Author's Note

Hi everyone!

As promised, here is Forever Forgotten. (Finally!)

My name is Gemma and I will be writing the first chapter of this story. :D My friend, Jasmine, will write the next and then I the next and so on. ;)

I thought since this is your first time meeting us, you'd like to get an idea of who we are so that you can picture us when we PM you or whatever you like to do so I'm going to describe Jasmine's looks to you and what she's like and I hope she will do the same for me next chapter! ;P

Jasmine has long, straight, beautiful blonde hair. Her eyes are bright green and she is average height for a 14 year old. She is a little bit crazy sometimes but that's why we love her! She is thin and tanned and she is a really good gymnast. She is writing a Peter Pan fanfiction that is absolutely brilliant and her pen name is moonshroom420. She is a truly beautiful girl with a kind heart and I am very happy to be writing this fanfiction with her! ;) She is my bestest ever friend and I love her with all my heart!

Love you Jasmine!

We both really appreciate reviews!

On with the first chapter!

Chapter 1:

The hot summer sun beats down on my blonde hair as I cross the street into the cool, sweet shop of district twelve. I gasp in relief as the cool air, hinted with the smell of sugar, hits my face. The bell at the top of the door tinkles as I enter and my father looks up from the desk, smiling at me.

"Hi, Maysilee." But his smile doesn't reach his eyes. I remember fleetingly the day we found out my mother was dead. He had looked just like this.

A teacher pulled my twin sister, Nikaela, and I out of class that day.

"Your father is here to pick you up early," the teacher told us.

She escorted us out of the school and out the front where dad was waiting for us.

"What's up dad?" Nikki asked and something in her voice suggested she sensed there was something wrong.

He smiled but it did not reach his eyes. "There's no time to explain now!" he said, falsely cheery.

We followed our father back to the shop, whispering nervously.

"What do you think is going on?" I asked my sister quietly.

"I don't know, May. I think there might be something wrong with dad."

When we walked through the doors, I grabbed hold of my sister's jacket to stop her from going further into the shop. Men in white jackets with helmets to cover their faces stood amongst the coloured shelves. Peace Keepers.

"Dad, what's going on?" Nikki asked slowly. The Peace Keepers come regularly to check we're doing the right thing in the store but something about the way they held their guns was ominous.

Two of them came in behind us and held our hands behind our backs.

One of the Peace Keepers already in the shop lifted the helmet off his head. His hair was grey and his face was lined. He grinned maliciously. "Your mother… has had a… tragic accident." He told us in a failed attempt at sympathy. My belly twisted. Rage built up inside of me and I wanted to cry and scream.

I struggled. "What did you do to her?" I screamed at them.

"Our job," growled the helmetless Peace Keeper. All of the guns were pointed at us. "Your mother was incredibly foolish. She thought she could out smart us; get her children out of the Games."

I struggled with all my might but the Peace Keeper was too strong. "Where is she?" I asked them, pouring all of my hatred into the words. When I got no answer I yelled, "Tell me where she is!"

Silent tears were pouring down my father's face as he whispered, "Maysilee, she's gone." He let out a choked sob.

"What?" I screeched at him. Then turning on the Peace Keepers, "You killed her! You sick, twisted…" A hand was clamped over my mouth so the rest of my words were muffled. Grey Hair laughed a cold, merciless laugh.

"We're willing to make a deal."

I stopped struggling.

Nikaela's head snapped up from the bowed position it had been occupying. "What do you want from us?"

"If you make this out as a tragic accident and keep it quiet… we will make sure neither of your girls enters the Hunger Games."

I gasped. It was every parents dream to have their children safe from the Capitol's games.

The Hunger Games was punishment for the rebellion when all thirteen districts came together to rebel against the Capitol. District thirteen was destroyed and as a reminder never to try to overthrow them again, the Hunger Games were introduced.

Annually, two children (a boy and a girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen) from every district are picked to be thrown into an arena with each other and fight to the death. Only one ever comes out. Every twenty-fifth Hunger Games is called a Quarter Quell. The Game Makers put a nasty twist on the games to make it harder on the tributes or their families.

I could see the battle raging in my father's eyes. A flame flickered deep within. Was it hope? Hope that we may survive until we're eighteen? Hope is something everyone is starved of in district twelve. At the same time, water attempts to quench that fire and I know what he's thinking. What if they can't do it? If we came out and told everyone the truth we would all be dead. I tore my eyes away from his and he cleared his throat.

