Okay, I am going to try to be much quicker about updating, because that's always a problem of mine, but I really do want to see this story completed.
Also, all you lurkers, review! I know you're out there…seriously, even the shortest review would make me happy~
Thanks to demigodgirl1000 for December, and tomoyoforever for Morgan.
District 5: December 'Dekk' Hadaway
I wake up happily on the morning of the reapings. I know that it's a bad day today: I mean, two kids will be selected to die, which isn't really very nice at all of the Capitol. But I get to dress up, which is always fun!
Smiling and humming, I carefully put on my tuxedo. It's sort of uncomfortable because it's too small, but it's okay. I think I can still do cartwheels in it.
Frowning, I back up and try one. I get a bit of a head rush as I turn upside down, and it ends with me falling as I try to land.
I giggle a little. At least it works!
Something whispers in the back of my mind. Dekk, you idiot. Stop that. Now.
Oh, What, let Dekk have some fun, another chimes in. It's the one I've named Who. Please be quiet and have your rants done.
Dekk's making a fool of himself, like he always does! What snarls. I'm the real Dekk, not him. He should let me take control.
I wince and shake my head. "No, no," I mutter. "I'm in charge right now. Not either of you, What and Who."
Shut up, What retorts.
Tears start leaking out of my eyes.
"JUST BE QUIET!" I shriek.
My alters mutter a bit, Who starting to cry a little.
Mom comes up the stairs to my room, looking worried.
"Dekk?" she says softly. "Are you alright?"
I sniffle a bit and nod. "We're okay." I start and catch myself. Mom doesn't like me talking about them. "I'm okay," I correct myself.
She smiles. I think she's glad that for once, I'm here, instead of one of them.
As much as they can be annoying, though, they're my friends. I'm never alone with them. I always have my friends with me. There's lots of them, after all. They keep me safe from when I get scared. They protect me.
But they take over me.
And some of them scare me…..scare us.
But Mom's asking me if I want to come downstairs for breakfast, and from the smells wafting up from the kitchen downstairs, I can tell that there's bacon sizzling on the stove. Anything for breakfast besides tesserae mush is a treat, and bacon is expensive. Mom must have been saving.
I go downstairs with her, and she hands me a plate of bacon.
"Thank you, thank you, thank you!" I chime. I know what this cost her, and I'm really, really happy. I can feel my mouth watering as I sit down at the beat-up table.
I freeze slightly. Daddy's at the table. He has dark circles under his eyes, and I know that he's been working late again.
"Dekk." he growls. "Or are you someone else today?" he spits this out like it's the worst thing imaginable.
I shrink back, and I can feel the rest of my alters scrambling, trying to wrest control from me in my moment of fear.
"No, Daddy, I'm myself." I respond quietly.
"Not for long, I bet." he snarls and continues eating his bacon, signaling that the conversation is over.
I take a deep breath. "Thank you for the bacon, Daddy," I say in a slightly trembling voice.
He looks up. "I got it for your mother, for dealing with you all the time. If it was up to me, you wouldn't have any."
My mother interrupts the conversation at this point. "Teeter, he's just a boy. Don't get so mad with him. I appreciate the bacon, I really do. But he's part of the family."
"No!" Daddy yells. "He's unnatural. He's a freak."
Mom starts to yell back at him, and tears well up in my eyes. I try to get really small, and slink away without them noticing.
It's time for the reapings, anyway. If I stayed later, I would be late.
I hurry through the District 5 streets, skipping and turning a cartwheel every so often. People steer clear of me, they've heard of us, my friends and I. Maybe they think that they're contagious. Silly people. My friends are only my friends. They came to me when I was afraid, to help me…
But the people don't know that. They think that my friends are bad people.
Most of them are good. They try to be good, and when they're bad, I try to keep them in line.
But when they take over, it's scary. Because I don't know, sometimes, if I'm me, or if I'm one of my friends.
A voice seems to whisper, "Maybe What's right. What if he is the real Dekk….and I've been shutting him away all this time…"
I shake my head and the bad voice away. That was probably What himself, trying to take over.
I skip down the cracked paved road that makes up the poorer part of our District, until it slowly merges into the smooth road of the richer part, and that into the town square.
A Peacekeeper checks me in, and I take my place in the fourteen year olds section. The boy next to me looks like he's from the richer part of town, because his tuxedo is clearly new and it fits nicely. Also, he isn't backing away from me, so he doesn't know about my friends.
"Hi!" I say cheerfully. "What's your name?"
He looks at me strangely for a second, like he can't comprehend why I'm talking to him.
"Jesse," he says slowly.
"That's a cool name! I haven't met anyone named Jesse before. I like the way it sounds. Jesse."
"Thanks…" he replies, obviously uncomfortable.
The mayor starts talking, and he looks relieved, as if he thinks that will make me be quiet.
But that's okay! I can just talk quietly.
"My name's Dekk," I whisper.
He looks irritated. "Nice."
"Do you think it's a cool name? It's short for December, but I don't like that name because it sort of sounds silly."
Jesse scowls. "Dekk, I'm sorry that I'm being rude, but can you please shut up? I'm trying to listen to the speech."
I pout but say nothing.
Immediately, I feel bad for calling him a name, and am about to apologize when I remember he doesn't want me to talk to him.
