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HG Challenge call--first ten - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
HG Challenge call--first ten
Because it's the weekend and I just finished a long story, and don't want to start a new one yet. Hunger Games ficlet calls. I'm not sure I have ten HG readers, but if so, I'll do the first ten! :P

  1. Something Johanna/Gale for beceh
  2. I was wondering if we could have a glimpse into Finnick and Annie's relationship for sarah200
  3. Cinna and the revolution. Spying! Secret messages! for allie_meril
  4. maybe something showing more of the Hawthornes post-Mockingjay. I'd love your input on Rory, Vick, and Posy for shortysc22
  5. how Katniss and Peeta finally got together after the end of Mockingjay before the epilogue? for Anon
  6. I'd love seeing Katniss & Haymitch's relationship, post-Mockingjay for jedinic
  7. Could we see a little more about Finch/Foxface? Maybe District 8's reaction to her getting so far in the games, maybe their memorial of her afterwards for sonetka
  8. I'd love any of the characters responding to the Games immediately before Katniss's for torturedbabycow
  9. How about Beetee, before his first Hunger Games? for vytresna
  10. Something with Haymitch in the aftermath of his Games for Anon

Got my ten! There are two more requests, but these ten came in first.

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52 comments or Leave a comment
beceh From: beceh Date: December 17th, 2012 12:41 am (UTC) (Link)
Ohhhh. Hmmmm......

Something Johanna/Gale. Vague, but there you have it.
beceh From: beceh Date: December 17th, 2012 12:43 am (UTC) (Link)
And just in case only 8 other people reply.... some missing scenes from Katniss and Peeta's victory tour :-)
sarah200 From: sarah200 Date: December 17th, 2012 01:16 am (UTC) (Link)
Hey Fern, I just rediscovered your fiction and stayed up all last night reading the HG fics. I love the characterization of the "side" characters. I was wondering if we could have a glimpse into Finnick and Annie's relationship. Thank you!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 17th, 2012 01:46 am (UTC) (Link)
The thing I hate most about being a victor is mentoring. There are other things, of course. The thing with my "dates" isn't exactly pleasant. But I'd crawl off with every old bastard in the Capitol, every week, if I could just get out of taking these kids from four and prepping them to die.

Sure, a lot of them have been training for it. In my year, a whole crop of eighteen year olds tried to volunteer for me after training their whole lives, but our escort, Aeneas Crowder, found an obscure law saying that District Four had produced too many volunteers. This may have had something to do with my mother being arrested for trying to poison the mayor with a mis-prepared blowfish. It could have been an accident. Given that Mom laughed at the idea, I sort of doubt it.

This year, we have a pair of volunteers. They're only a year younger than I am (which is at least better than the last two years, when my tributes were older than me), and the boy is a complete bastard. The girl, Annie Cresta, was his girlfriend during training, and she goes along with him most of the time, but she's not nearly as bad. Mags offers to trade with me. I'm not sure why.

So I meet with Annie on the train. She keeps looking at the door, like her boyfriend is going to join us, so I pull down the shade and sit down across from her, in her way. She's chewing gum. I make her spit it out.

"What are you good at?" I ask.


"What are you good at? What did you train with? And don't bother saying that you didn't train. We both know you did."

She shrugs. "Ropes, I guess. I can use a trident, but not as well as you. I can sail. My dad's a captain."

"Very good. They're not going to give you a boat. Why did you volunteer?"

She gives me a sullen look. "For the honor of District Four."

"In other words, because you want to die with your boyfriend."

"What? No! He's not going to die."

"So, just you." She blinks. I slam my hand down on the table. "This isn't a vacation you signed up for! One of you is going to die. Do you understand that? I mean really, deep down in your bones, understand it? Whatever happens, you're not going home together."

She doesn't answer.

I sigh. "What are you good at?" I ask again.

"I can handle a knife," she finally says. "And I'm okay with a spear. I'm not very good at a sword, but if it comes to it, I can do it. And... well, it probably doesn't matter."

"What doesn't matter?"