My father's eyes slowly rose to meet the Peace Keeper's. "I accept," he said, in a defeated voice. Anger seemed to rise up and his voice shook dangerously as he said, "But if you EVER… break your end of the deal, overnight the whole district will know what happened to Kayla."

Grey Hair laughed again. "I think you know what will happen if you break your end of the deal."

And we did.

It wasn't until the Peace Keeper that was holding me let go that I realised he had been keeping me standing up. My knees gave way and I slumped to the ground, covering my face so that the Peace Keepers couldn't see the tears now streaming out of my eyes.

Nikaela walked over and knelt beside me, hugging me and resting her cheek on my head, trying to comfort me as her tears dripped onto my neck and ran down my shoulder under my shirt. Dad came over and knelt down beside both of us. He pulled us into a three-way hug that was short lived as Grey Hair kicked the legs out from under my father making him fall onto the ground. Grey Hair laughed and this time it sounded maniacal.

I made to jump up, fully intending on hitting Grey Hair as hard as I could but felt my sister's restraining hand on my shoulder.

We slept in the same bed that night, my sister and I. Her hands were tangled in my own mess of long, golden hair. A sisterly bond made stronger by a tragedy that changed our lives forever.

I shake myself out of my daydream. Now, two years on, we are 16. It is the second Quarter Quell this year and a couple of months ago, the President announced that they would require double the amount of tributes from the districts. Double the amount of tributes, double the amount of deaths, double the amount of broken families. What a wonderful way to remind us not to rebel against the Capitol. We are just pawns in their game. I shudder as I remember there is a chance that my sister and I could get reaped together, faced with killing each other to survive.

Tomorrow is reaping day so it is natural for my father to be worried. Everyone is.

"Hi Dad."

"How was school?"

"It was fine."


"How was work?"

"Good, good."

I walk to the back of the shop and through the store room door.

"Nik, I'm home!"

"Maysilee! You're late!" Nikaela's voice sounds from somewhere hidden in the rows of shelves holding files. Ever since my mother died, Nikaela feels as if she needs to act like my mother even though I'm older than her by one and a half minutes.

"I'm not even that late! Calm down!"

"Come on in! I want you to meet someone."

The store room is crowded with shelves and desks. It is poorly lighted and a lamp that is held to the ceiling by a spare shoelace is the only source of light. Its shade causes it to cast a greenish light over everything but it is dim and it takes my eyes a second to adjust to the darkness.

Walking slowly through the shelves I spot her, her back turned towards me and her extremely long, blonde hair falls like a waterfall down her back.


She jumps and spins around, her grey-blue eyes peering through the cloud of dust she disturbed. "Gosh! You scared me! Don't sneak up on me like that."

"Sorry. Who did you want me to meet?"

"Oh." She paused and cupped her hands to her mouth and called into the open space. "Justin!"

"Coming, Nikki!" A strong, male voice calls from my right. The sound of someone squeezing through shelves reaches my ears and I raise my eyebrows at Nikaela and she smiles. "Justin" mustn't have the slight build that my sister and I have.

He emerges through the gloom and I take a step back as I struggle process what I am seeing. A tall, well-muscled man walks over to my sister and slides his hand around her hips and kisses the top of her head while Nikaela grins sheepishly. I stand there, stunned for a moment before I realise that I have my mouth hanging open.

"Nice to meet you, Justin," I say as politely as possible and try not to stare. I can't tell if he's handsome or not because of the dark.

"Justin has offered to help us clean out some of the junk in here."

"That's nice." I tremble, feeling very self-conscious. There is an awkward silence. "Well… I'll be happy to help out but after tomorrow is over. I'm going over to Kaitlin's, ok?"

"That's fine, May. Make sure you wish Kaitlin luck for tomorrow for me! Tell her I'm a little busy." She reached up on tip toes to give Justin a quick kiss. Luck. Our sweet shop does very well with the Peace Keepers. All of them can afford to waste their money on sugar. They don't starve. They don't have to wonder whether they will have enough food to survive until tomorrow. And neither do we. We have enough money and we have never been starving. That's us. That's the definition of "luck" in District twelve.

I wave my hand over my head in acknowledgement of her words and continue to slip through the shelves.

