Opinions and Truth - The Last Hunger Games

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Chapter 3


The first thing I do when I enter my new room- new cell- is to just bury my face in my hands and weep. Keeping a steady face in front of the crowd when all you really want is to collapse is hard work and now that I am alone, the tears fall easily. It just is not fair. I know it sounds tantrum-like and more like the words of a toddler than a teenager, but it is the truth. It is worse that I imagined, practically waiting for my death. Not only am I to fight for my life, but I am going to fight for my life against my best friend and my ex-boyfriend. How could I win? No, more accurately, how can I win without losing my sanity- my humanity, even?
This is the thought that brings me back to my senses. Winning. If the rebels want me in The Hunger Games, then I have to take part. If I am in The Hunger Games, then I have to fight. And fight I will.
For the first time since entering the room an hour ago, I actually take a good look around. It’s pretty normal really at first sight. There is one plush and heavily cushioned bed that I am now led on and there’s a small wooden and rounded desk with a few drawers and blunt pencils. I can also see thick, set blinds and a control panel to control them on the wall to the right of my bed and one, large wardrobe that towers over my bed, standing beside the desk. Of course I can’t forget the bathroom that possibly lurks behind the squeaky clean hospital-style door near the entrance to the room. I raise shakily, my body feeling weak from the tears and I wander aimlessly over to the wardrobe, expecting it to be empty and I pull it open, peering in surprised when I am met with the sight of fancy dresses and cute sweatshirts. The whole wardrobe is full to the brim with shoes, dresses, skirts, jeans, jumpers, tee-shirts, cardigans and every item of clothing you could even imagine. What a waste to provide such pretty clothes for a person who is only to stay for two weeks. I hesitantly reach out to stroke a pure velvet dress anyhow, and the material feels soft and comforting against my hot and tired skin. I then continue to search through the cluster of pretty clothes until I find an unbelievably long, thick and soft dressing gown. I smooth the material against my face, loving the sense of security it gives me before laying it on the bed and then proceeding to the shower.
The hot water and soapy bubbles make a difference to my sore skin and eyes and I step out onto the clean and soft towels gratefully, my refreshed face and body relishing the feeling as I dry myself clean. It’s funny how when you realise that you may never endure these luxuries ever again, that you begin to really appreciate what you have. I wrap the warm dressing gown around me now, cosily tucking it up to my chin and draping the hood over my head securely before I approach the large desk. There are a set of identically blunt pencils in a small, plastic tub and one of those long and bendy rulers that are freakishly annoying and never draw a straight line.
I search the drawers, feverishly searching for a pen and I come out empty apart from one, plain notebook. It hits me then- why there are no inked pens, why there is no chain to pull down the blinds or even no metal rulers. They’ve completely baby-proofed the room so that no competitors can possibly attempt to commit suicide before the Games. Wanting to find more proof, I walk over the window, clicking the button to slide the blinds up and I come face to face with one, pure and thickly-glassed window. No chance of falling to your death here either. This only backs up what I thought earlier. This room is my cell. This building is my prison- temporarily, anyway. Then I will be transferred to the slaughter house. In other words, The Arena.
I cast away the nasty thought, imagining it falling out of the window and landing flat on the hard, pavement below and I find myself wishing to become that thought. Wishing to have the life leave my body quickly. The less pain.
I resort back to the desk, my wish helpless, and grab a pencil. It’s blunt. Well, they wouldn’t want us stabbing ourselves and getting lead poisoning now would they? I grab the notebook and pull it towards be and then I just sit and think, my pencil poised ready above the paper.
I haven’t got the notebook to draw. I’ve got it to plan. To realise my tactics.
First off, I make a list. I draw a long line, vertical line down the middle of the page, making two columns and I head each section separately. The first I name Strengths and the second I name Weaknesses. It seems a logical way to start at the very basics.
The first thing I instinctively write under strengths is Running. This is my top skill. One hour jogs every morning have left me an expert. Once again, I send a silent thank you to God for my mothers’ nagging that began this talent. Next I write in strengths Climbing. Once again, this is another skill I’m sure that I can use to my advantage. Another silent prayer reaches God.
Following the first two strengths come reflexes and then knifing and hand-to-hand-combat using agility. Then, as the thought strikes I add hand-to-hand-combat using muscle and weight into the weaknesses. Another few weaknesses come to my mind then- bow and arrows, wrestling, heavy weapons and then, believing truth to help I add reluctance to hunt and kill.
I also know that camouflage belongs in the strengths column, my dark ginger hair and green eyes blending well into the wildlife. Yes, I know what you’re thinking- how can Snow’s granddaughter not have bleach blonde hair and blue eyes? Well, that’s just another point to my difference from the Ex-President. Also, using daggers and knifes is another strength to add to the list. My dad had taught me how to use knifes in battle when I turned 10. I guess he saw something like this coming. I’m glad he did. I smile, and then thinking of how I take after my dad being a shortie at 5’3 I add lack of height and being a shortie into weaknesses. I giggle loudly, my nervousness and hysteria rising to my throat and I giddily drop the pen onto the notebook. I smile slowly, counting the weaknesses and strengths against each other and I grin, when I notice how the strengths outweigh the weaknesses by one.
One may not seem much to another person, but to me, one is a whole lot better than losing to the weaknesses. And if you can use those strengths to the best of your ability, then I bet the weaknesses will hardly show. And that is exactly what I intend to do.
With this thought on my mind, I make my way to bed, confident and feeling a whole lot better than when I was curled up, bawling my eyes out on my cushioned bed. The bed still seems unnaturally comfy to me for a cell room, but I welcome the feeling anyway, grasping anything to keep away the thoughts of the consequences of if I do actually win will mean for Pedro and Maddi.
Unfortunately, those thoughts only stay away for a few mere hours, before the nightmares begin that will haunt me for the rest of what may turn out to be a very short life.

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