Monday, 11 February 2013

The Chariot Rides

The 9th of February has passed and all those wishing to submit an entry have done so. Five entries were sent and five entries were approved. The following people will be getting (a) bottle(s) of water in The Games.

Sparky Braginski has earned 3 bottles of water.

Eden Threatening has earned 1 bottle of water.

Death Rose has earned 2 bottles of water.

Miss Cain has earned 3 bottles of water. 

Flame Phoenix has earned 2 bottles of water.

These amounts have been calculated by writing quality, and writing quality alone. For the others who didn't submit a Train Entry, you're on your own to find water in The Games.

Nothing in terms of Players have changed since the last post. No one has dropped out - even though I am aware of one of the competitor's current situation - and no one has joined. As such, this means that everything is the same.

Remember that you need to talk this over with your District partner and that THIS WILL AFFECT YOUR SPONSOR RATES. Be sure to read over the Rules and Functionings Page again to find out what to do in further detail.

The Tributes, having now all arrived at their stations in The Capitol, are guided towards their rooms where their Stylists begin to sort out and explain what they will each be wearing in the Tribute Parade - more commonly known as the Chariot Rides. After a few hours, this is completed, and all the Tributes begin to make their way down to their chariots. 

Start! You have two weeks to send your entries to me via email [] and then comment it on this post after you get my approval. By the 25th of February it has to be completed.


  1. I love the way that I only got one bottle and would've got that if I had just wrote the end.
    * grins *
    I need to step up.

  2. The Chariot Rides.

    As soon as the Train stops I get taken into a prep room where they strip me down and groom me. They wax my legs, pluck my eyebrows, and clean the dirt out of every crevice on my body imaginable. They wash my hair until I’m sure that if they add any more products it’ll come out, and they practically polish my fingernails and teeth. Eventually they take me to another room, and I wait there for a few minutes when a girl, my stylist, enters. She’s got shoulder length, straight brown hair and pale skin. She’s wearing a black beret, a colourful scarf, a white blouse and a denim skirt.
    ‘Hello Sparky. I’m Clover. I’ll be your stylist.’
    ‘You don’t seem thrilled to be here.’ She says, walking around me in a circle. ‘Positively reluctant.’ She continues. I can feel her gaze burning my skin, ‘I bet you hate these Chariot Rides.’
    ‘Depends. Do you want me to be honest, or polite?’ I say, as she stops in front of me again. She laughs.
    ‘Both, if possible.’
    ‘Well… Honestly, I think that the Capitol’s sense of style is…’ I consider for a moment. ‘Not my own.’ I finish. Clover laughs again, harder.
    ‘Now tell me honestly.’
    ‘I don’t see it making any difference, I have to wear what you put me in anyway.’
    ‘Just tell me.’
    ‘Overstated, overdone, over the top, crazy, tacky, terrible…’ I reel off. ‘I feel bad now.’
    ‘Oh?’ she says, her eyebrows rising. I curse internally. Idiot.
    ‘A volunteer, worried about the wellbeing of another? Caring about another persons view on something? Worried about hurting their feelings?’ she folds her arms. I scowl.
    ‘So what?’
    ‘How are you going to live with killing someone if you can’t even insult my sense of style?’
    ‘I’ll figure it out.’
    ‘Sure you will.’
    ‘Ugh, please, can you just get on with it and tell me what I’m wearing?’
    ‘Okay. By the way, you should consider your name as inspiration.’ She says.

  3. A few hours later, I find myself alone in the room again, only this time, I’m wearing something. My dress, when presented to me, looked simple enough. I put it on and see that it was indeed simply a long, black dress. It trails behind me as I move, and I can't identify the material, but I don't know that much about that sort of thing anyway, so I'm not surprised. My hair has been crimped, and I think they added extensions- I was half asleep most of the day-, but it's hard to tell because it's the same colour as my hair. Which only makes me wonder why they did it in the first place, because I'm almost certain that they put extensions in. My earrings are little bolts of lightening that glow brightly, but not powerfully. Cute. My make up is subtle, which I like. Black eyeliner with smoky grey eye shadow. They've given me coloured contact lenses, which make my irises bright green with streaks of gold running through it. It makes my eyes look like a thunderstorm. I have a lipstick on that gives off a faint green glow. My shoes are more of a pain than anything else, because I'm not at all experienced at walking in heels. They're black, except for the heels, which are shaped like lightening bolts again, and they also glow like the earrings. But I really can't appreciate the design above how incredibly painful it is to be standing in these. When Clover gave them to me she added a small 'I know you don't like walking in heels, so they're slightly weighted to stop you overbalancing.' I replied with a grunt that sounded like it could've been sarcastic or sincere. I pace for a moment, getting used to them. Then Clover walks in and looks at me.
    'Turn.' She says. I turn on the spot and she smiles. 'Okay, one more thing before you go out.' She places a tiara on my head that's fashioned out of the same miniature bolts as my earrings, but it glows much brighter. Not enough to agitate my eyes though, which I'm thankful for.
    'Excellent. Check the mirror.' She instructs. I look in the mirror and see that the light from the tiara is making parts of my hair give of a dark green shine.
    'I knew you put extensions in…' I murmur. She laughs and I follow her out of the prep room and she takes me to where the chariots are waiting for us.
    'You're really going all out on the electricity look.' I say. Clover smiles.
    'Sure.' she doesn't seem convinced. 'Oh, look, here comes Phoenix.' She says. He walks up in a suit, that's completely black. So are his shoes. His eyes have the same contacts as mine, which startles me at first. His cuff links are like my earrings, which is kinda cool. We really do look very smart, which is sort of an oddity. That is, until Clover hands me a giant lightening bolt-shaped staff that glows really, really brightly. And then I notice that when under the light of the staff, my dress shines the same way my lips and extensions are. Phoenix gets handed one as well, and his suit does the same, save his black shirt. I look at Clover.
    'This was so close to something I'd actually wear, Clover, it really was.' I say. She laughs and helps me onto the chariot. Phoenix climbs up next to me.
    'Now, remember. Smile, wave and be inviting. Phoenix, remember what Samuel said about presence. Sparky, remember what Ari said about being secretive. You'll be great.' She says, stepping away from the chariot. I look at Phoenix.
    'Ready?' I ask.
    'Sure.' He looks at me. 'You?'
    'Always.' I hide a shiver. A thought pops into my head and I smirk.
    'What is it?' He asks.

