This might have a follow up, if you guys enjoy it and give me lots of feedback.
I don't own Hunger Games.
She calls my name, and I can't breathe. All the air in the world wouldn't help, and it's all I can do to move my feet slowly towards that stage. I can feel the tears burning down my cheeks, and I know that I've already lost my edge in my shock. The other Tributes will look at me and see weakness, but I can't bring myself to care.
Five slips of paper condemn the girl from District 7.
My hands are shaking as the District 7 escort calls out the boys name -I don't hear anything besides the trembling intake of my own air. Funny, how I know I'm breathing, but I feel like I'm drowning. I don't want to believe this is happening.
But it is.
I shake hands with the boy Tribute who shares a stage with me as the anthem plays and don't bother to stop the tears as I see myself reflected in his pity filled eyes.
Let them think I'm weak, there's not much I can do now anyway.
Father shakes my shoulders at our goodbye. He whispers his contempt for me, and says that I am too weak to come home.
I'm tempted to hit him and prove him wrong, but instead I hang my head and sob with my hatred for him. For once, he could at least pretend to care. After all, this might be the last time I ever see him.
"That's all you were ever good at." He spits.
The rage that I've inherited from him flares, and I want to kill him.
But he leaves too quickly for that.
I press my fingers to the glass, and it's cool to the touch. Pine trees flash by so fast that my head hurts just watching them, but I don't look away. I see my sunken eyes in my reflection, and I lean in until I'm just a blur against the speeding trees.
"Goodbye," I whisper, and my breath fogs the clear pane, blotting out the familiar trees. I don't know who I'm saying goodbye too, but it seems appropriate for the given situation, and so I say it.
It's the last time I'll ever say the word.
That night all the tears are gone, all the shock and the hurt washed away. I think about the position I've put myself in -the weak one, the crybaby. I think about my father and the rage in my blood, and then I smile.
I'll cry my way out of these Games if I have to.
The next day, I cry.
I cry my way through the opening ceremony, and through training, and at every and all opportunities. I make sure that I don't seem annoying, just pathetic. I wouldn't want anyone going after me out of spite because I'd bugged them. No, I'd rather just be a laugh that slips from their minds.
It's bothersome, to cry on cue, but if they underestimate me, then all the better.
If they underestimate me, then I just might live long enough to kill them all.
They taunt me, and I hate to crack under them, but I have to. It's hard to pretend they've struck a nerve, because I've heard it all before -I've said it all before.
I cry and make myself scarce, so I don't have to pretend as often, and so I don't become too lasting in their memory.
I don't impress the Gamemakers, and when I get back to my room, I smile.
I talk in my interview, but half way through I start to cry. To say the least, I don't leave a good impression on the sponsors.
My platform rises slowly, and I think that my designer is glad to be rid of me. I can safely say that he's not the only one- I've grown to hate the crying girl I've had to become. The Cornucopia is brimmed full with weapons and food and survival gear. My hands are itching to get a hold of it, but I can't.
I've come too far to lose my image by rushing into the Cornucopia bloodbath. A coward would run.
They've pegged me as a coward. So when the gong rings I grab whatever is closest -a camouflage jacket with a water bottle and iodine in the pockets- and sprint into the trees.
I don't cry at all that day.
Gathering food is almost too easy. Living in District 7 has made moving around the arena without being detected as simple as pie. I load up on berries and drink so much water that my stomach hurts.
I'm calm and in my element here, and for the first time, I feel like myself.
They pick each other off, and I think they forget about me. I'm glad.
I spend my days eating berries, and drinking lots of water, waiting for just the right moment, and it comes the fifth night, when there are only eight of us left.
He stumbles into my clearing, lost and hunting for food.
He's just a boy, a little over fourteen, and I feel pity in my stomach -but not enough to spare his life.
After all, he's carrying an axe. It'd be a shame to waste such a fine weapon on someone who can't wield it.
The axe feels right in my hand, and I whistle as I go hunting, blood staining my jacket a violent shade of crimson.
She's an unlucky girl, with her wild eyes, and her hungry stomach that growls and gives her away. She's seventeen -just a year my senior- and she's got her back turned to me.
Her blood sprays across my face as the axe comes down, and her blood tastes like rust.
I take her knife, it might come in handy.
I sleep the next day, and eat berries until sundown.
Hunting doesn't feel good, but, hey, it's better than dying.
It's a Career this time, and I feel a tickle of excitement down my spine. This should be a challenge. This won't be murder, it'll be a battle.
But it isn't.
She begs, eighteen and beautiful, on her hands and knees for my mercy.
Her blood stains my hands, and the handle of my axe. Her backpack is filled with weapons and food, and I only take what I'll eat before I leave.
She doesn't look so beautiful when she's dead I think, as I chew on her dried fruit.
That night when I go to sleep with the rusty smell of blood in my nose, there are five of us left, and I feel like I might just go home after all of this.
When I wake up, four of us are left, and that means that at least one of my enemies has been hunting last night, so I go out looking for them.
He's sleeping off last night under a bush, caked in blood that's not his own, much like myself. I raise my axe, and he opens his eyes.
As the blade comes down he moves, fast enough that the metal doesn't sink into his throat like I intended, but dead between his eyes. It sprays blood into my mouth, and his eyes instantly fade into lifelessness- a cold blue I'll see in my nightmares.
I try not to vomit as I pull the axe out and see glimpses of shattered bone and broken mind.
Exhausted, I stumble to my watering hole and try to wash the blood off of me, but it stains my skin, and I can taste the copper on my tongue.
I almost lose my sanity at that watering hole that day -scrubbing my skin, and tasting a dead boy's blood.
The next day, there are two of us left.
Two isn't my lucky number, but five is, and if I kill them, I win.
Will I die with four murders on my hands, or will I live with five?
He's surprised to see me, when the Gamemakers force us into the same spot. He was sitting in the clearing, waiting for me, obviously forgetting who was left in this Game of so many players. I stroll in, with my axe on my shoulder, and blood-stained fingertips. My weapon would come clean, but I couldn't.
His mouth flops open, and, ultimately, his surprise is his demise, because it makes his reaction time so much slower.
His death isn't as fast as the other though, because he fights back, but soon I am soaked in his blood and my own.
With a final blow of my axe his heart stops beating, and I win the Games.
The Capitol loves me.
They shout my name and whistle and clap for me. They smile at me. They love me.
They shout, "Johanna!" They praise. They laugh. They cheer.
They love me, because I tricked them all.
But I hate them all, because my fingertips are still stained.
Victory doesn't taste like I thought it would.
It tastes like blood and berries, and makes my veins feel cold.
But I smile for the camera, and trick them all again.