I recently read the Hunger Games trilogy and fell in love with both the story and the characters. I reviewed the series over at my main blog, watched the first two movies, clicked through hundreds of pins on Pinterest, and even wrote a little fan-fiction: a poem, and a one-shot (a one-shot in fan-fiction means a scene or one chapter story). The poem is from Katniss’ POV and the one-shot is from Peeta’s. First, an explanation about the poem. I normally dislike poetry. Oh, I’ll read the occasional poem, but a steady diet of them would drive me crazy (for instance, I couldn’t sit down with a book of poetry and read it cover to cover). As much as I dislike reading poetry, I hate writing it even more. Whenever I conciously try to write a poem, it sounds forced and silly and I can never get the right rhyme and rhythm. But, every so often, I’ll get a quick burst of inspiration and when I act on that, my poems (or, I should say poem, since I only ever get just one out of one of those bursts) are pretty good, if I say so myself. Take a look?
A hole in my heart,
My heart on my sleeve.
I must play the part,
Or else I won’t leave.
My role has been born,
By fire within.
My spirit’s not broken,
I won’t let them win.
These berries I take,
One final, last plea.
For a much better world,
Than is closing on me.
I hold them up high,
A symbol of pride.
I don’t want to forget,
That so many have died.
We stand there together,
The boy and me there.
The berries are lifted,
An intake of air.
Then out from the horn,
A weak-kneed voice calls.
“Stop, stop, don’t eat them!”
The deadly harvest falls.
The boy looks at me,
I look at the boy.
We throw down the weapons,
And hug tightly for joy.
All else is a blur,
I can’t look away.
But revolution sparks,
On that cold, cloudy day.
And, then, the one-shot. A lot of people have asked for the entire trilogy rewritten from Peeta’s POV, and while I was considering working on that project, I’ve since abandoned the idea. It would be too hard and too involved, and I have my other writing to think about. Fan-fiction is loads of fun, but it shouldn’t take precedence over your original work, in my opinion. So, I wrote this little scene, and even though I won’t be doing all three books, I think I’ll write other scenes from Peeta’s POV and maybe some of the other characters as well. Fan-fiction is a great way to practice writing, and working with different characters will help me with my own characters’ characterization. At least I hope it will. So here’s the quick fic I wrote…enjoy!
The rain bangs against the windows with a ferocity that I’ve only seen matched by the Peacekeepers that prowl the streets of District 12. I stare into the silvery streaks lashing against the glass, letting the sameness of it all take my mind away from the stale bread, blistering hot ovens, and an angry mother.
It doesn’t last long.
“Peeta!” she shouts angrily, and I break away from the window. “That bread’s going to burn if you don’t watch it!” In a moment, Mom’s beside me, her hand hovering in front of my face. I try to step back, but am stopped by the windowsill behind me. “Get to it,” she hisses. I do.
All in all, I don’t mind watching the bread. I like staring at it through the oven’s glass door, watching it turn from pale, thin dough to golden, crusty loaves. The heat gets to you after a while, but being the baker’s son for twelve years kind of gets you used to it.
This bread isn’t for me and my family. It’s for the hungry customers who stand in lines at the back every day, and for the high class citizens of District 12 like the mayor. Or the mayor’s servants, in this case. My family and I are a whole lot better off than most of the other people in 12 – the coal miners, for instance – since we have a steady supply of bread, but all of the stuff we eat is stale, which gets old after a while.
“What on earth-?” Mom says.
I turn and look, trying to see what she’s seeing. Her eyes squint and narrow as she stares into the rainy darkness. At first I can see nothing, but then the rain slackens a little and I make out the figure of someone out there. Opening the garbage cans that stand a few feet away from the back door.
As soon as I see it, Mom sees it to. Regardless of the rain, she throws open the back door and goes down a few steps. Because of the rain, I can only catch a few words. Something about calling the Peacekeepers and how she was sick and tired of all those brats from the Seam – the coal mines – coming around to look through our trash.
Honestly, I don’t get why she’s so upset. Sure, all those kids come around often, but does it really hurt if they get our leftover scraps, the bits of food that even we don’t want? I shake my head and stare at the bread. It doesn’t seem to be in any danger of burning, so I go over to the window to get a closer look at the intruder.
Ever since I was five or six, I’ve always really liked her. I guess you could say I have a crush on her. She’s not particularly pretty, but the way she sings and the sparks in her eyes whenever some bigger kid insults her sister, Prim, have always fascinated me.
And now she’s out there, foraging for garbage. I had no idea things were so bad for the Everdeen family. Mr Everdeen died a few months ago, but Katniss didn’t seem too upset. A little thinner, maybe, but pretty much everyone’s thin in 12. Still, she wouldn’t have gone through our garbage cans if she hadn’t really been desperate. Mom’s temper is, I regret to say, infamous in town.
She’s still out there, shouting profanity, and I hurry back to the oven.
Ten loaves, glowing golden.
One girl out there, probably starving.
And not just any girl. Katniss Everdeen. The girl who sang the Meadow Song so beautifully that all the mockingjays outside the school room fell silent until she’d finished. It’s a rare honour they hardly ever offer anyone.
Without a second thought, I open the oven door and, using a cloth, bat two of the loaves to the oven’s floor. In a few moments, they’ll start to brown, and then burn black. I know from watching accidents happen in the baking room all the time. I turn away from the oven just as Mom storms back in.
She shakes her head back and forth, muttering under her breath.
The acrid smell of burning bread assaults both our noses.
With a cry of frustration, she stomps over to the oven and yanks the door open. Grabbing a cloth from the counter – the same cloth I’d used – she shoves around until both loaves of bread are out on the counter. The outsides are mostly black, but I know the insides will still be fresh and warm.
“Stupid, stupid boy!” she shouts and slaps me full across the face. Then, before I can react, she gives me another slap. My sight goes black and starry for a moment, and pain radiates from my left cheek. She throws a wooden spoon at me that catches me in the same spot and clatters to the ground.
I grit my teeth.
She shoves the still steaming loaves into my arms and tears the door open. With a shove, I’m standing outside in the pouring rain. “Feed it to the pig, you stupid creature!” she screams. “Why not? No one decent will buy burned bread!”
That was what I’d been counting on.
I break tiny chunks of bread off and toss them to the pig – a creature who’s already far too fat as it is – hoping every moment that Mom will leave and I can carry out my plan. Seconds tick by, and the opportunity is fading away when I faintly hear the front bell ring, meaning there’s a customer.
With another curse and a slap on the neck, Mom leaves.
I watch her leave, making sure the door closes firmly behind her, and then stare back at the pig. A moment later, I toss one loaf of bread in Katniss Everdeen’s direction, the other one. She’s huddled up against an old apple tree several yards away, and seeing her drenched and shivering and hungry makes my heart hurt for a moment.
Turning, I slosh back into the bakery.
From the window, I can see her run out from under the tree and snatch up both loaves, hiding them under her jacket. Despite the pain now coming insistently and desperately from my cheek, I smile.
Tonight, at least, there’ll be one family in 12 that won’t go hungry.
A miracle, really.
What did you think of these two pieces of fan-fiction? Is there any way I could improve them? Are there any other scenes you’d like to see rewritten from Peeta’s (or another character’s) point of view? I’m open to suggestions and I’d love to hear your thoughts.