Celeste excitedly squeals as she bounds into her bedroom. Jacie, her sister, is at a sleepover, so Celeste has their whole room to herself. That means she can read all her favorite novels, including the Hunger Games and Harry Potter without Jacie nagging her and insulting the books.
Just as Celeste pulls the Hunger Games off her bookshelf, she hears a noise. She groans loudly, sets the book down, and walks toward the door.
"Yes!" she say through the door crack.
"May I come in?" says her father's light voice. That's odd. Usually Celeste's parents barge into her room without a second thought or even knocking.
"Uh... No?" Celeste say, and she can practically see him rolling his eyes.
"We're watching a movie. Or rather I am. Forget what it's called... Anyways, want to watch?" Celeste purses her lips and puts on a very thoughtful expression.
"Maybe I'll come later," she says with fake enthusiasm.
"Alright," he says, and Celeste can hear his retreating footsteps. She excitedly grabs the book from her desk and plops onto her bed. She wraps the hot red covers around herself, and fidgets and adjusts for minutes until she is one hundred percent comfortable. She is a perfectionist, after all.
Celeste stares at the cover and fantasizes for a while. If she was in the Hunger Games... Hmm. Colors swish in her mind and vivid conversations happen and blood and gore and romance and adventure and... her imagination is so detailed that she gets sucked into it and suddenly she is in the games running from the Cornucopia and breathing heavily and grabbing a bulky rough cloth black backpack that's the size of her torso... images take over her mind as she alliances with a lanky District 11 boy whose name is Simon and...
No, back to reality. She stares down at the cover and smiles at the golden Mockingjay pin. Woohoo! Time to get sucked into my Panem reality! she thinks sillily.
Celeste opens the cover, and stares at the page. She strokes the pages in a silly way, drawing circles and squares with her finger...
Finally she pulls herself out of her reverie and the corners of her mouth lift up as her eyes read the first words.
When I wake up...
"Ow!" What is that? She has got a feeling in her stomach, a curling feeling, like her stomach in being sucked at and stabbed at and millions of small cells are dying. She stares down at her stomach, and decides that she looks fine.
"Ouch!" Now this is serious... she thinks angrily.
Then she is waving her arms around because all she sees is black and nothing and what is happening! Her brain feels like its swimming around in a long never-ending sea and is far, far away from her. She feels her legs spazzing and her chest flails and her throat tightens as a lump forms and her heart travels up her throat feeling sticky and splattering everywhere and then blood red dots are dancing around her...
Then the lights hit her and her eyes are blazing and burning and watering and her body is stinging and on fire and she's surrounded by an aurora of brilliant colors, all spilling out of the book. She feels herself getting pulled forward and she topples over her head and legs and toward the book and she is over it floating in the air with wind shrieking around her and all she can think is how, how, how is this happening?!
She falls towards the book and her bed and she knows she will land softly but suddenly she is getting sucked into a darkness that spreads out as far as the eye can see and beyond and she is spinning and spinning and then it all disappears as if nothing is real, not touch or taste or smell, as she feels herself getting flattened.
Celeste's eyes flick open in fear as she looks at her surroundings. A dark alleyway, shadows gliding along the walls, even a dirty, sooty black cat standing stiff behind a barrel, hiding, with huge wide lime green eyes.
As soon as where she is registers in Celeste's mind, worry takes over. Celeste is a huge worry freak. And waking up in a creepy strange place like this.. well, what do you expect?
But what may strike some people as odd is what she does next. She tentatively gets up off the hard dirt ground and crawls slowly toward the cat. It's in Celeste's nature to try to help other people... or, ah, creatures. And frankly, she needs some distraction. A cat ought to do it. Celeste has always wanted a pet, but alas, her parents do not seem to think a pet would be the best thing in a small apartment.
"If you want a dog, just pretend Jacie is one. Pet her head or something," Celeste's dad would always joke.
