Story of a Tribute

Chapter 4

I am scared to say the least. I am standing on the train near the doors that will soon open up to the Capitol. I can feel every inch of me shaking, both from being scared and even a little excitement.

I turn and look down at Oak. He is trembling with fear, again I feel a pang in my chest. It hurts to see someone so small and innocent to be in this much fear and pain.

"You two ready?" Andre comes up behind me. I nod but Oak doesn't say anything. Merinetta comes in front of us and places a hand on the handle.

"Welcome, to the Capitol" she says as the doors slide open. I have to cover my eyes at first because it is so bright. Once my eyes adjust and I see the station, I am in complete awe with the place. Cheers of Capitolites fill my ears and for a second I think it could send me death.

We begin to walk and I get a better look at the place. High ceiling with a giant, and I mean giant, chandelier hanging from the ceiling. The crowd is blacked of by a barrier that is forming a walkway for us. As we walk I hear shouts from the crowd.

"We love you Maple!"

"I am rooting for you Maple!"

"Poor kid, look at him!" this one hurts me and I can see it hurts Oak so I send a glare in the general direction from where it came from. We walk pass a small fountain and I get a glimpse of multi-coloured fish and it sends a chill down my spine. They even alter animals here, how sickening.

We walk until a white car picks us up. "This car will take us to the remake centre, were you will be prepped for the opening ceremonies tonight" Andre says as he takes his seat in the car.

"What will they do?" Oak says. I am shocked, it is the first time I have heard him speak.

"So he does talk" Andre jokes. "Well, you might not like what they do, but don't argue. Just let them get on with it and don't complain, OK?"

"Ok" I reply. Oak nods his agreement. I am guessing he only talks if he has a question. On the ride to the remake centre, I have my eyes gazing out of the window. I feel like a little kid in a theme park. I feel like I am 12 years old again, only without all the dread of the hunger games on my mind.

It doesn't take long for us to get to the remake centre and once we do I am whisked away by a freaky bunch of people. They don't even ask when they pull my clothes of me and I am standing in front of them stark naked.

"Looks strong" the only boy there says and he twirls a piece of the long green hair in his fingers.

"Carvo, that is mean. She is a woman, not a man" shrieks a long red haired one who has strange tribal patterns on her face.

"Women can be strong too Cat" Carvo replies.

"Enough you too. We have work to do" say the other girl who has bushy silver hair and golden tattoos all over her arms and legs.

"Yes Sibley" Carvo and Cat reply as they nod. They give me a thin blue robe and get to work. They strip every hair of my body (Excluding my real hair). They wash me down then cover me in this cream that has little stones in. They then scrub about 3 layers of skin of my body.

I am left red raw afterwards but then they cover me in a clear cream that instantly soothes my saw skin. They start doing stuff with my hair but I can't see that and then they add some drops in my eyes.

When they are done I want to see what they have done. They sit me up and a mirror rises from the floor. I let out a gasp when I see myself. They have dyed my hair completely white and my eyes have no colour, just white. It is like they have taken away my irises and pupil.

They have turned me into a freaking ghost. What the hell! "What have you done?" I ask slightly enraged.

"We have made you beautiful" Cat says.

"You look absolutely amazing" Carvo says as she puts his hands together and lets out a little girly squeal.

"No, you have made me into a freaking ghost" I scream, anger filling my body.

"No darling. You wait and see what Darius has for you, you will get it then" Sibley replies, not even phased by my anger showing.

"Why can't you see how wrong this is? You died my fucking hair white" I scream again.

"Oh somebody has a potty mouth" Carvo says as he 'tsks' at me.

"Quiet Carvo" Sibley says calmly. She seems to be the boss of the other 2. Carvo steps back with Cat. "That is wash in, wash out dye. All you have to do is rinse it with some warm water and it will run right out" she says to me. This calms me a little. At least I won't have to fight to the death with white hair.

"And the eyes?" I ask.

"Just some eye drops. They will fade within two days or so" she replies as calmly as ever. TWO DAYS! I am going to be training with white eyes. Great, my day just gets better.

"You are dismissed" I hear a voice come from behind my prep-team. They turn and nod before leaving. Standing there is a man who has short dark blue hair and the most amazing emerald green eyes. His hair is all that seems out of place, the rest of him looks pretty normal.

"Hi" I say as he walks closer.

"Hello dear, I am Darius" he replies as he takes my hand. I know it sounds a little cliché but I feel a little spark when he does and my heart rate picks up. Why am I feeling like this? I have never felt like this about any guy before. "How are you feeling?" I hear him talk but it sounds miles away. I am lost in his eyes, though they are an unnatural green, they look natural.

