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PART I “THE TRIBUTES”2|Page The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins. blind in a tree, waitingmotionless for game to shove through the crowd. Becausewho else would have volunteered The mayor begins to read the long, dull Treaty ofTreason as he does every year Hunger Games pdf download. Hunger Games 1 The Hunger Games · Read more · Hunger Games. Read more · Hunger Games · Read more · Hunger Games. Read more · Hunger Games. Read Read Online (Download) The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins PDF Epub from the story Firelord by user () with reads. lord. Simple Way.
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ages, or the Hunger Games. arrives once a year to read out the names at the leaping. “I al- nights when game has to be swapped for lard or shoelaces or. woman who arrives once a year to read out the names at the reaping. “I almost there are still nights when game has to be swapped for lard or shoelaces or. If it were up to me, I would try to forget the Hunger Games entirely. Never speak of game. But my best friend, Gale Hawthorne, and his family will be depending on today's haul “You'll read these off camera while they're filming the clothes.
One slip. One slip in thousands. The oddshad been entirely in her favor. Somewhere far away, I can hear the crowdmurmuring unhappily as they always do when atwelve-year-old gets chosen because no one thinksthis is fair.
And then I see her, the blood drained fromher face, hands clenched in fists at her sides, walkingwith stiff, small steps up toward the stage, passingme, and I see the back of her blouse has becomeuntucked and hangs out over her skirt. The other kids make wayimmediately allowing me a straight path to the stage. I reach her just as she is about to mount the steps. With one sweep of my arm, I push her behind me. In some districts, in which winning thereaping is such a great honor, people are eager to risktheir lives, the volunteering is complicated.
But inDistrict 12, where the wordtribute is pretty muchsynonymous with the word corpse, volunteers are allbut extinct. I am the girl who brings the strawberries. Thegirl his daughter might have spoken of on occasion. The girl who five years ago stood huddled with hermother and sister, as he presented her, the oldestchild, with a medal of valor.
A medal for her father,vaporized in the mines. Does he remember that? Prim is screaming hysterically behind me. A weakling. I will give no one that satisfaction. I steel myself andclimb the steps. Come on, everybody! To the everlasting credit of the people of District 12,not one person claps. Not even the ones holdingbetting slips, the ones who are usually beyond caring.
Possibly because they know me from the Hob, orknew my father, or have encountered Prim, who noone can help loving. So instead of acknowledgingapplause, I stand there unmoving while they take partin the boldest form of dissent they can manage. Which says we do not agree. We do notcondone. All of this is wrong.
Then something unexpected happens. At first one,then another, then almost every member of the crowdtouches the three middle fingers of their left hand totheir lips and holds it out to me. It is an old andrarely used gesture of our district, occasionally seenat funerals. It means thanks, it means admiration, itmeans good-bye to someone you love.
Now I am truly in danger of crying, but fortunatelyHaymitch chooses this time to come staggering acrossthe stage to congratulate me. Look atthis one! Is he addressing the audience or is he so drunk hemight actually be taunting the Capitol?
With every cameragleefully trained on him, I have just enough time torelease the small, choked sound in my throat andcompose myself. I put my hands behind my back andstare into the distance. I can see the hills I climbed this morning with Gale. For a moment, I yearn for something Becausewho else would have volunteered for Prim? Haymitch is whisked away on a stretcher, and EffieTrinket is trying to get the ball rolling again. Oh, no, I think.
Not him. Because I recognize thisname, although I have never spoken directly to itsowner. Peeta Mellark. No, the odds are not in my favor today. I watch himas he makes his way toward the stage. Mediumheight, stocky build, ashy blond hair that falls inwaves overhis forehead. Yet he climbs steadily onto thestage and takes his place. Effie Trinket asks for volunteers, but no one stepsforward. This is standard. Family devotion only goes so far for most people onreaping day.
What I did was the radical thing. Why him? I think. Peeta Mellark and I are not friends.
Not even neighbors. Our only realinteraction happened years ago. It was during the worst time. My father had beenkilled in the mine accident three months earlier in thebitterest January anyone could remember. Thenumbness of his loss had passed, and the pain wouldhit me out of nowhere, doubling me over, racking mybody with sobs.
Where are you? I would cry out in mymind. Where have you gone? Of course, there wasnever any answer. The district had given us a small amount of money ascompensation for his death, enough to cover onemonth of grieving at which time my mother would beexpected to get a job.