As Celeste sits in front of the cat, the cat starts sniffing at her. Celeste smiles to herself as the cat nibbles at her fingertips. Celeste gives a giggle, but then goes back to worrying. What if the cat has rabbies? But, no, there is no sparkling saliva dripping from yellow fangs and cloudy bubbles. And the cat, which Celeste assumes is a boy, judging on the.. Ah, private parts, seems friendly and not a raging, wild animal.
Plus, Celeste has, with reason, assumed she is in a dream. But why would she fall asleep? And was that display of pain and colors and darkness real, or all in her brain?
With a giddy feeling Celeste remembers the wise Dumbledore telling Harry something in one of her favorite books.
"Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?"
Celeste happily replaces Harry with Celeste and grins, and then goes back to thinking.
But the feelings were so real and vivid... Although that doesn't necessarily mean anything. Sometimes Celeste imagines something, and she imagines the scene fold out in so much detail in her head that it seems real and later she can't remember what is real and what is fake. She'll even talk about the event with someone and they'll be so confused because it didn't happen. Actually, this happens more than sometimes. More like everyday.
And that's when Celeste gets sucked into her theories. But the purring of the cat, the rumbling of the cat's stomach, and the distant sound of crashing waves sucks Celeste back to reality.
The crashing of waves? That's when Celeste realizes something.
She is not in her t-shirt and skinny jeans.
She's in a knee-length, gray-blue, no sleeves, silky dress, with silk gray-blue flowers on the skirt part and a soft cloth chocolate brown belt.
Celeste isn't the most.. observant of people. When she really wants to be observant she'll notice the smallest details. Especially in other people, or in writing, or she's very great at interpreting artwork. But she zones out a lot.
So she didn't even notice that she is freezing cold and shivering and has a pounding headache. But now she does.
Celeste hears people talking, and immediately gets up. She starts walking towards the noise, and notices the cat following her. She sighs and smiles down at the cat, secretly glad for the company. She turns a corner, and the sight surprises her.
A huge market, buckets piled high with produce, luxuries like beautiful shell necklaces being sold, set against a bright, blinding golden sun, rising against a clear blue sky. The air smells strongly of salt and in the distance Celeste can see beaches lined up. Down a path to the right, far away Celeste can see a large, looming building made of bright yellow bricks, and in front of a square strung with wilting streamers and colors so dull compared to the place she is in now.
Celeste looks around at the market, and a glint of metal catches her eye. On the ground lies a handful of plain silver coins, and quickly and stealthily Celeste snatches them up.
"You look like you could do with a decent meal," she murmurs to the cat.
Walking towards a stand smelling awfully stinky fish, Celeste blocks out the smell with all her might, and gets in line. She nervously brushes at her hair and squeezes her hands, hoping that she fits in. The cat slides along comfortably beside her, and people give the dirty cat disgusted looks.
"Hello, what would you like, m'lady?" asks the boy at the counter, a tall boy. He is dotted with orange freckles and has a confident look on his face as he flips back his long, sandy-orange hair.
"A bass fish," Celeste says, with a fake smile. She's had practice with that fake smile.
The bass is basically the only kind of fish she knows of of the choices on the poster on the wall of the stall.
"Coming right up, m'lady," the boy says again. Soon enough the fish is ready, and Celeste fumbles with her coins. She had closely watched the other customers, and to her dismay, none of them had bought a bass fish, so she couldn't copy any of them.
"Lemme help you there, m'lady," the boy says, as he reaches forward and takes a few coins out of the pile in her hand.
"Thank you for your costumer watcha-ma-call-it, service etcetera. And you best not go around flaunting those coins. There's a few stealin' rascals out there, you know?" he says, as he hands her her bass in a paper bag.
"Thank you," Celeste says.
Then a streaking mass of black fur jumps up and attaches itself to the paper bag, as it slips and slides and tries to get to the fish.
"That your cat?" asks the boy, a little suspicious and hesitant.
"Yes," says Celeste, with admiration of the cat (he knew there was fish in it?!) and pleasure (she finally has a pet!) that the boy doesn't understand.
