Chapter 1- The Reaping
My hands are shaking and I can feel my heart pounding against my chest as I stand in the square between two other girls from my distrcit. The escort of our district, Priscilla Skipviolet, walks onto the stage and stands before the microphone. She is wearing a lilac blazer and matching skirt with her purple hair. "Welcome!" She beams "To the 53rd annual Hunger Games."
I glance around, everyone is equally as nervous as me. My older brother, Dean, nods at me. It's his last year but his name's in forty six times. I'm sixteen and my name's in thirty two times.
"Now, we shall select the tributes who shall represent Distrcit 8. May the odds be ever in your favour."
I hold my breath as her hand digs around in the ball containing the girl's names. I feel everyone go numb and can't even hear my own breath.
"Persephone Clarke!" she announces.
My heart stops. My name has just been called. I will have to go to the games. I will have to fight. Kill. Or be killed. "Where is she?" Priscilla asks "Come on up."
I'm not even aware that my feet have slowly been moving me towards the platform.
"Sephy!" A male voice stops me. I turn to see my brother, Dean, pushing his way through the crowd.
Peacekeepers come and drag him away, back to where my mother is stood, tears cascading down her face. She holds him and he looks so young. Like he did on his first reaping. I had been too young to be in the draw back then but Dean was always so terrified. I mount the steps onto the stage and feel Priscilla guide me to the microphone.
"Now for the boys." she says.
I stare at the wooden floor of the platform as Priscilla approaches the other glass ball and plucks a name. "Coby Ceka." Priscilla announces after unfolding the paper.
I look out to the audience and see a boy I don't really know approach the platform, tears in his eyes. We are told to shake hands and then taken to the justice building. I'm locked in a room by myself where I pace and begin to cry. The door opens and I wipe the tears from my face before turning to my mother and Dean. Dean grabs me and pulls me into a big hug. I bury my head in his shoulder and let the tears flow from my eyes. His shirt is soaked in a matter of seconds. Dean holds me at arms length.
"Sephy, I know you can do it. Griff taught you about all kinds of stuff and you can survive, I know you can." he says.
I nod before he continues.
"You're the fastest runner in the district." he pauses as two tears run down his face "If I could have volunteered for you I would have."
"I know." I say, "I know."
My Mom swoops in and pulls me into a hug, "You better come back to me safe, or you're in big trouble." She says.
"Don't worry, I will." I promise.
The door opens and two peacekeepers enter. "Time's up." They say and they drag Dean and Mom out, Dean puts up a fight but Mom manages to calm him down.
"I love you, Seph!" he calls as the door slams.
"I love you." I whisper A minute later, the door opens again and my boyfriend, Griffin, enters.
"Griff." I gasp as he pulls me close to him. "Will you look after them?"
"Ofcourse." he says.
Griff lift my chin up with his fingers and kisses me. It's soft and blissful and I stare into his brown eyes. I wish I could pause the world at this moment in time and stay in it forever.
"You can do it, Sephy." he whispers, touching our foreheads together. "I love you."
The peacekeepers attempt to make Griff leave after another minute but he puts up a fight.
"Griff!" I say, catching his face in my hands "Go. I'll be fine I promise. I'll see you when I get back."
The door slams. Slams on my entire life, my entire world.