Hey guys, this is my first fan fiction! Since I loved Clove in the Hunger Games, I wrote this as the 74th Hunger Games from Clove's point of view. Please review!

As I walked over to the corral of sixteen year old girls, I noticed how perfect they all looked. The girls, and boys, I supposed, of District 2 were born self-confident, and this led to many of them convinced they would be the one picked from the reaping ball. So they put their perfect clean swishy hair up, wore their very best clothes, and polished their faces to perfection, in anticipation of the moment they would ascend the steps to the stage and be broadcast to all of Panem.

I had to admit, even I had scrubbed my face and washed my hair thouroughly in the hopes that I would get picked. I was just as self-confident as any of them, but I felt like if I made a special effort, I would jinx it. Some other girl would be picked to go and I would be left here. So I didn't try too hard. I knew I was strong. Stronger than many of the others, in a place where the children were raised to be strong.

I knew that if I went home today without my name having been called, there would be nothing waiting for me there. Nothing but a disastrous falling apart house and a drunk deadbeat father who couldn't look at me without yelling or throwing a punch. I had considered more than a few times running away, but that would only get me caught and killed most likely. Whipped a few times, if I was lucky. But even so, I would just be sent home to someone who would rather I was dead.

If my name were called today one of two things would happen; I could win, have my own money, and leave my father in my past. Or I could be killed, which wouldn't matter to anyone least of all my father. I didn't have friends. Had no other family. There was me and only me. I watched from where I now stood in the crowd, one face among many, as our Capitol escort, Alyssinia Rettwin, trotted over to the microphone. Alyssinia's arrival always elicited excitement from the group, as we waited eagerly to hear who would go and who would stay behind.

"Hello, hello", she twittered into the microphone. "Happy Hunger Games and may the odds be ever in your favor". Alyssinia was like a small bird, uncertain of her place on the stage, nervous as she stared out into the audience. I could sense from the way she rocked slightly on her ridiculously high heels that she would much rather be anywhere than in front of a crowd. Now we waited during the reciting of the history of the Hunger Games and the rebellion, impatiently.

When it was finished, Alyssinia walked to the large clear glass balls filled with paper slips, the girls' side, and spun it around several times before she felt they were sufficiently shuffled. She reached in and pulled one closed slip out, unfolded it, and then in her high pitchy voice read into the mic, "Clove Chaterly". I go into automatic mode. I stand and walk to the stage somehow, through actions that I don't feel are mine.

It's not till I look out at the audience it feels real. I'm going into the Hunger Games. It's what I wanted. I instinctively look for my father in the audience. I know he's there, everyone's required to be. I spot him, far in the back, but there he is. For once, he doesn't look drunk or angry or spiteful. He has no expression at all. But I know he knows I'm looking directly at him. And I want him to feel the fact that he'll most likely never see me again, dead or alive. If I win, I'm most certainly not going back to him.

As the applause of the crowd fades out and the disappointed looking girls dressed up in their finest clothes, slump or simply sit on the ground, Alyssinia teeters over to the boys' reaping ball. She repeats the process and this time comes up with another name. "Cato Helamor". A huge tall blonde guy stands and whoops as he comes up to the stage. I know how this works. We'll be allies, at least, at first, because the tributes from Districts 1,2, and 4 always are. The Careers. The ones who train for this their whole lives.

He certainly looks like he has, and I know that if I ever get caught in hand to hand combat with him, I wouldn't stand a chance. I'm short, not as tall as him but tall enough, and quick. And I have my knives. I trained for this, like everyone else does, in school with a trainer, and within the first session I ever had learned I was brilliant with a knife. I can aim wherever I want, and it always finds its mark.

We shake hands, and I make my face into a mask pure of expression. I survey him, and wonder if he has any special weaponry skills. He has no shortage of muscles, but I've seen a few boys at school larger than him. Still, I'm sure he'd have no trouble snapping my neck without a second glance. I wouldn't have any trouble throwing one of my knifes into his heart either. The basis of the Hunger Games is no one is your friend, not truly. If it came down to you and your best friend, I'm sure one of you would be dead soon enough.

There has to be a victor, making all alliances temporary. And Cato's handsome, more than handsome enough to win a lot of sponsors. I'm not a fool, I think as we walk to the Justice Building to say our goodbyes to our family and friends. I know I'm not beautiful at first sight like a lot of other girls. I have long dark brown hair and green eyes, which are fine, but my features are sharp and when I look in the mirror it's like there's something lingering in the back of my eyes. Wariness, maybe, suspiciousness. Like I'm constantly on watch for people who want to hurt me. Without it I suppose I would be far prettier.

If I want sponsors, since I can't rely on perfect looks, I'm going to have to have a good personality, which should be a challenge, and an impressive score in training, which should be easy. I shoot a Peacekeeper a deadly glare as he shoves me into a room in the Justice Building. I try to sit on the overstuffed red velvet couch, but I feel adrenaline in my veins and can't sit still, so I take to wandering about the room, until the door opens again and my father's thrown in. I say nothing for a moment, waiting for him to start screaming at me about how stupid I am to have gotten myself in the Games, but he says nothing.

I wait and wait, but still we just stare at each other. "WELL?" I ask, finally. "There must have been some reason why you actually came to say goodbye. You didn't have to, you know". "I know", is all he says. But the silence that follows isn't the ominous silence that comes before another screaming match or a blow across the face. It's more of one of apology. Like he's sorry he couldn't say more to me. Eventually, the Peacekeepers come back, and before he walks out he turns, tosses me something, and says, "Good luck". I open my hand to find a silver ring, shaped to look like a vine with leaves that had curled around your finger when you put it on.

It was pretty in a different way than the bejeweled rings and necklaces of the richer families in town, and it wasn't the most striking thing in the world, but it possessed a sort of simple beauty. After that, I'm left alone for a while before they come back to bring me to the train. There are hordes of people cheering as we climb onto the sleek silver train, but I don't smile or wink like Cato does. I'm confident, sure, but these people aren't cheering for me. They're cheering for the fact that they might have another District 2 winner this year.