About 67.7% (this is only a very rough estimate) of stories on FanFiction that concern OC's in the Hunger Games begin the same way. The tribute wakes up. Usually in bed, occasionally in someone else's bed, once in a while passed out on a damp floor (tragically abused tributes only) This one is different. This one is special. This one is so unique it's going to blow your Hunger Games obsessed, Gale/Katniss shipping/loathing, Finnick Odair lusting mind out of the water. The water of the rapidly encroaching seas of Panem, to be specific. Because in this story, our hero wakes up slowly!
My name is Sereyna Nightengale Riverfall, and by introducing myself I am breaking all common laws of fiction that assume that we the characters don't know that you the readers are following our tragic lives for your voyeuristic pleasure. I feel the need to introduce myself to you so that you are aware first and foremost that I am the most important character in this story, because I have so little faith in your intelligence that I'm assuming that you couldn't surmise it from the fact that it's written from my point of view. I live in a place called District 12, which I need to tell you because I'm not even capable of informing you where I live through a line like "I looked out my window at District 12, which is where I live."
So let's review. My name is Sereyna Nightengale Riverfall. I'm probably the most important person ever. I live in District 12. Are you keeping up? Good.
I wake up slowly, twisting my 17 year old body to work out all the kinks. The silk comforter feels smooth and silky against my similarly smooth, milky, underage yet lovingly described skin. Slowly I rise and stretch my slender limbs, looking around my room. It's empty, and slightly chilly. Suddenly my eyes widen in horror! And I realize that today is the day of the Reaping! Because I have no sense of the calender whatsoever that I conveniently forget important dates until I wake up. I also don't notice that the entire population of 12 has been jumping at small noises for the past two weeks.
For the sake of the reader who is not there, but somehow I know is there, I will conveniently drop backstory at this point. The Reaping is a dreadful, terrifying ordeal that the evil Capitol of Panem holds every year. Because we rebelled so long ago, each year we have to select a boy and a girl to go to the Capitol for makeovers. And then, like, impalement. This is called The Hunger Games. And it's bad and evil and horrific.
I slowly climb out of my bed. It's a tradition that on the morning of the Reaping, all eligible children go from their bed to their mirror to describe their reflections. This is of course very important in case anyone might be watching us. Because if they are, it's essential that they know the minute details of our appearance. I look at my reflection. I don't think that I'm very pretty, even though everyone always tells me that I'm stunning. Of course, I don't believe them, because that would mean that I was 1) arrogent and 2) intelligent enough to realize that they're correct. My long, flowing, tumbling, weaving, amazing raven black hair falls to the small of my back and glistens in the morning sun. My large blue-green-hazel-chestnut eyes look back at me like twin orbs. My nightgown clings to my developed and curvaceous figure. I draw my manicured fingers through my long raven hair. I toss my hair, which is as black as night and as glossy as a raven's wing, behind my head. I leave my room to find my family, knowing that since they live here, it shouldn't be too hard. As I leave, my jet black raven hair trails behind me.
I hear my mother calling to me from our bathroom. We're so lucky to have a bathroom. My father is one of the richest men in District 12. He's the Peacekeepers' accountant. They gave him the job because he's the only person in twelve who can count above 27. Still, I never have enough to eat because I give most of my food to starving kittens who live behind my house. I know I shouldn't, but I just love animals so much that I can't bear to watch them be so hungry.
I enter the bathroom to see my mother drawing my bath. She pours oils into the hot water and sprinkles rose petals on top. She looks just like me, except about 30 years older, because she aged so little over the course of 30 years that we look like we could be sisters! My real sister sleeps downstairs on the back porch, because our house isn't big enough for my whole family and my king sized bed with the silk comforters is a single.
"Oh, Mother!" I gasp as I enter. "This looks amazing! It's going to feel so good on my sore, aching muscles that have never worked a day in their lives! However did you afford the oil and the flowers!"
My mother looks at me with fond, affectionate eyes that leak crystal tears. "I want my darling daughter to look her best on this special day," she says softly. "I would do anything and everything to make sure that you have only the best on what might be your last day here with us!"
"Oh Mother! I love you so much! Please tell me that you didn't sell your necklace, the one that Grandmother gave you, your only prized possession to afford this!"
"Of course not, dear. I know how much that would've upset you. Your sister only gets to eat grass for a month now. Anything for you, my darling child."
I slip off my nightgown and slip my naked, flawless, underage body beneath the water. I scrub the coal dust that accumulates over everything in 12 from my body. As I do, my hair turns from raven jet midnight black to it's natural color of glowing white-blonde the color of wheat in summer and sunlight on new snow and golden leaves in the autumn wind. As I bathe, I indulge in my favorite activity not including masturbation - thinking about what people say about my personality. I'm very sweet and nice, and everyone seems to love me. I'm very loyal to all my friends, but I hate fake people. I'm intelligent and quick thinking, but can be very sarcastic. Altogether, these traits make me one of the most unique people in all of Panem. Of course, I also have many flaws and weaknesses. I trust people too much, because I'm so trusting. I don't always see the bad in people, because I'm trusting. I'm too nice, and too kind to people who don't deserve it. I'm afraid of spiders.
