Literary Lovers Mash-Up: Alaska Young & Gale Hawthorne

We are sharing entries from our second-annual Literary Lovers Mash-Up Writing Contest — which offered you the chance to combine two romantic heroics from different books. We’ll be featuring all of the qualifying stories over the next few days, so check back periodically for all of these great submissions! Participants will also be receiving a set of Novel Novice bookmarks!

Today we have Kimberly S.’s story, featuring Alaska Young from Looking for Alaska by John Green and Gale Hawthorne from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins:

I sat at the Smoking Hole, alone. I couldn’t bear it. I was drunker than ever, I had forgotten my mom’s anniversary, and I had practically cheated Jake with Pudge. Drawing a cigarette, I cried. I hated crying. I really didn’t know what was happening around me, and started to feel my eyelids drooping. All of the sudden, sleep was the only thing that sounded appealing. I felt myself start to fall back, when all of the sudden, warm breath was at my neck and I had been caught. Startled, I swung around, ready to sloppily take out whoever was behind me. Instead, he caught me, both hands on my shoulders. He was tall, skinnier than Pudge, and although his face was in shadow, I could see his impeccable jaw line. He had to be good-looking.

“Who the hell are you? Get off me!” I swatted at my shoulders, but he only held on tighter.

He crouched down to my eye level; the moonlight cast on his face. His grey eyes shimmered in the moon’s reflection. Holy shit, Alaska, since when are you all mushy gushy? I thought. It must be the liquor.

Puzzled, he stared at me, as if assessing the situation. “You’re drunk,” he declared, after catching a whiff of my breath.

“Yes, I’m fully aware of this. And I want you to go away.” I glared at him, intent on scaring him away. But he wouldn’t give into my icy stares.

Standing, he let go, but blocked me from getting up and running. As if I could have run in my state. “I’m Gale.”

“And I have my mother’s grave to go visit. Move.” He stepped back, and the light from the moon was once again on his face. Something in his eyes was sad as he resigned and let me make a beeline for the way out of the forest.

I stood up and wobbled a bit, but I was determined to go see my mom. One foot in front of the other, Alaska. You got this. No I didn’t “got this.” My knees buckled and I fell into a heap of old crumpled leaves, still there from the fall. The thud shook tears from my eyes, and before I knew it, I was crying again. Damnit. I felt him sit down beside me and thought maybe I had heard him ask if I was okay, but I stopped listening. I cursed myself for the night’s events, and now I wasn’t even doing what I had set out to do. I was stuck here, drunk as a lord, with some strangely hot guy I didn’t even know.

I wanted to scream.

Before I could let it out, his arm wrapped around my shoulder, and he said, “It will be alright. You can see her tomorrow. Shh…” He began to hum a song that I had never heard, rocking me slowly to sleep. I believed him and allowed myself to fall asleep in his arms.

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