Authors Note: Due to popular demand I am writing a Hunger Games Fan Fiction for all my loyal friends who like reading my stuff :P and so, the Hunger Games being one of my favourite series, I couldn't bring myself to write one small short story on it. That being said, it just so happens that it turned into a full out novel… woops… but oh well! I'm slowly revising and editing it cause… yeah so here you go! Revised first chapter! Also, I will post a song with each chapter… or maybe a few, that I think go really well with it or that I listened to while writing it. Just so you can enhance your reading experience… I'M CHEESY I'M SORRY! (To all of my friends who are actually in it, sorry I'm not sorry.) Love, Tris.
*Radioactive - Imagine Dragons*
(It's just so obviously perfect I don't need to explain myself.)
Just another day here in district 3.
I woke up to the sound of pounding hammers and the lights of welding torches. My dads car shop was already up and buzzing at the crack of dawn. I sat up and stretched my stiff muscles from laying on my makeshift bed on the top shelf in the storage area of the greasy place I call home. We don't have much for bedrooms here so I just sleep on an old mattress I put on a shelf, it's more comfy than you'd think actually.
With a loud complaint from my stomach I figured I would nimbly climb down and go to look for my dad. Sauntering through the dirty car shop half awake was easy and I could probably do it fully asleep, I wandered until I heard him at the counter. He was on the phone this morning, maybe he has another important capitol job. He was so good with mechanical things he got called in for important or difficult fixes sometimes.
I grabbed a bun from our old cupboards and sat to watch the capitol news on the television. I was suddenly jolted awake with the sudden thudding of my heart, head news anchor Andy Spanks reminds everyone watching:
"Don't forget folks! It's the 100th annual Quarter Quell reaping tomorrow. So all you district people suit up and meet in the town squares by 9:00am. Don't be late! All of Panem will be watching!" He chirped his closing phrase and I switched off the television, trying not to hyperventilate.
My dad walked in, and sat beside me.
"Happy birthday Sweetheart." He said kissing my forehead. I've been through this stomach churning event every year since I was 12... There's no getting used to it.
I knew a few kids who got picked to go to the arena, one of them had been my best friend from kindergarten. I watched her get murdered on my TV with the rest of the country that year. She was only thirteen when she was chosen…
"I wouldn't consider it happy dad." I said grimly, "I get another paper with my name on it in that stupid bowl the day right before the Quarter Quell. If I ever get picked, this year will be the one. Just my luck huh?" I chuckled at my dark humour. He didn't do or say anything but wrap his big arms around me. He smelled like oil, gas, and car grease, an oddly comforting smell that I'd treasured since my mother died.
"Don't think about it that way Poke." He used my nickname, "Don't let the Capitol ruin your birthday for you." He clutched me a little closer, I could almost feel the tension radiating through him. This should be a fun few days… That's my dad for you though, false hope isn't something he would give me.
Honestly I was thankful for that, me and him both know that if I do get picked to go into the arena tomorrow, the chances of me coming out alive were very slim. At best.
"So what's on the agenda for today dad?" I pulled away plastering a fake smile on my face and trying to change the topic. He bought it which was good, I hated him worrying about me.
"I don't know, but it is your birthday after all." He smirked at me mischievously, his grey moustache twisted around the frames of his mouth.
"And? Do I get a present?" My smile became genuine as he pulled out a small package from behind his back.
"Here you go Sweetheart. Happy eighteenth." He sounded so pleased with himself.
I took the small brown box from him and unwrapped it. Tearing it to shreds obviously form excitement and when I looked inside there was a small, silver piece of metal. I pulled it out and gasped,
"You got the part!?" I rolled it over in my hands. The parts that twisted at both ends spun around in my fingers.
"Yup! Just came in the mail this morning. I hope you like it." I hugged him, I had been asking for this part to my bike for ages.
"I love it dad, thank you." I said into his chest, he chuckled and got up. When he stretched his old bones cracked in protest.
"I'm glad you like it sweetie. Are you going to go put it on?" I nodded and started to head out the door of the small room. "Oh by the way! You got another letter this morning! It's on the front counter." I heard him already a few metres behind me, I waved to say that I heard him and ran towards where I kept my bike.
I was always giving it upgrades but this part will finally finish the small engine I put on it. My dad must have ordered it specially made because the engine I designed was so different than any other one that could be built. I realized I was still in my pyjamas then, and I decided I'd better change into my clothes before I worked on my bike.
Since it was the day before a Reaping I had no school, which was good I guess. I get my birthday off, even though I have never really liked birthdays, simply because I get another paper with my name on it in the Reaping bowl.
I turned around and weaved my way through the machinery until I found the tool box that held my clothes. I found my favourite pair of jeans, they were ripped, and stained but they were the comfiest. I threw on a dirty plaid shirt with a black tank top underneath and laced up my old work boots.
