"Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat."
- Mother Teresa
"Doesn't she look spectacular ladies and gentlemen? Enobaria Reyes! Victor of the 67th Hunger Games!"
Caesar Flickerman's voice boomed out across the auditorium and into every corner of Panem. I looked out over the sea of colour that was the Capitol audience and watched them all stomp and cheer, waving banners of colour at me and blowing kisses. The cold look I gave them all wasn't even an act. I despised everything about them and would have taken great delight in giving each of them a slow and painful death. But instead my eyes connected with a familiar face in the front row. He gave me a meaningful look and instead of trying to rip Caesar Flickerman limb from limb I walked up the few small steps and out into the centre of the stage, exposing myself to the full force of the Capitol's adoration.
I refused to smile. Stiffly I took a seat, ignoring the hand held out to me, and told myself it would all be over soon.
"Well, I must say, you gave us a fantastic victory!" exclaimed Caesar excitedly. In frustration I tugged aside the long skirt of my black dress. It clung to my ankles and felt so unnatural. Apparently being Victor didn't permit you special treatment from the prep team because they had still forcibly held me down as they tugged at my hair and applied a simple layer of smoky black makeup to my eyes. Getting me into the dress had been just as hard as before as well and I could still feel where their fingers had dug into my back as they pinned my arms behind my back to force me into it.
To my delight they had seemed a little more frightened of me than before. When I had snapped out at one of them she had hurriedly withdrawn her hand and a flash of concern had crossed her face. They knew now that I wasn't just some pretty little toy putting on a play of ferocity. They had seen what I could do with those teeth.
I turned my eyes back to Caesar incredulously. He still seemed to think that everything I did was some little display for their pleasure. No matter how bitterly and viciously I glared at them they didn't seem to see the hatred in my eyes. My hands gripped together tight in my lap to keep myself from strangling him. "I went in there to win and that is what I did." They were not going to let me leave until I gave them something so I may as well keep it on my terms.
"Why don't we take a look at that win?" he asked the audience and they erupted into a storm of cheering again. Caesar laughed ridiculously and turned to face the screen behind us. With reluctance I turned to face it too. The actual act of my kill didn't bother me, but I could barely remember what I had done during those final moments. I had been told enough to be unwilling to see how it portrayed. I didn't want to be seen as weak or crazy, no matter how much that was how I had felt at the time.
The screen was suddenly filled with white and I repressed a shudder at the sight. If I never saw snow and ice again in my life it would be too soon. It would be worth going to hell just so I never had to suffer through another freezing night.
Two figures appeared on the screen, dark against the pure white snow. I watched myself, moving towards the smaller figure and I was glad that the injury to my leg wasn't overly visible. All I could remember of that moment was the way the mountains had been shattering on the horizon, disintegrating into a cascade of diamonds that rained down around me. Sitting painfully upright in my chair on the stage I closed my eyes briefly, trying to forget the powerlessness of the poison that had been spreading through my body. A terrifying scream sent my eyes flying open again and I was confronted with the terrified girl's eyes for the second time in as many days. Her eyes were the one thing I remembered clearly as I had pinned her to the ground. The way they had flickered over my face, perhaps desperately looking for something that wasn't there. She should have known that I was going to kill her.
Desperately I tried not to focus on my face on the screen but I could hear my voice, screaming as I shook my head wildly from side to side. I remembered how real the fingertips on my neck had felt. I remembered so clearly that even now, even without the hallucinogen in my system, I was still sure that I could feel them gripping the back of my neck. Instead of screaming now though I stiffened by back and gritted my teeth. It wasn't real. There was no one behind me and if anyone dared to touch me now I could rip them apart before they even knew what was happening. And I wouldn't hesitate.
On the screen I had stopped screaming and my eyes were fixated on the girl's throat. "Calico." I didn't remember speaking her name. At the time I hadn't even been sure how I knew it. But the word slipped passed my lips and echoed around the auditorium. I pulled my eyes from the screen where the trickle of blood down her throat threatened to pull me in, and instead looked out over the faces of the audience. They were transfixed to the screens but I doubted that their bloodlust came from the same place mine did. They had no reason to crave the blood, to crave the kill. And yet here they were, painted hands clutched to their mouths and looks of awe and delighted horror on their faces as they stared wide eyed. They were loving it.
There was another skull shattering scream and my eyes flew back to the screen. The scream hurt my head just as much now as it had then. I found myself grinding my teeth, wanting so badly to make the screaming stop just as I had wanted it then.
I watched myself lean down over the girl. Without realising my hands were gripped so tight in the fabric of my dress that my knuckles had turned white. My heart beat had picked up with desire as I contemplated what was coming. There was a thrilled rustle of pleasure from the audience as my teeth sunk into her skin. I didn't look at them, I was too fixated on the screen, watching myself make the final kill. The kill that I already knew was going to make me famous among these stupid, petty and twisted people. Caesar let out a little whimper of horrified delight as he watched the blood on the screen. My own heartbeat was fluttering like a small bird desperate to be free.
As I watched myself pull away from her throat the strong, metallic taste of blood suddenly filled my mouth again. Ripping my eyes from the screen I fixed instead on a point behind Caesar, trying to resist the suddenly overwhelming urge to choke passed the reminder of the blood filling my mouth. My whole body tensed, my fingernails digging painfully into my palms went unnoticed as I willed myself to get over the sudden panic that flooded through me. It was irrational, completely irrational, but with that hint of blood that had filled my mouth my body had taken over in a state of terror.
I felt his eyes boring into me and dragged my gaze around to where he sat in the first row of the audience. His eyes locking with mine were enough to calm the insistent pounding of my heart. He reminded me of home and power and control and the little figure who would be watching this eagerly at home- the person it had all been for. I felt the momentary panic subside enough for me to catch Caesar's next words.
"That may well be the best moment of Victory I have ever seen!" he exploded and the crowd burst into applause. I looked back at him, the taste of blood fading, and familiar, cold anger set in. There was a flicker of apprehension in his eyes as I fixed my gaze on him and his smile faltered for the briefest of seconds. It was enough to bring a cold smile to my lips.
"Did you really expect anything else?"
A/N: Welcome to my new fic. This is a look at Enobaria's backstory. It is rated T for violence, mild gore and adult themes- the usual with the Hunger Games. It is quite a long story but already written so you are guaranteed an ending and regular updates.
If you review I'll send you virtual cupcakes because I'll love you that much.
PS. Special enormous thankyou to my beta reader and sounding board Madi. I'm sorry for all the jars of nutella this story made you go through.
PPS. I also want to point out that I realise Katniss recalls Enobaria winning the 62nd Games, but for the sake of this story I think she got it wrong and Enobaria actually competed in the 67th Games...just go with it.