  4. 'Let the Games begin.' I giggle. ‘You’re hair’s glowing.’
    ‘So is yours.’
    ‘Yeah, but mine is highlights. You’re is like, the whole front of your head.’
    ‘Uh huh.’ I chuckle. He’s about to respond when the Chariot lurches forward. It’s only as I gain my balance that I notice Phoenix’s shoelaces are glowing as well. Neat. I straighten myself just as well leave the room and then my ears are attacked by the roar of the crowd. I grip the staff tighter, lift my chin and settle into my confident smirk. Don’t slip up again.
    ‘Y’know, I’m kind of glad I don’t live in the Capitol.’ Phoenix says.
    ‘Why?’ I reply, waving to the crowd.
    ‘Because then I’d have to dress like that all the time.’ He points into the crowd a specific person in the crowd who was adorned in a bright, stripy pink and blue wig. That person, and a few surrounding, immediately jumped up, yelling and clapping louder than ever. Phoenix and I barely managed to swallow our giggles, instead grinning and waving some more.
    ‘Hey, at least it looks like we’re eager.’ I say. At this he does laugh, and I’m not sure whether our obvious display of friendship with be good or bad in the long run. It doesn’t matter now. Play it up if you’re told to- but remember, you have to kill him. We rode down to President Snow’s mansion and watched as he gave his speech.

  5. Chariot Rides

    I looked at my long fingernails and restrained myself from chewing the filed down edges. My skin felt tingly where it had been waxed, shaved, plucked and painted. The make-up on my face was too thick for my liking, any make-up I disliked. It made me feel too… What was the word? Too controlled by the Capital, I did like the pampering a tiny bit though, only if it was with my hair.
    My long golden locks had been washed, brushed, coloured, washed again, straightened and placed atop my head in a magnificent little style. In the brief moment I had glimpsed my face in a mirror, I saw a beautiful fourteen year old girl with sea-blue eyes staring at her. I was almost certain it wasn’t me, but she blinked in surprise at the same time I did.
    A woman with bright red hair and purple eyes looked at me and smiled. I pulled the white robe I was wearing tighter around my body. “Hi there,” she said; she had a nice voice, it reminded me of warm chocolate. “I’m Lux Tempest; your fashion designer, so to speak.”
    “Uh… Hi. I’m Death Rose.” I said it uneasily, and she smiled again.
    “I know your name, and I’m sorry about your family.”
    “Why? It’s not like you killed them! It was that damned shark!” I touched a necklace around my neck and fingered the large shark tooth that hung there. It was the size of my index finger. I liked to think that that shark that I’d killed was the one that had killed my family, but I knew it wasn’t. It was just another shark that had had a go at me a few weeks after my family had been killed.
    Lux smiled sadly. “We are humans, it’s what we do.” What the hell? She didn’t mean that she was pretending to be the shark, did she?
    I laughed at my stupid thoughts. “So… What do I-slash-we-another-slash-Eden do now?” I was quite bored, I had been sitting there for an hour, maybe less, and I’d never been good in small spaces; the main reason I spent so much time in the sea. It was so open and never-ending; the shear diversity of all the plants and animals was astounding!
    Lux sighed. “We get you dressed up for the chariot races, I guess. Your partner has a blue suit picked out for him, I was actually wondering if you’d like to wear a slightly modified version of your dress you wore to the Reaping?”
    I smiled, mum would like that. “I guess… I think it’s still on the train though.”
    “Nope, we got Simon to take it off before it took off again.”
    I looked at her with curious eyes, “can I see it?”
    “Sure!” She held up a long blue dress with netting around the bottom half. Whoever had redesigned the dress had made it into a ballroom style around the bottom, corset around the waist and the arms were made out of the same material as a wet suit. A pair of flippers came with it…
    I raised an eyebrow at what she wanted me to wear on my feet.. “I am not wearing that. I refuse.” I honestly didn’t care what they thought of that refusal. So what if it made them dislike me? I was going to die anyway, there might be a slight chance of me winning, but the odds started to climb higher in everyone else’s favour it seemed.
    She appraised me with wonder-struck eyes. Yep, I’m going to make people hate me for this. “It was either this or a mermaid suit.”
    I raised my eyebrow again. “Mermaid suit? Can I see? Do I want to see?”
    “Sure and I guess!” She walked out of the room while I stared in horror at what they had done to my mother’s dress. It was a mistake to see that, the tears started to brim over my eyes. When Lux walked in, her purple eyes dropped to the floor. “I’m sorry.”
    “Not your fault,” I muttered through sniffles. Was it her fault? Did she do that? Did she think it looked nice? Did she realize that you could not walk in flippers? I doubted it.
    She held up another dress, a blue mermaid suit, clam shells and everything. Well, at least there is a space for my feet to walk in at the bottom, I thought with a small smile, looking at the gap almost invisible gap at the bottom of the tail. “I think it’d look good on you.” She admitted. “You have the waist for it.”

  6. My eyes widened and I hugged my waist. I hated it when people commented about my body. I hated it worse than my self-obsessed uncle who pretty much wanted me to be eaten by that damned shark! I could feel my cheeks turning a deep shade of red. “I’ll go try it on,” I murmured, “is there a change room or something?”
    Lux looked at me. “Why would you-? Oh, um, no sorry. I’ll just leave.” She turned and left, hanging the new costume on a silver hook in the corner of the small room before she did.
    I got up and sighed. She seriously wanted me to wear that? I was pretty sure that my legs wouldn’t fit in the tail, it looked really tight! My thighs were going to be pressed together so damn tight! Did she expect me to waddle around like a penguin all night? A half-naked, half-mermaid-penguin creature or wear that monstrosity of a dress that had a ball room/corset/flipper thing? I decided easily hat I would choice the mermaid dress. I grimaced and tried it on, managing to slide my legs in with surprising ease.

