Author: bride of fire PM
Haymitch Abernathy was a boy just like anybody else, until he got reaped in the 50th annual Hunger Games. This is his story.Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Tragedy - Haymitch A. & Maysilee D. - Chapters: 7 - Words: 17,090 - Reviews: 16 - Favs: 11 - Follows: 14 - Updated: 06-03-12 - Published: 04-07-12 - id: 7999195
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: This is basically The Second Quarter Quell for Haymitch's POV. English is not my native language, so please excuse me if there's any grammar mistakes.
Review if you think that I should continue!
CHAPTER 1: FLOWERS AND PAPER SLIPS
Haymitch Abernathy sat on the doorstep, with a big bucket at his feet. He peeled the potatoes that he and his family would have for dinner later that day, among with the piece of meat he had found on the ground outside the butcher's house a few days ago. After the reaping, they were supposed to celebrate for not being picked this year either. If they did get picked though, they would eat dinner at the train to the capitol. At the train to their death.
Haymitch lived in the Seam, the poorest part of District 12. It wasn't unusual that people applied a few tesseras here. Everyone did what they could to survive, Haymitch too. His name was currently on 20 of the paper slips in the boy's glass ball, which wasn't much comparing to what some other kids had. A boy who lived across the street was only 14 years old, and his name was already on 37 of the slips.
But Haymitch could still be picked, or his brother, even with his only three names in the ball. He tried to be prepared for anything.
Just as all the families in the Seam, the Abernathy's were very poor, barely surviving. Mrs Abernathy worked in the mines 15 hours a day, Haymitch was raising geese whose eggs they could either eat or sell, and his younger brother, Septimus, was good at collecting edible plants. Their father had died many years ago. Haymitch didn't even remember him. Their house was cold, with peeling paint and small rooms.
Sometimes Haymitch looked longingly at the house in the Victor's Village. The houses there had real isolations, nice furnitures, electricity 24 hours a day, even telephones! It was ten houses, but only one of them was inhabited, by an old man, Cordo Inchcape, who had won one of the first Games. He was so old that he'd probably die within a few weeks.
When Haymitch was younger, he used to wonder why no one lived in the other houses in Victor's Village. District 12 almost never even had a chance to win the Games, and it seemed like such a waste to just leave the houses empty for decades. But now he understood. The capitol said that it was because of honor and respect, but really it was just another way to for them show their power.
Haymitch peeled the last potato, took the bucket and carried it into the house.
"Mom!", he called. "I'm done with the potatoes!"
Mrs Abernathy came into the kitchen, with red cheeks and a bunch of clothes in her arms. Reaping clothes.
"Oh, lovely", she said. "Thanks Haymitch, you're such a sweetheart. Could you put them over there, at the sink?"
Haymitch put them where she had told him, and turned around right away to walk out again.
"I'll just go and throw the skins in the compost, okay?", he called over his back, but his mother grabbed arm and stopped him.
"Oh no no, you can do that after the reaping. You need to get freshen up. I didn't wash your best shirt for nothing, young man..!"
Haymitch smiled at her. His mother always became like this when she was nervous about something. He guessed that she wanted to spend every little minute with him this day, just in case that he would be chosen at the reaping.
"Mom", he said and stroked her hair calming. He was nearly eight inches taller than her already and wasn't even full grown yet. "I'll just get rid of the potato skins, okay? Maybe I'll make a quick visit to Phenelope on the way home. I will be home before twelve o'clock."
His mom looked at him for a moment. She had the same dark brown hair as Haymitch and his brother, even though it lately had started to turn gray. Haymitch wasn't sure if was because of age or stress. Probably a mix of both. She and Haymitch had the same gray eye color, bright and dangerous.
Eventually his mother stepped back and said:
"Okay, fine. Get some flowers for Phenelope as well when you're at the meadow, and say hello to her from me. I'll have a tub and some clean clothes ready for you when you come home."
I looked happily at her and gave her a tight hug and a kiss on her forehead.
"See you later mom, love you."
"Love you too, sweetheart."
Haymitch ended the hug and grabbed the other bucket, this one full of potato skin. He gave a handful to the geese, and started to walk off to the meadow with the rest of it.
It was a beautiful day, sunny without the slightest cloud in the sky. It was almost like if the capitol wanted to make fun of them even more.
The compost was, basically, just a deep hole in one of the corners of the meadow. It was always stinking of rotten foot and human feces, and the people in District 12 only visited it when they had to.
He made it as quickly as possible and held his nose while he emptied the bucket. The hole was about to be filled already. He guessed that more people were cooking food for today's reaping.
Haymitch started looking for flowers. The peacekeepers usually left the meadow alone, so it was full of plants at this time of the year. Sometimes Septimus could leave in the morning to find food there and not be back until late afternoon. There was always new things to explore. '
Eventually he found some primroses, just a few metres from the electrified fence that seperated the meadow from the woods. It was there too protect the district from wild animals, but Haymitch knew that it was also to make sure the capitol had control over the people. They were like birds in a cage.
Haymitch used to go out in the woods anyway once in a while. He wasn't the best hunter, but there was loads of berries to find, and he could kill smaller animals with his knife. The fence was only electrified a few hours a day, and it was easy to sneak past the peacekeepers when they looked away. Nonetheless he usually stayed on the safe side of the fence. It wasn't worth the trouble if he got caught.
