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Chapter seven: more training, and private sessions.
When I wake up the next morning, my whole body aches. I crawl out of bed moaning, and stumble into the shower. My hand slips, and I accidentally press a button that shoots a spay of pink foam that engulfs my body, and surrounds me with the smell of flowers. I rinse it off as quickly as I can, but no matter how hard I try, I can't get rid of the smell. I give up and leave the shower, getting dressed quickly I hurry to the dinning room. Bruce is up early, sitting at the table sipping a cup of coffee.
I say, he grunts in reply. I get some coffee and sit across from him. As I sink into the chair, I groan loudly. Bruce looks up and chuckles.
"Feeling a bit stiff are we?"
I sigh, leaning back in the chair.
"Yeah, just a little. I don't know how I'm going to get through today, much less be fit for anything at the end of the week. I am used to working hard all day, but whatever that hand to hand teacher did, makes me feel like I've been beat on by the waves all night."
Bruce shakes his head, smiling.
"Just goes to show you how easy it is for someone without much physical ability, to toss around someone much stronger."
He calls to a servant.
"When he brings back what I asked for, pour it in your coffee. Trust me you'll feel loads better."
He stands up and stretches.
"Anitta is trying to join the careers, just so you have a heads up."
He shrugs and walks out. Mags passes him on the way in.
"Good morning Finnick."
She says with a smile.
She glances over her shoulder.
"Did he tell you about Anitta?"
"Well then, that brings up the question. Do you want to join the careers?"
I think about it for a moment, our tributes are almost always careers, sometimes it helps in the games, sometimes not.
"No. I don't want any alliances."
"Okay then. If they ask I'll just tell them you're going solo."
I give her a smile.
"Thanks, anything you want me to focus on in training today?"
She grabs a muffin and pats me on the head.
"Work on survival skills some more, and practice with a weapon you feel comfortable using. Oh and continue to watch the other tributes."
She walks back toward her room.
"Thanks, will do."
I call after her, she just waves a hand. the servant appears with a small glass containing a thin green liquid. I pour it into my coffee, and take a sip. It doesn't change the flavor, but the minute the coffee touches my lips, I instantly feel relaxed. Annita walks in, a little stiffly, and orders a mug of hot chocolate, and some scrambled eggs. She sits down across from me with a wince.
I say sliding my mug to her.
"Try some of this."
She hesitates for a moment, eyeing me suspiciously. I lean back in my chair and nod at her. She takes the mug and slowly sips it.
"Oooooh that's better. What did you put in this?"
"Bruce gave it to me, told me it would help with the stiffness."
Her breakfast arrives, and she hurriedly eats it. Tiffy pops out of nowhere, in a rigid teal outfit.
"What are you still doing here!"
She shrieks, we both stare at her confused.
"Training started five minutes ago!"
She rushes over and pulls us both up by our clothes.
"Go! Go! Go!"
She says pushing us to the elevator, she practically throws us into it and presses the button to the training floor. The second the doors open, she shoves us out the door, and shoots back up. I straighten my shirt out, and run my fingers through my messy hair. Annita glares at the elevator doors, then turns and pulls her long black hair in a ponytail.
"Hey! Over here!"
I hear a voice call from the weapons station, I turn and see the tributes from one and two watching us. Annita smiles and runs over to them, I turn and walk to the obstacle course. After running through it a couple of times, I move on to the hand to hand combat, and do better then yesterday. Thanking the trainer, I make my way to the weapon station.
"Want something pretty boy?"
The boy tribute from district one: Vicktor, says with a sneer. His district partner: Glorry shakes her brown curls with an arrogant toss.
"Is that you that smells so nice?"
The career's laugh, and I spot Anitta staring guiltily at the floor. She's standing next to the district two boy, the one that looks like Alexia, tall, slender with dark hair and grey eyes. I smile at them and say cheekily;
"Aww, are you guy's jealous because I'm better looking than all of you put together? Well, don't worry, I'm sure some people sponsor the ugly ones."
Vicktor's face turns livid, and Glorry snarls. The boy from two takes a step forward.
"Don't" Anitta says grabbing his arm. "He's only mad because he didn't make it in, and I did."
"Come on. We don't want to start smelling like a meadow too."
They walk off, Anitta glances back over her shoulder, I grin and wave at her mockingly. She turns back around. Selecting a couple of knives, I begin throwing them at the target.
"Your not half bad."
I hear a voice say behind me, turning around quickly, I see the girl from ten watching me. Her sharp features and mottle brown hair, give her the appearance of a weasel. Now that I see her up close, she can't be older than fifteen.
"I choose the knife as a weapon, although, I don't throw mine."
Her voice is deep, and there's almost purr in it. She narrows her strange gold eyes, and smiles. It sends a shiver down my spine.
"You're from district four, aren't you?"
"My name's Finnick Odair. Your's?"
She shrugs her shoulders.
"My name isn't important, some call me weasel. You can too if you like."
