Chapter 1

As I walked down the street, a feeling of fear crept up on me. I knew that something was coming, but I wasn't sure what it was yet. All I knew was that my brothers and I had to get out of here, and quick. The Capitol was gaining more power. The rebels still had control over Panem, but the few that still wanted to have Panem the way it used to be were starting to regroup. The few citizens that remained in district 5 were starting to choose sides. My parents chose the rebels, and that's what took their lives. Quite a few people in our district want Panem to be the way it used to be, and they didn't like the fact that my parents didn't. I still remember the fear in their eyes when they were taken away from us. The last thing that I heard my mother tell me was to keep my brothers safe, and I made a promise to do that. We have been living off of the woods. I learned to gather and my brothers, Jonathan and Jacob, learned to hunt. We have learned to trade with others in our district for other necessities, and have gained respect of some of the elders by doing so. The elders are a group of the oldest in our district. They make sure that there is peace and that no trouble happens. So far everything has been peaceful, but I still feel like something is going to happen. Lately I have been keeping a watchful eye on everyone that I know, and others that I don't. I feel like I am betraying the few people that I have grown close too, but I can't help it. My brothers and I are going to be safe. Nothing is going o happen to them. They are all that I have now; and they are not going to be taken away from me like my parents were.
When I finally got to the little shack that we call home, I saw that Jacob had started a small fire. It is nearing dusk, and the dinner needs to be made. Being the only woman on the household, I am expected to cook and clean. I still make my brothers do some of the work, but it doesn't really matter. As long as I don't have to deal with cleaning and preparing the animals that we eat, I am fine with that. I have never had a knack for that kind of stuff. It disgusts me. I would be a vegetarian if I didn't need the protein to survive.

Survive... What a small word with so much meaning. My brothers and I have survived for 4 years without our parents, and we have done pretty well. But still. It is hard sometimes. There are days when there hasn't been enough rain; therefore, not enough plants. And there are days when there just aren't any animals. We have once gone without meat for 2 weeks. That was a hard time. But, that is what we must go though. Life is hard. Especially being a 17 year old girl with two younger brothers to take care of and no one to help. Jonathan and Jacob have been so much help, but they are only 13. And I know that they miss our parents as much as I do. But there is nothing that we can do about that now.

When Jonathan comes in the door, he carries his game bag.

"Anything good?" I ask.

"Some squirrel, a rabbit. But other than that, not much. I saw a birds nest, so maybe tomorrow I can get some eggs and we can have a decent breakfast"

"Sounds good." I take the bag and set it on the small table of ours. Jacob comes over to take the animals to clean and gut them. I walk to our basket that holds all of the plants that we use for food. I take out some rosemary and the two potatoes that I found. Jonathan looks at me with this gleam in his eye.

"You found potatoes? Where?"

"By the small lake. There was a patch of them. I was hoping that tomorrow you could possibly put a net around it so animals will stay out."

"Sure! Anything to make sure that we have some potatoes."

Potatoes are a rarity in our home. They are so hard to find. Whenever they are found; we save them for special times only. Like a birthday. Speaking of birthdays, Jacob and Jonathans birthdays are coming up soon. I will have to think of something special to get them. Maybe I can try to trade some potatoes for a new shirt, or maybe even some paper and pencils. I know that the boys love to draw and write. If we can get those potatoes, it would really help. After I go gathering tomorrow I will stop by the mayor's office to see if we can trade. He loves potatoes more than anyone in our district and I know that he will gladly trade some paper and pencils for them. As I finish preparing for dinner, I know that the boys will love their gift.