The Starvelympics: A Hunger Games Crackfic
I open my eyes the morning of the Reaping. Hello, cruel world. The sun is streaming through the window, Prim's bag-of-bones pet cat is howling, curled up at the foot of my bed. I shift the blanket, dropping it off the side. It hisses. Fuck you. Prim usually sleeps with me because my mother sleeps in the only other bed and the floor is unappealing, but she isn't beside me when I reach for her. If she expects me to drag myself around the house looking for her, she's out of luck. I hope the little prick is having nightmares.
My mother snores in her own bed, effectively dead to the world. I look at the curve of her cheek against the pillow. Objectively, I suppose she could be considered beautiful, but she's mostly just a hag.
I slip out of the house early, walking through the streets of my part of District 12. We call it the Ghetto, after the ancient communes of low-income wenches we study in history class. The houses are grey, as are the cobblestones and tree branches. Coal dust covers everything. Basically, I live in a ticking firebomb.
I look both ways before sliding under the fence which surrounds the district. It's supposed to be electrified at all times, but this is the Ghetto, and - like in those ancient communes - our law enforcement consists of a team of drunk dirty cops. The guy who mans the fence is currently passed out at his post.
I let out a deep breath once I've cleared the fence. I'm in the woods. I'm technically breaking district law, I feel so badass.
My bow is stiff in my hands, my sheath of arrows fastened over my shoulder. I know all about hunting. My father taught me everything when I was young, before he had the brilliant idea to smoke reefer before his shift in the coal mine one day, and then to attempt to light another joint while inside. He was completely blown to bits in the resulting explosion. There was nothing even to bury, except for his pipe, which was recovered by the rescue team shortly thereafter. Five years later, I still wake up screaming at him to put that shit out, say no to drugs, and live above the influence.
People are so hungry in the Ghetto that I'm sure they'd be out here hunting with me if they weren't all pussies. Total sheep. Perhaps it's because they don't have the proper tools, like I do. My father made my bow by hand, long ago. If he hadn't been such a dumbass, I would think back on fond memories every time I used it. Instead, I shoot something small and defenseless, and mutter bitter nothings about District 12.
I hear a twig snap and look up. Before me stands my best friend Gale. The one person who understands me. Sex God Gale, with his muscles and stunning abs. I smile when I see them. Gale says I never smile except when I see those abs.
"Hey, Catnip." My name is Katniss, but Gale likes to tease me about my father's doped-out demise. Any other day, I would have a hearty chuckle with my buddy, whose father also died in that mine explosion, but not today. Not when the Reaping is this afternoon at two. "Look what I stole." He holds up a loaf of fresh bread. It must have come from the windowsill of Mellark's Bakery.
I smile. "How'd you get this one?" I ask.
"I went by for a trade, but the old man wasn't watching, so I grabbed that sucker. He had it coming. That guy's a tool, and not even a sharp one."
"I don't know," I nudge him, chuckling. "I've always fancied me an older man."
Gale makes a face, taking a bite of the loaf. It's soft, unlike the Ghetto castoffs we usually get. "I almost forgot!" He throws me a hunk of bread. "Happy Hunger Games! And may the odds-"
"-be ever against your enemies!" I finish in that awful Capitol accent. We laugh, because those hacks in the Capitol are funny as hell. No, stupid reader. We laugh because this is the only small joy we have in our miserable lives. Duh.
I study Gale as we eat. With his dark hair and grey eyes, he looks just like me. I sometimes suspect he is my illegitimate brother, but I keep my mouth shut so I can still ogle him. I never thought I belonged in my own family, with my mother and Prim being blonde with blue eyes. My father and I, however, did look alike. He and my mother met in high school when he tried to sell her dope, which is silly because her family owned an apothecary shop which sold nothing but dope. I suppose she must not be a total shrew, if my father married her. But then, she did let me and Prim starve these last five years, so nevermind.
When the food is gone, Gale and I settle back in a nook in the rocks and make out. My tongue is all over those abs. They ripple in response. I wish I could kiss those abs all night, but the Reaping is fast approaching. Sucks.
"We could do it, you know," Gale whispers.
"Do what?" I ask, distracted by his chest.
"Ditch our starving families and live in the woods, making gorgeous babies named after flowers and roots, and never looking back at this horrible place."
The idea is so beautiful, it glows inside of me. But it can never be. Our lives are so tragic. I place a finger against Gale's squirrel-flavored lips and tell him as much.
We spend an awkward hour or so fishing by the lake. Trying to catch something decent for tonight. After the Reaping, everyone gets hideously drunk, eats fish, and celebrates. The Schadenfreude Celebration, we like to call it. Or - Hey, At Least My Kid's Not Going To Get Gutted On TV, Suckers.
On the way home, we pass a girl in town. She's called Madge, but we all call her Vadge when she isn't around. If Gale and I had a list of the snotty bitches in District 12, she'd be right at the top. She's the mayor's daughter, so she lives in a nice house with clean floors and maids she isn't forced to eat when the food runs out and it's too cold to hunt one winter. Not that this has ever happened to me.
Madge flinches as we walk by. I throw her a dark look. Gale gives her both his middle fingers. Madge runs off.
"God," I scoff. "She's always so rude when we're around. What'd we ever do to her?"
Gale shrugs, handing me half of our catch as we part ways. "Haters are going to hate, my friend. Go make yourself pretty for the Reaping." He waves me off.
"See you in the square," I say.
"Wear something slutty," he says flatly.