Against the Odds; Chapter 2

Chapter 2, because I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Again, please tell me what you think! 

Chapter 2

‘Yes, they had wept,’ Laurel thought bitterly, ‘but still no volunteers had come forward’. Their compassion had been purely superficial. Beneath all their tears and anger they were still relieved that their child, brother or sister hadn’t been called. It was sad, but not their problem.

Laurel glanced around the room and looked casually at the other tributes. Somehow, even though they had only arrived in the Capitol a few hours ago, Laurel and Maddox had become the main focus in the games. Almost all the other tributes were looking at them. Some with sympathy, like the pretty dark skinned girl from district 12 who shot her a sad smile, others with pure rage, like the girl from district 1. Surely, she thought that Laurel had stolen her spotlight. Laurel stared back at her, trying not to look as intimidated as she felt. Her name was Ava, Laurel knew. She had watched the reaping of the other Districts on the train to the Capitol. Of course, the tributes from the career districts, districts 1, 2 and 4, had volunteered as soon as they had gotten the chance. It was what they had been training for their whole lives. Apparently, Ava had planned to put on quite a show at the reaping, getting a head start at attracting sponsors. However, her little performance had been cut short when the word got out that the tributes from district 8 were siblings.

‘Great,’ thought Laurel, ‘training hasn’t even started yet and I already have a mortal enemy’. Ava’s gaze became more and more aggressive but when she tried to approach Laurel, the boy from district 1 stopped her. Jye was his name. He said something to her and pointed to the large doors behind which were the people from the Capitol, waiting for us. Our possible sponsors. ‘I guess they can’t afford to make a bad first impression,’ Laurel thought.

‘Laurel,’ said Maddox behind her, putting his hand on her shoulder. ‘It’s time.’ She turned around and saw their stylist coming towards them. Her stylist was a beautiful man named Oakley. His name seemed strangely fitting as a stylist for the tributes from district 8. Unlike most Capitol residents, Oakley didn’t have weird coloured skin or strange tattoos. He seemed oddly normal compared to his female counterpart, Kallie, Maddox’s stylist, who was covered in gold body paint with green leaves tattooed on various body parts. ‘Showtime boys and girls,’ Oakley said, waving his hand towards the district 8 carriage, ‘up you go’. Maddox went up first, offering his hand to Laurel. ‘Don’t forget,’ Kallie said, ‘move your arms while you’re out there. The green accents in the sleeves will make it look like leaves and branches’. They nodded and with that they were off.

When their carriage approached the door, Maddox and Laurel could hear the roar of the crowd. They were yelling and cheering on the other tributes, showering them with roses and confetti. It was so loud that when it suddenly became quiet, Laurel thought that she had gone deaf. When they entered the hall, everybody stopped their yelling and cheering. For a full 10 seconds, it was completely silent. Every face in the crowd was turned to them and looked at them with a sad fascination. Even in the Capitol was the death of a sibling something to be mourned. After all, only one could win.

Maddox looked to his sister, who was as confused as he was. Maddox then shrugged his shoulders and did what Kallie had told them to do, he lifted his arms. Laurel followed his lead, letting her floor length sleeves move through the air. The effect was immediate, within a second the crowd was cheering even louder than before and in spite of everything, Laurel let her guard down. She allowed herself to forget about the worries, grief and fears that would be paramount in their lives the coming weeks, and she smiled. She smiled all the way down the hall, trying to enjoy the moment. It wasn’t until they had reached the end of the hall, where the other tributes were already waiting for them, that they lowered their arms and stopped smiling.

When the last districts had also arrived at the end of the hall, President Snow took the stage and said ‘Welcome to the 58th Hunger Games. I wish my best to all the tributes that take part of this year’s games and as always; may the odds be ever in your favour.’

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Author: EMK

Just blogging away in my free time while I try to make something of my life

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