Author: Fleur24 PM
We don't know anything about the 72nd Hunger Games or its victor. This is her story.Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Drama - Other tributes - Words: 7,351 - Reviews: 1 - Favs: 1 - Published: 02-03-13 - Status: Complete - id: 8974666
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: I don't own the Hunger Games, but I do own the OC's.
This just randomly came to me as I read the book again. I had a cool idea in mind and thought I'd try my hand at writing it out. I know that the Hunger Games are written in first person, but I'm not comfortable writing in that style.
Her stylist had put her in a plum silk gown with a jewel neckline that went all the way to her feet. The material embraced one shoulders with a rope-like strap on the other shoulder. Her hair was up in an elegant, yet simple hairdo, with small curls of hair framing her face. She heard Caesar make his opening spiel, getting the audience ready for her. Soon she would have to go on that stage and relieve the last few weeks. It was going to be a long three hours, watching herself get reaped, and what she did in the arena that got her to this point. She was not looking forward to revisiting the deaths.
"It'll all be over soon, dear. Then we'll be back in 8 for a while before the Victory Tour." Her mentor told her comfortingly and placed a reassuring hand on her shoulder. She turned to her mentor. "Does it get better, Cecelia? Do the memories ever go away?"
Cecelia shook her head. "I'm afraid they don't. It's been eighteen years since I won my Games and I still have nightmares every once in a while. My husband and children help me cope."
"Let's hear it for the victor of the 72nd annual Hunger Games: Olesya Reynar!" Caesar Flickerman called out and the audience went wild. Olesya put a smile on her face and held her head high as she felt herself get lifted up to the stage along with Cecelia, her escort, stylist and prep team. Caesar took her hand and led her to the gilded victor's throne that had been put next to his chair. "It's lovely to see you again Olesya. It seems your stylist has done it again. "
Olesya smiled. "Thanks Caesar. He's brilliant isn't he?" The audience cheered.
"Take a bow for your amazing work, Balthar." Caesar said cheerfully. Olesya smiled as Balthar took a modest bow. Olesya liked her stylist. Balthar wasn't ignorant or completely clueless like her escort or her prep team. He was brilliant at his job and made sure Olesya was always dressed to impress.
"Before we start the recap of your time here and in the arena I want to ask, when you were reaped did you ever think you'd come out as the victor?"
Olesya shook her head. "No Caesar, I hoped I would become the victor, or at least make it to the final three. I think that the Career tributes are the only ones that come into the arena thinking they can win."
"Well, you certainly proved them wrong didn't you?"
Olesya just smiled and nodded. "Well let's get started then." Caesar said as the recap began.
"Girls first." District 8's escort, Jacia Valetta said walking to one the reaping bowl on the left side of the stage. Her hand moved within the bowl for a bit before, she picked a paper and brought it out. Jacia walked to the microphone and opened the paper. "Olesya Reynar." The camera zoomed in on Olesya's shocked face. She was standing between a girl with slightly curly brown hair and gray eyes and a girl with wavy blonde hair and hazel eyes. Their hands were clasped in each other's. Olesya's friends squeezed her hands, before backing away from her. Olesya gave the girls a tight smile, before making the quiet walk up to the stage. As soon as she got up, Jacia moved on to the boys. "Colton Texaly." As with Olesya, the camera zoomed in on the 18 year old boy with short brown hair and gray eyes, as he walked up the steps to the stage.
"Shake hands now." Jacia told them. Once they had done so, she turned them back to face their district. "Your District 8 tributes: Olesya Reynar and Colton Texaly." She was the only one who clapped. Colton and Olesya were then led inside the Justice building.
"There are the tributes from District 7 dressed as trees, and there are District 8's tributes. That's a new look for them." Claudius Templesmith commented as Olesya and Colton's chariot rolled passed. They were dressed to look like mannequins. Colton wore a white shirt and white pants that were covered in designer notes and measurements all written in blue ink. There were also dashed and solid lines indicating where to or not to cut. Olesya was dressed similarly in a white strapless dress with the same markings as Colton's outfit. Her hair was up in a bun. Like all the other tributes, they were waving, and smiling.
"Yes they do look more memorable now than previous tributes from their district." Caesar Flickerman replied. The carriages stopped in front of President Snow's mansion.