"Wow! You two look alike!" I hear Justin say as I walk out the door.

"No we don't," Nikaela says. She always gets offended when people say we look alike… and in truth… we don't. "We don't look anything alike. It's just the gloom."

It's also always Nikaela who gets the boys. She never really pays attention to them but they fall at her feet. She could have any boy she wanted. Boys don't even look twice at me. Sometimes I wonder why. Adults always tell me how beautiful I am and people comment on my soft, golden curls a lot. But no boys ever seem to take an interest in me. It's like I'm invisible. That's ok with me though. I like to be invisible. I'm very good at sneaking up on people and I don't really have a huge interest in boys at the moment anyway.

People often say we look alike because we have the same nose and mouth but you can easily tell us apart. Nikaela has blonde hair that falls in waves over her shoulders and stops at her lower back. She has eyes that change colour depending on the light. She likes to say they change colour with her mood but they don't really. They are grey-green one day, grey the next and grey-blue the next. But my hair is a darker blonde than hers that is often described as golden. I have gentle curls that roll down my back and stop about midway. My eyes are a light brown.

I have arrived at Kaitlin's house so I knock on her door. She opens it straight away as if she has been waiting for me by the door and flings her arms around my neck and pulls me into a tight hug. Kaitlin has been Nikaela and my best friend since before I can remember. Her parents run the Apothecary in District twelve. I envy her. She has a range of knowledge of all different health care products and she gets to feel as if she is doing something to help her district. Only the merchants can afford to buy sweets from our store and sweets don't help anyone anyway.

"Where's Nikki?" Kaitlin asks.

"Oh! She's busy with her new boyfriend!" I wrinkle my nose playfully.

"Ooo! What's his name?"

"Justin," I say giving her a smug smile.

"Is he handsome?"

"I don't know!" I hit her playfully on the shoulder.

"Come in! I want you to tell me all about him!"

I sigh exasperatedly and walk inside. She pushes the door shut behind me and takes my hand, running up the stairs to her room her white-blonde hair flying behind her. We sit down on her bed cross-legged and facing each other.

"So, what's he like?" She pesters me.

"He's… Kind of cute… I guess… I couldn't really see him properly but he looks pretty muscly."


"Oh My Gosh, Kaitlin! You're so weird!"

She giggles. "That's what they tell me!"

"How could you be happy on a day like this?"

"That day isn't today, it's tomorrow!" She said, her eyes shining. "Besides, we haven't had to apply for tesserae!"

"That doesn't mean we won't get picked! Come one, Kaitlin! Be serious for once!"

Kaitlin's mouth pulls into a kind of tight smirk as she struggles not to smile. That's just her I guess… always smiling. I sigh. It seems to attract boys even more than her looks. She leans over and hugs me tightly.

"Cheer up! Let's have fun on what might be the last happy day of our lives!" She says, jumping off her bed nimbly and pulling me off the bed, holding my hand firmly.

Racing down the stairs, my hand still clamped tightly in her grip, I felt strangely free and light as if the reaping had passed and everyone was safe… well… almost everyone. On reaping day, no one can deny that sense of guilt that they weren't affected but other families were. But you're just so relieved you're able to push that away and get on with your life. Until next year when the same worry and angst grips you as the district escort searches the ball of slips of names and plucks one out, walking ever so slowly back to the microphone to call an innocent child to their death.

We run out the door, only half acknowledging Mrs Sharp's startled cry, "Where on earth do you think you're off to?"

Down the street we dance, skipping and running, skipping and running. I look around as we bounce down the street and stop and my stomach flips strangely. Kaitlin lets out a startled cry as her hand is yanked back. She stops and looks around. "What's wrong?"

She follows my gaze and lets out a gasp as she sees what stopped me. A boy of about 18 is swinging an axe at a stump in front of the rundown orphanage. His dark hair is plastered to his forehead with sweat and as we watch, he flicks it out of his eyes in one fluid motion. He is shirtless and as he lifts the axe high above his head, I suddenly notice the fine ripple of muscles below his tan skin.

"Oooh! Maysilee noticed a boy!" Kaitlin waves her hand in front of my face, taunting me.

I push it away. "Yeah, whatever," and trying not to look like I care I say, "Let's keep going!"

My suggestion alerts the boy. He looks over smiling widely. "Hey, girls."

