AN: Well, me being the horribly stereotypical person I am, I will be writing my first Hunger Games fanfic as The Hunger Games in Peeta's point of view. Yes, I realize this is the take everyone does on the trilogy but every one I've come across doesn't please me or is incomplete. Please, do not expect daily updates or even weekly for that matter. I am a high school student, I do have a life. I love writing but I simply do not always have the time for it. Thanks for understanding!
Disclaimer: I do not own the characters, plot line, or ideas of The Hunger Games.
When I wake up, it is sunny, contrary to other days when the first light I see is about two hours after I awake. But there is a reason the sun is up before I. There is a reason why everyone tries to outsleep the briliant natural shine today.
It is reaping day.
It's an annual event, the reaping. It's the one day each year that everyone in District 12- everyone in the nation of Panem- dreads. All except the pre-prepared hopeful children in the earlier Districts who all but fight for a spot in the arena.
Across from me, my two brothers still sleep. My eldest brother is too old to be chosen, he has nothing to worry about. My other brother, who is two years older than me, this is his last year. He is entered eight times. I am entered six.
A pair of dress pants and white button-up shirt wait for me in the closet I share with my brothers. It is reserved for the reaping day, otherwise I wear the standard bakers' uniform. Short-sleeved shirt, pants, smock. The expensive clothing is for later though; even on reaping day, I am expected to work.
I dress quickly in my normal clothing and walk silently to the small kitchen in the bakery's private quarters my family and I share. From the outside glace at our family's bakery, you may think we live in luxury compared to the others in District 12. Although we aren't starving as so many are, our food is stale and scarce. Our living quarters are small. One bathroom, two bedrooms, a small kitchen. It is more than most have. I am thankful.
"Move faster you stupid, good-for-nothing, boy! You have four cakes to finish for the celebrations tonight! Grab that apron over there and get to work! My god, just because it's reaping day everyone thinks they can suddenly laze around…" My mother is screaming at me less than twenty seconds after I enter the room, a new record.
"Yes mother." I obediently grab the familiar stained apron from a hook along with a frosting gun. I drag one of the four plain cakes towards me, set it on the revolving circle, and begin work.
The back door opens and I dont hear her voice, but his voice today.
My father trades with her. Them. She is not alone; she has a partner named Gale. He is her boyfriend, I think. Everyday, the back door quietly opens as not to raise suspicions from my mother and my father's quiet voice kindly takes their kill and hands them money.
The squirrels are fantastic, she shoots with incredible precision; always right in the eye. Father then carefully skins them, fries them up, and we have them for dinner, always telling Mother he had bought them in the Hob from a woman named Greasy Sae.
The Hob is the black market in town, mostly for trading. People sell and buy all the essentials there; soap, wool, salt, paraffin, herbs, medicines, the list goes on. Of course the Hob isn't only for household essentials, our bakery is one of the most popular businesses here. People come in everyday and trade what they can for breads and- if they have enough money- pastries.
"Here you go sir. All ready for the celebration tonight," he says kindly.
Gale and I have never been friends. He's two years older than me and lives in the Seam with his- I think- four siblings and mother. His father was blown to bits in the mines three years ago in a horrible accident, the same happening to hers.
As far as I know, she and Gale go out on just about a daily basis to gather fresh meat to trade in the Hob and for their families. Somehow, I'm not exactly sure how, but they've managed to even find strawberries which Father has bought from them once, maybe twice.
"Thank you. Here you go." I imagine him handing them the money. "And, ahem, good luck. To the both of you." My father isn't a big talker but he certainly means well.
"Thank you sir," her voice finally drifts up, clearly but cold. She isn't the friendly type; I don't understand why she speaks so cruelly and why there is almost always a frown on her face. "Same to you."
While carefully revolving the cake and frosting it with my most elegant blue flowers with green leaves and careful vine patterns, the door closes and they are gone. Of course, I will see them both in the square today for the reaping wearing the fanciest clothing Seam kids can find and huddling with their families, hoping to be spared another year.
I feel horrible for them. Their names are entered more times than required in exchange for tesserae, meaning they have a much higher chance of being drawn.
With my thoughts wandering, I finish the cakes in a matter of hours while my mother critiques them.
"Well, I guess they'll have to do. Now go get ready and rouse your brothers!" She commands when I compete the designs.