Snow stood from his chair and walked to the podium. "Welcome tributes. We honor your bravery and your sacrifice. We wish you happy Hunger Games, and may the odds be ever in you favor." The carriages rolled to the training center after Snow finished speaking.
"Make a warm welcome for District 8's Olesya Reynar!" Caesar Flickerman exclaimed as she walked down to the stage with a huge smile and waved at the audience. She wore an artfully etched tulip dress. As the crowd settled down, Olesya took her seat and Caesar began.
"What was your life like back home?"
Olesya smiled at him. "Well Caesar, I went to school for part of the day. I would walk my little brother home after school. We lived above my mother's dress shop where I helped her make dresses; Aidan even helped out in the shop. My best friends Aliana and Thalia work in one of our many factories after school. I also had a boyfriend of three years." The audience clapped and cheered as Olesya blushed and smiled shyly.
"He's a lucky man to have a beautiful girl like you." Caesar told her. She smiled brightly. "He's told me that himself once or twice."
Caesar smiled at her, and then his face became serious. "Going on to a more serious topic, how did you feel when you heard your name announced?"
Olesya's own smile dropped as a more thoughtful expression filled her face. "I was completely shocked when I got reaped. I really wasn't expecting it, as no one in my family had been reaped before."
"Finally, how has your time in the Capitol been so far?"
Olesya laughed and her eyes twinkled. "I am amazed by the luxury here. I absolutely love the clothes my stylist made for me. They are the most beautiful clothes I have ever seen." She laughed again. "And my district and especially my mother make really beautiful dresses and fabulous clothes. The food is fantastic as well. I've probably put on a few pounds." She giggled.
"I've probably put on a few pounds as well, but it doesn't show does it?" He asked looking out into the audience. Olesya smiled as they all assured him that he looked fabulous. The buzzer went as he got the audience under control again. Caesar took her hand, kissed it and raised it up over her head, as they stood. "Olesya Reynar from District 8!" Olesya beamed as the audience cheered, before heading back to her seat by the other tributes.
Olesya stared out at the arena as her plate stopped moving. The golden cornucopia was in the middle of a clearing. There were weapons and supplies all around it, and the most valuable and useful weapons and supplies were inside the cornucopia. Five feet behind the plates on all aides were thick woods. There was no telling what could be lingering in those woods. Olesya flicked her long braided chestnut brown hair to the side and placed her feet so that she was ready when the gong sounded. When it did sound, she ran towards the cornucopia, grabbed a backpack and two knives and ran. Only when she had gone deep into the forest did she look at what she had in her pack. There was a pack of beef jerky and another of dried fruit, an empty canteen, and a rolled up sleeping bag. As she was putting her supplies away, a twig cracked and Olesya raised a knife each hand ready to throw. Colton appeared with his hands in front of his face. His face was bloody, as was his right arm.
"What happened to you?"
"That brute from district 1 knocked me to the ground, and got my arm with his sword, but I knocked it away from him. Just barely got away." He replied, breathlessly.
"Want to be allies? We'd have a better chance if we stick together." Olesya asked holding out her hand. Colton grimaced grabbing at his injured arm. He gave her his other hand. "Allies, but only until the final eight, presuming we make it that far."
Olesya nodded and they shook hands.
"We should see if we can find something for your arm." She said. He nodded. "I remember the survival skills instructor saying that moss is really absorbent. We should look for some."
They found some moss growing at the bottom of a tree a little ways away. Olesya grabbed a couple of handfuls and handed one handful to Colton. She set one on his right arm, as he put the other on his face. It did the trick in stopping the flow of blood.
"These jackets should keep us warm tonight." Olesya said as they walked further into the forest. "Cecelia stressed the point of not lighting any fires. They're beacons for the Careers. I got a sleeping bag in my pack, if we need more warmth."
Colton nodded. "You got any food? I didn't have time to grab a pack."
"I do." Olesya told him.
"Well that's good. At least one of us is prepared."
They settled in for the night awhile later in tall sturdy tree. The anthem played and the faces of the dead tributes appeared in the sky: the girl from 3, both from 5, both from 6, the boy from 7, the boy from 9, both from 10, the girl from 11, and both from 12. After the picture of the boy from 12, the Capitol seal came back with a final bit of music and then the sky went dark.