My face burns hot and I look at the ground. Kaitlin nudges me.

"Hi!" she waves excitedly at him but he doesn't even glance at her. To my horror he starts to make his way towards us.

"Oh my gosh! Let's just get out of here!" I whisper urgently.

"No! This will be fun!"

He's in ear shot now so we stop talking. "Maysilee Donner, right?" He says, smiling his wide, slightly crooked smile.

"Uh, yeah… How do you know who I am?" I ask, terrified that he still hadn't looked at Kaitlin. Maybe he is partially blind.

"I've seen you around." He says simply, shrugging his nonchalance.

"Right… Well, what's your name?"

"Oh? Hahaha! I would rather not say."

"Why not?" I ask, curious now.

"I don't like to go around giving my name to total strangers."

"But we're not total strangers! You know my name and I don't know yours! How is that fair?"

"I didn't say it was." He says, beaming even wider.

I sigh exasperatedly. He starts to back away and a terror grips me. What if I never see him again?

"Wait!" I say, horrified that my voice sounds so high.

"Haha! I'm not going anywhere sweetheart."

Embarrassed I look at the ground.

"So you're sixteen, right?"


Wondering why Kaitlin hasn't said anything yet, I look around nervously but she's gone.

"Hey." He clicks his fingers to make me look at him. "Will I see you tomorrow?"

My head snaps around to face him, I'm startled. "Of course. But will I see you?"

"We'll see."

Before I could stop myself, my mouth broke into a wide grin. "I betta go. I don't know where my friend went. I should probably find her."

"Happy Hunger Games! And may the odds be ever in your favour!" He says in a mock Capitol accent then laughs ironically.

I laugh too. "And yours."

Turning away, I search the track for Kaitlin but I can't find her. I turn back, half expecting to see him still there but he's gone. He's not even at the stump anymore. He has disappeared completely. I fight disappointment as it washes over me and I decide to head home.

Walking home, I struggle to understand the boy's motives. No boy would ever choose to talk to me over Kaitlin. Most boys treat me like I'm invisible. But this boy… he saw me! It was like Kaitlin wasn't there at all.

I walk through the door of the shop and once again, marvel at the coolness as it hits my face.

I can hear Kaitlin's distinctive, upbeat voice coming from the store room. She is describing the encounter with "the boy."

"Why is that surprising?" Justin asks, curiously. "Don't all girls like guys who are muscly?"

"Not May," Nikki sighs.

"What? Does she like scrawny fellas or something?"

"No! She just isn't interested in boys that much. She prefers to 'focus on her school work'," Kaitlin says, imitating me in a lofty voice. "She thinks that guys take no notice of her but she just shuts them out!"

"She could have any boy she wanted." Nikki agrees.

Touched by their compliments, I turn the door knob quietly and enter the room.

"Hi, May!" Nikki's voice is strained as if she's trying to sound happy but the worry of the reaping is crushing her vocal chords. She is sitting on the spinning chair next to the desk and Kaitlin and Justin are leaning on the desk talking to her.

"Hey. I suppose Kaitlin told you." I say, gesturing numbly at Kaitlin.

"She sure did!" Kaitlin says proudly. Despite myself, I laugh at Kaitlin's comment. She grins at me. "You have such a pretty laugh, May! You should really use it more often."

Nikki made a sound of agreement.

"Well! I think my work here is done! Make sure you tell me all the details when tomorrow's over!" She winks in a sassy way and struts over to the door, opening it and vanishing through it, calling as she goes, "Good luck tomorrow, everyone!"

The room suddenly becomes very awkward without Kaitlin's presence. Justin clears his throat, "I should probably get going."

"Sure," Nikki says and she leans up to peck him on the cheek. "I'll see you tomorrow?"

"Of course!" He says, smiling at her. I fight the urge to gag as a joke to make my sister insecure about the way she acts around him. That is not a ladylike thing to do! I can hear my mother saying so in my head.

"Good luck tomorrow, girls!" He says as he strides out the door.

My eyes find my sister and I stare at her through the gloom. My face slowly breaks out into a grin as I silently taunt her about Justin.

"Oh stop it!" Nikki says, blushing furiously.

I giggle.

"Stop!" and after a pause, "I can tease you about that boy you met today, you know."

