A/N: yes, I know this chapter is somewhat short, but I feel it suits these quiet characters well, and I wanted to get another reaping done for all my faithful readers. I hope you like them, because I found the irony of their situations very unique from the usual district one-career tributes. So sorry about the shortness, but here is the District #1 Reaping.
(oh yeah, almost forgot, the blog is completed, and will be updated as more tributes are added to the story. Let me know if you cannot find it, but it should be found at the url- .com)
Crusten 'Crust' Riley
I run down the street, evading the flames that lick at my toes. I feel like I'm going to pass out, but I keep running, trying to evade the flames. I come to a corner, and the flames have stopped, but that is when I drop into a pit. I am flying through some blackness before; I am dumped outside a red-bricked building. It is now pouring rain, wiping away any chance of my burning alive. Instead, now the rain is beginning to flood the streets, and the level is at my knees. I bang on the door, praying that someone is home. That someone can save me from the increasingly heightening water. I scream even louder, thrust my fists even harder. Finally, the lights inside are thrust on. But the water has now moved several inches up, just past my belly button. I shiver in discontent, and continue banging, hoping it will hurry this person along. Darkness hits again now, I know I'm dead. There would be no way for me to survive that high rising water. But yet, I am thrust into yet another place. I recognize it as the training academy. I am then pushed into a fight with another boy, about my age I guess. We battle long and hard, I am panting as he pins me down. Right as he plants the sure fire death punch, I awake, screaming from the sheer terror.
I immediately bolt upright in the bed. Sweat dripping from my forehead has made a puddle on my pillow. That is when I realize; I have bitten through my cheek again. In agony, I stumble to the bathroom, and flip on the lights. Bad move however, because now I can't see worth s***. Once my eyes finally adjust, I see I have done more than simply bitten my lip, because my forehead, of which I thought had sweat dripping down, turns out to be a large gash across my hairline, leaked blood down and trickling onto my shoulder blades. I can't help but shudder from the sheer amount of gore. But that just so happens to be, when I pass out from the loss of blood.
Leia Cae Kent
When I awake, I know that something is wrong with Annie, because I hear a doctor bustling quietly through our shared bedroom door. I immediately sit up, to see Annie shaking, and shivering. Oh no, not another fever. I swear she gets worse as the weeks bear on. When we moved here, to Panem, we prayed the advanced treatments would help to cure her. We were wrong though. They seem to have only made her worse. On her most recent scans, she lit up like a light bulb, which basically means she is more cancer than herself. I hate this nasty disease that has plagued her since we were young. I remember how this world of medically driven existence came into our lives. When she was three, a simple nosebleed gone bad, allowed us to find out my baby sister has leukemia. We had originally thought soon after, she had achieved remission, a looming light in the distance. An idea that she would be okay, but unfortunately, that news turned faulty rather fast. Now, we pray her days will come easier. As burdening as it is for her to be with us, we don't necessarily pray that she leaves. It would be too heart breaking to lose her. But yet, we know that trying to keep her here, is tearing her to shreds. We know she won't be able to hold out much longer. And, of all days for my sister to fall ill, it has to be a day when we are unable to stay with her. The reaping has come once again, and we are forced to leave her bedside. The peacekeepers are kind however, allowing for her to stay in bed, rather than trek outside into the town square. I pull myself this sparkly outfit. A plain black trouser and a black leather jacket perfectly accent my sparkly red blouse, which compliments my straightened long blond hair quite well. Once I step into the kitchen, I see Ella Mae and Lucy Rae are complimenting each other with two gorgeous red sundresses. Ella Mae's has a black sash across her waist with black polka dots plastered all throughout the red. Lucy Rae's is the same but with white instead of black. I can't help but laugh as they skip in circles out back. It's always great when they are having fun, because it lightens my own heart. And that's what I need today, as Annie Jae is sick yet again.
Crusten had to go and crack his head open this morning. Of all days, it's the reaping and we had to go to the ER. He is f***in 21 for Pete's sake. How come a 21 year old injuries himself in his sleep? That just is beyond my reach. I guess I just cannot understand a 21 year old. He better thank me for finding him passed out, if I hadn't found him when I did, he'd be dead. He's lost so much freaking blood, it's amazing the dude's alive. Our bathroom had a sheer plastering of blood, pooling on the ground. It was so sickening that I almost puked on him; I aimed for the sink instead.
