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A series of chapters in both Annie and Finnick's perspective. Starting before Finnick's games. Most of this is my own ideas along with my own options and imagination. I will start later today.
I fumble mindlessly with the pin that my mother is reaching for. Its smoothness consoles my racked nerves. The way that even when it is bent to acomidate hair, it always goes back to normal. Just like the District will after the hunger games. My hair lays in an elegant gather of curls, upon the top of my head. My mother twists the pin from my grip and lays the last strand on the bundle, then pins it in place.
My heart is beating faster than ever, I can hear it as it hits my chest in frantic beats. My hands clench my blue dress, as I begin to tear up. My mother finishes my makeup, instructing me not to make my mascara run. She looks at the clock and nearly jumps. We hurry out the door and head for the boardwalk.
My footsteps clunk and my hand digs into my mothers, grasping it so tightly it turns white. We hit the boardwalk and pass Victors Village. Mags is wobbling out of her home, nearly falling as she steps up onto the boardwalk. She gives me a sympathetic glance and begins walking. We finally make it to the large platform and the crowds of people, along the golden beach. I am forced to give up the comfort of my mothers touch, and she kisses my forhead. I allow the white clothed peacekeepers to take the red liquid from my arm and I hand them my papers. They nod and direct me to my place.
Milan Tunic, our escort stands up, after a long speech, reading of the victors, and description of the games and their history. I can feel myself losing my footing as I grab at my dress.
Suddenly, a group of boys come out of the brilliant blue water, laughing, and joking. In the center of them all is Finnick Odair. Although, he is only 14, his tanned skin, bronze hair, beautiful body, and blue eyes catch every girls eyes. Except mine. I snarl in discust, I don't really know Finnick, but from what I've seen he is an arrogant, skirt chasing, cocky, little flirt. He makes a big deal of showing up late, as he goes through procedure. Milan looks affected, but goes up to the girl reaping bowl. This is my first reaping, and although my name is in there once, I panic. She fishes around, and picks a piece of paper.
"Tunis Ehiek," she yells loudly. As she looks into the crowd. I nearly cry out in relief. Tunis, is an 18 year old, buff girl, she won't have much trouble. Milan then approaches the boy bowl, as Tunis reaches the stage, nervously smiling. She fishes around for a name, grabs a paper, lets it go, repeats, then flicks out a uniform white paper.
" Finnick Odair," the scilence is extraordinary, I find myself digging my nails into my hand so hard, blood is flowing from my palms. He stares, in mid laugh, he must have been cracking a joke. His face contorts into an odd forced smile, as he slowly makes his way to the stage. A few girls cry, some look as if they might faint. I can't bring myself to roll my eyes though, not at this time. He finally makes it up to the stage.
I think, he has hope, he is trained in most weapons and can work a trident well, not just well spectacularly. He looks out in the crowd, and I bow my head trying to hold back tears of relief, and maybe sadness. Al least I'm not dying this year.
My last look at the crowd, proves to be scaring. About 4 girls have passed out, and many are crying. I force a smile to assure them, my adoring fans, that I will be coming home. I feel slightly scared, but quite confident, I can do this. My eyes somehow drift towards Annie Cresta, she is looking downward, do I not deserve her gaze. She is a fairly pretty girl, but I can do much better, and at the moment I am a little angry with her. Am I not good enough for her seagreen eyes, I snarl a bit.
I feel an arm on my shoulder, Mags is looking me down approvingly, and then I am pushed into the Justice Building, without having a chance to glance back. I am walked up the familiar halls, coated in blue and green like the wonderful waves of the sea. How I wish I could be in the relaxing water, that laps at my feet, I can picture it now. We reach a room and I wait inside for my parents to come and send me off, for what might be the last time. My father and mother bust into the room, they shower me in hugs and kisses.
"Finnick, you can do it, darling, come home to us, please. Use the trident, if there isn't one, you have been trained, get your hands on some weapons, get sponsors. We will raise money for gifts, darling, please come home," my mother cries. My father offers as much advice as possible, but I am struck by one thought, I need to come home.
