TrainedA Chapter by Annie
Back with another chapter! This was hard to write, and I know that it probably makes little sense, but people want to read it! Clove gets kind of confused in this chapter, I'm trying to keep the Clato fluff to a minimum but it's really difficult! Well, I hope you enjoy it!
“You two-faced, lying -” I don’t even finish the insult, I just scream at him. The knives I threw at Glimmer have pinned her stupid blonde curls to the wall, and she’s struggling to get free, even though it’s just her hair, “You know, I actually trusted you! I did! But no, it’s just to get at me, isn’t it! You’re such a liar!” Cato grabs me by the arm, trying to calm me down, but I just shake him off. A number of tributes are staring at us like we’re insane, but most are just continuing with their training. They’re probably trying to stock up on knowledge so they can maybe survive an afternoon before we get our hands on them.
“Clove!” He loses his temper and throws me at the wall, hard. I bounce off it in shock, a horrible pain in the back of my head. It just gets me angrier.
“You might want my weakness’, but maybe I already know yours!” I yell. He hoists me up by the arm and drags me away, across to the other side of the hall and into a small, enclosed space between two stations.
“Look Clove, that wasn’t what you think it was.” He presses me into the space, I feel his breath across my face and I want to be sick. I can’t believe that I let him kiss me.
“Then what was it?” I manage to spit my words out; the anger, sourced in my injury, makes me want to hurt him. But I won’t. Yet.
“She flirted with me.”
“So you thought you’d flirt back?”
“It’s called wanting to keep your allies. If I ignored her, she might just get a grudge against you. And she may look weak and stupid, but she’s not really. She does have some brains. I saw her at the edible plants station. She seemed pretty good.”
“Oh, that’s nice. She knows how to tell one sprout of grass from another. With her body, I think we’ll be just fine with a food supply from all her lovely admirers in the Capitol.”
“Clove, shut up.” He slams his hand over my mouth, his eyes lighting up humorously, “You remember the first day in training, don’t you?” I manage to nod, “Then you know that you’ll get sponsors as well. If you show them in training what you did to me, then I don’t think you’ll have any trouble in getting a 12.
I tear his hand away from my mouth, “Are you helping me?”
“Maybe.” Another smirk.
“If you’re helping me, it just makes it easier for me to use my skill against you, you know. We’re going into an Arena where we have to kill each other, Cato. Do you really expect me to sit back like a good girl and let you do all the dirty work?”
“Not really.” Another silence. The conversation turned into something awkward again; our impending deaths. I sigh and rest my head on his chest, and feel his arms wrap around my shoulders. It’s natural. But it’s also really, really wrong. “Oh, and you said you know my weakness, didn’t you. How on Earth could you know of any, I have none, don’t I?” I smile giddily at his words and nestle my head further into his shirt. Only one thing shoots through my head: Yes Cato, you do have a weakness.
“Of course you don’t.” I feel him sigh with relief and let go of me. I count every step he takes back to Glimmer.
You do have a weakness.
The girl with the knives.
“Why are they following each other around?” I murmur to Glimmer over lunch. We have 15 minutes to eat a meal full of carbohydrates, for the energy. Mine’s almost down my throat already. Glimmer has actually forgiven me, Cato told her that I was bipolar and had anger issues, and she actually believed him.
“I don’t know.” She looks over at 12, swishing her hair towards Cato in a failed attempt to receive attention. I roll my eyes and continue to watch the two tributes talk quietly and eat, side by side. They stand up and leave together. Never leaving each others sides.
"They look kind of protective over each other. Especially the boy." Cato says, his eyebrows raised.
"I don't know. Wait till the interview, we'll see if they accidentally give away tactics. There's always one who does. Let's just hope that it'll be one of them, eh?" I chuckle when I see everyone's faces light up.
"You're good." I manage to compliment Glimmer as she practices with the bow and arrow. She shrugs, still managing to flip her hair about.
"Not really. I can hit a target, but probably not a moving one. I prefer spears, but I guess Marvel took control of that. Oh, and I want to learn as many skills as I can, could you teach me some knife stuff?" She flashes me a smile, her white teeth shining. I nod and wander back to the knife station. I start to take her through the basics, and watch as she manages to hit a few dummy arms.
"Hey, Clove! Over here! You too, Sparkles!" Cato calls us over from the other side of the room. When I turn, I realise that my lips are already in the shape of a smile, just from the sound of his voice. I immediately switch it into a snarl, hoping that Cato didn't see my eyes light up in happiness, but of course he did. He winks at me, and I shake my head in annoyance. I can't do it. I keep changing my mind, but I can't not like him. Its dangerous, though. Very much so. And I can't afford it. I just can't.