Colton was the first to break the silence. "So, besides us and the Careers, there are four tributes left. Twelve tributes remaining."
"That's seems about right, the Careers, us, Rylan from 3, Laurel from 7, Sylvetta from 9 and Alto from 11. It's a pity that the girl from 10, Tallulah, is dead, I rather liked her."
"Actually it's a good thing she's dead, because you don't have to worry about killing her." Colton told her. "That's the trouble with these games. You get attached to someone during training, or in the games, and then you have to watch them die, or kill them yourself. That's why I'm leaving if we make to the final eight, because I don't want to be responsible for your death."
"Thank you. I agree though. I couldn't go home knowing that I killed you. I'll take first watch Colton. You need your sleep." Olesya put her hand up as he began to protest. "I'll let you know when I get tired. Do you want the sleeping bag?"
"No, but I'll ask if I end up needing it." Colton said as he leaned back against the tree trunk, put up his hood and closed his eyes.
"Did you know we've made it father than any other tribute from our district? Well except our mentors of course." Colton asked the next morning. They were eating a few of the dried fruits along with strips of beef jerky.
"Really? I thought some made it to the second day."
"Nope, most of them died in the bloodbath, and the few who make it out alive are killed by the Careers before nightfall. We only have two victors Cecelia and Woof. Or at least they're the only victors from our district who are still alive. It's like that in most of the districts, except for the Career districts of course. I heard that the more recent victors from 1 and 2 live in the Capitol, because their districts ran out of houses in the Victor's Village. District 12 only has one victor and he won the 2nd Quarter Quell."
"Their tributes hardly ever make it past the bloodbath. They don't go into their district's trade until 18. The rest of us have the advantage of working in our districts' trade since we were little. I helped my mom in her shop since I was five but that was mostly handing her things she needed. I didn't really start helping with the dresses till I was 11." Olesya said a sad smile on her face.
"I've been helping my parents in our shoe shop since I was five." Colton said. "We should go find some water, seeing as we're not going to last long without it, and maybe some food too." He looked over at Olesya. "You good with those knives?"
Olesya shrugged. "Not as good as the Careers, but I'm decent. You decent with any weapons?" She asked as they jumped down from the tree and started walking.
"I'm okay with a sword. I did pretty well at hand to hand combat during training though."
"Maybe we could fashion you a long needle and you could throw that."
Colton smirked. "It would be funny to see the Careers faces if I kill one of them with a needle. Maybe we could find some poison and put that at the end of the needle, or needles."
Olesya laughed. "The mighty Career tributes brought down by poisoned needles. That would be rather funny."
They ate well that night; Olesya had killed a rabbit with one of her knives. They roasted it over a small fire in the early evening. The fire was put out before the sky went black. Only one tribute had died that day, Sylvetta from 9. As they had done the previous night, Olesya had first watch while Colton slept
"Olesya wake up, we need to move and fast!" Colton whispered shaking her awake, early the next morning. Olesya's eyes popped opened, and she nodded. She stuffed the sleeping bag in her pack and grabbed her knives. She heard the cannon go off and then the sound of laughter and heavy running feet.
"Up there. The dense foliage with give us some cover." She told him as she started climbing the tree she had slept against. Colton made it to branch below her just as the Careers came into view.
"Did you see the look on his face?" Kern said.
"Pathetic." Teena replied.
"Only four more tributes to go." Electra said happily.
Talon looked up into Olesya and Colton's tree and an evil grin filled his face as he saw them. He threw his spear at Colton and it went right through his heart. The cannon boomed as Olesya gasped in horror, but anger soon replaced the horror as she took the spear out of Colton's body and threw it at Electra. The spear pierced her body, going right through her stomach. Electra slumped to the ground. Talon growled and grabbed the knife that Teena was holding.
"I'm really going to kill that brat now." He growled as he flung the knife at Olesya. Olesya dodged the knife by climbing onto a different branch. After it struck the tree, she took it out and put it with her other knives.
"Why'd you throw my knife?" Teena yelled. "Your spear is right there in Electra's stomach. She pointed at his district partner's body. "Because she wasn't near me, you were though. Besides that knife was Electra's." Talon growled out.