    Lux came back in five minute later and helped me tie up the strings around my back, “There ya go!” She said, rubbing her hands together and grinned.
    “I want a mirror. Is there a mirror?”
    She nodded and left the room, leaving me to stare at my shiny blue-green tail. I was quite happy that my feet were invisible, covered by the soft fabric.
    Tempest walked back into the room holding a full-length mirror and sat it down in front of me. I had to admit, the mermaid suit looked really good on me. I just needed my hair fixed.
    As if reading my thoughts, Lux said, “We need the hair stylist to redo your hair. He prepared it for your dress over there,” she pointed to mum’s destroyed blue dress, “and we thought you’d choose that, not this.” She said the last word with disgust.
    I smiled. “Okay then! Off we go!” We walked in silence for a while, Lux only spoke to tell me to put my robe on a passing table and when she commented on my necklace. “It’ quite nice, I have to admit.” I grinned.
    She grinned back. “It suits your outfit quite well! How’d you get it?”
    I sighed. “I killed a shark after my family died. I was swimming, collecting crab as usual and then this large great white shark came at me. I pulled the knife that I carried in my wet-suit shorts and, yeah! I killed it, really scary, but I did it. I had to get over my fear anyway…” I smiled sadly.
    “Do you know if it was…?” Lux trailed off, sounding unsure.
    “It wasn’t.” I said curtly, adjusting my clam shells. How does a mermaid wear these? They are so uncomfortable! I thought. “My uncle pumped its stomach, looking for his little brother; my father.”
    We walked in silence again.

    I didn’t pay a lot of attention as a man with white skin and green spiky hair restyled my hair. I really didn’t want to be here; I wanted to be swimming, even in that damned dress! I didn’t care what people thought of me, I didn’t care if someone thought I was ugly because of my outfit or hair, I didn’t care about anything but the ocean at this point.

    Before I knew what was happening, I found myself stroking the nose of a sandy coloured horse. I blinked several times before I realised where I must have been, in the stables, with the chariots. Back home, this was the only part of the Hunger Games that I liked. I loved to see the costumes that were worn, seeing people smiling (in some cases) at getting chosen to be murdered and seeing the diversity of the Districts.
    The horse I was patting neighed appreciatively and I grinned at it. “Hey boy,” I said in a low voice in his ear. “Next time you see me, I’ll probably be dead.” There was still a little chance that I was going to make it, a tiny little, almost invisible chance that I was going to survive if my plan didn’t work. “Make sure you come to my funeral, kay boy? I don’t care if they have to take you on the train or fly you over or whatever, just promise to be there!” The horse neighed and I took that as a yes.

  7. I continued to stroke the horse’s nose until I noticed some people staring at me. I looked away, my cheeks colouring and spotted Eden Threatening across the room.
    He wore a blue sparkly suit, the same blue as the ocean and he wore a beautiful little smile. I waved at him and he waved back. I patted the horse’s side and then walked off towards him.
    “Hey.” I said.
    “Hi.” He replied. His suit was dazzling; it kept sparkling in my eyes.
    I blinked a few times and smiled at him. “Excited to die?”
    His face dropped a tiny bit. “Not really, I prefer looking on the bright side of life.”
    “All I need to do is look at your suit; I’m already blinded by the light!” I pretended to be blind for five seconds, I would have continued if I hadn’t have almost fallen over.
    He laughed, “I meant the metaphorical bright side.”
    “Ah,” I said and grinned again. He grinned back.
    “All tributes are to go to their chariots.” A female’s voice sounded from above them.
    I sighed. “Let’s go!” I said unenthusiastically. Eden laughed a cute little laugh. We walked over to our chariots, patting the sandy horse as I past him. “You’re a gorgeous little thing aren’t ya?” I whispered in the stallion’s ear with a grin. His fur tickled my lips as I spoke.
    I had always wanted a horse when I was little; they were strong, majestic, beautiful creatures with a soothing face. I had a friend, well, dad had a friend who owned a horse and I got to ride it once. I had to be seven or a tiny bit older but the memory of its rocking gait was one I would never forget, the flying across wet sand. Dad had said that his friend had brought it with all her money and the horse had died about a month after my Death’s ride. He said it had died from starvation.
    “Hurry up Death!” Eden said. I noticed I had paused on my tip-toes, my lips in the horse’s ear, murmuring quietly to him. I smiled ruefully up at Eden’s he helped me onto the platform.
    “Sorry,” I muttered. He didn’t reply. I stared at the horse’s flicking, blonde mane as the first tributes started off. As our District was called, I glanced at Eden and saw him smiling. What the..? I smiled with him, trying to remember the memory of horse riding to make the smile more legit. The wind blew on my face, the rebellious few strands that had not been captured in the hairdo, flying backwards. I ended up smiling happily, possibly the best smile I’ve ever done. It looked really pretty on the screens when my face was shown.
    The screaming and cheering hit me like a brick wall. I looked towards the crowds of people, hundreds, maybe thousands of people, were cheering for us. Well, not us, I though, for everyone. They seemed genuinely happy to see us dressed up for murder, or slaughter…?
    The chariot ride was too short. Before long, I was escorted off and to the fourth storey of the large building, after a long speech from President Snow. He explained the significance of the Games and the generosity of Panem. I tried to pay attention, I honestly did! But listening to him drone on and on and on about things we had all heard many times before just made me sleepy. I ended up pinching the sensitive skin on the inside of my elbow to keep from falling asleep. How about you right a new speech Snow, instead of reading the same stupid speech that the guys before you read? I thought, feigning interest in his speech.


    I’ve only been in the Capitol for five hours now, and in that time I still haven’t taken in the wonders of the Capitol. How big it is, how advanced in technology it is, how strange the fashions are… It’s absolutely breathtaking.
    My prep team have already finished with me. I’ve been scrubbed clean several times, washed down some strange foam and they even waxed me. I wonder if the outer Districts are still being scrubbed clean.
    Someone enters the room in which I’ve been waiting. It’s a woman, and she’s obviously my personal designer.
    Her dress is a balloon. There’s no other way to describe it. It’s highlighter pink, it’s fluffy, and it’s a balloon. Her eyelashes are extremely long and pink. Her eyebrows are an even brighter pink, it seems impossible.
    She grins, and I swear her teeth have slightly blinded me.
    “Hello.” She says, in her funny Capitol accent.
    “Hi,” I say back.
    “You’re Miss Cain, aren’t you?” She asks, gesturing to me with her finger. She continues before I answer, “I’m Trianna.”
    I open my mouth to speak, but she cut’s me off.
    “OK, spin around.”
    I spin slowly. She mumbles something to herself.
    I end up facing her again. Trianna claps her hands.
    “Now, to work!”
    I keep my groan to myself.

