Chapter 3 of The Starvation Games is here

The Starvation Games

Chapter Three
Fresh-baked! The King of Bread

I’d had the most exhausting morning. Ever. From the minute I stepped into homeroom I was besieged by every single boy in there, demanding to know my name, rank and serial number. I mean my three measurements. I felt them ogling me and it was like, totally disgusting.

I totally wouldn’t have minded if there’d been even one hottie among them, but every boy in there ranged from Meh to Bleh to simply Ugh. So far, there was no one who could even begin to compete with my special Gaylob. I felt a fluttering in my heart and began to wonder if this was the stirring of a new love.

I totally didn’t want to encourage those grotties, so I went into my Emotionless Girl Mode, which if you remember my explanation from earlier, is when I appear all bored and aloof by making my eyes go all cold and steely looking. Unfortunately, the Ice Princess persona only made them want me even more. Sigh.

I couldn’t account for it, since I’d taken great pains to dress as plainly as possible. I wasn’t even wearing any makeup. There were plenty more glamorous girls than me in the room. No way was my natural beauty shining through, since I don’t possess any. I’m totally plain and average looking. I’m so not pretty at all.

Of all the losers, however, Puppy Boy was the most resilient. Even viciously knocking him against a metal locker, so hard that he bounced off it and fell facedown into a nearby trash can, had no effect. Of course, I neatly disguised it as an accidental little push, but still. I was beginning to think he might have a secret stash of 1-Ups hidden about his person.

Just like a loyal, abused puppy, he followed at my heels all the way up until lunch. I managed to fix it so that I was seated far away from him, but the whole time I had to put up with him shooting me insipid little looks of yearning that made me want to gag.

The only positive thing about my association with him was that I didn’t have to bother to try to make friends. Like a queen holding court, people approached me. They must just be interested in me because I’m a new face around here, I reasoned. And best of all, no girls tried to stab me.

But there was something in the cafeteria that had grabbed my attention, so much that I was held in a trance of epic proportions. Like a giant, sparkly Rottweiler at my neck, it sank its fangs into me, shook me like a ragdoll and refused to let go.

“So, Foxface,” I said to the girl across the table from me. Puppy Boy had introduced me to her earlier.

“I’m Jessica,” Foxface growled.

“Yes, Foxface,” I smiled serenely at her. I sensed right away this girl was clearly a wily, cunning little bitch who must be destroyed, because my instincts are never wrong.      “Who’s that hottie over there, the guy with bronze highlights in his messy, yet tastefully-cut blond hair? You know, the one holding that loaf of warm, crusty bread?”

I couldn’t stop staring at him. Shafts of sunlight streamed down upon him through the cafeteria windows, making him glow and appear all shiny and sparkly, like a diamond refracting in the sunlight. His pale, glittery beauty was in sharp contrast to Gaylob’s rugged, wolfish charms.

“Eww,” Foxface said, wrinkling her snub, freckly nose.

Unbelievably, some people actually considered her pretty, but I sure as hell didn’t. She had sleek, red hair and a face that reminded me of a fox. She looked too sly to be considered a good person.

There was only one other girl at my table worth mentioning: Glasses Girl. She was really plain and boring-looking, and therefore not a threat at all. I couldn’t figure out why Foxface kept calling her “Madgela” though, when “Glasses Girl” was clearly the only name she’d ever need.

“That’s Peeward Column. His middle name is Roman. He’s a baker’s son. He thinks he’s sooo hot,” Foxface sniffed, in a way that led me to automatically assume he must’ve rejected her advances.

But that hotbod with the stylishly-messy hair was looking my way. Despite the fact that there were at least five other random girls whom I hated, all sharing a table with me, I was certain he was staring only at me.

Shivers ran down my spine in a way that made me feel deliciously unchaste. I threw back my head and a sudden breeze whipped through my long, glossy raven hair. I’m not too sure where it came from, since all the windows were closed. But I couldn’t understand why he was looking at me, because I’m not attractive at all.

Oh, I get it, my interior monologue said. He thinks I’m hungry and I’m checking out his bread. It all made sense now.

Weirdly, he looked at me, then quickly looked away, then looked back at me and frowned, like he was really puzzled, but I couldn’t figure out why he would be. Then he started sniffing the warm, crusty loaf, like it was the only thing in the world he desired right now, but for some reason he couldn’t have it. He seemed overly-protective of the bread, and I couldn’t fathom why.

