Hey guys! So I got a little inspiration from a movie I watched starring Jennifer Lawrence! So I hope you like the first chapter. This'll be my third multi-chapter story, buuutt I'm fast at updating :D
NOTE: In this fic, there are no Hunger Games.
Disclaimer: I do not own The Hunger Games or the characters.
I race the sun home in the morning, and wake up to the moon at night. There's just today…then there's tonight. Anything can happen, so anything does.
You get through it.
It all started when my dad died. My mother dove into depression rapidly soon after that, leaving behind two young daughters to fend for themselves in the cold winter night. The oldest being me.
We starved, and, had I been older, I would've found myself on Cray's doorstep, selling myself out.
But I'm glad that I didn't, because it allowed me to keep some of my dignity.
There were the pity looks that Prim and I received during the course of that year, and I hate pity. It makes me feel weak.
My mother still looked young, and she was around her early thirties when dad died. About two months after we almost starved to death, Cray appeared on our doorstep, calling for my mother.
So that's when it started.
He progressively came over, stayed longer as the seasons came by. And soon, he was practically living in our house.
Cray is notorious for his lust of young looking women. So, in my family's fragile state, he welcomed himself into our home. And my mother took him in with open arms.
They think I don't hear them at night.
I don't know if my mother is aware that even if Cray spends the night and the morning with us, that he's still running his 'business' in the comfort of his home. I've tried to tell her numerous times that he's just playing with her, but she denies it, simply brushing me off saying that he's fulfilling his Peacekeeper duties. But if he was, I should be arrested by now.
I wake up before the sun rises every morning, to go to the woods and hunt as much as I can. I come back when the sunlight just breaks the horizon.
We're barely scraping by, Cray keeps hogging all of my game to bribe other girls to go home with him. We get minimal food, but it's something, and I've learned that something is better than nothing. Always.
But despite everything, Cray has never been one to hurt me in any way. Or Prim. He adores Prim. I think he's the only one that he remotely likes in this household, apart from my mother. I think that he views me more as a cat, bringing scraps to eat.
But it's still more than he'll ever get if he was on his own.
I pry my eyes open to meet with the cold wind of Autumn. Prim is breathing heavily beside me and I disentangle myself from her grasp.
I tuck the blanket into her sleeping body and plant a kiss on her forehead before taking my father's hunting jacket and sprinting out the door.
I walk the dusty path of the Seam that leads to the meadow, and coal dust begins to form on the worn leather of my shoes.
I take a moment to admire the crimson leaves that are placing a blanket over the District before shimmying under the fence.
My hunter instincts begin to take place as my footsteps begin to get increasingly silent and my breathing slows. I grab my bow and arrow from the hollow log that it usually rests in before meeting Gale in the clearing that overlooks a valley.
I see his broad form when I emerge from the woods.
Gale told me once that he used to hunt in the early hours of the morning, after the sun was above the horizon. But when I started to join him and Cray's demands were looming over my shoulder.
Despite my yearning for an extra hour and a half of sleep, I'm aware that if I don't comply with his orders, he can easily turn me into dedicated Peacekeeper officials. And that would mean that Gale might be in trouble because the fence could be put on guard, and Prim would get sent to a children's home.
And anyway, it's not that bad. I've learned that hunting in the morning means sleeping animals. Also, it means that we get done earlier, which is good for trading, because that means that we're the first ones at the Hob, so we get a better deal.
My footsteps may be silent but Gale knows me too well.
I laugh quietly and sit down beside him, "I still don't get it, how do you know that it's me? If you can't hear my steps?"
He gives off a small smirk, "You always come exactly ten minutes after I do."
"But what if one day I am late and you discover that you're talking to yourself?" I raise my eyebrow at him.
"Then call me crazy!"
I laugh at him and stand up, dusting myself off. "Come on then, what are you waiting for?"
By the end of our hunting session, we were able to catch and kill three pheasants, four squirrels and two rabbits. It was one of our luckier days. Usually, we just end up with a couple squirrels and rabbits, but a flock of pheasants have been lingering in the District lately, and my hands have been itching to get a hold of them.
Greasy Sae is already placed at her section in the Hob once we arrive. Ripper is there too, and surprisingly, Haymitch Abernathy is awake at 5:30am in the morning. But obviously, it's because he's run out of his supply of alcohol.
