District Seven Reaping
I know that Mom and Dad are afraid for me, but I know I won’t be picked. I don’t know how many times my name is in there, but I know it’s very few.
Well, they’re not really my mom and dad. They’re my adoptive parents. I don’t know who my real ones are, but I know I’m happy Mr. And Mrs. Birch.
As I sit on the floor of my bedroom, Carly, my adoptive little sister, runs into the room. Her blond curls fall around her face as she plops down next to me and beams.
Carly is the real daughter of my adoptive parents, but I love her with all my heart.
“Hi, Carly. How’re you, little one?”
Carly launches herself at me with her arms wide open for a hug. I laugh and hug her back.
“I’m gonna put on my pink dress!” she giggles.
“And you look lovely in it. Now, are you hungry? Smells like breakfast is ready,” I answer with a smile as I stand up. Carly bounces to her feet and takes my hand.
“It smells like scrambled eggs!” she chirps.
I laugh. “You’ve got a good nose. Let’s eat them all up!”
We go into the kitchen and eat the eggs with Mom and Dad. Carly twirls the eggs around on her plate singing a song about elephants on a spider’s web.
Although I’m sure I will not be picked, a tiny part of me wonders if I will never see Carly again.
“Connor, you ready?” I hear my mother call from down the hall.
“No, I’m still asleep!” I call back sarcastically. Of course I’m ready. Today is Reaping day, and I’ll be totally safe. So will Kirby, for that matter.
My mother groans from the kitchen and yells back, “Come fast! The omelet is ready!”
I grin. It’s kind of funny to see her act like that.
I pull on my good jeans and an elegant T-shirt before striding into the kitchen.
“Connor, there you are! What were you doing?”
“Making out with my girlfriend.”
Mom groans again and flips to omelet onto my plate. I pick up the fork and give the sausages a poke. They seem undercooked.
I scoop Carly up as I walk to the square. She looks around the streets of District Seven. “How come everyone is so sad?” she asks.
“They’re not sad,” I explain, but feeling guilty for lying to her, “they’re just concealing their excitement. Remember, today is the day they choose the kids to play the game.”
Carly nods. “Are you gonna play, Amber?”
Carly chirps questions of innocence all the way to the square. When w get there, Mom and Dad pull Carly from my grasp, explaining that I have to go with the big kids. She doesn’t cry. I thought she would.
Once I join the other 16-year-olds, a lady in a red dress comes on, introducing herself as our escort, Sira Coconut.
I hear Carly giggle as she says the name.
Sira gets right down to business as she calls the girl’s name. It won’t be my name, though. The odds are totally in my-
I take a deep breath. It’ll be okay. I can win this. I walk onto the stage. Carly’s fingers brush mine as I walk on.
I watch as the girl, Amber, makes her way on stage in a faded yellow blouse and a white skirt to her knees. She has wavy orange hair combed neatly, and sparkly blue eyes. She’s pretty.
It’s a shame I won’t get to know her, because I won’t be picked.
Sira reaches into the male bowl and calls the name that won’t be mine.
Wait...what? Oh no! I can’t go into the Hunger Games! I turn around and try to run. Maybe I can hide with my twelve-year-old brother, Kirby…
A Peacekeeper grabs me from behind, and I struggle, but I can’t fight them. Even so, I squirm until they deposit me on stage. I look at Amber, who is looking at me sadly. I must look kind of pitiful now, with my dark blond hair all messy and dirt streaking my pale skin.
Amber helps me up. She’s nice. “Are you okay?” she asks.
For once, sarcasm escapes me and I nod with wide and entranced eyes.
Carly runs into the room with her frilly pink skirts bouncing. I get to my feet and run to her. Carly squeals in delight.
“Yay Amber! You get to play the Game! I think you’re going to win, too, and make that Connor boy mad.”
I set my jaw and nod firmly. “Yes, Carly. I am going to win.”
District Eight Reaping
“Come on, Mo, we’ll be okay.”
My sister Marley pats my back with a hopeful grin lighting up her face, though I know she’s just as nervous as me.
“I guess so. I mean, our name is only a few in thousands. Right?” I look up at Marley hopefully. I don’t want either of us to be picked. I couldn’t bear to lose my twin sister.
Marley grins and stands up. Her pale blue skirt bounces around her knees. “Mom and Dad went to the factory, so I made breakfast while you were asleep. Your favorite.”
Ah, yes. Marley always tries to make things fun for us. She does a good job of it, but today her efforts are really wasted.
I’ve never really thought much about it, but I can now tell just how big my District is. The streets are packed with kids around my age of 15. I move along with them in my white shirt and black pants, my dad at my side.
I don’t see how I could be picked. There are so many kids, after all. My chances are even slimmer, seeing as I didn’t take any tesserae and my name is only in there four times.
I still pity the kid who will be picked. The one that won’t be me.
Marley holds my hand as we stand among our fellow 14-year-olds. It’s comforting to have my twin sister stand there with me.
After our mayor reads the Treaty of the Treason, a Capitol lady in a long blue gown with red flowers on it walks onto the stage, tottering in her high heels.
“Welcome District Eight, to the very first Hunger Games reaping! I’m Arabella French. Yes, this is exciting. I know all of YOU are eager to see our tributes. So, with no further ado, I will announce them. The girl will be…”
Marley holds her breath. I bite my lip. Let us be safe, let us be safe. Let us be safe…
I slip my hand away from Marley’s. She looks horrified.
I bury my face in my hands and begin to cry. A peacekeeper leads me onto the stage, and I let him. All I’m thinking is that I’m glad Marley hasn’t volunteered.
I watch as the trembling young girl is lead onto the stage from the 14-year-old section. Poor kid. She looks so afraid.
She has shoulder-length brown hair and a skinny little frame, wearing a pale pink dress.
I find myself kind of hoping she’ll win, until Arabella calls the male name.
I’m shocked. With all those other names, it’s still me. Even so, I walk onto the stage. I can hear my dad screaming my name from behind but I pay him little attention. I have to survive this now.