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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3. Chapter 2

My hands shake as I do up the last button of my dress, a gray one that falls to my knees and has sleeves that go just past my elbows. Today is the reaping and I can't help but feel it will be one of my last days. My palms are sweaty and I'm starting to breath heavily, 'Oh God, Oh God,' I think, ' I don't want to die.' , but all I have to do to calm myself is think of Xanthe dying in the arena and I'm ready for whatever's coming. When my hands stop shaking I finish getting ready; my thick hair falls down to just past my ribs in a golden-brown mess, people always tell me that between my thick, golden-brown hair and cat-like green eyes I remind them of a lion, which is good because I can't look weak when I volunteer, I have to look fierce like a lion. Once I get a comb through my hair I practice my best glare in the mirror until I'm satisfied that I really do look like a lion. I am fierce.

When I walk into the kitchen Xanthe's already at the table staring blankly at her oatmeal.

"Nervous?" I ask grabbing a slice of bread from the table and look at her for some kind of reaction, maybe an apology.

"I have my reasons," she replies her face so full of sadness I feel Iike I could drown in her sorrow and it kills me to think that I'm only going to make it worse. 'But it's for her own good,' I tell myself; though, I'm not sure if only doing this because I'd rather die than live without her.

The words spill out of my mouth before I can stop them, "I know you're going to volunteer," I hadn't planned on telling her that.

Xanthe isn't even fazed, does she honestly not see how this will ruin our family? She smiles slightly, "Selene told you, didn't she?"

I try my best to keep calm, but the rage is bubbling in my chest, "We're not talking about Selene. How could you do this to me?

"Not everything is about you!" she spits with enough venom to kill.

I can feel my face growing red with rage, "You think I'm the selfish one! I'm not the one trying to get myself killed! I'm not the one leaving their sister alone with their drunken father!"

"You don't understand!" she cries.

"No, I understand. She was my sister too and I lost her just like I'm going to lose you. I'll be all alone!"

"You can't talk me out of it," she says with her eyes as cold as stone.

"No, I can't, but I can stop you," I say returning her cold glare and walk out the door to let her think about what I just said.

I'm one of the first people to arrive at the reaping, so I strategically place myself at the front of the section roped off for the fifteen year olds, this way I can volunteer before Xanthe does. The square is made of stone and is surrounded by many of the District's shops, all closed on Reaping day. It suddenly hits me that I may never see any of this again and I can feel the fear rising in me, but I force it down and wait. Selene finds me and grips my hand trying to comfort me, she doesn't know I'm going to volunteer; I barely notice her presence, I'm to caught up in my own thoughts.

The square quickly fills up with nervous kids and parents sick to their stomach. Once the square is full our mayor, Seton Keel, reads the Treaty of Treason, but I'm too distracted by the events to come to listen. When the mayor has finished his speech the District 4 escort Felix Adair, an overly bubbly man with bright blue hair that is slicked back with so much hair gel I can practically smell it from the audience, purple eyes that are clearly unnatural, and a horrible suit patterned with sea shells (he really gets into the whole District 4 pride thing), stands up and walks to the front of the stage.

"Hello everybody! Well, isn't this just exhilarating," he chirps with his Capital accent that makes me want to gag, "Let's start with our fine young lady's." He practically prances over to the bowl holding the girls' names and digs his hand in deep before pulling one out.

"Our female tribute for the 56th Hunger Games is Vivien Roy," he says into the microphone, "Can Vivien Roy come up?" Vivien, a 17 year old girl with bright red hair, makes her way to the stage. I can see Xanthe getting ready to volunteer, but I know I'll volunteer before she does because she is stuck in the middle of the 18 year olds, while I'm in the front. I gritt my teath, narrow my eyes into a scowl, and wait for Felix to ask for volunteers.

When Felix asks for volunteers I'm ready. I pull my hand out of a surprised Selene's hand, step forward into the isle, and say loudly, "I volunteer." From the corner of my eye I can see Xanthe fall to her knees and cry out as if she were in actual pain. The sound breaks my heart, but I refuse to reveal any emotions. I walk to the stage and glare into the cameras as Felix claps gleefully.

"What's your name and age my dear?" Felix asks with cheeriness.

"Avea Thatcher, I'm 15," I answer with significantly less cheeriness. I glare as coldly as I possibly can into the cameras and cross my arms.

"Let's have a big round of applause for Ms. Avea Thatcher our new female tribute for the 56th annual Hunger Games," he says excitedly. Per usual everyone in the audience cheers and claps, of course they do it's District 4 we're expected to volunteer.

Felix makes his way to the boys' bowl and digs his hand in once again and pulls out a name. "And our male tribute is Adrian West," he reads aloud. Adrian makes his way to the stage. I hope someone volunteers for him, he's only 12 and not to mention incredibly skinny and pale.

"Do we have any voluntee..." Felix starts but is cut off when a monstrous boy lurches out of the section for 18 year olds.

"I volunteer!" The boy shouts. He's handsome with curly black hair and sea-green eyes, if we weren't about to fight to the death I may even admire him.

"What's your name and age?" Felix asks.

"Zale Bronte, 18," the boy answers with the most arrogant look I've ever seen. Wait, Zale Bronte, I know that name, I've never met him or even seen him, but I've heard things about him at school. I've heard he's the most skilled fighter in his grade and has a habit of getting in fights and winning. I swallow hard.

The crowd roars when Felix asks for applause and I just want to slap the smug look off of Zale's face. Zale turns to me and says quietly, "We're going to have a fun time in the arena." I feel sick, does he actually think killing other kids is going to be fun? I shake my head to gather my thoughts and resume glaring into the camera.

Felix has us shake hands and the look Zale gives me sends shivers up my spine and I can't help but think, 'I'm going to die, I'm going to die.'

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