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(Age 16, 67th Annual Hunger Games)  

I have decided that trains are not like cars, but more like extra large houses that move. I sat in probably the most comfiest chair in all of Panem. This whole cart just screams luxury and wealth. Bill is sitting next me, devouring food like a caveman. As for me, I had my plate piled high with little cakes and pastries. Little Miss Freaky was looking at us in disapproval but I couldn't give two shits about her. Not when cheesecake exists!

The sliding door to our cart opened and in walked Slendor Tylp. I instantly gulped. 

Slendor Tylp is District Ten's only living victor. His games were a swamp land. He won the games by throwing rocks at people's heads, cracking their skulls open and drowning them. Like, he literally held them down while they clawed at his arms kind of killing. He was known for being abnormally strong. To put it lightly he scared me ten times more than Little Miss Freaky.

He looked to be about late thirties and was apparently very good looking back in the day. His looks had gotten him sponsors and he'd aged well so far, I wasn't blind. Most victors who win the games are normally good looking, especially if they come from outer districts. It's not supposed to matter, but everyone knows the more good looking you are the more sponsors you get. But deadly. All victors in Panem were deadly before beautiful. Including him.

Little Miss Freaky perked up in her seat and batted her bright blue eyelashes at him. Well, someone's desperate.

He took a seat opposite Bill while Little Miss Freaky sat in front of me. Slendor gave us a once over. He stopped his glance slightly at Bill's muscles, but then sighed as if they weren't good enough. He then looked up and down my petite frame, making me blush a little. Again, he sighed in disappointment?.

Obviously I don't make the cut for whatever he's after.

Slendor exhaled and looked at Bill. "I'm guessing you're a labourer?"

Bill nodded next to me.

Slendor swirled the whisky around in his shot glass, like the two of us were a mere inconvenience instead of the reason we're even on this train to begin with. He clicked his tongue, eyes now on Bill. "You know how to fight with anything?"

I felt myself frown. We're District Ten not One.

Bill hesitated. "I-uh maybe a dagger? I can sheer a sheep pretty quick, I could probably stab someone just as fast".

Fuck. This Billy guy even has the beginnings of a game plan, I'm so fucking dead.

Slendor seemed excited by Bill. He'd perked up considerably and look less annoyed.  He probably hasn't had someone so willing to fight in ages. He then cast his gorgeous blue eyes on me.

He rose an eyebrow at me. "What about you, Beautiful? Any special skills we should know about?"

Um no.

I bit lip before looking down slightly. "I can milk a cow, but its not like I can kill anyone with that skill". I rolled my eyes.

He smirked. "Well, your pretty and your honest which is a... refreshing change." He shrugged casually "Your looks will get you sponsors."

He looked back to Bill and started giving him strategies and me, not so much. I guess he's decided to only focus on Bill. 

I really shouldn't be so mad, it's not like I expected anyone from District Ten to win. I mean, even Bill doesn't stand a chance compared to the careers. I just didn't expect Slendor Tylp to give up on me before we'd even made it to the Capitol.

Dinner was a three-course meal and definitely the best food I've ever eaten. All things I'd never tried from fish to tiramisu. There was little talk at dinner, but we learned that Little Miss Freaky's real name is Blu. Something I found hilarious. I'd laughed obnoxiously when she said it and now I think she might just kill me before I enter the arena. We also found out that we should find a weapon as soon as the countdown finishes. I didn't have to be a mentor to know that, but I think Slendor was drunk, so I decided not to give him shit for it.

Apparently, we were going to arrive by noon tomorrow in the Capitol. That night I decided to catch up on the past five years worth of games instead of watching the reaping. I'd soon find out who the competition is, but I have just under two weeks to come up with a strategy. And maybe my brother was right, watching all 66 hunger games to find a strategy can't hurt. 

A girl called Joanna Mason had won last year at the age of fifteen. She'd pretended to be weak but turned out to be this skilled huntress with an axe to grind. The year before that, was a boy called Finnick Odair, he'd won at only fourteen. He was nicknamed the 'fisherman' because he trapped tributes in nets and killed them with a trident like they were fish. It was the biggest gift from a sponsor so far, before the trident he stabbed them with a spear. He was gorgeous but deadly.

I threw up halfway through watching Finnick's games. All that blood was making me throw up that precious cheesecake. So far, from watching the last two years I couldn't think of a strategy. I wasn't a skilled killer and based off what I just saw it's basically the only skill you need to win.

I'm sixteen and while I'm not the youngest or the oldest, I definitely felt the weakest. So, I decided to cave and watch the reaping. The youngest was a twelve-year-old from six, all the other tributes are fifteen or older. This year is going to be deadly. All tributes from One, Two and surprisingly Four all volunteered. While District Four is a career district they don't normally volunteer. I guess they're still inspired after Finnick Odair's win. 

...I'm so fucked.

I need to perfect a skill in under two weeks. I don't care if it's even survival skills. I just need something so my score isn't a one.

I walked into breakfast that morning surprised by the huge spread covering at least three tables. The Capitol disgusts me with how much food they can waist while most people in ten struggle to put food on tables. And in Twelve they don't even have tables to put food on. At least that's what I've heard.

Bill entered shortly after I did and wasted no time in filling up his plate.

"What do you think it's like?"

I didn't expect him to talk me. So far, he mostly grunts and only replies if its Slendor asking him questions. He was more brooding then handsome. I'm guessing he's going to have find something other than looks to get him sponsors.

I sighed. "The Capitol? or... the Games?".

"Both I guess".

I shrugged. "The Capitol, if it's even possible will be richer than this train. The games well...It'll be the death of us, literally."

He snorted. "Way to be optimistic, Lyra".

I glared at him slightly. "You did watch the reaping, right? six career tributes volunteered this year. We don't stand a chance. They actually practiced with daggers and not sheers! So sorry, if I'm not optimistic enough for you."

Well, that pretty much shut him up. I think he was feeling pretty optimistic with his sheering experience until I pointed out the fact that he's never actually picked up a dagger.

He grunted, interrupting the silence. "I don't want to team up. I think it needs to be said now before we get too attached. Slendor said it's for the best if we train separately"

I huffed in annoyance. "Fine by me".

He'd nodded to himself. "Good".

Honestly, good riddance. He seemed more on the dull side of things anyways. I could survive up until day two without him. Hell, maybe he'd even be slowing me down. He looks like someone that'd fight for a pair of daggers during the bloodbath, and that's not how I'm planning to go.

The Arsonist (Finnick Odair/OC)Where stories live. Discover now