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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4. Chapter 3

The Peacekeepers surround Zale and I on all side as they lead us to the Justice Building like we're some lowlife criminals, which to them we probably are. I'm led through a pair of mahogony doors into a room with nothing but a couch. This is the time allotted for the tributes to say goodbye to their friends and family, but I'm not ready to say goodbye to my family or District 4. I sit down on the couch and lean my head back till I'm looking at the ceiling; I count the tiles on the ceiling until I hear the door open. I sit up straight and try to look as strong as I can, but almost break when I see Xanthe and my father walk in. Xanthe runs up to me and pulls me into a hug.

"I'm so sorry. This is all my fault," she whispers to me holding on to my shirt like if she doesn't let go I won't have to leave.

"No, it's not Xanthe," I say as I stroke her dark brown hair.

"You wouldn't have volunteered if I hadn't been so selfish," she cries. Xanthe's my role model and seeing her like this breaks me to pieces.

"It's not your fault. Everything is going to be ok and I'm going to come home," I say, but I don't really believe myself and by the look on Xanthe's face as she pulls out of the hug, neither does she, "I'm going to come home, I promise," I say with more certainty. Xanthe nods, but she's struggling not to cry and has to turn away. I can hear her stifled sobs and do my best to ignore them, they only make this harder

While Xanthe isn't looking I pull my dad into a hug and whisper to him, "Don't let her do anything stupid. Don't let her hurt herself." I know that Xanthe wouldn't kill herself until I'm either dead or I've returned her safely and I'm just hoping that gives my day enough time to save her.

He nods and whispers back, "I won't let anything happen to her and Avea, I am so sorry for how things have been these past few months and how I've acted," he takes a deep breath, "I just want you to know that I love you so much." It scares me to think that if I die I'll never be able to fix my relationship with my dad that has slowly chipped the last 3 months and he'll on slip further into is alcohol abuse leaving Xanthe completely alone. 

"I love you too, dad," I choke out.

Xanthe has finally recovered and turns back to me holding a leather bracelet in her hand, "I was going to wear this as my District token, it was Lyra's, but I want you to have it," she says her lip trembling and her eyes watering

I hold back my own tears and take the bracelet from her; I wrap the worn leather bracelet around my left wrist twice before hooking the two ends together. "Thank you," I say.

We all embrace in one last hug, before they have to leave. I'm not surprised when Selene comes into the room next. She immediately pulls me into a hug and holds on with an iron grip.

"You're going to come home I know it," she whispers in a voice rough from crying.

"I'll do my best," I promise.

"No, you're going to come home because if you die on me I'll kill you," she says with a forced laugh. I can tell she's trying to stay strong for me by making  the same bad jokes she always makes, but it only makes me miss her more and I haven't even left yet.

"I'm only 15, not many people win at 15," I reply my voice cracking.

"Yay, but you're no just anybody. You're my best friend, no my only friend and if you die I'll have nobody," a tear trickles down her cheek.

I can't help it I start crying and quickly try to recover myself, but Xanthe says, "You don't have to be strong for me," so I put my head on her shoulder and cry while she strokes my hair. We do this until she has to leave. I take a few deep breaths and wipe away any remaining tears, so no one can tell I was crying. The mahogony door creaks open and I'm very surprised to see Vivien Roy, the girl I volunteered for, walk in. She sits awkwardly on the couch and stairs at her feet until she gets her thoughts in order.

"I just wanted to say thank you for volunteering for me," she says, "I couldn't have handled going into the games. They're just so sick and twisted."

I nod, "I understand what you're saying. I don't know how people just let kids suffer."

She seems almost surprised by this, "Then why'd you volunteer?"

I look away, "I have my reasons."

Seeing that I don't want to talk about  it she nods and says, "I know about what happened to your sister and I'll make sure your family is ok, I'll make sure they pull through. They can't lose you too."

Suddenly I'm so grateful to this girl that I barely know, I can only manage to whisper, "Thank you."

We sit the remainder of the time in silence and as she leaves she turns to me with a smile and says, "See you in a few weeks." Maybe I'm not as alone as I thought, maybe I've made a new friend.

With each person that has visited me I've gotten stronger and more sure in myself and my abilities and by the time Vivien leaves I'm certain that I stand a chance, that I can win. I walk out of the Justice Building with my head high and a determined glint in my eyes.

"Don't get too cocky Lion," Zale says with that annoying smug look on his face.

I roll my eyes and reply, "Maybe you should take your own advice and my name is not Lion."

"I know, but you look like a lion and it's good look too." Zale smirks.

God, we haven't even made it to the train and Zale is already getting on my nerves. I decide to ignore Zale for the remainder of the ride to the train station despite his snarky comments. When, we get to the train station there are camera men everywhere surrounding us in a way that reminds me of how the sea gulls surround our boat when we bring in a fresh catch. Even when we're in the train the camera men lurch to get one last image of the District 4 tributes. 

Felix leads us to a room filled with luxurious chairs, a bar stocked with more liquor than I've ever seen, and a table set with so much food I can practically feel myself drooling. Zale's jaw is practically touching the floor and I bet mine looks about the same. I take a seat in one of the plush chairs as the train departs. The train zooms past District 4, I see the Town Square where I just volunteered, then the fishermen's homes where my house is, followed by the docks where I played my guitar just the day before, and finally District 4 is gone and I have my face pressed to the window trying to catch one last glimpse of the ocean. Goodbye District 4.

 

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