It is the morning of the reaping. Last night I just couldn't go to sleep - so here I am, axe in hand, chopping down what remains of the pine tree in my yard. I can't believe exactly one year has passed. Although this is my second reaping, I am still as frightened as I was last year. I'm not just frightened for myself; I'm frightened that I might lose one of my five brothers, four of which are eligible for the Hunger Games this year.
The Hunger Games is an annual televised event where the ruthless Capitol randomly selects one boy and one girl, each between the ages of twelve and eighteen from each of the twelve districts, forcing them to battle off in an arena of death. The victor then wins a new house for themselves and their families in their District, along with food, fame, and wealth.
I put my axe down and stare at the sky, sunrise; so beautiful. I would usually enjoy this sight but today I just couldn't get myself to smile. It was so contrasting compared to the mood plaguing district 7. Most children my age would be snuggled in their parents' arms, reassuring themselves that someone else would get picked. Not me, I feel more comfortable outside in the fresh air.
I took a deep breath and sighed, looking at my house for possibly the last time in my life. Then, I heard a faint crackling in the leaves behind me. Before I could even blink, I was lifted into the air. When I was put down I met the eyes of my oldest brother, Tobiah.
Tobiah is twenty years old; seven years older than me. We both have the same coloured golden locks and same coloured blue eyes, which are almost turquoise. My brother towers 30cm over me. I always wonder what it feels like to be that tall. He looks like a giant. He doesn't realize how handsome he is - well he is practically a carbon copy of every girl's dream guy – tall, tanned, muscular, chiseled and just plain good looking. I wish my mother lived to see the wonderful man he has become.
My father was murdered for exiting the district boundaries three years ago. At first I was distraught; I spent days and nights mourning over his death. Though, days later, I became angry at him; mad that he would leave his five children to fend for their own. Tobiah was seventeen when father died. He was the eldest and did all he could to protect us. He banned us from taking any tesserae but he took a lot himself. He probably had the most amounts of entries into the hunger games… I could have lost him too. The odds weren't in his favour but it seems the gods were. Tobiah is more of a father to me than father ever was.
Mother, on the other hand, died giving birth to me. She knew she was going to die if she kept me… but she kept me anyway. I've always respected her for that but sometimes I just think that it would've been better if she was alive instead of me. My brothers told me tales about her and how her mother's best friend survived the Hunger Games.
Would she be proud of me?
"Couldn't sleep," Tobiah questioned. He sat on a log and patted the spot next to him, motioning for me to sit there. "You're a promising lumberjack, Dynynia. Heck maybe you'll be a better lumberjack than father!"
I couldn't help but giggle. I'm hardly ever happy but Tobiah always seems to make me laugh. When I stopped giggling, I dug my head into his shoulder and we sat in that position for what seemed to be hours.
"Brother…" I hesitated, "What will happen if I am reaped?"
Tobiah just looks at me sympathetically; he has been through many reapings before, he knows how I feel. Sometimes, he is even more scared than me. Most people just say to themselves, 'It's okay, it won't happen', but you can't escape the inevitable. Someone has to get reaped and that person could be you.
He gently wiped a tear away from my cheek, a tear that I was not aware that I let out. He cradled me in his strong embrace, "You won't be reaped - the odds are in your favour…. and when the reaping is over, we will buy you a new ribbon for your beautiful hair."
I gave my brother a kiss on the forehead, showing my appreciation for his words.
"Will you help me pick a pretty dress for today?"
"There is nothing that I would rather do."
I only own five dresses; two of them were a faded baby pink, one was a rich but torn violet colour, one cream coloured frilly dress and one black flowing dress.
I laid them out on the floor in front of me and then moved aside to show my brothers. They were all awake and all decided to help me find something to wear, before they went to find something for themselves.
Tobiah, of course, was the oldest and tallest. Second oldest was Xanthe, who was eighteen and slightly shorter than Tobiah, probably by 2cm. Third oldest was Livone, he was seventeen and probably was the most like father out of the bunch, looks and personality wise. Next came the twins, both of which were one year older than me.
Xanthe was quite popular across District 7. He was a lumberjack, like Tobiah and father, so lots of the builders around town knew who he was. He was charming and witty so a lot of the girls fancied him. He was strong and courageous, so the men all respected him, even at his senior. Also, he had a nurturing side so many of the children had faith and trust in him. He inherited the same golden hair that Tobiah and I have. Though, one thing about him that is quite magnificent is that he had the same turquoise eyes as us but each eye has a purple ring to it, about one third of an inch of purple lining the outside.
Livone, like I said, looked exactly like father. Well, at least what I remember he looked like. His black hair was contrasting against his fair skin and his dark brown eyes giving the illusion that they are black. It is amazing how he was the only offspring to inherit dark eyes as lighter eyes are less common.