"Calm down you two. The little tree rat has to come down sooner or later. You can kill her then, Talon. You can have whatever weapon she has, Teena." Kern said calmly. All the while Rilla and Rylan stayed quiet. Rilla looked up at Olesya with a sad smile.
"So we wait for her to come down? That's no fun." Jaden said as he handed Talon back his sword.
"We'll have to move, so the Capitol can retrieve his and Electra's bodies, and she'll have to move too. We'll leave when she does." Talon said pointing in Olesya's direction. Olesya stayed in her tree not moving until the anthem appeared in the sky. She saw Electra's face, Colton's face, and Alto's before the sky went dark.
"There are only eight of us left." Talon crowed. "You get first watch Jaden. Don't her escape."
Olesya waited until the Careers were asleep. She easily evaded Jaden's spear and swung from tree to tree until she was a ways away from the Careers.
Olesya spent the next day fashioning herself a couple of needles from long sticks with her knives. They weren't true needles, more like a cross between a knife and a spear. Once they were done, she went hunting and took down a few squirrels. Olesya made a small fire, skinned the squirrels with one of her knives, and roasted them over the fire. When they were done, she took the piece of plastic that Colton had grabbed during the bloodbath, wrapped the roasted squirrels in it, and put in her pack. She then headed down to the river that flowed through the woods. She washed her knife and needles in the water. She filled up her canteen and splashed water on her face and arms to cool her body down. She then poured water on her fire to put it out. As she was walking to find a new campsite, she noticed a parachute floating towards her. She smiled and caught it in her hands. "Thank you Cecelia." She whispered. She sat down on a smooth rock by the river and opened the parachute. Inside was a loaf of bread. Olesya's smile brightened. This wasn't the Capitol's fancy white bread; this was bread from District 8. It was golden brown in the middle round, flat and covered in brown flax seeds. She looked up at the sky. "Thank you District 8. I hope Colton and I have made you proud."
She heard the familiar pounding of feet. Olesya put her bread and weapons in her pack and scaled the tree closet to her. She climbed until she was at least 15 feet off the ground. Running about a yard or so away was the girl from 7, Laurel. She watched as Laurel raised her axe and threw it head long into the forest. The cannon boomed signally that Laurel's axe had hit its mark. She soon saw what was left of the Careers. They crossed across a stream and circled around a tree, which Laurel had obviously climbed. Olesya remained in her tree and ate one of the squirrels. When it became dark, they lit a fire and brought out food. Teena's face appeared in the sky after the anthem.
Olesya woke up the morning to only the sounds of the forest. She looked around and only saw the remains of the Careers' fire last night. She vaguely wondered what had happened while she slept, but didn't care all that much. The Careers were gone and that was all that mattered.
"You're pretty decent with those knives, almost as good as Electra was. Being able to use more than one weapon is good though."
Olesya looked down from her tree branch, knife still in hand. Upon seeing Rilla coming out from the trees, she moved to draw her other knife. Rilla had a makeshift trident and a spear with her.
"Where's your pack?" She asked.
Rilla shrugged. "Back at the cornucopia I suppose. They're probably eating or sharping their weapons. Jaden's probably trying to fashion a trident again. He's mad that I made one and that it works well. Wants to show me up or something like that." She stayed by the tree next to Olesya's, eying Olesya's knives.
"Why aren't you with them? I thought the Careers stayed together till the end." She asked curiously. Rilla pulled a leaf from a low hanging branch. She looked it over, as she talked.
"I got tired of being a Career. I only really was in the Career pack, because my mentor told me that it was safest place for the most part. He also told me to separate from them before they turned on me, so I did. It might have been a little earlier than he would have wanted, but besides myself, there are only four Careers left. Well the boys didn't consider Rylan to be a Career, just a tribute lucky enough to be part of the pack."
"Rylan was in the Career pack?"
"Yep, and pretty smart too. He was smarter than the other guys. Don't tell them I said that." Rilla said with short laughed. Olesya smiled at her.
"I got some roots that would go well with your squirrel, if you want them." Rilla told, whilst twirling the leaf in her hand.
"What are you going to eat then?" Olesya asked her, slowly lowering her knives. Rilla dropped the leaf and looked at Olesya. "I have some fish that I caught and cooked earlier."
