The Wily One: A Foxface Fan Fiction

Foxface is the only character I truly appreciate in the Hunger Games: her intelligence evokes awe in me, which is why I decided to try and write a story about her. This can't top GraceAnne's Blood, Betrayal and Berries, but I hope it's entertaining enough! Please leave a comment and rate, I really appreciate it.

I named Foxface Finch in this story, because that's what Jacqueline Emerson named her in the movie. If you know a better name, please list it in your comment!

Thank you! Enjoy.

Chapter 19

It’s the third day, and the morning is glorious.

Finch watches the sun rise and licks her lips, wondering what society would have done if it’d known this would happen. Humans have gone right back to being barbaric, slaughtering children for the sake of keeping themselves entertained. Action movies have transformed into reality shows . . . it figures. The human race isn’t meant to be peaceful and loving; evil is always there, buried in the core of their souls. For some, it’s the cruelty they have been raised with; for others, it originates from the desperate need to survive.

She remembers seeing the children down the road, shoving their tiny arms into empty cans of food and sucking on their fingers, unaware that the vague taste of anything edible would only drive them to feel more hunger. It’s hard not to think of those hollow cheeks and lost eyes when your own stomach is snarling, begging for food; it’s even harder not to think of those children without a future when there is a chance that you might become rich and pampered—the opposite of what you once were. . . .

“Not the right time to think about that, Finch,” she mutters to herself, rubbing her neck. It feels stiff from resting against the tree and the bark cut into her skin, but at least she got some sleep—and it was most certainly worth the risk, considering she can think somewhat clearly again; with some luck, that means she’ll be able to find some edible plants today to add to her stash.

Remembering the food buried beneath the tree, Finch’s stomach growls and she tries to lick her lip again. Unfortunately, there is no saliva left in her mouth (which, by the way, feels like she ate ten onions) to moisten her lips, which means she’ll have to drink some of the water she collected before going out to hunt.

Angry at herself for allowing her body to get used to daily meals and plenty of water, Finch carefully descends, biting the tip of her tongue occasionally in effort. The knife in her pocket pricks in her ribs every now and then, but the wily one forces herself to ignore it until she lands on the ground with a thud, gritting her teeth as an alarm rings in her brain at the pain.

“Shut up,” she mutters to her stomach. Perhaps she’s already going insane; surely talking to yourself is one of the first signs? Finch shudders—the air is still cool—and begins to dig at the roots of the tree, her heart pounding as her supplies are (quite literally) unearthed.

The rest of the day, Finch flits through the woods and collects various berries and roots. None of the clumsy traps she set up caught anything, but through some good fortune, she did catch a scrawny rabbit with her bare hands. Wringing its delicate neck was the hardest part, but it meant meat—and hey, that’s better than nothing.

The sun is blisteringly hot all day, and when the temperature finally cools, Finch is forced to admit her water won’t last. Despite rationing it sparingly, the flask is already half empty . . . which, regrettably, means she’ll either have to find a river or pond to drink from, steal from the Careers or retrieve water from the lake by their camp. She has nothing to purify it with, so it’ll have to be a matter of luck once again. It seems that the whole Game consists of that; luck. The idea is repulsive to her; it’s unsettling to know that in most situations in the Arena, her wit isn’t all too useful.

Frowning due to her negative trail of thoughts, Finch clambers into another tree after moving her supplies and swallows; it doesn’t help her sore throat in any way. If anything, it makes it worse—and that makes Finch grimace. How can this be called a Game?

The cameras are probably focused on Kitty-Kat the Evergreen twenty-four/seven, and that strengthens Finch’s spite. She plays with the hem of her jacket sourly and listens to the birds quieting as sweeps of gray and blue streak across the sky. The lack of action reassures her, but Finch is worried all the same—for all she knows, it means she’s about to be attacked by the Careers. Clove’s face appears in her mind’s eye, and Finch twitches nervously. She doesn’t doubt that Clove would leisurely carve her face with a sharp knife until it resembled the ragged meat Tania sells at the market—and although Finch has never really let herself worry about her looks, she doesn’t want to end up like the abovementioned description either.

Thresh, the giant mushroom, hasn’t made a move since Finch last saw him—not that she knows of, at least. He’s either freakishly sneaky for his size—something that Finch doesn’t put beyond him—or he’s still strutting through that field with her cans.

The tree that she’s sitting in is dangerously close to the edge of the woods, and Finch can easily detect what is going on in the Careers’ camp. So far, so good; they aren’t back yet. A part of her argues that their absence might be a bad thing, but she mentally bickers back that if they are eliminating other tributes, it can’t be a bad thing—especially not if they take out Catface, that damned Cantrell giant (Finch concedes that she has a grudging admiration for him) or even Peeta the hopeless romantic; any of those lives taken would bring her certain relief, and in the last case—however wrong it is—even slight amusement.

You’re no better than the Capitol people, Finch tells herself. Just then, the Careers return; there is a lot of commotion, and Finch can hear a pre-adolescent voice pleading loudly. Instinctively, she cringes against the stem of the tree and sharpens her ears.

“—booby-trap!”

“Just wring his neck, Cato!” a shrill voice says. Finch recognizes it from the Training Center; it’s Clove.

“Hang on,” someone else interrupts. Judging by the tone, it’s neither Glimmer nor Cato; this voice—although slow and obviously dumb—is somewhat more sensible than the others. “He’s from District Three—aren’t they supposed to be smart? What if he can help?”

“Please!” the boy—apparently from District 3—cries out. “I swear, I won’t pull anything crazy! I can do it.”

There is a short pause, in which Finch leans forward dangerously and tries to distinguish the Careers from the darkness. All she can see are shadowy blots. Automatically, she squints her eyes and tightens her hold on the branch, a voice in the back of her mind urging her to find another place to rest—one more night in a tree, and her legs will fall off.

“Let’s keep him around,” Cato says dumbly. Then he adds in an impressively threatening tone, “But if you try anything, I’ll snap your scrawny neck. Got that, Three?”

Someone mumbles something so softly that despite the utter silence around her, Finch doesn’t quite catch it. The Careers begin to murmur to each other and eventually start a fire, which causes Finch to crawl back to the trunk of the tree and lean against it while she reaches for the raw rabbit meat in the pocket of her weatherproof jacket. Her heart beats erratically.

Malcolm Gill was talking about booby-traps.

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