Chapter 3

Adelittia Medley

District 9

"Get out, run, NOW! Before it's too late!"

"I'm not leaving you, not like this!"

"There's still time for you, Littia! Run!"

I finally followed her command and ran out of the burning house, just before it collapsed in on itself. Another bomb hit, maybe a mile away, and it sent ripples through the ground. I took off toward the woods, wondering if I'd ever see this town again.

I didn't. I never saw that town again, and I was glad because no one else survived in that little town. No one but me.

But it was just a dream. I had taken a quick nap, preparing for the opening ceremonies tonight. I sat up in my bed, looking around the futuristic room.

The walls were painted a deep plum color and all the furniture looked like it had been dipped in a horrid yellow plastic. A massive silver chandelier hung from the ceiling, suspended only by a sliver of metal. The bathroom was magnificent, all very modern stainless steel appliances, complete with turquoise detailing and a big white rug. Everything was expensive, and nice and beautiful and capitol. It made me want to puke.

I had spent years in the capitol, way too many for my liking, and for a while I was accustomed to this sort of lavish treatment. And then they sent me to 9, where I learned how real people lived, and raised a family, and loved each other.

The capitol had made me plastic but 9 pulled me back to my roots.

I slowly got up, changed, and went out to the main room, where Calix was waiting.

"Morning, sleepy head," said Calix, a sly grin on his face. So far, Calix had been…talkative. And abrupt. And sometimes downright rude, but, at the end of the day he seems rather kind, even if he does flirt with every girl within a 50 ft. radius. Even the audacious capitol women.

I simply nodded and smiled at him, hoping to not spike his anger, which he has little control over.

"Ready to go?" I asked him as I looked around for our escort and mentor.

He caught my questioning gaze, "Greita and Zane already left, said they wanted to meet with some sponsors. Zane says you know this place, you've been here before?"

How would Zane know? I thought. Our egotistical mentor seemed to care little about me, how would he know about my past? Think of an excuse!

"Yea, during the rebellion they took me, but only for a couple days. It wasn't much fun," I said lamely.

"Well, it's not much fun now either. I'm sorry you had to go through that during the rebellion; I know the dam was an accident. They shouldn't have taken you to the capitol, did they torture you?"

Accident? It most certainly wasn't an accident, but a defiant act against the capitol. Where would he get 'accident' from?

"No, they just wanted to know what happened. It was an accident," I lied, it looks better if it was an accident, "how did you know?"

"They told us, the capitol. Once they took you they came to 9 and told us you accidently destroyed it. It was an old thing any way, looked like it could have collapsed in the wind, don't you think?"

"Yea, I barely even remember it, I was a lot younger."

He stood up, "Let's head out and go find Greita, she'll be glad we finally bathed."

I laughed and followed him out to the elevator. Nine floors down, and into the main room we run into Greita, who ushers us away.

"Zane is already picking up sponsors for you two, you should be so grateful! You might even have a chance!"

I shake my head, even though I know she means well. Her ignorance isn't a surprise; most people in the capitol are either dumb or cunning. Zane's cunning. I turn around to see him, along with a few other capitolites, discussing plans. He catches my glare and he smiles a devilish grin. I quickly turn back around, not wanting to see his awful stare for another moment. Something about him is off…and for the first time in my life I don't want to know what.

Calix Torento

District 9

I wish she would pay attention to me. She's barely given me the time of day, and I've said every charming thing that I have in my arsenal! She's from 9, just like me, but I've only seen her a handful of times. She's gorgeous, dirty blonde hair, bright blue eyes, perfect pale skin, and a body that hasn't been racked by starvation like the rest of the district. I know she's 16, a year younger than me, from my friends in the district. She's very mysterious, no family what so ever, but a nice house to call her own. Some say her parents were from the capitol and were killed in the rebellion, so she was sent to live here, since no orphans live in the capitol. Others say she's been here her whole life and has lived off of what others gave her because of her beauty.

I think she's a girl, who's meant to be a queen, but never got the opportunity to rule her kingdom. Too early was she abandoned by her family, left to rot in miles of wheat and grain. A whisper in the wind of a time when beauty had not yet been calloused over by years of work and heartache. She worked yes, just like everyone else, but it was effortless. She never broke a sweat or had to take an extra break. She was something of mystic and magic, and I would always love her.

But there are 24 of us, and only one comes out. Hopefully it'll be her.

The chariots are ready and outfits are being readied. Stylists pull and stitch, making the garments perfect and ready for show. The stylists aren't personable, and don't introduce themselves, they only tell us short commands, as if we were animals.

The outfits are a little revealing for my taste, but isn't that what the capitol want's? The people want to see what they have to work with, and what they're betting on.

I know there are a few younger children in the competition and I hope they don't put such racy clothing on the tots.

My outfit at least covers what it needs to cover, a few wisps of grain in the right area. The stylist draped beads over my neck and arms and legs as well, which has nothing to do with 9, but it gives the outfit a little more spunk I suppose. They also painted my face and arms with orange and red body spray. The designs are intricate and make me look like a swaying piece of wheat in a summer sunset.