After I'm finished bathing, my mother leads me back to my room, where she's laid out a stunning new white silk evening dress just for me to wear to the Reaping! I put it on with her help and examine my reflection in the mirror. The dress matches my naturally blonde hair the color of morning dew. It's strapless and stunning, surely it came straight from the Capitol. I turn to Mother, who is gazing at me with sad, tear streaked eyes.
"Oh Mother! It's so beautiful! Thank you so much! However did you afford it! I hope you didn't sell the ring that Grand-Uncle Methuselah gave you, your most prized and valued possession to buy it!"
"Of course not Sereyna. Your sister's virginity fetched a much higher price."
I go down to the kitchen for breakfast. I'm the only one there as my mother is waking up my sweet little sister, Mudspawn Unwanted Riverfall. I'm eating a meager breakfast of toast, sausage, chicken omelettes, bacon, and Twinkies that survived since before the Dark Days. Then my father comes in. As soon as he sees me, he crosses the room and slaps me across the face. I fall to the ground in pain and fear.
"I hate you Sereyna! I hate you for no reason! And I'm going to hit you over and over again until the reader feels empathy for you!"
"Stop father, please!" I cry. "What have I done to deserve this!"
"I don't like you! I'm a drunk! I'm trying to toughen you up! Your real mother is dead and you remind me of her! Your adopted! Your not my real daughter! I want you to volunteer for the Hunger Games! You don't want to marry the man I chose for you! You waste my food on starving kittens! You're in love with a tramp boy from the Seam! You're sleeping with my best friend! I enjoy inflicting violence!"
Each blow from my beloved Daddy is like a sword to my young, innocent heart. I don't know what I've done to anger him. I've endured this my whole life. My entire existance is one of pain and suffering. There is nothing left for me to live for except for baths in oil and silk dresses.
My father eventually tires of beating me and warns me not to be late for the Reaping. I watch him go and then rush back to the mirror. Fortunately his blows, while brutal and strong and painful, mysteriously left no mark on my body. I toss my beautiful flowing fiery red hair the color of flames behind my shoulder and prepare to go to the Reaping.
Everyone is in the square for the Reaping. I'm standing with the other 17 year olds, surrounded by all my school friends. They're all gossiping about the other girls, but I'm too mature for that so I stand in silence as my stunning long brunette locks of hair blow in the wind. The Reaping begins. It strangely lacks description because it was already described in some other book and everyone here knows what happens. The mayor gives a boring speech. Our escort, Dramama Tamba, trips up the stairs in a suit colored in all 256 colors found on Microsoft 97'. She shouts "Happy Hunger Games! Ladies first!" and goes to the first Reaping Ball.
I'm so nervous. What if I'm picked! I didn't have to take out tesserae, but I did anyway for all the little starving children in the Seam, because I love them and I'm kind. My name is in the Reaping Ball 24,757 times. What if the odds aren't in my favor?
Dramama pulls out a name. "Rebecca Black!"
Tears spring to my eyes as I see the little twelve year old walk up the stage. It's so sad, because she's shaking in fear and and looks so scared. I'm suddenly reminded of my sister Mudspawn, and I can't bear to see her up there for a moment longer. Before I realize what I'm doing, I walk forward and shout "I volunteer as tribute!"
I go up to the stage to replace Rebecca Black. Dramama is cooing into the microphone, but I look across the crowd at all the faces staring at me with pity and respect. My friends are crying in a huddle, and I feel so bad for them because they're going to lose me, but I knew I did the right thing, the thing that any truly decent person would do, which is why I was the only one idiotic enough to do it.
Dramama asks for a round of applause, but no one responds. Instead, everyone raises three fingers of their left hands in a salute of respect and farewell. I'm so touched. This must be unique. Nothing like this has ever happened before.
Dramama goes to the second ball and pulls out a name. "Phoenix Masculine Hawthowrne Mellark!
A gorgeous eighteen year old with white-blonde hair, blue eyes, and lots of muscles walks up to the stage. He shows no fear. We shake hands and he whispers to me "Don't worry. I've loved you forever and I'm going to make sure that nothing happens to you."
And suddenly, I know in my pure, innocent heart that everything is going to be alright.
Epilogue: Fortunately for FanFictioners everywhere, Sereyna Nightengale Riverfall dropped her district token, a small ball, right before the bloodbath at the 69th Hunger Games. Strands of her long, beautiful white golden blonde hair were scraped off the ground and sold as souveniers to Capitol tourists.