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The Hungary Games: Silver Arrows
Trees whistled fast as the flash of red whizzed through the forest, successfully hitting its target, as always. The deer jerked backwards and flailed about under the impact of the poison-tipped arrow. The deer went down, still shaking tremendously, eyes drastically calling for help. Poison flooded her veins, turning her numb. Finally, the shaking stopped, and the deer fell still, eyes forever open in a blank plea. Minutes passed, and the deer's form suddenly looked small and just under the dappled sunlight in the deep and woody forest.
Slowly, but all the more secretive, the cat comes out to collect its prey. Running quietly from the far end of the clearing where she hid, careful not to attract attention; as this was not her first or last hunt of the day. The predator reached her prize, a wild grin fixed on her face. The deer was still warm, and the injured leg she had spotted wasn't as bad as she thought. Fresh meat, this was. Pride flooded her system as she hauled the deer to a resting log to the left. She opened her game bag, and carefully placed the dead deer inside, after having gutted and cleaned it. She'd have to stop home right after this, the deer was quite heavy and she needed to grab new supplies. Slinging her sheath around her shoulder and returning the homemade berry-poisoned arrow to its home, she stood up.
"Hey Lizzy. Nice catch." She turned behind her to look into the forest, recognizing the grinning voice of her best friend. Gilbert was standing about 200 feet away, on the other side of the clearing, west of where she hid during her hunt. She crossed over to meet him, the strap of her game bag tugging down to prove her prize was no measly one.
"Oh, here let me get it!" Gil ran fast to her, even though she was in no need of help. She was strong, and everyone knew it. That didn't stop Gilbert, though. He reached her and took the weight of the game bag on top of his own and his trap bag. She looked up at her best friend.
His silver short hair shined like platinum in the tinted darkness of the forest. Gilbert's hair was uncombed in a spiky mess, just as it always is. His red eyes were something uncommon here in the 7th Province. Though there was many mixes of people in the 7th Province, many families had dirt brown hair and green eyes; like Elizaveta herself. Gilbert's father was rumored to be from the 8th Province, or what once was the 8th. He had hair like Gilbert's, and bright ambitious red eyes. Elizaveta had met him plenty times in the past. The Capitol was in charge of everything, and when the 8th started to rebel and become stronger than they were allowed to be, the Capitol destroyed them. Gilbert's dad was one of the few who escaped before their home was destroyed, and he fled to 7th.
"Thanks, but you know I don't need help." She was stubborn as anything, and she liked being that way. Maybe that's why she and Gil were best friends. They were both stubborn and antsy, and loved a good fight. They always forgave each other after, though; for they couldn't stand being apart.
"Whatever you say, I'm still more awesome than you!" Gilbert grinned and patted her hard on the back.
"We're back!" Elizaveta hollered down the hall as her and Gil stumbled inside. Gilbert threw all their equipment on the kitchen table, and went straight to their icebox, grabbing a beer. Elizaveta's family was rather poor, you could say. But everyone was poor in the 7th Province. They all relied on each other, just like the people at Windle's relied on Elizaveta and Gilbert to secretly and illegally sell their game in exchange for things they needed. It was a circle of everyone depending on each other, in ways they tried to hide so they wouldn't get in trouble by the Capitol. Elizaveta and Gilbert just came back from Windle's, having sold the deer and a few squirrels Gilbert had caught using his traps.
"Lizzzzzzzzzzyyyyyyy!" Light footsteps were heard in the hallway as a little redheaded boy appeared within seconds. Elizaveta smiled at her younger brother. He was the only person she was sure she loved. Through everything, Feliciano was always there with her. When their mother died in a kitchen furnace explosion at Windle's 5 years ago, along with Gilbert's mother as well; they were both there for each other. Shortly afterwards when Elizaveta and Feliciano's father fell into depression from the death of his wife and went crazy, Elizaveta took over the role of both father and mother. Feliciano has always understood, and though he may look weak and childish, he's strong; maybe even stronger than Elizaveta herself.
Feliciano stood at the end of the hallway with Gilbird in his arms; Gilbert's precious chick. Elizaveta didn't know why, but Gilbert loved that baby chick with all his heart. He even named it after himself. Feliciano had a grin on his face that always brightened up Elizaveta's day. Gilbird jumped out of Feliciano's arms, being only an inch or two tall. Gilbert grabbed Gilbird and set him on his shoulder, where the chick stayed obediently; poking Gilbert's cheek repeatedly.
"Ow! Gilbird stop it. I know you missed the awesome me, but I'm back now. I'll feed you, geez!" Gilbert left the room with a chirping Gilbird and Elizaveta guessed he went to get Gilbird's food from wherever Feliciano put the containers. Feliciano skipped to Elizaveta and she brought him into a hug. He inhaled in her shirt and turned his head up to look at her with huge amber eyes.