"You know, people can have more than one alliance." Rilla said as Olesya put one of her knives back into the belt around her waist. Olesya looked up at her, warily. "Why would you want to ally with me, why not with Laurel, or leave the pack with you district partner?"
"I would probably get a knife in the back from Laurel, and Jaden would never leave the Career pack. I like your spirit, intelligence and resourcefulness. I also like how you avenged the death of your district partner. You can hunt which means you won't starve; the Careers can't say the same. Well Jaden can fish, but he won't."
"Even if the Careers didn't have the cornucopia, they still wouldn't starve because of all the sponsors they have." Olesya said grumpily. "What have you gotten from your mentor so far? Whose is your mentor anyway?"
"I got a note telling me not to trust the tributes from 1 and 2. I also got tips on how to construct a trident. My mentor is the famous Finnick Odair. District 4's legendary ladies' man."
Olesya laughed at that. "My best friend Aliana thinks he's the handsomest man alive. He's handsome enough, but I wouldn't go that far."
Rilla laughed. "Don't tell him that. He might get jealous of your boyfriend."
Olesya smiled at her. "Would you like a piece of squirrel?"
Rilla shook her head. "That's alright."
"You can have some. That's what allies do don't they? Share food and tactics." Olesya said with a smile. Rilla smiled and scaled the tree. She sat down by Olesya.
"Olesya Reynar, dressmaker from District 8." Olesya said holding out her hand. Rilla smiled and shook it. "Rilla Rudolphine, fisherman's daughter from District 4."
Rilla brought out her roots and fish. They decided to save the squirrel for later, as it would keep better than the fish would. Rilla told her about the Careers as they ate.
"Electra was an extreme girly girl, but a lethal one. She liked the weapons that didn't require her to get dirty: knives, spears, the bow and arrow. Knives were her main weapon, and she was pretty good with it. She was pretty skilled with the bow and arrow as well. Talon mainly uses his sword when fighting. He could use anything and make it deadly. He got in fight with another male volunteer at the District 1 reaping's, and twisted a knife into the other boy's gut. He went on the stage afterward, surrounded by Peacekeepers. He told all of us this with a smile on his face."
"Is everyone from District 1 that bloodthirsty?" Olesya asked, with an eyebrow raised.
"I don't know, but I do know some boys back home who are just like Talon. They were all upset that Jaden volunteered." Rilla said shaking her head. "I'm only here, because it was either me or my 18 year old sister who was about to get married."
"That was kind of you. I'm the first person in my family to be reaped. What are the others like?"
"Kern is just like Talon. Teena was like that as well, but she liked to draw out her kills. Jaden, pretends like he's all that, but he's not. He can use a spear pretty well and a trident if he could get his hands on one." Rilla leaned closer to Olesya. "He wasn't that good of a fisherman back home." She let out a soft laugh. "I preferred Rylan's company over any of the Careers. He was quiet, but smart, really smart for his age. Unfortunately Kern took his head off with his sword. That's when I knew it was time to leave the pack."
Olesya had a thoughtful look on her face as she finished off her portion of the fish. "We should do something about that, Rilla. All that power can't be good for the brain or one's ego."
Rilla smirked, approvingly. "No, it's not good thing. They get cocky and overconfident. You have a plan?"
Olesya smiled cockily. "I do. Is there some poison in one of the containers at the cornucopia?" Rilla nodded. Olesya smiled and continued. "We'll get the poison, and cover the tips of my needles with it, and then throw them at Kern and maybe even Talon."
"Sounds like a plan, but we'll need to get them away from the cornucopia long enough to get in, grab the poison and get out. We need a diversion. The mines!" Rilla exclaimed. Olesya looked at her curiously. "Aren't the mines deactivated after the gong goes off?"
"Yes, but Rylan dug them all up and placed them in a tight circle around the cornucopia, to discourage other tributes. Twelve of them are above ground and twelve are buried. The twelve hidden ones are activated, but the other twelve are just to frighten others off. He showed me how to reactivate them. I'll grab one and have the Talon and Kern chase after me, while you get the poison. You can get Kern and Talon with the needles as they return to the cornucopia."
"That sounds good. Where should we meet up again?"
"On this side of the river. Now the poison is in the black box closet to the mouth of the cornucopia. It's in a clear vile, and is a deep purple color. There should be two small vials of it, but one should be enough. It's very lethal and gets to work as soon as it makes contact with skin, so make sure you don't any on your skin."
