Chapter 9: Surprises and Lies

A couple of days of training go by without any more intrusions by Shine or Shelby. I learn a great deal of things from the trainers about survival. I learn how to shoot a bow and arrows, throw knives, weave a cot out of rope, what plants are edible and what plants are not, and I learn to make a fire and cook meat over it. On the last day which was our private sessions with the Gamemakers, the Careers were bragging with us about how they were gonna get the highest score above us all. Being sensible people, we kept our mouthes shut. Shine and Shelby were arguing who was gonna get the lower score, me or the 12-year old boy from Eleven. Now remember, I'm only 13 years old, so I wasn't expecting anything great, but come on. The boy was stick thin and was only skin and bones. I only saw him at the camo station. Probably gonna need it. Then Brawn said for them to shut the hell up and that I was surely gonna get the lower score. I kept my mouth shut, cause I wasn't gonna argue with the Career leader. I was surely gonna get my ass kicked. Besides, at least I had the interview to look foward to tommorow. I could be dressed up one last time and win over sponsers at the same time. So I ignored them, and they soon shut up when it was clear I wasn't gonna start a fight.

After the district Five male went into the training center, me and Josh were feeling a bit awkward since we had nothing to say and he was going in soon. Finally they called Josh in and I said as he left, "Good luck." He turned around and seemed to be a bit astonished as he said, "Thanks, uh.... you too?" I nodded and he left with the Peacekeeper. I looked around until I was called in. It had taken a little while, but I was here. The Gamemakers suddenly brightened as I came into the room. Hmmm... I wondered why. I picked up the silver bow and arrows I was use to using and said my name like they had told us to. "Syminara Lombardi, District Six!" I said loudly. I went over to the dummies and loaded my bow. This is your one big chance not to be their target in the Arena. I thought to myself. I took a steadying breath and raised my bow.....and I shot. I looked over at the dummy and I had hit it dead center. I smiled to myself and shot a couple more that were pretty good. Next I went over to the stack of knives and selected the one that I thought would stick. I aimed and concentrated as hard as I could, them I threw it. It landed on the dummy's chest right above its heart. My face fell and I tried some more without success. When I had just about had it I threw it as hard as I could without thinking where it went....until it hit dead center in the dummy. One of the Gamemakers cleared his throat and said, "You may go now Syminara." I nodded and walked out feeling really good.

As soon as I got onto my floor, everyone crowded around me asking me how I did. Everyone that is, except Josh. He hung back, a little hesitant on how I did. "So, How do you think you did honey?" Jessie asked. "I think I did alright." I say. "How do you think you did, Josh?" I ask him. He seems nervous as he says, "I think I did pretty good too." "Well thats very good for both of you." Jessie says. We all sit down at the table and eat dinner while Luna and Lawrence talk about the sponsers they saw today. They're arguing over who is the best and who is the worst. Then Catarina says, "Well you two do know that tommorow is your interviews." We both nodded. "Well Faxon and me are hoping to incorporate the shiny theme we had for the Opening Ceremonies." She then explained what we would be wearing and I had to admit that it sounded really awesome.

After dinner, everyone sat on the couch in the TV room watching the scores. Brawn comes up first and its no surprise when he gets a 10. Next Shine gets a 9, Turk a 9, Shelby an 8, Hirton a 7, the female from Four whos name is Lily gets an 8. Then it's us. Josh gets an 8 which is really good. We are all congratulating him when Ceasar Flickerman reads the next card. "And now... Syminara Lombardi with a.." He says. Suddenly his eyebrows raise up in astonishment and I think to myself that I have gotten a 3 when he says, "Syminara Lombardi gets an 11! Claudius were you expecting this?" Claudius Templesmith looks at the card and says, "Wow! She must have shown the Gamemakers her stuff!" Jessie is jumping up and down and everyone is clapping and congratulating me. Even Josh says, "Good Job!" They're all asking what I did for it. "I did what you guys told me too. I shot some arrows and threw some knives." I say. "Well you must have been pretty good at it." Josh says. I smile at him, but something feels wrong. Like he just lied to me. I don't know, it just felt wrong.

After everyone calmed down, Catarina and Luna pulled me over and talked to me about tommorow. "Alright, now we have momentum for the interview. Tommorow you and me are going to spend all day trying for your image. What angle you wanna go with. Then Jessie is going to teach you how to walk and sit and stuff like that. After we are done, Catarina is going to dress you for the interview. Got that?" Luna asked. I nodded and walked down to my bed chambers. After today, I was so exhausted. Josh trailed after me and caught my arm as I was going into my room. "Sym." He said with so much emotion that I stopped and turned around. "What?" I asked him. He looked me straight in the eye and I just now realized how blue his eyes were. "I just want you to know that whatever happens tommorow or in the Games, I will still be your friend." He said. Then he walked into his room and locked the door leaving me dumbfounded in the hall.

Read Chapter 10!

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