"Well, I gotta tub of water. That cat could use a bath. Fancy that?" he asks, and Celeste nods vigorously.
The boy picks up the cat, which hisses when put into the water. The boy rubs the cat until the water is dirty gray from all the dirt from the cat, and then he takes the cat out. Rubbing him dry, the cat sulks back to Celeste and plops down onto the ground, with an extremely sour look on his face.
"Thank you so much! That was.. really kind!" Celeste says, staring at the cat. His coat of black is now silky, his tail fluffy, and it turns out he has the cutest white paws, and a small white dot on his cheek!
"No problem. Feeling extra nice today, you know? Everyone is. Gave one lady and a man a discount. Mind you, I'm still in myself. Just eighteen. Haven't got too many slips, though, cause of this job. I've got to thank my father later then... We could hire you, if you know what there's to know about fish," this seems a funny joke to him, but Celeste doesn't get it. She just smiles politely and he goes on. "Well, of course you do! Anyways, wish you good luck. Nice cat you've got there, by the way," the boy says, sarcastically. "He have a name?"
Just then Celeste realizes that she forgot to give the cat a name. So far his name has been the cat. So she makes a split second decision.
"Nice name. And your name would be?"
"Celeste. Celeste Horn."
"Cool. I'm Lucas Titan. See ya around," the boy says, and he goes back to the counter to join another boy that looks his age.
Celeste walks along and feeds the fish to Boga. She ends up buying a small roll of bread for herself and a bottle of water to share with Boga. She eats the roll hungrily. She has a big appetite.
After about half an hour, she notices a shift in the crowd. Everyone seems to be going down the path, and Celeste is immediately struck with confusion as kids cry and protest and everyone's face is sullen.
Celeste has seen movies like this before. The person doesn't know where everyone is going so they ask someone. Then everyone immediately marks them as stupid and crazy and a hazard for not knowing. So she keeps her lips sealed.
Celeste just follows everyone else, and ends up getting pushed toward a line of whimpering young children. She walks along the line, with the cat at her heels. Finally she's at the front, and she looks up, scared, at a man in a white uniform, with a gun in his belt, staring daggers at her, and holding a needle-like contraption.
"That your cat," the man says, looking like he wouldn't hesitate to bring out his gun and shoot the animal. Celeste instinctively steps in front of Boga, and smiles politely.
"Get rid of him. No cats here," he says, and Celeste nods her head.
She leans down toward Boga, and whispers, "meet me where I first saw you." Boga seems to understand, and he sprints away. Celeste faces the man again, and he sticks the needle-contraption into her finger, and then inserts the needle into a machine.
"Celeste Horn?" he asks, as CELESTE HORN appears on a screen on the machine.
"Yes," she whispers. He nods and she gets the sense that she should move on and go to where the rest of the people that were in her line went. She follows a couple of them, who are all crying, and ends up in a roped off section in the back of the square. It all seems so familiar to her, yet she can't grasp what is happening. Soon a man walks up to the stage, and a 'hush falls over the crowd.'
He walks toward the microphone, and starts a solemn speech. "Welcome, Panem Citizens, and District 4, to the Reaping Day for the 167th Annual Hunger Games. It is our great tradition to gather here at the square, to draw the names of the young men and young women between the ages of 12 and 18 who will bravely represent District 4 in the 167th Hunger Games. Our great country of Panem rose up out of the ashes of this once continent of North America, whose destruction happened hundreds of years ago. The former civilization was very advanced and we may never know how much—maybe they even had some of our great Capitol's exciting technology!
But, it fell, from ignorant rebellion of citizens, weak rulers, and natural destruction along with nuclear destruction. But Panem, a wonderful, shining Capitol surrounded by thirteen outlying districts rose! Then there was a rebellion, he Dark Dayand the thirteenth district was obliterated. The Capitol was nice, though, and generous to the other districts, and still is. We've lived in harmony and prosperity ever since. And the Hunger Games go on! Now may I introduce our Capitol representative for District 4, Eta Prine!"
