These are all of the Reapings and train rides for the 23rd Hunger Games.
"YUKA! WAKE UP YOU LITTLE LAZY FREAK!"
That's my stepmother. I hate her. I have always wanted to kill her but it's a little crazy of me to do that. But she's just EVIL. Pure evil at that. I wake up, and I grab my make up bag and go to the bathroom to get ready. I put on purple eyeshadow and lipstick, and when I get out I practice my weapon skills. I use an awl with my little dummy that I got for a birthday. The dummy's head has holes in it now, from being poked repeatedly.
I pick up the picture of my mom, like I do everyday, and I hug it. It makes me look young, but my mom died and I miss her. I put the picture down, and get all mad and start to cry. This happens sometimes, I don't even know why.
"YUKA! YOU BETTER BE AWAKE!" my stepmother shouts.
"I am, mom..." I say.
I sigh and put on my Reaping outfit. I almost forget my amulet, well it's more of a purple necklace, and go to the Square after explaining to my dad that I would never volunteer and never get reaped. I see my stepmother with my dad. My dad is smiling, knowing that it's my last Reaping, but my stepmom is bored, but she has that expression that says either "She's probably going to get reaped! Yes!" or "Ugh, what if she's not reaped?" Shawna Myers walks up to the stage with her dumb little fake smile. "Okay, let's get into our spots!" she says. I let the lady with the zapper take a little bit of my blood then go to the 18 year old section.
"Well, it looks like everybody's here!" she says. A few more people are arriving, and Shawna pulls the first name.
"Pearl Illitize!" she reads. The slip was very small, as if it was trimmed to ensure that the kid wouldn't be picked. Pearl (C) walks onto the stage. She has pink and orange hair and aquamarine eyes. She's around fourteen or fifteen.
"The next girl is Yuka Blazer!" What? I walk onto the stage, which is shiny and bright white. I expect a volunteer, but my friends just stare.
"Any volunteers for these young ladies?" Shawna asks. I look at my best friends, and they're crying really hard. I'm mad at them though.
"Now the boys!" Shawna picks up a slip and reads, "Shimmer Flickerman!" A boy with bright blue hair walks up to the stage. He has red eyes, but they're very hard to see.
"Last but not least, we have Leon Volt!"
A 17 year old, with what I think is actually a mustache, walks to the stage. He has blue hair as well and has matching eyes. We all shake hands and go to the Justice Building.
I turn around and I swear I see my stepmother smirk.
I can't believe I got reaped. Now people will respect me, at least. I'm sitting in a chair in the Justice Building. My aunt comes in crying. "Oh Leon, why you? Of all of these people, why you?"
"Aunt Laurie, I can do this. I know I can. I'm sure Mom and Dad would say the same thing if they weren't somewhere for work," I sigh. "I promise, Aunt. I can do this. Please, trust me!"
"Your time is up," A peacekeeper says to me. Aunt Laurie leaves the rrom and we get on the train.
"I'm thinking of making an alliance, anybody want to join?" asks Yuka (C).
"Um, I guess so, what will it be?" I ask.
"The Anti-Careers. It oughta be a big alliance. I mean, most people oppose the Careers, and this way people can't feel left out." she answers. Pearl (C) shakes her head and Shimmer (C) shrugs. Our mentors, Laurie and Kasey, turn on the TV, well, Laurie does, and it's already on a channel.
"Hello, Panem. This is about this year's second twist." says President Jayden. "This year, to show that you may be having fun in the sun, you are still ruled by the Capitol. Therefore, this arena is Summer-themed. For example, there will be a beach, and it will be blazing hot. That's all I can say, however. About the twice as many tributes part- you know you love playing with your friends, right? Well, now you have to kill them. Thank you Panem."
I'm actually not getting the twist. It just, you know, seems like it could be a normal arena! Hot weather, a beach, kind of reminds me of the 75th Hunger Games. But I don't know. I'll never know. Anyways, Kasey takes Shimmer (C) and I into the boy's mentoring room.
"What are you guys planning to do? Throughout the whole games, I mean."
"I'm not sure yet," I say. I really just don't want Shimmer (C) to know. He just, feels a little, too happy. Maybe a bit... off.
"Shimmer, you know?"
"I might get something and run."
"I would recommend doing that. A backpack can have supplies to make snares, it could have iodine, anything you may need during the games. You may even get lucky and find a knife or a dagger in there. But don't go too close, a boy from another district learned that a few years ago. Everyone attacked him at once, He got an arrow in the stomach, a knife in the shoulder, and a spear in the neck." I try not to think about that boy being me. But I really don't think I'm that dumb.
Today I'll volunteer. I'm 15, so what? I've got killing experience, and I know I can kill a lot with the two times as many tributes twist. I don't know what the other twist is, but I'm sure it won't matter. They're calling these the Summer Games, something I don't get.
"Nickel, are you staying for another year?" asks my mom. She startles me, as I didn't know she was in here.
"I'm going to stay safe again. I don't want to die young like someone in an outlying district," I lie. [A/N: This does not mean someone from an outlying district won't win.] I'm really volunteering today, I just don't want my mom to know. She'd be heartbroken.
I get dressed in my finest outfit, which I think is perfect for the occasion. I stop by my sister's room and see her getting ready for the Reaping. She's eighteen and volunteering too. It'd be crazy if we had to kill each other, but knowing Juliette, she'd commit suicide, or make my death "quick."
"What do you want, Nickel? All morning, Mom and Dad have been coming in and making sure I'm perfect."
How did she know I was there! She must have heard me. She's been sitting in her vanity all morning.
"Well, Juliette, can you keep a secret?"
"What kind of secret?" she asks, sounding a bit smug.
"I'm volunteering today, Juliette." Her jaw drops and she looks a bit mad. "You can't tell Mom or Dad because if they knew, they'd kill me," I say. "Fine, whatever. But I'm the victor." she replies. We both go down for breakfast.
"Juliette, Nelly came to say 'I hope you come back,' but then it started raining and she had to leave." Dad says. The attention is all on Juliette, not on me. I knock over Juliette's water on "accident" and it gets all over her. I just meant for it to spill on the table, but whatever. Juliette screams and goes upstairs.