"I can swim." She shrugs. "I'm better at that than anything."

"If there's water, it could be a good escape," I say dully, though I don't hold much hope. "If you're quiet, maybe amphibious attacks. Can you handle what's about to happen?"

"Of course I can. You did."

"Do you know what you're going to see in there? It's not like it looks on TV. They never cut away to Claudius giving the odds. It's real."

She looks down at her fingertips, studying them minutely, and I see tears in her eyes.

She is never going to survive this alone. "All right," I say. "The first thing I'm going to do is get you allies..."
Some Theories... - (Anonymous) - Expand
allie_meril From: allie_meril Date: December 17th, 2012 02:03 am (UTC) (Link)
Cinna and the revolution. Spying! Secret messages!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 17th, 2012 02:53 am (UTC) (Link)
"Welcome to Team Twelve!" Effie Trinket says, coming into my studio. She looks at the dresses in the window, which probably seem hopelessly understated to her, then hands me a box. "This is from our District Twelve mentor, Haymitch Abernathy. Special order from the local bakery!"

I take the box, which contains a small decorated cake. The work on it is cunning, with licorice coal heaps, dirt roads made from crumbled chocolate, and lovely little mint-leaf trees. It seems almost a shame to eat it, though it would look a little suspicious if I didn't. I take it out carefully and set out pieces for Effie and Portia.

"It's very good," Portia says. "I haven't had anything better here in the Capitol."

"Oh, it's a very talented District, as you must know, since you volunteered!" Effie sounds a little desperate about this. Everyone knows she'd rather have a "good" district.

Still, she gives District Twelve her all, and according to Finnick Odair, Haymitch Abernathy thinks she really does do her best for the tributes. "I wouldn't say she's one of us, exactly," Finnick told me (Plutarch set it up to look like I was one Finnick's "friends," which is how he gets a lot of messages out), "but she's a nice enough lady, all things considered. Better than Four's escort, at least."

So Portia and I host Effie for an hour, while she tells about the amazing underlying strength of District Twelve. That this amazing underlying strength has ended up with their tributes dead in the blood bath for several years is left unsaid. They have no base of support here in the Capitol, except for a few of Haymitch's diehard fans, and they, frankly, have not needed to be asked for anything for a long time. "It could be a problem," Effie says. "It's not when it's over early, but if they do need sponsors, it might be hard to find them."

"Well, that's where we come in," I tell her.

She finally leaves, not wanting to accept that I haven't come up with a concept yet, but not able to force it. I know that I don't plan on the coal miner schtick. It hasn't worked so far, and it's not likely to start working in the future. And it's not going to send the message I want to send.

"Good cake," Portia says. "Though I hate licorice." She sets aside her bit of the coal heap and nibbles on the road. "Why did Abernathy send it?"

In answer, I carefully put the remaining cake on a plate and pull out the cardboard tray it's been steadied on. It's wrapped in a now-greasy bit of paper, which I take off of it. On the back, there's a series of numbers. To anyone else, they look like someone trying to calculate a price, or a child doing schoolwork. Three plus six. Twelve minus two. Four plus seven.

Districts three and six are in. So is district nine, by the code. Twelve of course, but two is out. The problem leaves ten in. Four and seven and eleven. Not a bad gathering. The letter "V" shows up under twelve, seven, and three, which means we only have the victors there. I'll pass it on to Plutarch when we meet about costume requirements.

"So do we have a plan? Or are you waiting to see who the tributes will be?"

"It'll be too late by then," I say. "Whatever it is, let's make sure we keep them visually together."


I can't answer that. I'm reasonably sure my studio was bugged the second I volunteered to take on Twelve. They don't trust Haymitch Abernathy any further than they can throw him. The real reason, of course, is to make the audience see two people inseparably, then make them realize that they can't both live. Make them feel what everyone else in Panem feels--the pain of losing a real human being.

Of course, you don't talk like that where anyone can hear you, so I say, "Because it's a challenge. Do you have any ideas?"

Portia bites her lip and stares at my little fire. She picks up her piece of licorice and throws it in. It's not the most flammable substance in the world, but the flames dance over it, red on black, like coal burning in a smelter.

