So I've jumped on the bandwagon and joined everyone and their dog in doing Geth's ridiculously popular 24 words challenge. This is in a slightly different format from everyone else – each prompt has something ranging from more-or-less drabble-length to a few sentences beneath it, and they're all on this same page. They're ordered boy/girl in District order too, then the tribute's name (either from canon or made up, not all by me) and then the prompt. The prompts aren't in order – some of them I just looked at and thought 'this is for ...' – but some are still in their original position.
Yeah. Enough of my rambling. Enjoy.
1b – Marvel:Promise
"Don't ya worry, squirt. I'll come back."
He looked down at the blond head with his usual arrogance. He didn't need to promise, really. Why should he, when the outcome was clear? But that young, innocent face nagged at him.
"I promise, kiddo."
1g – Glimmer: Trap
There are people who would kill to look like her. She knows this, and makes sure everyone knows she knows this.
Sometimes, though, she wishes she looked normal. If it wasn't for her looks, she'd be wearing clothes that offered some dignity. If it wasn't for her looks, she wouldn't get those patronising glances whenever she mentions fighting. If it wasn't for her looks, people wouldn't assume she's an idiot.
She spends her life in an elaborate trap, beautifully constructed. This trap is called her body, and sometimes she just needs to escape.
But she can't. There's no changing how you were born.
2b – Cato: Home
The closest thing to a home he has is the training centre, with its harsh routines and its cold discipline. The training centre is the furthest thing anyone else would consider home-like, but Cato considers it his nevertheless. It is the place that has made him who he is.
But Cato doesn't think it's good enough. There isn't a victor from District Two every year. Far too many of its citizens are going out without enough strength, going out to be slaughtered. Far too many of the 'trainees' haven't been pushed enough. They are weak.
That will soon change, though. He has plans. When he gets home, he will be in command. And no one will be able to stand in his way.
2g – Clove: Belt
She looks through the clothes she's been given to wear in the Arena. Tawny pants, light green blouse. Both nondescript colours. Good for camouflage. The material is light yet appears strong.
The black jacket is supposedly designed to reflect body heat. Looking at its thinness, she decides she'll believe that when she sees it. The boots are strong and sturdy, as good as she could have hoped for. All in all, a pretty good Arena outfit. Better than bright orange jumpsuits, anyway.
She saves the best for last. A brown belt, made of leather. Looking at it, her mind is already brimming with ideas for uses. She can already think of three different ways to kill someone with it.
It's a good year, she decides, when the Gamemakers give the tributes a ready-made weapon.
3b – Levi: Colours
He looks down into the black tangle of wires and smiles, a man in his element. In his head, the complex interplay of parts is simplified in diagrams, dancing around in his brain. Each wire moved helps to clarify the pictures in his head.
Other people think that the wires need to be colour-coded to provide a guide. Amateurs, the lot of them.
A true professional needs no such guidance. The expert makes his own colours.
3g – Switch: Oddity
She knows she's an oddity. White-blond hair is never common, especially not among the dark-haired population of District Three.
She's lived with the whispers her whole life. People will come up with the craziest things. She herself thought she was an albino for a while, but after she finally summed up the courage to ask the school teacher she found out she wasn't.
So she puts up with the rumours and the names, contents herself with never knowing why she looks different. It isn't worth it to start a fight.
At least she knows that the entire District recognises her at the Reaping.
4b – Arturo: Hope
He stood on the rooftop and surveyed his allies and only true competition. Looking at those expressionless faces, those menacing, hulking bodies and confident posture, he gave up hope of ever seeing District Four again.
4g – Varia: Gratitude
It happens so suddenly. She's standing there, watching Peeta and Arturo fight, and then… Bang! Arturo's dead on the floor with a knife in his back.
But while she knows she should be feeling grief at the death of her district partner, all she feels is a strange, unhealthy gratitude and a strong relief that it's not her.
5b – Alecto: Bracelet
He got given many tokens, from many different well-wishers. It was hard to decide which of them he wanted to use. In an ideal world, he would have taken all of them but the rules were clear. One token per tribute. No exceptions.
His last present wasn't much – a piece of string, simply. But it was the most valuable of them all. He could thread all of his other tokens onto the string, forming a sort of bracelet.
Rules can't be broken, but they were made to be bent.
5g – Lysandra: Book
She stole a book, once. It was just lying there under a table, covered in dust and layers of paperwork. No one would miss it.
Later she wondered what on earth had possessed her to do such a stupid thing. Stealing a book wasn't like stealing food. It was traceable. Nevertheless, she read and re-read 'Chemistry for Laymen', drinking in the information thirstily.
She especially enjoyed the section detailing the chemical makeup of poisonous plants.