"It doesn't bother you?"
She laughs, it sounds like a cold breeze.
"Why should I? Weasels are very sly and dangerous creatures, I rather like being compared to them."
She gives me another smile, and walks off. I decide to watch the other tributes for a while, so I go over to the knot tying station. I fiddle with some rope, creating complicated knots, and undoing them as I watch the tributes.
Anitta is learing how to shoot a bow from the district two boy. Both tributes from one are chopping dummies to bits, and Alexia is prancing around the obstacle course with her usual grace. I see Harrold throwing knives, and the two tributes from three are at the camouflage station. I scan the rest of the tributes doing random things. And notice that I haven't seen Luna the whole day. I'm about to look for her, when a buzzer sounds signaling it's lunch time. In the cafeteria, I go through the buffet line and choose a table.
Anitta sits at the career table, Harrold and the district three tributes share a table, but other than that everyone sits alone. I look around for Luna, still no sign of her.
A small soft voice says. I look over my shoulder, and see Luna standing holding her tray. I know she's twelve, but her light blonde hair, and enormous blue eyes, mixed with her small stature, and delicate features, she doesn't look a day past nine.
"Can I sit with you? The other tributes scare me."
I nod, she gives me a shy smile and sits down across from me.
"You're Luna right? District five?"
She nods, I smile.
She nods her head.
"I know, I've been watching you."
I raise my eyebrows in surprise.
"You have? I haven't seen you..."
She looks up and smiles.
I grin knowingly.
"Ah, I was wondering why I never saw you in training. That's what you do. You hide."
"No one can find me if I don't want to, that's why I don't need much training."
The rest of the day I spend showing Luna how to make some easy fishhooks, and how to build a fire. That night I eat a big dinner, and go to bed early.
The next day I spend learning how to use certain healing plants, and more knife practice. On the third day of training, we start the day as normal, but at lunch time, the game makers will call each tribute in alone, starting with district one's boy and ending with district twelves girl. Each tribute will do whatever they can to impress the game makers, once their time is up, the game makers will rate their performance on a scale from one to twelve, one being the lowest you can get, and twelve being the highest.
I spend most of the third day wondering what to do for the game makers. When lunch is called, I sit waiting for my name to be called. After what seems like an eternity, I hear
The minute I'm in the training room, I know what I'm going to do. I look up at the raised platform that the game makers have used to watch us the past couple days.
"You may begin when ready."
One of them says. I walk slowly over to the knot tying section, and quickly finish a half completed net. Walking over to the weapons, I grab a trident. Striding over to the dummies, I whirl the net, wrapping it around the dummy, running up to it, I stab it through with the trident. The game makers nod in approval, the whole thing took less than fifteen seconds. Then I walk over to the knife station, and throw a couple. I complete the obstacle course without too much difficulty.
"Thank you mister Odair, you may go now."
I nod to the game makers, and walk out to the elevator. Back on our floor, I avoid the main room, and duck into my bedroom. After a quick shower, I go join the others in the lounge. Annita avoids my gaze, staring at the floor. Mags pats the spot next to her on the couch. I plop onto the couch and hug a pillow.
"Have they showed the training scores yet?"
Bruce shakes his head.
Tiffy sits primly in a chair, grinning and clapping her hands excitedly.
"I'm so excited! Aren't you?"
I give her a wide smile. She used to irritate me, but she's not so bad.
"I can't wait!"
I say cheerfully. Mags smiles and turns to me.
"How do you think you did?"
"Okay I guess."
Mags nudges Anitta who is sitting on her other side.
"What about you?"
"I think I did very well, I even got the game makers to clap."
Bruce raises his eyebrows.
"Oh! There starting!"
Tiffy squeaks. The television lights up, and Caesar Flickerman, and Claudius Templesmith, hosts of the televised hunger games. Appear on screen. Caesar Flickerman dyes his hair a different color every game, and this year his hair is a bright yellow, he has the same shade makeup on as well.
"Welcome ladies and gentlemen to the 65th annual hunger games! I'm Caesar Flickerman, here with Claudius Templesmith. And we are here to present this years tribute training scores!"
Loud applause, then the screen switches to black. Large white letters appear saying: "District one" Vicktor's picture appears, and a large number ten flashes on it. Glorry get's a nine, Alexia and her district partner, whose name is Xavier. Both get an eight. The tributes from three both get a six. Then my picture appears, and a large letter nine appears. Mags smiles and pats me on the back.
"Okay you guess?"
I grin. Annita scores a ten, and after that I don't remember much, except Weasel got a nine, and Harrold scored an eight. I'm surprised when Luna achieves a seven, she must have done something pretty impressive to pull that. After the show ends, I say goodnight to everyone and go to bed. As I lie under the silky sheets, I think of tomorrow, where Anitta and I will be prepared for our interview with Caesar Flickerman, which will be broadcasted all over Panem. I fall asleap wondering how I'll do at the interview, and what secrets the arena will hold this year.