Rue's Lullaby

I hope you enjoy this story. As you can probably tell, it's Suzanne Collin's Hunger Games in the POV of Rue. (:
Please, please, please leave an honest comment for every chapter. I love hearing from readers, even if it's just a smiley face to show that you're still reading the story! :D

Chapter 2

The Goodbyes

The Town Hall is easily not the fanciest place in the whole of Panem but the large, black and white coloured tiles layering the entrance hall floor and the vast, open ceiling that keeps in the smell of sweet lavender is warm and rather soothing over my muddled mind. The Peacekeepers lead us smartly down a corridor I’ve never ventured to before and my chocolate brown eyes widen in their sockets at the delicate, arched windows and plush decorations.

Our group halts at the third door down the corridor, a Peacekeeper stoutly explaining that this is my allocated room for one hour to say goodbye to any visitors I may have. I keep my mouth closed, scared of the Peacekeeper who towers above me as he swings open the door for me, eyeing me with a look that clearly says he thinks that I am wimpy. I straighten my back, standing up straight, hoping that I will be able to prove him wrong in The Games and I avert my eyes from him, readying myself for the next hour.

Before I can take a step forward, there is a touch on my right shoulder and I freeze, my senses automatically going on alert at this unfamiliar touch, but the warm voice that speaks is only that of Thresh.

“Be brave, little one.” He says. The words he speaks are not long or extravagant, yet they cause my heart to warm in hope of a friend in these harsh times. I’ve never been a particularly independent child, usually preferring the company of older, more trustworthy beings rather than other girls my age.
Thresh removes his hand from my shoulder. I haven’t shown any recognition at his words, so to show my response I lift my chin up high and step inside the room confidently. Immediately, the door closes behind me; apparently the Peacemakers do not appreciate the show of trust amongst Tributes. The muffled thud and the sound of a lock clicking into place on the other side of the door sentences my enclosure.

For the time being, I take in the image of my room. There’s one window in here; it’s thickly glazed and the latches to open it are missing. The lonely window is complete with a window seat, decorated with frilly cushions and soft velvet. There are other sofas and wooden tables assorted amongst the peach-coloured room, but I ignore them, keeping up my proud stride as I make a beeline for the window seat. I launch myself onto the sofa with a passion, enjoying the luxury of sinking into the heavy cushioning next to the cool glass. I stare out of the window at the dispersing crowd in the Courtyard who are returning to their homes to cherish their one day off work, and sigh as I think of how I could be one of those innocent citizens, heading home for the evening. I shift my position on the window seat to a more comfortable position, but then I feel strangely like a wart sitting upon a smooth complexion when I look down to see my brown, dirtied clothes against the pure, blue materials at the window seat.

My head snaps up when I hear the lock click again at the door and then it swings open, guarded by a Peacemaker who steps aside to reveal my own family. They all shuffle in awkwardly against the clean room, taking a minute for their eyes to search the room for me in my little hideaway. The door bangs shut behind them.

“Rue!” Marie squeals a blur of brown as she sprints to the window, and flings her arms around my neck. “Rue, please don’t leave me.” She begins sobbing again, her eyes brimming with tears at the prospect of her older sister being sent away.

I hug her back, tightly, hanging onto her body and cherishing the moment for a minute, until I break apart and hold her out firmly at arm’s length, meeting her eyes steadily.

“Marie,” I keep my voice steady also. There will be no tears in this time; no red eyes to be spied by the cameras outside. The rest of the family begin to walk at a more rational rate towards us and I quickly speak to Marie alone, “You’re quick, you’re a good climber. You must take up my post in the fields. You must use my whistle.”

Marie nods, running a tiny hand over her nose, and then she stifles a sob saying in a whisper, “But I can’t whistle…” Her little face looks heartbroken as the raises two fingers and puts them in her mouth, blowing as hard as she can.
I smile back, whispering in her ear, “Just practice. I believe in you.”

Marie’s lips rise in a smile at my words, and she slides from my lap to make room for mum and dad’s goodbyes. Mums eyes still reflect the shock of the Reaping, but her face is less pale, probably comforted by my father’s warm arms. Mum sits down at my right, letting out what seems like a balloon full of air, and dad sits to my left, putting an arm around my neck, in comforting gesture.

“Marie,” My mum says, “Just come home, please. I know you can survive. Just come back to me, baby.” There’s no more words from mum and next, the oldest brother of our family Luka, speaks up.

“You’re fast and you can jump through the trees like a songbird.” The words Luka speaks are true, but surely in his heart he must know that a mere talent can’t get me through the Games?

Marco adds in his own sentence, “All you have to do is lie low…”

“And the other Tributes will just finish each other off.” Six year old Kyle finishes the sentence. It’s sad really that Kyle at his young age knows the meaning of the Hunger Games. There’s only Annabel who is free from the burden of The Games for now, and she looks at me with her big, brown eyes, clearly showing confusion at the unnaturally depressed mood in the air. I reach out to her, and she stumbles into my arms, as I scoop her up like a little baby bird and rock her in my lap, soothingly ,willing her to remember me forever.

We stay this way for the whole hour, just rocking and cuddling together, until we are all curled up like a flock of birds wishing for the window to just open and let us fly away.

I'd just like to say a big thankyou for so many comments on my story so far! I really appreciate it, and I didn't expect to have so many fans. I was so touched by your comments, that I found myself crying in happiness. It's so lovely to hear all your views on this story and I hope you enjoy my writing this chapter too! :D
~ IceCreamAndSprinkles

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