It clicked with the second word of his speech, and Celeste gasped loudly on instinct. Celeste has to fight the urge of falling to her knees. But it doesn't make sense. If it's the 167th Hunger Games, well.. the last ever Hunger Games was the 75th! There should be no 167th Hunger Games, right?
A tall women in a short black dress and puffy golden sleeves comes up with a huge hairband on her head. The band is black, and perched on it are two huge, golden, pointed ears. And by huge-well, each ear is about one foot. Her lips are small and golden, and her eyelashes are dark black, long, and thick. Her shoes are tall black, leather boots that lace up with golden lace to her knees. She wears a golden ruffly cloth necklace that should be a fancy collar but isn't attached to the dress-the dress is too low on to make it seem as if they're attached, as the necklace is high on the neck of the women who was called by a man, who Celeste guesses is the mayor, Eta.
"Hello, hello!" says Eta, in the high-pitched voice Celeste expected, as she waves her arms around in an animated way, which Celeste frowns at, as Celeste is very animated herself. At least Eta's face is like a blank board. Celeste's face is a constant display of emotions and is always changing.
"Welcome, District 4, to the start of the 167th Annual Hunger Games!" A few clap, but Celeste finds herself glued to the ground and staring into space. How did her name come up on that machine? She doesn't live here. But, then she reminds herself that she's in a dream, and that crazy things happen in a dream.
"Now, I shall reap the girl tribute!" Eta walks over to the bowl, and Celeste doesn't even register what is happening until the name is called out.
"Celeste Horn!" that's when Celeste nearly falls to her knees. She bites her cheek, harder and harder. Then she reminds herself that its a dream.
But she's dreamed that she's in the Hunger Games before. And she hasn't registered in those dreams that she shouldn't be in them. And those dreams end quickly, and why hasn't this one ended yet? And how did she fall asleep? She knows she's already asked herself these questions, but they still bounce around angrily in her head.
She starts forward, and somehow reaches the stage. Then, when she gets next to Eta, she forces a smile onto her face. She's done that before. Forced a smile onto her face, and people believed she was happy, even though with words she is a horrible liar.
Sounds of sadness and and sympathizing crowd members escape because Celeste is only twelve and has been reaped in her first year. Somewhere in the front of the crowd stands a frowning, tall, lanky boy by the name of Lucas Titan, who was immediately struck with sadness at the sound of the name of the poor, innocent girl from the market being magnified around the square and read from a slip by Eta.
Celeste is, meanwhile, struck with paranoia as she stares around, scared of the people around her and worried by the slightest movement.
She thought she was in a dream. But what is that pang of sadness and fear eating away at her that seems to be screaming at her that this is real?
Fanfiction writers everyday leave their desks after a hard day of writing to have dreams about their favorite books while they yearn for a update in their favorite fanfictions. They are separated from their favorite fantasies by a thin layer inside themselves that show them what is real and what is not real.
But one day, twenty-four fanfiction writers who are fans of the acclaimed novel The Hunger Games settle down to relive the book's greatest moments and delve into the wonderful words of the story again. When the story becomes all too real.
The arena has never seen anything like this game. And the tributes have never experienced anything like it. So, may the Games start, and may the odds be ever in your favor.
Authors Note: have you ever wanted to see how you would react in the arena? Yes, you. Not your character, not you who grew up in Panem and had the opportunity to hack with a axe, swing a sword, or live amongst berries and wild plants.
Oh god this sounds like a horrible advertisement...
So, tell me a name. It doesn't have to be your real name, by please not your username. Don't you think it would be kind of strange for the district escort to reap a tribute named Hunger-GamesLover101? Make sure you include a first and last name!