Adelittia looks gorgeous in her dress of wheat; actually it's not really a dress but two separate sections, one for the top and one for the bottom. The bottom piece goes all the way to the floor in the back but comes up to mid-thigh in the front. They spent quite a bit more time on her ensemble, as she has much more potential. The wheat in her dress is braided and intricately woven with strips of red and orange. Her top doesn't cover much, but a few necklaces make sure even the youngest viewers can watch. She's painted too, making us look like a match set. Her makeup is simple, but magnificent all the same.

I wish it wasn't like this. I wish I had longer to win her heart, and win her love. Because even though she's finally talking to me, it won't be long until she's trying to kill me.

Eden Greenpetal

District 10

As I stand here, dressed as little bo peep, I have to think where my life went awry. Was it when the rebellion started, when I was a little girl? Or was it when the rebellion ended and the Hunger Games came to be? Was I cursed the second they made this awful game? Or was it when I was reaped, and cursed to die?

I wish I knew, but all I know right now is that I look like a complete and utter fool.

My stylist, if you could call her that, decided that since I am on the younger side, 14, that she would dress me up as a lil'-herdin'-girl. She pried me into a white ruffled tutu styled dress, a pink plaid under shirt, and an over-sized bonnet. The whole outfit must have been covered in at least 50 feet of baby blue ribbon because very where I looked there was some kind of bow.

I was embarrassed, but lucky compared to Ramsey, who was dressed as a sheep.

Our stylist thought it was so clever to have a herder and a sheep together. It's safe to say we didn't.

I tugged at the ribbon on my back, trying to loosen the incredibly tight costume. I think she said she put a corset in the outfit, what little girl wears a corset? I gave up and sat down admiring the other districts' outfits.

Ramsey Ewing

District 10

Back home I herded the sheep all day long. The sheep were good though, and needed little herding, so I had time in-between to relax and work on building my strength and aim.

I wasn't a joke in the district, and I had many friends, but even if I do win and go back I don't think I'll have any friends or even acquaintances, solely because I wore this ridiculous costume.

I am dressed up as a sheep. A sheep. What on earth would possess someone to dress a 17 year old boy up as a sheep?

The stylist had asked me what I do on the farm back home; I told her that I work with the sheep, which, to me, seemed like a plenty normal answer. Not to her. She got all giddy and laughed, probably laughing at my oncoming doom.

So, now I get to embarrass myself on live television in front of the entire nation. And it doesn't help that the heavy wool costume is about five sizes too big. The stylist must have thought I was the size of a normal 17 year old boy, but I'm not.

True, I have quite a bit of muscle, but that only goes so far. My body is used to small amounts of food, as I've been malnourished all my life, and it shows on me. I don't have an ounce of fat on me, which I know will become a great disadvantage in the games when I desperately need some to keep death off my front door.

But, now isn't the time to worry about the games. Now is the time to try to not look like a complete idiot and to hold my head high. The stylist straightened the ears on my cotton hood and pushed me into the chariot, along with Eden.

"Good Luck!" she whispered.

I just scowled at her.

No thanks to you.

Caia Taro

District 11

When I got to the capitol, they told me a lot of younger girls had been chosen this year; girls just like me would be competing against me. At the time this had almost made me sigh in relief, younger girls are easier to fight, right? I had seen older girls, 16, 17, and 18 fight and they fought like wild animals. Whipping out their weapons and killing everyone in sight. But then I realized that just because there wouldn't be as many older tributes didn't mean that there wouldn't be many. And those few would kill the younger ones fast, plucking them off like feathers from a crow.

I knew I needed to start making a few alliances, and I had a certain person in mind.

Her name was Cherry, and she was from district 5. She's thirteen, the same age as me, and though she doesn't look like much, she could be a major help in the arena.

I had already met her once, on the elevator, and she seemed nice enough. I plan on talking with her at the training center tomorrow; maybe I'll be able to get her to join an alliance.

But, those thoughts could be reserved for tomorrow; right now I should be focusing on the chariot ride, and my costume.

My stylist, a kind older lady with a thick accent, had dressed me in a purple tutu, decorated with bright orange and yellow flowers that accented my dark skin perfectly. My dark hair was pulled back into a twisted bun and a small hat with an artificial apple and orange sat on top. She applied a little makeup, but told me I was beautiful without it and rubbed most of it off. She gave me green striped tights and small brown shoes to wear, but of which only made my outfit that much better.

I asked for the stylists' name and she told me to call her DeDe. I nodded and thanked her before climbing into the chariot.

Super short chapter, I know, but I just wanted to get another chapter up before spring break ends :'(

And who's your fav almost couple so far?

Sayer + Ariana

Calix + Adelittia?

Whoever wins gets a bit of a spill in the next chp!

Thanks for reading and reviewing! R&R!