The front counter wasn't too far from where I was now… I should go get the other letter my dad was talking about. I have no idea who in the world would send me a letter. I climbed to the top of the shelving units that ran along the walls of the shop and walked across them towards the front. Once I reached the end of the shelves I jumped and grabbed hold of a rafter in the ceiling, from there it was a small 10ft. jump from the rafter to the top of the bookshelf beside the counter.
From the bookshelf I just jumped to the counter and grabbed the letter that was sitting waiting for me. I have been climbing around this place since I could walk so it was second nature to me, for some reason my dad still worried I'd hurt myself.
"The bookshelf is going to break one of these days." He said without looking up from the filing cabinet he was searching. "And I really wish you would stop swinging around the rafters." He chuckled, which took away from the seriousness of his statement.
I just rolled my eyes and studied the plain white envelope, it had just my name on the front.
"This didn't come in the mail did it?" I looked at him accusingly. "It couldn't have, there's no stamp." I turned it over, "Or address." My eyebrows furrowed and he smirked.
"Well open it and find out who sent it to you. I was sworn to secrecy." He finished grabbing the papers he needed and headed towards his office where he spent most of his time. He didn't do much of the grunt work anymore. He left the oiling, welding, and building to me and the rest of his crew. Dad did most of the paper work simply because he was getting to old.
I sat on top of the counter and dangled my legs over the side, slipping my finger into the envelope and ripping the paper. I slid out the white piece of paper and unfolded it. In bubbly scribble I recognized easily it said:
Happy 18th birthday you old coot! In honour of such a momentous occasion your friends are sending you on a treasure hunt! Make sure to bring a bag with you. The first thing you'll need is sitting right under you! Good luck you crazy cat ninja!
*mauls with hug* Liv OXOOO
I rolled my eyes again, of course my crazy cousin would set something like this up. I jumped off the counter and looked underneath it. Hidden away, in the darkest corner was a glass bottle. I reached back to grab it and when I pulled it out I knew exactly where to go. A bottle of Black Ice vodka, me and her had very distinct memories with such an alcohol.
Almost running towards the back door I grabbed my purple bag that was hanging on my tool box and threw the bottle inside with the rest of the contents. I climbed up the shelves again and walked along the tops, making my way to the other end of the shop. I will have to put the part for my bike engine in later.
I hopped onto one of the thin metal pillars that helped hold up the huge machine that the workers used to lift cars into the air to see underneath them.
Wes, one of the young men that worked on the cars in my dads shop, called up to me while I sat on the tall shaft, pulling my blonde hair back into a messy pony tail.
"Hey Tris! don't you have school? Your old man doesn't want you wasting your life around here like the rest of us yeah know." He smiled up at me.
I hopped down from my pedestal and gently landed on the suspended cars roof with a light thud, then climbed down to stand in front of him.
"I wouldn't mind spending my life working on cars and getting dirty all day. If yeah know what I mean." I giggled mischievously, "But, no. Schools out today because of the Reaping that's tomorrow… Remember?" I leaned against a giant tire.
He laughed, Wes was one of my friends I'd had since I was little. He was about two years older than I was, so he was lucky enough to be out of the running for the Reaping for good. He had the same dirty blonde hair I had but it spilled off his head in curls and waves. He knew more about cars and trucks than I did even, our dads were best friends so it was kinda destiny that we had to be. He was a good three times bigger than I was, which was terribly noticeable now as I craned my neck up to look at his always smiling face.
"I don't know how you just move around the machinery like that. It's like you're a monkey or something. It sucks about the Reaping tomorrow though, I hope it doesn't ruin your- Oh!" He suddenly seemed to remember and started digging around in his pockets, he quickly pulled out a silver necklace and handed it to me. "Happy birthday!" He beamed, blue eyes bright and happy. I gasped, the charm hanging from the sparkling silver chain was a silver heart with a peace sign in the middle and both were lined with small purple rhinestones.
"Thank you Wes!" I gave him a big hug and he crushed me, lifting my feet off the ground. Which I guess wasn't hard since I was so short compared to him, I took a deep breath when he put me back down. "Did you make this?" I asked as I wrapped it around my neck and did up the clasp. He nodded, his head bobbing up and down like a toy.
"You like it?" He shoved his hands in his pockets, I smiled up at him.
"I love it! Thanks so much." I said honestly, his cheeks flushed a little.
"I hoped it would cheer you up a little. It must be a little nerve racking having your birthday right before that stupid Reaping…" He looked at me painfully, his eyes dimming with worry, all I could do was reassure him.
