The Starvation Games, Chapter 2
Okay, so here’s the second chapter! It was originally a lot longer, so I decided to split the chapter into two, more manageable chunks. On the plus, it means Chapter 3 is already completed 😉
The Starvation Games
It’s Not My Fault That I’m
It was my first day of school at Spoons High. I really wished that Gaylob could’ve attended with me too, since it would have been so incredibly awesome to show up with such a Studly Guy on my arm, but unfortunately he already went to school in La Pull.
As I was driving, I was feeling so pleased with myself that I’d remembered to dress down. I didn’t want a repeat of all my other first days in other towns, when mean, nasty girls tried to mutilate me because they thought their boyfriends were checking me out.
For one terrible moment, those mental scars threatened to overwhelm me. But then I closed my eyes and took deep, calming breaths. Then I shook my head to clear my mind. Then I opened my eyes, and from the blaring of car horns, I realized I’d accidentally veered off course and was driving in the wrong direction down the highway. I gave my head another cute little shake and watched my long, glossy, raven hair settle around me like soft, downy fur. But only for a moment. Right now I needed to focus all my energy on getting back into the right lane of traffic.
A Handsome Dad passed me and raised his hand. He must be giving me a sympathetic wave because of my blunder, I thought, so I flashed him my finest, most winning smile. I got a brief image of his mouth dropping open in speechlessness before he disappeared from view. I allowed myself a smidgeon of smugness. He totally understands that I’m new here and haven’t yet gotten the hang of my unfamiliar surroundings. Plus, he must’ve been captivated by my utterly charming smile. The people of Spoons are surprisingly friendly!
After about thirty minutes of my best, most careful driving, I pulled up in the school parking lot in the ancient, noisy truck that Chuck had bought me. It’s so great to just get magically given stuff without having to work for it at all.
He’d presented it to me on my birthday. He made a huge deal out of it at the time, too, wrapping it in a giant silver parachute and letting it float down from the sky. Luckily, I just happened to be in the front yard when it arrived, where it landed just two inches away from me, and I remember thinking how marvelous his timing was. Like, it was the exact thing I needed right now! How had he known? It was as if he’d read my mind.
On the other hand, I was also pretty ashamed to be seen in it, since it’s not flashy at all. It’s so annoying that Chuck’s kind of poor, even though he’s the HP. Apparently that doesn’t mean much in a poor district like Spoons, though. That’s why Chuck’s always over in the Hubcap. That’s the black market, and it’s where DB and his buff son, I mean Gaylob, trade fish and small mammals that they shoot in the eye with arrows, like squirrels.
Well, back to the truck. It’s not fair on me at all. I wanted to cry tears of angsty rage over it. Chuck just has no idea how tough it is being a seventeen-year-old girl. I really wanted to just curl up into a fetal ball and die because of that, but I knew that I had to be brave. For Prim. I mean Rue. I’m not sure who they are, exactly, but those names just popped into my head.
For a brief moment, my brow furrowed in concentration. I felt like I should be remembering something, but I couldn’t think what. Since thinking wouldn’t gain me anything but wrinkles right now, I tried not to, and instead concentrated on looking my best while I arrived at school.
So anyway, I hadn’t even parked the truck properly before hordes of boys descended upon me. They surrounded the truck, all staring at me with hungry eyes. It must just be because I’m a new face around here, I thought with a dramatic sigh. No way is it because they find an average, raven-haired, steely gray-eyed girl like me attractive. Because I’m not attractive at all.
As soon as I got out of the truck, a blond boy came up to me. There was a pile of boys lying prone and bloody on the ground surrounding my truck, and the blond boy stepped all over them to reach me. I realized that some time between parking my truck and opening the door, they must have beaten each other to a bloody pulp then collapsed from exhaustion.
“Hi, I’m Mikey,” the blond boy said, like an eager puppy, if a puppy could talk. He even had puppy dog eyes, which were brown, just like a real puppy’s.
“Wha-” I’d started to say, “Whatever!” but then I suddenly thought this guy could be useful. I should be nice to him for now, and ditch him when someone better came along.
“Wow,” I said instead.
“Wow?” he looked at me uncertainly, like he was expecting me to say something more, but I couldn’t think of anything else to say that didn’t sound like “Whatever!” so instead I flashed him a megawatt smile that I knew was guaranteed to win him over.
“Yeah, wow!” I repeated. My mind was racing over what to say next, but the mere act of thinking was so distracting that I fell over, straight into Puppy Boy’s arms. He was no way near as buff as Gaylob, and kind of short, too, so I quickly extricated myself from his icky embrace and leaned against my truck instead.
“I’m Ella Foreverevergreen Stork,” I told him, once I’d recovered my wits. I’m not at all witty, but boys often tell me I am. I have no idea why they tell me that when it clearly isn’t true. I’m painfully average. “Ella’s short for Cinderella,” I explained. “But I prefer just Ella.”
“Cool name. Okay, Ella, I’ll show you around,” Puppy Boy said.
I followed him into school, stepping over the bloody pile of bodies as I went. I could feel ten million pairs of male eyes boring into me. I can’t imagine why, because I’m not attractive at all.
Chapter Two End