The next morning they ate the part of the squirrel, before they headed over to the Cornucopia. The Career camp was two propped up tents next to the Cornucopia. Talon was sitting on a black container sharpening his sword while Kern was practicing with a mace. Jaden was on guard duty. Twelve of the mines were in a circle around the cornucopia, but the other twelve were out of sight, just like Rilla had told her. Olesya hid in a tree while Rilla rushed forward and grabbed one of the mines. As expected all three Careers chased after her. Olesya waited until she could no longer hear them, before she scurried over to the black container and opened it. The vials of poison were underneath a water-proof tent. She grabbed one vial of the poison and scurried back to the trees. She spread a couple leaves on the ground and laid her needles down on them. She then opened the vial and poured poison onto the points of the needles, leaving the handle part free. She rotated the needles as she poured so that each needle had an even covering. Olesya wrapped her needles in a clean leaf to dry. She scaled a tree and waited for the Careers to return. An hour later, they returned to their camp with dirt and soot on their faces. Olesya drew out her needles, and took care for aim on Kern. "This is for you Colton." She whispered as she threw both needles at him. One needle sank into his neck, while the other went into his back. A proud, satisfied smirk filled Olesya's face as she watched him collapse onto the grass. She swung from tree to tree until she was close to the river. She climbed down and walked the rest of the way. Rilla was standing there trident in hand, looking worried until Olesya walked into view.
"How did it go?"
"Worked perfectly. The effect of the poison was immediate, that and I got hits on the back of Kern's neck and his back." Olesya replied.
Kern, Jaden and Laurel's faces all appeared in the sky that night.
"How did Laurel die?" Olesya wondered out loud. Rilla shrugged on the branch next to her. "I don't know. She might have gotten caught in the explosion from when I activated the mine and threw it at Kern and Talon. I'm positive that Talon killed Jaden. That means that there are only three of us left."
Olesya looked over at her. "You want to break the alliance now or wait till morning?"
"It'll take both of to take Talon down. He doesn't deserve to win. It should be one of us. All Talon cared about was bring glory and honor to District 1. They have more than enough victors, in my opinion."
"That is true. Here's to more night in the arena." Olesya said.
The next morning they finished up the squirrel, and the rest of the food in their packs, before heading to the cornucopia. The clearing that the Cornucopia stood on was empty. Talon was nowhere in sight.
"We'll get the best view from on top of the cornucopia." Rilla said as she headed for the cornucopia. Rilla helped Olesya up on to the cornucopia, and then Olesya helped her up. They had just looked at the opposite side of the arena when Talon pushed Olesya off the Cornucopia and then pinned Rilla down. Olesya fell on top of her right ankle in the grass. She tried to stand back up, but her ankle wouldn't support her weight.
"Did you like my present, Rilla? He wasn't worth the name of Career tribute. It was way too easy. I'm not going to go easy on you. You deserted us for the tree rat, and for that you're going to pay."
Olesya leaned against the wall of the cornucopia. She then climbed up to the top, not caring about the pain shooting through her ankle. It took a couple tries, but she got up. She saw that Rilla's body and face were bloody from Talon's knives and his fists. She then caught Talon's forgotten sword out of the corner of her eye. It was lying on the top of the cornucopia a little ways off. Olesya limped over to it and picked it up. She then limped over to Talon and sent the sword right through his guts. He fell on top of Rilla, but Olesya quickly got him off of her, pushing him off the cornucopia completely. She knelt by Rilla's side. Rilla smiled up at her. "You're going to win Olesya. Tell my parents I love them."
Olesya wiped the tears from her eyes. "You're not going to die, Rilla. I won't let you."
Rilla shook her head and griped Olesya's hand. "It's better this way, can't you see? If I miraculously survive my injuries, then we'll be forced to kill each other. Talon wasn't the last Career alive for no reason. He knew what he was doing."
Soon after, Rilla took her last breath, and her eyes dulled. Olesya sat there not moving, just griping Rilla's limp hand in hers and looking at Rilla. She didn't notice the Claudius' voice proclaiming her the victor. She looked numb and lost to the world. Only when the hovercraft arrived to collect her and Rilla's body, did a look of recognition and relief fill Olesya's eyes.