Suddenly, their strong, loving arms are ripped from me. My mother pulls back and gives me one last kiss, upon the cheek. It is warm and wet from her sweat on her top lip, and heated from her frantic worrying she has been doing, blood is pumping through her madly. Then they drag her away, as they leave my father looks at me, and nods. As if he is confirming that he'll see me soon, that I'll be home again soon. I have to come home.
Finnick isn't stupid. That's for sure, he has figured out his angle for winning the Capitol over, his body and seduction ~~is this too dirty I hope not :( ~~ I walk though the school doors, ready for the first day of the games preparation. It is later at night, but students are required to watch the games, most watch the pre game days here, but the real games at home. We all sit down in the navy blue, plush seats that cover the assembly hall and wait. A large tv screen comes down and we all wait breathless, anticipating the beginning of the mass slaughter that is about to take place.
The Capitol anthem blasts through the speakers, and the teachers rush to turn the overloaded sound down, and they do. But we don't care our eyes are glued to the mesmerizing image of Ceaser Flickerman in an ugly teal color, that is like the ocean, but on him just another idiotic Capitol getup. He announces that the chariot rides are about to commence. District one is stunning in white jewel covered clothing. District two is covered in spark like material that reminds us of the spark that comes from a rock when hit. And district is in wires, but we don't really care about these districts because out comes the chariot for 4, and we all strain to get a glance.
It hasn't zoomed in yet, but the crowd is screaming, I see what looks like underwear and stockings go flying at the chariot. Just as I guessed Finnick is working his charm. It finally zooms in and I swear half the girls faint or scream. I can't help but feel guilty and dirty seeing Finnick Odair in nothing more than a speedo like blue thing, covered in nets that offer no protection or shielding. He looks absolutely thrilled at the capitols response. But somewhere in him I know that he is slightly embarrassed and feels overexposed, who wouldn't?
Tunis is in a much more covered blue dress made covered in netting, that doesn't get much of a response. The rest of the tributes eventually come out, but I don't feel like watching anymore and I stand up and head to the comforts of my home.
I go up the elevator to floor four, wiping makeup off of my sweaty face. Tonight was a success, I am major news in the Capitol. Even though I had many interesting items thrown at me, I feel as if I just received plenty of sponsors. I don't really mind the getup, true, I feel sort of exposed, but it wouldn't be long until something like this happened. I chuckle, thinking of the girls back at home and their responses, as the dinging that signals my floor fills my ears. I am walking into my bedroom when I think of my parents, and their thoughts. My dad is most likely proud, but my mom probably horrified. I laugh at the thought of my mothers face, but she must understand that this will give me more sponsors than anyone else,and that will keep her under control.
As I slip into the shower, I am stunned by the amount of buttons, and I randomly press many of them. I come out smelling like an old lady, who is wearing too much perfume. And I decide to take a bath instead, I need something like the ocean. I'm nearly asleep, in the comfort of the wondrous water and jets that fill the tub, when a knock wakes me. I splash, stunned, and look at the clock, it is nearly 12 at night. I scramble for a robe and cautiously open the door, it is Mags. She laughs at me, a laugh that one could barely tell came from someone as olds as she. It is so full of splendor and entertainment, and life, I am a little taken aback.
"You sure picked up some sponsors tonight, Finnick," she heartily says. I smile and lose my tenseness. "Now we have to figure out what to do in training, but I'll leave you tonight, I just wanted to congratulate you," she says matter of factly. She then closes the door and leaves me in peace. I sigh in relief and hop into bed, still in my robe.
As I start to drift off to sleep, I think of stupid Annie Cresta. What did she think of my interesting outfit tonight. I can't help but laugh, imagining her with her eyes glued to me, the opposite of the other day. Somehow her finding me attractive makes me excited, which is stupid, because I can do better than her. I also feel slightly guilty, as if I have been part of her loss of innocence, and done something horrible. I drift off to a dreamless sleep thinking of stupid, yet beautiful, yet annoying Annie Cresta.
