Chapter 5: Prepping

I woke up an hour later feeling refreshed, but suddenly remembering with painful clarity that I was on my to my death. I got up off the canopy bed and brushed my honey brown hair out. I looked at the clock in my room and the time said 3:30. I quickly put on my headband, and padded down the hall to the TV car, where we had watched the Reaping. Only Jessie was there watching the Districts go by. "What district are we going past?" I asked. "District Two." She said and sighed, "We are almost to the Capital." She said this with great sadness. "Why are you sad?" I asked. I really didn't care though, I was just making sure I had her support. "Oh, I just don't want to see more kids killed in the Games this year." She said. I was taking that as an insult, but I said sweetly, "Don't worry! I'll make it out. I won't let you down." I said. She smiled and nodded at me and I walked over to the window. Everywhere, there was splurges of color like an artist's painting. We have an artist in District Six, and sometimes we buy a small painting from him to hang on our shop's walls. He was quite good, but he charged much more than what people could pay. Josh walked up by me looking out the window. Suddenly I blurted out, "Josh, why did you volunteer?" He was silent for a moment then said, "You'll see." I shrugged and looked out the window. By now we were almost out of Two and into One. I turned around to Jessie and said, "Hey, who's my stylist?" She smiled and said proudly, "Her name is Catarina Nile." "She doesn't plan on having us be vehicles again, right?" I asked still smiling. Jessie shrank back in horror. "Of course not!" She exclaimed, "That was last year's stylist. She has promised a fresh and beautiful look for District Six." I just hoped nudity wasn't the fresh and beautiful look. A servant came in saying, "We are arriving in the Capital now. If you have a token, please go get it from your room." I felt my headband on my head, so it seemed I had everything. Josh went into his room to get his and I saw the Capital for the first time.

There was beautiful and colorful buildings and a square full of people just as colorful as the buildings. It seemed in the Capital that wierdness was a style everyone liked. There were people who had on colorful wigs, way too much plastic surgery, whiskers, tails, fluffy ears. It was just sick. The people were waving as our train came in. They seemed excited even for District Six. This was my chance to make the Capital adore me. So I waved at them through the window and gave them my best smiles. They only went wilder and I blew kisses out to the crowd. Luna, Lawrence, Josh, Jessie, and I were escorted by Peacekeepers to the prep room. "Remember." Lawrence said, "Don't make a sound. Understand?" Josh and I nodded our heads and we went inside. My prep team told me to strip off my clothes. I carefully pulled them off feeling very self-concious. One of the ladies who was blue sighed and said, "So much body hair. We'll have to give her all we've got." I was offended and scared by this. What was "all we've got"? They put me into a translucent gown and started scrubbing my skin off. At least that's what it felt like. After they finished that, I felt all tingly and my skin hurt really bad. But that wasn't even the worse part. Next they started waxing everywhere there was hair. By the time they had gotten to my legs, I was on the verge of tears. "You are doing SO good!" The blue-skinned lady said. I smiled very sweetly and said, "Thank you so much for giving me treatment so I can look pretty. You see we have no cause to look pretty in District Six, so this is a real treat!" She smiled big and said, "Oh sweetie you are very welcome." Then she went back to ripping my legs off.

After I had prepped, I didn't even look like myself. I looked like some goddess. I have to admit, I was impressed. They led me to a room with a gigantic window overlooking the city. I reached up and felt that my headband was now back on. I still had on the translucent gown, probably to let Catarina Nile see what she has to work with. The server who is strangly mute brings out a plate heaped with the mini breaded shrimp, crab meat, and delicous rolls that I had on the train. I nod a thank-you and start digging in. As I start eating, a woman walks in who I think is Catarina. She oddly has only one modification to her body unlike the other District stylists who have messed with themselves so much that they hardly look pretty anymore. All she has is some slight makeup and a red gemstone sewn into her forehead. She comes over to me and commands me to stand up so she can get a better look at me. I automatically stand up and fight the urge to cross my arms over my chest. She circles around me with a look of deep concentration on her face. Then she says with a pleased look on her face, "Now this, we can work with!" I don't know if I should be glad or mad, so I don't say anything. Finally she says, "Please sit down. Finish your dinner, you're gonna need it. I am Catarina, your stylist for the Games." She sits on the couch across from me, and another one of the mute servants, silently brings out a plate full of different kinds of fruit and vegetables. "Now, let's get down to buisness." She said munching on an apple. "You are probably wondering what you will be wearing for the Opening Ceromonies tonight." It was true, I was dying to know. "Well, I think the vehicles thing is WAY overcooked. So let's focus on some of the things that have to do with the vehicles." She says while I pop another shrimp into my mouth. "Most vehicles have lights. Am I right?" She asks. I nod a yes and she continues speaking. "So me and Faxon, Josh's stylist, were thinking that maybe we could get you and Josh into some sort of reflective material. That way when the lights shine down on you, you really glow like traffic lights." I thought about this for a second and realized this was exactly what I needed to make an impression on the sponsers! "I love it!" I said. She smiled satisfactorily and leaned back, munching on her vegetables. "You know." She said, "I think you will do just fine in the Games."

Read Chapter 6!

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