The Reaping is held in an auditorium due to the rain. It's so crowded, but I still manage to find a spot.
"The first female is... Rebecca Shine (1)!" A 13 year old girl walks up to the stage with no volunteers. Still, a girl who's maybe seventeen has that expression that Katniss had when Prim was reaped. "Next, we have Andrea Phillips!" says the escort, Lizzie Colet. The seventeen year old girl volunteers and so does Juliette and some other girls. The seventeen year old is picked and announces her name.
"Jasmine Shine (1)," she says. Looks like we've got a pair of sisters this year. "Next we have Casper Shatter!" A boy in the 12 year old section cries but then someone who looks like him volunteers. "Last but not least, we have Andrew Lewis!" "I VOLUNTEER!" I shout. I come up to the stage, and we announce our names. "Jasper Shatter (1)," the 12 year old says. "Nickel Diamma," I say. Well, Juliette looks mad and Mom and Dad are shocked and crying, even. We walk into the Justice Building to say our good-byes.
I was shocked for too long. So long that I couldn't volunteer in time for Rebecca, or "Golly," (1). Why weren't there any volunteers for Golly (1) but a lot for Andrea? I can't bear having to kill Golly (1). I wonder what'll happen if it's just us left?
"Mom! Dad!" I say to my stepmother and father. I don't know my stepmom that much, but it won't matter, I don't think so anyways.
"Jasmine, please find a way so that both of you can come home, please! Do it for us, for our family," our dad says. My stepmother hugs me and I say, "I will. Don't worry, I'll do it somehow." I hug my father as well.
"Do you have a token?"
"No, I don't think so." I say.
"Golly (1) has one, though," Dad says. "Are you sure you don't want something to remind you of home?"
"I'm sure, Golly (1) will remind me enough, of our wonderful family."
The peacekeepers take Mom and Dad away and we go onto the train. We've already started strategizing. Everybody from One is joining the Careers and we're talking about the Cornucopia Bloodbath. Our mentors, Candace and Carlton, turn on the television. Suddenly, the TV gets put on to another channel.
"Hello, Panem. This is about this year's second twist." says President Jayden. Why will the channel not turn? This must be a very important broadcast. "This year, to show that you may be having fun in the sun, you are still ruled by the Capitol. Therefore, this arena is Summer-themed. For example, there will be a beach, and it will be blazing hot. That's all I can say, however. About the twice as many tributes part- you know you love playing with your friends, right? Well, now you have to kill them. Thank you Panem."
Okay? Not the best idea they've had. However, I feel as if there will be mutts and disasters based on the twist. I hug Golly (1), saying that it should be no big deal.
Carlton takes Nickel (1) and Jasper (1) into the boys' mentoring room and Candace takes us into the girls' mentoring room.
"Girls, as Careers, what will you do during the pre-game stages?"
Golly (1) says, "During the interviews, I'll joke around, and be nice and funny to gain sponsors. During training, group training that is, I'll spy on the other tributes, collecting information for my fellow Careers. I think that for individual training sessions, I'll show my hiding skills."
"I will be scary during the interviews," I say, "and I'll kill some dummies during training. For individual sessions I'll kill a lot of dummies, chopping it up and stabbing it until it's gone."
"Good strategies, girls! I'm sure you'll do great!"
Yeah, except only either me, Rebecca (1) or both of us have to die.
I wake up. Today's Reaping Day! The day in which I will leave for maybe a month or two, and come back a victor. I hope so, anyways. I wake Vicki up and we sneak downstairs. I giggle a little bit as we reach for the cookies in the pantry. Hey, we may be seventeen, but that doesn't mean we can't have cookies, right? Vicki feels a spiderweb and screams.
My dad comes downstairs with a sword, but rolls his eyes after seeing that it is just us.
"Girls, what are you doing? The day hasn't even started? Well, it has, it's just, you know, early. But if you're going to spend all your time in the bathroom like always, I suggest you get started." Vicki smirks and we race to our rooms to see who can get to the bathroom first with our makeup bag. I almost lose, however it's a tie.
"Alright, you can go. I need to catch my breath!" says Vicki.
"You're not even sweating!"
"Fine. just go," she says.
After around an hour, Vicki finishes her makeup and then I do. I don't put too much on, but enough to not look like I went bare-faced to a Reaping.
"Girls, are you volunteering today?" asks my mom.
"Maybe..." Vicki says. "But if we do, we'll be sure to come back victors. For Alexandra, and my family."
We eat our breakfast, and head to the square.
"Welcome District 2, to the Reapings for the 23rd Hunger Games! We're definitely picking a victor this year, am I right?" says Coronus Slyvoa, our escort. What kind of name is that? He picks two names from the girl's Reaping Bowl and reads the names.
"May Bass and Renna Lovell." A 12 and 14 year old walk up to the stage.
"I volunteer!" I say, along with Vicki and some other girls. Vicki and I are pointed to and we walk up to the stage.
"My name is Vicki Diamonds," Vicki (2) says.
"Zendra Junip," I announce. The crowd cheers and the boys are picked.
"Dave Owen and Roy Page." A cocky 18 year old smirks and looks menacing. I'm guessing he's Roy, scaring off potential volunteers. Then a path is cleared in the fourteen year old section. Two boys volunteer, and they announce their names.
"Hamor Basas," says one of them. The next one announces his name, "Logan Hunter."
We all shake hands and go into the Justice Building, and I keep thinking about either my or Vicki's bloody body on the ground.
I volunteered because that stupid little teacher's pet was reaped. He always gets all of the attention and I wanted to get the spotlight for a little bit.
"Hamor!" says Valerie, my little sister. She hugs me and I fake smile and fake hug. I see my mom and dad as well and they start hugging me and stuff. I roll my eyes and they start talking.
"Hamor, will you please win? For me?" Says Valerie. She's doing those puppy dog eyes, which would persuade me for one thing, but why would I volunteer if I wasn't going to win in the first place? I mean, what's the point?
"Well, why would I have volunteered if I wasn't going to win?" I reply, with a question. I love my family, but they can be annoying sometimes. Besides, I think the new rule is that if you win the Hunger Games, your siblings can't be reaped. But I'm not for sure. I train, and my mom and dad are the ones watching the news.
