Prim kicked the rocks around the road on our way to the reaping. She was fidgeting with the hem of her dress and playing with the fingers of my hand that she held on to. I could tell she was nervous. Not nervous for herself, of course. That wasn't how Prim thought. She had never been that selfish. Not that it is a selfish thought, to be afraid of the reaping. It's natural to not want to be sentenced to death. And in District 12, that is exactly what it was. It may be different for the other districts, especially 1, 2, and 4. In those districts, people train all their life for their shining moment. The moment where they can stand up on the stage and say 'I volunteer as tribute for District bla bla bla'. Sure, in the rich districts there was plenty of that.
District 12 was not a rich district by anyone's standards. Nobody had volunteered in decades. We were all too afraid of the impending death that was brought by your name being reaped. But those weren't the thoughts that were going through Prim's mind. She thought of me. She thought of Gale. She thought of Rory. She thought of every kid in her class at school. She thought of all their older brothers and sisters who were also in the reaping. She thought of the boy and girl, most likely from the Seam, who would not be celebrating tonight.
"Stop over thinking this, Prim." I tried to give her a smile. I'm not sure if it worked. Either way, it did not lighten her mood.
"I just really don't want it to be you." Prim ducked her head and sighed in defeat. "I really really don't want it to be you."
I could almost feel my heart break. "It won't be, Prim. It won't be. The odds are completely in our favor...there are thousands of little slips. We'll be fine." This is partly true. She will be fine. She only has one slip, while I have over twenty, and Gale over forty.
"But there are some kids in my class that have six or more brothers and sisters...and they all checked out a tesserae for each brother and-"
"Prim, Prim!" I desperately shut her up before she began to cry. "Thousands of slips. We'll be fine."
"Okay." She nodded and kept fidgeting.
[•] [•] [•]
"Welcome, welcome all!" Effie Trinket's shrill voice rang out through the square. "It's a big, big day isn't it?" She said with excitement. "Now before we begin," She pursed her lips for a moment. She seemed like she was struggling to keep her composure. I'm sure she didn't like being assigned to District 12, the least enthusiastic district of all. "We have a special video from President Snow brought to you ALL the way from the Capitol." She emphasized the word Capitol and I heard the boy next to me groan. The video played and Effie gave us a winning smile as it ended. "I just love that story! Now let's get down to business, shall we? Boys first this year."
She reached her pale white hand into the cleanest glass bowl you could find in District 12. It sat upon a well finished brown table, Next to the girls' bowl. These were Capitol tools. They would not be seen after today until next year's reaping. Her hand rummaged around until she found a piece of paper worthy of picking. Her smile was still plastered on her face as she pulled the little slip and opened it carefully.
"Congratulations to..." She began cheerfully, "Peeta Mellark!"
My stomach twisted into an unpleasant knot. Of all people, it was him. I wasn't sure how I felt about this. Peeta was the boy who saved our lives, a common unspoken memory in the Everdeen house. He had given us bread when we had nothing else but dead flies to eat. I still owed him my life, Prim's life to this day, and to this day I had tried to find some way to pay him back. Yet now, he was going into the games. I would never be able to pay him back. My feelings were mixed. This is a good thing, I tell myself, because I would never have to pay him back. But then again, it is equally bad because it means I will owe him forever. And even worse, this boy will forever be somebody that I was indebted to, and gave up on repayment. This will torture me forever. For my sake, I hope he wins, although it is doubtful. We haven't had a winner for district twelve in twenty-four years. My mind is still reeling, and taking in all of this information at once when Effie Trinket reached her hand in the glass bowl again.
"Now, who will be the lucky lady to join in on these fantastic games, hmm?" She shuffled the pieces of paper a few times before pulling out one stiff piece of paper with careful handwriting.
District 12's Prim.
I heard crying and wondered who was crying for her fate before I realized it was Prim crying. Her tears were muffled as she walked slowly and carefully towards the stage.
"No! NO, PRIM! I volunteer! I volunteer, I'll do it!" The desperation made my voice crack but it could still be heard from afar in the quiet, echoing square.
Effie Trinket smiled. "Well, isn't this interesting! Does somebody else want the glory here? Yes, very good." She cooed. "But I do believe there is a proce-" Her sentence was cut off.
"No!" Prim was walking backwards but towards the platform. "You can't volunteer without my permission!"
"Prim, you don't know what you're talking about, let me GO!"
"I DO know what I'm talking about, Katniss! You can't go up there unless I back down, and Im not backing down! My name got picked, you're not going to risk your life for mine!"
Effie cleared her throat. "Yes, there is that." She added matter-of-factly.
"Prim..." I was crying now, and I didn't care. I didn't care because I didn't even feel like we were in public anymore. This was a private moment here, just Prim and I. I couldn't even think about the camera crew televising this to all of Panem.
"Katniss. Just let me go." She said softly and then turned around to walk towards the platform. I sort of zoned out after that. The guards harshly yanked me back all the way to the small chained off section with the other sixteen year olds. My eyes trailed Prim but my mind was completely blank. I vaguely remember thinking that I was losing two important people today.
Okay so that was chapter one of one of my first fanfiction ever, so please please pleeeeaaase review. Most of you know the feeling of putting up a fanfiction and being afraid of somebody thinking it was so bad that they track you down and kill you with a spoon...(no? Just me? Ok Never mind) So if you like it, please review, and if you don't...put down the spoon please:)