A/N: Here's the reaping recap! Next stop: the Capitol! In a few chapters, we'll be in the arena! (Sorry for the delay, I was pretending I was going to be able to complete NaNoWriMo but that failed pretty completely so… back to fanfic I guess.)
CHAPTER THREE – DON'T FEAR THE REAPER
I'm woken from my nap (in the most comfortable bed I've ever slept in) by a loud banging on my compartment door. I know without looking that Mimi's on the other side of the door—I can hear her hollering at me.
"Dagan! Dagannnnn! You have to come out here, darling, it's time for the reaping recap!"
Reluctantly, I leave my cozy bed and head out the door. It's important for me to see what I'm up against, see who my opponents are. There are two couches in the main compartment, and I choose the empty one. Both mentors, Mimi, and Aviva crowd onto the other one. Fine.
Mimi turns on the TV just in time for District 1, which is the same as always: a melee to get to the stage. This year's tributes are both tall and blonde wearing proud sneers and expensive clothing.
District 2 yields two more fearsome tributes: a slim, dark, sly girl with a charcoal braid that she uses as a weapon on her way to the stage, and a hulking, hairy, beast of a boy named, of all things, Fenris. He snarls at the camera and at the girl, Delilah.
District 3's tributes are both small and sad. The girl, Siri, is only 13, while the boy, Cable, is a walking bag of bones. He looks as though he hasn't eaten a full meal in years.
District 4, the last of the Career districts, delivers two more watery tributes: Nereida, fit and tanned, and Caspian, who is, according to the announcers, in his last year of eligibility, his first on the sea, and already a Captain. A formidable tribute, to be sure.
The next few districts fly by without much to distinguish them. Although the girl from 6 is horrendously ugly, and the girl from 7 preternaturally beautiful, all the male tributes and the girl from 5 are unremarkable.
District 8's male tribute, Lowell, has a certain cheeky charm to him. When his district partner tries to shake his hand, at the last moment he moves it out of the way and instead smoothes down his hair. He turns directly to the camera and winks. Then, as he is escorted off the stage—and here I know something is up, because they rarely broadcast this part, usually electing to skip to the next district—he appears to trip and go tumbling down the stairs—only to leap up and take a bow, grinning broadly.
Watching his antics, Aviva sighs impatiently, and Mimi tuts and mutters something about "not taking the Games seriously," but I think that this is someone I'd want to ally with. If only for entertainment value.
Next I have to sit through the excruciating recap of my own reaping. Aviva comes off well, seeming haughty and untouchable. She could be a District 1 Career. I can already hear the Capitol boys falling in love with her, the Capitol girls yearning to be her. I don't fare anywhere near as well. I am small, weak. I hesitate too long after Mimi calls my name, and I am slow making my way through the crowds. The camera thoughtfully zooms in on my shaking hands, revealing my affliction to all and sundry. The commentators dismiss me without a second thought. I am not a contender.
I see one more shot of Aviva and I standing on the platform before the camera cuts to District 10. District 10 has a large boy, Ralph, who looks like he could be a threat but for the stupid look in his eye which makes him resemble the cows he herds, and a 12-year-old, Linnea.
District 11 and 12 both reap tributes on the younger side of the scale, Avalon and Linden from 11 and Aphra and Collier from 12. All are scrawny, underfed kids, and none are memorable, and you can tell the announcers think so too, rushing through their reapings to get to the betting odds.
Mimi turns off the TV and we sit in silence, each thinking our own thoughts. I have a feeling that Aviva and I are thinking the same thing: this is my competition. For me to live, they must die. Maybe she is calculating her chances, thinking who she can take out.
I am wondering who will be the one to deal the blow that ends my life.
In just a few days, I suppose I will find out.