After I realise I haven't been replying I quickly answer with a, "Fine" then take my hand back.

"That's good. Now, onto your outfit. We need something to represent your district" Darius says.

"We produce lumber" I say.

"But I don't want to do that. I want to do something that is more on the manufacturing side of lumber" he says. I look at him a little confused. What does lumber make? Charcoal, houses, paper…"Paper" he says as if he had read my mind.

"Paper?" I ask.

"Yes, and what do you do with paper?" he asks.

"Write on it?"

"Exactly" he says as he takes my hands and helps me of the table I was sitting on. I now get it, the white hair and white eyes. He turns me around before disappearing through a door. He comes back with a clothes bag in his hand. "This holds your outfit" he says. He unzips it and inside is a white all-in-one.

"That's it?" I ask and he nods.


Darius gets me to twirl and as I do, the white cape he added on to the outfit flutters around. "Beautifull" he says as he smiles at me. I feel a blush come to my cheeks as he does that and the feeling from before is back in my stomach. It is just a little crush...I hope.

I turn my head to hide the blue that I can feel spreading across my cheeks before replying, "Thank you." We then walk to an elevator that will take us to the stables where our chariot awaits us.

The elevator ride is faster than I thought and we were at the stables within seconds. When I enter the stables I am taken aback. All the other tributes look amazing, well most of them. District 10 are dressed like cowboys. District 12 are in miners outfits and district 2, who I thought would stand out, are in the usual golden armour. District one blow my mind though. The girl is wearing a green dress made entirely out of emeralds with matching emerald shoes and an emerald tiara which shoes of her stunning looks and blonde hair. The boy is wearing a suite made entirely out of sapphires with a sapphire crown.

I catch a glimpse of the small girl from 3. They have dressed them up with different gadgets which look all alien to me. The girl is frowning and has shrunken back into herself as if she is allergic to everything around her.

I sigh with pity as she stands all alone. I see the boy from district 8 make his way over to the careers. He must think he has a chance with them, I doubt it very much. They dont usually allow outer districts to join them, unless they somehow outmatch the careers.

I see our chariot and it takes my breath away. The horses are white aswel as everything else. Oak is dressed in the same attire as I am. His stylist has the full works done to her. She has crazy orange hair and tinted purple skin with an eye tattooed onto her forehead. What a freak!

"Hi" I greet Oak. He smiles at before looking off into the distance.

"Maple" Darius says. I look to him and he is pointing to Oak's stylist, "This is Verenia" he says. The woman extends her arm and offers me a hand shake.

"Hello" I say, pushing confidence to the surface. I don't want to look weak around anybody. "Maple Serena" I say.

"Charmed" Verenia replies as we shake. Suddenly music blasts through the stable and I see other tributes getting up onto the chariots.

"Up you go" Darius says as he offers me his hand. I take it and he helps me up after Oak climbs in. "Make them love you" he says as the first chariot leaves. I sigh before closing my eyes and start taking deep breaths. Make them love me, make them love me. How the hell am I supposed to do that?

I feel our chariot start moving and I open my eyes. As soon as we enter the parade I am awestruck. If the music wouldn't deafen me then it would be the cheers. I couldn't even hear myself think.

People look at us as if they are confused. I would be too if I was watching two people dressed up in white. Suddenly something happens. I see something dark move over the horses. Then another and another. They look like letters and numbers.

More cheers erupt and I realise what Darius has done. His earlier question pops into my head.

"Yes, and what do you do with paper?"

You write on it. He and Verenia have turned Oak and me into paper. I look at my body and see letters flying around my whole body. The cheers are getting even louder. I can hear some of them.

"We love you district seven."

"Woohoo, go Maple."

"Come on Oak!"

I look to Oak who is actually smiling. He is waving to the crowd and they love it. I smile at the crowd and decide to blow kisses. One of these will have to sponsor me now.

We pull into the square outside of the President's Mansion and I see her look down on us all like we are insects and she is biding her time to just squish us all. The district 12 chariot pulls into place and then President Arin starts her speech.

"Welcome tributes!" she yells. "We welcome you to our Capitol and what a pleasure it is to have you here with us." Lies! "We are happy to look after you up until the games and on that note. May the odds be ever in your favour!" She makes me sick. If I had an axe I would be able to kill her in one hit.

She doesn't say much more. And then we are taken into the training centre where we tributes will spend the upcoming days training for our survival. This is going to be a long next few days.

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