Disclaimer: I don't own The Hunger Games, obviously.


Thou shalt not steal. ~Exodus 20:15

It's the day of the reaping. Fiftieth. Hunger is almost the last thing on everyone's mind, except for one in particular.

He sneaks into the candy store, relishing the cool temperature inside. The glossy black and white tiles squeak with every step, making him wince. But he stuffs fistfuls of colorful sweets greedily into his pockets.

The clock chimes twelve, but he's already long gone.

Victory is sweet, today. He discreetly slips her a handful of stolen candy and he's glad when she smiles, even if it is still anxious.

Names are drawn, double this year. Worried whispers sweep through the crowd. He couldn't care less about himself as he eats a pristine blueberry-flavored sucker, staining his tongue.

The second girl's name is called. "Maysilee Donner!"

He's so relieved. He squeezes her hand tightly and tells himself he doesn't know the girl who's surely going to die. He almost believes it. But he's lying, because her father owns the sweetshop, and he knows that.

Her wide eyes—she's not crying, for some reason—are as blue as his candy. And the taste of saccharine blueberries in his mouth is suddenly, irritatingly bittersweet.

Annoyed, he tosses the sucker to the ground, crushing it into coal-stained shards.