I stop laughing and stare at her. Then I say, shocked, "You wouldn't!"

"I would. What's his name anyway?"

I pause as I consider making one up, "I don't know," I say, staring at a few ants crawling past my shoe.

"You don't know?"

And I find myself repeating the whole encounter to her in a gush of words I am surprised she can understand.

"Oh that's so cute!" Nikki exclaims when I am finished. "You've finally taken interest in a boy that has a thing for you!"

"He doesn't have a thing for me! How do you come to that conclusion from that conversation?"

"Oh… I just know," She shrugs vaguely and the twinkle in her eye causes me to boil up with excitement and frustration.

"What… were there signs in that conversation? Or something?" I ask excitedly.

"Look, May, I'll let you figure it out by yourself but it's getting late and we should really be going up to dinner."

So we walked up into the shop and then up the back stairs to our little flat above the shop.

We emerge through the door just as Dad yells, "Dinner's ready!"

"Good timing!" We say in unison. Then we giggle as we make our way over to our kitchen table. One Valentine's Day, there was a huge influx of sweet buyers and Dad could afford to buy us a real, mahogany wood kitchen table.

"Oh Dad!" Nikki squeals as she sees the meal sitting on the table. "That smells amazing!"

"You've gone out of your way tonight, Dad!" I agree.

"Well… It's a special night," he says modestly.

Before me is a warm salad with pieces of toasted bread soaked in olive oil tossed through vegetables and sliced pieces of lamb.

I pull out a chair and sit down to eat and the aromas make it hard to think about anything else except eating. Putting the first mouthful in my mouth I nearly drool on the table.

"Dad! How much did this cost?" Nikki asks incredulously through her first mouthful of salad. Her hair falls into her face as she leans over her plate struggling not to drop lamb from her mouth into her lap.

"Too much," Dad sighes.

"Well it's very good!" I say as a tender piece of lamb melts on my tongue.

When dinner is over we sit there for another half hour, talking and trying to keep the mood light.

Dad gets up and starts to clear the table but I stop his arm halfway to my plate. "No dad. We can do it. You made this all by yourself so we can make a contribution. Come on, Nikki!"

I stand up and am about to take the stacked plates to the kitchen when my father speaks, "No girls. I'll clean up! I want you both to get some sleep tonight!" His eyes are dark with worry and his eyebrows have knitted themselves into an anxious frown.

"We're not going to get any sleep anyway, Dad." I say, shaking my head slightly.

"Yeah! No one sleeps the night before the reaping!" Nikki backs me up.

Dad sighs. "Oh alright! Clean up then, you silly girls," he says with a small smile.

After we have cleaned up the kitchen, we make our way up to our bedroom. We get changed and slide into our beds which are singles on opposite sides of the room.



"Can I sleep in your bed tonight?"



"Sure." I slide over and pull back the covers so she can squeeze in.

"Thank you." She shivers. It's not cold. In fact it's very hot and muggy as usual.

A sudden thought occurs to me. "Nikaela?"

"Yeah?" She whispers.

"If we get-"

"We won't." She knew what I was thinking straight away. We are very in touch with each other's feelings.

"But if we-"

"We won't. It won't happen. It's impossible."

I prop myself up on my elbow and look down at her. "No, it's not. It is possible. And… if I get picked alone… You – "

"Can't volunteer? Ha. I knew what you were going to say before you opened your mouth." She sighs. "But I can't promise I won't."

I start to panic. My heart beats three times its normal speed. "What? Nikaela, you have to promise me!" I whisper urgently. "I can't lose you."

"I can't lose you."

"But – I couldn't live if you weren't here!"

"Neither could I if you weren't here. You can't volunteer for me, though."

"What? How is that fair?" I'm almost spitting on her now. She's so stubborn!

"I didn't say it was fair. That's just how it's going to be."

Finally realising she won't give up, I sigh exasperatedly and attempt to calm myself. "Let's make a deal. Either I CAN volunteer for you and you CAN volunteer for me or I CAN'T volunteer for you and you CAN'T volunteer for me. Choose one."

"Fine. We can't volunteer for each other then."

"Good." I let out a fast breath of relief.

Light bathes the room as the door opens "I love you baby girls!" Dad's voice comes from the doorway.

"Goodnight, Dad!" We chorus.

