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 3

The Train

I wave half-heartedly at the gathered crowd at the train station and a million flashes respond, lapping up the attention. I try for a smirk, the expression feeling undeniably foreign on my young face and the cameras train on my smirk, dismissing the sombre Thresh who is stood at my right on the steps of the train. We are required to stand here pointlessly, surrounded by Peacekeepers while the paparazzi collects a nice load of snippets of the District 11 tributes.

The train hoots tauntingly at the crowd, the steps quivering with vibrations underneath me. I gasp at the unusually loud noise, my feet stumbling when I try to rid the annoying feeling. I’m used to the soft tweeting of the birds in the fields, and the small whoosh of the wind causing the leaves to crackle and the branches to lightly sway underneath me- not this horrible vibrating metal and horns. Thresh darts out a strong arm out to catch me before I fall headfirst into the cameras and he grabs my arm just in time, letting me lean back into the train doors as far away from the crowd as I can get. In the distance, I watch with sharp eyes as a reporter cackles with her buddies, saying “That little one will be gone in the bloodbath, I can tell.”

I feel my eyes beginning to brim with tears of humiliation, a strange hollow feeling creeping into my eardrums. She’s right of course. It’s highly uncommon for someone of my size and demeanour to escape the bloodbath. All the same, I hope I can prove her wrong.

Finally, the doors to the train open and I flee the prying eyes into the warm exterior of the train. To my surprise, the floor is carpeted and beautiful canvas arts are framed on the wall. Soft armchairs line the hallway and the train looks weirdly posh and luxurious. I feel strangely out of place here and not knowing what to do, I stand awkwardly next to Thresh in the hall until our escort bustles in from a wooden door on our left.

Penny smiles at us, her golden teeth glinting in the bright light from the lamps, and begins to explain what will happen next. She tells us that we have one hour to spend in our allocated rooms until we are expected in the Dining Room for dinner. It seems a bit ironic to me, that a single train has more rooms and luxuries than all the houses in my small road.

The room is larger than the train, complete with an en suite and window out of which you can see the greenery and houses flying past. Of course, even though the train has been in motion for several minutes, we still haven’t passed the whole of District 11. Our district is said in the Capitol to be the biggest of them all, the many farms and crops spread out across the land making less room for large homes. Most families live in cramped, battered houses edging the fields. Some small families live together, the expense of keeping the house halved. Luckily, my big family has our own house even though there are merely two rooms- one upstairs and one downstairs. The whole family sleeps upstairs, taking turns on sharing the double bed we have and trying to find the most comfortable parts of the wooden floorboards that creak with every step. You can imagine why I prefer life in the fields. Some days I even wish I could sleep with the comfort of the trees and Mokingjays.

Mokingjays have been my friends for as long as I can remember. Whenever times are low, all I have to do is hum a slow tune and they’ll pick it up, turning it into a chorus of beautiful melodies. I think, apart from my family, I’ll miss the Mokingjays the most.

I venture around my room a little, quickly learning that the drawers and wardrobes are stacked with fancy clothes for my use. In the bathroom, it is strangely white and a strange structure stands in the corner of the room. It is large, and there is a door that slides open and closed at your touch. I ponder over it for a moment before I step in and close the door. In the peculiar cubicle there is a panel on the wall, with writing instructing you on use of the strange cubicle. Luckily, I know some basic reading due to the attempts of my father teaching me by carving onto stones and trees simple words and sentences.

On the panel, each button has a small heading saying what each thing does. The first reads freezing water and so on with cold water, warm water, hot water and bubbles. I know what water means, of course, and cold and warm. But the words bubbles and freezing make no sense to me at all. I look around at first, curious as to what I should do. Should I call Penny? Or maybe ask Thresh what it means? Or couldn’t I just try a button?

I reach out a small finger and tentatively push freezing water. Suddenly, from every direction water is poured over me, surprisingly chilly and as cold as ice. I squeal with shock, stumbling out of the shower as quickly as I can. I shiver outside, watching the water pour from small holes in the walls. My hair drips down my back, sending shivers up my spine and my ragged clothes are soaked through. I realise now, what this cubicle must be. It’s a shower! Only the Mayor and the rare rich Lords have showers in their homes, although probably not this fancy. They use them to clean their bodies and hair to prevent smells and dirt from clogging up their pores. We peasants, on the other hand, have to make do with tubs and basins full with cool water from the wells. I strip myself down, and this time choose a different button which turns out to be a gentle shower of warm water and bubbles from the ceiling. I make note of this button for the future and step into the warm mixture, getting ready for the first time in my life, to wash my body thoroughly.

Like the chapter? :D I got it done quicker than last time! But you have no idea how long it took me to find the 'inappropiate word in the chapter text' that was slee/p/ with the Mokingjays. -_- Anyhow, Sleep tight... if it's night...
~ IceCreamAndSprinkles

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