I wordlessly cover the small distance between mine and my brother's room and find them risen and already dressed. I quietly pull on my own dress clothes and make my way back to the kitchen and out to the front entrance. It is 1:45 and it is mandatory everyone be in the square by promptly two o'clock. If you decide not to show up, you die.
My family and I walk into the horde of people gathered in front of the huge stage where the reaping will take place. With us being on the "wealthier" side of the civilization, we try to blend in the best we can although it is somewhat a challenge for my Mother will often yell out something like "Hey, move it!" or, "Get out of the way!".
The second the clock strikes two, the mayor steps up to the wooden podium set center stage and begins to read off some old, worn pages. It's the same routine as every year; he speaks of the history of Panem. Our nation rose up out of the ashes of a place that was once known as North America and how the Capitol is set in a place that was once called the Rockies.
He then speaks of the disasters, lack of rain, horrific storms, fires and seas that swallowed up an erroneous amount of land. The aftermath of the disasters was the creation of the dystopian nation, Panem, and how thirteen districts ring the shining Capitol.
The Dark Days came however, causing the Districts to revolt against the Capitol, ending in the thirteenth District destroyed, the remaining Twelve beaten by the Capitol. They bombed 13, killed off everyone living there. The Treaty of Treason gave us new laws that guaranteed peace and promise for the Dark Days to never repeat themselves. Whereas, the Hunger Games were born.
In the Hunger Games, the rules are undeniably simple. One boy and one girl from each district are chosen out of a large ball filled with everyone's names according to age ranging from twelve to eighteen. The children who are reaped are called tributes and are forced to battle in a fight for survival. All twenty-four tributes are dumped in a dependable-sized arena in which can be any sort of climate or landscape. One year, it can be a huge forest, another, a barren desert, another, a huge ocean with only one island.
The tributes must literally fight to death in a series of weeks. The last participant standing wins. It is literally kill or be killed.
If that isn't sick enough, the Capitol takes the Hunger Games and picks out the Districts' children and treats them as little pieces in a game, literally. The Capitol makes a huge festivity over the Games and act as though it is a huge holiday, something to celebrate rather than watching innocent lives be taken.
The only somewhat decent part of the Games, is that lucky tributes can earn sponsors in the Capitol and Districts who can gather up enough money to gift to a participant of their choice. For example, if a tribute is fatally wounded and needs some sort of medicine or one is dying of starvation, their mentor (the most recent victor from their District) snaps his fingers and sends in a little silver parachute which can, essentially, save their life. This only happens to the likable ones who have a more probable chance of winning.
Anyway, the winning tribute is sent back home and treated to a life of luxury in a place called Victor's Village. They are awarded riches, food, and their district is gifted delicacies such as sugar, grain, oil, salt.
"It is both a time for repentance and a time for thanks," the mayor concludes.
As tradition, he reads the names of the District 12 victors, or should I say name. There has only been two victors in seventy-four years from District 12 and only one still lives. His name is Haymitch Abernathy and the only word to really describe him is alcoholic. He stumbles on stage at the mention of his name and collapses into the chair next to our escort for District 12, Effie Trinket, in following, trying to give her a big hug which she barely wards off.
Effie has bright pink hair with pointy high heels and fancy Capitol clothing on. Despite the dreadfulness of the day, she wears a bright and happy smile. She's been the escort for District 12 long enough. You'd have thought she would've just lost the happy act by now.
District 12 is probably the biggest joke in all of Panem right now. Everything is televised so the mayor looks nervous and stressed. In attempt to pull the attention off of Haymitch, he introduces Effie Trinket as she cheerfully trots up to the podium where the two large reaping balls await her.
"Happy Hunger Games!" she cheers delightfully. "And may the odds be ever in your favor!" Since her war with Haymitch, her pink hair seems slightly off-center, causing me to think it is a wig.
"Ladies first!" Effie sings, reaching her long manicured nails into the ball, shifting around and pulling out a single strip of paper.
It is so quiet in the square, a pin dropping could be heard. She smoothes the piece of paper, clears her throat and smiles, reading the name.
Well. Hello. I'm going to try to do this as accordingly to the book as possible. The chapters will end at the same spots and I'm really sorry if I have similar wording to the book. I'm seriously not trying to plagiarize.
Reviews are greatly appreciated. (: