Hi, everybody! This is the first time I write in this page, it's also the first time I write anything from the Hunger Games fandom, but I read all the books and I loved them. After a while I started thinking about all the different kinds of games there must've been so I decided to write my own. This story is about a boy from district 7 that's chosen to participate in the 68th Hunger Games. I'll also mention Johanna plenty of times, because I love her character and I wish there was more about her in the books. I hope you all like it!
Disclaimer: Except for a few OCs I don't own anything.
The beginning of everything:
I feel sweat running down my back. I've been working in the woods for about ten hours now and I'm exhausted, but I have to cut at least three more trees today or I won't get paid and I really need the money. I pick up the ax and hit the tree one last time and it falls down with a loud thud.
''Douglas!'' I shout to my boss. ''Help me out here!''
He comes and helps me get the huge pine tree on one of the trucks.
''Great work Nike.'' He says
''Thanks, Douglas.'' I say ''I better get back to work, I still need to cut plenty of more trees before 10 o'clock''
''Wait, wait, wait'' He says taking my arm ''How long have you been working''
''I don't know, like 10 hours'' I answer.
''Dude, take the money. It's okay, I cover your shift, you go rest'' He says.
''You mean it?'' I say like a little kid.
'' Yeah, but don't get used to it'' He says ''It's only because tomorrow's the reaping''
I thank him and head back to my small wooden house in the far end of the district. District 7, the district I live in, is really big. In the school they say district 7 is one of the biggest districts in Panem, only exceeded by the Capitol and district 11, so it takes me like half an hour to get home. When I arrive it's like 10 o'clock. My dad is already asleep and I can tell he's shivering. He might be having a nightmare. I don't blame him, he's been having them since I was four and my mom died, but they got worse 2 years ago when he lost his hand in an accident. That was a pretty terrible day, my dad had to stop working and I started working n my own. I was only 12 so it was hard to get enough money for food, clothes and stuff.
I lie down on my bed and try to sleep, but I can't. I keep thinking about the reaping. I'm only fourteen, my name should only be in 3 times, but the year my father lost his hand I had to take tessarae as many times as possible and I had done it ever year ever since, so my name right now is in 22 times. I'm as nervous as I can be.
After an hour or so I decide that I can't stay there, so I get dress and take my knife just in case and head to the woods. Since people in district 7 have to work in the woods we can go to the woods whenever we want (You have to sign a sheet and let them put a tracker on you, but still it's better than nothing). There's a small clearing like half a mile into the woods, I found it years ago and I go there every time I want to relax or just think. However when I arrive I see it isn't empty.
''Hey, Jo'' I say sitting down beside my best friend, Johanna Mason. Johanna is a year younger than me and she's awesome. She is so sarcastic and blunt; I'm one of the only people that finds her attitude completely hilarious.
''Hey, brainless'' she says smiling slightly. I'm not offended, she calls everybody brainless.
''Can't sleep?'' I ask,
''No'' she says rolling her eyes ''I'm sleeping right now, can't you tell?''
I laugh ''You're supposed to be upset so I can be the cool guy that comforts you, Johanna. Why don't you ever follow my lead?''
She laughs ''You know that's not my style'' she says ''Well, if you have to know I'm nervous about the reaping''
Johanna is the bravest person I know. When I was 12 I had to feed myself and my dad and I found that harder than anything. Johanna was only 13 and she had been taking care of her younger brother and mother since she was 10 and I never seen her complain about it. She has done the same thing I have with the tessarae, only that since she has to take care of 2 people instead of 1 she has to ask for more tessarae than I do, so even though she's younger than me she has 21 slips in the reaping, only one less than me.
''This sucks'' she says taking her head in her hands ''what will happen to my family if I die in the Games? They'll die, Alex is so young and my mom is useless, she can't work''
''Johanna'' I say taking her hand, it surprises me that she didn't move her hand ''If something happens to you, on the Games or here in the district, I would never let your family die.''
''Are you serious?'' she asked me.
''Of course'' I say ''You would do the same for me''
Afterwards we just sit there quietly looking at the pine trees surrounding the clearing and I can't help but remembering the first time we met, in that same clearing.
I'm 9 years old. I'm working in the woods, I'm so young that my schedule is a lot lighter than all the other adults, so I decide to take a walk in the woods. I've always loved the woods. The smell, the colors, the pine trees, the animals, all of it is amazing. I had found a clearing when I was younger and I want to go there. When I get there, I see a girl sitting looking at the woods to the opposite side of where I am. I can only see her back, but I can tell she isn't too tall and her hair is brown and long. I walk over there slowly until I'm right behind her.
''Are you ok?'' I ask her and I place my hand softly on her shoulder.