The screen went black as the recap ended and Capitol audience cheered. President Snow came out from the wing of the stage with a young boy behind him carrying the box which held the victor's crown. Caesar and Olesya stood as Snow came to them. Snow took the crown out of the box and placed it on Olesya's head.
"Congratulations, Miss Reynar." He said.
"Thank you." Olesya replied politely.
The next day, Balthar put Olesya in a multicolored silk-blend color-block patchwork dress with short floaty sleeves, and a square neckline. She was going to be interviewed by Caesar today. It was going to take place in a quiet, yet cozy living room. Caesar was going to ask her questions about what it was like in the arena, amongst other things.
"Here we have Olesya Reynar, this year's victor of the annual Hunger Games." Caesar said as she took her seat on the sofa next to his chair. Olesya smiled and waved at the camera before directing her attention on Caesar.
"I think we were rather amazed at how quickly you became lethal with those knives in the arena. Could you tell us about that? Was it hard to acquire the skill or did it come naturally?"
"It was bit of both Caesar. My mother's a dressmaker, and taught me everything she knows. So, I was already familiar with needles and the anatomy of the human body when I entered the training center. I didn't immediately go for the weapons, but when I did, I went first for the bow and arrow. It was only after that that I saw Talon at the knife station. I figured I would try my hand at them, as I needed to be able to use at least one weapon decently. The rest of training was used practicing, so that I was decent at best when I entered the arena."
"You were decent with the spear as well it seemed." Caesar said soft chuckle. "We saw that after Talon killed you District partner, Colton. Talon's District partner, Electra was your first kill. What was going through your mind at that point?
Olesya's eyebrows furrowed at his question. "That was the first time I had thrown a spear, so that shot was pretty much just luck. I was furious with the Careers and especially with Talon. I wanted him to pay for killing Colton. It just made sense to take out his District partner, since he killed mine. The only reason the shot did any real damage, was because I so focused and poured all of my anger out at her. I didn't know Colton all that well, but he was from home and that's what mattered. In the arena you have a sense of loyalty and possessiveness towards your District partner, because they're all you have left to remind you of home. You know that you won't be welcomed back home if you kill your District partner. That's also why I fashioned the needles that killed Kern. It had been Colton's idea to put poison on the needles; though it was Rilla who actually helped me find the poison for the needles."
"Let's talk about Rilla for a bit. How did you decide that you could trust her and that she would be a good ally? Why did she help you get the poison? You were in bad shape when she died. Why was that?" Caesar asked her curiously.
"At the beginning I didn't really trust her, but she grew on me. I found that she had volunteered for her sister who was about to get married, and that she was only in the Careers because her mentor told her it would be a good idea. Our alliance was cemented when she set up a distraction for the Careers, so that I could get to the cornucopia without any hassles. She had seen the poison before, so she told me what to look for. She told me it was because neither Talon nor Kern deserved to win. Rilla died a couple minutes after I had killed Talon. I was livid with him for killing the two people I really cared about in the games. I almost wish I had drawn out his death al little longer, making him feel all the pain that I had. I was more worried about Rilla at the time and intent on getting him off of her. I was sort of numb after Rilla died. I had gotten to know her, and was really fond of her. She was the closest thing I had to a friend in the arena. I'm glad that she made it to the final two with me."
Caesar nodded as she finished. "What was it like hearing Claudius Templesmith say that you were the victor of the 72nd Hunger Games?"
Olesya shook her head and let out a small laugh. "It was sort of unbelievable and rather surreal for a while. I didn't really believe it until the hovercraft came to pick me up. When it finally hit me, I was so relieved and happy. Then the excitement came because I knew I would be able to see my family again."
"And Jackson?" Caesar prodded. Olesya smiled, half wondering how they had found out his name. "Yes, I'm excited to see Jackson again too."
"Will you tell us about Jackson?"
Olesya blushed, and then looked coyly at Caesar. "I don't know, Caesar. I don't like the idea of having to share him with anyone, much less other women."
Caesar laughed. "I'm sure you don't, but would tell us just a little bit about him? We heard him talk about you when he was interviewed during the final eight. Here's his interview." Jackson's interview appeared on the wall in front of them. Olesya let out an audible sigh when she saw Jackson's face.