6b – Aren: Opal
He found a jewel one day. It was lying in the muck, and he took it for a pebble. He was about to throw it at his brother – who cared for what, the little twerp would have done something by now – when he noticed it shining.
His father told him what it was, when he asked. He was at that age when father knew everything. It became the family's pride and joy, but no one ever forgot who had found it.
A week later the peacekeepers came and confiscated the opal. Nobody protested, other than Aren. He was only a child, but he still has the scars from the whipping.
6g – Sal: Chair
"Abel, why are you holding a chair?"
"I thought you'd want it. For your District Token. You're allowed to bring something with you, right?"
His face looks so hopeful that it's almost a pity to turn him down. But she has to. She can already imagine the hindrance a chair would be in the Arena. Then again, maybe people would be too busy laughing at her to kill her…
7b – Vincent: Legendary
Back home he was legendary for his friendliness. Everyone knew him and everyone liked him.
Back home, Johanna was legendary for her victory. Nobody really knew her well enough to like her, but she was respected by everybody.
Vincent plans to combine the two. After all, he reasons, no one wants to kill a friend.
7g – Teagan: Yell
What the hell. I'm going to die anyway, right? Might as well do something unladylike for once. Screw the folks back home, this is my time. I want my final words to be memorable.
With a bloodcurdling yell, I run at the Cornucopia
8b – Joss: Blood
A little known fact about him is that he faints at the sight of blood. He's glad it's little known – he'd get teased mercilessly if his mates found out.
But now, looking at the stump of what used to be his arm, he's glad. Because it means he doesn't feel it as he lies on the battlefield dying of blood loss, until one of the Career pack notices his body twitching and decides to finish him off.
8g – Rina: Bells
She was given a set of bells for her token. She hated them, but they were all she had. Beggars can't be choosers. She knows that he meant well, but she knew that the bells would be a liability. They would be what got her caught.
As she lies by the ashes of her fire, nearly dead, she realises she was wrong. She shouldn't have worried. The bells weren't what killed her, in the end.
9b – Emery: Animal
He said he wouldn't change. He said that the Games wouldn't affect him. He said he'd rather die than do what the Capitol wanted.
But then the gong rang, and all of his good intentions abandoned him. He grappled in the mud for supplies, just like the rest of them. Noble words and conscious thought gone, he was no better than an animal.
9g – Jade: Spring
The Arena reminds her of early spring in District Nine. The same smell of pine trees, the same sun shining down, not too hot and not too cold.
She's so busy caught in her nostalgia that she doesn't even notice the gong ringing, or the blond boy who runs at her with a spear.
10b – Lucas: Determination
He knows he's deluding himself with dreams of victory. Even with his disability exaggerated, surprise is pretty much all he has on his side.
But he limps on. Determination to win shines out from his eyes. After all, victory comes in many forms, and to Lucas victory is over the Capitol and not over his fellow tributes.
Considered like this, most of the others have already lost.
10g – Kyra: Frost
On the outside, she was cold as frost. Bitter and angry and horrible. A total bitch, to put it bluntly.
But on the inside she was terrified. She put up walls of icy thorns to protect her, but in privacy she could barely stop quaking with fear.
11b – Thresh: Escape
He is almost glad when death comes. It offers an escape from the layers of pain. Physical pain from Cato's sword. Mental pain from grief for Rue and guilt for how he killed Clove.
Most of all, death offers an escape from the creature he was turning into. From the animal he swore he wouldn't become.
11g – Rue: Fly
She's always dreamed of flying. Of flying like the mockingjays. Of flying high above the walls of District Eleven. Of flying far, far away, away from Panem. Of flying to safety.
She could never do it, even if she could fly. Her siblings were an anchor, holding her to the hated District. They could never survive if she was gone, so Rue smothered her dreams and focused on staying alive.
Then she learned to swing through the trees. This was her escape. She could imagine that she was somewhere else, somewhere away from the eyes of the peacekeepers.
It wasn't flying, but it was close enough.
12b – Peeta: Picture
Ever since he can remember, he's thought in images. He was a slow reader, not understanding why people put such stock in words. Pictures display so much more.
The cakes at home were his first real experience of drawing. It was love at first sight, and he never understood why his brothers all hated doing it.
He still doesn't like words, though he hides it well. Words can be bent and twisted into meanings completely different from what you had intended. Words can be effective, but they can also come to stab you in the back.
Pictures never lie.
12g – Katniss: Reminder
The withdrawal of the rule change never really took her by surprise. Some subconscious part of her mind had been nagging at her, telling her that it was too good to be true. It was, of course.
The second rule change came as a reminder. She had been letting her guard down, getting careless. They found a way to her.
The Capitol is always vigilant. Don't you forget that.