A/N: Hi everyone. Here's my re-write of Chained hearts! Sorry to anyone who didn't want me to re-write it but I think this is for the best. The storyline is a bit different but the plot and core of the story is the same.
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
"I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice."
The history teacher reads the speech from the textbook at a dreadfully slow pace before looking up at the class with a grimace on her face. "Now class, this is the first mistake made by the leaders of our pasts. Everyone is not equal. Back then they were referring to those of different colour to them but the principal is the same to the current state of present day."
I roll my eyes and tap my pencil irritablely on my desk. We go through this every week in such excruciating detail I want to put an arrow through my brain.
Delly sticks her hand up and waves it excitedly.
"Yes Miss. Cartwright?" the teacher-I never bother to learn new names, there's a new sub nearly every week-asks. She has a toothy grin that shows off all her pearly white teeth so I christen her tooth face.
"Back then they judged colour?" Delly enquires.
"Oh yes, they thought it was the colour of someone's skin that seperated those who were equal and those who were not," tooth face answers.
"But that's ridiculous!"
"I know, we were very naive in the past. We were looking at the wrong people," tooth face explains. "We looked at colour when we should have looked at gender." She turns a page in the textbook and skim reads the next one, leaving us to ponder what she just said.
I stick my hand up and ask the same question I always do. "Why though? Why gender?" This question has gotten me stuck for years. Ever since I was a child and first saw one of those poor people chained up like an animal.
"Because women are greater," tooth face states as if obvious. "We did the work for those . . . men for centuries. We worked for them and were unfairly degraded. We still suffer today when there's justice in the world! We still suffer periods and pregnancies! Don't you think it's fair that we make them suffer like us?" Everyone looks at me expectantly, waiting for my answer. To watch me answer like everyone else does. But I don't. I never answer like they do. And that's what makes it fun for them to witness it.
"No," I say stubbornly. "It's not."
"What?" Tooth face's smile falters.
"No," I repeat. "It's not."
"That's enough Katniss! I heard you the first time!" Tooth face yells. "After school dentention for straight out defiance!"
Don't think that's harsh, I've had worse. My name's Katniss Everdeen and I live in a world of injustice. I live in a world were if your beliefs don't match everyone else's then there must be something wrong with you. I live in a world were you get punished for speaking your mind and voicing your thoughts. I live in a world were slavery is a popular fashion. Don't have one? Your going to get shunned. My family don't have a slave, but no-one must know that. You can get fined for that.
This world is a country called Panem run by the infamous President Coin. I'am located in District 5. About five districts from the main city, the Capitol. All 12 districts aren't the same in any way apart from in one detail: Slaves. Not just any slaves. Male slaves.
"I'm just telling you the truth," I tell tooth face. "But fine, whatever."
"One thing you must understand class is that the male species are scum. Scum that should be wiped from the face of the planet if only they weren't nessecary for the continuation of our existance," tooth face explains. "Miss. Everdeen is wrong. Everything we do is right. Everything we believe in is fair. The country's current political sitaution is fair and right and the way it should have been long, long ago."
I rub my temples and stare out the window at the dark, overcast skies. I haven't seen clear blue in the sky in years. A dark cloud hangs over the district because of our electricity and power plants. We have the biggest electricity bills in all of Panem. I start to regret speaking out in class because I'm going to have to listen to this lecture again after school. I've heard it so many times now I nearly know it off by heart. I wish it would be so easy that a given lecture could change my mind and beliefs but it can't.
I don't like the idea of slavery. As a child, I didn't question it because I thought it was just the way the world was, but when I was nine years old I saw a ten year old boy beaten up just for falling over while carrying a woman's shopping and I haven't felt the same about it since. It's been the way the world has been for over a hundred years now but I can't help but wonder how it happened. Who could have such an absurd and cruel mind as to think that something as horrific as slavery would be OK? A part of me hopes to never find out but another wishes to know because then I could at least understand why.
My mother never took a slave and that has put us in danger of being fined a huge amount of money in which we can't afford. No-one in my family has the heart to take one so we've been pretending we have one for over ten years now, when my mother's childhood slave passed away.
What always gets me thinking is, why? Why can't we just be equal again like all those years ago? Why does anyone have to suffer?
Why do we have to be so cruel?
"I called your mother."
I lift my head from the textbook tooth face-who I discovered is called Miss. Paylor-gave me to read over in detention and frown at her. "Why?" Hostility is smeared all over my tone but I don't correct myself for being so rude.
"This has been happening too much Katniss," Miss. Paylor says. "I'm going to discuss sending you to live with your aunt in District 12 with her."