We both see it at the same time.

She says, "I'll get to work."

I stay and watch the rest of the paper burn. It wouldn't do if a fragment were to be found on anyone.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 17th, 2012 02:14 am (UTC) (Link)
For shortysc22

And maybe something showing more of the Hawthornes post-Mockingjay. I'd love your input on Rory, Vick, and Posy.
"Do you really have to go back to Twelve?" Posy asks.

I nod. "Yeah. I guess I do. It's home."

"Home's not there anymore," Vick says. "It's here." He tears some meat off the wild turkey we've been picking at for the last hour.

Mom made the feast as a going away party. She went to sleep. Gale and Johanna went home. I came down to get leftovers and found Vick and Posy already at it. "This isn't where I fit," I say.

Vick shakes his head in disbelief. "What do you think? You're going to go back there, and it'll be the Seam and the slag heaps and all the crappy places you used to play soldier? It's gone, and so are all the guys you played with."

I take another piece of turkey. "It just felt good to be there when we went for Katniss's wedding. Didn't it feel good to you guys?"

"It was nice to visit," Posy admits. "But I think you were feeling good because you were dancing with a pretty girl the whole time."

"Not the whole time," I say. I consider telling them that I've been writing to that pretty girl--Laurel McKissack, from District Eleven--since that day three years ago, and that she's planning to relocate over to Twelve in the next month or so, but I don't need the teasing that will bring. "And anyway, now you can come and visit more, because I'll be there."

"I could visit Katniss and Peeta," Posy says. "She said I could come any time."

"Because that situation isn't at all weird," Vick mutters.

"If Gale can stop being wounded about that," I say, "I think you can."

"Whatever," Vick says. "The point is, this is where your family is now, Rory. You're leaving us to go chase ghosts."

"I'm not leaving the family. I'm leaving District Two. Come on, didn't we have a war so we could travel around and live where we like?"

"We had a war so that Posy wouldn't get thrown in an arena."

"Or you!" Posy interjects. Just lately, she's begun to act annoyed at being protected. "I can take care of myself, but you're hopeless."

Vick throws some turkey at her. She fires back a corncob, which he catches, forcing her to pick up another. They sword fight with them across the table until she knocks his weapon away.

She gets up and takes a bow. "Who needs protecting?"

"Clearly, neither of you," I say. "Which is why I feel free to go off and have my own life, if it's okay with you."
shortysc22 From: shortysc22 Date: December 17th, 2012 02:43 am (UTC) (Link)
Love the sibling bonding here. I feel that each of the families have their own dynamic and I relate to the Hawthornes the most, where Gale is so fiercely protective of the younger oens and it would translate down through the others.

I like how Rory purposely leaves out why he's going back to Twelve because he knows he'd just be teased more. Oh the love of a sibling!
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 17th, 2012 03:51 am (UTC) (Link)
I just wanted to say how much I've loved your HP stories through the years. I finally got around to reading the Hunger Games after seeing your HG fics, and really feel that your stories illuminate missing moments that fit within the canon of the original stories.

Can you write a ficlet about how Katniss and Peeta finally got together after the end of Mockingjay before the epilogue?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 17th, 2012 05:08 am (UTC) (Link)
Peeta's hair has grown out a little, and his eyebrows have grown back in. His bangs cover the faint burn scar on his forehead. He still has them on his hands, but they're little things, things that could pass for life by a baker's fire if I didn't know better. There are worse ones on his side (he and Haymitch and I sat around comparing scars one night; I won handily), but they are generally covered by his shirt.

In short, he looks like the man he should have become, if the Games and the war had never happened. Even the fake skin covering his artificial leg has been replaced, though he argues that missing a huge part of his body really ought to win all scar competitions. Haymitch thinks my patchwork back shows more damage.

We were all drinking a little that night.

