This is not real. I do not own the Hunger Games Universe or any of the characters taken from the series. This is strictly just for fun, and what I thought could be a fun back-story for Suzanne Collins' character, Finnick. This will not be nearly as serious as my first piece of Fan Fiction, 'Inferno.' I thought it would be fun to add more childlike innocence to the Hunger Games. The first chapter should be the longest one. The rest should be relatively short in comparison. And you don't need to worry about spoilers, since it takes place before the series.
Now you can join a young Finnick Odair in the most exciting week of his life. The week when he had to grow up a little faster than his parents would have liked. Each chapter will begin a different day in the week, when he had to stay home with a terrifying swamp monster.
Enjoy the Adventure!
The Adventures of Little Finn: Boy Hero
Legends of the Sea (Part 1/5)
Life is good. I've finished a long day at school, the sun is shining and the sweet smell of victory lingers in the air. I'm making great time too. I can already see my house at the end of the road. There's smoke rising from the chimney of the old shack. Mom and dad must be home.
Hastily, I dash up the porch steps and fling open the front door. The old hunk of wood almost swings off its rusty hinges. Casually, I puff up my chest and walk in the house with pride. Right now, dad is filleting some fish and mom's cooking them over the fire.
"Mmmm… Smells like flounder," I declare. Dad nods, but doesn't look up. I continue to wait until I have his full attention. Eventually, his gaze shifts upward, so I decide to walk over to him. "Say dad, have you noticed a certain spring in my step today?"
He looks at me and then glances over toward mom and smirks. "Well of course. You have a good day at school Finn?"
"Well you may be pleased to know that today your son emerged as Victor," I exclaim.
"What?" My parents both jump in at the same time. I'm glad I have their attention now, but they seem to be less astonished and more upset than I was hoping for. Then I realized my choice of words. I had incidentally referred to myself as a Victor.
In our District, there's this group of people, whom we have labeled, the Victors. They are all previous winners of this show called the Hunger Games. I'm not too sure what it's about. My parents won't let me watch it yet. They've said I might get to next year, but right now they think I'm too young.
Well, I'll show them. After they hear what I've done today, I'm sure that I can prove that I'm man enough to watch it. Right now however, my parents' worried faces are ruining my proud moment.
Finally, I decide to explain. "Today at school we all got to go swimming and show our teacher how fast we were. I won every race. I'm officially the fastest kid in class. Way faster than stupid Sandy Rivera."
Mom doesn't even acknowledge the first part of what I said. "Now Finny, you be nicer to that poor girl. Her family has been through enough as it is."
"Okay, mom," I lie. Be nice to Sandy? That'll never happen. Sandy is my arch nemesis. She's always snooping around, and trying to start fights with me and my buddies. Even now, the very mention of her name has stolen all of my thunder.
Mom just feels bad for her cause her brother abandoned her family. I guess, one year he tried out for the Hunger Games, and he ended up losing. He was so embarrassed that he never even came back to District 4. You'd think the least he could do would be to say goodbye to his kid sister. For that, I guess I do feel a little bad for Sandy. She's still my sworn enemy though.
I remain standing silent in the kitchen, when Dad chimes in again. "Hey aren't you going to go out and see your pal, Wavely, before dinner."
"No," I reply. "Wavely is learning how to fish. He hasn't been able to play for the past four days. He's about as reliable as a dolphin's blowhole."
"Finnick, watch your language," Mom commands.
Dad just laughs it off and looks at Mom. "Really, a dolphin's blowhole? Not even sure what he means by that."
Quickly, I jump to the defense. "Tyler Rutters said he saw one once. Just as he got close enough to touch it, the dolphin's blowhole shot a bunch of water at him. The blast knocked Tyler to the ground, and then the dolphin laughed and swam away."
This story sends dad howling. I could tell mom thought it was funny too. She made one of those half smirks that she usually makes, when she wants to laugh, but doesn't think it's appropriate to.
After a couple of hours, supper was finally ready. Mom and dad finally congratulate me on my major achievement. Unfortunately, the celebration can't continue because they both are scheduled for night fishing, for the rest of the week. I don't mind. I can take care of the place. I'm a man now, after all.
As we finish eating, dad decides to go over the game plan for the rest of the week. "So, you'll have to manage the next few nights without us buddy," dad explains. "We've asked someone to stay over and watch you, while we're gone. Just make sure you're on your best behavior."
"Okay. Wait … What?!" I'm hoping I misheard. "I don't need anybody else. I'm perfectly capable of-"
Mom cuts in. "No Finn. You're not old enough to stay by yourself. Maybe in another year or so."
"Oh come on! I can't watch the Hunger Games. I can't stay by myself. You never let me do anything!" Mom looks agitated, but I continue anyway. "You better not be bringing that old swamp monster around here, to come watch me again." Appalled by my reaction, dad lets out a snort before mom shoots him a look.
"Finnick Odair." Mom is definitely upset now. She used my full name and everything. "I don't want to hear you call that nice old woman a swamp monster again. She is coming over and you are going to behave yourself. Do you understand?"
"Yes," I mumble, staring down at my plate. I can't believe it. How can I be the fastest swimmer at school, and still need someone to watch over me? My mom must be delusional.