"Sweetie, please win. We love you and don't want to get your body back. We want you back, if that makes any sense."
"Time is up," a Peacekeeper says. My family leaves the room. We go to the Train and I get a chance to meet the other tributes. Logan's (2) pretty cool, and Zendra (2) and Vicki (2) are both nice and they appear to be best friends. Our TV turns itself on and Zendra (2) grabs the remote.
"Boring, boring, boring, boring, maybe later, why isn't the channel turning?"
She's right. President Jayden is on the screen, and won't go away. "What the heck is this?" asks Logan (2). President waves to the audience that was there when this was recorded.
"Hello, Panem. This is about this year's second twist," the President says. "This year, to show that you may be having fun in the sun, you are still ruled by the Capitol. Therefore, this arena is Summer-themed. For example, there will be a beach, and it will be blazing hot. That's all I can say, however. About the twice as many tributes part- you know you love playing with your friends, right? Well, now you have to kill them. Thank you Panem." Vicki (2) and Zendra (2) stare at each other. Then, our mentors come in. Their names are Jeanette and Allen. Allen takes us to the male's mentoring room and we talk strategy.
"Logan (2), what are you doing before the actual games start?"
"Well," he starts, "I'll be fierce and funny with the interviewer, whoever that is, and I'll join the Careers during group training. I may pull a Katniss if the Gamemakers won't pay attention to me, but I don't know why they'd do that." He's so, like, braggy. He bragged in the Justice Building and up until the broadcast with President Jayden.
"And Hamor, what about you?"
"Interview: Fierce." I really will be mean, but I don't really want to say that. "Training: Both individual and group, I'll do my best."
"Pretty good. Both of you, Careers?"
"Yep. Well, I am, anyways." Says Logan (2).
"I am as well." I say.
"Good. Hopefully one of you guys will be victor."
Yeah, hopefully me.
I heard that it was raining in District 1. The rain missed District 2 entirely and came down here. I really don't want to get wet, but I'm afraid of umbrellas. I sigh and get dressed. It's my second Reaping, and I don't think I have much of a chance of getting picked. However, it has happened before in other districts. Like in the 74th Hunger Games, when quite a few twelve year olds and thirteen year olds were picked. I'm not too sure about the Career Districts, but you know. Rue, who was twelve, both from three were around my age, the boy from four, the girl from eight, and Primrose, who was reaped but had a volunteer.
It is raining really hard now, so Dad says, "Electronite, the Reapings are being held in the big auditorium. When you're ready, we'll drive."
I put aa pat of butter on my toast and eat it. "Electronite, are you excited? I doubt you'll be reaped."
"Mom, thirteen year olds can be reaped as much as eighteen year olds with tessera can. It's possible."
"You're in there twice. It won't be you."
We drive down to the auditorium and I take my place. The escort, who is about as exciting as a rock, goes to the stage and says, "Welcome, District 3. Today four young people will be chosen to represent District 3 in the 23rd Hunger Games after the Second Rebellion. May the odds be ever in your favor. Ladies first."
"Eliza Soniback and Tabby Lonkat."
A twelve year old girl and a sixteen year old walks up to the stage.
"I VOLUNTEER IN TABBY'S PLACE!" Yells a girl. She walks up to the stage. "I'm Karla Flake (3)," she announces. She has red and black hair, and Eliza (3), or Ellie (3) has brown hair with a caramel-colored streak in the front.
"Great. The gentlemen are-"
"I VOLUNTEER!" yells a boy. I know him. He's a year older than me and his sisters have life-threatening diseases. He probably plans to win to get medicine.
"I'm Jared Holland (3)," he announces.
"Great, another volunteer. We may have a victor this year. Alright, the second gentleman is Electronite Bolts."
WHAT? Anybody but me. Is there another one? No. I walk up to the stage. We all shake hands and go to the Justice Bulding.
I was right, for once. But I know I can try to win.
I'm rocking back and forth. I do this when I'm scared. Which I am. It's my Aspergers. Tabby was my best friend, my only friend, and I don't want her to die. Not like this. What have I done? I might die.
"Oh, Karla (3)!" says Tabby. She hugs me and I hug her too.
"Come back, I don't want you to die. Don't die!" she says.
"I'll win. I'm smart, and I'm better with problems than them. I know I can win!"
Then, Davina and my parents come in. "Sweetie!" says my mom, and we all get tangled in a group hug.
"Time's up," says the Peacekeeper. "But we just got here!" says my dad.
"OUT!" says the Peacekeeper. My parents kiss me on the cheek. I may not see them ever again.
On the train, our mentors, Blossom and Max, who is drunk, walk in. Blossom turns on the television, and Jared (3) flips through channels. Eventually, it hits one that shows the president waving to the crowd. It's not turning, so Eliza (3) takes the remote. She tries to turn the channel, and even presses buttons to get to other channels, but it stays stuck. This must be about a twist.
"Hello, Panem. This is about this year's second twist. This year, to show that you may be having fun in the sun, you are still ruled by the Capitol. Therefore, this arena is Summer-themed. For example, there will be a beach, and it will be blazing hot. That's all I can say, however. About the twice as many tributes part- you know you love playing with your friends, right? Well, now you have to kill them. Thank you Panem."
Not too bad, I guess. But there may be swimming involved, beacuse of the beach, pools, and other water related things, which gives a HUGE advantage to the District 4 tributes. Max falls over, spilling his beer, and says, "Dangit!" Then he curses under his breath, while Blossom looks at him like he's crazy. Which he probably is. Like, I mean crazy crazy. Anyways, Blossom takes Eliza (3) and me to the mentoring room and we get to meet each other.
"Ellie (3), Karla (3), what will you be doing at the bloodbath?"
At the same time, Ellie (3) and I say the same thing. "Run away."
"Good! That's a good thing to do, that's how I won. I made myself some traps with the nature and soon had supplies and spears from killing other tributes. And what about the rest of the games? I hid, since I didn't have any allies."
"Stay with my alliance." We both say again.
"Okay... this is creepy." says Blossom.
Well, if me and Eliza (3) have the same strategies, we might do well. But if one dies, will the other because we're doing the same thing?
