Hello! This is a preview for a story that will be possibly be published in a few months. I would love feedback to see what the response to this story would be. So let me know if you are interested in this story.
They call it the Victor's Village. It's this small deserted little neighborhood about thirty minutes from town. Thirty minutes if you are driving in one of those rickety old cars we have here in District Twelve. I don't trust them and for good reason too. I've seen a few to many of them crash. However I don't really have a choice. If I am going to move my belongings over here then I'll have to use one of those sputtering death traps. I didn't tell anyone I was moving here. Gale would try to convince me to stay where I was. I can't do that though.
Two months ago my family was killed. Murdered. They were walking home one night, Mom, Dad and Prim; some drug-addicted kid with a gun stopped them. Demanding their money. My Dad, being the great man he was, tried to reason with the boy. It was no use. He shot them all. He took them away from me in one single night.
I was left with everything, all the money, the house, and the car. We didn't have a lot of money. We were middle class citizens. My Dad didn't make a lot of money but he did a decent job with saving. I inherited it all when he passed. I couldn't bear to live in that house any longer though. There were to many painful memories and to many reminders of all that I had lost. So I sold it. I a decent price for it too. I told my friends I was buying an apartment. I knew they'd try to stop me if they knew what I was doing. I bought one of the abandoned houses in the Victor's Village. They were nice, definitely needed a fair bit of fixing but I figured that it will be a nice project to keep me busy.
Nobody lives here. No one has for a long time. No one even dares to come out here. I think that's why I picked it. I just want to get away, to be free from the pain associated with my memories. Of course the man down at town hall openly told me I was crazy for buying in the Victor's Village.
Legend has it that the houses are haunted. It stems from the rebellion that took place one hundred years ago. Those brave enough to trek out here claim it is haunted. Ghost stories run amuck, told at campfires everywhere. It's all a bunch of bullshit if you ask me. I don't believe it for one moment. Before the rebellion, when the government held an event known as the Hunger Games. Kids were sent to fight to the death. They said it was a reminder of why the people shouldn't rebel again. It was to show their power. It only pushed the people further. The second rebellion was successful. Anyone who was unlucky enough to emerge as the winner of the Hunger Games was known as a victor. As a sign of the goodness of the government they were allowed to live in the Victor's Village and they received a hefty sum of money. Some life.
History says the last victor Peeta Mellark was from District Twelve. Legend has it that his ghost still haunts these houses.
It's sad really. People will do anything to scare each other, including smudging the name of a beloved historical hero. Peeta Mellark started a revolution when he won without killing a single soul. With his silver tongue he gave hope to a suffering nation. He was the symbol of the revolution. In the end however he was broken. The government captured him and they tortured him. Oddly enough there is no record of his death. His suffering only pushed the people further; it was the last push they needed to win. Now, thanks to him, the world is a happy place….at least for most people.
The world has thrived. Travel between districts became available to all. Technology that was once only available to the elitist of the elite has now trickled down into the masses. Of course some districts are still poorer than others and have less of the high-tech gadgets. But still the world has come a long way. Everyone is generally happy. I used to be happy. I had my mom, my dad and Prim. We lived a comfortable life. My dad made sure we never had to struggle to get by. We were a family. Then it all changed. The last time I was happy was the day they died. I haven't smiled since then.
Now everyone just stares at me with looks of pity that make me sick. They tell me that it is all going to be okay. They tell me that the grief will pass, or that I just need to move on with my life. They tell me that my family wouldn't want me to be like this, that I should try…for them. How can they say that? How would they know what my family would want? They were my family and not theirs! They have no right! Why should I even bother? They're dead! My whole family is dead!
Tears stream unabashedly down my cheeks.
I'll never see them again. I'll never again have the chance to hold them. To tell them I love them. My father will never grow old and retire. He will never have the chance to just relax and enjoy his life. We'll never go hunting again. I'll never hear him sing. My mother will never have the chance to dote over Prim on her wedding day. She'll never get to obsess over her grandchildren. She'll never have the chance to nag me to get married despite the fact she knows I just don't want that. And Prim…my little duck, my sweet little sister. She'll never get to graduate. She'll never marry Rory Hawthorne like everyone thought she would. She'll never have those children she's always wanted too. She'll never get to go to school and become a doctor. She'll never have the chance to really live. No…one night ripped that all away from them.
Why not me? Why am I forced to suffer in the land of the living? Why do I have to endure the painful life without them? If only I hadn't forgotten jacket at work. I would have been there with them. I could have died with them. Instead I am forced to suffer alone.
I wipe my eyes and return to shoving boxes in the car until there are no more boxes and no more space. The drive out to the Victor's Village seems shorter than usual, maybe I was driving too fast. The entire neighborhood, a dozen houses or so, is grown over. The hedges and grasses are unruly. The paint is chipping on every house. A few windows are smashed and there are a few boards loose. But that's ok, it will be the perfect distraction.
I unload the contents of the car into the living room. Despite the amount of time this place has been deserted the inside is in excellent condition. A thick layer of dust covers absolutely everything but otherwise most of the furniture is in great condition. Once all of my things are unloaded I begin to clear the cobwebs and the dust.
I replace the burnt out or broken lights and wipe everything clean. By nightfall the inside is looking like a completely different place. With all the dirt and grime gone the former beauty of the house is restored. The furniture looks brand new and there are dozens of beautiful paintings on the walls. Sunsets and scenery painted so realistically I almost feel like I'm wandering in the meadow or that I can feel the chill of the night air set in as the sun disappears past the horizon. It's eerie.
"Who are you? What are you doing here?" A voice sounds from behind me.
Terror courses through me and I spin in circles looking for the voice. My heart beats erratically and my palms begin to sweat. The room is completely empty. I am all alone. But I know I heard a voice. I'm not going crazy.
I'm starting to think this might have been a bad idea after all.
So that is the first chapter. Let me know what you think so far.