On most days, I guess I look mostly normal, too. The back scars are covered by my clothes, and the ones on my arms and legs aren't too awful. Some days, I still think of myself as a fire mutt, and some nights I wake up thinking that I ought to be executed for my crimes. But most days, I feel--mostly--like Katniss Everdeen. Not as young as I once was, but not monstrous or hopeless. This is mostly because of Peeta. He comes over every day, and every day we work on our book. It connects me to all the people I've loved (Peeta, not least), and they all whisper to me about who I am under the scars and under the nightmares.

"What are you thinking about?" Peeta asks.

"You," I answer honestly.

"What about me?"

"That I'm glad you came back to Twelve."

"Where else would I go?"

"You can go anywhere."

"But you can't. Which means this is the only place I can be." He shrugs. "Besides, it's home. It's easier to keep track of what's real when I'm home."

"You're getting really good at that," I say. "You're really amazing. No one else has ever done what you have."

He smiles at me and touches my face. "I had a really good reason."

I take his hand. "The harvest festival is going on this weekend."

"I know. I'm baking for it."

"I'm going to go hunting tomorrow, get some turkeys, I hope." I bite my lip. "What I'm thinking is--would you like to go to the festival with me? As a date?"

He looks surprised. "A date? Like a regular sort of... date? Where we dance together? Talk?"


He laughs. "Katniss, are you just trying to get kisses?"

"Yes." He kisses me, and it's cool, like the first comforting shower of April. I can't stop smiling long enough to kiss him back. I stroke his cheek. "It's not just that. I want to... I want to do something regular. I think I'd really like to fall in love with you like a normal person. Not that I'm not already there, but... you know what I mean."

He nods. "Yeah, I do. That's what we should've done in the first place. Gone to a dance together in school or something."

"I'd have liked that. What would we have done?"

"Danced, I think. And kissed. And I'd tell you how beautiful you are."


"Are." He pinches my nose and gives me a quick kiss. "So it's a date?"

I nod.

We finish working on our memory book, then he goes home, and I go upstairs to pick out an outfit for my first date.
jedinic From: jedinic Date: December 17th, 2012 05:10 am (UTC) (Link)
Am I too late? I'd love seeing Katniss & Haymitch's relationship, post-Mockingjay.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 17th, 2012 06:09 am (UTC) (Link)
Haymitch manages to stay sober around Pearl. It must be a huge effort for him, but he does it. He thinks the sun rises and sets on her, and she really hurt his feelings last month when she said his breath smelled like icky vinegar.

His breath is apparently adequate this month, as she is currently sleeping on his lap. Peeta went out to tend the geese so we wouldn't have to disturb her. At the moment, I waddle a little bit too slowly to get away from the geese if they decide to rampage. I am looking forward to this birth--Pearl kindly got big and uncomfortable when the weather got cooler. Now, in the hot weather, I feel like a bloated whale stuck on the beach.

"You ready for another one?" Haymitch asks.

"It's a little late to change my mind."

"True." He kisses the top of Pearl's head. "You don't seem quite as, well..."


"I was going to think of a better way to say it, but yeah. You don't seem as crazy this time."

"I try not to start screaming in front of Pearl."

"Then you're still having nightmares?"

I nod and lower myself clumsily into an armchair. It's a good thing I don't need to hunt to feed the family right now. "Do they ever stop?"

"I'll let you know, sweetheart. I give you credit, though. It took guts to have kids anyway. Never could bring myself to try it."

"You could still get married. You're not that old." I hope he will reveal who exactly has been wheedling him for the last several years. Peeta's theory is that it's Effie Trinket. I'm holding out for Enobaria. "I mean, if there's anyone around."

He grimaces at me. "You and Peeta have a bet on the subject, don't you?"

"Absolutely not," I tell him. "I have a bet with Delly."

"Well, Delly's got good judgment. Who's her pick?"

"My mother," I say. "And don't even think about it."

"Wasn't gonna." Haymitch actually looks alarmed at this prospect, which at least means, thankfully, that it's not Mom pressuring Haymitch. I don't think I could handle that. He shifts Pearl in his arms, and she makes a contented little sound. "Anyway, I think I'll just be the crabby old grandpa here. The one she tries to keep her friends away from when I come visit."

