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(Age 17, 68th Annual Hunger Games)  


I'd never not attended a reaping before. I'm seventeen and the only child between 12-18 in District Ten currently not standing in the town square. Because I'm a victor, I get to live the rest of my life in 'peace'. 

Although, people in the Capitol can pay to sleep with me and I'm forced to be on this stupid train so I can train tributes to their death, so much for 'peace'. 

I sighed. "It feels weird not being there".

Slendor's head rose above his newspaper with an eyebrow raised. "You'd rather watch the reaping then spend quality time with me? that hurts kiddo".

I rolled my eyes at him. "I'm never not spending time with you, you're basically the only person in ten that doesn't think I''ll set them on fire".

He shrugged casually. "For the record I've never said I didn't think that. But then again, everyone else here thinks I'll smash their heads in with rocks. Plus, I bet if this was District Four they'd be scared I'd drown them too". 

I shook my head. "Nah, I reckon in District Four they'd praise you for it".

Slendor smirked at me. "Is that what Finnick told you?"

I felt my cheeks start to burn slightly. "No. I don't talk with Finnick Odair".

He snorted. "Obviously, if you call him by his first and last name".

I shrugged ."Whatever, I barely know him anyways".

Slendor stared me down while slurping his coffee. "But you like him".

I glared back at him. "Do not!, I barely know him apart from my victor party and watching his games." I shrugged. "He's practically a stranger."

Slendor continued to stare me down before he winked. "Just don't make it obvious, keep me out of it and use protection".

My cheeks were beyond red by this point so I thought it best to drop it for now. "So...how do-uh I, how do we train them?"

Slendor sighed, took off his reading classes and gave me a stern look. "You're not going to like what I'm about to tell you,Beautiful. But better you learn now then it fuck you up even more later. Point is, we don't. Once their names are called, they're already dead. We're District Ten and you're literally the first tribute I've mentored that's won and I technically didn't even mentor you!".

My mouth hung open slightly. "So you're planning on giving up before they've even entered the train!?!"

He seemed to compose himself and let out a breath. "They're already dead kid. They know it and deep down you know it too. Only one survives and they're going up against careers, we don't get sponsors. We're an outskirt district, we never win and after you're win last year, Snow won't be so eager for any tribute outside District Five to win."

I felt my eyes start to water slightly. "So we just do nothing?"

Slendor looked at me with slight sympathy. "We give them hope, we make them look confident at interviews and we encourage they're very best. Once you admit that's all you can do, then this whole process will be allot easier for you".

I hate this, I hate everything about this. "And they'll both die and in another twelve months we'll just do it all over again?."

Slendor nodded. "After my games I tried my hardest with the first two tributes I had to mentor. Told them everything I knew, trained them after hours myself, even though it was against the rules. I did everything! hell I even had sponsors lined up ready to go. They both died in the blood bath. Mary and Tom. 14 and 17".

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