Hi! So, this is my first Hunger Games fanfiction... so please don't be too harsh with me...! And please don't tell me about Hunger Games inaccuracies- I know I have some and they're meant to be like that- this is Fanfiction, not the works of Suzanne Collins. On that note... Disclaimer time! Whoop-dee-do. I don't own the Hunger Games, but I own the characters.
"Come on, Diamond, please?" begged Caleb. "Volunteer with me?"
It was Reaping Day- the day the Tributes are decided for the Hunger Games. And we were standing in District One's training center for Careers. I was a Career, and so was Caleb. We'd trained all our lives to be put in an arena and killing the others who were dropped in there with us. Not that I minded. Being a Tribute, representing District One, was a great honor. Caleb, who was seventeen, wanted to Volunteer to go in place of the the one who was Reaped. I was sixteen, and had a year less training than him. I shook my head. "I don't think so, Caleb. I still think I need at least another year's worth of training."
"No, you don't. You've been training for this since you were born. Sixteen years, Diamond. Sixteen. And we'll get even more when we go to the Training Center at the Capitol. The other Tributes will have about a week's worth of training."
"Still..." I say. "You've had an extra year's worth of training over me."
"So? I've been waiting for you. You didn't want to go last year because you said you were too young and unready. So of course, I had to watch Tony volunteer and then wind up dying."
"What if you had taken the Reaped kid's place? You could've wound up in Tony's situation. You could've died," I say, reaching out for his hand.
Caleb swatted it away. "I would've been smart enough to dodge that spear. That District 6 kid, it's a miracle she won last year."
"He had pretty good odds," I said. "She got a good score in the Training, from what I heard."
Caleb sniffs disdainfully. "An eight isn't that good. I myself plan on getting a ten or above."
I rolled my eyes. Caleb's my best friend, but he was really full of himself.
"Please?" he begs once more. "Please, Diamond? I'm going to Volunteer, wether you join me or not. I'm done waiting."
I sigh. "We'll see, I guess. Anyways, we better get going," glancing at the clock on the wall, I startle myself. "Caleb! The Reaping starts in fifteen minutes! We'd better go."
And so off we went, to the Reaping.
"Hello, District One!" a tall, skinny, balding man was standing on the stage. "I'm Gregory Chaise, the District One escort!"
The crowd applauds. I actually hear whooping. Gregory, or Greg, has been District One's escort since before I was born. And he always puts on a good show at the Reapings.
"Well then, let's get down to business!" he nods. "I'm going to switch it up a bit! Gentlemen first this year!" he reached his hand into the Reaping Ball containing the boys' names. "And may the odds ever be in your favor!" he cries as he pulls out a slip of paper.
For some reason, I realize that I'm holding my breath. I slowly exhale.
Greg reads the name on the paper. "Maxwell Davis!" he roars.
A boy who can't be much older than fourteen, slowly approaches the podium after being given a shove from an older boy who seems to be his brother. And then I hear the cry that I've been expecting. Caleb has pushed through the crowd. He thrusts the boy back, yelling, "I volunteer!"
Maxwell moves back and charges to the older boy as Caleb leaps up onto the stage.
"That's the spirit, young man! What's your name?" Gregory nods.
Caleb smiles confidently. "Caleb Grayson." "Well, everybody, let's welcome our newest Tribute, Caleb Grayson!"
The crowd applauds, cheers, and whoops. I, on the other hand, sigh. I wanted to go into the Games with Caleb, but I still haven't changed my mind about not being ready. Caleb catches my eye and grins. I look away.
"And now for the ladies!" Greg says merrily, reaching his hand into the girls' Reaping Ball. "Glitter Fairfield!"
A young girl, about age 12, who is close to the stage, clinging onto another girl who is presumably her twin, and is squeezing an older woman's hand, her mother's, obviously, looks up Gregory with wide, scared eyes.
"Well, come on now, don't be shy!" Greg smiles.
The little girl slowly let's go of her mother and her sister. I look at Caleb, who is looking at the girl, rolling his eyes. I can almost read his mind. This will be my District Partner? A twelve-year-old who looks like she's never seen a weapon in her life?
I couldn't let this happen. Not because Caleb deserved a better District partner- the girl was too young. Sure, I hadn't wanted to enter this year, but having such a little girl enter was just unfair. And none of the other Careers would Volunteer for her, because they knew that Caleb and I were supposed to be a pair and they expected me to take her place.
The crowd's eyes on the girl, the Careers' eyes on me, I launch myself forward, heart beating quicker than it should, screaming, "I volunteer!"
The girl, who is just starting to climb the steps to the stage, looks at me with clear, pale blue eyes that are so wide you can see more white parts than the blue, shrinks back and runs back to her mother as I leap up the steps.
"Nice of you to join me." Caleb, who is smiling and waving at the crowd, mutters at me through closed teeth.
"Another Volunteer?" Greg tries to act surprised, but it's obvious that he isn't. This happens every year. If you're Reaped, a Volunteer will save your butt. That's just how things go in District One. And Two and Four.
"What's your name, Sweetheart?"
"Diamond." I say in between breaths. "Diamond Reed."
"Well, Diamond, it's good to see strong people stepping up for weaker ones. Anyways, let's give a round of applause for Diamond Reed protecting the Reaped One!"
Now the little girl's nickname is the Reaped One. I shudder as the crowd applauds. I look at the little girl, who is clinging onto her mother for dear life, as though she expects to be taken away for the Games anyways. I look at my family- my mom, my dad, and my three brothers. My mom has a few tears rolling down her cheeks, but she knows that this is what I've been training for my whole life. My dad looks a little somber as he calls out my name, beginning a chanting round. My brothers are whooping and yelling, as if they don't know what could happen to me when I get to the arena.
"Now, how about the Tributes shake hands?" Greg smiled. I turned to face Caleb. I reached out, like I did earlier, except this meant a lot more. That and I had to take his right hand and shake it, not seek it for comfort. But now, I don't need comfort. I am ready.
Here's the Tribute List:
District 1 Girl: Diamond Reed: Age 16
District 1 Boy: Caleb Grayson: Age 17
District 2 Girl: Sadie Forbes: Age 18
District 2 Boy: Miles Halifax: Age 18
District 3 Girl: Samantha Greene: Age 16
District 3 Boy: Caden Montague: Age 16
District 4 Girl: Cassandra Sewall: Age 18
District 4 Boy: Lawrence Walsh: Age 18
District 5 Girl: Lily Wade: Age 14
District 5 Boy: Marcus Hayes: Age 15
District 6 Girl: Lark Griiffiths: Age 13
District 6 Boy: Mitchell Underwood: Age 15
District 7 Girl: Kassidy Baylor: Age 16
District 7 Boy: Gabriel Blackthorn: Age 18
District 8 Girl: Azalea Kent: Age 12
District 8 Boy: Leo Herrald: Age 17
District 9 Girl: Dawn Ashfeild: Age 15
District 9 Boy: Blake Crest: Age 16
District 10 Girl: Thalia Springs: Age 15
District 10 Boy: Marcus Sage: Age 13
District 11 Girl: Olive Dunseburry: Age 14
District 11 Boy: Ray Seeder: Age 18
District 12 Girl: Artemis Taylor: Age 15
District 12 Boy: Gerald Pine: Age 17
R&R please :)