Hey! Sorry for the wait, I've had writer's block, vacation, and school is coming up in a couple of days for me. Along with cross country, which is killing me already... :'( Hey, remember what Johanna did in the last chapter, you know, singing (yodeling?) and running around the room? I had to do that exact thing when I was playing truth or dare with my sister and a friend. :) Anyway... yeah. Thanks to cursed to curse, shady66730, and charliesunshine (twice!) for reviewing, and thanks to everyone who favorited or followed!

Sorry for the lines of seemingly useless shit. Just take comfort in the fact that it was originally ONE paragraph... I think I've managed to include almost every girl in the Hunger Games trilogy (except for the parents of characters, children of the original characters, and Capitol people, who I left out on purpose).

Oh, and I've got a new story with an OC tribute from District Six, called Roads To Amity, so check that out!

Subliminally

There's a knock on the door, and Johanna straightens up. "Hide the cards, Emma," she hisses. "It's Coin." I raise an eyebrow at her, and she quickly adds, "Oh, I mean, Mrs. Snow. Or Alma, whatever you know her as. Coin was her maiden name. Plus, she's a complete penny-pincher." I grin as Emma stashes the cards in my pillowcase.

"What's this?" I whisper to Annie, who is sitting innocently on my bed. I glance at Emma, who is sitting Indian-style with her

"Oh, just our nightly talking session," she says, twisting up her face into a goofy scowl. She looks so funny, with that lush brown hair and sea-green eyes combined with the childish frown. She grins. "You know. Talking about what we want to do once we get out of this awful place. If we're going to get married and have some kids. Where we want to go to college."

"Oh, great," I mutter sarcastically as Alma comes into the room. She's wearing a very modest gray dress that goes down to her feet and a pair of gray shoes. Gray, gray, gray. It's like looking at a storm cloud. She almost looks like an old-time schoolteacher, ready to lecture the class and make them copy down poetry or something. I can already tell that I'm going to hate this.

"Good evening, young ladies," Alma says, in a very prim and proper manner. She even says 'evening' like it's spelled, like 'even' with 'ing' added. I start to get the feeling that I'd rather be in any other foster home.

Johanna rolls her eyes and pretends to gag as everyone echoes, "Good evening, Mrs. Snow." I say it a little late, since I'm a newbie to this, and Annie flashes me a quick grin as Johanna smirks. Foxface just does a fancy shuffling to her hidden cards, whistling 'Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star' obliviously.

Alma walks around the room, glaring at us like a hawk deciding which mouse is tastiest. She picks out the ones who she thinks are doing something wrong -the mice who are too skinny and not filling enough, I guess. I press my lips together to keep from grinning. "Miss Smith, spit out your gum," she snaps at Cashmere. She scowls and spits out a wad of pink bubblegum in the trash can, sauntering back to her seat on Glimmer's bunk. "Miss Stanston, pay attention!" Glimmer looks up. "Miss Lane, this is not music class, stop whistling." Foxface stops whistling obediently like she's never done anything wrong at all.

"All right, young ladies," says Mrs. Snow, sitting down in a comfy-looking armchair. Johanna fakes a very exaggerated yawn that makes her jaw pop, and Foxface keeps her expression so falsely solemn that Johanna almost cracks up, muttering something about a funeral. Okay, no thinking about funerals... I tell myself. Not allowed.

"We're going to go around the room and everyone, tell your first name. Then, since tonight's topic is our futures, tell what you want to do when you grow up. Will you get married? Have children? If so, how many? What do you want to do for a career? Where do you plan to go to college?" We all nod simultaneously like a roomful of robots. "Good. We'll start with Miss Everdeen."

A girl with a black braid over her shoulder and olive skin looks up, a little shyly. "My name's Katniss," she mumbles, not looking anyone in the eyes. "I don't want to get married or have any children. I don't know where I'm going to go to college, probably somewhere in the west that's got a good sports program. And I want to..." She blushes. "I want to get the gold in Olympic Archery."

"Good, good," says Mrs. Snow. "Very ambitious. Always a wonderful quality." She nods at Katniss, but neither of them smile. Ugh. "Now, next for-"

It goes on like this for a while. I find out that Cashmere and Glimmer want to run a beauty salon together, and they both want to have a bunch of kids and live in New York City. They're very bubbly while explaining it. Mrs. Snow smiles at that, nodding approvingly again.

Johanna wants to get married, but not have kids, and go to a good college. Mrs Snow frowns a little when Johanna doesn't say a job, but Johanna adds, "Oh, I guess I'd want to be in the lumber industry." 'Coin' exhales, and gives the nod again.

Foxface wants to travel the world and live in the mountains of Europe. When asked about her career, she shrugs. "A spy," she jokes, in a hopefully false sly voice. "I like knowing things about other people." Which kind of worries me, but I don't really mind. Foxface is nice. I notice that Coin doesn't nod this time.

Annie wants to get married and have a few kids, and move to somewhere by the sea and run a daycare. "I need to remember my father," she says quietly. Coin eats it up and gushes about what wonderful therapy that will be for her, and Johanna snickers.

