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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1. Prologue

The mist off the ocean feels nice in the blistering heat, it cools my skin and tastes salty on my lips. The fishing boat I work on gently rocks beneath my feet, a motion that makes some people sick but soothes me. This, this right here is what I love about District 4, the smell of the ocean, the feeling of mist on my skin, and most of all a vague sense of freedom that comes when the boat leaves the main land behind. Today is a Saturday which meant no school and a whole day on the sea. Saturdays are my favorite.

" Avea, quite day dreaming and get to work," for a moment I'm afraid that I'm in trouble, but when I turn it's only my sister Xanthe, a smile playing on her lips. Xanthe is always trying to mess with me, she plays pranks on me and is always trying to scare me. I think she's made it her personal mission to make me go insane.

" I'm not the one joking around," I say in the same playful manner and give her a light punch on the arm.

She looks at me with mock confusion, "Me, joke around? Never! I take this job very seriously!"

"Always the comedian aren't you?" I say with a shake of my head and a smile; neither of us take this job very seriously considering our dad owns the boat and we can't be fired.

She laughes, "I'm hilarious and you know you love it!" I can't help but to laugh loudly at her childishness earning me a few glares from the other workers. In a slightly less playful tone she asks, "Where's Lyra?" Lyra is my twin sister, she's the youngest in our family. My mom died giving birth to Lyra and I, a terrible thing but neither my dad nor Xanthe ever blamed us for it, making my dad the oldest, then Xanthe's 18, while Lyra and I are both 15, but I'm a few minutes older.

"She's home sick. Wasn't well enough to come in today," I reply.

Xanthe nods, but she has a look on her face that I can't quite place, almost like she knows something bad will happen. Before I can ask Xanthe shakes her head and says, "Well I guess we better work ."

The look on Xanthe's face was strange, but I quickly shake it off and get some of the nets we will use to bring in our catch. Our boat specializes in bigger catch such as marlin. I'm glad I don't work on a boat that catches large groups of small fish in one giant net because if I did I would have to watch the fish flop around on the deck till they die, while on our boat when we get a catch we hall it on board and kill it right away, quick and painless. It's not the death that bothers me, I'm mean I don't like death, but what bothers me is suffering. I can't stand the sight of someone or something suffering, I'd rather them just die quick and easy.

We bring in a good catch and are allowed to go home early since we are already over our weekly quota. As Xanthe and I walk across the beach we decide to get changed and go to the town square. I take off my shoes and let the sun warmed sand surround my feet; the day couldn't be more perfect, the sun warms my skin and a breeze carries the salty smell of the ocean to me. We reach the cobblestone streets of District 4 and make our way to the fishermen's homes. 

Our home is pretty modest, but nicer than many of the other fisherman's homes in our district. The only reason this is true is because my dad is in charge of 5 of the fishing boats and all three of us kids work after school and on Saturdays on one of those boats, we are still in the lower class of the district though.

I open my dresser and pull out a black shirt and pull it over my head, then grab one of my few pairs of pants. As I put left leg in my foot gets caught in the hole in the knee ripping it even wider than. Cursing under my breath I decide to just go ahead and wear them. I don't own many pants and I can't really afford to buy new ones, so I'll have to fix them later.

I leave the bedroom and enter the kitchen where I sit in old chair by the stove waiting for Xanthe. Our house consists of three main rooms one is a small bathroom, then a kitchen with frail wooden cabinets, a rickety table and chairs, and a wood burning stove, the final room is bigger than the others, it's the room where we sleep. There are four cots with thin, mildew covered mattresses in the room along with two dressers. Xanthe, Lyra, and I all have small cots ment for one person, while my dad's is bigger because it is ment for two people, my mom and him.

Once Xanthe finishes changing we begin walking towards the town square. Along the way I notice people giving us sympathetic looks and whispering to each other. When we pass a group of woman I manage to pick up the words "treason" and "firing squad". That's never good. Xanthe must have heard too because she grabs my arm and begins walking faster. What ever is going on is very bad, words like "treason" and "firing squad" aren't thrown around lightly and based on the sympathetic looks we've been receiving from people, Xanthe and I are definetly involved.

When we first arrive at the square I take in the closed store fronts and the nervous whispers coming from a large crowd. Dozens of people are gathered in the town square all of them murmuring about something with distressed looks on their faces. When they see us coming the murmuring ceases and they part like the sea. Xanthe cries aloud and I stand frozen for a moment, screaming on the inside. There's a girl tied to a wooden post her head hung low, while a firing squad assembles infront of her. From the way blood trickles from her mouth and her face, arms, and legs are covered in bruises I can tell that the Peacekeepers had beaten her before bringing her here. And now she's suffering.

My breath is sucked out of me and for a brief moment I just stand there. Thoughts run through my  faster than I can keep up with. She moans and I'm snapped out of my confusion; I run to her as fast as I can; I reach out to grab her but I'm suddenly stopped short when a Peacekeeper grabs me from behind and pins me to a wall. I begin kicking, screaming, pleading, anything to get to her. The Peacekeeper presses his forearm into my windpipe forcing me to temporarily stop screaming. I remain pinned to the wall still kicking and clawing at the Peacekeeper while our head Peacekeeper, Prinder Grath, reads the charges.

"The accused was caught stealing a boat and trying to escape the district," my breath is ragged and I desperatley try to make eye contact with her while I struggle, "She is being charged with theft and treason," her head hangs low, not looking at anyone, but I need to look her in the eyes one more time, "The accused confessed to these crimes before the Peacekeepers," she still hasn't looked and my heart feels like it might explode, I'm desperate, "and is sentenced to death by firing squad." When she finally looks at me her sky blue eyes, so filled with melancholy, catch the light and I'm reminded of the ocean at sunset. It's so beautiful yet so sad.

I make a last ditch effort to free myself by attempting to bite the Peacekeeper. The Peacekeeper has finally had enough and knocks me out with the butt of his gun, but not before I see her die. Her head whips back as the bullet hits her, the light leaves her sky blue eyes, and her chocolate brown hair falls in her face as her body goes limp. I hear Xanthe scream.

I take a shuttering breath and close my eyes.'Why, why did she have to suffer before she died? Why couldn't they have just killed her? Why can't they show mercy?' I think as the Peacekeeper's gun makes contact with my head.

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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