The twins were like my best friends. They were the closest to my age and I guess they just shared the same interests as me. Unlike Tobiah, who was usually out and about getting the grub to eat, the twins weren't afraid to be boys. They weren't afraid to be children and to act stupidly. I never show it but they made me feel comfortable and at times, extremely happy. They were extremely creative and could find fun in anything, which is something I admired about them. Sometimes their optimism got a bit worrisome. Voki and Bayou were identical. Both had golden hair, a few shades lighter than mine. Voki had turquoise eyes as well but Bayou had very light brown eyes. That is how I told them apart.
"I'm thinking about picking the cream coloured one, what do you think To… Tobiah?" I didn't see him anywhere. "I'll be back."
I left my room and headed straight for Tobiah's room, only to see him sitting motionless looking at the wall with a beautiful honeydew coloured dress sprawled on the floor next to him.
He responded by looking at me with a feign smile. I could tell he has been crying. I'd never seen him so vulnerable and fragile before. I sat next to him and before I could say a word, he opened his lips, "Mother was so amazing and she was the most beautiful thing I thought existed. When her life ended, your life started. When I looked into your eyes for the first time, I fell in love. You were an angel sent from the heavens. I made a promise to myself, to be the best brother in the world, to never let you get hurt. You were the most beautiful thing in my life from that moment on and you still are. I love you Dynynia."
I was speechless and for the second time, before I could say a word, he opened his lips and spoke, "The morning she went into labour she gave me this dress. She told me to give it to you at your second reaping. This is the dress she wore when her best friend was reaped. They wore matching dresses. They were both your age and they were just as scared as you are right now."
We hugged again for what seemed like hours and then I tried on the dress.
"You look perfect little sis," Xanthe whispered breathlessly.
My brothers were already dressed and we all went in for a group hug. I never wanted this moment to end – It was perfect.
I put on a lopsided smile and jokingly asked one of my brothers, "Is anyone here a hairdresser?"
I just stood there, blank. So many children, one and most probably two won't come home. Why, why did this have to happen – It's just wrong. They were all so innocent and scared.
What I would do if I got my hands on President Snow.
My heart stopped beating, d-d-did she just call my name.
"Oh where is sweet little Dynynia?"
The first thing I did was look Tobiah, his face monotonous but obvious tears were streaming from his eyes.
I felt like a zombie, emotionless and stiff, as I walked up to the stage. Then it hit me, I'm going to die. I just dropped to my knees and cried. Warm arms wrapped around me and held me in a tight embrace. I looked up and met the exquisite eyes of Xanthe. I thought they couldn't get more beautiful but something about his expression made them look better.
So much emotion in his eyes but he was staying strong, for me. He didn't want me to see him weak and I bet he didn't want to see me weak either. I stood up, head held high and scanned the crowd - none of them could look me in the eyes besides my family, who were all shocked. Not even my friends looked at me.
I just wanted someone to volunteer for me. I don't want to leave. I don't want to die.
But before I knew it Xanthe was carefully guiding me up to the stage. His grip was delicate but strong enough to hold me upright. He shot the ugly Capitol woman a sickening glance.
The Capitol, the districts – they were all watching this. How was I going to get sponsors acting like a wimp?
You are a wimp.
I pushed Xanthe slightly away and stood on my tiptoes. I still had to look up to meet his gaze.
I mouthed the words 'I love you' and walked up to the stage. I over stretched my arm and shook the hands of the Capitol lady. Her name was Maylorna or something. She gave me a fake smile and turned to pick the boy.
The whole crowd gasped and I looked up to see Bayou and Voki crying in each other's arms. They couldn't break the twins up, they just couldn't!
I wasn't sure how I felt anymore but you could tell how Xanthe felt. He was only half way back to his spot in the crowd, frozen. I couldn't see his face but I could tell he was angry; his hands were shaped in fists and they were blood red. I swear his fists were just going to explode or break in half.
Bayou started to walk forward and Xanthe just raised his fist in his direction.
"Where do you think you are going brother?" His voice was of anger and pain. Xanthe kept his head down the whole time and his other fist just got tighter.
Bayou's lips quivered and he stuttered, "I-I was reaped Xanthe."
Xanthe looked up and squinted at Bayou, one eye showing underneath his now messy bangs. He pointed to the sky and roared, "No you fucking weren't. I volunteer as tribute. I volunteer as tribute for these stupid Hunger Games!"
I'd never seen him so… so furious. To tell you the truth, I'd never heard him even swear before.
He turned around and looked at me dead in the eye. This was not happening.
Hey! You made it this far? Thanks for reading my story. I know it is pretty bad and the first chapter is verrrryyyyy boring but it will get better. I would like to give a shout out to my best friend fatgirlXD/esile and a brilliant writer gigglegiggle88 for giving me so much inspiration. My story might resemble hers a little but it won't ever be as perfect! Please read her story! It is just simply amazing. I spent a long time reading it and I felt so broken when I finished all the updates so far! Lol I am obsessed with it.
Oh and every three chapters I am writing from Kael's (District 1 boy) and Eleanor's (District 12 girl) POV. Enjoy…