"What are you doing up in the Capitol, anyway?" I ask. "I never figured you for living there."

"Beetee and I are working on a way to get your sentence commuted, so you can get out of here."

"Thanks, but I'm good here. You don't need to worry about that."

"And if your kids want to travel someday?"

I frown. I haven't thought about that at all. "Oh."

"So Beetee thinks that the open-ended sentence isn't quite legal. And I always thought they ought to build a statue to you instead of exiling you out here."

I nod at Pearl. "I don't want her thinking what I did deserves statues."

He checks to make sure Pearl's eyes are closed, then whispers, "You want her thinking you just murdered a woman because you were nuts? How about the truth? You did what you were supposed to do. You fired the last shot of the war. You kept us from going right back where we were."

I don't answer this. I don't know why I did what I did in the city center any more than I know why I pulled out the berries in the arena. But Haymitch has been my staunchest defender for almost two decades now, and nothing I say is going to dent his belief that I should be on the cover of every history book in Panem. Instead, I say, "The new baby is a boy. Peeta and I still haven't come up with a name."

"How about 'Haymitch'? It's a good, strong name."

"Yeah, but we've already got one of those."

"Why don't you name him after your dads?"

"Finny Odair says it's a pain to have to live up to someone else's name."

"So Cinna's out, too."

"And Peeta's brothers. Which leaves us kind of stuck."

He pretends to consider this. "Maybe just 'Hay'. Or 'Mitch.'"

I roll my eyes. "Begging is bad manners. What would Effie say?"

Edited at 2012-12-17 06:11 am (UTC)
sonetka From: sonetka Date: December 17th, 2012 06:50 am (UTC) (Link)
Could we see a little more about Finch/Foxface? Maybe District 8's reaction to her getting so far in the games, maybe their memorial of her afterwards -- she's such an elusive character that I'd like to see more of her.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 17th, 2012 07:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
I want to tell her to stop, to think about it. To realize that the boy she thinks she killed is still alive.

But of course, I can't. And it wouldn't matter. She's dying, and she knows she's dying. So I watch silently as she swallows the berries. She's careful. She makes it look like she's crazy enough with hunger that she's forgotten, but I know better. She told me before she left that she wasn't going to kill anyone who wasn't actively trying to kill her at that exact second. She thought it would probably get her killed by the second day, but she made it this far. The furthest anyone's ever gotten without a kill, even if she thinks she killed Cato.

But she's starving, and the other three are healthy. She's crazy with the thought that she killed someone. She's been sick and she's tired and she's given up. Even if I were right there, she'd be swallowing the berries anyway. She is stubborn. And she's controlling her own fate, not letting anyone else decide for her. At least there's that. And she's doing it carefully enough that hopefully the Capitol will think it's an accident. The last time a tribute decided to make his own way out of the arena, it was a District Ten boy, and they showed the Peacekeepers burning down his family's ranch and killing all the animals.

She slips to the ground, convulses, and dies.

No one here in the city center seems to know what to do. When Tesla died on the first day, they yelled and screamed and cried. But no one knows Finch. No one except me and her family. They've been watching her with great interest--no one from Five has gotten this far except our victors--but how are they supposed to feel about a girl they ignored while she was right here with them?

As for me, I think I knew I'd lose her days ago, and I've been mourning her. Actually seeing her slip away just rolls the stone over the tomb.

She wasn't my girlfriend. Even on our sub-basement level of the popularity chain, there are immutable rules of association, one of which is that girls as pretty as she was do not go out with zit-faced boys who wear thick glasses, no matter how many books they have in common. But she was my friend. I have missed her since they took her away.

I pick my way through the dwindling crowds in city center, where people are blinking numbly at the screen, some not really understanding what we just saw, even as the girl from Twelve explains it to her partner. Other groups are starting to cry. Maybe it's not for Finch the person they really didn't know here, but at least it's for the person they've been starting to appreciate watching her on the screen together.

Others, of course, are wondering who they should root for now. This is sick, but it happens every year. Finch always said it's half the point of the Games--to make normal people complicit in the whole sordid thing.