"What?!" I yell, standing up and sending my chair flying backwards. She's a history teacher! She can't do that!
"You aunt is a visionary Katniss, she'd be good for you," Miss. Paylor says gently. "Maybe rub off on you a bit."
"Rub off on . . . your crazy!" I snap. There's a knock on the door and my mother comes in with my little sister Prim in close tow.
"Ah Mrs. Everdeen, I'm glad you could make it!" Miss. Paylor says. "Sit down Katniss." When I don't sit down she glares and repeats through clenched teeth, "Sit. Down. Katniss." I grumble and sit down, tugging my seat in close to the desk and slouching.
"Is everything alright?" Mother asks weakly.
"I'd like to talk to you about your daughter," Miss. Paylor says. Prim walks around mother and sits beside me with a look on her face that asks, 'What did you do now Katniss?' I shrug to her in reply to the expression.
"Yes?" Mother asks.
"As you know your daughter has rather . . . unique opinions on the econmy's current position and she's been very vocal about it," Miss. Paylor explains. "Well, I thought that maybe relocating her to live with your sister in District 12 might do her some good." Prim gasps and clamps her hands over her mouth in horror.
"Why?" Mother frowns, wringing her hands nervously. She never goes out in public unless nessecary and she gets skiddish when she's out.
"Miss. Trinket is a marvellous woman Mrs. Everdeen!" Paylor replies. "I think she'd rub off on your daughter in a big way. Get her back on the right track and show her what's right to believe in the world."
Mother looks and me tilts her head, her icy blue eyes almost looking through me. "Maybe it would."
"What?!" I exclaims. "Mother your not serious!"
"Mom!" Prim exclaims as well. "Please don't send her away!"
"My sister would make a good mentor," Mother muses. "And she loves having company." Am I really hearing this or have I wax in my ears or something? Is she crazy?!
"Well it's settled then!" Paylor says. "I'm sure you can arrange a train for your daughter soon enough." Oh my god I'm going to kill this woman. How dare she go niggling in my private life and suggesting I move away!
"Yeah," Mother whispers. "I can."
Once we're home the yelling begins.
"Mom what the hell is wrong with you!?" I scream. "I don't want to move in with Aunt Effie!"
"It's on your own head Katniss," Mother says as she stiffly sits down on the sofa. "You should have shut your mouth!" Prim runs over to her and takes her hands in hers.
"Mom please don't send her away!" she begs. "She was just voicing her opinion! We're all on the same page here in the econmy's situation."
"But she shouldn't have been so stupid as to be so vocal about it," Mother answers. "It's happening too often, she's putting us all at risk. They could come and search the house, find we don't have a slave and then where would we be?
"I'm not going to Aunt Effie's," I state, folding my arms.
"You will," Mother replies. "I'm not having you put us in danger anymore."
"All I said was no!" I say. "I just disagreed with her!"
"The subject's closed Katniss," Mother says. "Your going and that's that." Prim sighs and rests her forehead on their clasped hands, her shoulders shaking as she cries.
I guess the injustice of the world doesn't just stick with the Slavery of Males.
2 days later:
"I'm going to miss you little duck," I whisper as I hug my sister at the train station.
"I'll miss you too Katniss," she replies, hugging me tighter. "This is so unfair." I let go of her and stand up straight.
"Blame mom," I state. Mother stands beside Prim, her face stoic and her body stiff. She looks right through me, as if looking at the train that sits behind me, not even realizing I piled the blame on her. I glare at her before grabbing my bags and lugging them to the train. Half-way there I frown and turn back round. "Hey mom, does Effie have a slave?" I ask. Prim nudges mother to get her attention and repeats the question when she looks at her in confusion.
"Yes," Mother answers, looking back at me as she does so. "Her childhood one died just last week but she's got a new one now. That's my only regret of sending you over there. You'll have to live with one."
"Do you know his name?" I ask.
Mother frowns and bites the inside of her cheek. "I think his name's Peter," she says. "I honestly don't know . . . no wait, it's Peeta. Yeah, that's it."
I snort and shake my head. "That's not a name mom. I think your losing you head again. It's probably Peter." HA! Who'd name their kid Peeta? That's just cruel. Get him beat up for being a bread boy! I smile at the thought of a bread boy and shake my head to get the silly thought out. There's no room for silly thoughts now because it wastes time and precious brain space. Waving goodbye to my mother and Prim, I get into the train to District 12, hoping to get the trip over and done with and to be able to get back home.
Little did I know, I'd never return to District 5 again.
A/N: So, it's a bit different. I hope you'll still think it's OK though. I hope I'll see all of my regular reviewers of Chained Hearts ^-^
Please R&R :)