alive in the arena while keeping a vow she made to Lyra and herself to not let anyone suffer before they die.

"Before I black out I make a vow to myself: 'I will never let anyone suffer like she did. I will never let anyone suffer like my sister did.' And then I'm pulled into the blackness."

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2. Chapter 1

I roll over and look at the cot next to me; I expect to see her curled up under the blanket, brown hair falling in her face, but she's not there, she never is. Lying on my back, I stare at the ceiling and give myself a minute to compose myself before I'm dragged into another hell filled day. There's a spider weaving a web in the corner and I watch it while I count down my minute. The web is beautiful and fragile, but at the same time dangerous. For some reason this reminds me of Lyra, she was always the most beautiful sister in the family and always so fragile, but apparently she was also dangerous or at least that's what the Peacekeepers seemed to think. My breath shutters as it comes out and I can feel my eyes watering, so I bury my face in my pillow and block out the world. I let the tears trickle down my face for the remainder of the minute, then I wipe them away, force myself to get up and face the day.

It's a Sunday, so there isn't any school or work; I grab my guitar, an old beat up thing that has been in the family for generations, and walk down to the docks. I usually spend my Sunday's helping around the house, but it's the day before the reaping and I need some time to myself.

The walk to the docks is quite for the most part, I here a few people talking about the reaping and who they think the tributes will be, but besides that the only sound is my feet against the stone path. Most of the shops are already open and emit a warm glow from within that reminds me of how dark I feel inside, I shake my head and walk the rest of the way to the docks.

The dock is a bit damp and is covered in mold, but it's comfortable. I swing my legs over the edge and let my bare feet dangle over the green-gray sea. The water splashes against my toes as I play my guitar. My fingers move without me really having to think about it and I start to play one of my favorite songs; the song is a quite one, it's sort of depressing but at the same time it helps me to reflect on my thoughts.

" Bright stars above, gray waves below.

 The ocean carries you away.

To a place where no one can follow.

But, in my dreams you stay.

So, I can always hope for tomorrow."

My fingers stop in mid strum when I hear someone singing the lyrics to the song I was playing. My bestfriend, really my only friend, Selene sits next to me with her feet swinging over the side of the dock.

"I didn't hear you come up," I say calmly, turning my attention back to my guitar.

"That's because you are to self-absorbed to notice, Avea," she says with a grin.

"I didn't know spending time alone was a bad thing," I reply warming up to her bright personality.

"It is when you could be spending time with the coolest person in the district," she gestures at herself.

I laugh, "Now who's self-absorbed."

She laughs in a sweet, high-pitched way that makes her sound like a child, "Well, I didn't just come down here to improve your performance. I have to tell you something."

I look her in the eyes, all signs playfulness gone, "What is it?" I ask.

She looks away and instead focuses on her swinging feet, "Xanthe talked to me today. She said I shouldn't tell you until after the reaping, but I thought you should know."

"Know what?" I ask calmly.

"She says she's going to volunteer at the reaping tomorrow," Selene replies still watching her feet.

I can feel my heart beat picking, wild thoughts running through my head: 'She can't leave me!', 'Why would she do this to me?', 'If she dies I'll be all alone!' This last thought makes me sick. After taking a few deep breaths I ask as calmly as I can, "Did she say why?"

Selene turns her head to look me in the eyes, but quickly turns away, "She wanted me to tell you this incase she couldn't convince you after the reaping. She said she couldn't take it anymore. She said she hurts so badly inside because of what happened to Lyra and how your family is torn apart with your dad's drinking problem and all," after Lyra died my dad started drinking heavily and would lock himself in the house for hours at the time, if we disturbed him he would yell and scream at us until we left, "She also wanted me to tell you that her volunteering would save some other kids life, one who isn't ready to die."

"She plans on getting herself killed?" I can feel my throat tightening and my breathing picks up.  Selene can only nod. I choke out a thank you, grab my guitar, and run home.

When I get home I slam the door behind me and lean against the wall. My heart is still hammering in my chest, but the run home has cleared my mind. I know what I need to do. There is no way I can talk Xanthe out of volunteering, she's far too stubborn, and I can't let her die. Call me selfish but I'd rather die and let her live without me than have her die. I have to volunteer as tribute.

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