I finally find her family, huddled in a tiny niche, red-eyed and in shock. Her father tries to greet me, but bursts out crying into his hands. Her mother died years ago, and she's helped raise her brother and sister.

Her sister, Robin, throws herself into my arms and says, "Finch died! Finch is dead!"

I pat her shoulders. "I know, Sweetie."

"I thought she had the secret! I thought she could do it."

"She came really far," the brother says. "She knew everything."

On screen, Claudius is speculating on how she could have made such a costly mistake. I direct their attention away from it. "I can help you a little," I say. "I can help in the store. I don't have to start at the power plant until next year."

Finch's dad shakes his head. "No, no. You finish up at school and do what you need to do. Finch organized everything for us before she... left. We'll be all right. Oh, my girl, my beautiful smart girl..."

There is nothing else to say. I huddle with them for a long time.

Then the reporters come.
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Expand
torturedbabycow From: torturedbabycow Date: December 17th, 2012 08:37 am (UTC) (Link)
Oooh! Somehow I never had good ideas for your HP challenge calls (I think I always felt like other people took all the good ideas, so I was always too satisfied from reading those to come up with more), but I've actually got several ideas for what I want to request now. It's fun to catch you at the beginning of a fandom!!

This might be too out-of-the-way, but I'd love any of the characters responding to the Games immediately before Katniss's. (To be specific, maybe any of the ones where Katniss was eligible?) I feel like we get remarkably little reference to the yearly losses - things like Mrs Undersee's sister from years ago get mentioned, but not much else. (I think you've touched on it more than in the original, but still - while reading the books, you'd feel like Twelve had only experienced a few games total in the last generation!)

Alternate option: continue the Finnick and Annie storyline from the #2 challenge! It feels like you've got a pretty specific idea of her history, but haven't told it all.

And! Third option because I have been drinking wine and am having trouble limiting myself: something with Prim becoming more badass (and less the helpless image Katniss had), either before or during book canon.

(This comment has many words. And I could still keep going. Srsly, blame the wine.)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 17th, 2012 08:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'll take the first.
Teasel Hughes and Goldie Smore are the last pictures that will fit on the wall. I wonder where next year's corpses will be memorialized. As I have a pretty good chance of being one of them, I hope it's not on the bathroom door, which is the closest available surface.

Maybe they'll just start another row of pictures under the top one. Maybe we'll fill up the whole hall before the Capitol finally gets sick of watching us kill each other.

"Did you know them?" Katniss Everdeen asks, sneaking up beside me, her books pressed tightly over her chest. She is starting to get very pretty. Which I really shouldn't think about.

I shrug. "A little. Did you?"

"I had classes with Goldie. Last year she kept saying how she'd be able to beat the careers, because they were fat and slow." She shakes her head. "Teasel was a year behind me. I only knew him on sight."

"My mom sometimes hired him to take the laundry around, if he looked like he needed something to eat. He's got a couple of little sisters."

"We should get them some game," Katniss suggests. I don't argue, though the woods haven't been as cooperative as I'd like lately, and it's hard enough to keep our own families fed. If the Capitol didn't spend so much energy keeping District Twelve starving, Teasel and Goldie wouldn't have had to take so many tesserae. Katniss and I wouldn't have to take them, either. I don't know how I've managed to duck it. I had thirty-five entries this year. At thirteen, with four people in his family, Teasel couldn't have had more then ten.

And shouldn't have had any. I pound my fist into the wall. It helps a little. A bunch of town kids wanders over, looking up like they actually care--pampered kids who never have to sign away a chance on their lives to keep their families fed. I think about skinny little Teasel, piling up with bags of laundry just to get a couple of squirrels to feed his sisters.

"Meet me at the fence after school," I tell Katniss, and head off to class, where we all dutifully pretend that a girl fifteen years old didn't just have her neck snapped by a burly boy from District One, and a skinny boy of thirteen wasn't cut in half with a machete. Later, we'll have to keep watching the Games, pretending to care what happens to their killers.

