Hey guys… wow, it's been so long since I updated anything, and I apologise for that! My computer was broken for a while, so I haven't had much access to fan fiction… it's been tough for me, as I've wanted to bring you guys updates!
Anyway, I'm back now… here's the final chapter of the 35th! By the way, I will also be writing the reapings for the 36th very soon, just thought I would mention that so you guys don't think I'm gonna be going on another long hiatus! Also, I'll be replying to anyone who's sent me a pm as soon as I can, just got a lot to reply to at the moment due to my computer being out of action!
Hope you all enjoy the chapter!
The day of the Victory Tour had finally arrived, and it was safe to say that Salton was dreading it. Seeing the tributes' families would only bring up horrific memories he was hoping to forget, and he couldn't say he was looking forward to the abuse he would no doubt receive from the relatives of the tributes he had killed.
Salton sighed as he stepped onto the train that would take him around the districts. The months since President Neal's visit had not been kind to him, as he had already been called upon many times by the Capitol, to make personal visits to the capitolites who were willing to pay for Victors. During his visits, Salton had seen things he thought he would never see… and the horrible way he felt after these encounters only drove him to hit the bottle more. Salton had become an alcoholic in the last few months, finding relief in drowning his sorrows to escape the mess of a life that he was experiencing. Despite this, he still had nightmares most nights about his time in the games.
One tribute in particular was a regular feature in these dreams… Andromeda. Salton still missed her deeply, his insides aching whenever he thought of the beautiful girl he had watched die. Salton had tried to forget her… but part of him didn't want to. Part of Salton never wanted to forget the time he had had with Andromeda, despite the pain that the memories caused him now.
The train came to a stop in district 12, with Salton sighing as he got up to leave the train. Today was not going to be an enjoyable day.
District 12's festivities were always the worst, with it being the poorest district in Panem. Salton stood before the crowd, with their eyes full of hatred for him. Despite Natasha and Alex having been criminals, they had still belonged to the district, and the fact that Salton had killed Natasha made for a crowd full of contempt for this year's Victor. There was no-one representing the tributes, what with them having no family. However, while Salton was in the middle of the speech, there was a commotion.
"Fuck you!" A voice shouted, as seven teenagers with bandanas covering their faces rushed through the crowd, throwing rocks in the direction of Salton. The peacekeepers were on them instantly, beating them with their batons, but the teens resisted arrest, continuing to launch their missiles at the stage. Salton was forced to make a quick exit, hurrying away as he turned to speak to one of the Capitol officials.
"What the hell was that?!"
"Alex and Natasha were part of a gang… no doubt it's their friends coming to avenge them… fools." The official laughed.
Salton however, grimaced. It hadn't been a good start.
District 11 wasn't much better. The poor district had put on meagre festivities, and Salton felt awful as he gave his speech, with Lily's younger siblings crying non-stop. There was just one woman representing Vern, who remained stoic throughout, staring at Salton with sad eyes during his whole time on the stage. The crowd looked at Salton with hate, and barely applauded him when his speech ended. It was then Salton realised, that even though he had had nothing to do with these two tributes' death, he was still a career. And they despised him for that.
District 10 was also an awful experience, with both families on the platform in front of Salton. Karina's parents, as well as her brother Willian, didn't let go of each other during the whole speech, with all of them crying quietly. Morris' parents were the same, his Father trying to comfort his wife, who wailed loudly throughout, making for an uncomfortable experience.
Next was District 9, with the representatives being the opposite to District 10. No-one was representing Paddy, and there was only Fenella's younger sister, Skye, representing her. Skye had had a nightmare over the past few months, having to fend for herself on the streets, often going without food for days. She stared at Salton with hatred, with most of District 9 doing the same. Salton wasn't surprised. After all, he had been responsible for Paddy's death. He was starting to get used to the hateful stares, and he felt like he deserved it.
In District 8, Audrey's older sister Idina sat on the platform sadly with the rest of her family as she watched Salton's speech. In contrast, just one woman represented Teddy, his older sister Olivia, who's eyes were full of hate for Salton. The family had become close to her during the games due to Audrey and Teddy's alliance, but ever since Teddy's death, Olivia had entered into a deep depression, and had barely been seen in public since.
If only Audrey had let me volunteer…maybe I'd have been Victor and we'd all still be happy. Idina knew that these thoughts were futile, but the games had been a tough experience for Audrey's family. It had been awful to watch her kill Bryce, before also having to see her become psychotic shortly after. Finally, Orren killing Audrey had been too much for Idina, who had fled the district square while this was being televised, with the images of Orren stabbing Audrey repeatedly plaguing her nightmares for months after. Idina looked down at the ground, feeling her eyes well up with tears. She had been close to being Victor… Idina thought to herself sadly.