She looks up surprised and she quickly rubs her eyes to hide the fact she is crying. Now that I saw her face I recognized her. I don't know her name, but I've seen her at school. She's a year younger than me and she lives pretty close to my little house that I share with my dad. She's very pretty, I have to admit, sometimes I even catch myself staring at her.
''Y-yeah...'' she says smiling, even though the pain is clearly written in her eyes ''I'm ok, thank you''
I sit down in front of her and I look at her in her eyes ''You're not ok'' I say ''You can tell me, I won't tell anyone else, I promise''
It takes her a while to start talking, but once she does she tells me everything. Her father had passed away because of cancer. She is worried about her little brother, who is 5 years old, she's also worried about her mother, who is not very... sane. But most of all, she feels lonely. She tells me stories about her dad, about things she did with him and why she feels so alone. I listen to all of them intently, it seems like she likes to have someone who'll hear her and help her get over this. I tell her that all teh things she did with her dad, she could do them with me. It's not the same thing, to learn to do new things or to play games with a complete stranger, still her face lights up when I say that. Afterwards I tell her about my mom, and how she passed away when I was only 4 years old. She listens to me as intently as I listened to her. I've never spoken about my mom with anyone before, but it's nice to just let it all out. We make a deal, we would always help each other out in any situation, no matter how awful it was. I found out her name is Johanna and she learns my name is Nike, but she always makes up a new nickname whenever she sees me. In just a few weeks she's my best friend.
And after 5 years, she still is. We both have changed. Both of us are now basically the head of our families, for different reasons. And both of us are more mature now, and Johanna is definetely more sarcastic and mean than before. I don't mind that, though.
''We should go, Jo'' I say after a while of talking ''It's like three o'clock in the morning, we should sleep''
''I hate when you're right'' she says while standing up ''I guess I'll see you tomorrow''
''Yeah'' I say ''And may the odds…'' I say with the best Capitol accent I can make.
''Be ever in your favor!'' she finished and we laughed at the ridiculousness of the Capitol.
We say good bye and head back to our houses. I lie down on my bed and I fall asleep as soon as I close my eyes.
When I wake up the sun, that is shining through the window, annoys me so I stand up and head to the small kitchen of the house and find my dad eating a piece of bread.
''Morning, Nike'' he says ''where were you last night?''
''I just got out for a walk, couldn't sleep'' I say.
''Alright, eat something the reaping's in an hour'' he says. I love my dad, and how he never asks questions about anything.
I eat a piece of bread and head to the ''bathroom'', which consists in a small bathtub and a bucket full of water. I clean myself as good as I can and spend like half an hour trying to scrape the dirt of my nails unsuccessfully. I take some clothes of my father's closet. We had never been rich, so the clothes aren't very fancy, but they are so me that I couldn't care less. I wear brown pants, a bottomed up white shirt and leather boots. I try to brush my hair but that's a lost battle so I just give up and walked to the square.
The square is very close to the woods and is also really big. I like the square, I usually eat lunch with my partners here and there are plenty of great stores, of course I can't afford anything but I like to see all the stuff. Too bad the reaping is held there.
When I arrive the square is almost full. I walk to the place where all the other 14 year old guys are and wait for the reaping to get started.
Finally, Nova Brown takes the stage. Nova is a small woman, she wears way too much make up and she's very surgically altered. She's like 55 years old and I'm guessing she used to be pretty, but for so many surgeries trying desperately to look you she became really disturbing.
''Welcome!'' She says enthusiastically, like always ''To the 68th annual Hunger Games! And may the odds be ever in your favor''
She reads the story of Panem and everything about the dark days, when district 13 was destroyed and the Hunger Games were created to stop another rebellion from the districts against the Capitol.
Then she reads the list of winners from our district, that are exactly 7. Three of them are dead, two are like 60 years old one is totally nuts and the other one is called Blight Maxwell, who's sitting in a stool on the stage looking a little dizzy, which doesn't surprise me, because the dude has a bad addiction to morphing,
''Ladies first!'' Nova says and then she walks to the big glass ball where all the names are and I only had time to wish for Johanna's safety when Nova is reading the name ''Chloe Zilos!''
I have no idea who she is. I see her making her way up the stage, she's like 17 and I think I'd seen her on the square and on the stores. For a second I'm happy that it isn't anyone I know and then I feel like a jerk for thinking like that. Nova asks for volunteers and no one takes her spot, that isn't unusual, as far as I know there has never been a volunteer in the last 20 years.
''Now for our male tribute!'' she says she walks to the big glass ball with the guy names.
I close my eyes and pray, that it's not me, that it's not me, that it's not me.
''Nike Midas!'' she reads.
And it is me.
That was the first chapter, I hope you liked it and please review, tell me what you think, if it is good, bad, you wanted to cut your arm with a plastic spoon while reading it, anything you want. Ideas are also welcome and you can PM me whenever you want for anything you want. I'll try to update once every week.