Below Zero is Hunger Games fanfiction written by BakaYellow. It takes place at the 34th Hunger Games.
I do not own the Hunger Games, Catching Fire, or Mockingjay, unfortunately. I do however own the characters (mostly) in this peice of fiction, and the arena. You know, the places you won't recognize. If I did own the Hunger Games, Peeta would probably be dead.
My father loomed over me, his dirty, unshaven face was right above mine. "Lis." He said with his coarse voice.How desperately did I want to just pull the comforter over my head and sleep longer? So much, But I should be thankful that I wasn't up at the crack of dawn, as usual.
I sat up and felt my back immediately scream in pain. I guess I should've gotten up to work anyway, the extra sleeping I did was wrecking my muscles. My father smiled warmly at me and reached out his hand. "Willow's waiting for you. Get dressed and go collect your....uh," He scratched his brown hair and shrugged, turning out of the room. Apple was still rolled into a ball on the bed parallel to mine, the one she shared with Willow.
I rolled out of bed and forced myself into a dirty coat and my work slacks. and my heavy brown boots. All I needed was my axe and maybe I could pass off as a short worker, maybe even skip the reaping. But that wouldn't work, they'd have me checked in by then. I looked over at Apple, her chest rising and falling. She wouldn't realize how truly terrifying it was to be chosen for the Hunger Games, being only eleven.
I walked out of the room into the hallway. The other residents of the large, wooden bungalow were also waking up. A few familiar faces from school and work, and a few adults clambering around with their kids. This year, my father was off work for the games instead of my mother, like last year. I started down the hallway, careful to evade the tired residents until I came to the fair-sized kitchen. Ms. Wicker was busily preparing breakfast for the six families who lived her, plates upon plates of food steaming on the counters. I wanted to offer my help, but Willow suddenly appeared from one of the chairs. "Come on." She sighed, placing her hand on my head. The tesserae would held Ms. Wicker with cooking, no doubt.
We stepped outside and the sound of a falling tree assaulted my ears. We turned to see a large oak come crashing down. She immediately reached for my hand, as she did every year since she turned twelve. The building where we would collect our tesserae was looking new and polished, as usual. As we neared, the old lady running the shop suddenly snapped out of silence and gave us a broad, missing-tooth smile. "Names?"
"Willow and Alisa Timbre." Willow answered politely, folding her hands on the wood counter The lady ran her finger over the board and marked our names as 'NS' for 'Not Sick'. "How many this year?" We exchanged glances. "Three for both of us." Willow answered for me again, as it was around now I would lose my voice.
The woman nodded. "All right. We'll deliver the the barrels to your home." We turned on our heels and left without another word. "I'll bet the baths will be crowded again." I said, trying to change the sub-subject. Willow gave a curt nod. "I'll bet. "
They were, unfortunately. There are 7 baths for girls and 7 for boys here we live, but since tehre are quite a few kids you have to be up and at the baths quickly. Willow and I passed into the girl's room and had to sit against the wall, with only our towels, for atleast an hour before there was a short enough line and enough room for us. Willow was called first, taking up the fifth bath, so I took the sixth.
The water was warm and I felt layer upon layer of dirt get scraped off my body. I found a splinter in my index finger and clenaed the sawdust out of my hair. I dried off and hurried off to our room to change
Father dressed me in a beige coat over a white blouse and a long skirt. Being of District 7, it was rare to have something extremely frilly and nice. Such frivolities would only get covered in sawdust, anyway. Apple sat behind me on the stoop on the back porch, helping to dry and fix my hair. It felt strange, somehow.
But the bell tolled at two and each family filed out of the buildings. Despite half of the parents were with their families, the other half and those without children still worked. The low whistle of a worker echoed across the fields. Our father brought us to the podium to ncheck in, where the old lady gave us warm looks as she marked out names off again. I met my older and younger sisters in an embrace that lasted a few seconds before we split off into the 13 and 17-year-old divisions.
We watched as Mayor Brinton gave us the speech on why the Hunger Games were a time of reverment and excitement, as though it were something to be happy about, despite the fact his two sons were in the running for tributes as well.
"Now, let us all welcome out District 7 escort, Millie Pendulum!" The girls in front of me stifled laughter. MIllie had long, bright turquoise hair that was curled like a beehive on top of her head. Her skin was the color of pollen, and her teeth seemed to have platinum caps on them. "Helloooooo, District 7! Are you ready to have an extravangant Hunger Games this year?" We all forced smiles and applause.