  9. Two hours or so later, I’m standing in a sleek silver dress that flows all the way to the floor, with a big belt around my waist. The belt has my District emblem in bronze, and the belt is a slightly darker silver than my dress. As for my hair, it’s been straightened so much, I thought my hair was going to burn. Trianna places a small silver crown in my hair, and then stands back to admire her work. She looks pleased.
    “You look amazing!” She exclaims.
    “Yeah.” I say, although I haven’t exactly seen myself in a mirror.
    “Would you like a mirror?” Trianna asks.
    I wonder if Capitol people can read minds.
    “Yes, please.” I reply.
    She nods, claps her hands, and then walks off. Clapping hands and mind reading, the talents of the Capitol citizens.
    Trianna walks back in with a mirror and a pair of flat silver shoes. I reckon the shoes are for me. She places the mirror against the wall and hands the shoes to me. I slip them on, grateful that they’re not heels.
    I turn to the mirror and gasp. I look so different. My hair looks longer and silkier. The dress shines like a sword in the sunlight, with the crown adding to that effect. I also notice I’ve had make-up done, mostly with silver and bronze.
    “Whoa.” I breathe.
    “Glad you like it!” Trianna says. “Now come on, we have a show to put on!”

  10. Trianna and I are down in the stables, with all the horses and other tributes. We’re still waiting for Ariston. I glimpse at Trianna. She’s looking around at all the other tributes’ outfits. I nearly laugh. I think she might be making sure she hasn’t been out done this year. Before I know it, I’m assessing all the outfits as well.
    “Nice dress.”
    I turn to face Ariston. He’s wearing a silver suit with a bronze shirt and bronze shoes. His hair has been spiked and showered with sliver glitter.
    “Thanks. I like your hair.” I reply.
    Ariston laughs. Then he leans in and asks,
    “Who’s your designer?”
    “Trianna. What about you?”
    “Oh, cool.”
    We stand there in silence, until Trianna notices something.
    “Oh no. Oh, no no no!”
    Dan looks towards Trianna, and rolls his eyes. He hands her a bottle of hair spray. She thanks him, and then observes the bottle.
    She sighs in relief.
    “OK,” Trianna begins. “Turn around and close your eyes.”
    I do just that, and then hear the spray hitting my hair.
    “Oh my! She look’s brilliant!” I hear a voice say. It sounds like Zoe’s.
    “Can I open my eyes?” I ask.
    “Yep!” Exclaims Trianna.
    I open my eyes, to be met with Zoe, Tyron and Sariah. The three of them, with Dan and Trianna, usher Ariston and I on to our chariot.
    “OK,” begins Zoe. “Head high, smile, and wave.”
    Hi to you too, Zoe.
    A voice over the speakers calls out District 1. I roll back my shoulders and prepare myself. Head high, smile and wave. Easy.
    The voice calls out District 2, and our chariot lurches forward. I silently squeal, and grasp the side of the chariot. The exit is becoming closer, and I’m still holding on for dear life.
    “Hold my hand.” Says Ariston.
    I look at him. “What?”
    “Hold my hand until you get your balance.”
    I find his hand and hold it. He’s a solid as a rock. We emerge, and the sound hits me full on and I stumble a bit, but Ariston holds onto me. I steady myself and find my balance. I look around, and take in the sights of the Capitol people. There are colours everywhere, like a rainbow with every single colour imaginable. They’re all cheering for us. Cheering for our deaths. Lovely.
    “Smile,” Ariston whispers into my ear. “You’re on the screen.”
    I look towards the screen, and see myself staring back. I grin. In that moment, I notice my hair. It sparkles with silver glitter, and I quickly realise the design of our outfits.
    Swords in the sunlight.
    My grin grows wider, and I begin to wave. Waving is a must, especially for sponsors. Our chariot makes its way to President Snow’s mansion.
    “Prepare for the lovely, boring speech.” I mutter to myself.
    Ariston laughs.

  11. I had thought that I would hate being styled,
    And guess what? I hated being styled.
    Being naked whilst people inspected and improved me was bad enough, but I hated being poked at and plucked at and adjusted. Always had. When they weren’t messing about with my eyes, I kept them closed, and when they weren’t doing anything to my hands, I kept them clenched, and when my mouth wasn’t being fiddled with, I kept my teeth likewise clenched. I started counting in my head, but the amount of times I lost count and the varying paces of my counting made it an unreliable way of measuring time.
    They probably told me they were going, but I hadn’t been listening to any of it except when my name was mentioned, so I only realised they were gone when it got quieter. I opened my eyes and found myself Them-less. Thank God. They probably thought I was all grumpy all the time and never said anything. I didn’t really care.
    What now?
    A few seconds later, my question was answered by a man walking into the room. “Hello Star, I’m Maily, I’m your stylist,” he greeted me in a businesslike tone. He spoke very quickly. I remembered his name from previous years, but didn’t recognise his face. I was pretty certain he’d just got it remade. Right now he had spiky green hair like grass, and his skin was blue. His eyes were purple and cat-like. In short, he looked very odd, but then he was a citizen of the Capitol. To not look odd there was to look odd there.
    I made these observations as he walked around me, no doubt making his own observations. I managed not to curl up into a ball, which I was pleased about as it was more than I’d managed earlier.
    “Sit up and put your robe on,” he ordered me. I did so, thankfully.
    “I already have an idea for your costumes. I think it’ll work quite well,” he began, then paused and looked at me, waiting for a comment.
    I had decided by this point that I didn’t like him. “That’s good,” I murmured, thinking it was an acceptable thing to say.
    “I’m glad you think so,” he nodded.
    Hi idea was probably either terrible or unoriginal. I didn’t just think that because I didn’t like him; nearly all the costumes were always terrible or unoriginal. Or both.
    “Because your district is textiles and that usually involves fabric people usually make costumes involving conventional fabric. But to show great skill in textiles you have to be able to use unconventional fabrics as well. So I thought we’d make your costumes out of unconventional fabrics, which shows imaginative textiles.”
    He was looking at me like he wanted a comment again. “That’s a good idea,” I muttered. It did sound okay actually. Not terrible. “What kind of unconventional fabrics?”
    I’d apparently asked the right question. He gave a pleased smile. “All sorts,” he informed me. “Grass, plastic, paper.”
    This could either be fabulous, or incredibly terrible. Probably the latter.


