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

Chapter 15
The Interviews

I stare in horror at the 'four' on the board, when I feel a light tap on my shoulder. Damon looks at me, and, without a trace of sarcasm, says 'Well done'. I look at him, a questioning look clearly visible on his face.

"Didn't you even listen to Yvonne? she said that this year a hundred is the worst mark you can get, and one the best. They decided to mix it up. So, I think you should be a bit more happy about your score."

I glance around at the rest of my allies. They nod, which leaves me relieved. I got a decent score after all; sponsors will not be put off. I turn to Damon as he starts speaking again, complimenting my dress. I stare at him in surprise, about to ask why he is complimenting me all of a sudden.

Then I realise. He is trying to get into my good books before the games, so I won't set my sights on killing him first. I fume inside, just wanting to kill him now. But I must wait for a chance to strike- what comes to pass must come to pass. Instead of attacking him on the spot, I smile sweetly and go along with the whole charade, even thanking him for his idiotic compliments.

Suddenly, a voice booms out "Valentyna Taras, District One!" This is my cue to go on stage, but it unnerves me that they used my old name. My name is now Diamond, not Valentyna. But still, strangely, it gives me a slight boost to my confidence, and I resolve not to do anything about it unless I am asked.

I take a deep breath, put on a determined, strong facial expression, and stroll onto the stage, waving at the crowd as I do so. I will not show any weakness; I refuse to. Instead, I will bury that deep and let only my strong side show. The brave side.

The crowd has over a hundred thousand people jostling for a good view at me. I know that I should feel intimidated, but I actually feel quite calm. A small smile tugs at my lips as the crowd roars their admiration for me. This is how I am supposed to be - A bold and fearless career, backed by as many sponsors as I can wish for.

Two seats are situated in the centre of the stage. Yvonne is in one, and I presume that I am to sit in the other, as it is empty. I stride over, and confidently sit down, facing her. She smiles a artificial grin at me, which I see through immediately. Interesting. She doesn't appear to like female tributes.

She fires off a load of questions at once, not giving me a chance to answer. I just sit there, an eyebrow raised, as I bring up my hand to silence her, getting an appreciative chuckle from the audience as I do so.

"Let's start again shall we? And a bit slower might be a good idea." She glares at me.

"Fine," she snaps. She looks down at her list, and starts to read them out again. I give fluent answers to each of them.

"How did you feel about being reaped for the Games?" This is the first question that she asks. I consider that for a moment, then reply using sarcasm. "Very sad. 'Cause I don't stand a chance. Really, you have to ask the obvious questions? Of course I wanted to go into the games. Are you too dumb to realise that?"

She continues onto the next question, as if she hasn't heard. This one is about my chances of survival in the games. I roll my eyes and answer before she has even finished the question. "I don't stand any chance. Didn't you hear me the first time? Ask the less obvious questions, you idiot. I stand a very high chance, for your information."

She continues asking simple questions, and I reply sarcastically to all of them. Looks like she can't take a hint, even when it's right in front of her nose. Her list seems endless, and I take to yawning between each question. "Just get it over with" I mutter.

'If looks could kill' she seems to be thinking. Unfortunately, they don't, or she would be dead by now. I smirk, and she clutches her list tight in her hands, crumpling it. "Watch out" I say innocently.

Abruptly, she stands up. She puts her head in her hands, and cries out, "I'm getting outta here, I can't stand this anymore." With that confession, she runs off stage bawling like a newborn child.

I grin. Perfect. Now I have the stage to myself to do a bit of introductory work. I begin my speech, with the Panem citizens looking on eagerly.

"Hello Panem." I pronounce each word clearly, and without a stutter. "My name is Valentyna Taras, and I am from District One. My name was faked as Diamond by those who were jealous of me." The audience gasps, and people radiate sympathy to me. I continue. "I believe that I can win these games. I am the strongest here, and I am not merciful. I have trained for this my whole life, and will not be put down by any mere mistakes." The audience cheers. "Support me and when I win, you will be honoured by me, and you shall have some of my winnings." I am careful not to say how much they will get. I shout my last bit out in a clear, loud voice. "I am going to win these games! Panem, I will do you proud." I stand amidst all my new supporters, who are going crazy with support for me.

I grin at them, then walk off the opposite side of the stage to that which I came in through. There is yet another TV, and I sit down to watch the rest of the interviews. Damon comes on in his black tux, looking like a true career. He sits down smirking, and waits till a nervous Yvonne returns to interview him and the others. He handles the questions with complaint, surprising me. I thought that he had more of the rebel in him than that.

But, on the final question, one that I missed, he returns to his normal, idiotic self. He is asked if there is anyone in particular that is on his 'kill list'. His face clouds over as he nods. He says the next bit with venom in his voice. "There is one. They are right at the top, and I will not stop until I see them dead."

For some reason, I suspect that this person is actually me.

I am on Damon's target list.

This is not a good sign.


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