All of a sudden it hit me, and I felt like a genius for having figured it out so quickly.

He probably thinks I’m after his loaf of bread, I thought. Like, he thinks I want him to give it to me. Guiltily, I looked away. I didn’t want him thinking that, or I’d feel like I owed him something, and I hate owing people.

I realized this was the moment when the Tragic Love Triangle was born. Peeward Column loved Bread. I loved Peeward Column. The Bread naturally loved Peeward too. Naturally, I hated the Bread, for being my rival in love. The only way to win Peeward would be to destroy the Bread. I would do this by catching the Bread unawares. First I would pretend to be its friend and get it on my side, then mercilessly destroy their shared love.

In order to do this, however, I decided I needed to find out more about him, so I felt really pleased that my subtle opening question about The Hot Boy With The Bread had gotten Foxface talking some more.

“See those other people with him?” she asked in a sly, conspiratorial whisper. “Those are his *cough*siblings*cough* but they’re like, you know, together,” she said in a knowing voice.

My steely gray eyes widened in surprise and became a little smoky. I glanced over at his table, and at his companions, but since I don’t plan on mentioning any of them again, I won’t bother describing them.

“They’re like, adopted,” Foxface was saying. “By President Snowball and his wife.”

I blinked, momentarily confused. “His dad is Fox Mulder?” I asked confusedly.

Foxface rolled her eyes at me. “Who? I said President Snowball,” she repeated slowly, as if explaining something to a particularly dim-witted child.

Belatedly, I realized that I’d gotten the name muddled because I was thinking of how much she resembled a fox, and then she had to ruin my train of thought by saying a trigger word like “Snowball.” It caused me to remember that X-Files episode when Mulder got lost in the Arctic or some other place really cold and met that mean-looking alien guy who oozed poisonous green blood.

I noticed Foxface smirking at my slip-up. The bitch didn’t even bother to disguise it. I pasted a smile on my face but inwardly, I was seething with fury at her for treating me like a moron. I silently vowed to pay her back for this, one way or another. After the Bread, she was my next target.

For now though, I sat back in my seat and considered her words. Like everyone else, I knew who President Snowball was. Obviously, I’d never had the privilege of meeting him in person, but I’d seen him on TV plenty.

He’s a blond bishounen who smells of roses. He has a deformed minion who scampers ahead of him, throwing down rose petals on the path before him. This means that roses always bloom wherever President Snowball treads.

Years ago, he waged an epic battle and defeated a silver-haired bishounen named Sephiroth, and became President. That battle went down in history as the first of its kind, when a Giant Frozen Snowball overcame a Giant Blazing Meteor. Sephiroth had wanted to take over the world, so everyone was really pleased when Snowball seized power without first asking anyone if it was okay. But the really important thing is that President Snowball presides over the Starvation Games.

I wanted to encourage this line of conversation, but I didn’t want to appear too eager. And that’s when I had a sudden, brilliant idea.

“So,” I began carefully, working hard to keep my tone nonchalant. “Have any of you ever met him? President Snowball, I mean?”

I thought Glasses Girl would be a good source of information since, wearing glasses, she must naturally be incredibly smart, but she seemed content to let Foxface do all the talking.

“As if!” Foxface scoffed. You only get to meet him if you get picked for the Starvation Games.”

Yes! I silently exulted. She totally fell for my bait. Now I just needed to keep her talking.

“Surely you’ve been picked before though? Someone as pretty as you, I mean.” I pretended to be absorbed in a bite of my Twinkie, while secretly keeping an eye on her for a reaction. It’s a good thing I had that Twinkie to hide behind, too, since I felt like gagging after saying something so revolting.

Appealing to one’s vanity is a great way to get information. I knew my strategy was made of win when she totally got sidetracked by my compliment and started spewing all kinds of useful stuff.

Like, how only good-looking kids between the ages of fourteen to eighteen ever get picked for the Starvation Games. The cameras are on you at all times, and you’re beamed live across Teh Ruling Eevil Capitol, into the homes of every citizen.

The Games are basically one giant popularity contest, where boys and girls are pitted against each other in this huge arena called high school, and the one who stabs everyone else in the back is crowned the winner and becomes the Queen. Or King. It could be a guy who wins. You never know. But usually it’s a girl because girls are really hateful and whiny and bitchy and just, you know, competition for resources, namely boys. So instead of feeling starved for attention, we have the Starvation Games, so we can fight it out and one person gets to be declared the victor. The one most deserving, as in most starved, for attention wins. Or it could be least starved. I’m still a little confused over that part.

