A/N So this is my little parody on The Hunger Games. If you've ever read 'Nightlight', the Twilight parody, you'll know why I was inspired to write this. I'm also writing this along side my other story 'The Enemy', and since that's my main priority (I want to finish it before MJ comes) updates may be a little slow until then.
Oh, and also- my title is a little lame, I realize this. Suggestions for a better title would be greeeatly appreciated.
Disclaimer I do not own any of the original characters in the Hunger Games, but I do own the characters in here that I made up myself. Suzanne Collins owns the original characters.
I walk to the fence, humming a show tune under my breath but trying to resist the urge to skip. My best friend, Gill, is already waiting in the woods, hunting.
It's technically not hunting, 'cause we don't hunt living animals. They would be way too hard to shoot. Instead, we shoot the apples hanging from the trees, and shoot the dead birds we can occasionally find lying around just for good measure before we cook them.
When we really want to be tricky, we throw the apples into the air for the other to shoot.
"Hey, look what I shot!" Gill says, holding up a piece of bread with an arrow through it. I giggle. I sit down as Gill abandons his knife and just rips the bread into pieces with his teeth. Alternating between my lap and his, he spits out the bread chunks. I pick up a sticky, saliva-y piece of bread and dig in.
"Huppeh Hunteh Gamsss," he says through a mouthful of bread.
"Lan scoobal the grooves," I begin.
"Be fravok weru scavor!" Gill finishes. We're imitating our escort from the Capitol, Effel Tinker. She speaks in a combination of four language—American sign language, Pig latin, Baby, and a language she and the Games mentor, Haymill Haberscathy, made up so they could tell each other secrets.
We hunt for the rest of the morning, and we find a dead bird. We brush the maggots off and declare it perfectly good to eat. When we get bored, we play hot potato with it, too. After we've collected five whole apples and our dead bird—enough to feed our families for twelve hours!—we have a race back to the fence and into the district. I win. I love hunting with Gill.
Juggling my apples, I head back to my house and see my little sister, Prill. She's stroking her pet worm, Cookie, and feeding it some dirt.
"Katnit!" Prim shouts. "Look at Cookie! He grew a sixteenth of an inch. Can't you tell?"
I smile and nod and walk into my house, where my mother sits, drawing up my bath. I don't trust her anymore, after what happened years ago. She dropped an ice cube down the back of my shirt, and I still haven't forgiven her. So when I get into the tub, I keep my back turned safely away from her. When she braids my hair, I pull at the collar of my dress to keep it tight in the back.
Prill looks me over when I'm ready. "Oh, Katniss," she says. "You—"
"Look beautiful?" I finish hopefully.
"Well, no. You have something…stuck in your teeth. Right there, no, one over. Yeah, there. Okay, you look fine."
The three of us head to the square, while Prill babbles anxiously about the reaping and wondering if the stress is getting to Cookie too.
In the square, thousands of desks have been set up for the reaping.
The reaping is an intense, timed multiplication test, in which all children ages twelve to eighteen must participate. Each year, they choose their tributes according to what place they finish in the test. It's a surprise number every year—last year, the girl who took 76th place in the test went, along with the 13th place boy.
Occasionally, kids try to cheat by blowing other people's papers off the table, stabbing others with their pens, and taunting the other children so much that they break down in tears and forget what 7 x 6 is.
As we take our place, Effel Tinker bounces around in the center of the square, tossing pens into the crowd and folding the tests into paper airplanes to send over our head. Haymill saunters up and they start conversing in their secret language, whispering in each other's ears and giggling.
Finally, when the entire district has arrived, Effel hollers until people stop talking.
"Appy-chay Loompa Crackdoposito! Lan scoobal the grooves be fravok weru scavor!" Effel screams into her megaphone, beaming. "Rabble! Krupit! GO!"
The crowd is watching carefully, caught up in the mad suspense of the tests. Momentarily, I forget what 9 x 5 is, but the paper of the person beside me helped me to remember. Effel keeps a close eye on the enormous hourglass in the center of the square. When the last drop of sand falls out the top, she screams "CRAF PLAT HOIDER!"
We think that means 'drop your pens,' though we're not really sure. We drop them anyway.
Peacekeepers rush in to grade the tests, brandishing their red markers. Effel drags up a huge chalkboard and starts writing in the scores. Instead of confusing us all with her meaningless babble, she talks to Haymill, who translates for us.
