Tiptoe; Part One.
In the morning light let my roots take flight, watch me from above like a vicious dove.
Blood Thicker Than Water - 100th Hunger Games.
Head Gamemaker Lilia Short.
"Do you think she has it in her to have a wonderful Quarter Quell, much like her grandfather?"
I look to Ophelia, my second-in-command. Her jet black hair, streaked with white highlights sits neatly on her shoulders. A fashion that she says most definitely appeals to her personality and showcases it. To me, she looks nothing more than a skunk.
"I'm not sure," I reply, taking a sip of wine. "Esmeralda definitely has her grandfather's nasty and sociopathic streak in her. So, I wouldn't put it past her one bit."
And I'm definitely not wrong by that. Esmeralda Snow came into power only three years ago, her first set of games being the Ninety-Eighth. She done a truly magnificent job, and whilst I wasn't Head Gamemaker at that point, I know it's as stressful as it looks. The only difference between the two Snows is that whilst her grandfather might have been a sociopath, capable of seeming nice but with a true, horrid power lying underneath, Esmeralda definitely shows it more. She expects nothing but the best.
This year, I plan to give it to her.
I was told of the Quarter Quell beforehand. Usually, they assume we find out on the day when the President reads the slip. However, this year, Esmeralda decided she wanted the perfect arena for the Quell.
The large plasma screen on the wall buzzes, a sign of life, and the large flash of black followed by the astounding colours is all too much for my eyes.
Esmeralda Snow, her hair icy white, falling in curls down one side of her face, pale pink skin and full, rosy red lips. In her dress pocket, a single white rose tinted with green. A spin on her grandfather's legacy.
She smiles, waves, even blows a small kiss to one Capitolite child right at the front of the packed audience.
Ophelia shuffles in her seat, on edge, whilst the other Gamemakers attend to playing with creations and the little extras for the arena. My breath hitches, knowing what's about to happen.
She greets herself, then proceeds to tell us about the previous three Quarter Quells that have happened since the Dark Days.
The Twenty-Fifth, a year where tributes were elected by their own.
The Fiftieth, a year where double the amount of tributes were sent into the arena, a staggering fourty-eight.
The Seventy-Fifth, a year where a pool of past Victors were to return. The same year that boy from Twelve, Peeta Mellark, won.
And now this year. The year that should shake things up even more than they should.
A year to be remembered. Esmeralda's first Quarter Quell, something she would never disappoint on.
"And now, we honor you with the Quell," she states calmly, watching the little boy run on stage with a bright white box, lined with gold, the card placed inside. Another thing changed to suit our President. He opens the box, and takes the yellow card out, handing it to her. "Thank you."
The wait is unbearable. The words are literally hanging from her lips, ready to be spilled.
"On the hundredth anniversary, as a reminder to the rebels that the families who grieve are at fault for their pain, children eligible of reaping age who share the same last name as a fallen tribute will make the reaping pools this year."
The crowd erupts into applause and congratulations, but Esmeralda laps it up and nods. She mimes a thank you to the crowd, stepping down from the podium.
"Wow," Ophelia mumbles around the lip of the glass. "Lilia, this year is going to cause quite a stir."
"I know," I reply. "This year, Esmeralda will go down in stone for ripping children away from families that have already lost a member."
Ophelia claps like some schoolgirl, but I don't. I stare at the ice blue hologram one of the Gamemakers have set up. Yes, this arena should definitely be ironic.
When the 74th Hunger Games came around, a girl named Katniss Everdeen from District Twelve, volunteered herself for her younger sister. On a journey of self-preservation, Katniss Everdeen and her district partner, Peeta Mellark, became known as the star-crossed couple, doomed to die as only one can survive.
They broke these rules.
Katniss Everdeen, the driving force of the pair, had unknowingly became the face of a rebellion, hidden away under the depths of despair throughout the districts. Victors from the past joined forces in order to permanently remove the Hunger Games and execute President Coriolanus Snow.
The 75th Games, a Quarter Quell, saw many old faces go back into the arena to fight once more, claiming the title as Victor among Victors. Katniss and Peeta went back in alongside some famous Victors; Cashmere and Gloss Arvoy, sibling Victors from District One, Enobaria Nasica, a gold-tipped tooth monster from District Two, Finnick Odair, the beautiful boy from District Four and many more. Without Katniss' knowledge, out of the surviving 50 Victors including herself and Peeta, many were behind her cause and many were in the arena with her.
The plan was simple; blow the arena up with the help of Beetee Chambers from District Three.
They never planned on Enobaria Nasica, a Victor not within the cause, to kill Beetee before the genius could master his plan. Hell broke loose and the plan soon floundered. Brutus Steiner of District Two murdered Chaff Barnwood of District Eleven. Peeta then murdered Brutus whilst Enobaria murdered Johanna Mason from District Seven. Finnick managed to overpower and kill Enobaria in the ensuing fight. This left the three that had become the faces of the Capitol and rebellion.
Finnick Odair - overcome with both madness and a drive to see his girlfriend, Annie Cresta and their unborn child - plunged his trident into Katniss Everdeen, killing the Girl on Fire almost instantly. Peeta, losing his love, fought and killed Finnick. He was deemed the winner, but of what?
The aftermath was simple.
Everyone knew that President Snow had rigged the Quell to crush the flames of a growing rebellion.
And with the face of the rebellion dead, it became too easy.
President Snow started what became known as the great Victor's Purge, where the remaining Victors that weren't sentenced into the arena, were killed in order to avoid treason against the President.
50 Victors became 27 through the deaths in the arena; 17 Victors were then executed through the threat of joining the rebellion or restarting, leaving only a handful of 10 Victors alive. Nobody knows why these 10 were spared - it could have been another act of the Capitol and President Snow's control. It could have been a way to restrain the districts. It could have been them not being involved, or it simply could have been a way to torture them with seeing the Games continue.
Annie Cresta of District Four and Haymitch Abernathy from District Twelve were two of the ten spared. Annie was more so deranged, but managed to live a peaceful life with her newborn son, Finnick Jr. She was often spared for her state of mentality. Haymitch Abernathy was speculated to have been spared in order to retain the head of rebellion responsible. His crime? More innocent children's death on his hands.
Peeta Mellark became the Victor of Victors, and so, was also spared. The other seven Victors became famous, their names previously unheard of.
The Hunger Games continued.
Coriolanus Snow died around the 80th Hunger Games through old age. His child, Juniper Snow, took control as President through his wish. Eventually, the post was pasted down once more to Coriolanus' granddaughter, Esmeralda Snow, who took presidency during the 98th Hunger Games.
Haymitch Abernathy drunk himself to death during the 92nd Hunger Games.
Annie Cresta lived quietly and happily, mourning Finnick and treasuring his son - she held him tight, fearful that one day, he might be ripped away.
9 Victors lucky enough to see the rebellion start and fail are still alive, saved from execution.
Tiptoe by Imagine Dragons.
Thank you for the tributes submitted by PM!