I wake around four-thirty and try to make myself go back to sleep. Nikaela is sleeping soundly beside me, her chest rising and falling slowly. After a while, I find that that's all sleep has for me for tonight and I slip out of bed, trying not to wake Nikki.

Staying in my pyjamas, I leave the house and walk down the street. I don't pay attention to where my feet take me but I finally arrive where I suspected I was going. I'm looking at the run down orphanage I saw the boy swinging the axe in front of yesterday.

I inhale deeply and exhale loudly, replaying the day's events in my mind. I jump as a voice whispers in my ear.

"You just keep coming to see me don't you, sweetheart?"

I spin around and see "the boy" standing extremely close to me so we're almost touching. My heart flutters as I notice he's shirtless again. I can feel his breath on my cheek so I shiver and step back.

"No. I'm not here to see you." I start feeling very self-conscious about my pyjamas so I cross my arms over my chest.

"Then why are you here of all places if it's not to see me?" His dark eyes twinkle and I find my knees buckle if I look into them for too long.

"I – I – I don't know why I'm here. I'm on a night walk." I struggle to pull my face into a convincing expression.

"Right." He says and I can tell he doesn't believe me. He smirks at me.

"Well, I should get back inside."

Before I can stop myself I ask him quickly, "Are you worried about tomorrow?"

"Sure." Snarky and arrogant. How can I even talk to this boy?

"Then how come you don't seem worried?" I feel desperate. I need to try to get to know him.

He shrugs it off as if to show he doesn't care.

He sounds almost as if he's trying to pull himself back to his usual charm as he says, "I'm going inside now, sweetheart."

I shrug as if I don't care but I do. I really do. I want him to stay and talk to me forever but I turn away and start to walk back the direction I came from.

"See? Now you're going away because I'm not here to talk to anymore!"

"I need to get home!" I turn around and see him standing in the doorway of the orphanage with a little boy by his side. "It has nothing to do with you!"

And I keep walking. My heart is beating hard against my ribcage and I can hear it as if it's in my head.

I hear the little boy ask, "Who's that?"

Then Haymitch speaks, "No one special."

I stiffen as my heart stops but I keep walking. Of course he doesn't care about me! What was I thinking?

I make it home before I realise that I had been running. I smile at myself. Act normal.

It's about five-thirty so Dad is up and about. I creep upstairs trying not to feel sad.

"Nikaela! Get up! We have to look nice for the reaping!" I yell as I open the door.

Nikaela is already up and standing in front of our mirror. She is wearing a pale green dress that matches her eyes today. She turns around.

"Maysilee! Where have you been?" She looks worried.

"I went for a walk."

"I didn't know where you were." She says quietly.

I ignore her worried comment and say "You look amazing, Nik."

"Thanks. But you don't. Can I do your hair once you're dressed?"

"Sure." I say. Anything to get her off my back about where I went.

I pull out a pair of cut off jean shorts and a white top and start to get changed until Dad comes in and stops me.

"No. I want you to wear this today."

He is holding up a white dress.

"Oh Dad! Please! Can't I just wear – "

"Try it on. You'll like it."

So I walk into the bathroom and try it on. The dress falls just past my knee and flows around my legs loosely. It's a silken material and has wide straps and a low neckline. Even I have to admit it's a beautiful dress. It was my mother's.

I walk out and Nikaela gasps, "You look beautiful!" she cries. "You look just like –" she paused as realisation dawns, "Mum."

Dad smiles at me. "You do." He agrees. "A spitting image."

"Thank you." Everyone in the district knew my mother. And whenever I went anywhere after her death, people would give their greatest sympathies and tell me how beautiful she was. To be told I look just like her is a huge compliment.

"Come on! I want to do your hair!"

Dad leaves the room and Nikki grabs my arm and leads me over to the mirror. She uses bobby pins to pin my front curls up behind my head but leaves the rest down. She brushes the rest and I grunt as the comb gets stuck in the knots.

Once she is done, she insists on putting make-up on me. I protest but it's no use.

She stands back to look at her job and gasps. "You look – stunning!" She squeals spinning me around to face the mirror. And she's right. I do look very nice indeed. I have just the right amount of eye make-up on and it makes my brown eyes look very pretty. I have a light amount of foundation on that just evens out my skin in a way you wouldn't notice unless you were really looking. I already have red cheeks so I don't need blush.

