There were few things that matched the sensation of hair being ripped forcefully from a body. It was quick and relatively painless- the anticipation was annoying, the shock abrupt. The first time an idiot put a strip over my leg with a sticky substance attatched and ripped, I immediatly pulled for my knife. When I came up empty, it was a cruel reminder that I had been stripped of my clothing. I had no weapons on me.
Of course, I could obviously kill them with my bare hands. The thought had crossed my mind on more than one occassiom. It was a useless thought, though, I reasoned. Of course I had been trained in hand to hand combat for years, but it still was not my niche. Of course, I doubted Capital workers could put up much of a fight. Yet I had no reason to compromise my position. I was going to go in the games- become the youngest Victor in District Two's history. The fourth youngest in the entire history of the games. And, if I had it my way, I would be a Victor who left the arena with blood dripping off of my hands. Slaughtering people outside of the arena may have been tempting, but not neccessary.
Just wait until the arena, I reminded myself, gritting my teeth as another strip of hair was pulled off of my leg. "Are we almost done, here?" I heard myself growl.
"Nearly. We just need to wash you off and see if we missed anything, then you're off to see Ginniffer." A female voice, drenched in a Capital accent called from above me before clicking her tongue and ripping off another patch.
The rest of my time in the room seemed to go by rather quickly. After the shock, I was able to block the rest of the pain in its entirety. I had been through much worse at the Academy, I reminded myself. Maybe not arecently, but before I knew the magic of knifes. I was small, thought of as weak. Pain was a nearly every day occurance. That when I was young, though. Before I was able to kick everyones ass, before I became feared by those I had trained with.
I was laying on a metal surface- somewhat like a hospital mattress- when I heard a beep. Sitting up, I was confused by the sight of the woman who walked in. She was tall- maybe even taller than Cato. Her skin was a light shade of purple, body shaped like a thin rectangle. Her hair was white- not blonde, but white like the shade of flour, crisp paper, or even snow. She wore no smile on her sharp features, her lips were pressed together in a straight, tight line. A black dress hung off of her, appearing to be a nearly perfect triangle. It came to a point on her neck, and then drooped down in a nearly straight line to her very inner shoulders. The dress ended at her mid- thighs, a sort of odd look.
I could not be sure if I was mystified or horrified. Crane and Flickerman seemed so normal compared to the woman. She looked absolutley ridiculous. Unique- I couldn't be sure if she was hideous or gorgous. All I knew what that she looked like a bitch. "Are you Ginniffer?" I asked, raising a brow at the woman who was staring me.
"Unfortunantly, it would seem." She deadpanned in that ridiculous accent of hers.
Correction, I thought. She's a bitch. And I hate Capital bitches.
"Aren't I lucky?" I asked biting the inside of my cheek.
"Obviously." She scoffed before rolling her eyes."Of course." She grumbled.
"There's two new stylists this year. Of course this would be the year I get stuck with a child." She groaned. Ginniffer grabbed my arm, trying to raise it above my head before I pulled it back with a growl. She just looked at me, "If you want me to be able to pull of something..." She looked at me with what seemed to be disgust, "Decent," She spat the word. "Then allow me to survey my..canvas." The last statement ended as more of a purr. It was a sickening sounds, almost like a noise Enorbaria had made in the train. I hesitated for a moment before swinging my arm upwards, in the direction she had attempted before.
Ginniffer nodded simply to me before grabbing my wrist, running her hand down my arm before rolling her eyes. "Sit up straight." I growled but complied once again, arching myback for good measure. "I said straight." She growled.
I smirked before correcting my position. "There."
Ginniffer nodded once more. "Okay. One moment..." She insisted before I watched her eyes trail down. " Well, I'm sure I can come up with something. After all, I am Ginniffer Stone."
"Awesome." I grumbled.
Within the next hour, I learned three things. First, Ginniffer Stone was so conceded that she would be a fair contestant in a 'Bitch War' with myself. To be honest, if it wasn't for my longing to slit her throat, I couldn't be sure who would win. Second, apparently, according to the bitch herself, I should have some reason to be ashamed of my body. Apparently I wasn't going through puberty fast enough for her standards, and compared to the usual eighteen year old tributes she was given, I was as flat as a slab of granite.I really couldn't understand the huge fuss, or if I was supposed to be insulted. I had volunteered to slaughter- to bring pride to my district. To myself. Not to be some whore! Not to mention, I wasn't flat. Nothing on me was really big, but honestly, my whole body wasn't big. Finally, and most importantly, I wasn't sure how I was going to survive until the games.
I wasn't worried about the games themselves, but the days leading up...? Within an hour, I was having fantasies of choking a rather high ranking woman. Slitting her throat with my knife or sticking one of her beloved needles in to her neck.I couldn't deal with such irritating people. I never was gifted with patience- not for anyone. Especially not for the Capital.
I had to wait nearly a full hour of her prodding and insults before she finally finished. "Go, see what I have done." She motioned the the mirror in the corner of the room. I huffed, sliding off of the metal bed. I walked to the corner of the room, raising a brow at what I saw staring back at me. I didn't look the same. I mean, obviously I was recognizable, but still so...different. My chest was gold-plated, the material appearing to be some sort of scaled armor. The material hung down to the middle of my thighs. Black leggings clung to my legs, only to be met by some sort of odd black combat boots with a gold plated toe. My hair was thrown up in to a bun, with two weird gold, stick-like objects going through it. All in all, I wasn't sure what to think. Nothing seemed to go together in anything other than color. I didn't need to worry for long, though, before Ginniffer stood behind me.
