Story Title: Broken

Rating: M

Summary: A memory from a broken girls childhood. The reason for Clove's hatred.

Warnings: Child Abuse and Broken Dreams

I was broken, my death freed me.

From a little girl, my heart was broken.

"My beautiful Clove," My pregnant mother would begin as she sat on the side of my small bed. "Do you remember that story I used to tell you? The one with the princess who went to the castle?" She would ask, brushing my hair out of my eyes.

"Her name was Clove!" I confirmed, giggling at the memory. The story was always my favorite, with a princess named Clove who would go faraway to a castle and fight to bring honor to her district. Her district was district two, just like mine. She won and came back to her district, met her prince and lived happily ever after in the most beautiful place, Victors Village.

"Yes it was." My mother would confirm before starting to cry. "Very good, baby girl."

I would shift uncomfortably, "Mommy, what's wrong? Don't cry mommy. Did I make you sad? I'm sorry, mommy."

"No!" She would gush, leaning closer to me. "Oh, my beautiful Clove. You didn't do anything wrong."

"Then why are you so sad?"

"I'm not sad, sweetheart. It's just…" She sighed. "Daddy and I got you a present."

"A present?" She now had all of my attention. "What is it?"

"We… You get to go to the academy, sweetheart."

"The academy?"

"The one the princess went to, sweetheart. You can train and be the best in the whole district, and be just like her."

But I wasn't.

I was smaller than everybody at the academy and they were really mean. I cried everyday when I would come home, bloody or bruised by my trainers who beat me until I delivered the results they hoped for. The problem was, I didn't know what they were hoping for. I didn't know they were coaxing me to have the capacity to kill.

It was an embarrassment to have a child do so poorly in the academy. We weren't allowed to train with weapons at that point, and I was no good at hand-to-hand combat. I was beat by the trainers, beat by the people I trained with, terrorized by an older boy named Cato. I would go home and cry, but my mother was always there for me. Then the baby came and she went on a vacation.

My daddy said she was always there, that she loved us and that she was with my little sister. That was until daddy started drinking this really smelly stuff and began to do stuff that I didn't understand. He would call me a failure and tell me that I would never be like the princess. He would come in to my room at night and hurt me really bad.

So I would work harder, I would get stronger.

But I would never get strong enough.

Because a broken girl could never win the Hunger Games. I should have known that. My mother should have known.

The Hunger Games freed me.