If you are reading this, that means you have forced your way past the crappy summary in order to read yet another fanfic of the Hunger Games. Thank you, sir or ma'am, whichever you may be. :)

Please bear with me. This is my first actual story posted. I'm not quite sure how I did... feedback is always welcome.

*Edit: I'm in the middle of rewriting this, trying to add more detail, etc. Again, please bear with me. I'm still trying to get a writing style going...

Every teenage eye in the crowd watched as the representative sent from the Capitol, a short, scrawny woman with a bad attitude, took the stage. She began her drawn out speech about how being in the "Games" was an honor, how lucky you were if you were picked to be in them, blah, blah, blah. That story doesn't fool us. We all knew that if you were chosen to be in, you were going to die. District 3 tributes haven't had a good chance of surviving. They were some of the first ones killed in the past two Games. Why start a different trend now?

The pink bowl filled with the name of every single girl between 12 and 18 rolled onto the stage. Some were only entered once, others were entered many times. It's terrible that one has a higher chance of getting picked for this death sentence if he or she is poor and has needed to take loans. That's almost like getting two slaps in the face at once.

As for myself, I have very little chance of getting called. I've been too smart to try any type help from the Capitol. A small portion of food isn't worth getting called to be in a Hunger Games.

Out of nervousness, I almost miss the rep. call out the female tribute's name.

"Marrissa Bean."

I watch as a tenuous girl, Marrissa, I assume, gets up nervously out of her seat and walks slowly to the stage. She looks saddened by the sudden change that will determine the rest of her life. I don't blame her; it's a large load to take on at once.

The girls' bowl is moved out and quickly replaced by another in the color of blue. The male tribute's bowl. I feel my anxiety rise. Four of my friends had already been picked in different districts. I don't want to face them in a fight to the death.

There's not a chance. I try telling myself. I can't get picked; there are too many names in that bowl of theirs. The representative reaches into the bowl, wearing the plastic smile that many of the Capitol officials do. Chances are against it. There's no way I could be picked to go. What are the odds that-

"Jonathan Chantry"

My heart skips a beat. Never mind. I shakily stand up and join Marrissa on the stage as the representative gives yet another speech, one that I'm sure she's been planning for months.

Now what? I close my eyes, trying to keep, or at least look, calm. I have to face Ashley, Schuyler, Tyler, and Marticka? I don't have a chance… I begin to feel lightheaded and dizzy, but I ignore it.

They're my friends! I've known them for longer than I remember. I don't think I'd be able to go against them, even if I had to…

Apparently, while I was lost in thought, I began to tip over, as if I was going to blackout. Marrissa reaches a hand out and shakes me back to reality. "You okay?" she asks quietly to avoid attracting attention.

I quickly clear out the hopeless thoughts. "Yeah, I'm fine." Marrissa doesn't look like she believes me, but she stays quiet. I've never been a very good liar.

Walking behind her and the rest of the Capitol personnel, exiting the stage, the thoughts start to return. Please, don't let any of my other friends get caught in this death trap…

"Ashley English"

Ashley's mind went blank when she heard her named called out at the reaping. People around her started trying to get her to stand up. Did I just get called? She thought. No, there must be another "Ashley English" in District 1… She tried to get up, but her legs wouldn't allow her to. A few of the surrounding people had to help her to her feet. She carefully walked up to the stage, making sure she didn't collapse. When she finally got there, she felt dizzy. "May I sit down?" she asked the representative.

He looked at her strangely. "Sure, I guess. Just don't die before the games start, we don't want to pick someone else."

Heartless. Ashley thought. If I'm this bad now, how will it be in the arena? She just sat quietly and waited for the next tribute to be picked.

"Schuyler Taylor"

Schuyler popped right up, but not out of eagerness. "What?" he said. "You have to be kidding me? I'm a tribute with Ashley?" I don't want to have to kill her! "Are you sure you read that card right?"

The Capitol worker glared at him. "Yes, I am sure, now please, hurry up!"

Schuyler quickly jogged up to the stage. Ashley was just as surprised as he was. They had been friends for a good time, even before the Capitol takeover. Now they were going to have to fight each other to the death?

I hope someone else gets to her first, Schuyler thought, because I wouldn't be able to do the job. They both walked down the stage, led by the rushed representative.

"Marticka Davis"

Marticka had forgotten how to breathe when she heard her name called. The shock quickly subsided as her older sister elbowed her.

Why me? I'll never be able to fight. I'm not going to be able to fight friends. Is this a sick joke? The thoughts ran through her head. This is going to be a long month. She bit her lip as she stood on the stage.

"Tyler Lapolla"

Tyler got straight up, and walked calmly up to the stage. He, unlike other tributes, wasn't afraid of the Hunger Games. In fact, he looked forward to be called up for one. He could've volunteered in the past, but what's the fun in that? What was even better was that Ashley and Schuyler are both coming in as well.

I can finally get revenge on those two for helping make my life miserable.

Marticka gave him a weird look just before they turned to walk off the platform. She must've sensed something going on inside his head. He could smell the scent of blood already.

