Nox stood in the area that was the throwing knife station, observing the vast amount of blades that surrounded her. Each one looked completely unique, yet she could only place the specific uses of a few. She picked up a familiar looking knife that resembled the ones she would use to dice plants back home, and twirled it around in her hands. It felt heavier than she would have expected, but perhaps that was because of how exhausted Nox was. She hadn’t been able to sleep all night, and spent most of the hours tossing around in her bed. Nox was about to put the blade back in its spot when she noticed a familiar face in her presence. With a timid smile, she greeted him. “Hello, Skene.”
Isöete hastily strips off his clothes, tossing them onto the glossy wood paneled floors, then sinks into the warm water of the Jacuzzi. Closing his eyes as the bubbles tickle his chest, he tries his best to feel a sense of relaxation, despite the fact that he has been on the verge of insanity since the parade. The smouldering water soaks the tips of his shaggy hair, draining it of the teal and orange dye that his stylist had put in it as part of his costume. Isöete is finally beginning to feel at ease when the footsteps of a slender figure shake him back to alertness.
Nox stands on the apartment’s roof, her arms resting on the ledge as the cool night breeze ruffles through her hair. She sighs in the chilling air and takes a deep look at the skyline in front of her. Each building is so breathtakingly stunning, yet hauntingly artificial at the same time. She can’t quite place why, but something about the city in front of her is very unnerving. Maybe it’s the unnaturally bright lights that glow in each window, or the constant buzz of noise from the streets.
Hearing something behind her, she turns around and find that she is not alone.
Isöete sat on the ledge of the roof, his legs swinging in the air and a joint of joplidope in his hand. He took long, satisfied inhales of the drug’s smoke, closing his eyes with every puff. Opening his eyelids, Isöete observed the ground that lay almost a hundred meters below his feet. If only it weren’t for the force field that would bounce him back, a fall could prove fatal. One devastating jump and all of his worries would be over…
Flicking a lighter on and off in his left hand, and joint gripped tight in his right, Isöete smiled with a gaunt look in his eyes. He took another puff of the joplidope, then turned around to see someone behind him.
Nox’s eyes absentmindedly wandered around the training station, observing each bow and blow gun that lined the shelves around her. She had only used these types of weapons a few times before, back in the woods of Twelve with Jesper. Her trembling arm reached out towards a heavy looking yew crossbow, but she retracted it as the sound of footsteps filled the air. Nox turned around and saw the intense-eyed girl from Four approaching the station.
I pace around my train car, contemplating what my next move should be as a mentor. I can hear Yuletaya babbling to herself in the other room, gushing about the tribute party that will take place after the parade.
Remembering my recent conversation with Cyrus about trusting the other tributes, I decide to find him so I can discuss what this party really means as a competitor. I wander around the train until I eventually catch him in a room by himself.
Nox skipped towards the spear station, a smile still glowing on her face from a wonderful lunch with Skene. Her belly was warm and stuffed with pasta, her hair glossy and tucked away in a neat bun. She looked around at the assortment of spears, wondering if the skills she learned during her knife throwing training would be transferable. Her smile faltered slightly as she realized that the spears would probably be heavier, and thus harder to throw… But it reappeared when she saw a teenage boy coming to join her at the station.
I down another glass of champagne from the train car’s liquor table, seeing in my peripheral vision that Jezebel is glaring in my direction. She seems to be waiting for me to properly introduce myself, but I decide not to give her the satisfaction, instead choosing to make my way to the train car’s pastry cart.
I find myself staring at the boy from Nine, straining to see a deeper side of him- one that doesn’t come across as a pretentious asshole dressed as a stalk of grain. Surely there must be a reason that Maria was so attracted to him, besides his muscular build and strong jawline.
I scoot closer to him, attempting to overhear the boy’s conversation and evaluate him for myself.
Isöete sprawled himself across the firm white couch, his legs accidentally knocking a few empty bottles off of the wooden table in front of him. They fell onto the glossy tile floor of the District Four apartment room with a clash, most likely breaking, but Isöete didn’t bother lifting his head up to check. Instead, he took another swig from the bottle of chocolate vodka in his hand, unable to stop drinking ever since he had shared that one champagne glass with Versace. His mind was spinning uncontrollably, but he was alert enough to hear the footsteps of someone approaching behind him.
As she arrived at the swimming training station, Nox shed off her charcoal coverup, leaving her skin completely revealed except for a sporty black one-piece swimsuit. She daintily dipped her toes into the pool, nervously eying the heavily chlorinated water that rippled beneath her feet. Nox had spent plenty of time swimming back in Twelve, but always in creeks, never in an artificial setting like this. Swallowing her fears, she submerged the rest of her body in the chilled water, goosebumps erupting all across her skin as the liquid touched it. She lifted her head out of the pool, spluttering for a breath, only to see that she was no longer alone.