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Chapter 4: To the Capital

Our escort, Jessie Jenkins, comes in through the door to our dining room. "Hello, hello!" She says in a squeaky voice. "Your mentors, Luna and Lawrence, will be coming soon. They wanted to work out a strategy." Good. I thought. Maybe I have a chance to win this thing. "In the meantime," She went on, "You may go to your rooms in the train! Be here in one hour!" The Capital attendents led me and Josh into our rooms by each other. I could not believe my eyes. I knew the Capital had lots of money, but not this much! My room was bigger than over half my house! There was a king-sized plush bed with huge down covers, and a canopy overhead, a sofa, a flat screen TV, a private bathroom that was bigger than my room. There was even more, but it would take me days to tell all about the stuff in the room. I went over to the huge wardrobe and puton a simple white shirt and pants that looked quite elegant. Then I went to the bathroom to scrub the makeup off, that my mom had made me put on. I left grandma's headband on, and went down to the dining car.

Josh, Luna, and Lawrence were already there. We sat down and Luna said, "Alright, first thing's first. Would you guys like to train sepratley or together? If you have a secret talent the other doesn't know about, then we can train sepratley." "I don't have a secret talent." Josh said. "I don't either. My only talents are singing and running." It was true, I love to run. "Alright." Lawrence said, "Don't know about the singing, but the running could be useful." "Here's the plan." Luna said, "Since you guys don't have a weapon, I would say once we get in the training center, find one you like. Sym, I would suggest knives or a bow and arrows. Josh, I would suggest some spears or a sword. Spend some time going over that with the training guide and then move on to survival skills like starting fires or edible plants." We both nodded, and I thought it was a pretty good plan. Jessie came in and said, "Come watch the Reapings!" We all followed her into what looked like a living room. There was a flat screen TV and a lot of couches. I sat on one by Jessie, and watched the Reapings. The tributes that stuck in my head were the guy from one with yellow eyes, the girl from one who had an evil glint in her eyes, the guy from two, the girl from four who was dark-skinned, the fiery red-head from eight, and the small black-haired boy from eleven . Then the national anthem played and the show ended. I took a deep breath. All the tributes from the career districts looked tough and much older than me this year. Really tough. Luna sighed and said, "Don't be intimidated by their size. they could be all brawn and no brains." I highly doubted that. If the guys were only brawn, then the girls would be the brains, but I didn't say anything. "Now." Lawrence said as he turned off the TV, "When you get to your stylists this year, do NOT struggle, resist, or even make a sound. They will do some stuff that will really hurt, but DON"T cry or even make a sound. Compliment them, be nice, do something, so that they like you!" I was now on high survival mode. I wasn't going to let my District down. I probably wasn't going to win, but I was gonna die fighting. I would do whatever it took, so everybody remembered the name, Syminara Lombardi. It had to start by an amazing chariot ride. But that was probably not gonna happen. Every year our tributes were dressed in a tacky costume of a vehicle. Last year our tributes were trains. Lame, right? I was gonna speak to the stylist about the costumes before we put them on. "Would you guys like some lunch?" Jessie asked. I decided right then and there that I would need to be nice to her too. "We would love some!" I said sweetly. She looked over at Josh and he mumbled a, "Sure." Obviously already liking me better, she smiled at me and we followed her into the dining car.

As soon as we sat down servers sat down steaming plates of every kind of dish I could think of! I heaped my plate full of these little breaded shrimp, crab meat, and lots of rolls. "Jeez, by the way you eat, you would think you came from District Four!" Jessie exclaimed. I blushed and nodded sheepishly. Seafood was my favorite kind of food, but it was expensive coming from District Four, so we rarely had it. That's why pasta was my favorite food, because it was good and we could afford it. Luna chatted with Lawrence a little bit, and as far as I could see none of them looked drunk or on medication. All of our other victors (we didn't have that many) were addicted to some form of chemical. I ate and ate until I coudn't anymore. If I was gonna be in the Games, might as well put on a few pounds before I go into them. By the time I was done, I didn't feel so good, and I could see that Josh didn't look so good either. I wasn't used to stuffing myself this full. It was just SOOO good! Espicially the mini breaded shrimp. After lunch the servers brought out a HUGE chocolate cake drizzled with icing. Again, I knew I was gonna throw up, but I didn't care! After lunch, we were all tired from the day, so everyone went to their rooms for a little peace and quiet. I layed down on the comfy bed and realized I still had on my headband. I took it off carefully and fell fast asleep on the big, soft bed.

Read Chapter 5!

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