I wake up to the smell of the sea, followed by the ringing bells. The ones for the Reaping later on today. I stretch and yawn, waking up slowly. Today I'll volunteer, because people think I'm weak and can't accomplish anything. Sure, I'm just fourteen, but I am strong, smart, and good at throwing things.
I yawn again, and I put my brown hair up in a ponytail. I get dressed and check my makeup in the mirror. I don't want to look bad when I volunteer! It's perfect, so I walk downstairs for breakfast.
"Good morning, Nixie!" exclaims my dad. I smile. "Good morning!"
"Nixie," says my mom, "you have makeup on. Are you volunteering?"
"Of course not!" I lie. "Why would I do that when I have you guys?"
I eat some fish for breakfast, and some orange juice. I spill some on my brother on accident.
"Oh, Nixie! These are special! Now I have to go change!" he exclaims, mad.
"You got those from like, a flea market yesterday," I say, rolling my eyes. Eventually, we go the Reapings in our car, and I find that it's quite crowded. I think that some people's kids have just turned twelve or something. I get my finger zapped. "NIXIE CALAMARI - 14 Y/O" it reads in green. I think that the technology in the Capitol is cool, especially how they were able to repair my legs after they got chopped off. I start walking to the fourteen year old section, when the escort comes onto the stage.
"Hi! I'm Polly! Polly Schnieder! I'm the new escort! I am SO excited! Okay, so, this is the mayor, and this is his wife, and-"
"WE GET IT!" somebody yells.
"Well, I never!" she says. "Okay, let's watch the new movie they made for this period of games!"
The video starts to play and I start to pay attention.
"The Dark Days, starving children, widows, lone men in the streets at night. A time of terrible war, where everybody fought for what remained. Then rose the Capitol, with thirteen districts, with one eliminated. The Hunger Games were created, a fight to the death. Seventy-five years later came the second rebellion, led by Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark. As you know, they were later executed. As punishment, the Hunger Games were restarted, which is why you are here right now."
"Okay, now the very first girl this year is Cleopatra Dominguez!"
"I VOLUNTEER!" I shout.
"Ooh, a volunteer! Come on up!" I take the place of a 12 year old and I announce my name.
"Nixie Calamari," I say into the microphone. I limp next to the escort.
"Yay Nixie (4)! Okay the next girl is Magma Cove (4)!"
A thirteen year old with short red hair walks up next to me.
"Awesome! Okay, the next tribute, a male, is Jason Vernando (4)!" she squeals. A seventeen year old walks onto the stage. He's got messy brown hair and brown eyes.
"Last but not least, we have Kodai Hitogoroshi (4)!"
I turn my head to look for Kodai (4), but I see a blue-haired boy with fangs screaming his head off and bending a watchtower that a few Peacekeepers are standing on. Some fall off, and one cracks his head open. Kodai (4) finally stops and walks onto the stage.
"Yay for District Four! You guys better come back to the Reapings next year to see me! Bye!" Finally, Polly shuts up and I realize that for the first time in a long time, District 4's tributes were mostly reaped.
As we walk into the Justice Building, I turn around and see my family shocked.
I'm seriously not that shocked that I was reaped. But with no volunteers? That's just crazy. This is supposed to be a Career district, right? I think it's strange that there was only one volunteer, and she's only fourteen. My family suddenly bursts through the doors to my room.
"Jason (4)!" says my sister as she hugs me. I hug her too, and I realize how skinny she's gotten. I need to win, and soon.
"Gabby, I can win. I'm better than them. I can kill everyone and be back home with food and money for us, we could get a new home, it will change our life forever."
"But if you die-"
"Don't talk like that."
I walk up to my mom, and say to her, "Don't feel depressed if I die. Everybody does, eventually. Gabby can learn to fish from you."
"Time's up," a Peacekeeper says. Gabby kisses me on the cheek and she leaves. I'm sitting here for a few minutes, and I hear thrashing on the other side of the wall. Probably the psycho, Kodai (4).
We board the train, and Magma (4) starts watching the other Reapings. She replays the one from District Three over and over, and making a longing sigh-ish sound whenever she sees Jared (3), whoever that is. He'll be dead soon, anyways.
Lynn and Steve, our mentors, sit down with us. Eventually, Kodai (4) gets sick of the Reapings and starts flipping through channels with a remote. Eventually, it lands on one that can't be changed.
"What the he-" he says, before being cut off by the president.
"Hello, Panem. This is about this year's second twist. This year, to show that you may be having fun in the sun, you are still ruled by the Capitol. Therefore, this arena is Summer-themed. For example, there will be a beach, and it will be blazing hot. That's all I can say, however." Come on! That's enough for me, this year will be boring. "About the twice as many tributes part- you know you love playing with your friends, right? Well, now you have to kill them. Thank you Panem," concludes President Jayden. Magma (4) rolls her eyes and Nixie (4) gives the TV a "you have got to be kidding me" look. Steve takes Kodai (4) and me to the male's mentoring room to talk.
"I've almost never worked with reaped tributes before," says Steve. "Alright! Allies, please!"
"Some kind of Anti-Careers Alliance," says Kodai (4).
"And I'll be alone," I say. I don't trust anybody at all.
Steve looks confused as he asks the next thing. "What about your individual training?"
"I'll be aggresive and get a high score. Do you remember Katniss? Her training score was later televised. I'll almost do something like her..." Kodai (4) states.
"And I'll look strong," I say.
"Great!" Steve exclaims. "Let's talk about the Bloodbath..."
Today is my third Reaping. Today I may leave and never come back. But it's pretty unlikely that I'll be reaped. I try to stay under the radar, I apply for no tessera so it's not shipped to my house. My house has all of the doors boarded, all of the windows boarded, and all of the exits closed except for the chimney. I clean it regularly so I'm not covered in ash when I climb out.
I get dressed in my Reaping outfit and head to my table to eat breakfast. I look in my pantry for some food and I scream when I see I almost have no food. I guess I'll go shopping after the Reapings. I hear the ringing bells that signal that an event is going to start soon.
I climb out the chimney and head to the Reapings. I stand in line for the zapper to get my finger well, zapped. I see some other people standing in line. The girl with the purple headband and her sister. The Yin-Yang guys. They look somehow alike even though they're not related, at least I don't think. The girl who somehow looks like Foxface and the guy who said he had a crush on Missy. And that girl who just looks strange with her black hair.
