Run. Duck. Dodge. Jump. Kick. Knee in the balls. Keep running.
Victoria Thorn was running home from school in District 5. As always, five boys were waiting for her. First, they wanted what was left from her lunch, then her homework, then her money, and now, they wanted her. Victoria didn't see it coming on the first day. Those five boys almost had what they wanted.
Two years earlier
When Victoria was fourteen, five boys had her pinned against a wall in an alley. They took off her top and pants. She was against the wall in her undergarments. No matter what Victoria said, they wouldn't back off. One boy started kissing her and stroked her long black hair, and another was about to take off her underwear. Another boy started to take off his pants. The other two held her in place. Victoria struggled and screamed for help.
Luckily for her, a hobo who lived in the alley stopped it. The hobo fought the boys off, and they ran away swearing. Victoria was still in her undergarments and against the wall. The hobo gave her the clothes and turned away. Victoria got dressed and thanked the man.
The hobo said, "I can teach you how to defend yourself. Women shouldn't be treated like that."
Victoria thought that the hobo might want her, but she realized that the boys would be back. She didn't want that to happen again so she said, "Yes." That day the hobo taught her where to aim and how hard to attack.
The next day the boys were waiting for her again. Victoria was worried and she knew she wasn't ready. Then the hobo stepped out to greet her and walked her to the alley. Victoria trained with the hobo for a month. Victoria started training at home as well.
One day, the hobo wasn't there. So, Victoria walked straight to the boys. They led her to another alley and pinned her to the wall. This time, Victoria was prepared.
She kicked the guy who was trying to take off her shirt in the crotch. Hard. Victoria kicked two others in the face and used her strength to defeat the two holding her down.
When all the boys were on the ground, the hobo came out of the shadows. "Good job," he said, "Come." Victoria followed him and trained with him for another six months. Victoria learned as much about fighting she could. Every day the boys were there, but as long as Victoria was with the hobo, they would leave her alone.
Once again, the hobo wasn't there. Victoria started running. The boys caught her with ease. Since Victoria knew how to fight, she defeated them easily. Victoria was expecting the hobo to come out, but he didn't. He wasn't there the next day either. He didn't come back. Victoria stopped hoping for the hobo and started running.
When Victoria got out of school a month later, the five boys were waiting for her. This time, the boys had brought friends. Victoria ran as fast as she could. If it were just the five, she would have gotten away. But one of these boys had a car, and they chased her down with it.
Victoria had run into an alley. She was trapped with about thirteen boys approaching her. Victoria was not going to give up and she fought. She took down eight of the boys. The others ran away. Since then, Victoria started to learn how to climb. Victoria was soon able to climb buildings. From then on, the boys couldn't touch her, and only the original five didn't give up.
Victoria saw the boys as her daily workout. They could never catch up to her, and they could never beat her in a fight. Victoria laughed at them. She never understood why they wanted her. She wasn't very pretty. Her eyes were an ugly shade of green and her black hair was always as mess. Victoria ran down an alley and scaled a fence. Victoria turned back and laughed at the boys trying to climb up.
"Why do you even bother?" she asked, "You can't catch me and even if you did, I'd just kick your butt." Victoria laughed as she walked away. Victoria never knew the boys names and she didn't care. They were just "the boys."
When Victoria got home, her little brother was crying. It was then when Victoria remembered that the Reaping was tomorrow.
"It's okay Benjamin," Victoria said, "You're thirteen. You won't get picked. Trust me."
"Are you sure Tori Tot?" Benjamin asked. Victoria hated that name.
"Yes," she said, "But if you keep calling me that, I'll make sure you get in next year." Benjamin smiled.
The day was here. Victoria tamed her hair and put on green dress. She stood next to the other sixteen year olds. She kept her eyes on her brother. Victoria looked at the seventeen and eighteen year olds. She saw three of the boys were seventeen and the other two were eighteen.
A man approached the stage that was set up and yelled, "Who's ready for the Hunger Games?" People all around her cheered.
"Great!" the man said, "Happy Hunger Games, and may the odds be ever in your favor!" A video about the Hunger Games played. It was the same one every year and Victoria never watched it. It was sad and brought her discomfort.
When it was over the man yelled, "Time to decide the tributes. Ladies first!" The man reached in a ball and pulled out a name.
"Nathan Hornstiff!" he yelled, "Oh whoops! That's a boy's name. Whatever. Come on up Nathan!" Victoria watched as one of her boys walked up. He was eighteen. Victoria smiled. Nathan looked terrified.
"Now the girls!" the man shouted, "Victoria Thorn!" Victoria was surprised. Her name was only in once. Her family was very wealthy so they didn't need the rations. The man yelled her name again. Victoria walked up to the stage.
Nathan looked at her. He puked.
"Oh that's gross!" the man yelled, "Can someone clean this up? Anyway, does anyone volunteer?"
A girl stepped up, "I volunteer as tribute."
"No!" I shouted, "This is my honor and mine alone. Sit down. No ones going to volunteer for this boy either or I will kill you myself." The girl quickly sat. No boy stood up.
"Isn't she a feisty one! Okay then," the man yelled, "These are your tributes for the 52nd Hunger Games. Good luck and may the odds be ever in your favor!"
"Oh, they already are," Victoria said.