And now, Audrey was never coming home.
Salton knew that the inevitable was going to happen in district 7, and happen it did. Gerald Tigris glared angrily at Salton as he came onto the stage, and around halfway through his half-hearted speech, Gerald jumped up, his face glowering in fury. "You fucking bastard!" He screamed at Salton. "How dare you disrespect my daughter… I'll kill you!" Gerald lept towards the stage, but didn't make it far before peacekeepers were upon him, dragging him away kicking and screaming. Gerald was another family member who had become depressed, regularly drinking to drown out the shame and deep despair he felt about losing his second daughter. Gerald was now well and truly alone. Nash's Father and sister didn't look at Salton once through the whole proceedings, the overbearing sadness of losing two family members in the space of a few months being too much for them, with Nash's Mother having finally lost her battle with cancer.
District 6 was another sombre affair, with the stage for representatives bare apart from one woman representing Medusa, the aunt who had brought her up. She had a hostile look for Salton, largely due to his clashes with Medusa through the games. Despite this, the District 6 visit was relatively uneventful, even though many in the crowd still stared at Salton in anger, with the clapping feeling forced at the end of his speech. All the districts were reminding Salton that no matter what, he was still a career. He had been responsible for the deaths of four other tributes, and no-one was going to let him forget that.
As Salton walked off the stage, a peacekeeper approached him, slapping him on the back. "Hey Victor, congratulations!" He beamed at Salton. "So glad there was a Career win this year… better than that scum Bryce returning."
"Thank you." Salton muttered in reply. He had come to accept that no-one really understood the games. If he had been in the arena… he wouldn't be smiling then. Salton thought to himself angrily.
In District 5, Scarlette stood near the front of the crowd, feeling deep sadness. The last few months had been horrendous for the poor girl, with the concept of her being a recurring theme for the hunger games a tough one to grasp. Scarlette had been amazed by Murray confessing his feelings for her on live television, and from then on she had begged with every ounce of her body for him to return home. As the number of tributes had began to dwindle, Capitol reporters had descended on Scarlette's home, with her having to give interviews almost every day. Even though she knew Murray wouldn't be able to see the interviews, she had spent every visit from the Capitol emphasising the point that she loved Murray too, hoping that it would win him some sponsors. Despite this, Scarlette truly meant it. She really did love Murray, and despite it being a struggle, she kept it together in front of the cameras throughout most of the games.
But then, when Murray had been forced to fight the wolf mutt, it had all been too much for Scarlette. Unable to watch, she had fled from the square, and couldn't summon the strength to return to watch the rest of the games. When her Mother told her of Murray's death, Scarlette had found it too much to deal with, and had simply laid in her bed, sobbing for days on end, with nothing anyone could say to console her. Capitol reporters had tried to come round to interview her after Murray's death, but her Father had taken a stand, flat out refusing to let them in. The reporter had threatened to send peacekeepers round, but thankfully for the family, this never came to fruition. And now, Scarlette watched Salton as he came onto the stage, feeling numb with the pain inside her.
She missed Murray so much.
Next came the district the Salton had been absolutely dreading. As soon as Salton arrived at the station, there were crowds of District 3 residents waiting for him, screaming obscenities and trying to push through the walls of peacekeepers to get to him. Of course, this was hardly surprising. The fact that Salton had killed both District 3 tributes, especially with both of them having reached the final four, had made Salton a District 3 hate figure. Combining this with the district having a reputation for being one of the more rebellious, and it was safe to predict that this would not be a pleasant visit for Salton.
As Salton walked onto the stage, he took a quick glance at the platform to see the family members. Representing Bree was her Mother Mariam, a soft looking woman who's eyes were full of tears, looking away from the stage the entire time. For Orren, his girlfriend Jessa, who had apparently been allowed on the platform due to their relationship, and his Father, who stared at Salton with a look that could kill. The trouble began soon after. Just as Salton began his speech, someone from the crowd screamed loudly.
"Down with the Victor! Long live Bree and Orren!"
The voice was reciprocated through the crowd, with many screaming for Salton's head. The mood heightened dramatically, with the crowd of district 3 residents surging forward, almost in unison. Bricks and bottles were thrown in the direction of the stage, with the peacekeepers struggling to contain the pure strength in numbers of the crowd. Salton stood on the stage hesitantly, not knowing what to do, as another bottle flew over the sea of angry people, striking him on the head. This was enough for the Capitol officials to hurry him away, just as the first line of the crowd managed to break through the peacekeepers, charging towards the stage. As Salton ran back towards the train, he heard gunshots, followed by screams and mass panic.
