Tallulah trotted back into the car with Beetee and Wiress in tow. She left us with them and bounced off to go get changed, or some other shit like that. Beetee and Wiress sat down opposite us and I looked at my hands folded neatly in my lap and tried not to cry. "So, you're District 3's tributes for this year," Beetee spoke. Ross and I nodded. "You both volunteered," Wiress noted. "Were they family members?" I nodded again. "My niece, Delia." Ross shook his head. "I just figured it would be bad enough loosing one family member, they didn't nees to loose two. So I volunteered for her brother." I felt a wave of gratitude rush over me, mixed with some indignance. I suppose he thought I was going to die. Well, I don't plan on dying. Nope, I plan on winning. I suddenly noticed everyone staring at me. I looked up, slightly alarmed. Beetee smiled. "I said, what are your strengths?" I tried to think. "Well, I'm smart, I suppose. I'm okay with a bow and arrow." I said. Ross smiled.
"You're more than 'okay'. Our family buys your rabbits. You hit them in the eye, every time." I smiled a bit shyly. "What about you?" Wiress asked Ross. "Well, I'm kinda smartish, and I know how to handle a sword-" I cut him off. "You're really good with a sword. I've seen you practice." He kinda smiled at me and I returned it. Wiress and Beetee looked pretty happy, so I guess our strengths were pretty good. We spent another couple hours discussing strategy and such. Then it was time for the tribute parade. I was kinda nervous. I mean, some of the things tributes have been dressed in over the years...God. For example, the District 12 tributes are almost always naked and covered in coal dust. Isn't that nice? I was taken into the room where I'll be "prepped". My prep team, who consisted of an aqua-skinned woman named Reahanna, an orange-haired guy named Corn, and a girl with bright pink skin and green tattoos, Fiona, waxed my legs, plucked my eyebrows, trimmed my hair, and that kind of crap. Yippee. After that, I was taken to my stylist, Joshua. He looked fairly normal for a Capitol guy, the only Capitol thing about him being his silver eyeliner. "That," he said when he entered the room, "was extremely brave of you. Volunteering for that girl." I nodded stiffly. "She was my niece."
"So, I have a somewhat different idea for your costume this year. We're going to dress you as the inside of a machine, if that makes any sense." It did. The costume was hot and heavy and just overall super uncomfortable. It looked really cool though. It was designed like the inside if a machine, with intricate designs. I was dressed all in silver, with silver shoes, makeup, jewelry, and tiara. Ross and I arrived at the runway and stood by our chariot until the parade started. I felt someone watching me and turned around. It was the boy from 2. I think his name was Cato. "Take a picture," I called out to him. "It'll last longer!" His face turned bright red and I turned back to Ross to see him smirking at me. Josh and Ross's stylist, Rachel, walked up then. Josh smiled at me. "Just smile and wave. There are lots if potential sponsors out there, make an impression on them. Also, hold hands with Ross."
"Okay," I said. Ross and I boarded the chariot and he reached for my hand. I hesitated, then remembered Josh's instructions and took it. The chariots lurched forward and I held onto Ross's hand for support. The roar of the crowd reached my ears before I saw them. The lights hit us, and I was momentarily blinded. When I recovered my sight, I saw all of the Capitol people cheering and throwing roses and teddy bears and such. I caught a beautiful white rose and blew a kiss in the general direction of the crowd. They kinda freaked out and tried to catch the kiss. Then, the roaring intensified and I turned around. It was District 12. The tributes seemed to be on fire. It did look impressive. The chariots reached President Snow and stopped. He welcomed the tributes and then the chariots were taken backstage. Ross and I dismounted and met up with Beetee, Wiress, Rachel, Josh, and Tallulah. "You did amazing!" Tallulah squealed happily. I nodded absentmindedly. Cato was staring at me again. Beetee noticed Cato too, I think. "Let's go upstairs," he said and we were escorted to an elevator that took us to our floor. It was extravagantly furnished and basically nothing like my house at home. We were one of the poorer families in 3. If I win, that could all change,
I thought. Tallulah showed me to my room where I'd be staying for the next three days. It was really nice, with light blue walls and a leafy green bed. There was a walk-in wardrobe to the side, and a couple empty shelves. There was a nightstand next to my bed with a lamp and a semi-circle black device. I picked up the device and experimentally swiped my finger across it. The empty wall opposite my bed changed into a city view, probably the Capitol. Then, an autumn view. Next was a forest, filled with towering green trees. It was comforting an calm. I left it at that. In a way, it reminded me of the forest where I used to hunt for my family, but different. I changed into some comfy clothes and immediately fell asleep.