Chapter One

From the day I was born, my destiny was already decided. For my whole life, I would be trained to fight, kill, and survive in the Hunger Games. It wasn't my choice. If it was, I never would have done what I did. I never would have born in my district, gone to the academy for my whole life, volunteered for my own death, or been killed in the Hunger Games. If it was my choice, well, things would be very different than they are now.

I want to tell you my story so you don't make the same mistakes as me. Then, maybe it will repent for everything I've done.

Clove: Age 5

Let's start from the very beginning. I was five years old when my mother took me to the headmaster of the Academy For Future Victors, or the AFFV for short. When we first walked through the doors, I remember being amazed at how clean it was. Our house wasn't nearly as clean as this place. At the time, I had no idea where I was or why my mother brought me there. She led me into a large room where a man was pacing in the middle. When we entered, he looked up at us. It looked like he smiled, but it seemed more like a smirk or grimace.

"You must be Clove," he said to me.

I backed away from him. I didn't like this man.

"Clove. This is Headmaster Pernicious. He'll be assessing your skills today," said my mother.

Headmaster Pernicious said, "I'm sure you're familiar with the AFFV, Clove. We're the toughest academy in the entire District. We train children like you from a very young age. With our training, you will enter the Hunger Games when you're older and you will win. We will turn you into a deadly weapon. But first, you have show me what you can do."

The entire time he was describing this, my mother was rubbing my back and smiling proudly. When he mentioned turning me into a deadly weapon, she beamed.

She smiled down at me. "Show him what you can do, Clove. Show him what dad taught you.

I nodded uncertainly. It seemed like my mother really wanted this for me. I reached into my belt and took my two custom-made throwing knives.

There were several targets set up at the far end of the gym. Unlike the ones in my backyard, they were shaped like adult humans. I was nervous because I wanted to make my mother proud.

Holding one knife in my right hand, I aimed at the closest target. My eyes narrowed and my brain worked at double time. I threw the dagger.

The room seemed to fill with a thick silence. I turned slowly to look at my mother and Headmaster Pernicious.