"Hello, District Five! I'm Keely Nile, the escort this year!" says the escort. She's wearing the same outfit she wore for the twelfth Hunger Games. It looks okay, but whatever.
"There is a twist this year, and it's that there are twice as many tributes! So I'll draw the ladies first!" she exclaims. She first picks a slip from the bottom.
"Brooke Yin," she reads. A girl with dark brown hair and light gray eyes walks onto the stage.
"Powwie Darknezz," she reads. Powwie (5) is escorted by some Peacekeepers. One whispers something in her ear and kisses her on the cheek. She's the girl with black hair who just looks... creepy.
"Now for the boys!" Keely exclaims.
"Blaze Yang," she reads. A boy with blonde hair and nearly black eyes walks onto the stage. He, as I said, looks like Brooke (5), but I don't think they're related.
For the last tribute, we have Jackson Daville!" I widen my eyes in shock and walk onto the stage.
"Congratulations, District Five! That concludes the Reapings for the Twenty-third Hunger Games, or the Ninety-eighth Hunger Games!"
After shaking hands, we head inside.
I'm so sad. First, I was reaped, then my best friend, Blaze (5) was reaped. I'm crying right now. But I do want to get away from it all. My mom had tortured me since I was around six. Always making me do work and chores and her just laying there. However, I learned how to pick skills up easily because of her bossing me around. My mother comes in.
"Brooke (5)! YOU BETTER WIN FOR ME!" She yells.
"Listen. I'm not winning just for you. I would like to freaking stay alive! Okay? We also need the food, the money, and a new home." I yell to my now shocked mother. She then arches her eyebrows at me and says, "Maybe I won't send you any sponsor gifts..."
She exits and I whisper, "Phew!" Just then, Blaze's (5) dad comes in.
"Brooke (5), can I tell you a secret?"
"Um, sure," I answer.
"Your mom and I are your parents. We had a fight, and I took Blaze (5) and left you with your mother, where I thought you would learn a lot of things you may need. But I can see that the only thing she's taught you to do is work."
"Time's up," says a Peacekeeper.
"Bye, Brooke (5)."
We walk onto the train and I take a seat. Powwie (5) is staring creepily at the television. Blaze (5) and I look at each other, so I'm guessing he knows that we're siblings as well. He grabs the remote, however the channels don't turn. It's stuck on a channel that is usually used for emergency broadcasts. I see President Jayden on the stage. He grabs the microphone and begins to talk to a camera.
"Hello, Panem. This is about this year's second twist." Wait, two twists? The double-tribute one is enough. "This year, to show that you may be having fun in the sun, you are still ruled by the Capitol. Therefore, this arena is Summer-themed. For example, there will be a beach, and it will be blazing hot. That's all I can say, however. About the twice as many tributes part- you know you love playing with your friends, right? Well, now you have to kill them. Thank you Panem." What the heck is that supposed to mean? It doesn't have anything to do with the Dark Days or the second rebellion at all. Whatever.
Two people get up from the table behind us. A girl with orange hair who's around fifteen, and a man who's around thirty. The girl who has the orange hair reminds me of- "Foxface?" Powwie (5) asks.
"Yes. They revived me because there weren't any more living female victors from five. The one that most recently won died in a bombing. Please, call me Finch."
Finch walks to the mentoring room and we follow her. We sit down on some chairs and we begin to talk strategy.
"Okay, for the Bloodbath I ran away. I grabbed a backpack on my way out. What'll you do?"
"I'll try to grab a pack of throwing knives and a bag then find Blaze (5)." I say.
"I'll grab a sickle or throwing knives as well as a pack. Then I'll run away and possibly follow a tribute." says Powwie (5).
"Pretty good. Just be careful," she says.
I start jogging home as the district comes alive. The birds, the loud ones, start chirping and I hear yawning from open windows and I smell things like pancakes and bacon through other open windows. A breakfast someone might eat on Reaping Day. I arrive at my aunt's house and get dressed for the Reapings.
"Faye, how many times are you in there?"
"Only Five times. It's unlikely, Aunt Paige."
"But it could still happen."
"Come on, the chances are slim. Hey, did you move the waters? Or did we run out, because I'm thirsty."
"Oh, check the other drawer on the fridge. I moved them to make room for a cake."
"A cake?" I ask, confused.
"A post-Reaping cake. I thought I'd make one, to celebrate you not being reaped."
"Well, thanks!" I say, but doesn't she know that it's almost impossible for me to get reaped?
I hear the dreaded chime of the bells. They only ring a few times, like when we have a victor returning, some kind of celebration, or of course the Reapings. I go to my room and change out of my outfit I was walking in and into my Reaping outfit. I eat some breakfast and the phone starts to ring. Aunt Paige picks it up, and after she's done calling, she says, Faye, Lillian invited you to a party after the Reapings." "Great!" I exclaim. The bells chime again and Aunt Paige and I head down to the square.
"Next. Next. Next." The zapper lady takes my blood. "Next. Next. Next."
"Okay, so everybody, nearly evarybody I mean, is here, so let's go ahead and start this thing! As you may or may not know, there are twice as many tributes this year. So, there'll be two girls and one boy. So, let's get going! Ladies first." says our crazy escort, Johnathan Petal. Seriously. He has a tattoo of himself on his cheek and his shoes... I don't even know.
"First, we have Miss Anne-Marie Cicone." "I volunteer!" yells a girl with red eyes and jet-black hair.
"I'm Mimic Slaughter." Wow, one of our first ever volunteers! That's new.
"Next, we have Faye Pythix." Oh. My. Gosh. Not me! Anybody but me! I was just becoming popular!
I walk onto the stage and see everybody staring at me.
"Now, for the boys. First is Mister Nickolas Mechling." "I volunteer!" shouts a boy. He looks like Mimic (6), but you know, as a boy. He takes his spot and says, "I'm Zak Slaughter."
"Lastly, we have Yuki Kokyu."
A boy in the eighteen year old section waves to his friends and smiles. He walks onto the stage. He's really tall, and that makes him look menacing. However, he also looks very kind despite being 6'4.