As my parents get dressed and gather their equipment for work, I protest silently, throwing angry looks at them, each time they pass the kitchen. They pay no attention to my dissatisfaction. Before I know it, my parents are ready to leave and the swamp monster is already here. The front door screeches open, and in steps a frail old woman with a tattered brown bag that's at least, half her size.
As she clutches the old frayed bag, I swear I see it move. My eyes grow wide. The swamp monster must be hiding another child in there, for when she gets hungry later.
"Thanks again, for coming over to watch Finnick," mom expresses graciously.
"Oh dear, it's no trouble at all," the swamp monster replies. She has a quiet voice. I suppose it's so you have to lean in real close to hear. Then she'll snatch you and toss you into her bag. I'd think twice before coming within her reach. I'm too smart to fall into her clutches. "You don't need to worry dear. He'll be in good hands."
What does she mean I'll be in good hands? Has anyone even seen her hands? They are always kept hidden beneath her swampy green shawl. I imagine it's to hide the webbed fingers and claws. My parents don't suspect anything. The swamp monster has played them like fools, but not me. I'm too smart for her.
Before the she-monster could come any further, I duck down behind the kitchen table and climb into one of the lower cabinets. I crack open the door to peek out. Neither Mom nor the old hag seems to know where I've gone. It's the perfect hideout. That is, until dad spots me.
As dad enters the room, the first thing he does is look straight at me. He pauses for a moment, arches an eyebrow and smirks. Quickly, I shut the cabinet door. My cover is blown. In my head, I start planning my next move. I try thinking of other possible hideouts, when I realize dad hasn't said anything. He hurries mom out the door, and he hasn't given away my location. I may actually stand a chance against this primitive creature.
Once my parents have left, I peek out to find the swampy green shawl and the giant sack placed on the kitchen table. Now it's just me and the swamp monster. She calls my name, but I do not reply. I can hear her footsteps in the other room now. She must have stopped looking because I can hear the rocking chair on the other side of the house. It always makes a loud creak, when you sit in it.
Since I can't stay here forever, I try to plan out what my next move should be. I poke my head outside the cabinet. She can't see me from here. I look up at the kitchen table and once again I see her brown bag move. I now know what I have to do. I need to rescue the poor kid who inevitably waits in the bag. Once free, the two of us will make a run for it. No man left behind.
I climb out of the cabinet as quietly as possible. The bag moves again. I stand up and reach for it, and the bag moves again. I stop myself, when I realize the bag is already open. Could this be a clever trap set by the swamp monster herself?
I wait, but nothing happens. Then I lean in, and suddenly, a cat jumps out of the bag. I jump backwards and fall over. The cat sprints into the other room, when I hear the monster's voice again. "Oh Daisy, there you are."
It's clear that the cat and monster are in cahoots. And now they are coming this way. It's too late to return to the cabinet. That stupid feline would have told her where I was anyhow. All I can do is grab the old, worn-out sack and make a run for it. But the bag is heavier than I expected. The moment I pull it off the table it topples over, right on top of me.
I'm trapped. I hear the footsteps getting closer. I can't go out like this. There has to be a way out. I try to wriggle free, but it's too late. She's here.
"Oh dear, Finnick what happened? Let's get you out of there."
The dark silhouette of the creature advances, as the shadow of her arms reaches right for me. I can feel terror start to build up inside me until it finally bursts. "Keep away Swamp Monster! Stand back, before I banish you to whence you came!"
She seems confused. It's then I notice the floor. The contents of the tattered old bag have spilled out. Surprised, I see no child or blood or weapons of any kind. There's nothing dangerous at all. It's just a bunch of old books. I look up, and instead of webbed fingers and razor sharp claws, I see normal hands. They don't seem dangerous or menacing either. Mom was right. She really is just a regular old lady.
"I'm sorry," I say. "I thought you were a swamp monster."
The old woman just smiles. "So do you encounter swamp monsters often?" She asks.
I lie. "Of course, I have. I've fought them dozens of times. Sometimes even two at a time." Her eyes widen. She's definitely impressed. I glance down again. "What are all the books for?" I ask.
She kneels down and retrieves one of the books. "They're stories of legends and heroes of the seas. This collection has been with my family for hundreds of years. The stories come from the time before the creation of Panem."
I stare at the dusty covers with wonderment. I see men with crowns, men that ride giant fish and even men, who seem to be part fish. However, out of all the depictions, my eyes seem to be drawn toward one thing. A golden spear.
The spear is held by a half-fish man, and it extends into three prongs. It's a trident. I've only seen one once before. Apparently, there are only a handful of people, who still use them for fishing.
As I gaze at the golden trident, the old woman asks if I'd like her to read some to me. I nod almost immediately. One by one she tells about the legends of the sea. She starts with Poseidon, god of the sea. Then she moves on to a story about a merman named King Triton, followed by the adventures of Aquaman, a fearless underwater superhero.
For the last story, she specifically chooses one about a boy named Palaemon. She says that I remind her of him. The story describes a young boy, who was turned into a sea deity. Afterwards, the boy was known to ride dolphins and protect sailors, who were lost at sea.
At the end of Palaemon's story, I feel myself begin to drift off. "I hope that someday there will be someone, to write about my adventures," I mutter without realizing.
"I'm sure they will," the old woman says with a smile. "Especially with all of the swamp monsters you've faced."
End of Part 1