White Roses

Faces blurred before my eyes as I cast my gaze across the waiting crowd. The faces of District Thirteen, all awaiting my death. Some held anger; some held satisfaction… some even the slightest flicker of regret shadowed in their eyes. I scuffled my feet on the ground impatiently as I was tethered to the pole. Oh, yes, some would argue I deserved a slow, painful death. Perhaps I did. I locked eyes with Katniss Everdeen, the girl who was on fire. This girl had ruined everything, her tiny spark igniting into a blaze that had destroyed the Capitol. I licked my lips and felt warm blood tricking down my chin, but I didn't break gaze with Katniss. Her eyes seemed to search me for regret, but I had none. Not one flicker of regret for anything. I felt amusement vibrate through me as I stared at her and her bow tensed. But when the arrow came, it wasn't meant for me. It was meant for President Coin. I collapsed laughing as around me irrupted into chaos, screaming and yelling and crying as people milled around me. I continued laughing, and as I died I touched the white rose on my chest. My life flashed before my eyes.

Chapter One:

I didn't start out evil. Or, at least, I like to think I didn't.

I lived in District Twelve in a small ramshackle house with my mother, father and little sister Rose. Life wasn't easy, but we always managed to have food on the table. Rose and I were taught one simple rule: Don't mess with the Capitol. Keep your head down and your nose clean- and that's what we did. Our troubles started when I was sixteen.

The sun hung low in the sky, casting narrow golden beams slicing across the dust-ridden streets of District Twelve. The air was crisp and cool, and I narrowed my eyes slightly as the sun burned into my vision. I moved swiftly, barely stopping to look around. I was holding a bundle of food for my family and as I walked, I noticed out of the corner of my eye something was not right. The colorless, washed out houses that dotted the Seam were closed tightly, as if a storm was about to hit. Confusion washed over me, but I shrugged and continued home. As I stepped into my house, I closed my eyes and inhaled the familiar scent of honey and flowers that wafted around my home. My face breaking out into a smile at the sight of Rose playing on the floor, I dropped the food on the roughly carved wooden table and knelt beside her. Rose was a beauty, small with creamy skin and wide green eyes and rosebud lips. She was only ten, and already the boys whispered about her. She smiled up at me. "Hey," She lisped adorably, and I grinned back at her. She rolled over and continued playing. I stood up and asked, "Where is mother?"
Rose only shrugged and I heaved a sigh, turning to the water basket to wash my smudged face. It was a shame I hadn't inherited my father's good looks…. I was ugly, with pale brown hair cropped short and a narrow face with beady eyes. Splashing water on my face, the image rippled. I heard Mother open the door and walk in, her weary footsteps echoing throughout the house. I nodded my greeting to her and her dark eyes lit up at the sight of the food on the table. A rap on the door, sharp and loud made me wheel around. Mother was still relaxed, holding up a hand and heading over to the door. I watched silently as she opened it and came face to face with a man.

The man wore faded old clothes and was coated with coal dust. His lined face was gritty and his shoulders were slightly hunched. A coal miner for sure.

He spoke in a hushed voice to my mother, casting glances at Rose and me as if he didn't want us to hear. My mother's stance was puzzled, but her spine straightened and she closed the door and backed slowly away. I rushed to her side and her eyes were wide, her lips trembling. "Your father is dead," She spoke finally, and I felt as if I was suddenly made of stone. "And there is an Uprising against the Capitol."

That shocked me; who would dare to go against the Capitol? My heart skipped a beat and I knew what Mother was going to say before she slowly opened her mouth. "And your Father started it."