Hey! so this is my first fanfic, so I know this isn't going to be perfect. Please leave a review and tell me what you think and what I can do to improve!
Alright, enough of me, Enjoy!
The chirping of the birds, the smell of the pine, the feel of the rough bark was all to familiar to me. You couldn't hear my brothers footfalls, mine either. We didn't speak. We didn't need to, we took comfort in the silence. After awhile my brother stopped and slung an arrow in his bow, his eyebrows furrowed in concentration as he stared at the doe. Just as he was about to let the arrow loose, ending the animals life, we here a shout.
"And...he misses!" it was a female voice – Ginger. She strides towards us, her long dark hair down in waves, her steely gray eyes shine in amusement. She sports a simple pair of jeans, a dark green long-sleeved shirt with her brothers hunting jacket. "Do you want to starve my family?" My brother – Osprey – asks her. She laughs, and wraps her lean arms around his neck and gives him a long kiss.
I wrinkle my nose at the scene. Ginger must see it because she laughs at my expression and continues kissing my brother. I turn away disgusted and check our snares.
"After the reaping, want to come over my house for our celebratory dinner for Lark?" Ginger asks.
Lark is Gingers' fourteen-year-old brother. He looks exactly like Ginger, except he's male. Lark is normally quiet and doesn't try to engage into conversation with anybody, which I am thankful for when we are in situations when Osprey and Ginger run off leaving Lark and I alone.
My brother sighs, "I can't, we're having ours for Pine, its her first reaping."
He's right. It is my first reaping, and am I scared. I watched countless years with my brother, holding my breath until the unfortunate child's name was read over the square. I always let out a breath when he was sparred that year, but immediately feel bad because of the child sent off to his or hers death sentence.
I can almost hear the pout in her voice, "Alright, I see you later then, need to go to the bakery." I hear the smacking of their lips when they kiss goodbye. And then she's gone.
We finish our hunt and go to the Hob, and we meet with our mother who is selling her hand sewn clothes there.
"Hey babes," she smiles at us and gives us both a loving kiss on our cheeks. I smile and return the kiss on the cheek.
"Hi Momma," Osprey and I say in unison. She returns to her work, her fast nimble fingers sewing rags together to make a toddlers shirt. I make my way to Sae's booth and grab us dinner – wild dog stew. When I'm digging in my worn sweaters pocket for coins, a soft hand covers mine. I look up and see Sae shaking her head.
"On the house, PineTree." I smile at the old nickname. I am about to protest, when she simply turns around and scoops up another bowl of soup for the next hungry district twelve citizen. I end up begrudgingly sitting on the wobbly stool and practically inhale my stew. I feel a pair of eyes on me, so I turn my head the slightest and am surprised at what I am met with – Katniss Mellark.
She wears a nice soft-looking shirt with a pair of black leggings. Her hair is in it's signature braid, but I see its slightly longer than the last time I saw her. When I observe her, I notice the flat stomach, which tells me her child has been born.
"Congratulations," I tell her, my hand gesturing towards her stomach. She nods and returns to her stew.
After we all finished our food, we went on our way home. When I open our house door I am filled with the sent of my father – coal dust and muck – it may be gross, but its my father.
"Daddy!" I yell running through the narrow halls looking for him. When I see him I jump in his waiting arms, hugging him tightly.
"Hey, baby girl." I smile, and move out of the way for my mother to give him his "welcome home kiss"
I go to my room and am met with my beautiful nine-year-old sister. Her gray eyes shine though she wears a frown. Her brown hair is matted, most likely haven't been washed in weeks. Her cheeks hollow and pale, as her whole body is as well.
"Hey Laur," I say, moving a few stranded pieces of hair out of her eyes. She smiles, but it looks more like a grimace. I smile at her and grab the brown paper bag in my pocket and show her. Her eyes light up a bit at the site. I smile and laugh.
"Yep, your mini mints!" I exclaim happily, I take one out and place it at her lips. She immediately opens her mouth and I pop it in. She closes her eyes in love for the mint and moans at the taste.
I laugh, "I know, its good."
I can't help but notice how much worse she looks. Ever since she was four years of age, she's been sick. We don't know what it is, she is just sick. She gets incredibly weak, coughs until she is exhausted and then runs high fevers. Its horrible.