So anyway, even though it’s the smallest and lamest district, Spoons is like the sunniest place in the entire world. That’s why we hold the yearly Starvation Games here. It’s the best place for it because in the sunshine, we can all sparkle and look our best.

Most importantly, it was a foregone conclusion that Peeward Column would be selected.

Peeward Column. I let out a dramatic sigh. Even his name sounded exotic and dangerous. Maybe not as wild and bad boy-like as Gaylob Blackthistle, but his name had a certain distinguished ring to it. Peeward Column continued to cast pallid, angsty glances in my direction while I ate, but I wanted his midnight-black eyes to burn with the crimson flames of smoldering desire for me, not for the loaf of warm, crusty bread he was desperately holding on to, or for the Twinkie I was nibbling on slowly with careful, elegant little bites.

I acted like I had only a passing interest in the Games, but already I was secretly plotting to get picked and to win. I didn’t care who I had to step over to do it. I wanted to be crowned the victor, so the Hot Boy With The Bread would have no excuse not to notice me.

***

After excusing myself early from lunch, I started working on my gameplan right away.

I purchased two dozen loaves of bread and rubbed them all over me. For the special, finishing touch, I crumbled a brioche roll to pieces and sprinkled it all over my hair.

Gazing at my reflection in the mirror of the girls’ bathroom, I was struck by the abrupt change in me. I almost fell over from the shock, too, but then I remembered I was alone in here, so there was literally no point.

Full of wonder, I stepped closer to the glass. I couldn’t believe that this beautiful, vulnerable-looking girl was actually me.

My eyes were like soft pools of molten silver. There was a faint, rosy blush on my delicate, sculpted cheekbones. Contrasting sharply against the glossy, raven black of my hair, the golden brioche crumbs glinted like tiny, distant stars in the inky, midnight sky.

Mesmerized, I gazed in bewilderment at this bewitching, ethereal girl for like, twenty minutes. Finally, I had to tear myself away, because I suddenly remembered I had Something Important To Do.

With my heart pounding painfully within the prison of my ample bosom, I carefully rearranged the breadcrumbs on my deliberately-average clothing, then stepped toward the exit, which seemed like a million miles away right then.

I took a deep, calming breath and counted to one thousand and two.

Then I made my way to biology class, where I knew the Hot Boy With The Bread, and my destiny, awaited me.

Chapter Three End


I want to say a big, big thank you to everyone who has read and commented on my fic. I really appreciate your kind words and encouragement; they mean a lot to me :) Grateful thanks also to my dear friends Michael and Mr Chambers for reading Chapter Three last week and giving me their feedback on it, even though neither has read Twilight and The Hunger Games *hands out triple choc cookies to everyone* And thanks very much for your lovely comment on this post, Mr Chambers, I’m so happy you enjoyed this new installment!

Chapter One was completed in a rush and Chapter Two is so brief it seems more like an intermission to me. I pretty much just wrote whatever came into my head and put it online, which is why the first part of Chapter One is full of inconsistencies. After posting, I was tempted to cut out the contradictory parts but then again, the novels I’m parodying are riddled with them, so I guess my editing glasses are staying off for the time being. I may change my mind later. Anyway, I’ll do my best to add plenty more plot holes and inconsistencies in upcoming chapters, lol. To be honest, the first section of Chapter One still looks a bit of a mess to me, although I’m satisfied with the last part, when Gaylob appears ;) He’s great fun to write, so expect to see more of him XD.

I intended to complete the fourth chapter before posting Three but I’ll just go ahead and admit I haven’t even started writing Four. Instead of writing last weekend, I slept in, ate a lot of snacks and finally got round to watching my Blu-ray DVD of Advent Children Complete. Loved it, by the way. All I have of Chapter Four so far is a vague idea in my head of the direction I want the story to head in. Well, I hope posting today may serve as motivation to get a move on…

 

1 Comment

  1. Mr Chambers

    And what a great read it was!! Thouroughly enjoyed it! Can’t wait for more – please tell me when you have the next chapter ready – I know it will be awesome .. Loved reading it, and as it is unfinished it is like watching a little bit of a movie and turning off … lol … keep up the good work!! Mr Chambers :)

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