My head hurts from all of the food I have consumed for breakfast. I feel sick, but today is training and I have to stay on my best behavior. Mags brings me and Tunis into the water themed sitting room. She sit down with some effort, and lets out a sigh of relief. Tunis and I stare at her waiting for her instruction. I can't help but notice how they tried too hard to make this feel like home, that it is a contorted horrible version of the place we love so much. I snap into reality as Mags opens her mouth, lets out a cough, and begins to talk.
"What are your plans?" she says loudly. Both Tunis and I begin to speak, but I let Tunis go first. She explains that she wishes to be part of the careers and wants to show her advanced and broad weapon skills. Mags nods thoughtfully. Personally I have no idea of what to do. Tunis continues, she says that she knows she has to get a high training score to get anywhere close to the amount of sponsors I already have, and here she throws me a glare. I turn red and remain quiet. Mags nods again then she turns on me.
"Well, I figure that I'll get with the careers. I seem to have good sponsors already so that gives the imitative to make me one of their own. But I really have to prove it in training and in my score. They need to accept me, and it might be hard, especially for my age," I state confidently, and realize the words just came naturally. Mags gives me a nearly toothless grin, laughs that wonderful laugh, and says that is an efficient plan. But first we both need to learn more about the career tributes.
We nod and look at the clock. 10:00 we need to be in the training center, right now. We all jump up, me helping Mags to her feet. She mumbles something and motions for me to leave her. I shrug and run down the stairs, it's faster than the elevator. We make it into the training center just as a woman named Alta begins her directional speech.
Before she begins she looks at me with a hint of recognition, "late Finnick, is this a habit of yours, I couldn't help notice it at your reaping, seems like it brings bad luck." I stare at her in awe, that she had the nerve to say this to me. The other tributes laugh, and I remain cool headed, but slightly angry deep in my brain. The careers are going to be even harder to get to at this point.
She releases us after telling us not to forget the basic survival stations. I sure won't, I know their importance. I scan for the careers, they have already headed to their favorite weapons, spears, knives, bow and arrows. I sigh, personally I would rather learn more than show off. I head to the familiar knots that cover the lonesome table. The trainer smiles, I guess he doesn't get many tributes, but I understand the way even a simple knot can supply food for a week.
"I'm from District 4, so um could I try some of your hardest knots to find my level?" He nods and begins telling me how to tie on of his most advanced knots. I quickly pick up on every knot he has to offer. Somehow tying the rough rope in my hands, calms me. I can pull each knot tight and let my emotions flow into it. Finally, he goes over how to make the knots I already know into the best traps. I also master this quite quickly.
A soft hand grasps my shoulder, I turn to find the District 1 girl smiling at me. She has blonde perfect hair, and her face is gorgeous, her lips are slightly parted and beneath them are her gorgeous teeth. I gasp a bit.
"Hey, let's get out of the loser section and I can introduce you to the other careers," she says sweetly, she can't be much older than me, but I saw her throw knives, and I wouldn't mess with her. I give an apologetic look to the knot guy, he just throws me a sympathetic smile. I'm dragged over to the rest of the careers, which include Tunis. They look me up and down and then ask me the question.
"So what can you do, to make it into our group, other than get bazillions of sponsors," the boy from 2 says, as he laughs a bit. I don't like him. I briskly walk to the trident section, pick up one. I throw it at the dummy, it hits it with so much force, the dummy falls apart. I look at the careers, they nod approvingly. I take a spear and hit every dummy in the moving obstacle course. I walk back to them and they welcome me into their group with a slap on the back.
We then spend the rest of the day at various stations. By the end of the day I have hit every station. If only just briefly. I plan to continue to get to every station and to pick up as much as I can.
The girls are wildly chattering about Finnick, as we uncomfortably wait for the delayed training scores. Finnick's parents wait nervously at the door, asking for donations, for a sponsor gift. Their box is already full, most likely containing the contents of each girls pockets and savings accounts. I slide, uncomfortable down into the plushness of my chair, as the Capitol anthem plays loudly. Why can't the games just be over already. I hate them so much.