No amount ofpleading from Prim seemed to affect her. I was terrified. I suppose now that my mother waslocked in some dark world of sadness, but at thetime, all I knew was that I had lost not only a father,but a mother as well. At eleven years old, with Primjust seven, I took over as head of the family. Therewas no choice. I bought our food at the market andcooked it as best I could and tried to keep Prim andmyself looking presentable.
Because if it had becomeknown that my mother could no longer care for us,25 P a g e The Hunger Games — Suzanne Collins The sadness, themarks of angry hands on their faces, thehopelessness that curled their shoulders forward. Icould never let that happen to Prim. The community home would crush her like abug.
So I kept our predicament a secret. But the money ran out and we were slowly starving todeath. I kept tellingmyself if I could only hold out until May, just May8th, I would turn twelve and be able to sign up for thetesserae and get that precious grain and oil to feedus. Only there were still several weeks to go. We couldwell be dead by then. Children from a family with too many to feed. Those injured in the mines. Straggling through thestreets. And one day, you come upon them sittingmotionless against a wall or lying in the Meadow, youhear the wails from a house, and the Peacekeepersare called in to retrieve the body.
Starvation is neverthe cause of death officially. But that fools no one. On the afternoon of my encounter with Peeta Mellark,the rain was falling in relentless icy sheets. Bythe time the market closed, I was shaking so hard Idropped my bundle of baby clothes in a mud puddle. Besides, no one wantedthose clothes. Because at home was my motherwith her dead eyes and my little sister, with herhollow cheeks and cracked lips.
I found myself stumbling along a muddy lane behindthe shops that serve the wealthiest townspeople. Themerchants live above their businesses, so I wasessentially in their backyards. I remember theoutlines of garden beds not yet planted for the spring,a goat or two in a pen, one sodden dog tied to a post,hunched defeated in the muck. All forms of stealing are forbidden in District Punishable by death. But it crossed my mind thatthere might be something in the trash bins, and thosewere fair game.
Unfortunately, the bins had just been emptied. The ovens were inthe back, and a golden glow spilled out the openkitchen door. The words were ugly and I had nodefense. He stuck with the town kids, so how would I? His mother went back into the bakery, grumbling, buthe must have been watching me as I made my waybehind the pen that held their pig and leaned againstthe far side of an old apple tree. Myknees buckled and I slid down the tree trunk to itsroots.
It was too much. I was too sick and weak andtired, oh, so tired. Let them call the Peacekeepers andtake us to the community home, I thought. Or betteryet, let me die right here in the rain. There was a clatter in the bakery and I heard thewoman screaming again and the sound of a blow, andI vaguely wondered what was going on. It was the boy. In his arms, he carried twolarge loaves of bread that must have fallen into thefire because the crusts were scorched black. Why not? No one decent will buy burnedbread!
He began to tear off chunks from the burned partsand toss them into the trough, and the front bakerybell rung and the mother disappeared to help acustomer. The boy never even glanced my way, but I waswatching him. Because of the bread, because of thered weal that stood out on his cheekbone. What hadshe hit him with? My parents never hit us. The boy took one look back to the bakery as ifchecking that the coast was clear, then, his attentionback on the pig, he threw a loaf of bread in mydirection.
The second quickly followed, and hesloshed back to the bakery, closing the kitchen doortightly behind him. I stared at the loaves in disbelief. They were fine,perfect really, except for the burned areas. Did hemean for me to have them? He must have. Becausethere they were at my feet. Before anyone couldwitness what had happened I shoved the loaves upunder my shirt, wrapped the hunting jacket tightlyabout me, and walked swiftly away.
The heat of thebread burned into my skin, but I clutched it tighter,clinging to life. By the time I reached home, the loaves had cooledsomewhat, but the insides were still warm. Iscraped off the black stuff and sliced the bread. Weate an entire loaf, slice by slice. It was good heartybread, filled with raisins and nuts.
I put my clothes to dry at the fire, crawled into bed,and fell into a dreamless sleep. Might have droppedthe loaves into the flames, knowing it meant beingpunished, and then delivered them to me. But Idismissed this. It must have been an accident. Whywould he have done it?
Still,just throwing me the bread was an enormouskindness that would have surely resulted in a beatingif discovered. We ate slices of bread for breakfast and headed toschool. It was as if spring had come overnight. Warmsweet air. Fluffy clouds. At school, I passed the boy inthe hall, his cheek had swelled up and his eye hadblackened. But as I collected Primand started for home that afternoon, I found himstaring at me from across the school yard.