    It wasn’t as bad as I had feared, thankfully. I was wearing a dress with long, flared sleeves and a long, flared skirt. From about the elbows downwards, my sleeves were made up of chunks of metal, plastic and glass (without sharp edges, thankfully) sewed together with wires. The matrials apparently had needed holes drilled in the edges in order to sew them. They were all different colours and had different patterns. The sun reflected off the glass, hurting my eyes.
    From about the knees downwards, my skirt was the same. It ended at my ankles, just above dragging on the floor in places.

  12. The rest of my body was coated in coloured strips of things sewn together. Grass, rubber, cardboard, wood and probably other materials. Also, long strong wires ran through it all, preventing the heavy skirt and sleeves from tearing apart the other materials with their weight. I was still worried the wires would snap, though.
    It thankfully didn’t look as terrible and random as the idea sounded. Whoever had made my outfit had made it so the colours were mostly (the different-coloured materials overlapped each other) striped along my body. Green then blue then purple then red then yellow then back to green.
    My hair was curled and braided with different strips of the aforementioned materials in different colour.
    The overall effect looked kind of crazy and mad, and would have been utterly terrible if the dress hadn’t been shaped and was just square, but it wasn’t the worst outfit I’d ever seen by quite a way. I was thankful for that.
    Cambric was dressed the same as me, except in flared trousers and a flared shirt instead of a dress.
    “Hi,” he said.
    “Hi,” I replied.
    We both stood there awkwardly for a few seconds, not really liking to talk about our outfits with our stylists breathing over our shoulders, but then they went off to talk to the dreaded Them who had prepared me and some other people, so I asked Cambric, “What do you think of our costumes?”
    “Mad,” he replied. “And we look odd. But we’re not terrible.”
    “I was thinking the same,” I told him.
    Then we stood there in awkward silence a bit more, not having much to discuss. Probably better that way. We were going to have to try and kill each other.
    We didn’t have to stand there long before we were lead down to where the chariots were. I couldn’t walk that fast in my dress. I wasn’t used to ankle-length dresses and it was heavy. It dragged me down.
    Our chariot was covered in thread. Ordinary thread. I wondered how exactly this was unconventional, but it was brightly coloured and so matched us. We dragged ourselves and our outfits up into the chariots, then our stylists spent a while experimenting how exactly to put us. After that, there was nothing else to do but stay there and be nervous, which I was pretty good at. I wanted them to not really notice me, because I didn’t much like being noticed, but on the other hand, to be noticeable was to win. I won my debate by stating that the other tributes would be better than us no matter if I wanted to be noticed or not, so I could not want to be noticed and it wouldn’t make any difference. Then I started trying to get myself to want to be noticed anyway, because I was like that.
    I didn’t really notice the chariots were moving until the third one was driving out. After that I watched them depart. Half the chariots had gone when the chariot in front of us began to move.
    A few moments later, we were following it. I plastered a smile on my face. It felt false and unnatural.
    The crowd was cheering as we came out, but of course they were cheering anyway. They were a crazy blur of colour with faces sprinkled over it. I kept smiling falsely and waved at them, trying to look confident. I tried to judge how much they liked us by the amount of cheering, but it all just sounded like one big roar. Cambric was smiling and waving beside me.
    It lasted longer than I thought it would have done, but it wasn’t ages. I inwardly breathed a sigh of relief as our chariot slowed to a stop.

  13. I’m lying on the metal table as my stylists wash my naked body over and over, clearing every pore in my body, making me clean. They remove all the hair around my face, which surprisingly hurts like hell and afterwards, my hands are sore from clenching the side of the table. They wash my hair, and dry it, before moving onto cleaning hands and nails, my toenails and my feet.
    After they’re finished I look up at my bizarrely dressed Stylist named Simon. He smiles, his teeth glowing. “How are you feeling?” He says his voice happy and quirky. He’s enjoying this. He has a long blue robe on, and a orange tie that seems to sparkle and shine. His hair is huge, a big long green pillar on the top of his head, and coloured bright clean with red highlights. He looks like a box of Christmas decorations exploded on his head.
    “Sore as hell,” I reply and he laughs. My legs are strangely numb, and I can hardly feel the rest of my body.
    “Come on,” he says with an even bigger smile, “We have to get you dressed for the Chariot rides.”
    I get up and a gown is wrapped around me, and I’m out of the plain but shiny metal make-over room and dragged into another room, with a load of clothes on racks. The walls are cream, and there’s a velvet chaise couch in the centre of the room. I’m instructed to strip again and quickly handed a suit, t-shirt and shoes, all black. I dress as Simon sits on the chaise, watching me. Once I’m fully dressed, Simon gets up and says “Marvellous.”
    He then hands me small contact lenses which he helps me put in, and finally he hands me lighting shaped cuff links. He tells me to look in the mirror, and I have to say, what have on is cool, elegant and smart. My eyes are green; the suit I have is completely black and proper and the green cufflinks compliment it all really well. Simon walks to the door and smiles. “It’s time to get into your Chariot!” With an excited giggle, he guides me out of the clothes room and into the room where the Chariot’s waiting for me.
    Sparky’s there. She’s talking to who I suppose is here stylist. She’s wearing much the same attire as I am; a black dress, a pair of black shoes with the heels shaped like a lightning bolt, glowing green like her ear rings. Her stylist then hands her a staff that glows really brightly. Her dress shines, then, which doesn’t really surprise me. Sparky says something, and her stylist laughs and then I’m there and Simon hands me a staff too. We’re instructed to climb up onto the black chariot that has lightning bolts trailing out the back of it, as if the chariot itself were being boosted forward by it. Our Chariot is being guided by two black horses bound by lightning shaped reigns.
    I look at Sparky then, and she giggles.