"Marrissa Bean"

Marrissa, even though she was the calmest and most responsible out of all her friends, started hyperventilating when her name was called. I can't stand the sight of blood. I'll probably lose quickly. She felt claustrophobic, her hands shaking. She almost fainted, but forced her jelly legs to move forward to the stage.

The male tribute, Jonathan, came up and stood next to her. He looked as bad as she did, like he would pass out himself. Marrissa grabbed his shoulder and shook him. His eyes opened wide, as if he had just woken up from a dream. "You okay?" she asked.

He paused for a moment, and then answered, "Yeah, I'm fine."

I hope he's not as bad as me, or else neither of us have a chance to win for the District.

"Joseph Cronen"

That figures. Joseph thought. I might as well take my spot up in front. He walked up and stood next to the female tribute, Cheyenne Donnelly. Joseph had heard that several people he knew had also been called as a tribute. He really didn't care. I probably won't have a chance anyways.

He stopped himself for a minute. But, maybe I can use my old pal Chantry to help me along. He smiled as a plan came into his mind.

"Ethan Jensen"

Ethan's mind jolted from his daydreaming. What? Me? But… He stood up to take his spot next to Rebecca Accord, the other tribute from District 5. She had also gone to elementary with him, but that didn't faze him any.

All of my friends are in these games! Jonathan, Marticka, Ashley, Schuyler, Tyler, everyone! Jonathan is my best friend, I can't kill him! Everyone else isn't as close... but they still mean something!

When Rebecca gave him a confused look, he tried to calm down, but he just couldn't. How could this be happening? Are all the ballots rigged or something? This doesn't make sense. They headed off the stage, Ethan nearly tripping down the stairs as he went.

"Brooklyn Davis"

Brooklyn had been horrified when her cousin had been chosen. Now, there was even more horror. I'm going in? But… Tecka is going in! She started to cry, unable to control it. Her body shuddered in fear. So far, she was the youngest to be chosen. She let go of her brother's hand.

Tyler watched his older sister take a place upon the stage.

"Tyler Davis"

The speaker said loudly. The siblings froze.

Brooklyn screamed, "No! He CANNOT come!"

Tyler slowly made his way to his older sister. He'd barely turned 12 this month. "I'm fine with…" he started to whisper to his sister, but she was glaring coldly.

"No." Tears sill ran down her face. "You can't come!"

"John Stoddard"

John placed his head between his knees. Everything has to happen to me. He thought glumly. All of the friends that I've known are somehow participating in this same set of Hunger Games. How the heck that happened, I don't want to even guess. I already know who my competition is, and I don't have a single chance.

People around him started yelling at him to get up. "Yeah, yeah," he said, "I'm going, give me a break." He got up, and one thought passed his mind while walking to the stage: At least give me time before I walk strait into my death sentence.

"Claire Holden"

Claire got up silently and walked up solemnly to the podium. What did I do to deserve this? I haven't needed to hurt anyone before, but now I have to go into the killing of the Games?

This was true, actually. Claire wouldn't hurt a fly, and even if she did, she'd make sure it was healed back up before it left her sight. Tecka, her cousins, many others… What am I going to do? Tears streamed down her face as she tried to take it all in. At least she had a few friends who haven't been called to death yet.

"Geoffrey Shaw"

That was one of them.

Geoff looked stunned as he conjured up what just happened. I'm going to fight…Claire?! But, how?! He probably would've been fine fighting anyone else, but Claire, along with Marticka, Ethan, and Jon?

Crap…crap…crap… he thought as he trudged up to the stage. Claire and he exchanged one last glance before they walked off the stage. Neither of them knew what would happen, nor did they want to know.

"William Black"

Billy frowned. I wish people would stop calling me that; my name is Billy! His mind scrambled to find what had just happened. By the looks of annoyance from a tribute not walking up to the stage, he guessed that he had become District 10's male tribute.

What's happening to all of us? He thought, finally getting up. First we get sent to all these random districts, I get sent to cow country, and now we have to fight each other? What are the odds? He stood next to some little girl named Zules Valdez.

Not enough that she gets an embarrassing name, but she has to fight at such a young age. What a cruel world... Billy and Zules walked off the stage, hoping that no other close friend(s) would be picked.

"Mason Keller"

Mason gasped a little louder than he meant to. He got up, taking one last look at his little brother and sister, and headed for the stage.

Suddenly, his little brother, Alex, ran up in front of him and yelled "You can't take Mason away! Take me instead! I'll volunteer for him!"

Mason quickly knelt down and held his hand over Alex's mouth. "Listen, Alex," he said in his ear, "you can't go. You have to stay here and take care of your sister."

Tears glisten in the little sibling's eyes as he yanked himself away. "No! You need to take care of mom here! You can't just leave us!"

Mason shook his head and said, "That's your job now, Alex."

Alex refused to leave. Mason finally turned to one of the guards. "Could you please take my brother back to his seat?" he asked. The guard nodded and carried the screaming 12 year-old back to the Kellers' seats. Mason ran up to the stage, where the other tribute, Claudia Guzman, was waiting.

"There's no one left to care for your brother and sister?" Claudia asked. Mason shook his head slowly, and she replied, "I'm sorry to hear that."

And that is it. I do realize it is confusing. I'm trying to work on that. It is only to explain some of the backgrounds of my characters.

Thank you for reading.