Our eyesmet for only a second, then he turned his head away. The first dandelion of the year. A bell went offin my head. I thought of the hours spent in the woodswith my father and I knew how we were going tosurvive. To this day, I can never shake the connection betweenthis boy, Peeta Mellark, and the bread that gave mehope, and the dandelion that reminded me that I wasnot doomed.
And more than once, I have turned inthe school hallway and caught his eyes trained onme, only to quickly flit away. I feel like I owe himsomething, and I hate owing people. I thought about it a couple of times,but the opportunity never seemed to present itself.
And now it never will. Exactlyhow am I supposed to work in a thank-you in there? The mayor finishes the dreary Treaty of Treason andmotions for Peeta and me to shake hands. His are assolid and warm as those loaves of bread. Peeta looksme right in the eye and gives my hand what I think ismeant to be a reassuring squeeze.
We turn back to face the crowd as the anthem ofPanem plays. Oh, well, I think. There will be twenty-four of us. Oddsare someone else will kill him before I do. Of course, the odds have not been very dependable oflate. The moment the anthem ends, we are taken intocustody. Maybe tributeshave tried to escape in the past. I know velvetbecause my mother has a dress with a collar made ofthe stuff. It helpsto calm me as I try to prepare for the next hour.
Thetime allotted for the tributes to say goodbye to theirloved ones. I cannot afford to get upset, to leave thisroom with puffy eyes and a red nose. Crying is not anoption. There will be more cameras at the trainstation. My sister and my mother come first. I reach out toPrim and she climbs on my lap, her arms around myneck, head on my shoulder, just like she did whenshe was a toddler. My mother sits beside me andwraps her arms around us. For a few minutes, we saynothing.
Then I start telling them all the things theymust remember to do, now that I will not be there todo them for them. Prim is not to take any tesserae. I tried toteach her a couple of times and it was disastrous. But shemakes out well with her goat, so I concentrate onthat. When I am done with instructions about fuel, andtrading, and staying in school, I turn to my motherand grip her arm, hard.
Are youlistening to me? Whatever you see on the screen. In it is all the anger, all the fear I felt at herabandonment. She pulls her arm from my grasp, moved to angerherself now. And take care of her! Maybe you can win. Prim must know that in her heart. Thecompetition will be far beyond my abilities. Boyswho are two to three times my size.
Girls who knowtwenty different ways to kill you with a knife. People to weed outbefore the real fun begins. I just want you to comehome.
Really, really try? I love youboth. Ibury my head in one of the velvet pillows as if thiscan block the whole thing out. But we do know eachother a bit, and he knows Prim even better. When shesells her goat cheeses at the Hob, she puts two ofthem aside for him and he gives her a generousamount of bread in return.
I feel certain he wouldnever have hit his son the way she did over theburned bread. But why has he come to see me? The baker sits awkwardly on the edge of one of theplush chairs. He must havejust said goodbye to his son. He pulls a white paper package from his jacket pocketand holds it out to me. I open it and find cookies. These are a luxury we can never afford. Myfriend Gale gave you a squirrel for it. He rises andcoughs to clear his throat. People deal with me, but they are genuinelyfond of Prim.
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Maybe there will be enough fondness tokeep her alive. My next guest is also unexpected. Madge walksstraight to me. One thing to remind you of home. Will youwear this?
Wearing a token from my district isabout the last thing on my mind. A pin. Madge gives me one more.
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A kiss on thecheek. His body is familiar tome — the way it moves, the smell of wood smoke,even the sound of his heart beating I know from quietmoments on a hunt — but this is the first time Ireally feel it, lean and hard-muscled against my own.
Even he had to scrap hisown work sometimes. Anotheryear, they tossed everybody into a landscape ofnothing but boulders and sand and scruffy bushes. Iparticularly hated that year. Many contestants werebitten by venomous snakes or went insane fromthirst. Not muchentertainment in that. We spent one Hunger Games watching theplayers freeze to death at night. You could hardly seethem because they were just huddled in balls andhad no wood for fires or torches or anything.
It wasconsidered very anti-climactic in the Capitol, all thosequiet, bloodless deaths. Rarely evenridden in wagons. In the Seam, we travel on foot. The station is swarmingwith reporters with their insectlike cameras traineddirectly on my face. Peeta Mellark, on the other hand, has obviously beencrying and interestingly enough does not seem to betrying to cover it up.