  14. I look at her suspiciously, and ask, “What?”
    She replies with a smirk, “Your hair’s glowing.”
    “So is yours,” I reply, matter-of-factly.
    “Yeah but mine’s highlights; yours is like the whole front of your head.”
    “…Really?” I respond. Oh god, I must look ridiculous.
    The Chariot lurches forward and I nearly lose my balance. The stadium of Capitol people roar and chant, waving and shouting, obviously excited to see their pets that’ll fight to the death in the Hunger Games. I straighten up, and tighten my grip on my staff. I look down and then up, give and smile and a little wave of my hand. I nod and laugh, “Y’know I’m kinda glad I don’t live in the Capitol.”
    “Why?” Sparky replies waving to the crowd. She gains a response of men whooping and women clapping.
    “Because I’d have to dress like that all the time,” I point to a person in the crowd who’s decided to wear a bright and stripy blue wig. The person, and a few surrounding, must think I’m pointing to them for a reason other than the fact they look absolutely ridiculous. I grin and wave some more and Sparky does the same.
    “Hey,” Sparky says, and I look at her, “At least it looks like we’re eager.” I laugh and turn away, waving. I notice more people who are dressed too brightly, and a little bit too creatively, let’s say. A man in the front row of the stadium is covered head to toe in a luminous green toga, covered with bight luminous pink polka dots. His hair is artificially blue, and looks really stupid. But I guess that’s the price of fashion in the Capitol.
    The carriage begins to slow, and for a minute my thoughts wander to the actual Games. I wonder what Sparky’s thinking about; because right now, I’m thinking about whether or not to trust her. Can I? Or how do I know she won’t kill me the first chance she gets? I blink and suddenly all those thoughts fly away, out both of my ears. President Snow starts his speech, and I can only choose to listen.

  15. Chariot rides
    I glanced down at hands. The scars from cutting my hands off rocks fishing were all gone it was as if I had never done a hard days work. I didn't like it, those scars were part of who I am and how I'm still here. They'd taken all the blemishes off me and washed my hair, I was afraid they'd take my cowslick but thankfully it was still there when I clutched at the right side of my head.
    " Don't worry I wouldn't get rid of it I'm going to use it tour advantage. "
    Said a tall man with thin black hair that stuck to his head as if it was drawn there. " I think the way it curls over looks quite like the way a wave crashes, I'm Darren by the way. Darren Stead, I'm your stylist. " " So your the man who makes me look good before I get slashed to bits in the arena. " I replied still not trusting of anyone who makes a living off sending children to die.
    " Well I prefer thinking that I'm giving you a better chance in the arena by getting you sponsors. " he countered stroking his bushy brown beard that was in great contrast to his hair. " Now I was thinking something blue like the sea and combing over your hair into a wave. What do you say?" " I think that's fine just as long as you don't do anything to strange to my body or face. " I finished.
    I was lead into a room filled with rolls of fabric neatly lined along the walls in the centre of the room on a metal stand was a luminous turquoise suit the imitated the shine of the sea when it moved, it was collared by a coal black material. I was lead into a dark room with a single light in the middle illuminating a chair but casting shadows across the rest of the room like a mad scientists lab. A woman with pure whit hair but with skin the colour of bronze at me down and began to straighten out and comb my hair by the time I was finished it was half an hour till the chariot rides.
    I walked in to see other tributes conversing while death was chatting to one of the horses that was going to pull our chariot. I walked over grinning at the mermaid dress she was wearing. I hopper on the chariot and told death to hurry up. This was going to be fun. The chariot ride was smoother than I thought it would be the cheering was loud but it was nothing compared to the sea on a stormy night. When we got to the end we had to listen to the same boring speech from President Snow I smiled through the whole thing pitying the people who had to listen to this every year.

  16. The Chariot Rides

    The train ride from District 9 to The Capitol took a surprisingly short amount of time – only a day. During that time, I had the chance to meet the two mentors that would be instructing us before The Games. Elizabeth’s mentor is Catherin Sail and mine is Hayden Smudge. I recognize both of them from a few years previously. The first thing that they’d asked us was if we wanted to be trained together, or separately. Elizabeth was not going to be the very best player in the arena, and since I wasn’t looking to win anyway, I had responded with “separately” at once. From what I can tell, Hayden isn’t too bad a mentor. He’s kind enough, though evidently damaged from his time in the arena, and definitely knows his stuff. I could tell that once we had time in The Capitol that he’d be helping me all he could.
    Unfortunately, now that we are in The Capitol, there is no time at all to sit around and discuss things. The Chariot Rides are being featured on every television in Panem in mere eight hours or so, and the time before that event belongs solely to our stylists. I am curious as to meet mine, but also half annoyed at needing one. I understand the concept of a stylist, but I would so much rather pick something out myself for the Chariot Rides. And getting a good mentor was a small feat in itself, but a half-sane stylist would be another accomplishment entirely. As Sophanna so brilliantly displays, the people of The Capitol are as stupid as they are weird.
    For an hour or so, my prep team – consisting of two males and one female – fuss over me. They are weird people, working in weird ways, talking in weird accents and generally idiotic. They talk on and on as if they think I am paying attention and seem not to care at all when they do not get a response from me. Apparently, their job is to wash my body until it is sanitary, and then to get rid of whatever facial hair I may have. To do this, they apply a weird pulsing gel that sits all over my face for a good fifteen minutes before they stick a sheet of plastic over it and peel it all off. The gel itself doesn’t take any hair with it, but it must have done something to my face, because there’s nothing there when I check it. Scowling up at my prep team as they continue blabbering, they day drags on.
    They spend the rest of the hour painting my face with black and white paint, until finally, they leave and I stand, waiting for my stylist.
    As far as I know, the process that the prep team must go through for females is a lot more tedious and a lot longer than it is for males. Males only require the disappearance of facial hair, whereas females must be stripped of hair entirely, as their bodies are apparently a lot more important in The Capitol. I’d never cared about these kinds of things, but the fact that it holds true allows me to wear clothes the moment my prep team finish cleaning me. I now stand in black jeans and a plain white shirt as my stylist walks into the room.
    I have to admit, he’s a lot different to the kind of thing I had been expecting. This man is broadly built, with strong arm muscles and looks as though he may have once competed in The Games as well. Even though I know that all this muscle has probably been bulked up through a combination of drugs and surgery, I can’t help but feel intimidated by him. He has skulls tattooed all over his bare arms and I see some creeping up his neck as well which suggests that they also cover his chest.

