Prologue: Weight of Living

Weight of Living Part 1 by Bastille

Can you carry it without no regrets,

Can you stand the person you've become,

Ooh there's a light…


Seraphina Echo (37) President of Panem POV

The room fills with deafening roars of excitement as the announcement of the Quarter Quell twist begins to dwindle down. The Capitol has been waiting in anticipation since the Victory Tour of our latest Victor and even more so since the new discovery of a serum that brings the dead back to life. Yes, our very own scientists here have discovered a serum to bring back the dead, but of course it is very expensive and only the richest of the rich can afford it. You simply place the dead in this machine and turn it on, these lights flash and envelope the body, you wait twenty-four hours for the corpse to be brought back to its original self. Of course the only way the dead can be brought back is with my undersigned approval, and this got me thinking… why not let the twist be bringing back the past tributes to fight again? Of course, we are under the most obligation and courtesy to do this, after all these are my citizens. I do care for their happiness… somewhat.

I move a piece of my wavy red hair from my green eyes and adjust the strap of my black stilettos. Smoothing out the wrinkles of my black strapless dress, I smile as the crowd claps as they have announced my name. I wave as I step out from behind the curtains, the glaring lights hitting my lightly tanned skin. Smirking as I stand in front of my pedestal and lightly tap on the microphone, the crowd hushes and silences. A small boy carries the yellowing and rotting cards containing Quarter Quell twists to last hundreds of years. I pick the one on top that I have folded on the edge to make sure I was picking the right one, and purse my lips.

"To show our generosity to the Districts of Panem and to the rebels that the dead cannot influence their determination to take down the Capitol's overwhelming power, thirty-six tributes from past Hunger Games will be brought back to life and will be given a second opportunity to be declared Victor."

The crowd goes wild, streamers and confetti shoot from all directions. I grin as I exit the stage feeling the power within me rise and burst, this will definitely be the Games of the century...

Icelynne Winterrose (20) Head Gamemaker POV

I sit alone in our meeting room; eerie silence welcomes me and swallows me up. The beige colored walls spin and circle, making my head pound in my ears, the blood rushing to my brain. The door creeks open and my colleagues shuffle in starting with Izzy whose blonde hair is curled in waves and multi colored highlights that accent her innocent features. Her blue eyes shine with eccentricity as she takes her seat next to me, giggling as she admires her wedding ring. Next is Lucina, her raven black hair is as straight as her posture, unnaturally her eyes are icy blue opposed to her most favored: blood red.

"Lucina, new contacts?"

"I'm just wearing these until my red ones come in the mail."

"Oh, ok."

After her it's Hunter. He's still the same, brown hair kept proper and his brown eyes still deep in thought, he sits at the far corner of the room and takes out his book, "The Capitol Promise." Finally is my love, Ky Orion.

My fellow Gamemakers and I haven't kept in touch as we should have done. After the Games we kinda took our separate ways, heading back to our home Districts, to make amends. I met with my mother and told her I was Gamemaker now, considering I have not seen her since I was fifteen. I was surprised to see her sober, her appearance drastically improved and smiling for once. She didn't like that I was a Gamemaker but it's not like she had the right to say anything, for the fact of the emotional and physical scars she had caused to stay with me. Blatant and shameful, forever marking her anger and distressed due to my brother, Paxton's death in the Games. My father lives in an apartment in downtown District 8 now, he welcomes me whenever I visit which became monthly after last year's Games. He asks about her occasionally and I nod, just saying she's better, he nods and doesn't saying anything else, remembering how he left me to deal with her wrath. Ky and I live together in the Capitol, we travel around Panem whatever chance we get and have considered moving forward in our relationship… marriage. It's a big step, considering how I feel that I really know him, but at times when he's in a daze and deep in thought I can't seem to read him. Oh and there was this time when he started screaming and yelling, he was holding his head and gritting his teeth. It really scared me, like terrified me actually, he's just so strong and confident on the outside that he being in pain scared the crap out of me. He said that it was just a migraine, but deep down I know there is something more… Shaking the thoughts from my head, I turn my attention back to everyone.

"Everyone needs to focus! We know the twist for this year's Games, now we just need a kick ass Arena! Any ideas?"

Silence. Izzy giggles due to the heavy awkwardness , Lucina paints her nails a pitch black, a deep dark void that distracts her from the inner turmoil that spirals out of control from within her. Hunter and Ky talk a bit at the opposite end of me, both discussing possible mutts, and Calloway just stares out the window of the meeting room, his eyes dark and heavy, mysterious.

"Calloway, any ideas? I know you're new here so…"

He snaps his head towards me and frowns. He shakes his head,"I don't want any part of this."