"Thank you!" I say and I really mean it.

We arrive at the town square where the justice building stands ready to admit the reaped children. A stage has been set up with two empty chairs and a microphone.

Our escort, Prinny Suncatcher is already standing on the stage chatting animatedly to district twelve's only victor, Twinkle South. He looks ancient with his sunken eyes and waxy face. His white hair hangs limply around his face and his air of unkemptness only heightens my sympathy for the reaped children. He's probably a Morphling Addict. I find myself wondering if anyone ever comes out of the arena. His appearance pales in comparison to Prinny's. Her hair is a shimmering gold that sits high on her head like a beehive. Her eyes are covered in gold make up and silver and gold tattoos spiral from her eyes. Her neck is covered in glimmering purple and gold flower tattoos and she catches the sunlight making it look like she shines from within, just like her name.

Nikki and I walk up to the table where we are to sign in. A Peace Keeper glances at me and says, looking back down at her paper, "Name?"

"Maysilee Donner."


I give her my hand and try my best not to wince as the needle is stuck into my finger. A bead of blood appears and the Peace Keeper steers my hand towards the blank box across from my name and smudges the blood into the box roughly.


I move away and watch as Nikki has the same done to her. What a horrible way to sign a contract! Sign in blood that you promise to die in the Hunger Games if you are chosen.

Now we say goodbye to Dad and hug and kiss him in turn. He has started to cry and I try to comfort him but it's no use. There is no comfort. Not today.

We arrive at the roped off area where the sixteen year olds stand so we slip under the rope and stand among our classmates. I scan the crowd but there is no sign of "the boy". Feeling disappointed, I turn back to the stage. I feel Kaitlin squeeze in on my other side and touch my hand to let me know she's there.

Our mayor does his usual presentation about how the Hunger Games is an annual reminder of the rebellion and the pain it caused. Then he shows us a video, the same one every year. Snippets of past tributes becoming victors and images of smoking buildings that were caused by the rebellion are playing on a large projector screen beside the stage.

I feel hugely relieved as the video ends and Prinny stands up from her seat and heads towards the microphone. There is a deathly silence as she approaches, high heels clicking menacingly on the wooden stand.

She clears her throat in a dainty way before announcing. Ahem. "Happy Hunger Games! And may the odds be EVER in your favour!" Her annoying, high-pitched voice seems to physically pierce the silence like a needle breaking the skin and beside me, Nikaela shudders. "Ah! Lady's first, shall we say?" Her high heels click ominously in the silence as she makes her way over to the glass ball containing slips of paper reading every child over twelve and under eighteen's names.

She takes her time plucking at slips and dropping them back in, swirling them around and plunging her many ringed hand back in, enjoying the collective gasps from the crowd as she grabs a slip as if that was to be the one. Finally she decides on one, and makes her way, painstakingly slowly, to the microphone.

My heart beats hard and fast as she opens the slip of paper in front of the microphone, relishing the crinkle that rings throughout the square. The tension of the crowd is paramount. No one moves. No one speaks. No one breathes. I stand stiff with apprehension even though I know Nikaela and I are safe. A voice in the back of my head screams, If the Peace Keeper's keep their word. Now I find I am gripping Kaitlin and Nikki's hands close to me and hugging them closely. Praying that it won't be one of us, I stare at the pavement, waiting for Prinny to read the name.

I hold my breath and stand as still as I can as I sense more than see Prinny opening her mouth to call a district twelve girl to her death.

Author's Note!

Hey everyone!

What did you think of the first chapter? I know it's longer than what I usually write and I wouldn't be expecting them to all be this long but I thought this first chapter was important to make a good first impression you know? :P Please tell me what you thought of it in a review because both Jasmine and I really really appreciate them! :D Hahahaha If you didn't already figure this out, Nikaela is a lot like Jasmine. Not in personality as such, but in her looks I picture them to be almost identical except Nikaela is a bit older than us. Kaitlin is Jasmine's personality I think, so them combined is what Jasmine is like. Ahahahaha and Maysilee is just like me. I think she has the same personality and I have been trying to write from what I would do in situations because it seems more real don't you think? Oh and also, Jasmine struggles to write really lengthy chapters and if you want hers to be longer than 1000 words then drop a review and she'll feel like she needs to just for you! XD

Gemma (GoldenDiva/ GD)