  17. “Good evening, Shaun,” he says, sticking out his hand. “I am your stylist, Gean.”
    I take his hand, but don’t reply, and all I think about is the fact that it’s morning, not afternoon…
    “So, how are you liking The Capitol so far? A lot different from District 9, am I right?” he asks.
    I just stare at him in disbelief. Oh well. I suppose I shouldn’t be too surprised. I bet only three or so Districts end up getting right-thinking stylists each year, I can’t really have everything. Besides, it’s just the Opening Ceremony, and I’m going to die anyway. As long as I don’t look ridiculous, I’ll be able to maintain most of my dignity.
    Like my prep team, Gean doesn’t seem shaken by a lack of response from me, and pushes on. “So, I assume you know why I’m here.”
    Of course I know…
    “I’m here to help you look your best for everything leading up to The Hunger Games.”
    I know…
    “And I have to say, I have the perfect design picked out. I think you’re going to love it.”
    I wouldn’t bet on it…
    He leads me into the next room with a huge wardrobe and picks out one of the hangers with a costume on it. In his hands is a long robe with a hood, weaved in and out with wheat.
    “Put it on, put it on!” he says in a voice that is far too high pitched. Grudgingly, I do so, and flip the hood up too. It fits rather well, but I still feel ridiculous. Then Gean shoves a pole of some sort into my hand and pushes me in front of a mirror and I see Gean’s design in its entity.
    My face looks like a skull, thanks to my prep team. The pole that Gean had given me was actually a scythe, and the robes of wheat are set to make me look like the Grim Reaper on a Farm in a nutshell. I actually drop the scythe in disbelief of the sheer idiocy of it all.
    “You have got to be kidding me,” I say, drawing out each word as my insides writhe at the sight of myself at the moment.
    “It’s great, right?” Shaun asks excitedly. “I thought of it myself.”
    “Trust me, it shows,” I groan.

    Hours of protesting does me no good, as Gean seems to be immune to feeling shame of any kind, so that evening sees me standing beside our Chariot next to Elizabeth feeling ridiculously stupid.
    “At least the crowd will like us,” Elizabeth says grimly, who is dressed sort of like me. Her entire body is painted to look like a skeleton and only has a few select parts of her body covered up with wheat-woven fabric. I don’t bother to respond. Maybe they will, maybe they won’t. The style of fashion in The Capitol is so bizarre and so foreign to me that I have no idea what they could or could not like. Not to mention that I don’t have the first idea about fashion anyway.
    Soon, Gean and Catherin are in front of us again, talking and telling us what to do, but I’m only half listening. I’ve spent my whole life watching The Games, I’m fairly sure I know what to do. They hurry away after ten or so minutes as something goes off and the District 1 Tributes climb into their Chariots. Shortly after, the District 2 Tributes also climb aboard their Chariot and so on. Districts 3, 4, 5… Before long it’s us, and I groan to myself quietly as I follow Elizabeth into our Chariot and the horse begins pulling us off after District 8 who are dressed oddly.
    We come out of the room and into the line of parading Tributes and the full roar of the Capitol citizens hit me; various clashing waves of high-pitched frequencies and alien accents wash over the place. I look up to see myself and Elizabeth on the huge screens, getting our fair share of camera time as we follow District 8. In the lighting of the place, my eyes look sunken and dark, barely visible. I lower my head slightly, making my eyes vanish entirely, and then look away from the cameras, allowing the audience to do their thing. I don’t look to them or any of the other things that I’ve seen Tributes do in previous Hunger Games. It probably wouldn’t do me any good because I still can’t tell if they think we look ridiculous or magnificent.

  18. Finally, the Chariots pass the majority of the crowd and come to a rest in front of a huge building, the balcony on which President Snow now stands.
    “Greetings,” he says in a booming voice as the crowd’s roars settle. “And happy Hunger Games.” And with that, I allow his voice to be muted in my mind, bored already, and dwell on the difficulty level and skill it would require to kill all of these people to emerge alive. I suppose it’s a good thing that I didn’t come here to win.

    Following all that, we’re taken to where we will be staying until The Games begin. The building has 12 stories, each floor assigned to a different District – District 1 to floor 1, District 2 to floor 2 and so on. Naturally, we’re on floor 9, so we have a nice view of the city, should one choose to find views of man-made structures “nice”. No one is looking at views on our floor, though. Considering Elizabeth and I chose to be trained separately while on the train, Catherine takes Elizabeth away for questioning and Hayden sits with me to do the same.
    “Right,” he says, looking at me with his brow furrowed. “Firstly, let’s ask about the obvious. Why’d you volunteer?”
    I take a deep breathe, half of me wondering how to go about answering this, the other half wondering how this question is at all relevant. When I don’t reply for a while, Hayden speaks again. “Did you know the boy?”
    This is easier to answer. “No,” I say shaking my head. “Never even seen him before.”
    “So volunteering wasn’t about him, then?” Hayden phrases it as a question, but I can tell it’s more of a statement. Regardless, I go along with it.
    “What makes you say that?” I ask.
    “Well, for one thing, there’d be no reason to volunteer for him,” Hayden sits back and relaxes a bit. “Take the other two volunteers for example. Sparky Braginski and Masi Script. Both volunteered for their Districts, yes, but both of them took the place of scared, twelve year-olds who don’t know anything about anything. But in your case, there’d be no real reason to volunteer. Jeremy Soft was fifteen, wasn’t he?”
    I’m silent for a bit and don’t answer. Hayden’s observant…
    “So my theory,” he continues. “Is that you stepped forward for something you wanted to gain.” I hadn’t been planning on telling anyone about why I really left District 9. I’d been intending to keep it to myself until it became obvious once in the Arena. But Hayden seems to be demanding an explanation. He’s probably already worked it out, though…
    “Fine,” I say with a small sigh, and I roll my eyes. “Yeah, I entered for my sake.”
    Hayden nods slowly, and doesn’t respond. This is obviously just his way of making me continue, and I do so grudgingly.
    So I spend ten or so minutes explaining everything leading up to this year’s Reaping; the ploy between my mother and father, my mother’s death, the abusive nature of my father since. The amount of beatings I took, having to accept the probability of death multiple times, starving, having to fight back, so on and so. Eventually, I get around to finishing, and when I do, Hayden just stares at me, his brow furrowed but his eyes wide. For another minute or so, we just sit there, staring at each other, until I break the silence.