"Well," Johnathan says, "those are our tributes for this year's Hunger Games. Mimic Slaughter (6), Faye Pythix (6), Zak Slaughter (6), and Yuki Kokyu (6)." We all shake hands and we walk into the Justice Building.
I was wrong.
I'll win. For my District and for me. It will happen. I'm the best out of all of them. We have a guy who looks like he can't kill, a blondie who probably doesn't know a thing about weapons, and then we have Mimic (6) and I. Who has the best chance of winning? We, Mimic (6) and I, have trained for the games since we were like, I don't know, five? But now we're entering. In the Justice Building, a bunch of people come in. My trainers.
"Zak, you'll do great in these games. Believe me when I say you'll win." says my trident trainer.
"Use the knives! It's your best weapon by far, and I'm sure you'll be the first one to start a kill list. And you'll have the last kill." says my knife trainer.
"But use the spears too, you have tremendous strength and can at least throw one from twenty yards away."
"Time's u-" says a Peacekeeper, but stops after seeing who's talking to me.
"Oh, officials. Go on, leave when you're ready." he says, bowing.
"It's alright, we'll leave." They do so. Soon, we get on the train. Our mentors walk in. Their names are Edmund and Lela. Lela is probably a victor that turned to morphling. She tends not to know what's going on, and she also has a beer in her hand. I saw her games. She had to decapitate her district partner to win.
"So guys um the TV's got something to say so listen to it." She sets down her glass on the table and hits the remote. The glass falls and Lela curses. The TV turns to a different channel and I see the President.
"Hello, Panem. This is about this year's second twist." Let's hope this twist actually makes sense. "This year, to show that you may be having fun in the sun, you are still ruled by the Capitol. Therefore, this arena is Summer-themed. For example, there will be a beach, and it will be blazing hot. That's all I can say, however. About the twice as many tributes part- you know you love playing with your friends, right? Well, now you have to kill them. Thank you Panem," finishes Prsident Jayden.
"What kind of twist is THAT?" asks Mimic (6), angrily. "It's terrible. I mean, 'just because you're having fun in the sun we're still ruled by the Capitol?' Oh my gosh, we KNOW THAT ALREADY!"
"Mimic (6), calm down. This temper won't be very good for the interviews!" says Edmund.
"Listen, Mimic (6), this will somehow help us." I say. Mimic (6) calms down. I'm pretty much the only person that can calm her down.
"Alright, Edmund, les go mentor 'em." says the drunk Lela. She takes Mimic (6) and Faye (6) to the mentoring room for the girls and he takes us to the boy's mentoring room.
"Okay, let's talk about how I won the games. I was with the Careers. It was a little risky, but I was only fourteen and they asked me to join because of my skills. In the Bloodbath, I tried to kill, but only ended up with me injuring people. However, the majority of those who were injured bled out. I ran away when some Careers started killing each other. I poisoned their supplies while they weren't looking and I took some for my own that weren't poisoned. All of the Careers were dead the next day. I found my district partner and we became allies. We swore to protect each other. One day, the girl from what, eight maybe? She came up with a spear and threw it. I shot her with my slingshot, which I made so I could shoot knives, and I shot her in the head. However, my district partner got a spear to the head. I was the lone victor. I hope one of you are too..."
Today is my fifth reaping day, and my brother's first. He's scared and he thinks he's going to be reaped. His name's in there one time, so I really don't think it's possible for him to be reaped. My sisters are having their names put in the bowls for the first time in their lives. I can't imagine the escort calling all four of our names and us having to kill each other in the end.
I get dressed and hear the rain hit my window. It's thunderstorming outside, and rumor has it that it's been raining in Districts 1 and 3 as well. I go downstairs and my mom is talking about what to do at the Reapings. Dad's at work, but he may be back in time for the Reapings.
"Good morning, Woodchuck!" says one of my sisters, Fern. "Good morning!" I reply back. I eat my breakfast and my mom talks to Fern, Ivy, and Timber, my siblings, about the Reapings. She's making sure their clothes are perfect, things like that.
The district bells ring, signaling that the Reapings are near. My mother kisses us all on the forehead. We head out with our umbrellas and we go to the square. Even in all the people there, you can clearly see the escort in her bright yellow outfit in the field of gray and brown umbrellas.
I get my finger zapped and head to the sixteen year old section.
"Hey guys! In case you don't know already, I'm Lauren Tyha! Okay, so you all know the routine, let's watch the video movie thingy!" We do so, and we are all ready to draw the names. "Oh, I almost forgot, there are four tributes from seven this year!"
First is a slip from the top of the bowl, one that is in the center of the bowl. "Jonell Trillur!" she reads. A girl, who's maybe the same age as me, with blondeish and brown hair walks onto the stage. She has pale green eyes and arched eyebrows, like a Career would...
"Next is Duskus Sinrood!"
From the thirteen year old section, a girl with jet-black hair and... white and black eyes... walks onto the stage. Her eyes are just freaking creepy. What should be white is black and vice versa.
The third slip is picked. Lauren takes a breath to read the name, but she has an interrupter.
"I volunteer," says a boy who looks like he could be from eleven. He walks onto the stage. "Oh, yay! We have our first volunteer in around ten years! What's your name, sweetie?"
"Michael... Michael Wheatflaughter," he announces. Some people clap. But there's one unfortunate person left.
"Last but not least, we have Timber Oaks!"
My heart stops. My twelve year old brother wouldn't last a second in the games.
"I VOLUNTEER!" I cry. What have I done?
"You," Lauren says, pointing to me. I find myself walking up the steps and onto the stage looking out to the crowd with umbrellas everywhere. "What's your name?"
"Woodchuck Oaks," I say.
"Well, that's all for today! Remember, Jonell Trillur, Duskus Sinrood, Michael Wheatflaughter, and Woodchuck Oaks!: I hope we'll see you again!"
We all shake hands. Hopefully I'll see Timber again.
I pinch myself. I have to be having a nightmare. A paper was drawn and my life was ended. That's just it. I don't think I'll win, with 55 other people trying to make my heart stop forever. I'm watching the rainbow form from the Justice Building.
"You've got five minutes."
My mother bursts into the room and hugs me.
"Duskus, will you win?" She asks, eagerly. Almost like a child, at that.
"I can try. I'm pretty fast and have a good arm," I say.