I immediately wonder if this willbe his strategy in the Games. To appear weak andfrightened, to reassure the other tributes that he is nocompetition at all, and then come out fighting. Thisworked very well for a girl, Johanna Mason, fromDistrict 7 a few years back. She seemed like such asniveling, cowardly fool that no one bothered abouther until there were only a handful of contestants left.
It turned out she could kill viciously. Pretty clever, theway she played it. All thoseyears of having enough to eat and hauling bread traysaround have made him broad-shouldered and strong. It will take an awful lot of weeping to convince anyoneto overlook him.
The train begins to move atonce. The speed initially takes my breath away. Butthis is no ordinary coal train. Our journey to the Capitol will take less than aday. In school, they tell us the Capitol was built in a placeonce called the Rockies. District 12 was in a regionknown is Appalachia. Even hundreds of years ago,they mined coal here. Which is why our miners haveto dig so deep. Somehow it all comes back to coal at school. Besidesbasic reading and math most of our instruction iscoal-related.
Except for the weekly lecture on thehistory of Panem. The tribute train is fancier than even the room in theJustice Building. There are drawers filled with fine clothes, and EffieTrinket tells me to do anything I want, wear anythingI want, everything is at my disposal. Just be ready forsupper in an hour. I dress in a dark green shirt and pants. For the first time, I get a good look at it.
The bird is connected to thering only by its wing tips. I suddenly recognize it. During the rebellion, the Capitolbred a series of genetically altered animals asweapons.
The common term for them was muttations,or sometimesmuttsfor short. One was a special birdcalled a jabberjay that had the ability to memorizeand repeat whole human conversations.
It took people awhileto realize what was going on in the districts, howprivate conversations were being transmitted.
Then,of course, the rebels fed the Capitol endless lies, andthe joke was on it. So the centers were shut down andthe birds were abandoned to die off in the wild. Instead, the jabberjays matedwith female mockingbirds creating a whole newspecies that could replicate both bird whistles and40 P a g e The Hunger Games — Suzanne Collins And they could re-create songs.
Not just a few notes, but whole songswith multiple verses, if you had the patience to singthem and if they liked your voice. My father was particularly fond of mockingjays. Not everyone is treated withsuch respect. But whenever my father sang, all thebirds in the area would fall silent and listen. His voicewas that beautiful, high and clear and so filled withlife it made you want to laugh and cry at the sametime.
I could never bring myself to continue thepractice after he was gone. I fasten the pinonto my shirt, and with the dark green fabric as abackground, I can almost imagine the mockingjayflying through the trees. Effie Trinket comes to collect me for supper. I followher through the narrow, rocking corridor into a diningroom with polished paneled walls. PeetaMellark sits waiting for us, the chair next to himempty.
The supper comes in courses. A thick carrot soup,green salad, lamb chops and mashed potatoes, cheeseand fruit, a chocolate cake. It completely upset my digestion. And when they did have food, table manners weresurely the last thing on their minds. My mother taught Prim and I to eat properly, soyes, I can handle a fork and knife. Then I wipe myhands on the tablecloth. This makes her purse herlips tightly together. Neither of our stomachs is used to such rich fare.
We go to another compartment to watch the recap ofthe reapings across Panem. They try to stagger themthroughout the day so a person could conceivablywatch the whole thing live, but only people in theCapitol could really do that, since none of them haveto attend reapings themselves.
One by one, we see the other reapings, the namescalled, the volunteers stepping forward or, moreoften, not. We examine the faces of the kids who willbe our competition. A few stand out in my mind. Amonstrous boy who lunges forward to volunteer fromDistrict 2. A fox-faced girl with sleek red hair fromDistrict 5.
A boy with a crippled foot from District And most hauntingly, a twelve-year-old girl fromDistrict Only when she mounts the stage and theyask for volunteers, all you can hear is the windwhistling through the decrepit buildings around her. Last of all, they show District Prim being called,me running forward to volunteer.
But, of course, they do hear. I see Gale pullingher off me and watch myself mount the stage. The silent salute. Onesays that District 12 has always been a bit backwardbut that local customs can be charming. As if on cue,Haymitch falls off the stage, and they groan comically. We shake hands. They cut to the anthem again, andthe pro-gram ends. Effie Trinket is disgruntled about the state her wigwas in. A lot about televised behavior.