Ceaser speaks about the scores, and many people shift to the edges of their seats. The fist couple flash by, obvious career scores. Ranging from 8-10. Then comes 3 which did suprisingly well. We all hold our breath as Tunis, flashes a 9. Then Finnick, hits a 10, cries of relief come from the building and his parents. I roll my eyes at the girls reactions, and once again stand up, and leave the room. I look back at the box containing the money, decide whether or not add to it, then turn around, and walk out the door to the soft, soothing sand of the beach.
I let the white sand filter through my fingers, as the waves lap at my feet. They are cool and gentle, and seem to be trying to pull me into their depths. I slowly stand up, and walk into their comfort. First it's up to my thighs then to my neck. I begin to swim to the platform in the water, for fisherman and children to stand on. It's a good 200 yards into the ocean, but I don't mind, it isn't really that far. The water is refreshing from the games and their horror, even though they haven't even technically begun.
I pull my body onto the wooden platform and sit there. Then a thought hits me and I nearly fall into the water. This is the very spot Finnick and I used to sit on when we were little, and I would bring my parents new nets to his father to fish. We never really talked, even then, but one time I pushed him in and then I saw the fin. A shark, I screamed. Finnick looked at me with utter terror. His father whisked him out of the water just in time, as the sharks strong jaws flew out of the water, right where Finnick had been. I remember never being so scared or sorry in my life. And now I can't help but think of Finnick, he must have the same feelings, knowing he might not ever return to his familiar ocean shore.
I clear these from my head by jumping back into the water. I see the lights turn on in the school and know the interviews aren't too far away. I begin to swim as the night comes to our world. I'm nearly to the shore when I feel a wet slimy thing brush my leg. I look behind me and find myself face to face with a shark. I splash back, more frightened than ever. Terror hits me like bricks and I scream out, frightened. most of us realize sharks exist but dont really mind, they dont usually attack. But It lunges for me, and somehow I evade it and end up on its back. I grab tightly as it thrashes around, and begins to swim down and out into the ocean. I suck in one last breath and go under. I'm frantically grasping for it, and then I feel it, the eye. My hand closes in and squeezes it, I then let go and swim up and in. Up and in, up and in. I gasp my first breath and propell myself forward. The air is cutting my throat, fresh and beautiful.
I feel the sand on my feet and I collapse onto the beach. I look down and then realize how stupid I am. My shorts are covered in silver, of course, sharks are attracted to shiny things. I smack my head in disbelief, that I could be that ridiculous. I'm coated in sand, as I start walking to the school. I would go home and change, but the interviews have already begun. Judging by the town clock they are already on Tunis's interview.
I slowly, and tentatively open the door to the auditorium and slide in, unnoticed. Finnick has already started his interview. I can't help but notice that his shirt is only halfway buttoned, and his pants are oddly thin. I let out a scoff. He begins talking to Ceaser and I zone out. My head snaps back into shape, just as his last minute starts counting down.
"To all the lovely ladies here in the Capitol, I write this song." After which he recites the most cheesy song I have ever head. Speaking of how he loves all of the beautiful women and girls from this glorious place called the Capitol. Again I scoff. Then there are screams as he rips of his thin see through shirt. I'm done. The screams come from all over. I cover my eyes and slump to the group contemplating what this world has come to.
I think that I'm ready for the games, or as ready as I can ever be. My heart flutters and gasp for air as I grasp onto the bathroom counter. My bronze hair flops into my face, and it won't seem to leave it. My knuckles grow white, as I begin to cry. I have never cried, from what I can remember, and I don't know why I am starting to now. Actually, I do, I'm scared. I've only been genuinely scared once, and that was when I was on the dock in the ocean with Ann....Annie....Cresta. I'm suddenly hit by the memory of Annie pushing me in and the shark, but Annie....Annie Cresta.
I don't care what she thinks, but then I realize, I do.