Mr. Baric (yes that's what I call my adoptive dad) came out and told us to go home and get ready for the reaping. I take Pepper by the hand and swing her onto my back. I love the way she giggles at that, it's one of few things that make me smile. Once I'm at home, I let Hallah dress Pepper for me while I go change. I know these days, when someone in our patchwork family may be reaped, are rather hard on Baric and Wendy. Luckily, there is just one more for Barley, and two for Hallah, then there's me, I have 4 more after today. But Pepper, if she lives long enough, will have 7 dreaded reapings to put Ms. Wendy through. Unfortunately, and I know this way of thinking shouldn't be done, but it is- I'm slightly grateful, that it appears Pepper won't live long enough for the reaping. I feel horrible for this thinking, but I already know it to be true in my heart. Her cancer has grown to stage 4S, which is not commonly cured. I already, actually, we already know that Pepper will die. The only question for us is when. But I can't dote on that fact now, so I pull on some plain grey trousers. I look at myself in the mirror, and I already can see that my life was and is destined for sadness, for Christ's sake, Pepper was born sick. I can't help but punch the mirror in. I let tears roll out, and I just keep banging my fits into the mirror, I let out a garble cry, and then Baric is at my side. He lets me cry into his shirt, it makes a mess. But after about twenty minutes or so, I have cried all I can. I pull back from Baric's shirt, and have to wipe my nose. He asks what's wrong, but I can't bear to think about it. I pull on my simple grey polo. It feels a bit tight, but I think it's my breathing. I already know that either Hallah or me will have to volunteer, and that I'm going to volunteer, because I want the chance to kill Crust.
Ella Mae Kent
I love this little red dress, it used to be Annie's, but mama gave it to me as a special gift for today. But I haven't quite figured out why today is so special. But I don't et it faze me. My sister- Lucy Rae and me, we are racing to town, it's silly though because she never beats me. I wish Leia Cae would race with us, but I think she's what mama calls depressed. I don't know why though, it's supposed to be a holiday today. We get to wear fancy clothes, and everyone goes to the big town- LA in the middle of District 1. We live in what Leia Cae calls a suburb of the big city-LA. I think she means neighborhood, but I don't really know, I'm only eight. So I end up beating Lucy Rae to the square, which I knew I would. But I'm going so fast, that I bump into this sad looking boy. I don't know why he is sad, but he is. And when I say hi, he just stares lankly into the distance. How rude is what I want to say, but mama has taught me better, so I skip over to my family. For some reason, Ella says good-bye and goes to stand next to the sad boy in a line. I ignore it, but turn to Lucy Rae for a game of patty-cake. I wonder what holiday this is.
Crusten 'Crust' Riley
Eventually the hot ER nurse finishes stitching me up, and I am released. Apparently in my nightmare, I managed to get a concussion and lose a lot of blood, but even more surprising is that Kye is the boy that saved my life this morning. I can't figure why though. He or Hallah will have to volunteer today. It's the only way for me to pay my debt to the academy. And so why he was nice, is beyond me. However, Wendy has brought my reaping outfit to the hospital, because we have to go straight to the town square in LA, which is an hour from here. So I 'borrow' the nurse's locker room thing, and grab a cool shower, I have a lot of blood to get off to look presentable. About 15 minutes later, I am in my gorgeous suit, and Wendy and I have left for the square, hopefully we will be on time.
Leia Cae Kent
At the square, I stand in the 18 sections. All the girls are so nicely dressed, and I feel out of place. It looks like a less obscene capitol corner to me, but I guess it's because almost always, and 18 gets picked. I guess they want to look good or whatever. I inch my way towards Ally who's standing off to the side. I guess she feels just as out of place as I do. Luckily we feel right at home wit each and lunch directly into conversation, I feel relief wash over my nerves as we discuss the impending reaping. Ally tells me not to fret, that there will no doubt be careers dying to take the place of tribute. But I don't feel that happy about it. I worry because I don't know, maybe not. Just as that thought comes across, our Mayor takes the stage. I've sort of forgotten his name, but that is okay because of what happens when Mr. Quickly, the escort steps up to his place at the mic.
He comments on how, we, district one, are always the most cheerful of all the districts during this annual holiday. He then thanks the mayor, who he clearly doesn't know the name of. The crowd bursts into laughter when he settles with Mr. Mayor I can't remember the name of. He decides to make a change, and starts with the boys. I turn in that direction and wait for some boy's doom to be revealed.
When Mr. Quickly calls the young man's name up to the stage, I don't hear anything but my heartbeat. I see it's a scrawny kid that wouldn't last five seconds in the arena. I hesitate for a second, but when I catch a glimpse of Crust, my doubts are resolved. My hand shoots up without permission, and I begin a slow jog up to the stage. Quickly thanks me for my brave volunteering move, and asks for my sibling. I immediately give Crust what I call the 'death stare' until he finally, steps up to his place beside me. Crust appears strong and sturdy next to me, but I don't let it get to me. I puff my chest out, and try to give the other tributes something to remember. And I get the perfect chance when the girl tribute, Leia Cae Kent, steps up to the stage, and not a single girl steps up to take her place. I can see she is shaking slightly, trying not to crack under the pressure, but yet, I know she won't last much longer. A little girl, no more than 7 or 8 years old, comes up to the stage, and grasps onto her crumbling sister. Boldly, I take hold of Crust's hand, and that little girl's, who takes hold of her sister's, and we lift our hands up, as if in triumph. After the roar of applause I have created dies down, each girl gives a small curtsey and, Crust and I take our own bows. With that, we turn around on our heels and march into the justice building. As the doors shut, the girls breakdown, and I already know these next few weeks, will be Hell.