"Clink, clink, clink!" Echoed through my ears, awakening me from my slumber. For a split second I felt disoriented, but then I realized I was in my warm bed. It was very dark, it must have been around midnight. I blinked, looking around my dark room. As always, it was small, cramped, and smelled like grain. My room was in the attic, but I liked being up above everything.

"Clink, clink!" The noise made me glance at my one window, someone was throwing pebbles at it. I glanced to my right at my small, worn out dresser. On it lay my old machete. Most people from District 9 have machetes, I just kept mine on my dresser. I quickly tossed my old blanket off, causing the cold morning air to overwhelm my body. I clenched my jaw tight so my teeth wouldn't chatter, then reached over and snatched my machete.

I gingerly hopped off of my bed, forgetting how cold the wooden floor was. I quickly sneaked over to my window, the floor creaking ever so quietly. Machete clutched in hand, I took a deep breath and looked out my window, peering down at the pebble tosser. I grinned when I realized it was my best friend in the whole world, Dane.

"Alessia! Open your window!" Dane mouthed the words. His breath puffed into the air, obviously it was colder outside than it was inside. I frowned and looked behind me, just to make sure no one else was around. I then gingerly pulled my old window open, which made loud creaks.

"What do you want, you lunatic?" I say quietly down to him, laughing a bit. Dane smiled his million-dollar smile, shrugging.

"Come down here! We need to get going!" His deep voice beckoned me. I sighed, hanging my head.

"What time is it?" I ask, starting to shiver slightly. Dane shrugged again.

"Dunno, around one o'clock," He replied as he motioned for me to come down. I nodded, closing my window and curtains while spinning around on my heel. Yesterday, Dane had come up with a plan. In a few hours, Dane and I would have to go to our jobs. Since this is District 9, we have farming jobs. I'm a harvester while Dane, on the other hand, was a plower. Dane wanted to go and get our other friend who lived on the other side of the district, Leono, to help us work today.

Harvesting the grain crops takes most of the day, since we do it by hand. Day in and day out of harvesting can get boring after a while, but the good thing is that I've learned how to use my machete excellently. Sometimes I pretend that the crops of grain is that stupid President Larc, the president of the Capitol. He loves the Hunger Games, and says it's wonderful entertainment.

I raced to my old dresser and swung it open, grabbing an old T-shirt and a jean skirt that went down to my ankles. Once I had changed out of my pajamas and into my clothes, I pulled out my hairbrush. I then sat on my bed, beginning to brush my tangled mess of dark brown hair. With my other hand, I reached under my pillow and pulled out my little hand mirror, holding it up to my face. I smiled, admiring myself for a second.

People have said that I was a spitting image of my mother. My dark brown hair was so long that it was almost to my waist, it had been years since I cut it. It was just like hers, and I would never cut it again. I had her bright blue eyes and small lips. But the one thing that set me apart was the ragged scar running from the bottom corner of my left cheek to my mouth. Some kids mocked me and said it made me look like a monster, but I thought it looked fitting. I wasn't my mother, no matter how much I wanted to be. While I was quiet outwardly, I wasn't weak; at least not in my eyes.

"I had better hurry," I say to myself as I pull on my old work boots. I slowly opened my bedroom door, looking out to see if anyone was awake. Luckily, I heard snoring from the bedroom downstairs. Silently, I tiptoed down the creaky stairs and ran out the front door. A gust of the chilly morning air filled my lunges as I closed the front door behind me.

"What, did you die up there or something?" Dane laughed from behind me. I spun around, glaring at him.

"Oh shut it," I joke as I start walking down the dirt road toward Leono's. Dane quickly followed. We walked in silence for a few minutes. The streets of District 9 were unusually quiet, normally it's loud and obnoxious. With people going to jobs and such, it's always noisy. But not today, not today.

"Sure is quiet," Dane remarked, breaking the silence. I nodded, shrugging.

"I wonder why," I reply. Dane chuckled.

"Uh, for one, maybe it's because it's one o'clock in the morning, and for two, maybe it's because the Hunger Games reaping is tomorrow..." Dane's voice drifted off as he looked down. I drew in a quick breath.

"Don't remind me," I mutter as I elbow him. Dane smiled, shaking his head and running a hand through his short, light brown hair. There was a sense of sorrow in the crisp morning air, even though no one was up. It felt like I was in a trap, just waiting to go to the slaughter house. And there was nothing I could do about it. I hated the Hunger Games, I hated every little thing about it. All you could do was watch as the tributes fought to the death.

"ALESSIA!" Dane screamed, making my heart skip a beat!

"What!" I shouted, alarmed.

"Oh, sorry. I thought you were going to faint or something," Dane chuckled. I glared at him.

"Faint? Why would I do that?!" I remark, huffing.