  19. “Well?” I demand. “What’s your take on this?”
    He takes another few moments to respond, but when he does, it’s my turn to frown. “I think,” he says. “And this is me being entirely honest; but I think that you may have one of the best chances of winning these Games, Shaun.”
    “…What?” I ask. He can’t be serious. I’m possibly one of the most mentally damaged people in this year’s Games. There may be a few others in the other outline Districts that have lived with starvation and seen death of their family members a few times, but other than that, there’s just me. Why would he think that I have such of high chance of winning? It’s ridiculous. “You can’t be serious.”
    “Of course I’m serious,” Hayden says brashly. “I think you need to listen over what you’ve just said to me, Shaun. Tell me, what’s the Hunger Games about?”
    I stare at him. “Uh. Well. It’s the Capitol’s way of taking revenge on the Districts when they…” but Hayden’s shaking his head.
    “No,” he says.
    “No. No, I mean what is it really about? What’s the one thing every Tribute wants the second they enter the Arena?”
    Well that is obvious. “To win,” I say.
    “Exactly,” Hayden nods. “To win. And how do you win the Hunger Games?”
    This is beginning to sound like a bad joke… “Stay alive?” I say, unsure. “Don’t die? Any kind of variation of those things?”
    “Pretty much,” Hayden nods. “And think for me, how do you make sure you stay alive in the Games?”
    “Please stop asking so many questions…” I mutter.
    “Answer it,” he persists.
    “I don’t know,” I sigh. “Make sure you can use weapons… Make sure you can fight… Stay alive…”
    “Those things are important, yes,” Hayden agrees. “But again, think about what you’ve just told me.” And I do so, but I still can’t work about what he means. “You’ve spent two years embracing the probability of death, yes?”
    I nod.
    “You’ve said you’ve always been able to fight. You told me you can get food for yourself, but also have had experience with near starvation. I already know you can use a basic array of weapons. So,” he says, giving me a long look. “What does this mean?”
    And I don’t reply, but I know what the answer is. It means I have a chance at winning these Games…

  20. hariot Rides

    I walk around the corner to see a man standing, waiting for me.

    The man stuck his hand out waiting for a shake. “I am your stylist for the games, my name is Griffin, Griffin Rhett.”

    I put my hand in his and we shake for a moment. “I am Alvard Nemesis nice to meet you.”

    “How do you like the Capitol so far?” He asked.

    I responded “Very fancy. So much different to district 6 where I felt I belonged. “

    Griffin’s head nodded “People sometimes do feel this way, I hope thought that you begin to like the people here. In order to win the games you need sponsors. These sponsors can win you the games. If you don’t have any you can lose them. That’s why we are going to give you an amazing outfit, which will make everybody jump out of their seats. “

    “What is it?” I ask.

    He than takes out a beautiful suit, and pants and shows them to me.

    “This is not a normal outfit.” He stated.

    “Move your head.”

    As I moved my head I saw it change from a regular suit, to a mechanic outfit. When I turned my head to the left again it turned back to a normal suit. I did this a few times to see the change.

    “That is so cool,” I said.

    “Isn’t it?” He retaliated.

    “Here,” and he handed me the outfit. The Chariot Rides are in two hours. You need to be dressed and ready by then. Then we will meet in the dining room to go.

    I nodded my head quickly and left the room. I looked at the shirt a few times, seeing the changes. I then jumped into the shower, and I let my head sit there for a while. I sat there thinking what I was going to do in the games.

    I was very well trained, I thought.

    As I got out of the shower and dried myself I put on the clothes. They fit perfectly.

    I then walked downstairs to the dining room where Griffin was waiting for me with a smirk on his face.

    “You thought it was that easy?” He asked.

    “Yes,” I concluded.

    “Well, I am your stylist, it’s time to give you the final touch.

    “But I thought we had to leave,” I said.

    Griffin responded “No that was only a trick so I know we wouldn’t be late, I still need to work on you. We have another two hours.

    He motioned me to another room and asked me to sit down.

    I did, and he began working. First he did my hair, putting gel in it moving it back, he said it would make me look professional. Next he trimmed my eyelashes. He then trimmed my nails. After that he studied me for a bit and mumbled to himself. He then did some more work before he sais we were done.

    “Okay.” He started. “We are complete.”

    He brought out a mirror to show me how I looked. I looked marvelous actually. My long brown hair was pulled back with gel, and my eyebrows were trimmed. I was cleaner than before, and looked better.

    “I look awesome,” I told him.

    “Yes you do,” he said back.

    We were at the chariot rides, and I looked at Christina. Her nails were painted a crimson read, and she had a lot of make-up on. She looked stunning. Her dress was like mine. When you tilted your head it looked like a train operator suit. But when you tilted it back it was just a normal dress again.

    We saw district 5 go and our mentor Chuck told us, “be ready for a loud applause. You need sponsors, so play it cool. Hold hands, wave, do anything to attract those sponsors.”

    We nodded as our chariot started. Christina and I held hands and started to wave to the crowd.

    “How do you like it here.” I asked threw gritted teeth as I waved.

    “Good. I like it hear. It’s so fancy. But yet I don’t like it knowing I might die here.” She waved too her side.

    “How is your stylist?” I asked. Throwing a nod to crowd members.

    “My stylist is great. Yours?”


    They cheered their heads off and were waving back. We flung both of our hands up and they yelled. I cold tell our outfits stunned everybody. I started to wave out of the chariot to the crowd and they waved back. I did a fist pump in the air as we went to President Snow’s mansion as I prepared the same old boring speech.

    “Close your ears and you might be okay.” I whispered to Christina referring to the speech coming up.

    She chuckled to herself.