The worst part is, it's only the second day. By the end of the Games, we won't be pretending. The bodies will come back, we'll have a memorial at which people try to recall exactly what they looked like, and then we'll shut down until the victor comes through and we try not to let the hate show too much. Then we'll wait for the next Reaping, the next pair of pictures to go on the school wall.

"Mr. Hawthorne!" a voice interrupts my thoughts. I look up at my mine engineering teacher, Mr. Blaney. He shakes his head and says, "When you're handling explosives is not the best to let your mind wander. Get back to your fuse."

So I get back to the fuse. Sooner or later, they might even let me light it.
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Expand
jedinic From: jedinic Date: December 17th, 2012 09:24 am (UTC) (Link)
Am I too late? I'd love seeing Katniss & Haymitch's relationship, post-Mockingjay.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 17th, 2012 08:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
Gotcha above. :D
vytresna From: vytresna Date: December 17th, 2012 01:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hmm. How about Beetee, before his first Hunger Games? (I've read the books about once each, but from my dim recollections, this is one of the better choices I can think of.)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 17th, 2012 09:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't have a chance.

This is the only thing I can think as I see all of the other tributes around their chariots. They're bigger than I am, and they all seem to have an easy way of posing for the cameras.

Also, they have mentors from their own districts. District Three has never had a winner. The Capitol has to assign us mentors from District One, and since I haven't even met this year's yet, I guess he's probably not really worried about helping another district win. My stylist has dressed me up to look like a motherboard, or so he says. I have a feeling he's never looked inside a computer, though, judging by the look of it. My partner, Babbage, looks like she's wound up in wires. She even has a ponytail made of wires. This is stupid--she's the computer person and I'm good with electrical systems--but the costumes were made before we were Reaped, I guess, and just sized down.

The tributes from Districts One, Two, and Four point at us and laugh. Babbage glares at them, but I don't care. I've been laughed at before. I'm more worried about dying than about being laughed at by people trying to kill me.

A tall woman breaks away from the group and wanders over aimlessly. "I hear you're my tributes," she says, and holds out her hand. "I'm Twinkle."

"Great," I say, and shake her hand.

"We'll talk after the parade," she says. "Is there anything you need?"

I point at Babbage's wire ponytail. "Think you can get me some of this in the arena?"

"Not a chance," Twinkle says, and walks away.

"What do you think you're going to do with wire when you won't have a generator or battery?" Babbage asks.

"There'll be tubers or something around. Probably something I could make into an electrochemical cell."

"Yes. You're going to win the Hunger Games with a potato battery." She rolls her eyes. "Get real. You'd be better off using it as a garotte, and actually eating the food."

She's probably right--what I'm thinking of wouldn't shock a fish to death. But my mind keeps going back to wire. If Twinkle can't get us any, maybe I can work some up from metal in the arena. I don't know how yet.

Or maybe she can really get me some, if I pretend I really want it and Babbage says it's totally useless.

Either way I think I can work on a power source.

There's always something you can spin around a magnet, and my district token, stuck right to my fake motherboard, is a magnet from my engineering teacher.

I groan. It's a small magnet. It won't get the power I need. I have to stop thinking about stupid ideas. She's right--a garotte stands a better chance of working.

I need to give up on using my real skills.
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 17th, 2012 02:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
Something with Haymitch in the aftermath of his Games.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 17th, 2012 10:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
Glen Everdeen and Dannel Mellark insist on coming along when I take the herbal tea mix up to the Victors' Village. None of us much likes the look of our new Head Peacekeeper, who arrived on the same train as our brand new victor, but I don't know what they think they're going to do if he decides I can't give Haymitch something to calm him down. They're both big boys, but neither of them walks around armed, and if they did strike back, it would end up worse for everyone.

"You ever been up here?" Glen asks as we turn onto the road that leads to the village.

I nod. "Sometimes I brought things up to Duronda, before she died. It's pretty nice."

"Not really worth the price," Dannel says.

