I. Red

"She's gonna be a firecracker, that one," Fester Glaze, your bizarre escort shouts, his blue and green teeth gleaming in the sun. (blue and green teeth really what passes for fashion in the capitol now days.) You assume he's talking about your hair, your fiery-red hair, and you'd laugh if the circumstances were different. Instead, you're up on the stage and oh god oh god you're the tribute and suddenly everything is dark and where did the sun go why is the sun gone what are you going to do?

Fester is still prattling on in the background, but it's nothing more than sub-human sounds you just can't piece together, like a puzzle that's missing the most important pieces or a scrap of paper whose ink has been blended together by the rain. You're dimly aware that there's a boy joining you on stage, but you couldn't make out his features even if you wanted to, not with the black and the red mist that's slowly fogging up your eyes, your brain, your heart. (who's going to watch after daddy and make sure he's eating right and who's going to joke with mama and make her smile and.)

Fester's right: you're a firecracker, and you're about to be blown to a million little pieces of charcoal and ash.