"I love how you smell after you hunt. You smell like trees and earth." Feliciano smiled again and stepped away, making his way to the cabinets in the kitchen. The kitchen was to the right of the doorway, their house being very small. A beat up shack, Elizaveta liked to call it. She followed in pursuit of her brother, helping him get food out to make dinner. The only ice they had was in the icebox, and they used that for cheese and milk, and Gilbert put his beer in there sometimes. Elizaveta herself preferred beer warm, and it was kept in the highest cabinet away from Feliciano. He was 12, too young to drink. Elizaveta herself was only 16, but picking up on Gilbert's habits had led her to enjoy beer. Gilbert himself was always drinking it. Everyone in Gilbert's family loved the strong beverage, especially Ludwig, the second child of the Beilshmidt family. One thing was for sure, they certainly could hold their alcohol. And Gilbert being the eldest, he could basically do whatever he wanted. His dad didn't care much, for he drank himself silly after his wife's death. Mr. Beilshmidt was a big man, though he was healthy; physically and emotionally. He had handled the death of his wife better than her own father.
Elizaveta's father was gone. He was physically still there, but there was no hope for him. He had become very skinny throughout the years of depression. His bright auburn hair was now a dull brown. You'd be lucky if he got out of bed once in a week. He seemed to pay no attention to the world anymore, and probably had forgotten he even had two kids to raise. When he wasn't in bed weeping to himself, he was in the office, where their mom used to work. She was a smart woman, and many people looked up to her. Elizaveta's mother loved to write stories. She was a great storyteller, too. She'd tell Elizaveta a story every night before bed, ones about nights and princesses, dragons and demons, faeries and goblins. Elizaveta missed her mother so much, but she wouldn't cry. She had stopped crying years ago. Being the head of the family, crying wouldn't be good for Feliciano to see; even though he had seen her cry plenty times. Shaking her thoughts away for the moment, she focused on making dinner. Beef stew was what they usually had, and she glanced to her left to see that Feliciano was already preparing to make it.
Feliciano hummed a tune to himself as he chopped some carrots into the big bowl. Elizaveta took some dried meat down from the cabinet and put it in the bowl with water in it. Since the meat had no juice to make gravy, they had to use water and cook it extremely hot for the meat to give off flavor. She left the task of cooking dinner to her brother; he absolutely loved to cook. She nodded once to him, and he waved her off, signaling that he was okay by himself. She left the room to find Gilbert.
Elizaveta wasn't surprised at all to find Gilbert asleep on the only couch they had, in the living room. He was snoring loudly and Gilbird was jumping up and down on his chest. Elizaveta breathed in only to wrinkle her nose in disgust. She glanced down to Gilbert's feet, to find his combat boots were off and under the table.
"Jeebus, Gil! Your feet STINK!" Elizaveta whacked her smelly friend upside the head, successfully waking him up. He jumped about two feet in the air, and then looked up at Elizaveta in surprise.
"Waaah? What's going on, Liz? I didn't do anything wrong!" He saw the look on her face and raised his hands up in defeat. He then rubbed the back of his head and gave a nervous chuckle. Elizaveta calmed down and sat next to him.
"Are you staying for dinner tonight?" She asked him, already guessing the answer.
"Yea, I don't wanna go home just yet, West'll take care of the fam 'till then." Gilbert sighed, and leaned back on the couch. Gilbert often called Ludwig West, a nickname he had made up long ago for his closest brother. Ludwig looked nothing like Gilbert, though. He was the spitting image of Gilbert's mother; thin blond hair and blue eyes. Ludwig was strong; he worked in the kitchen as a transporter, lifting heavy objects wherever someone needed them. The 7th Province was known for their amazing cooking skills, able to make food out of almost anything. It was very fortunate of them that they lived on the outskirts, next to a huge forest; suitable for finding berries, leaves, animals and just about anything to cook with. The forest was off limits, though. Under orders by the Capitol, no one was to enter the forest. Gilbert had found a hole in the fence bordering the forest, though. The Capitol had put up the fence after the destruction of the 8th Province, so no one could escape to the land that once was. The thing is, the Capitol overlooks many things, and Gilbert is very sneaky. Elizaveta liked that about her best friend. He'd do anything to make it good for the people of the Pream; what the people of 7th call themselves. Gilbert really had a good heart, even though he acted like a jerk most of the time. She'd known this ever since they met in the forest long ago.
"Alright, food should be on the table in an hour or so." Elizaveta lightly smacked Gilbert's head once more, earning a grin from Gilbert. She stood up and walked out of the room. Standing in the hallway, she decided if she should go upstairs to her father. She hated looking at him sometimes, it made her so sad. Every time she tried to help him with his problem, he'd just go further into depression.
She missed his voice so much. Her father used to sing to her all the time. It was so romantic when he sang for her mother, too. Ever since she died, he hasn't sung one note. He barely even talked. Elizaveta betted that if he opened his mouth, his voice would be scratchy and cracked; a person he was not. Her father changed, and she wanted the old him to come back. There was nothing she could do, though; so she decided against going upstairs. Elizaveta passed the staircase without looking at it, and returned to the front door. She picked up her weapon bag and decided to go to the blacksmith's to get new arrows.
She wanted something sharper than her bronze-and-wood tips. Maybe she'd buy some silver tips for her arrows this time, she thought absentmindedly as she walked the gravelly path to town. Silver, like Gilbert's hair.