You know your mentor is your lifeline to theworld in these Games. The one who advises you, linesup your sponsors, and dictates the presentation ofany gifts. Haymitch can well be the difference betweenyour life and your death! Then hevomits all over the expensive carpet and falls in themess. She hops in herpointy shoes around the pool of vomit and flees theroom. For a few moments, Peeta and I take in the scene ofour mentor trying to rise out of the slippery vile stufffrom his stomach.
The reek of vomit and raw spiritsalmost brings my dinner up.
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We exchange a glance. He hardlynotices. PossiblyPeeta is trying to make a good impression on him, tobe his favorite once the Games begin. Cooking lor us. Waiting on us. Guarding us. Takingcare of us is their job. I nod and head to my own room. I understand howPeeta feels. But making them deal with Haymitchmight be a small form of revenge.
Just as he was kind to give me the bread. The idea pulls me up short. A kind Peeta Mellark isfar more dangerous to me than an unkind one. Kindpeople have a way of working their way inside me androoting there. When I get back to my room, the train is pausing at aplatform to refuel. No more. No more of either ofthem. Unfortunately, the packet of cookies hits the groundand bursts open in a patch of dandelions by thetrack.
Enough to remindme of that other dandelion in the school yard yearsago I plucked it carefully and hurried home. That night, we gorged ourselveson dandelion salad and the rest of the bakery bread.
The pages were made of oldparchment and covered in ink drawings of plants. Neat handwritten blocks told their names, where togather them, when they came in bloom, their medicaluses.
But my father added other entries to the book. Plants for eating, not healing. Dandelions, pokeweed,wild onions, pines. Prim and I spent the rest of thenight poring over those pages. The next day, we were off school. For a while I hungaround the edges of the Meadow, but finally I workedup the courage to go under the fence. Most of the time, I perched up in thebranches of an old oak, hoping for game to come by. After several hours, I had the good luck to kill arabbit. The sight of therabbit seemed to stir something in my mother.
Then she acted confused and went back tobed, but when the stew was done, we made her eat abowl. The woods became our savior, and each day I went abit farther into its arms. It was slow-going at first, butI was determined to feed us. I stole eggs from nests,caught fish in nets, sometimes managed to shoot asquirrel or rabbit for stew, and gathered the variousplants that sprung up beneath my feet. Plants aretricky.
I kept us alive. Any sign of danger, a distant howl, the inexplicablebreak of a branch, sent me flying back to the fence atfirst. Then I began to risk climbing trees to escape thewild dogs that quickly got bored and moved on. Bearsand cats lived deeper in, perhaps disliking the sootyreek of our district. On the eighth ofevery month, I wasentitled to do the same. The grain wasnot enough to live on, and there were other things tobuy, soap and milk and thread. Itwas frightening to enter that place without my fatherat my side, but people had respected him, and theyaccepted me.
I also sold at the back doors of thewealthier clients in town, trying to remember what myfather had told me and learning a few new tricks aswell. The butcher would buy my rabbits but notsquirrels. Peacekeeper loved wild turkey. The mayor had apassion for strawberries.
In late summer, I was washing up in a pond when Inoticed the plants growing around me. Tall withleaves like arrowheads. Blossoms with three whitepetals. I knelt down in the water, my fingers digginginto the soft mud, and I pulled up handfuls of theroots. Thatnight, we feasted on fish and katniss roots until wewere all, for the first time in months, full. Slowly, my mother returned to us. She began to cleanand cook and preserve some of the food I brought infor winter.
People traded us or paid money for hermedical remedies. One day, I heard her singing. Prim was thrilled to have her back, but I keptwatching, waiting for her to disappear on us again.
And some small gnarled place insideme hated her for her weakness, for her neglect, forthe months she had put us through. Prim forgave her,but I had taken a step back from my mother, put up awall to protect myself from needing her, and nothingwas ever the same between us again. Now I was going to die without that ever being setright.
I thought of how I had yelled at her today in theJustice Building. I had told her I loved her, too,though. So maybe it would all balance out. In the distance, Isee the lights of another district. I think about the people in their houses, settling infor bed. I imagine my home, with its shutters drawntight. What are they doing now, my mother and Prim? Were they able to eat supper? The fish stew and thestrawberries? Or did it lay untouched on their plates?
Surely, there were more tears. Is my motherholding up, being strong for Prim? Prim will undoubtedly sleep with my mother tonight. The thought of that scruffy old Buttercup postinghimself on the bed to watch over Prim comforts me.
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