When Prey Becomes Hunter
Hey guys so I just recently finished reading The Hunger Games and fell completly in love with Johanna, she's just such an awesome character. So it got me thinking what made her one of the most surprisingly viscious victors from the outlying districts? So I then decided to have a go at writing the story of Johanna Mason. Hope you enjoy it and please feel free to review, any help is greatly appreciated! :)
The small girl let out a groan as the sunlight danced past the curtains and into her still half asleep eyes. She rolled over to face away from the window, knowing that there was no point in trying to go back to sleep, not with it being Reaping day and all. She hadn't slept well anyway, no one ever did on their first reaping. She shut her eyes tighter, pushing away the thought that her name would now join the hundreds of others in the lottery bowl on stage; that there was now the chance that the name of the "lucky lady" chosen to represent District 7 in the Hunger Games could be Johanna Mason.
She lay there for a while, looking around her room. It wasn't as large as some of the others she'd seen but then again her family did have one of the smallest lodges in the district. She'd managed to decorate it slightly, the wood was easy enough to paint with one wall covered with flower patterns she'd seen in the forest, ivy she thought the plant was called. The few clothes she had lay across the floor, she never really had the energy to tidy up after a day in the forest. The forest was a strange place, the parts closest to the town were clearly set up by man, with all the trees in rows and columns perfect distances apart. However as you went deeper the forest had grown of it's own accord, free of the Capitols wishes. Here the flowers that covered the floor were part of nature, not the Peacekeepers tight control. It was nicer there, it was a place to breathe and feel free and out of reach of the Capitols reins.
Eventually, coming to the conclusion that sleep was not going to return this morning, she dragged herself out of bed. She dragged her thin blanket along with her, knowing that the kitchen would be colder with the lack of body heat and that her father wouldn't be up yet. To anyone else the cold floor may be irritating, or enough of an excuse to crawl back into bed and wait for the sun to be fully up, but she had grown used to it now. She was surprised to find the kitchen warm and then noticed the fire had already lit.
"Hey sweetie, how you feeling?" her father sat at the table, he never usually woke up this early, and if he did he was in the forest working.
"I'm alright, a bit sleepy though," she lied, there was no point in upsetting him today. Not when the odds were definitly in her favour.
"You know you're an awful liar?" he said in his usual light hearted tone although it was a little heavier than it would have been any other day. He knew her better than anyone else, but even then it wasn't difficult to tell when she was lying. She had eyes that were bright blue like her mothers were, that had so much depth that you could hide anything in them but emotions always came to the surface.
"I know," she replied, trying to hold back the tears she could feel coming. She could sense the tears forming in her eyes, not just because her vision was going fuzzy but because she was so scared of the image of her name being the one that came out of the lottery that she simply couldn't hold her emotions in.
"Hey, hey, hey, sweetie don't cry," he muttered soothingly as he left the table to go and hug her. For a while they stayed like that, his strong lumberers arms wrapped around her as she began sobbing uncontrollably into his chest. He stroked her hair reassuringly, knowing there was a chance, small though it may be, that it was the last time he would be able to do this. "Shhhhh, it's going to be fine, you're names only just gone in, there's no chance it'll come out. Plus there are plenty of other kids who's name is in there over 40 times, yours is only one, one slip of paper in that whole big bowl of names," there was part of her that knew he was trying to convince himself as much as he was trying to convince her but she let him hold her still, his strength reassuring her.
He held her until her breathing returned to a normal steady pace and then he knelt infront of her, so that their eyes were level, and let out a deep breath he hadn't realized he was holding. "Sweetie I promise, there is no way your name is coming out of that bowl, it is literally a one in a million shot. Plus no one wants to get on your dad's bad side now do they," he winked at her and she smiled a little. They were all they had left in the world. After Johannas mother had died giving birth to her, her father had promised to protect her against anything; how he was going to protect her from the games though he had no idea. "Now give me your best Mason face," he smiled at her attempt at a scary face, she was too tiny to be threatening, just scaping past 4 foot 5 inches at 12 and a half she was almost half a foot shorter than most of the girls in her class. "Now lets go get you dressed."
The process was a fairly straight forward one, simply bathing and dressing in the smartest clothes her father could afford but her hair was proving to be a problem to the pair of them. Usually Johanna would just put it up any old way, but her father insisted this simply wouldn't do. So they spent the next hour with him attempting things far too complex for his blistered hands and putting more knots in her hair than she previously thought possible. Eventually, after spending a fair amount of time removing the knots from her hair they settled on tying it up with a navy blue ribbon that was once her mothers.
"What was she like?" Johanna asked as her father finished his attempt at a bow.
"By she I assume you mean your mother. She was, perfect. She had long blonde hair, you know, the kind you usually only see in district one. Eyes the colour of the sky on a bright spring afternoon, yours are the same shade, same depth that hers were, which is why i can tell when you're lying to me, because I knew her well enough to work it out and you react exactly the same way she did, with just a tiny twitch in your right eye. She cared about people, the Reapings broke her heart, and she would only watch the games when it was completely necessary. She once saw the bloodbath and she cried for the rest of the Games. She swore she'd never have children, she'd never raise someone just to either turn them into a killer or to have them die for the Capitols entertainment. Of course, everything changed when we some how ended up with you. When she found out she was pregnant she was distraught at first but then she realized there was a bit of her and a bit of me all mixed together inside of her, and no matter what happened, she would always love whoever that was because coming from someone as sensitive and caring as her and someone as brave and noble as me could never just be a cold blooded murderer like the victors and that we could keep you safe, some how," his voice trailed off at the end, wondering if some how his wife had found a way to keep their unborn child completely safe from the Capitol and had died before being able to share it with him. No, if she had known she would have said, even under the risk of the peacekeepers hearing she wouldn't have kept such a thing from her sister, who had 4 children of her own, who were all also up for Reaping this year. This was the worst part of Reapings, even if your own child was spared you felt guilty for being thankful that someone elses child was getting sent to the slaughter. But what choice did he have, he had no one else and if Johanna was taken from him then, he didn't even want to think about what he would do.