I hear the muffled shouting in the distance. My district escort, calling me. I think I hear the word 'launch', but everything sounds so distant, I can't focus on sound. I shoot my eyes open, the only cooperative part of my body left. I glance around the blinding room. I wonder who's idea it was to give the room such clashing colours. The shouting becomes louder, she's probably come in to physically move me, like yesterday, and the day before that. And practically every day since I arrived in this colourful hell known as the Capitol.
Suddenly my perspective changes from sideways to vertical. She's actually lifted me.
"Honestly, you're so braindead, it's a wonder you're still breathing," I want to scowl at her, but I can't. The muscles in my face have long since stopped working. I see her pulling my outfit off, leaving me completely naked. I can't cover myself in modesty though, the drugs denied that long ago. The mere thought of them sends my body into another uncontrollable craving for the white syringe. You don't need it, I tell my body, but its obedience isn't there. It stayed at home with the syringes. I never even wanted this, to be a slave to an illegal substance. My abusive mother did this to me. She always wanted a son, and instead she got me. A girl that has her father's sandy blonde hair, not her mother's rich, dark hair. A girl that has her father's sky blue eyes, not her mother's deep green eyes. A girl that has her father's cute freckles over the bridge of her nose, not her mother's perfect complexion. In her eyes, I was a failure. And she went to all lengths to let me know this. She beat me when dad was at work. She told the parents of my friends that I did unmentionable things to my last friends. She made me take out the tesserae, enter my name more times into that bowl, even though we had no need for the disgusting grain. And after surviving last year's reaping, she began to inject me with the morphling. At first, it just dulled my senses, me not feeling the beatings, which was good. But after countless injections, the hallucinations started. Bizarre visions started to appear, such as my house being swarmed with kittens, and the lightbulb emitting a mulitcoloured fog. They grew in intensity until I couldn't move my body unless I was hallucinating. And when my name was drawn at the reaping, my broken body could hear my mother's cheering.
I still remember my mother's last words to me after the reaping.
"I am going to enjoy watching you die on television. Let's hope the Careers brutally rip you limb from limb," No 'I love you', no 'I'm sorry', no 'Stay strong'. She just wants to see me get ripped apart by the other tributes. I don't want to give her that satisfaction. I see my escort's thrown an outfit onto me. At least it's simple. She carries me to the dining room, sitting me on a chair, and getting one of the silent slaves to spoonfeed me breakfast. In a way, we're both similar. We're incapable of expressing emotion, except for the pain shown in our eyes. Her eyes are full of pain and fear. I wonder if she reads my eyes. Once she leaves me, I look around. I see my district partner give me a look of pity. I'm gratefu that he actually cares about me. He steered me around the training centre, helping me with the various stations. The trainers tried to help me, but they knew what I figured out long ago. I won't last ten minutes in the arena. But my partner promised me that he wouldn't leave my side until my corpse was hauled out of the arena. I wanted to smile at that moment, but that simple action was yet again denied by my mother. If only she was the one about to be sent into a massive deathmatch that she probably wouldn't leave in one piece, let alone alive.
I'm moving again. This time, it's my district partner. He's guiding me down the hallway, telling me how I remind him of his little sister back home. He says we look almost identical. I really hope that his little sister'll see him come home alive, she's blessed with perhaps the most considerate person ever to be a big brother to her. I look at him, wanting to thank him for all he's done. Instead, he smiles at me, and apologises.
"I'm sorry you of all people have to go into this game. You're in no fit state to even walk downstairs, never mind fight for your life," I look at where we are. We're outside, a hovercraft waiting to send us into the entertaining death match known as the Hunger Games. Suddenly, I'm moving up into the hovercraft. I look down, and see my district partner.
"By the way, I heard your mother's yelling during the goodbyes, about how she wants a Career to hack you to pieces. Well, I'm gonna make sure she doesn't get that satisfaction," he says something else, but I'm too high to hear it.
I'm lifted inside the flying vehicle, and a strange woman holds something up. A syringe, filled with a white substance. No, not that. But my body recognises the image, and begins trembling, an insatiable hunger for the drug to flow freely through my veins.
"Calm down kid, this is just your tracker for the arena," she stabs it into my arm, and it's not morphling. My breathing slows, thankful that I won't die hallucinating things first seen when my mother forcefully brought them on. I'm brought into a chair, and I see the colourful buildings become a blip in the distance. I see rolling fields of green below. It's all very beautiful.. The windows black out, and darkness fills the room. Nothingness. Is this what being dead'll feel like? The lights switch on again, and the woman carries me into a room. She sits me down on a chair, and leaves me alone. I look at the scene in front of me. There's a big timer on the wall counting down how long I have before I'll be lifted up into the bloodbath. A brown woman walks in, holding something black. It's my stylist.
"I guess I'll have to dress you this time as well," she practically spits the venomous words at me, her blue saliva getting on my face. She pulls the clothes off me, and begins sliding my arena outfit onto my body, "Honestly, I selected District 6 because I expected decent tributes, but instead I get a braindead freak," she zips the jacket up, and throws me onto the platform in the corner, "Have fun dying," that makes two people that can't wait to see my gory demise. Both women that think of me as a disappointment. I stand in the middle of the platform, watching the clock count down.
5. I'm going to die.
4. My mother's gonna see what she always wanted to see.
3. No, my district partner's gonna see that that doesn't happen.
2. He promised, right?
1. Don't doubt him. He wouldn't have spent the past week by my side if he wasn't going to protect me the best he could.
The platform begins to rise, lifting me through a dark tube. I don't know how high I'm going. Finally, sunlight. I see the clear blue sky, and the Cornucopia's golden shine. I see my district partner, looking at me. He seems worried. The I see it. A Career boy, holding something, and looking directly into my eyes. He throws the wooden ball in his hands right towards me. I see what's going to happen. It's going to hit my plate causing it to blow up. Perhaps the quickest and easiest death out there. It hits my numb body, and it slowly rolls towards the edge of my plate, to the explosives. I should be terrified right now, but I'm not. I'm relieved. Relieved that I'll die in the easiest way. My mother won't see me getting hacked to shreds. And then something I never thought could happen. I feel my mouth contort into a smile. A smile that is thanking the Career for choosing this method of death. A smile that mocks my mother, knowing my end won't be slow and painful. A smile that reaches my father, telling him I still love him.
I hear a booming voice. It's the announcer, Claudius Templesmith.
"Ladies and gentlemen, let the sixty sixth annual Hunger Games begin!"