"Mommy? Read me that story again."
It is a cold night in District 10. The wind whips through the few trees, chilling those who are unfortunate enough not to have a fireplace to the bone. But in a small house, near the slaughterhouse, two people are as comfortable as can be- a young woman and her daughter.
They are by their own small fireplace, sitting in an ancient chair; the little girl curled up in her mother's arms as she speaks.
The mother laughs, tousling her child's curly brown hair. "Again, Linnet? You've must have heard it a thousand times!"
Linnet, the young girl, grins at her mother in a way only an eight year old can pull off. "Yeah, but it's so good!"
"Alright," The mother sighs. "When Panem was crea-"
"No," Linnet whines. "I want the book version. The one with the fake maps and all that."
"Fine. Get up, then."
Linnet obliges as the mother stands up, walking over to a small shelf, where an old book lies. As she takes it, Linnet jumps up and down excitedly, her brown curls flying and her blue eyes alight in delight.
"This is the story of District 14," Her mother begins, once they get back in the chair. Together, they read the ancient text.
Once, in the beginning of Panem, it was decided by the wonderful Capitol that there would be 13 districts- made public. But they also decided on a District 14, made secret, since they were slightly tentative about this one. They decided that the industry of District 14...would be beauty itself. It would produce art, music, books, singing, dancing...beauty.
They conducted an experiment. They paved away a spot, sending a group of 50, the most talented people in Panem, to go live there- or at least tried to.
The experiment went well- until the Dark Days, when there was a hideous rebellion. As time went on, the Capitol forgot about the group- and District 14 was never made. There are legends however, of some people mysteriously appearing in districts, never saying where they came from. And then-
From there, the two stop, for a huge chunk of the book is taken away.
"Show me the map, Mommy," Linnet pleads as her mother flips to it. In the book, there is a map of Panem, showing all 13 districts- plus the fantasy of the 14.
"It's right by our District," Linnet giggles. "In the woods. How silly would that be, to live in the woods?"
"Yes..." Her mother says, but has a dreamy look in her eye, as though she's far off.
"Mommy? Does District 14 REALLY exist?"
There is a pause in the house, in which you can only hear the crackle of the flames.
"Of course not," The mother says firmly, but with a look of both fear and anger. "Now isn't it time for bed with you? Remember, you start your feeding job tomorrow."
Linnet slumps as she gets up, looking sad as she goes over to her room, leaving the mother alone in the room.
"Oh, Linnet..." The mother sighs. "Someday, you'll have to know..."