Blood, Betrayals, and Berries ~A Foxface Story~
This is the 74th Hunger Games from Foxface's POV. I'm writing this for Kayla (AKA Katniss), so I figured I might as well post it on here, anyway! ^_^
P.S. Comments are my life, like, no joke.
Here's a deal.
Comment + Rating = Happy Me AND a virtual cupcake!
As I made my normal rounds through the streets, little, petite, six-year-old Irabella came up to greet me. In looks, we were opposites. Her seemingly luminescent green eyes were in no way the same as my amber-green ones. Her short brown hair looked nothing like my waist-length reddish hair. But the most startling difference was our weight. Sure, I wasnâ€™t always full, but I was never starving, as Irabella usually was.
â€œRissy! You came to bring me food!â€ she screamed in delight. As usual, her voice brought a smile to my face. She was one of the two people I actually cared for. The other, of course, being Cole. But Iâ€™ll get to him later.
â€œOf course. How could I not bring food to my favorite little girl?â€ I said, smiling broadly. She giggled slightly and outstretched her hands greedily. The ravenous look of hunger on her face was almost too much to bear.
I turned my bag of rations upside-down into her outstretched hands. Tumbling out came a dozen rolls from our District, spotted with different colors. My teacher explained it was because of the experiments that took place in District Five. Meaning the myriad of mad scientists we had. Also, out came a small wad of cheese and a hunk of wild dog. Raw, of course. But Irabella could start a fire, so sheâ€™d be okay.
â€œRissy, wonâ€™t you have food?â€ Irabella called in distress. I grinned and leaned down close to her, whispering, â€œDonâ€™t tell the Peacekeepers, but we have a small hoard.â€
She giggled, thanking me again, before running back off to the Community Home she lived in, where she was mistreated, with never enough food. I frowned at her carefree attitude at things. It might just be her six-year-old take on life, but she was way too cheery for someone with such an awful background.
Two days after birth she was abandoned on the streets to die by parents who couldnâ€™t take care of her. Unfortunately, this happened way too often: People having children too soon, then not being able to care for them. It didnâ€™t help that District Fiveâ€™s population was slowly declining. We were about as small as District Nine now, or maybe even Twelve.
It wasnâ€™t our fault we couldnâ€™t care for our children. The Peacekeepers and Mayor made rules about marriage, where you had to be married by age sixteen, to someone they determined for you at about age thirteen. A year later, at seventeen, you were to have children, unless you were barren, or in bad health.
I donâ€™t know about the other Districts, but ours sucked.
Speaking of marriage at age sixteen, there came Caleb. My . . . I couldnâ€™t even bear the word . . . fiancÃ©e. Yes, in one year, I was supposed to marry that dunderhead. He wrapped his arms around my waist, and I couldnâ€™t exactly shove him off in public, or else the Peacekeepers would punish me for openly disobeying their choice for my husband.
So that meant allowing him to kiss me, too. But, unlike many others, I had a secret. And his name was Cole. The one who kept me sane during the months after the 73rd Hunger Games. But youâ€™ll understand all that in a second, too.
Anyway, as soon as I was free from Calebâ€™s grip, I flew into Coleâ€™s. I crept to our secret meeting place, an old laboratory that was supposed to be radioactive, but we discovered it wasnâ€™t. At least, we havenâ€™t turned into mutants yet, so close enough.
â€œCole?â€ I whispered as I snuck in. If anyone saw me, I was dead, for they would discover Coleâ€™s â€œhouseâ€ and he would be sent to the Capitol in a flash. You see, for the few people with hearts in the Capitol, or just desperate, barren women, they can adopt from the Districts if they choose.
And Cole was adopted from District Twelve at eighteen months old. He was always cracking lame jokes about his name. District Twelve was coal-mining. Coal. Cole. Hilarious. At least, in his mind. His surgically-altered golden eyes were the only thing about him that repulsed me. His light-brown hair, however, was 100% natural. And I was glad.
But he was a refugee. If anyone found him living here, it would be back to the Capitol, and back to his adoptive parents he loathed so much. But I kept him safe, bringing him the other portions of my rations.
â€œRissall!â€ he exclaimed. I laughed and shushed him. I had many nicknames. Rissy, Rissall, Rissa, Chi, Fi-Fi, you name it. My real name was Finch Marissa Burns, but I hated the names Finch and Marissa, so I went by various nicknames. Once, a boy in my class called me the â€œBurn-meisterâ€.
I kissed him lightly once. â€œSeen the pervert today?â€ Cole asked, making me grimace. His nickname for Caleb, of course. I sighed.
â€œWhen donâ€™t I, with his super-stalking abilities?â€ I asked.
â€œI dunno, when you first saw me you spied on me for a good while. You moved like a ninja. Hiya!â€ he added, for dramatic effect. He added a karate-chop motion.
Cole was one of the few people who could make me laugh. Irabella, sometimes. Mom and Caleb â€“ never. Of course, Lo could, but she was gone. Forever. Nothing but a memory â€“ a painful one.
You see, Lo was my dear little sister. Only twelve. Of course, at last yearâ€™s Reaping, I was coughing my guts up in bed, so I was exempted. And of course, that was the year sweet, dear, little Lo was picked. The worst part? We had gotten into an argument the night before, so the last words I ever said to her were, â€œI hope you get Reaped.â€
Why did it have to be that dream that came true? Why couldnâ€™t the dream of Cole and I being together come true? And you know, in the process maybe shove Caleb off a cliff or something. Cole had noticed my preoccupation with my memories, and snapped his fingers in front of my face. I glared at him quickly.
His goofy grin made me laugh. Then, suddenly, his face turned rigid.
â€œReady for the Reaping?â€
â€œWell, you know, Iâ€™m only entered as many times as a fifteen-year-old can be, so I reckon Iâ€™m pretty safe,â€ I said sarcastically. Cole sighed. â€œI wish I could go.â€
â€œNo, you donâ€™t. Besides, itâ€™s not as if you could volunteer for me anyway, even if you were a citizen of Five. I donâ€™t know how the Reapings went down in the Capitol, or in Twelve, but here, theyâ€™re regarded as toxic waste. You do not mess with it.â€
â€œI donâ€™t want to wait until that night to see that youâ€™re safe, though.â€
I smiled. â€œYouâ€™ll know Iâ€™m safe. I promise. I have to go. Momâ€™ll get suspicious. She knows Iâ€™m not spending this time with Caleb.â€
â€œWait, take this first.â€ He thrust a small anklet into my hand. It was twine-ish material, strung with small black beads. I didnâ€™t know why he was giving it to me.
â€œWhy?â€ I asked curiously, inspecting it.
â€œIt was wrapped around my ankle when I was adopted. Iâ€™ve kind of kept it all these years.â€
I frowned. â€œI canâ€™t take this. Keep a part of District Twelve with you.â€
Itâ€™s incredible how quickly Cole can differentiate. The next moment, the goofy grin was plastered onto his face. â€œDonâ€™t worry, Iâ€™ve got my name to remember my coal-miner heritage from.â€
I rolled my eyes. â€œAlright, after the millionth joke about that since Iâ€™ve met you. . .â€
â€œKiss for good luck tomorrow?â€ he asked hopefully. I smiled and complied.
If only I could hold on for the Reaping, for Cole, for Irabella, for Lo. I couldâ€™ve cared less about Mom. Or Caleb. In fact, I hoped Caleb got Reaped. And Iâ€™d pretend to be all teary and weepy. Life would be perfect.