Tell me a bit about your personality. Maybe even role play a situation that would happen in real life and I can see how you will react! XD Please try to be truthful. If your not, you might as well submit to a SYOT a made-up character. Describe your looks a bit. If your uncomfortable which giving away how you look, just give me a general thing (for ex: long brown hair, dark brown eyes, extremely tall, pale skin, skinny features) and I'll fill in the blanks! Tell me some of your skills that could help in the games. Even things that could seem insignificant could help! Have you ever gone rock-climbing or wall-climbing and were exceptionally good, or we're super bad, slipped, and cried? (The second one would be me :/ I was really young! And I'm afraid of heights... only man made ones though I love nature and natural heights like mountain or waterfall is cooool I'd probably be bad at mountain climbing though) Have you shot an arrow at camp? Maybe your very good at painting and art and could therefore be good at camo? Have you gone camping and know how to make a fire? Maybe throwing darts is a hobby of yours? Maybe you dream of becoming a doctor and have studied medics. May you were on a swim team and won some medals? Say weaknesses also. Are you very sensitive to the sun? Are you afraid of drowning, or feint at blood?
For your age, if your below 12 just say 12 or 13, and if your above 18 just say your 18 or 17 or something. If you don't feel comfortable giving your age, just give an accurate range, like 12-14 if your 12 or 15-17 if your 16 and I'll pick one.
Godd I just read over the chapter 1 and I seem pretty depressed, trust me, I'm just scared in it! I mean theres been sad things in my life but I'm a pretty optimistic person!
I'll probably squeeze myself into a liquid and pour myself into the other chapters about me. Some things I've never told anyone and I'll tell you guys in this story...
Oh ya if you haven't guessed Celeste Horn is me. By the way Horn is not my real last name. I used a last name generator. ;P
In your submission include what district you think best has your skills. District 4 girl is taken and so is District 7 girl. You can take a which district are you from? quiz but I find those aren't the most accurate, at least not for me. List 2-3 (or more!) districts in order of preference or not in order incase that one is taken. And say why you should be in that district. Not oh my god, Katniss was in district 12 and she's cool so I have to be in district 12! Not oh district 2 is cool because they're strong if your scrawny and weak and would be afraid to even lay a finger on a weapon.
I will be writing most of the chapters, and Elphie (Elphaba01) has been a real help! Thanks Elphie! XDD you guys should really check out her stories! She's a great writer :)
I'm thinking that everyone writes their own reaping and I can base the rest of of how they acted in the reaping? Base your reaping please off of mine- have yourself read the book, then you get sucked in, but the 'sucking' can happen differently if you'd like, like you could feel bliss, or maybe you see past hunger games images flash before your eyes or whatever. Then do your reaping. Don't include your district partner getting reaped, because you don't know who he is or how he'll react-if your a girl. If your a girl you can send your thing right away, if your a guy wait until your girl partner is posted and you can react to her reaping. You probably won't know that she is a fanfiction writer and she is maybe your fanfiction friend, so don't be like "oh my god it's Hunger-GamesLover101 how is this happening?!"
You may do first or third or second or whatever person, what ever piques your fancy, as long as its in story form and not a script or poem or whatever ;) I'm going to be only writing in third person though.
There will be special chapters later with guest writers who write themselves!
I'll be sending this to everyone who basically knows of my story 300th Hunger Games recently re-named They're Always Watching (which you should check out by the way! -no product placement here!) and I'll post this is an author note in that story for everyone who I didn't PM because I don't know how to do a mass PM-can you do one?- and I'll probably miss someone. If you don't want to do this it's fine, just please don't be rude about it! Thank you so much!
Also tell me if you'd want to do anything you think only you would know how to do for yourself, like your private session or interview or even your point of view of the bloodbath. Usually you should PM me if you want to write a special chapter, but if I would like a specific person to do a special chapter I'll probably PM them but they don't have to write the chapter if they don't want to! Also if you don't want to write your reaping or/and getting sucked into book then just make your description for your self very descriptive!
You can include more information on yourself like what you think your score would be for private session you could again take one of those quizzes but it's not ENTIRELY accurate. Thank you so much and thank you! xD