A/N:I do not own the character of Thresh or anything to do with The Hunger Games, they all are owned by Suzanne Collins.
I stomped my feet on the compacted dirt outside the front door trying to remove bits of grain from the worn tread of my boots. I walked in the door of our small shack just as the sun was rising over the fields. I shook my jacket off my broad shoulders and threw it over the kitchen chair. My whole body ached to sit down, still not accustomed to the almost twenty hour days I've been working for nearly five months now. But there was no time to rest today, it was the reaping. My final reaping day. In six weeks I'd be nineteen. My name no longer in that stupid glass bowl.
I grabbed a pan from the small sink and put it on the warming stove top. I had breakfast to make for the other five-no four people in my family. I started making wheat cakes in my hands as I thought about how horrible the past six months had been for my family. My father had broken his leg five months ago and has been unable to work and my ma, well she just lays in bed these days and cries. My baby sister Winnow had died at only three weeks old. Malnutrition they said is what took her away. But it was the Capitol, living their lives in lavish luxury while we barely got by.
I looked down at my hands realizing I had pulverized the cake but threw it in the pan anway that would be mine. I made quick work of the rest of the cakes and went to the cupboard to get a few rotting apples. I craned my neck, hearing joints popping releasing all the built up tension there. Ten hours working at the warehouse sorting through the fruit, wheat, and cotton; seven in the evening to four in the morning. Then working sunrise to sunset in the fields.
I flipped over the cakes and walked back into the room I shared with my brothers, for once thankful that they were still only eleven. My ma couldn't handle all three of her children being in a reaping at the same time. I walked to the bunk beds and shook Husk who was on the bottom bunk.
"Get up Husk, it's reaping day. Breakfast is almost ready." I said nudged Husk once more before I reached for Hull.
"Guys get up Ma and Dad. Alright?" The looked at me, eyes still glossy from sleep. "Get dressed first, nice outfits for the reaping."
I walked back out of the room once the twins were moving about and took the cakes out of the pan. I sliced up the apples, which had quite a few soft brown spots on them. I threw the apple slices in the hot pan and stirred them for a minute. I quickly put out the plates and started putting food on them, giving myself the thin burnt cake and the rotten pieces of apple.
My brothers and father soon entered the kitchen, my father struggling to sit down.
"Where's Ma?" I asked the same question I had every day for the past few months.
"She's just not feeling up to it today Thresh."
"Dad, she has to come out today for the Reaping."
"That's what we said." The twins chimed in but both stuffed pieces of apple in their mouths when my father and I looked there way.
I didn't have time to take Ma her plate, I had to help dad get ready and then get myself ready. I stood in my room wearing a pair of khaki pants a size to tight and four inches to short. These pants were my fathers once, and I hadn't fit into them properly for two years but they'd have to do. My faded blue button up shirt would probably rip if I moved the wrong way and my shoes were my old work boots that I had only been able to taken off for a few moments to change my pants.
I made sure the boys looked presentable enough to pass the peacekeeper's ever watchful eyes. My father was waiting at the door, barely holding my mother upright.
"Ma, I have to go now to get in line. Please stand up. Just for a few hours. This family can't lose you more than we already had."
I kissed her cheek and turned to my father.
"You guys will make it there alright?"
"Thresh we're not to far from the square, you can help out on the walk home."
I smiled at the boys, trying to reassure them silently. My name was in there forty-two times. I had to do what I had to for my family. The odds never matter to me much anyway. I walked into the square taking in my surrounds. Most people looked ill with worry, grief, fear of what was to come. I heard some people sniffling, others talking in hushed whispers. I just want this to be over. Reaping day was a day I was losing money for my family.
I was all checked in standing in line in the back, waiting for the god awful man from the Capitol to just read the names. The girls were first and a girl was called, he knew her, hardly she worked in the fields. She sat high in the trees. Her name was Rue. She was only twelve. He clinched his fist to his side. These games are insane, she was so small. So innocent. So much life left to live.
I watched as she tripped up the stairs onto the platform. I could tell she was trembling.
"Now for the boys the Tribute from District Eleven will be Thresh Dangar."
I looked around holding my breath for a spilt second. I exhale and walk up toward the platform. I looked out into the ground scanning for my family. I spotted them my dad, trying to support himself, my ma, and the twins. His expression grim. My ma's face had gone completely pale and my brother's they were sobbing. I didn't let any expression read across my face. I turned toward Rue and shook her hand.
I waited in a small room in the warehouse for my family to come see me off. The door opened and I saw my grandmother walk hobble in hunched over. I opened my mouth to speak but she shushed me and pulled me toward her.
"Hunny I don't have much time, I'm so sorry."
"What are you.." she shushed me again.
"Your ma, once they took you off the stage she lost it. Started screaming, tried to run after you. Your father, Husk, and Hull tried to grab her. The peacekeeper's they.." She paused looking up at me. Nearly a two foot difference between us.
"They shot them. Your ma for being mad and your father and brothers for protecting her."
My jaw tightened and I clenched up my fists.
"Thresh promise me, try to come home. For yourself."
A peacekeeper opened the door and my grandmother turned to leave.
"If you can't, help her."
She didn't have to be specific I knew she meant Rue. As I boarded the train I knew I wouldn't be coming home. I had no one to come home to. But I'd be damned if the Capitol made me play the way they wanted me to.