Sullenly, I face the stage.
The mayor is finishing reading the new Treaty of Treason, with a bit of resentment in her voice as she says the last sentences. I remember that she supported the rebel's cause in the rebellion, and was barely able to keep her position as mayor. The riots were scary, but other than that, I hardly noticed when the Districts won. It made no difference to me, except for the fact that the fighting stopped, and for three years, there weren't any Games. Technically, this is my first reaping, as when I was first eligible at age twelve, two years ago, the Districts had already taken over, and the Capitol Games were the ones aired that year.
The escort makes me giggle a little bit as she gets on the stage. Half of her hair is bright orange and in an afro style, and the other half is shaved to the scalp. She's in a highlighter-yellow minidress and looping around her limbs are black ribbons tattoos. As I look closer, though, I realize that it's text.
"Hello," she says in a low drawl, unlike the normal Capitol peppy accent, "My name is Irra Ludo, and I'll be District Five's escort this year. In the words of a man from a past era, fortunate people often have very favorable beginnings and very tragic endings. What matters isn't being applauded when you arrive - for that is common - but being missed when you leave."
I'm impressed that she could remember all of that. It's quite a long quote: I couldn't remember it all.
"Now's the time to find out who those fortunate people are! Entering the Games has favorable beginnings, of course, but twenty-three will come out with a tragic ending. Let's hope that one of our tributes is the one that is more fortunate than the rest!"
Picking her way over to the girl's ball, she calls, "Ladies first!"
She doesn't swirl the ball, trying to drum up tension. She simply plucks a name from the top, but that seems to be even more effective.
"Morgan Falls," she calls out in a smooth voice, as if she was announcing what she had for dinner.
I immediately feel bad for Morgan, whoever she is. I hear a muffled squeak from the girl's section, the only sound in the silent square.
Then people start shouting, exclaiming rude remarks. Most commonly, I hear, "Hey!" and "Get back here!"
I stand on my tippytoes and crane my neck to see what's happening.
The girl, Morgan, is running away. Once she hits the edge of the crowd, though, a Peacekeeper grabs her. She struggles, and tries to run away. The Peacekeepers drag her up to the stage, and halfway there, she's limp in their arms, resigned to her fate.
I feel bad for her, especially once she gets to the top of the stage.
I recognize her now. She's the other freak from our district. People avoid her like they do me, because she has fits every once in awhile. She'll freeze up and start screaming, and it's really spooky. She avoids me, though, just like I avoid her. We're both freaked out by the other.
The escort eyes Morgan distastefully. "You're a piece of work, huh?" she muttered. "No matter. Boys, your turn," she said, going over to the boy's reaping glass.
My throat tightened. Am I going to die?
Again, she simply plucked one off the top.
Time seemed to stand still. No one moved, no one spoke, except for Irra Ludo, calling out the last 'fortunate one.'
At that moment, all of my friends unleash themselves upon me, trying to tell me what to do in my moment of utter terror.
Get up there! They'll think you're weak otherwise! What snarls.
Why says nothing, but his presence exudes the feeling that he would much rather not walk to his death.
Who starts sobbing. We're all going to die some horrible, painful death! he wails. This could be our final breath!
Shut it with the rhymes, Who, Where says snarkily. We should get up on that stage and show them that we're nonplussed by this! I agree with What. This time. he adds as an afterthought.
I'm frozen, unsure what to do with my friends squabbling in my brain. Tears slowly, silently, leak out of my eyes.
Then he comes in, slowly, lazily.
Now, Dekk, When purrs to me. Let's get up on that stage, huh? Into the Games, into death… When exudes happiness at the thought. You don't have a choice otherwise. The Peacekeepers will come for you, if they aren't already.
I slowly turned my head. There they were, looking for me. Several people were pointing me out, including Jesse.
Double meany pooper.
Go up on that stage. When urges. Don't be dragged, like that pathetic girl. But then again…if you're too afraid, I could do it for you.
I shake my head. "No, no, no. I can do it."
Slowly, stiffly, I walk towards the stage. Fear overwhelms me, and I feel light-headed, like I'm going to pass out.
I climb up the stairs, feeling like I'm going to puke.
I can't really hear the escort as she announces us as District Five's tributes, and I shake hands mutely with Morgan. Everything's drowned out by my friends yelling at me, telling me to do different things, telling me to let them do it for me.
On the way to the Justice Building, I start to sob.
No one comes for me to say goodbye for the longest time, then Mom finally comes in. Daddy isn't with her.
"Dekk," she said quietly. "Are you alright?"
I nod mutely.
"Are you really Dekk right now?" she asks me.
"I'm Dekk, Mom," I say quietly.
She hugs me fiercely. "Good. Dekk, no matter what you do, don't give into them, okay? Please, I want to make sure that you're really the one that I'm watching. Please."
I raise my tear-stained face to hers. "I'll try, Mom."
"That's my boy."
She forces a smile, then walks out.
I wonder why Daddy didn't come.
I pout. Daddy doesn't like me. That's why he didn't come. He probably didn't want Mom to come, either.
I wait in the visitors room, expecting no one else, until the escort comes to lead me onto the train.
Well, there you have it! District Five, my favorite District.
That little review box down there is feeling lonely….