We hug for a little longer.
"Please, she's my daughter, could I stay a little longer?" my mother says, trying to reason with the Peacekeeper.
Peackeepers drag her away and that leaves me alone in the Justice Building.
Soon, it's time to get on the train. We are escorted to the train station in a fancy car with reporters and citizens swarming us, trying to get a glance of the two volunteers and the two reaped tributes of District Seven. The train station is crowded with cameras from the Capitol news channels and local news channels. I board the train with Jonell (7), Woodchuck (7), and Michael (7). I wonder why Michael (7) volunteered. I know why Woodchuck (7) did, but why Michael (7)? I'll ask him on the train.
"So, Michael (7), why did you volunteer?" Jonell (7) and I ask at the same time.
"Well, if you must know," Michael says, "my grandm- caretaker had died yesterday and I wanted to... avenge her death," he replies. He stopped a few times so I'm pretty sure he's lying.
"HIHIHIHIHIHIHIHIHIHI!" says a shrill voice. "I'M YOUR MENTOR SADIE AND I'M GONNA HELP YOU GUYS EVENTUALLY! BUT RIGHT NOW LET'S EAT SOME CHEESECAKE!"
Sadie disappears into the dining cart.
"Is that... thing our mentor? How did she win?" questions Michael (7).
We're all talking, and Jonell (7) is really sweet and funny once you get to know her. We are talking about our favorite desserts when the television turns on itself.
"ERMAGERSH GHOSTS!" screams Sadie. When did she come in? All four of us stare at each other for a second then we all start laughing.
"THE GHOSTS ARE TRYING TO TELL US SOMETHING IMPORTANT! LOOK AT THAT SCREEN! OH, BY THE WAY THE CHEESECAKE STINKS! DON'T EAT IT!"
We look at the TV to find out this year's twist. The twice as many tributes is one. But I guess there's another?
"Hello, Panem. This is about this year's second twist." So there is another. "This year, to show that you may be having fun in the sun, you are still ruled by the Capitol. Therefore, this arena is Summer-themed. For example, there will be a beach, and it will be blazing hot. That's all I can say, however. About the twice as many tributes part- you know you love playing with your friends, right? Well, now you have to kill them. Thank you Panem," finishes Prsident Jayden. The Capitol anthem plays and the Reapings for the Capitol come up.
"That's just... a terrible twist," I say. It really is.
"OKAY GUYS, THE TWIST ISN'T A BIG DEAL. SO FOR THE BLOODBATH, GET THE HECK OUT OF THERE. YOU GUYS HAVE SURVIVAL SKILLS FROM LIVING HERE, DON'T YOU? GOOD. THEN HIDE AND DON'T KILL. FLEE, DON'T FIGHT. FOR THE FINAL BATTLE KICK THEM AND STUFF AND STOMP ON THEM THEN BOOM HAPPENS AND YOU GO 'YAY!'"
Because we can totally understand what she's saying. I roll my eyes and we go back to talking about desserts.
"Violet Melody!" The escort says. I walk onto the stage. Why me? I don't take tesserae! I start crying.
So, our tributes for this year are Violet, Violet! Violet!" What the heck?
I wake up and see that my mother is standing above me. It was just a dream. Good! "Violet! You need to get ready. The Reapings are in an hour!" she exclaims. "I'm going to make breakfast, so come down soon!"
I get dressed in my favorite outfit and brush my bleach-blonde hair with pink streaks. My streaks are what made me mostly hated. I'm not a Career, people! I just like their hair!
Before going downstairs for breakfast, I slip on my ring. The ring was a gift from my mother for Christmas a few years back. I really like it and if I'm ever reaped I wish to take it with me.
I head downstairs and my mouth waters at the aroma. Bacon, pancakes, and more. "Thanks, mom! It smells delicious!"
I'm about to take a bite of a chocolate-chip pancake when somebody rings the doorbell.
"Hey, Violet! Do you wanna go shopping later?" asks Christina. Ugh, I hate her. She hates me too... Why is she here then?
"Sure..." I reply. "Great! The thing is, though, that my um... job has been losing money so I don't have any."
I slam the door on her. People use me because we're wealthy. I go back to eating. BOOM
It's raining really hard. If the Reapings are moved inside, it won't be a big deal for me. Eventually, the bells ring, and my mom drives me to the Reapings. She walks to the non-eligible section, and I get my finger zapped. I go to the sixteen year old section.
"Okay, since we're all here, let's start the Reapings! First, for the girls, we have Miss Rose Couture!" says the escort, Hayley.
Rose (8) has orange hair and pale green eyes behind her glasses.
"Next, we have Violet Melody!"
I widen my eyes in shock. Five slips are mine, and one of them was pulled. How will I do this? I walk onto the stage.
"GO LIVE WITH THE CAREERS WITCH!!" Someone screams from the audience. Everybody laughs, and I pinpoint the source of the comment. Christina.
"Stop! Okay, the next tributes are Shade Spectrus and Mist Scorchil!"
A fourteen year old and a sixteen year old walk onto the stage.
"Let's shake hands, and go inside before it starts raining!"
Right when we reach the door I start crying.
I board the train with Shade (8), Violet (8), who is crying, and Rose (8). Our escort, Hayley, is munching on a piece of pepperoni pizza, and I see Rose (8) grab a cookie.
"So, I'll turn on the channel for the Reapings and you guys can watch them." says Hayley.
First, the Capitol. They don't really make that much of an impression, however, the boy who's name is Shimmer (C) looks a bit weird. In District 1, I'm surprised that there was a twelve year old that volunteered, as well as the girl Rebecca being reaped. In District Two and Three, it's not really that big of a deal. But there were two volunteers from three, Karla (3) and Jared (3), so I wonder how they will do. Then District 4 starts.
"If we could keep that guy, with the blue hair, sane, he might be a good ally." I say to Shade (8). I'm talking about that guy named Kodai (4). District 5's tributes don't stand out that much either, but the guy named Yuki (6) catches my eye.
"What about Yuki? He could be a good ally." I say to Shade (8). He nods and then District 7 comes on. The girl with the black and white eyes, Duskus (7), looks like she could be a good ally as well. We rewatch our Reapings, and Violet (8) goes to her room crying.