He placed the bucket aside and picked some flowers. They were yellow as the sun, Phenelope's favorite color.
Haymitch took a blade of grass and tied the primroses into a bouquet. He put them in the empty bucket and started to walk back to the Seam.
Phenelope Lapworth was a 16 year old girl who lived together with her sick mother. Her dad and older brothers had died because of poisonous gas in the mines a year ago, together with mine workers.
Mrs Lapworth could barely walk anymore and wasn't capable of working. It was rumored that she had a disease called cancer, that could only be cured with expensive, high-tech medicine from the capitol. Phenelope had once told Haymitch that she hoped her mother died as soon as possible, so she wouldn't have to die in too much pain. Even if Phenelope took care of herself, her mom and the house already on her own, Haymitch sometimes worried about what would happen to her when she was all alone.
Phenelope was very beautiful, with green eyes and long dark hair. She was clever with top grades in almost every subject, and on their garden she grew potatoes and vegetables.
When Haymitch came by her house that morning, she was sitting on her mothers bed, talking silently and holding her hand. Since mrs Lapworth was lying on her deathbed the peacekeepers couldn't force her to watch the reaping, but of course she was still afraid for what could happen to Phenelope.
"Knock knock", he said to make his presence noticed.
Phenelope turned around and lit up when she saw who it was. When she smiled she smiled with her whole face, the eyes sparkled and everyone around her couldn't help but smiling too. That was one of the things that Haymitch loved the most about her.
"Haymitch!", she said. "You should be home getting ready!"
She was dressed in a simple blue skirt and a white blouse with embroidery. He knew that she loved those clothes, but could only afford to wear them once a year. The hair was in a neat braid instead of the usual ponytail.
Haymitch grinned at her.
"Do I look that bad? I'm sorry but everyone can't be as gorgeous as you, sweetheart."
She blushed .
"Thank you, Haymitch. But you really should get a bath. If you show up like that at the reaping, God knows what they'd do with you! Where have you been, at the compost?"
"Actually yes... And don't worry, I'm on my way home. I was just gonna leave this to you first", he said as he gave her the primroses. "Thought that you two could need to get a little cheered up."
Phenelope looked completely amazed over the flowers. She almost never visited the meadow as she had to stay home with her mom.
"Look mother!", she said and showed the flowers. "Haymitch brought us flowers."
Mrs Lapworth touched one of the petals and whispered something Haymitch couldn't hear, but Phenelope seemed to understand because she nodded and hugged her hand harder. Carefully, to not hurt her mother, she stood up from the bed.
"I'll just go and find a vase to put them in, they're outside..."
"Yeah, I must go anyway... Nice to meet you, mrs Lapworth. Take care", Haymitch said.
Such a silly thing to say to someone that was so sick she had no chance to survive more than a few days. Take care. She wasn't even capable to take care. But mrs Lapworth just smiled friendly at him.
"Phenelope, how many slips are your name on this year?", he asked Phenelope once out of the house.
At first she didn't answer, just bent down on her knees and started looking for a vase under the doorstep. She took a very long time, and when she raised she didn't look at him.
"I don't know", she mumbled and put the primroses into the vase.
Oh no, Haymitch thought. Please not again.
"Phenelope", he repeated. "Look at me. How many slips are your name on?"
Unwilling she looked up, meeting his eyes. She had bags under hers, and the high cheekbones made her look even skinnier.
Then, in a breath, she said quickly:
Haymitch felt the tears in his eyes. He couldn't stand looking at her and glazed over to her shoes instead.
"You promised", he said. "You promised not to take any tesseras this year."
"I had to. I needed the food."
"Which I could've give to you!"
"So you mean that I would've asked for food that you and your family need?"
"Well we certainly don't need all of it!"
"Haymitch, listen to me. What matter does it how many times my name is in that stupid bowl? My mother is dead in a few days, maybe a week. Even if I did get picked, no one would miss me. So why not have as much food as I can while I'm still here?"
Haymitch looked up at her. He understood that she needed the food that the tesseras gave her, but he still couldn't believe that she had not told him about it.
"I would miss you. I would miss you more than anything in the world. Doesn't that matter even a little bit to you?"
"Of course it does!", Phenelope said. "But if I died, you'd get over it by time. You have a family who loves you. By the way it's not even sure that I'll be picked."
Haymitch raised an eyebrow.
"Sweetheart, you're one of the girls with the most slips. And it's quarter quell this year. It would be a miracle if you did not get picked."
"Shouldn't you worry more about yourself?", Phenelope hissed angrily.
"Well, I'm so sorry for caring about you!", he snapped back.
"I never asked for it!"
Haymitch and Phenelope never fought. They had been together for nearly two years and Haymitch was already saving for a wedding ring to give her at her 18th birthday. Normally the couples in district 12 just used a worn-out ring that had been used for at least two weddings before, but Haymitch wanted to have something nice and all new. It took time to get the money for it, but it was worth it.
But right then he didn't feel very keen of that ring and all the work that it cost him. Why could she never just listen to him?
"I should go", he said.
"You should. Thanks for the flowers."
He nodded shortly and took the bucket in his hand.
"May the odds be ever in your favor, sweetheart."
Before Phenelope could answer, he walked with quick steps down the Seam. He didn't turn around before he was almost at his house.
There, far away, he could see Phenelope sitting at her doorstep, looking blank at the primroses in her hands.