"This year we're taking the 54th place boy and the 22nd place girl," he says. "Our girl tribute is—"
This is when I get distracted by the pen laying on the ground next to me. A colony of ants has surrounded it and is trying to lift it off the ground. Stupid ants! I think cruelly, and raise my foot to smash all the ants, because they don't deserve to live. Oh, and also, I'm afraid they'll crawl in my shoe.
But I am interrupted by a small shriek, and look up to see a trembling blond head bobbing it's way through the crowd.
I vault over the desks and race for that little blonde head. As she reaches Effel, I grab and toss her behind me. "I volunteer! I volunteer as tribute!"
"Who the heck are you?" someone says, and I turn to see that the little blonde girl is not Prill. I have no clue who she is.
"Wait…" I say. "Who the heck are you?" I turn to Haymill and Effel. "Hold on! Nevermind, I take it back, I don't volunteer! I was… kidding."
"Too late, cutie-patootie!" Haymill growls. "Who the heck are you, anyway?"
"I…" I draw myself up. "Am Katnit Everbean."
"Yeah whatever. This is cutie-patootie, your female tribute!"
I receive wild applause. No, just kidding. Everybody's talking amongst themselves, only a few are still paying attention. So Effel screams again and they all look over. This time, Effel wants to announce the boy tribute.
"Shalabay cruppa muq wilt pashay!"
I translate this to "And now the boy tribute!"
Effel consults her massive chalkboard before declaring, "Sheepil Vicrut!"
Everyone in the ground exchanges looks.
"Is there a Sheepil Vicrut here?"
"Speak up, Sheepil!"
"Who's Sheepil Vicrut?"
"Whatever!" a boy shouts from the crowd. "Here, you just go up." He nudges a blond-haired, blue-eyed boy.
Together, all the boys start to shove the blond boy up towards Effel. "This is… uh, Sheepil! Meet Sheepil! Here he is!" they all say, and then run back to their desks.
"Actually, I'm Peetal," the boy announces.
"You're name's Petal?" Haymitch snorts.
"No. Peetal. Like pee with a tal. Pee-tal."
"Hm. Nice to met you, Petal," Haymitch says.
But I can't even concentrate on Effel and Haymitch's words as they introduce us. That's because Gill is making silly faces in the crowd, and I'm trying to keep a straight face.
The minute the crowd begins to disperse, Peackeepers throw me and Peetal over their shoulders and head for the Justice Building. It's extremely uncomfortable.
"Hello," I say to the Peacekeepers butt. "Would you mind setting me down?"
In response, he passes gas.
Inside the Justice Building, I am set down on a couch where I will meet my visitors. First comes Marge, who's in a huge rush.
"Hey, Katnit. What's up? Not much, I'm good. Here, take this pin, okay? I'll pin it to your shirt." And she does, even though she actually scoops up a bit of my skin with it. "Okay, great, bye, Katniss!" And she kisses me on the cheek so fast I think I might have imagined it.
Next comes my mother, Prill, and Cookie. I hug them all at once, trying to be careful for Cookie.
"Listen," I tell them. "Go to Gill for food. His family won't mind, I'm sure they have more than enough to eat. There's really no need to pay him back for it or something, either. He's just that nice. Okay?"
We exchange more hugs and kisses. After blowing one last kiss to Cookie, they leave.
Finally, Gill is here. I fling myself into his arms, knocking him against the wall with a loud thump.
"Oops, sorry," I say, as a lump on the back of Gill's head swells.
"No problem Katnit," he says. "Listen I wanted to tell you someth—"
"Really? That's cool." I interrupt. "I wanted to tell you that—"
"All right, time's up!" A Peackeeper pokes his head in the doors and shouts.
"Another minute?" I plead, using my puppy-dog eyes, but he comes in and tosses Gill over his shoulder too. The ceiling is a little low so Gill gets his head thunked again.
"Katnit!" he cries, as the Peacekeeper struts out and Gill's head smacks repeatedly against the Peacekeeper's lower back/butt region. "I had to tell you—"
"And I just wanted to say—" I cry
And then the door closes his words are cut off. Ah, well. Probably wasn't that important anyways. I actually kinda forgot what I wanted to say to him anyways.
Then the Peacekeepers come and I am whisked off to the train. As we pull out and head for the Games, I remember a song that I liked.
On the road again
Just can't wait to be on the road again
I only know those two lines, but I sing it for hours.