"What is it, Cato?" Glimmer giggles and bats her eyelashes, her sparkling green irises reflecting the nickname Cato seems to have given her. He doesn't stray from my gaze to even register Glimmer's flirting, and instead signals for us to come up to him again. I notice Marvel in the corner of my eye, who is clearly dazed by Glimmer. His eyes are wide as he takes in her curvy frame, which could be wiggling for some sort of trophy if there was one around.
“We’ve been watching tapes.” Marvel mumbles absent-mindedly as I approach them. I roll my eyes and look to Cato for more information.
“Of the old Hunger Games. We’re not really supposed to, but we asked that Gamemaker,” He points to an old lady who looks faded and dulled, almost incompatible of speech as well, by the looks of it. That’s probably how they got their hands on the tapes, “and she said that we could use them. We learnt a few things.” I sit down on the floor next to them as Marvel finally whips his head away from Glimmer, who sits beside me.
“In every game, there’s sort of the same layout.” Marvel grins at Glimmer, as if he’s talking only to her. He rolls out a piece of paper and takes a thick marker. He draws a large circle in the middle, and 24 circles around the edge. It clicks fast enough; the Cornucopia. He then splits the paper into three with the felt pen, marking out each section.
“That one’s higher land, usually.” Cato points to the section North of the Cornucopia. “And that bit’s got the most water in. Unless it’s a water-based Arena, where it’ll be all of it.” He grimaces and I almost laugh, I know Cato’s hate for getting soaked after the warm day in training where some kid was throwing water bombs everywhere. It didn’t take more than a minute for Cato to get mad and break the boy’s arm.
“I just hope it’s not like that Fog one.” I shudder when I imagine the Arena my parents once told me about. It was long before I was born, and every year, the tributes dread getting something similar. Most of the Careers died on the first day because no-one could see each other, and would kill whoever got in the way. It wasn’t easy to see further than about 5 metres ahead, according to Father. It is dreaded once you’ve been reaped. “You know, the Fog?” I look around at them. It seems that only Cato understands what I’m talking about, so I just let it go.
“They don’t do stuff like that anymore. It’s usually forested or mountainous these days, people want the best show, and that sort of Arena always gives it.” Cato’s cold words bring me back to reality for a second. I’m not in training with my friends. I’m training in a place I barely know, with shiny new weapons in front of a group of VIPs with clipboards. I stand up abruptly and know that I should get as much training done as I can. I can’t just hang around, hoping that the Arena will come and go faster. I need to be prepared.
“No, you hold it like this.” Marvel says, shaking his head in what seems to be despair. He’s been trying to get me to hold a spear and move it into position for almost half an hour now, and I’m still not getting the hang of it. I sigh in exasperation and try not to show my irritation. Why can’t I just throw it? I haven’t got that bad an aim! District 1 seems to be getting more stupid by the minute, they’re probably just missing their favourite diamond nail polish or something. I see Cato and Glimmer in the corner, having what looks like an agitated conversation. I see Glimmer glare at me a few times, and I know that they’re gossiping. I c**k my head to the side and shut out Marvel’s rambling, trying to pick up as much of their conversation as I can.
“I’m not an idiot, Cato...”
“It’s not true, why would you even think for a...”
“Because of the way you look at her, like I said...”
“What way I look...”
“Stop denying it, Cato, you...”
“She’s my little girl, I don’t want her to...”
“She’s what? You can’t expect me to...”
“I’ve known her since forever, Glimmer..”
I curl my lip up and try to forget what I’ve just heard. Is Glimmer annoyed? Why? What about Cato? Little girl? I shudder and turn my attention back to Marvel, who is now ranting about balance and foot positions. Like I really need to know that.
I eat in silence. Cato keeps trying to make conversation but it doesn’t work. I sigh and pick myself up, wanting sleep again. Somehow, I know that the nightmares will come back.
“Wait, Clove.” I stop by the door when I feel Cato grasp my arm. I don’t think he was supposed to grab me with force, but I can still feels his fingers gripping me a little too tightly. I don’t answer him. “Clove, you can’t just expect me to forget about -” He’s cut off as Lysander pushes through the door, smiling widely at us and getting two hard, cold snarls in return. That smothers his cheerfulness quickly enough. He leaves the eccentric room almost as fast as he arrived.
“I’m not expecting you to forget, Cato. I just don’t think that we can do this. We’ll end up getting hurt.” I murmur.
“I know. I know we’ll get hurt. But I want to spend this time with you, Clove. As friends.” He smiles sadly and messes up my hair.
“But we can’t be friends, Cato. I’ll never think of us as friends again.” I sigh and rest my head on his chest carefully. I hear him breathe deeply and hold me carefully, so I wrap my arms around his huge frame, never wanting to let him go.
© 2012 Annie
Here With Me
AboutA teenage girl who likes writing and The Hunger Games too much. more..