Chapter 21

I woke up repeatedly, each time, restrained by a leather band around my waist. I would wake just long enough to eat a few bites, then a cold liquid would flow through the iv in my arm, and I would be knocked out.

Each time, I became more and more beautiful. My skin became clearer and less damaged, and pretty soon, none of my scars were visible. And finally, when every visible part of my body was more beautiful, it was over. Also, I was no longer hooked up to any machines or restrained by a leather band.

I found an outfit waiting for me at the foot of the bed, and I was only a little shocked when I realized that it was the outfit that all the tributes had worn in the arena. I put it on, and walked the perimeter of the room until a hidden door opened for me.

"Ariella!" I heard. I turned, and I saw Blythe, Lillianna, and Heebee waiting for me. I ran at them, and I threw myself into the arms of Blythe. I was genuinely happy to see her even though we hadn't been on the best of terms before the games.

We spent the rest of the day discussing various aspects of the games, how I had killed some of the others and how the Capitol had reacted. Apparently, the Capitol was absolutely in love with me, and I was going to be one of their favorite people for a very long time.

Heebee began dressing me for a while, and soon I was in an elegant – yet skimpy – aqua green dress. I was beautiful, or so everyone told me.

That night, I was brought up on stage through the floor, a crown was placed on my head, and I sat with Julius Avery as I watched the recaps of the games:

It started with the Reapings. I saw as 24 kids stepped forward, 23 of them to their deaths.

Next, the movie cut right to the opening ceremonies. I saw our costumes again, the elegant mermaid like costume. It was clear now that I was the center of attention from the start.

This was followed by our training scores, then the interviews. We only watched snippets of all the other tributes, but we got to see mine in full. I remembered now how I had made a costume change in the middle of the interview to illustrate my ability to play multiple roles.

The games started then. I got to watch the bloodbath in full, but also got to watch as I smashed that boy from 6's face again and again… in slow motion. The crowd was going ballistic, but I just wanted to get on with the games. I wanted to see things about them that I hadn't already.

I watched the first night where we had seen Tzarro behead the girl hanging from a tree. This was quickly followed by my fight against the two boys.

Then, for the first time that night, I saw something I had not seen. The four other pack members, including Bane, conversed about killing me in my sleep. Lyliss and Undin were the leaders of the charge, insisting that I was too dangerous to be allowed to live. It was Bane that saved me, insisting that I was still valuable while I was loyal and to give me a few more nights.

The movie went on to show the great escape of Bane and I, and the fury of Lyliss. She was so enraged at that point, it now seemed to founded having heard Bane save me.

The film skipped ahead to the next night when we met the pair from 8. I watched as I killed the girl and as Bane's life was taken from him. Then, I saw myself crying for Bane. It was the only point throughout the games where I showed any emotion at all.

The next sight was the feast. I got to watch in full both of my fights, one against Lyliss, and the other against the boy from District 8. Both were very quick and very brutal. Of the other fights, I only saw the death blows. Then, the video showed Leera's knife enter my side and me black out.

The next thing that is shown is Tzarro attempting to poison me, then me killing Tellee. I feel kind of bad when I find out that she had no part in my poisoning, but quickly dismiss the feeling.

Tzarro runs from me, then I trek back to the cornucopia and poison the water. Not more than a day later, Tzarro drinks the water and dies what I find myself hoping was a painful death.

The lightning storm I saw was to bring Adonnis and Leera together in the fall section. I watch the entire fight, not having seen it myself. Leera was very creative with her throwing of knives, and Adonnis was already injured from the feast. Eventually, she runs out of knives and has to go in with just her fists against Adonnis' sword. Amazingly, she takes him down and kills him with his own sword; however, she sustained multiple gashes from that fight.

The next day, she was chased to the edge of the cornucopia clearing by a pack of mutant horses with eyes made of fire and fangs. It was clear that she was still too hurt from her previous fight to compete with me, but the Gamemakers forced her there regardless.

The final fight is shown in full, and the movie concludes with the last image of me before I am sucked up into the hover craft. The crowd breaks out into tremendous applause. Thus, my interview begins.

When the interview is over, I go to a dinner put on to thank my many sponsors, mostly gross old men who seemed to bet on me, not because I was supposed to win the games, but because of how I looked. It was creepy yet enjoyable to know I was so well received.

The next night, we had one final dinner to attend at the President's mansion, then we boarded the train for home. I was so relieved to be going home that I could barely eat on the train.

When we reached the station, I jumped out of the car onto the platform. The cameras clicked and flashed intensely as I flew to my father and wrapped my arms around him.

It wasn't until I looked up into his eyes that I noticed the change.

Underneath the weary, wrinkly eyes I had known my entire life was a new emotion.

Fear.

I had just done a great deed, but I was not being received the way I would have liked to.

This new look, this new emotion I sensed in my father's eyes, it left me wondering.

Wondering what I did wrong and where I went wrong…

Hey People!

I'm so sorry this last story took so long. With the games over, it just took a little more motivation to write this, so I'm sorry for the delay. I will start preparing for my newest story, the first chapter of which should be out in approximately one week featuring… MAGS! The poll was tied between two, so I asked my three most dedicated reviewers for this story to vote. I hope you will all put me on your author alerts, and I look forward to writing for you again!

With love, signing out from 'The Second Hunger Games',

Emmdog1994