Well, this is my first Hunger Games story and I hope you all like it! I'm planning on it being short, longer chapters so that's what's I have in mind for now. Please let me know what you think and if I should write anything else!
Part One: The Girl with Green Eyes
Sometimes I would think of the crystal clear water of District 4 and everything in the moment would be okay. I'd picture the waves rolling in and crashing against the shore, the innocence in the waving fronds of palm trees, the sun reminding me where I was: home. But, not every trip allowed me to resurrect such peaceful and easy memories.
"Ah, Finnick looking exquisitely sharp," Our District 4 Representative, Nettie Plinkton, coos as she kisses my cheek in a greeting. Her deep blue eyes scan my navy suit and she flashes me a wink. Nettie and I have been working along side each other since I was reaped into the 65th Hunger Games. After being crowned Victor, I have received the "privilege" of becoming a mentor to District 4 and therefore spending endless days with her. Luckily, Mags, my own mentor, sticks by my side and even cracks her own jokes about Nettie. If only she could see her now. Nettie's sun-kissed skin is a poor ploy and awfully too easy to decipher; surely someone at the Capitol dyed her skin earlier today in attempt to make it seem as if she lived here year round. Her eyelashes are coated in a teal and turquoise wave-like pattern that curls inches from her eyes and her outfit looks as if Poseidon himself vomited onto an art easel. It's embarrassing to watch.
"Nettie, it's been too long," I lean my cheek into her equally turquoise lips and flash her my signature smile. I'm surprised she can't see the sarcasm dripping from my mouth. I pull back from her embrace and she gives a giggle twenty years too young for herself, lifting her hand and swiping something from my cheek.
"Whoops! Looks like my lips didn't want to say goodbye!" her fingers press together, disintegrating a tiny sparkle in the shape of a starfish. "I just love the stylists in the Capitol! Fabulous people!"
"Talented beyond words!" I enthusiastically agree. If anyone can make Nettie look less like an octopus and more like an actual person, they have to possess talent. They just do.
"Ms. Plinkton, Mr. Odair, it's time," A Peacekeeper escorts us through a large door and onto the familiar stage where in just a few moments, the Reaping for the 70th Hunger Games would take place.
I look out into the crowd of families; children dispersed into their age groups while mothers try to hold back tears. Only five years ago, I was in their place. I stood horrified in the sea of potential tributes, my body frozen like I was sneaking up on a fish. Some of the boys looked my age, but there was one thing I had that they didn't. One year. At the age of 19, -if it weren't for already being reaped- I would be safe today.
"Hello, hello, District Four!" Nettie begins. "Welcome to the 70th Hunger Games!" her hands clap together but no one joins in. "Before we choose one lucky girl and boy, we must reflect on what has brought us together here today," Nettie's head bows and for a moment, I think her wig might win the battle and topple her off stage. With her cue, the dreaded film plays, each erected speaker resounding with the words attempting to justify our reason for such a savage event.
"We mustn't make you wait any longer!" She hoots into the microphone as she waddles over to the glass orb containing names and names of the children of our district. Of my home.
I take one last look into the spared sea of blue eyes and just like every year, I see her eyes. The eyes of the girl who's haunted my dreams every night before the Reaping. They're not blue like everyone else's, no, they're as green as the seaweed on the sea floor. I don't know if they've ever seen me, if they've ever looked at me the way I look at them, but I hope one day they will. One day, I'll know her name. One day, I'll tell her she doesn't have to worry anymore. But, right now, that would be a lie.
"Our female tribute for the 70th Hunger Games is…" No one is safe yet, not even her. Her eyes disappear as they cast down to the floor. I'm so caught up in imaging what they look like, that I don't even hear a name called. It's not until I see someone nudging her out of her line that it hits me. The girls are safe, their tribute chosen.
"Where are you, sweetie?" But she isn't.
Slowly the girl with the green eyes steps up onto the stage and takes her place next to Nettie. "Ah, there you are! Let's see who you'll partner will be, shall we?" Nettie plunges her hand back into the glass orb and retrieves another name. "Luca Spears!" The boy slinks his way onto stage, tears clouding his blue eyes. "There you have it folks! Your tributes for the 70th Hunger Games!" And with that, a pair of Peacekeepers lead us from the stage.
The pair are given time with their families and friends and Nettie and I meet Mags at the train. Mags rests on a couch in the corner, making faces at Nettie as she rambles on about how exciting this years Games will be. I, on the other hand, can't get her eyes out of my head. The eyes that I would have to train to kill. But all the while, they've been killing me for five years.
"The girl, what did you say her names was, again?" I speak up, interrupting Nettie's banter.
"Annie Cresta?" Nettie repeats in question form.
Annie Cresta. Now, the eyes have a name.
And now the eyes are looking at me. I stifle a cough with the back of my hand and watch as Annie and Luca enter the train car.
"Oh, nothing, dear! Finnick here was just wondering who his lucky tributes are this year!" Nettie pipes in.
Her eyes meet mine in recognition and she nods gently before taking a seat next to Mags who whispers something in her ear causing her cheeks to blush a crimson red. Luca joins them, eyes still puffy.
"Lovely timing, tributes!" Nettie coos and soon the train is speeding along it's tracks. "We should be in the Capitol by morning!"
And by morning we were there.
A new pair of Peacekeepers lead us to the floor reserved for District Four and opening the door, Nettie spills in and begins rattling off room arrangements. She reminds us that the Tribute Parade will be that night and stylists would be in shortly for consultations and preparations. Luca and Annie disappear into their rooms and I don't blame them. I did the same when I arrived here, I didn't want to talk to anyone. But, somehow they pulled my charming side out and here I am today. Alive. Loved by the Capitol.
It's moments before the Tribute Parade and I'm finally allotted time with my tributes. Annie and Luca stand inches away from their chariot, both dawning a spectrum of blues. Annie's dress cascades to the floor like waves crashing against rocks, sequins mimicking the shapes of starfish, clams and other sea creatures. Her hair is loosely collected at the nape of her neck, those green eyes not having to fight for attention in the slightest. Luca dawns a fitted teal suit that matches Annie's dress perfectly.
"You both look great," I break the silence as I reach into my pocket. Pulling out two sugar cubes, I feed the black horse responsible for their chariot; a ritual that I can't shake off.
"I convinced them to allow us to wear actual garments," Annie is surprisingly the next to speak. Her voice is quiet yet I can tell she has more power inside her than she lets on.
A chuckle rumbles in my throat and my hand strokes the horses nose. "Yeah, the mesh net I wore was a little too breezy for my taste," I confess. "The tan lines that thing gives are horrifying."
"At least it gave you sponsors," Luca gruffly mumbles. "These won't get us anywhere."
"They might, they might not," I shrug my shoulders. "Either way, you're lucky your mentor is so dashing that he'd be able to wrangle you sponsors even if you were wearing trash bags."
They exchange a look of muffled laughter and for a second, I think I've really gotten them to believe in themselves. How inspirational of me.
Nettie interjects and informs us that the parade is moments away from starting. One by one, the tributes from the other districts load into their chariots and following their lead, Luca and Annie do as well. Annie's expression takes back to one of the Reaping and meeting her eyes, I give a reassuring nod.
"Remember, smile like you're having the time of your lives," I could feel my lips tugging into a smirk. "Make a mentor proud, okay?" Luca nods at my request and I glance over to Annie whose head is now drooping down, eyes cast at the ground.
"Chin up, Cresta," I coach and just as her eyes lift to the chariot in front of her, their on there way.