"I dunno, your face turned all red," He said as he smiled innocently at me. I shook my head, laughing. Dane always liked to cutup and make jokes, he could always make me laugh.


The whole time we walked, Dane seemed slightly uneasy about something. But I decided not to ask him about it, if it was important than he would tell me. After all, we've been friends since we were little; he knows he can tell me anything. I glanced over at Dane, I felt like a midget walking beside him. Dane was very tall, not to mention very muscular since he works on a farm. I felt tiny compared to him!

"So, why do we have to get Leono anyway?" I asked. Dane cleared his throat.

"Because there's no way me and the guys are going to be able to plow that whole field today by ourselves, we need some extra people," Dane replied, running a hand through his hair again.

"Oh... Well, why do I have to come?" I asked, chuckling. Dane suddenly looked uncomfortable, which was unlike him.

"Because uh... Well..." Dane paused, frowning. "I... wanted some company!" He stammered, not making eye contact. I raised my eyebrow at him.

"Uh-huh, okay..." I muttered, not wanting to pry. After an hour and a half, we made it to Leono's house. I paused at the door.

"You knock," I say, stepping back. Dane gave me a weird look.

"Why me?" He asked, crossing his arms.

"Because you can knock louder," I shrug. Dane shrugged and pretended that he was about to knock on the door, but he grabbed my wrist and knocked on the door with my hand. Leono instantly swung the door open, glaring at us.

"You're late," He growled, walking out and closing the door behind him.

"Sorry," I mutter, looking at Dane. Dane just grinned and shrugged. Leono started walking without waiting for us. I inwardly rolled my eyes, Leono was always snappy like that. He's always trying to act better than everyone, even though he's younger than me. He's 15 but acts like he's 100.

We walked down the main road, talking and laughing as we did. Well, Dane and I were laughing, Leono just chuckled.

"Reapings are tomorrow," Leono said, making both Dane and I stop laughing.

"I hope I get reaped," Leono joked. I narrowed my eyes at him.

"Don't joke around like that!" I say, slapping his shoulder. Leono shot me a glare, but nodded. Dane was unusually quiet after that, making me start to wonder what was going on. Suddenly, Leono stopped in his tracks.

"Hang on, I forgot something!" He remarked, pivoting around and beginning to run back down the dirt road.

"But what about work?!" Dane shouted, throwing his arms in the air. Leono looked back as he ran.

"Just wait there, I'll be right back!" He yelled, disappearing. I sighed, shrugging.

"He always forgets something," I mumble under my breath.

"Guess we should sit," Dane suggested, sitting down on the side of the road. I nodded, sitting next to him. Dane and I sat on the side of the main dirt road, watching people walk by. By now, everyone was beginning to bustle about. The sun hadn't come up quite yet, but the sky was a lot brighter than when I had first woken up. It was warming up, too.

"Guess I should go get ready to work," I remark. Dane frowned.

"Already?" Dane asked, sighing. I nodded.

"Well, wait," He said, looking uncomfortable. I gave him a strange look.

"What?" I pry, grinning slightly.

"Well, the reason I wanted you to come with me was because... I wanted to uh... tell you something," He stammered, looking down at his feet.

"Oh great, what is it?" I sigh, crossing my arms.

"Did you lose your machete again? I can't let you borrow mine this time-" I began to say.

"No, no! It's not that," Dane interrupted, looking at me. I decided to stay quiet, although I wondered what was so important.

"Uh... well, you know how the reaping is tomorrow morning?" Dane continued. I nodded again, raising my eyebrow.

"Well, there's a good chance that-"

"Alessia! Dane!" A harsh voice shouted, making us both look up. Standing in front of us was old Mr. Parson, our boss.

"Go home and get cleaned up for work! I didn't want a bunch of snot-nosed kids working on my farm in the first place, let alone filthy ones!" He growled, snarling at us. I looked down at my clothes, then Dane's. Our clothes were covered in mud and dirt, we were pretty gross looking right now. I stood up, dusting myself off.

"Yes sir," I replied quietly. Dane did the same. I glanced at Dane, curious to what he was about to say.

"I'll tell you later," He mouthed the words to me as he turned and walked away to go get Leono. I nodded, turning and walking the opposite way to my house. As I walked, I heard everyone talking about the Hunger Games reaping tomorrow. I frowned, my heart sinking. I hated thinking about the Hunger Games, it was too depressing. But the Hunger Games reaping was tomorrow and there was nothing I could do about it. Tomorrow, 24 poor souls would be chosen to fight to the death. "One of those people could be me," I thought to myself. I quickly shook the awful thought with a shudder. My name has only been entered a few times since I'm 16. I've been extra careful to not take any tessera, too.

"There's no way I'll be picked," I say aloud, hoping to reassure myself. But for some strange reason, I couldn't shake the weird feeling of fear.

Hope you like it, took me a while to make. I don't own the Hunger Games. Please review!