A Game of Chance [A Hunger Games Fanfiction]
Author: Phoenix Summers

Chapter 5
The Room

As we exit the stage, I can see Damon glaring at me. I know him... he used to train with Karl. He's also good with weapons. Oops, he may have wanted Karl to go into the games then. I smirk at him, and am about to draw a hand along my throat, as a indication of 'You're going to die...' When I stop.

And Groan. Loudly.

Because if I want become a career, i'll have to get him on my side. The other careers will be desperate to have him, especially in training. Karl told me that he's a natural. Therefore, I can't afford to get him on the wrong side of me. In facecan't afford to. Which really annoys me. I don't like him. He's too snobbish, and I figure that if he got the chance in the arena, he'd stab me in the back. I resolve to keep a close eye on him.

Joe leads us to a room at the back, and I furrow my eyebrows, confused. This isn't in the plans! We should be getting on the train, shouldn't we?' I don't want detours.

'Why are we here?' I snap, irratedly. 'Aren't we supposed to be on our way to the Capitol by now?'

He smiles at me and Damon. 'We have a HUGE surprise for both of you!' He says, excited. 'Just you wait until you get inside that room!'

I begin to struggle against the Peacekeepers holding me, but they just grab tighter. I don't want to see whatever's in that room. I've had quite enough of surprises in my lifetime, thank you very much, to be wary. Like the time Karl flicked peas at me for amusement and, losing control, I flicked a knife at him. Fortunately, as I was 8 at the time, I didn't do much damage.

I brace myself as we are pushed inside.

I am suddenly eveloped in a hug from Mom. She looks at me proudly, and I can't help grinning. 'Well done!' She laughs. 'Your aunt is so mad right now... I've been wanting to show that we're better than them for years! Now we can do that thanks to you winning the games.'

I look down slightly, ashamed to even be thinking what i'm about to say. That I might not be able to win this, with Damon obviously after me. 'Bu-'

She cuts me off. 'Yes, yes. I know you want a word to express how delighted you are. You must be exploding inside with happiness!'

'But Mom-'

'Yes?' She looks at me eagerly.

I force a smile 'Nothing, I just wanted to say that myself!' I can't hurt her like that, so I lie. Three reasons for lying. One... she would kill me. Two... She would get Karl to beat me up. Three... I can't stand the disappointment that would be evident on her face.

As I begin to lie that I am confident that I will win, a hand shoves me from behind, and I trip over. I get up painfully, looking behind me at my brother and sister, my brother looking furious and my sister just plain scared.

'WHY THE HELL DID YOU VOLUNTEER?' Karl shouts, slapping me again. 'This was supposed to be my last year, and my chance to shine! Now i'll never be able to win. Once you're over eighteen you can't enter!'

I flinch away from him. 'It's a Quarter Quell' I reply. 'I had to. Honour, remember?'

He sighs, deflating slightly. 'Well, as you are my sister, I can tell you what to do.

'At the Chariots, you should wave a lot. Especially in the Chariots. And, if your stylist is rubbish, request a new one. You don't want to go out there looking like a bag of trash.

'In training, show off as many of your skills as possible. Ask the other Career districts to join you in an alliance. Don't let them ask you, they'll think you're weaker than them. You should become the leader. In career, aim for districts 2 and 4. Definately get Damon on your side. If you don't, he will be lethal.

'The interviews, you pick a style. I reckon you should go for either brutal, or sexy. Or both combined. Compliment the Capitol and the interviewer as much as possible. They'll love you.

'In the arena get to the Cornacopia before your allies do. Hold anyone attacking it off, and stop anyone trying to get to weapons. This way your allies will have to run to you. But never trust them. Don't trust anybody. This way you'll become victor. Put a wall up around your heart. With every kill you make, let it become stronger.'

He then looks at me directly in my eye. 'And change your name to something glitzier. Our district does this every year. Tell them you said the wrong name. Otherwise your name won't stick out. You'll be a nobody. You don't want to be ignored, do you? District 1 sticks out because of our unique names.'

'Diamond. Diamond Taras. Dia for short' I whisper. I've always fancied the name, but now I can actually have it.

I suppose to some people it would sound stupid. Even I hate some of the names District 1 tributes pick. Glimmer and Goldie are good examples. They use no imagination what-so-ever. Urgh. The only names I actually like ae the gem ones. Take Diamond for example.

He nods. 'Good. Flashy'. I feel a small spark of pride, but push it down. No room for emotions in these Games. Even if this isn't the games yet.

The peacekeepers enter with Damon and his family behind them. Huh, I hadn't realised he had even gone out the room. I mentally kick myself. I really must be more observant.

A peacekeeper tells them I have to go, along with Damon. I turn to leave but am surprised to feel arms wrap themselves around me.

'Come home alive' my sister says fiercely, her eyes burning straight into mine.

'I will' I reply, meaning it. But a flicker of doubt crosses my mind when as we leave the room.

'Oh' Karl calles after us and the Pacekeepers. 'Please tell the district escort that there has been a slight mix up with names, as a small joke. Her real name is Diamond Taras, Dia for short...'


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