Later that night, Jessa Harkon sat alone in her room, tears flowing freely from her eyes. She hadn't been able to get over Orren's death, with the images of him being killed by Salton haunting her every night ever since.
He was so close… Jessa thought to herself desperately. At the time, she couldn't believe that Orren had reached the final two, but once he had, she had truly convinced herself that he would be making it home. But of course, that hadn't happened, and Jessa had spent most of her time in her room in the months that followed the games, hardly speaking a word to anyone.
Jessa stood up, walking around the room. She felt like nothing without Orren, and despite her brother's support, felt so alone in the world. Her eyes turned to the knife resting on her table. Jessa had resisted the temptation for so long now, but the Victory Tour had caused old memories to resurface, and it was all becoming too much for her.
(Eight months ago)
Orren and Jessa sat outside the Noults family bar, laughing together as they held hands. They had had another great day together, enjoying each other's company. Then, Orren turned to look at Jessa, smiling broadly at her.
"Jessa… there's something I've gotta tell you."
"What?" Jessa asked, feeling slightly worried.
"Well… I love you." Orren said, grinning sheepishly.
Jessa gasped. "You really mean that?"
"Of course I mean it." Orren smiled in reply. "I really do love you Jessa Harkon."
"Orren… I love you too."
Jessa cried softly at the memory, her heart aching to hear Orren speak again. And it was then that Jessa decided that she had had enough.
She picked up the knife, placing the blade against her heart. "I'm so sorry…" She murmured, tears still pouring from her eyes as she pushed the knife inwards.
District 2 of course, was a different kind of awfulness for Salton. Seeing Andromeda's family on the platform brought up memories of her strongly, with her Father glaring at him angrily. He blamed Salton for Andromeda's death, and wasn't going to miss this opportunity to let him know how he felt.
However, he did in a more subtle way. As the representatives of both Runyon and Andromeda's families approached Salton to shake his hand, Andromeda's Father gripped Salton's hand firmly.
"I've got nothing much to say to you… but just thought you should know that if the peacekeepers weren't here, I'd rip your throat out with my bare hands." He snarled in Salton's ear, before clearing his throat loudly, and walking back to the platform. The rest of Andromeda's family were more sympathetic, with her Mother thanking him for looking after Andromeda throughout the games. But her Father's words had unnerved Salton, and more than ever now, he was desperate to get home.
The Victory Tour finally came to an end with District 1, which was actually a relatively pleasant experience compared to the rest of the districts. The festivities were much livelier, and both Bluebell and Velour and Shimmer had gotten on well with Salton during their short time in the games. Salton gave his speech, before Bluebell's family congratulated him, saying about how they were pleased that at least a career had won, even if their daughter hadn't. But Salton knew that this was all for show. Bluebell's parents couldn't hide the deep sadness in their eyes.
All in all, Salton was relieved to finally be allowed to return home in District 4.
Six months on from the Victory Tour, Salton stood in front of a building project, happening just outside the Victor's Village. Despite hitting the bottle severely in the weeks that followed the Victory Tour, something had happened shortly after that had spurred a new ambition in Salton. As he had walked around District 4 one day, he had come to a stop outside a building.
The District 4 community home, ugly and falling to pieces, had loomed in front of him, bringing back memories that there were now long in the past. Mikel and the other bullies at the home seemed like such a long time ago now… but it was at that moment that Salton had realised. Despite his awful childhood, it didn't have to be the same for everyone else. He could really make a difference…
And so therefore, using his influence as Victor and the money he had gained from winning the games, Salton had managed to obtain permission to build a new community home in District 4. He felt like it was something he needed to do… standing in front of his old community home a few weeks ago, the boy had made a promise to himself that he would do something worthwhile in his lifetime. The project had given Salton a new direction in life, making him feel as though he could somehow make up for all the pain and suffering he had caused during the games. He had even been drinking less, although the addiction was still proving tough to shake.
Maybe Salton could bring happiness to some people in the dark world that is Panem, even if he felt like he would never truly feel it himself ever again.
And the story is finally over! Thank you so much for reading and reviewing everyone, I'm actually sad that this is finished…
Anyway, hope you liked Salton's ending! Please review and let me know what you thought of the chapter :)
By the way, I've got a few questions about the story, which I'd love it if you guys could answer! I love hearing your opinions…
1) Favourite Tribute?
2) Least favourite tribute?
3) Favourite moment of the games?
4) Any moment of the story you think I could have improved on?
5) Saddest moment of the games?
6) Favourite alliance?
7) Opinion on the arena?
8) Any other comments?
Thanks once again for all your support guys, and I hope you enjoy the 36th games just as much!