"So, guys, there's a twist this year and it should be broadcasted any moment now," says our escort. Just after she says that, the television flickers on to a channel that has President Jayden on the screen.
"Hello, Panem. This is about this year's second twist." says President Jayden. "This year, to show that you may be having fun in the sun, you are still ruled by the Capitol. Therefore, this arena is Summer-themed. For example, there will be a beach, and it will be blazing hot. That's all I can say, however. About the twice as many tributes part- you know you love playing with your friends, right? Well, now you have to kill them. Thank you Panem."
Not the best idea. But oh well. We talk with Hayley about interviews and what to do in front of the cameras.
"Alright, your mentors are too drunk to talk about anything except for how much they want another glass, so I'm going to help you with the fun stuff! I want you to smile for the cameras once you get off of any train. If you see a camera, I want you to smile or do something positive. Don't be all grumpy. If you don't want to smile, you could look menacing. For the interviews, be positive! Laugh at the interviewer's jokes, make some jokes of your own, etc."
Hayley is smarter than I thought.
But Shade (8) has to die or me to die if there'll be a victor.
Today I'll change my life forever. A lot of my friends have died in the games, and I want to avenge them. I'm volunteering. If I win, I'm avenge their death, like I just said. But if I lose... Well, at least I can be with them.
"Jarcus, come on down for brunch," says my mother, startling me as I turn around and see her. "Okay, let me finish getting ready!" I reply. How will my mother react to me volunteering? What about the rest of my family? I guess I'll just explain it in the Justice Building.
I fix my hair and make sure my clothes are perfect, then go to the kitchen. I sit down and ask my mom, "So... What would you do if I was reaped?"
"I don't know, Jarcus. I would probably go into a depression like your friend's mothers did when they lost their children. I just couldn't bear losing you."
So maybe I shouldn't volunteer. But I really want to avenge my friends. What choice do I have? My mom gives me a muffin that has mixed berries in it, and I eat it quickly, savoring it before I leave my mother forever. I look out the window, and see the wind blowing and raindrops hitting our window. It's just a sprinkle, however, all it takes is time. Like with the Rebellion, it all starts with a spark. I hear the Reaping Bells ring and the rest of my family comes with us to go to the square with umbrellas.
"Next. Finger, please. Next. Finger, please. Next..."
I wait in line for them to take a little bit of my blood. I flinch a little bit when the zapper electrocutes my finger, but I shake it off and go to my section. Our escort runs onto the stage and says in a mash of words, "AlrightwelcometotheReapingstherearetwiceasmanytributesthisyear!Let'spickthegirlsfirst."
He plunges into the Reaping Bowl and takes out a name.
"LindsayHeartby!" He says. A girl who's fifteen makes her way up to the stage and I recognize her, she was reaped a few years ago but had a volunteer.
"I volunteer!" shouts a girl. She walks onto the stage and say her name. "Wayde Heartby."
He draws the next name.
"BaileyStarshine!" He exclaims. A girl around fifteen with orange hair and pale green eyes walks onto the stage.
"I Volunteer!" I shout. I walk onto the stage and announce my name to the crowd using the microphone. "Jarcus Pollish."
A boy with dark skin and dark hair with a little bit of golden comes onto the stage.
We do and we start walking into the Justice Building to say our goodbyes.
"Byeeeeeee!" says our escort. [In the tone of a Van Buren :P]
I just can't believe it happened again. My sister was reaped twice in her life, and she still has three more years that she is elegible. The first time, I was too scared to do anything, too shocked. Luckily there was a volunteer. She didn't come back, however, and I fear that once I enter the arena I won't come out. I am looking out the window of the Justice Building when I hear talking outside.
"Mom, can I talk to her alone?"
"Sure," says a voice that sounds like my mother's in between sobs.
"You've got five minutes."
Lindsay bursts into the room, crying, and she hugs me. "Please, please, please come back. I don't want you to die. This might as well be another suicide attempt," she says quietly. "The last person didn't come back home..."
"I'm going to come home. You better believe it."
"Time's up." says a Peacekeeper. My mother and father come in.
"I don't want you to dwell on my departure. Everybody leaves someday. I may come back. I promise, I'll win for us. We'll move to the Victor's Village and we can live a happy life." My parents hug me and leave.
We go to the train station. It's unusually crowded, with everybody trying to get a glance of the tributes. A shuttle comes and we board it. The train is a metallic silver and is extremely luxurious. However, I'd rather be in my small house than be here. Ike (9) is looking around in awe with a bit of a smirk. Oh god, I hope he's not going to make the train explode. Bailey (9) just sits down and looks outside. I sit down in one of the soft chairs in front of the television.
I have no idea where our mentors are, if we have some anyways. Jarcus (9) sits down next to me. I'm curious as to why he volunteered. "So, why'd you volunteer?" I ask. He looks down, and replies, "I've lost many of my friends to the games. I want to avenge their death by winning for them."
"Oh," I say, flipping through the television channels. It gets stuck on one. "What the heck?" I say, confused. President Jayden walks onto the stage on the large television.
"Hello, Panem. This is about this year's second twist." I hope this twist isn't too bad. "This year, to show that you may be having fun in the sun, you are still ruled by the Capitol. Therefore, this arena is Summer-themed. For example, there will be a beach, and it will be blazing hot. That's all I can say, however. About the twice as many tributes part- you know you love playing with your friends, right? Well, now you have to kill them. Thank you Panem," finishes Prsident Jayden.
Bailey (9) has a puzzled expression on her face and Jarcus (9) just rolls his eyes. The Reapings begin and I look at our competition. Yuka (C) from the Capitol looks really strong. It's going to be hard to kill her. The tributes from one don't look very good, apart from Jasmine (1) and Nickel (1). The other two are young and won't last two days. Ditrict Two looks fierce and strong, but that's typical. District Three doesn't look very strong. Four is about the same and five has some pretty tough looking tributes, especially Powwie (5). District Six could be a powerhouse, with the exception of Faye (6). If they all were to ally, the games would be over in a couple of days. Nobod y else really stands out to me.
"Lemmetellyousomethingimportant:SMILE!" says our escort. Ugh, I hope he's fired soon. We go to our rooms on the train and we wake up in the Capitol.