I had an idea that he was a rebel, the way at dinner a year ago when ever his mother would smile at him and he would just look back down, gritting his teeth and clasping onto the cloth napkin with all his might. Even the way his eyes danced from all of us, his pupils dilating in and out of focus, biting his lip whenever President Echo talked about her late husband. My suspicions were finally confirmed when us Gamemakers had our welcoming party for him several months ago, he sat content in his chair and said hello, but that was that. He didn't want any part of our deliberations on Arena and mutt ideas, or deaths. He kept his head hung low, only looking up occasionally to us whispering or snickering. He's strange you know, the President's own son, a rebel. Funny isn't it? I knew his father was a Victor and died several years ago from an illness, that's about all I know.

"Well, okay then. What would you like to say?" I turn my full attention to him, feeling my eyes dart to his hair which is slightly dishelved, tufts of dark brown hair stick up in uneven angles and places, dark bags circle his dark brown eyes and his skin is pale. He opens his mouth and quickly closes it, shaking his head again.

"Okay… never mind. Izzy…" I gaze over to my left were Izzy giggles and quickly taps the computer keys of her laptop, her eyes in a trance as the colors and shapes reflect in her blue eyes. "Are you playing a game?!"

"Yeah! Look!" She purses her lips as her fingertips dance across the keys, her blonde hair with multicolored strands falling into her concentrated daze. She squeals, the high pitch piercing and deafening.

"IZZY!" Calloway looks up and tilts his head, his eyebrows raised. Obviously he hasn't gotten used to our synchronized groan.

"I'm sorry, it's just this thing jumped out of nowhere!" She giggles as her avatar gets crushed by a large teddy bear, blood splattering everywhere. "See now I died!" She pouts and looks up to me. "This game is so suspenseful; it keeps me on my toes!"

"These graphics suck," Ky scoffs, staring intently at the moving screen, eerie music rising and falling with each passing minute.

"That's the point, the graphics may not be as great as the ones now, but the elements are amazing and make the game so much more exciting!"

I nod, "So, what is this game thing?"

"It's called, 'The Witch's House'. It's about this girl who gets lost in the woods and has to go through the witch's house… where death could be lurking anywhere," she whispers, grinning widely.

"Hmmmm. Is there anymore of these games?"

"Yeah! There's Mad Father and Ib! Both are really good and have some really scary monsters, maybe Ky could get some ideas from it," she exclaims gazing over Ky who nods and gets his notepad out.

"So these games are like… psychological horror?"

"Yep."

A smile creeps up and stays as many ideas flow and connect, merging into deadly and wonderful creations. "Looks like we've found our Arena idea."

The door slams open, an icy breeze following behind a pacing Seraphina who bites her nails and tentatively pulls at strands of her red hair.

"Haymitch… he's dead."

"Psssh we should be celebrating," Lucina mutters as she picks up her head.

"I know, but who will be the District 12 mentor?! I couldn't possibly find a replacement in such short notice!" Seraphina stops and smiles, looking over to Calloway. "Well maybe a Victor's son…"

"Wait a minute, I'm not mentoring! I don't know anything about District 12!"

"Your father mentored for nine years, and he taught you everything he knew."

"I'm not doing it."

"Yes, you will."

"No!"

"Calloway," she hisses. "Don't act like a five year old."

"Doing this is bad enough. Just imagine what I would say to them, 'Oh, hello. I'm Calloway Echo, I'm the President's son, a Gamemaker and well now your mentor'," he exasperates.

Seraphina mumbles and looks up to meet his eyes. "Well then I guess I'll just have to Joylena, it won't be very pretty and well… bloody."

"You wouldn't dare."

"Oh, I will. Especially since she's your only living thing left of your father. You wouldn't want to do that to her… would you," she inquires looking deep into his eyes. She gazes over all of us, and we each hold in our breath, you never want to get to this point in an argument with her, she always wins…

"No…"

"Well good. The train leaves in a couple of days." She strides out of the room, the tension still present and ever powerful. I look over to Calloway, whose eyes are glistened and dark, the corners of his mouth twitching. He frowns and stands, walking out of the room without so much as a goodbye.

"Well that was awkward," Izzy mutters grabbing her laptop. "We can meet here tomorrow to play these games together. I can set up the projector and everything… and bring popcorn!"

"Yeah, okay."

Izzy smiles and winks. "Well this year's Games will surely be one not to miss, right?"

A/N: I know what you all are thinking, 'I've seen this twist before', and 'how unoriginal.' Well as you see the Arena will be different from many and I personally haven't read any SYOTs with this twist but I have an idea of how I want to do this and it will obviously be different from a non- quarter quell Games year.

So this SYOT will be done in 1st person POV, I personally like this over 3rd, each having its own perks and flaws, if you don't like simply don't read, I've read many SYOTs who do 1st and love them, also third but I don't know, I just feel comfortable with 1st :p Credits for beginning format from all chapters on goes to District11- Olive!

Those from Haunted- Welcome Back!

Those new to my SYOTs- Hello! I'm Domi and this is my SYOT. My profile will provide what basically happened in my last SYOT.

Tribute Rules, Form, List, and Info are located on my profile.

Love Always, Domi