"I refuse the volunteer."
The little girl's steady voice first shocked me when I watched the tape of 12's reaping. She was lucky enough to have someone volunteer for her – just to save her, it seems – yet she refused. She must know that a little girl like her has no chance in these brutal Games. I made sure to remember her name. Primrose Everdeen.
Now that I think carefully of it, though, there's no logical conclusion as to why she would do that. The older girl that volunteered for her, she would have a lot more physical strength. She'd have a realistic chance of winning. Not Primrose.
It doesn't matter. She certainly made an impression on the chariots, with the big and buff Peeta Mellark raising her up, both of then enveloped in fire. I'm glad my stylists aren't such idiots to put me in the spotlight. I'd just get marked by the Careers.
Whatever effect she had, she lost it all with a training score of 4. I think Mr Mellark is probably more noticeable. And that big Thresh guy.
Okay, that's enough summary for one single tribute. It's surprising I'm able to finish them all while inside this glass cylinder, waiting to be sent into the arena of the 74th Hunger Games.
The plate is rising. I wave goodbye to my stylist. She's not mean, but she's not nice either. She just does her job. I don't have much feelings towards her, but she did say good luck to me.
My mentors were rubbish. No wonder District 5 doesn't get past the bloodbath much. They don't really provide any substantial advice. I'm probably smarter than them. I bet they can't get 100 percent on tests consistently.
I don't try and not be nervous. The adrenaline will help me run away from the Cornucopia more easily.
What's my plan again? Right, to find some water and then just hide until almost no one's left and then ambush them with a knife that I can surely obtain somehow during the course of the games. I definitely can get enough food; I passed the edible plants test after some practice which got me a 5 in my training. In retrospect I probably should have done nothing and let them give me a 1. But reverse psychology dictates that I would get attention this way.
The plate finally rises to its peak. The sunlight blinds me momentarily but I shake it off. The announcer starts to say "Ladies and…" but I cover ears so it doesn't distract me from my tactical planning. To the left of me is Primrose. Damn, why? Now I might see her killed and get distracted. To my right is the District… well, a minor boy. I can't remember all of them.
There's a forest behind, a lake to the right, and a cliff or steep slope on the other side. The forest clearly can provide the best cover and the best food. I'm close to it, too.
There's some weapons in the middle but I can't handle any of them. I only know how to stick a knife into someone's chest, or even better, back. Maybe some utensils would be helpful but I'm not risking my life for that.
Primrose is wiping her face nervously, and glancing towards me. Wait, not me, behind me. Mr. Mellark is returning a look and motioning for her to go back into the woods. I don't know what's going on between them, but I really have to stop paying attention to them. If I want to win, they have to die, and I'd rather not know them.
I see my District partner to the opposite of me. He doesn't stand a chance either. I stopped all attempts of conversation he made, because it's pretty clear he's not going to make it. Little Rue seems to have a better chance, she got a 7 which is even better than me. She's eyeing a tiny bag right in front of her which she seems intent on taking. I hope she doesn't die taking it.
Stop it! I hate how our minds work. How we are forced to empathise with others when we don't want to. I can't afford to be sad. Crying could mean uncovering my location and therefore my death!
The timer is ticking away fast. There's only 10 seconds. If I die, no one would be sad but my father. He would still get over it, though, because of my brother. He's already nineteen so there's no worries about him getting reaped.
I turn around and face the woods. Primrose does the same. I redirect my vision to the other way so I don't see her.
I'm a fox, huh, Caeser Flickerman? Well I'll show you how a fox can beat all the odds and win the Hunger Games. I think I'm the only one that realises you don't genuinely care for us. That you're as vile as the rest of the Capitol.
The Hunger Games. Hmph. I'll show you all how to subvert them.
And the gong sounds.