But if there is something we for sure know, she isn't going to last to her first reaping.
Apart of me is relieved, that she doesn't have to endure the fear of the reaping and nail-biting nerves when signing up for tesserae, or anything reaping related.
But still, I don't want to lose her.
It's kind of an unspoken rule in this house, don't speak of it. We all know her end will be near, but that doesn't mean we speak of It. Some nights I can hear Momma crying in Daddy's arms, her sobs wracking her body making her weak and fragile like glass, one touch she'll break. Laurel musters all her energy to smile up at me, and blow me a kiss. I repeat the action and put my hand at her heart, "Love you," and she drifts off into her fifth nap that day.
In the morning, we all got prepared for the reaping. Since my brother is eighteen, its his last reaping. He does his thing. He grabs Daddy's old pair of slacks and a gray dress shirt he's worn to the reaping for three years. Momma rouses me from my slumber in bed with Laurel, telling me to follow her in her room. I follow and am met with a nice blouse, that my Momma tells me used to be hers, a dark green skirt with tiny flowery details on them and a pair of worn-in dress shoes. Once I am dressed and fairly clear to were its alright, my Momma does my hair.
She does the usual of a french braid down from the top of my hair. The braid ends at my waist, and my mom ties it off at the end with a rubber band. She pulls slightly on the ends of the braid to make my thick-brown hair seem thicker.
"Beautiful," she breathes with a small smile. I smile and hug her tightly. This hug says a lot of things, that can't and wont be said.
I'm about to walk to get Osprey when Momma stops me. I turn and look at her expectantly. She smiles sadly at me, her eyes welled up with tears and puts something in the palm of my hand. I open it to see its Laurel's necklace. I gasp and give it back already shaking my head.
"She wants you to have it, she told me it means a lot to her for you to have." I look at the worn chain and the metal arrow in the center. My sister found it at the Hob the day before she was sick. I hesitate to put it on my neck, but end up doing so. The cold metal of it all is a comforting distraction.
We make our way to the reaping a little while later. Were met by a chirping Effie Trinket, a drunk Haymitch Abernathy, and the StarCrossed Lovers of district twelve, and their new addition, a baby boy with bright blonde hair and fair skin, but unmistakable seam gray eyes. We soon learn his name is Sage. Effie Trinket reads out the names of the victors in order and then shows the Capitols video. I get so nervous, and start braiding the end of my braid – a nervous habit of mine. Its all to soon when she announces that its "Ladies first!" and telling us "May the odds be ever in your favor!" she moves her hand around in the bowl for dramatic affect before snatching a lone slip. She clears her throat and smiles, and speaks loud and clear into the microphone.
"The girl tribute for the annual Seventy-eighth Hunger Games is, Pine Brooks!" she exclaims loud and clear.
Me? no no, there has to be a mistake! At my sharp intake of breath, the girls around me immediately know its me. They part the way for me, and give me looks of pity. No, no it can't be me. Effie gestures with her hand for me to come, "Come dear." I stare at Effie, thinking the hand gesture reminds me of a the grand reaper taking away my last breath before death. I make my way to the stairs, and I am soon escorted by peacekeepers. Effie gives me a broad smile and lightly pushes me in front of the stage. "Well lets give her a hand!" Everyone is silent, they simply look at me with such horror, parents shaking their head, other children seething because I am a twelve-year-old. Then my eyes land on him.
He stands there with clenched fists, gritted teeth and furrowed brows in fury. I spend all my time looking at Osprey, not noticing that the boy tribute was called – Lace Keen.
I see his hand raising and his lips parting about to say the words that will ruin everything.
"DONT!" I yell at him. Everyone looks at me now, confused and shocked. "Don't you dare volunteer, you'll kill this WHOLE family!" I say. He looks at me with sad eyes, but nods glumly, tears staining his olive cheeks.
Effie coughs and smiles clearing a bit startled. I can hear the loud bark of laughter that comes from Haymitch. Effie gestures towards us, "Well shake hands!" I turn and examine him. He's definitely a Merchant, with the blonde mop of waves and the icy blue eyes, definitely not seam. He looks about sixteen. Maybe older, but definitely not eighteen.
"Now, here to our tributes Pine Brooks and Lace Keen!" No one claps, no one ever does.
But if one things clear, the odds weren't in my favor.
Thanks for reading!