"How did you and Olesya become a couple?" An off-screen reporter asked Jackson. They were standing outside of Jackson's house.
"I've known Olesya Reynar all my life. Our parents were both merchants so we were familiar with each other and what our parents did. So we were friends, it wasn't until three years ago that anything changed. A mutual friend of ours, another merchant's son, told me that if I didn't make a move and ask her to be mine, that he would. Being thirteen, I wasn't too fond of the idea, so I gathered my courage and asked her to be my girl after school one day. It was probably the most important decision I've ever made and I couldn't have been happier." Jackson said smiling.
"Suppose she make it out as the victor…"
"You mean when she becomes victor. I know she's going to be victor. She's intelligent, clever, quiet and extremely agile." Jackson said interrupting the reporter.
"What will you do if or when she returns to District 8?"
Jackson smiled. "Oh that's an easy question, but I can't tell you otherwise it would ruin the surprise."
Olesya let out a dramatic sigh as the screen disappeared. "Well since he talked about me, I guess I can return the favor. He's not only my boyfriend, but my best friend and confidante."
"More please, don't leave us hanging like that!"
"More?" Olesya smiled. Caesar didn't tell her what they wanted to know, so she repackaged Jackson's answer. "Hmm, well I've known him my whole life, as his parents' were weavers, and we went to school together. Like I said, he's my best friend and I tell him everything. He's really smart, knows just what to do make me feel better, and has very clever fingers."
Caesar smiled at her. "Thank you, Olesya. Now tell us about your District token, your woven bracelet. I have noticed a lot of women in the Capitol asking where they could find one like it. It seems to have become quite popular."
Olesya smiled brightly. She loved that her father's handiwork had become popular amongst Capitol women. It could lead to more business for her family, but she knew that designers in the Capitol would copy his design. However pretty their replicas might be, Olesya knew that they wouldn't be the same, or have the same meaning. It would just remind the citizens of her victory. "This was made for me by my father on my eleventh birthday. He took silk from my mother's shop and wrapped them into microscopic cords then into bigger ones and finally weaved them into the bracelet I have now."
"What is the significance of the colors: light pink, light blue lavender and white?"
"Well you see Caesar, a week before my eleventh birthday; my father brought me into my mother's dress shop and had me pick out my four favorite colors. He didn't tell me why or what they were for." Olesya laughed at the memory. "I asked him why he wanted to know and he told me that every father needed to know what colors his daughter liked."
"That is important to know. So he surprised you with this bracelet on your birthday?"
"He did. At breakfast, he told me to close my eyes, and when I opened them again, this was on my wrist."
"Well that is special. I'm sure he's thrilled that you wore it into the arena as your District token. One last question, are you going to come back and be a mentor?"
Olesya shrugged. "I don't know yet. I'll let you know as soon as I do, or I might make it a surprise."
Caesar chuckled. "Thank you. I wish you the best of luck, Olesya. Olesya Reynar of District 8, the victor of the 72nd annual Hunger Games." Olesya stood up, and shook Caesar's hand. She then left with Balthar, Cecelia and the rest of her team, and they headed for the train station. A huge crowd was waiting for them, waving and cheering, wanting to get another glimpse at her. Olesya was relieved when the train started moving. She was going home. Olesya spent the whole ride home looking at the window at all the other districts. She couldn't wait to be home in District 8.
"Here we are, Olesya. We're home." Cecelia said beaming as the train came to a stop. Cecelia soon disappeared as she went to see her family. Olesya waved at all the people who came to see her and welcome her home. It seemed that the Careers had been on to something with their talk of honoring their District. She had made her District proud by returning home. Her older brother, Daric, swooped her up into his arms as soon as she got off the train. Her parents and little Aidan soon had their arms wrapped around her as well. They let her go after a while so that other people could hug her and congratulate her. Olesya had made her way into the center of the group of people from her District, when she heard a familiar voice softly saying "Welcome home beautiful girl". The people in front of her moved to the side and there in front of Olesya was Jackson. She smiled shyly at him, as the last time they had seen each other, she had broken up with him, not knowing whether she would make it back.
"Do I get a hug, beautiful girl?" He asked. Olesya's face broke out to a huge smile as she launched herself into his arms.