It's hard to argue with that, not just because of the Games. There've been three funerals in the last two weeks. Haymitch's mother and brother died when their house in the Seam collapsed. The Peacekeepers said it was because they were trying to illegally alter it. I don't know anyone who believes that.

Then three days ago, Indigo Hardy, a pretty girl from the Seam who'd been going with Haymitch for two years, was climbing the fence to go into the woods when someone turned the power on. Haymitch tried to run for her, but we had to hold him back. They wouldn't turn off the fence until there was very little of her body left to retrieve.

We buried the charred fragments this morning. Haymitch went off alone. I decided I had to do something. Dannel and Glen caught me as I headed out of town.

I am tired of making condolence visits. I am tired of mourning my friend Maysilee. I am tired of people dying. And I have a feeling if we don't do something, Haymitch Abernathy's will be the next funeral we have to attend.

We reach the pleasant green at the Victors' Village, where only one house shows any sign of life--an open window, with a curtain fluttering out of it. I go to the front door and knock.

"Haymitch? It's Ruth Keyton. I brought you something to help with the... " I lose the thread, mostly because what I've brought is to help him lose himself long enough to sleep and heal. I've also brought him company to keep him from going crazy. That's not the sort of thing you can shout through a door.

There is no answer. Dannel moves up and pounds heavily on the door. "Abernathy! Where are you?"

Glen leans around the porch rail to spot the open window. "We better go in," he says. "Ruthie, you're light. We'll get you up to the window."

It isn't quite as easy as it sounds, but they do manage to boost me up until I can pull myself toward the window (I am absurdly glad that I'm wearing blue jeans, though I suppose it wouldn't matter right now). With a little push from them, I manage to slither through and onto a pile of trash that somehow already lines the floor. I get up and brush at it distastefully.

"Haymitch?" I call, heading for the door. "Haymitch, it's--"

I am grabbed from behind, a strong arm blocking my throat, a knife at my head.

"This is my place," Haymitch growls.

I hear Glen and Dannel pounding the door now, not entreating entry but forcing it.

"Haymitch," I gag. "It's me. Here to help."

"Who...? Are you...?"

The door flies open and Glen and Dannel rush in. Glen pulls me away, and Dannel grabs Haymitch's knife hand, forcing his fingers open and making him drop the knife.

"No one's here to hurt you," he says. "But you have to calm down."

Haymitch looks around wildly, no recognition at all in his face, even though before the Games, he was at least friendly with Glen, and took a lot of classes with Dannel and me. He breathes rapidly, then squeezes his eyes shut. When he opens them, he seems to know who we are, though he's still trying to get to his knife.

Dannel pins his arm behind his back and guides him into the living room. The end tables are littered with liquor bottles. Glen shakes his head and starts cleaning them up.

"Don't need nursemaids," Haymitch mutters.

"Oh, no, you're doing fine," Dannel says. "We can see that. Ruthie?"

I hand him the tea, and he more or less forces Haymitch to drink it. A few minutes later, Haymitch is out cold. Whether it's the tea or the liquor is a matter of chance.

I wrap him in a blanket, and the three of us start airing the place out.
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Expand
amazing_otter From: amazing_otter Date: December 17th, 2012 04:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
If I'm not too late to this game, I'd love to see something with Haymitch during the games, doing his mentoring thing.
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 17th, 2012 06:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
Prim, making a hard decision.
barbara_the_w From: barbara_the_w Date: December 17th, 2012 08:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
Sorry, that was me :(
beceh From: beceh Date: December 18th, 2012 05:14 am (UTC) (Link)
I loved all these :) And now I have a few ideas when/if you do your next one ;)
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 18th, 2012 05:48 am (UTC) (Link)
Ditto; I just missed your window

(Tanya, who wonders if she should make an LJ account just for commenting on Fern fics)
From: (Anonymous) Date: May 11th, 2014 05:33 am (UTC) (Link)

HG Challenge (very late)

I'd like to know the ultimate fate of Lucretia Beckett (evil Head Peacekeeper). Hopefully they didn't give her a gold watch and a pension.

Ditto Romulus Thread.
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