"Hey, if I get picked life will go on. Besides, what are the chances?" I felt sick. Who knows what the twist to this year will be, there was always some sick twist for each Quarter Quell. It was supposed to make it a special Hunger Games since it was only every 25 years and all …
My mind started to race, and my heart followed suit. My name is in that bowl six times this year. SIX. I felt like I was gonna throw up. I had to stay calm for everyone else, because I know how worried they will be for me…
"Yeah you're right. Well I need to get back to work before your dad hauls my ass. Have a good day Tris!" Wes gave me one last hug and we walked our separate ways. I felt like I couldn't breathe.
I took a few deep breaths of somewhat fresh air after I got outside to steady myself before I headed down the back alleys to Ms. Nickels house. One time when me and Liv were drinking this vodka outside her house, she gave us twice the amount of a different kind for half the bottle. Everyone in District 3 knew she was a drunk but what everyone else didn't know, is that this was her favourite. Me and Liv have been trading her ever since.
The bottle sloshed in my small bag that bounced against my back as I walked along the lines on the side of the dirt road. I passed factory after factory, each one closed down and empty because of the Reaping tomorrow. Sometimes I wish that the rebellion had worked, that Katniss hadn't died in that explosion and that everything didn't go back to normal after the rebels were defeated.
Sure it's 25 years later and I only here stories but what if they had succeeded? Would things be all that different? I know a lot of people died… but, it had to be better than this… I looked around at the run down fences and falling apart houses. The smog was thick today, being the factory district does have it's downfalls. The pollution from the smoke caused a lot of people around here to have lung problems, luckily I haven't shown any symptoms, yet. My cousin wasn't so lucky however, some days she could hardly breathe at all.
I was pulled from my thoughts when I found myself knocking on Ms. Nickels door. She answered, eyes blood shot, hair matted, and her breath smelled like cheap alcohol. She was always happy to see me though, knowing that my presence at her door meant free booze.
"Oh Tris! Happy birthday!" She slurred, and stumbled a little. She wrapped her dirty sweater around her a bit tighter.
"Thank you! I was told to give this to you." I pulled the bottle out of my bag and Her face lit up. Oh brother…
"YES YES! Thank YOU! I was told to give this to you when you finally showed up." She handed me a music disc and slammed the door.
I turned the small disc over in my hands and shook my head chuckling under my breath. The next clue was a song? All my friends knew I didn't go anywhere without my music player. I walked down the rotting steps towards the street and out of Ms. Nickels yard. I opened up my bag and pulled out my music player, slipping the small disc inside. I sat on the curb with my headphones on and pushed play… I was almost scared for what I would hear. But the thumping beat was familiar, so familiar in fact I stood up and had to stop myself from dancing.
Me and my friend Jess made up a little routine to this old song a few years ago, it was called Black and Gold. The only place I could think of to go was the old recording studio, it closed down quite a few years ago but some of us would break in there with some homemade speakers and dance in front the broken mirrors like it was a dance studio, just for the fun of it. Mind you we haven't done that in so long I'm not sure if I could even get in anymore.
Cutting through a few backyards the walk wasn't so bad. District 3 was one of the richer districts, but it certainly wasn't the cleanest. Everyone worked in factories manufacturing electronics, guns, and automobiles. My dad runs the best car part shop in Panem, he's slowly teaching me everything he knows too, so that I can take over one day. Which of course is against his wishes but that's too bad, it's my life and that's what I want to do.
I kept on my old headphones and started playing some random music that was on my music player as I traveled. We learned how to make these when we were in grade two and I still had mine. It worked pretty well too, for being so old now, that's probably why I got an A for it, it was well made.
By the time I got to the studio the sun was high in the sky, beating down on my face. That's how I liked the weather, sunny with big puffy white clouds and perfect blue skies. The smell of spring and summer lingering in the air, along with the smoke and soot from the factories of course, you can never seem to escape the grim that was District 3.
I climbed on top of the old dumpster and pushed open the rusted window. Pulling myself up was harder than I remember, I guess I'm a little out of shape. I swung my legs up and jumped into the studio. It was clear no one had been here in a long time, until I noticed that dust hadn't settled on the table in the far corner. There was a black and gold wrapped box sitting on top of it, just waiting to be opened.
I walked over and tore the paper open, slicing the tape open with the pocket knife I kept in my bag. Inside was a rainbow coloured fabric, it wasn't till I pulled it out that I realized what it was. They were a pair of rainbow capris pants, this clue had to of been Boltons. When we were 9 we both went to a special camera recording camp in the school gym during the summer and he wore these pants as part of his costume for one of the recordings, it was hysterical to see.
I laughed at the memory but what was the clue here? Where do I go? I put the pants in my bag and paced around the studio, I did some stretches too. Until it hit me, I gave myself a face palm, we did the training in the school gym. Obviously that's where I had to go.