A girl with a brown ponytail and deep brown eyes -who insists on everyone calling her her last name, Paylor- wants to run for president. She isn't even being sarcastic. "How ambitious! Wonderful!" Coin says, smiling, but the smile never reaches her slushy-gray eyes. I feel a sudden hate for Coin and her nightly talking sessions. I'm bored already, and it's my first day.

A girl named Bonnie wants to run a cloth, sewing, and clothing shop with her friend, Twill, who is a couple years older and sitting next to her. They look like good friends. You know, the type that gets along like they're sisters. Coin seems to find this a good career for them.

A girl named Cecelia wants to have three kids and make quilts for a living. Coin says that she should join Bonnie and Twill, and Bonnie grins. "Yeah, we need another person!" she says, and Cecelia smiles shyly. And that gets me thinking, but I'll have to wait for later to think deeply and concentrate.

A tall, muscular girl named Clove wants to throw knives in the Olympics. This worries Coin a little. "Isn't that a little... violent?" Coin asks, but Clove just nods, saying that she likes violence. I take note of that. I hear Johanna mutter something that makes Foxface punch her playfully in the shoulder, and I grin.

A smiling, yellow-haired girl named Delly wants to teach preschool and have as many kids as she can. Coin loves that. At least Delly doesn't look like a suck-up, she actually looks like a nice person. Maybe there is some nice people here.

A girl with sharpened teeth and a fierce looking, who says that her name is Enobaria, wants to be an orthodontist. I'm scared for her patients. I bet even that overly nice Delly wouldn't come to her office.

A sickly-looking girl named Alexia, who looks like she's going overboard on the drugs, says that she wants to be a painter and live in Morphling Land, which makes the bitches giggle. Poor thing. She's got the the looks of a drug addict... which reminds me of Haymitch... which makes my stomach turn.

A poor-looking, frail girl whom everyone calls Greasy Sae wants to have a food stand, which doesn't seem very ambitious to me. I hear someone whisper, "I bet she sells dead dogs", and a burst of giggles starts up nearby.

Someone named Hazelle just says that she wants to have kids and be a washerwoman. I can tell that she's done a lot of washing before, considering the calluses and blisters on the skin of her hands. Red and cracked. I wince.

A tough-looking girl named Jackson wants to be in the army, along with a pair of twins, who everyone calls Leeg One and Leeg Two for their last name. "It's wonderful that you plan to serve our country," Coin says solemnly. Johanna rolls her eyes, muttering something about how our country isn't exactly that great. Oh, well. Maybe when Paylor's old enough, she'll be a good president.

A girl named Lyme wants to be a quarry worker. "Oh, I grew up in a stone-quarry town," she explains to Coin, who looks befuddled.

A black-haired girl named Wiress wants to move to Canada and become an electrician. Simple. I find myself half-wishing that she could electrocute Snow and Coin, and I have to hide my smile.

A blond-haired girl named Madge wants to be the mayor of her old town where she used to live. "My dad used to be the mayor," she says quietly. I wonder if her father is dead. Probably.

Next is a girl named Mags, who obviously has a speaking problem. Coupled with her thick southern accent, it's hard to understand. Sounds like gargling. But Coin translates. "Oh, so you want to live by the ocean too?" she says, smiling. "You and Annie would get along well." Mags says something back to Annie, and Annie smiles and nods. I don't understand a word of Mags's speech, but oh well.

A girl with one arm named Ripper -I hear someone snicker at her name- wants to run a liquor store. She manages to say this with a straight face. Coin scowls. "You should have a better standard to set," she says, her nose wrinkled up like she's smelled a skunk.

An olive-skinned girl named Seeder says that she wants to be a farmer and have a lot of kids. Coin doesn't really have anything nice or rude to say to that.

And me? I just want my family back. I want to be happy again. But I can't say that. "I... I want to run a candy store," I say. "And go to a good college. And marry, and maybe have kids." Coin nods, acting like this is okay, but inside, I'm furious. We'll be lucky to live through this place and get to have the futures that we want.


"Johanna?" I say quietly, tiptoeing over to her bunk. It's past lights out, and everyone else is fast asleep. But my thoughts are racing too much to sleep. Remembering my family, the cruelty here, our discussion, my idea to get us all out of here, and most of all, Haymitch. Maybe he'd help me out with my idea.

She sits up. "Here," she mumbles, patting the foot of her bed. "Sit down, May. What is it?"

"I've got an idea," I say. She gestures for me to go on, tossing her messy hair out of her face. "We need to get out of here. So why don't we use everyone's talents to get us out? I mean, Clove and Katniss are good with weapons, and I bet some others are, too. And some are good leaders and things. How hard could it be?" Johanna is wordless. "I mean, really. Couldn't we just go up to Snow and Coin and say that they're treating us badly? And crises unite, so we should make... um, alliances, kind of, with the people that don't like us? But we've got to be direct and quick with everything..."

Even in the darkness, I see Johanna shake her head vigorously. "No, no," she says. "Maysilee, you don't get it. These things take time. And we can't just say it straight out. We've got to do this... subliminally."

"Subliminally?" I say, after a second. I like the sound of that.

"Subliminally," Johanna confirms, her voice confident.

So, anything you liked? Sorry for the boring-ness. :'(