"You're young," She stated simply. "I didn't want to go for a warrior, because that would be too obvious. No..." She shook her head. "No. Now, your costumes says 'I'm young and fierce.' A child-"
"I'm not a child!" I snapped.
"Of course not." She taunted, prompting me to glare at her reflection in the mirror. "But you are one of the youngest tributes. And the fact that you are from district two..." She shook her head. "People will have already made assumptions. Your costume will just further prompt them. In a fabulous way, of course. I am Ginniffer Stone."
And the conceded bitch says her name once more, I thought before rolling my eyes. "Great." I deadpanned. "When can I go?"
"Now. Enorbaria is waiting for you, I believe." Ginniffer clicked her tongue before stepping out feom behind me. Not needed to be told twice, I swung open the heavy door and got the Hell out of there as fast as I could manage. I couldn't have made it even so much as ten meters down the hall before, as Ginniffer had said, I saw Enorbaria waiting for me, leaning against the wall.
"Hello dear," Enorbaria greeted dully, her eyes trailing up and down my body. "She's done worse." Was all she said about my appearance before continuing. "Right, so now you just have to go on the Tribute Parade. I'm sure you've watched in many times, right?" Before I could answer, she continued, "It's one of the absolute most important parts of the games. No, it isn't satisfying. It can, however, get you sponsors. Which can be vital, even with all of the Cornucopia supplies." We began walking.
"What, then?" I asked. "Do I just smile or is there a-"
"Don't force a smile!" Enorbaria corrected quickly. "They don't care about how you feel. They just want you to look like a killer. Well, for now anyways. Just give them their perfect tribute. Show them some personality afterwards."
I nodded, stopping when we entered a large area filled with tributes, mentors, escorts, and designers. "Anything else?"
"Talk to no one. We missed the Reapings, so we'll need to watch them tonight." She looked around. "Get on the second chariot. The one with the black horses. Cato," She spat the name. "Doesn't seem to be here yet. He should be, soon- Brutus knows what he's doing." She paused before looking pointedly at me, "Control yourself, don't loose your temper."
"Come on, have a little faith in me." I smirked. Her expression didn't change and I groaned. "I wouldn't mess this up, it's my year." I reminded her.
"Not intentionally." She allowed quietly. "But it happens. Even careers get careless. So dont."
I nodded. "Okay. So-"
"Yeah, go." Enorbaria nodded. I smirked, walking in to the crowded area. It wasn't hard to find the familiar chariots. I had to shuffle my weight, lifting myself up to stand on the back. I gripped on to the thin black bar, balancing myself.
After I stabalized myself, I took the opportunity to look around. I could only see the chariot in front of me, and the one behind. District three's tributes were both on the chariot. They both looked undestinguishable. Unless they were hiding some odd intellectual quirk, they could both be blood bath victims. When I looked ahead, however, I noticed that District One wouldn't be so easy. The boy was tall, built like Cato. He had blonde hair and blue eyes, with a pink and purple feathered costume. The girl he was talking to looked even worse. She had blonde hair and green eyes, a tall and thin frame. She was twirling her hair as she spoke to her District partner, laughing at something he had said. They both looked like typical tributes from the luxury district- second only to my district. Second to me.
My observations were cut short when I felt something behind me weigh the chariot down. It was Cato. His costume was similar to mine, except it was all gold plated. He looked like some kind of warrior, tall and powerful. He grabbed on to the bars, pulling himself up to stand next to me. He craned his neck around in a circular motion before smirking. "Have you seen the meat?"
I raised my brows. "I didn't have time to browse." I said dryly.
"Oh, it's good." I didn't miss how his eyes lingered on the girl from District One as he spoke. "Real good."
I rolled my eyes, "I'm sure it's v-" I stopped when I felt the chariot move. We began to move forward, and a loud roar came from all around us. Our surrounds lit up as we moved, showing a large stadium filled with thousands of people all around us. They were cheering at a deafening volume. I straightened my posture, a natural smirk falling on my lips.
The cheers continued, as they did every year, as we continued down the path. Then things got quiet. Really quiet. I saw Cato look at me and I shrugged back. The silence lasted a few seconds before, as quickly it had ended, the screaming proceeded. If anything, it became even louder. Satisfied, I moved my eyes away from Cato and forward once again.
And that's when I saw it.
There was a huge screen to the side of the President's stage. And it was focusing on one chariot. District Twelve. The tributes looked eerily similar. They both shared the same dark, black hair. Their skin wasn't pale or dark, but instead an olive tone. The girl looked average but the guy...My eyes focused on the male tribute. He was tall- obviously taller than her by at least a half a foot. His build was impressive- even bigger than Cato's and the male from District One. His face was stern- no smile, no smirk. Yet, even in its position, it looked so..natural. Light and natural.
He was glowing, I realized. No, they were glowing. My eyes narrowed. They were on fire, and the crowd was in fucking hysterics.