The flamboyant, pencil thin woman gave a long, endearing speech about how the Hunger Games were prestigious and we should be thankful to star in them. She walked over to the table, one I recognized that my sister made by the carving 'W.T' on the side, where the two glass balls filled with names were. I bit my lip as always.
"Well, let's go boys first." Her smile was unnerving and extremely bright as she stuck her scrawny arm into the bowl and swished it around. "I hope she gets a paper cut." I heard one of the mayor's sons whisper to his friend. They gave a quiet chuckle as Millie pulled out a slip of paper and smiled.
"Your male District 7 tribute is....Jeffery Brinton!"
The laughing boys hushed up. His friend looked at the new tribute with wide eyes."J-Jeff....." He muttered. Jeffery took a deep breath walked through. Despite the fact he was fifteen, he did seem really close to me. I wondered why.
"Hey, Jeff!" The escort grinned at him. Jeffery looked at his father, but his father just looked away. "Ready to meet your other half?"
Millie didn't wait for his answer as she drove her hand into the girls ball. I took the time to reflect. Willow had twenty-eight slips entered, while I had a measely six.
"District 7! Your female tribute, and Jeffery's other half, is....."
There was a heavy silence weighing down on the plaza.
"Ms. Alisa Timbre!"
I snapped back to reality again when Jeff lightly shook my shoulder. "Alisa, you should probably eat more. You never know what we might encounter at the Capitol." He whispered that last part so Millie couldn't hear. The sound of running water came from the next car over; our mentor was showering.
"Yes, dear, you should eat as much as you want! The recap will be on shortly." The woman smiled as she sprinkled white powder on a dollop of pudding before shoveling it into her mouth. She used her free hand to turn on the sleek TV that hung in the corner. As the sharp twang of the tv turning on assaulted my ears, I noticed a light in the distance. Who's train was that? District 12? District 4? I had no clue anymore.
Finally we could hear an announcer from the Capitol on TV. Jeffery and I looked up to watch, occasioanlly pausing to take more food. A pudgy little girl from District 1. A boy with an eyepatch from District 3. A sobbing teenager from District 5. A boy who looked extremely nauseated from District 9. Finally, a brother and sister from District 12. The duo looked cunning and devious, without a hint of fear at all. They almost looked happy to be there.
The broadcast ended and the TV clicked off. Millie smiled and patted her stomach with a sigh. "Well, kiddies, got a lotta stuff to do tommorow. Go visit with Lunasea for a moment or two and then hit your rooms, yes?" Jeffery and I nodded doubtfully and stood up. I snagged a roll to bring to our mentor as Jeffery opened the door for me to go through.
Lunasea was sitting, curled in a ball, in the corner of her bed. The sheets were silky and green with a light brown blanket. It was hot, so no need for a comforter. Lunasea saw us and ducked her head. "Please, don't talk to me." She muttered quietly. I sat down next to her. "Lunasea, calm down please. I promise, we'll do our best. We'll come back just to see you." The mentor looked up again. Her eyes were blue and wide, like that of a child. "That's what they've said every time..." She ducked her head into her knees. "Such good kids, gone because the Capitol is just so bloodthirsty..." She began to cry.
"Come on, let's leave her alone. She's probably like this alot." Jeffery said quietly, reach out a hand to pull me off the bed quickly. It was strange. At school, Jeffery was funny and perverted, a womanizer to say the least. But here he was calm and gentlemanly, opening doors and pulling out chairs. He was quiet too. I took his hand and stepped off the bed.
Our rooms branched off here. The left was his room and the right mine. "Night." We murmured to eachother, tugging the door handles up to get into our rooms. My room was decorated much like Lunasea's, chrome walls but a soft, silky, foresty bed. I ran my fingers through the drawer of nightgowns and settled on a long, flowery red one. It flowed around my ankles and was much better than the hot, sticky outfit I'd been wearing since the Reaping.
I fell into bed on top of my token. With a gasp I fingered around for it until I plucked it from under me and stared at it. The token was a bronze leaf. My Great-Great-Grandmother had apparently gotten it from a District 2 boy just before he went into the arena. She gave it to my Great-Grandmother, who passed it down to her daughter, and then to my Mother, and now it was mine. I fingered the carvings and detailed ingraves of the leaf. What I wouldn't give to be back at home helping to cut down a tree. To be at school. Anything but this!
The next morning, Millie barged in with whooping laughter. "We're almost there, kiddies! Get yourselves moving to the dining car!" I groaned and shoved the pillow on my face. With any luck, I would suffocate myself before getting to the Capitol or the Arena.