He's the town drunk, and he was an old friend of my dad. His wife was heading over to the mines on the day of the explosion to meet my father, but the ground crumbled beneath her feet and she fell in. They say she was crushed by the debris.
Ever since he lost his wife and his friend, he has succumbed to the pleasures of alcohol.
He's not that bad though, I've stumbled upon him unconscious a couple of times, and I took him to Prim so she could help him straighten up and get better, since my mother isn't able to achieve her duties as the town healer anymore. She spends most of her days in her room when Cray isn't at home.
"Good haul today?" She gives me an almost toothless grin.
"Definitely, couldn't have gotten this much without Katniss here though," Gale nudges my side, "I couldn't get the pheasants, but she took them down like a pro."
I snicker, "Glad that you're finally accepting that I'm better than you at archery."
He shrugs, "It wasn't my best day."
Sae laughs, "Well, I can give you ten coins for two squirrels and five for one rabbit. And ten coins for one pheasant, that thing is a beaut."
I nod my head. This means that Gale and I get one pheasant and squirrel each.
"You can keep the one rabbit Gale."
I cut him off before he begins to protest, "You need it more than me. You have more mouths to feed.
He hesitates, "But what about Cray?"
"He doesn't like squirrels that much, I usually give him the rabbits. But he'll take the pheasant for sure and leave my family with the squirrel."
"But Catnip, that's one tiny squirrel. C'mon, take mine. I have the pheasant and the rabbit, it's enough for at least two to three days. And I don't have to share with a selfish official."
I roll my eyes at him and take the squirrel from his grasp. I need to hunt tomorrow morning, I know that Gale won't be. But I'll do it alone if I have too. Because he's right, one tiny squirrel won't last us. And two will last us a day and a half. And I need to trade for some bread so it's convenient.
After I bid Greasy Sae a farewell I am barely out of earshot when I hear her say, "Ah, young love."
When I reach home, it's 6am and Prim is already bouncing in the living room anticipating my arrival.
"What are you waiting for little duck? Help me with breakfast," I give her a smile and we start preparing.
While mixing the squirrel stew, Cray stumbles in the room looking dishevelled and thanks me for the pheasant. Then he walks out the door.
Prim and I eat on the creaking kitchen table when mother walks in, looking as dishevelled as Cray.
"Have an exciting night mother?"
She smirks at me and stumbles to the couch, "Better than any night you're going to get."
I run my tongue over my lips, "At least I have respect for my house companions. I don't go meandering off with a guy forever being his sex buddy."
She staggers towards me and strikes me across the face, "How dare you? He has been good to us! He has helped us in many ways!"
Mother never used to hit me. It's truly a rare occasion. But it usually occurs when I make rude comments about her lover. Cray may not have done anything to Prim and I, but he has certainly changed my once sweet mother.
"You mean he has helped you. He hasn't helped Prim and I at all!"
"He's a father figure!"
"Oh really? And he's such a good one as well!" The sarcasm is obvious in my voice, "What good father figure would just have sex with a child's mother and leave the next morning taking the food that her daughter earned?"
"You don't have to give him the food!"
"Yes I do! Or else he'll turn me in! They'll take Prim! And then what will you be left with? You won't have me or Prim. And he'll leave you once he doesn't get game in return. You're not as young as you used to be, and he won't stay with you forever!"
She snarls, "He loves me!"
I take Prim by the arm because I can tell that she's scared, "He doesn't love you! You're nothing more than another one of his whores to him."
I leave before she can make another comment and I make my way down the road with Prim. Even in the distance, I can hear my mother's cries.
When we reach the school, I send Prim off to her section, but not before apologizing and wishing her a good day.
I take my seat in my first class, English, and put my head in my heads. I think back to the earlier argument that I had with my mother and think.
What has my family become?
I hope you liked it! I promise you, it's a Peeta x Katniss story. And sorry he's not in this chapter! He will be in the next one though! It's going to be a gradual ascent to the climax, it won't just happen in the next five chapters or something.
Anyway, I hope this was a good start. And I'm going to update every two days because I still need to update my other story, Kingdom Of Glass.
Thank you so much for reading, it's appreciated greatly. And like always, reviews are very much appreciated :)
PS: If I get good responses I'll continue this :3