The Starvelympics: A Hunger Games Crackfic

By alidazzles

Chapter 24

Peeta might be dead. Probably. But alright, it happens. It's better this way, definitely. He was a distraction, really. Someone to swap stories and scream along to Ke$ha songs with, locked in a hotel room closet while Effie and Haymitch tore the place apart looking for us after a particularly shitty training session. But that's it.

It's not like he was going to win, maybe this is best. That he'll get a nice section in the Greatest Hits reel before we all started getting catty and talking smack about each other's moms for the benefit of the cameras.

I don't know. Regardless of whether Peeta is dead or alive, I am exhausted. I open my backpack, an unfortunate bright-orange bag with a demonic My Litte Pony stitched across the back. I wonder if this was meant for Scary Girl from 2, who can't be more than thirteen. My tongue feels dry and fuzzy like week-old couch candy, so I'm less than impressed to find crackers, dried beef jerky, a coil of wire, an empty bottle, and a pair of Ray Bans. I slip them on and I swear to god I look like the one straight member of One Direction. If he were slowly collecting grime and staggering around the woods waiting to die of starvation on reality TV.

The Gamemakers probably giggled like little bitches when they came up with the idea to send me a bone-dry water bottle. At least it's BPA free, because I value my health and the fucking environment, alright? But still, not ideal. This isn't like District 12, where something was always dripping or leaking if you were really thirsty. Here the only water source is the lake, back in the clearing where the Careers will no doubt be waiting to pick off anyone dumb enough to return. I'm about to draw the knife and plunge it into my beating heart (you think I'm kidding), when I remember the animals I've seen along the road. They have to drink, too…

I haul the pack over my shoulder and make my way further into the endless woods. My fingers itch for the crackers and beef jerky, but I'm not dumb as fuck, and can't touch them until I've found some water to wash them down. It's full dark by the time I'm ready to drop from exhaustion. No water in sight, just darkness and the kind of Murder Woods you'd find behind a middle school. I use the wire to set a few snares, so I won't have to hunt tomorrow, and find a tall tree to sleep in.

I've survived the first day, alright. I didn't fuck up in the first round and I've still got all my limbs and surely I'll find a drink tomorrow and I'm wearing some serious stunna shades. I actually feel like a competitor for once, rather than just a tribute. I can actually do this.

The first chords of the national anthem jerk me from my reverie. The death recap's coming up, when they'll show the names and faces of the slower, dumber tributes who stuck around for the bloodbath this morning. At home, they get a full recap of the killings with play-by-plays and shitty commentary from the guys over at FOX Sports, but in the arena we only get images of the fallen: old Myspace photos dug up from their personal files back home.

I see the girl from District 3, throwing her deuces up in her bathroom mirror. Then the boy from 4, a Career, shirtless and flexing. The blurry face of the boy from 5 with his tongue out. The list goes on.

I heard eleven cannons today. When I see the girl from District 10 doing a hideous duckface, I realize she's the eleventh. Which mean's Peeta's alive.

Well. Good. If he survives he can take care of Prim back home. Right. I don't feel happy and relieved but pissed and full of dread all at the same time. Or anything.


I've almost fallen into a light sleep when I hear a twig snapping, and momentarily lose my shit because fuck.

But I'm not instantly shot. I haven't been found. I look below my perch and – get this – some basic bitch is down there starting a fire.

Well damn, princess! Didn't realize you were cold, just go ahead and start a giant fire in the middle of the Hunger Games why don't you?!

Seething silently is not easy. I manage well enough. I spend hours glaring below, watching this girl and wondering if I should get her with a rock or something. People are going to find us! How doesn't she get that?

And people do come. Several pair of feet approach quickly after the girl nods off by the little blaze. I hear them awaken her, her little scream as she realizes who's found her. I really truly want to enjoy this girl getting what's coming to her, but I don't, because it's those Career assholes. Scary Girl from 2 will be somewhere among them. I'm shitting my pants.

"The fuck is this? Why no cannon?"

"Don't know, should've gone off right after we got her in the face."

"Unless you didn't—"

"I fucking did!"

"Yeah? Maybe you should go back and check."

"Maybe you should screw yourself with a fork."

"Maybe I should kill you."

"If you kill me I'll tell everyone about the time you and I—"

"Dumbass, you'd be dead."

"Hey, you two stop fucking each other for a second? I'll go check."

My breath catches. The first two voices are muddled and vague, but I know Peeta and his shitty defensively homophobic outbursts anywhere. He's with them. And unless they've kidnapped him or coerced him or this is the elaborate setup for the world's sickest ever episode of Punk'd, they've teamed up.

Peeta's a Career now.

I vomit a little bit in my mouth.