The very final chapter. I'm glad you guys enjoyed this story, and I'm sorry it's taken me a while... I've been SUPER busy. Thanks for being so patient with me! And thank you so much for reading and Reviewing! Enough of my rambling, though. Let's get to the crowning. :) ~Squintz
The Crowning Of The Victor -
District Six Tribute: Carter Woods
As I walk up the steps to the President's balcony, I take a good look at my hands. They're all clean, all dirt-free. Just like they were before I went into the Games. But, now, they seem different. Kind of like... The dirt will never be removed. The dirt from the Games is permanently etched into me... The dirty hands of a killer.
Though, I have been coping alright with the idea that I killed somebody... After all, it was just a competition, right? I just hope for the best, and I hope that people will look upon me with a newly found respect back in District Six. I feel like a totally new person, on top of the world, and able to do anything... And, I still can't believe that I'm still alive. I'm still here, in reality...
Suddenly, I'm brought back to life by the screams of the Capitol. The vicious fans are all on their feet, cheering for me. I smile shyly, and wave to all the people. I walk to the President, and shake his hand. He smiles at me, his teeth a bright white.
"Citizens of The Capitol," The President announces, "It is with great pride, and fantastic honor, that I crown Carter Woods of District Six the Victor of the 475th Annual Quarter Quell!"
The Capitol cheers even louder than before, the entire crowd on its feet. I wave again, and the President takes the crown, gently setting it atop my head. When he does, he turns me to the crowd, and waves wildly. I wave, watching the crowd cheer and shriek for me. A group of girls is chanting my name in their high-pitched, Capitol accents.
"We are so proud of you, and we wish to see you mentoring Tributes for the next Hunger Games!" President Rain declares.
I smile, my cheeks beginning to hurt a bit, as I continue to wave to the crowd.
I can't wait until Interviews, and then the Victory Tour. Where I can finally see Lani.
The Victor's Interview -
I suck in a deep breath as I stand in the exact spot I stood the night before the Games... That felt so long ago... I hear my name being called by Cadmus Flickerman, and I walk onto the stage. I wave a few times, a smile on my face as I shake Cadmus' hand, and then sit down in the chair I was in about two weeks ago.
"It's wonderful to have you back!" Cadmus exclaims, taking a sip of water.
"It's wonderful to see you, again," I say with a smile.
"Alright, I'm just going to ask you a few questions. And then you can take a break from the limelight." Cadmus laughs.
The crowd laughs as well, and I manage to chuckle.
"Alright, go ahead." I nod.
"So, how was it when you were waiting during the Countdown? Thrilling? Scary? Exciting?" Cadmus asks.
I decide to be all-too-truthful, and shake my head.
"It feels like you're heading right into the unknown, knowing what could happen... You know?" I ask.
The crowd chatters quietly amongst themselves, and I fiddle with my hands.
"Okay, moving on... What was running through your mind when Bandit was killed? I mean, that must've been quite the shocker to you. Right?" Cadmus asks.
"Of course it shocked me that it happened right then... But, you know... I knew it would happen. Nobody could've survived an injury that severe..." I say, my guts wrenching as I remember the horrific carnage, and the disgusting stench of Bandit's wound.
"You're right... But maybe we could've saved her!" Cadmus exclaims, getting dozens of laughs from the crowd.
When the laughter dies down, Cadmus continues.
"Many Capitolites are dying to know why you abandoned Jade Arctics of District Seven so early in the Games... Your reasons?" Cadmus asks.
I sigh, "I'm not one to do that, normally... But, I did it because I just had a feeling that day... That something was gonna happen... But nothing ended up happening. I think it was mostly because I was a little spooked... In the end, I regretted leaving her. But when we found eachother again, it was all okay."
"Deep... Incredibly moving." Cadmus smiles, then he looks at me.
"Ladies and gentlemen, the Victor of the 475th Annual Quarter Quell!" He shouts, standing and holding my arm up.