Alright, so the tributes are still on my page. I'll cross them out as they die. Anyway, these first four chapters will be reapings (three districts per chapter). Thank you for support and stuff and I hope you enjoy. I also want to just make a note. My computer doesn't have Word, so I use WordPad (which comes free with purchase of the computer), which is quite similar, except it doesn't spellcheck. So I do my best to spell stuff right, but sometimes if a word is off, that's the reason. My spelling was never to good, too. :( Otherwise, it's just me not rereading my work. Guess what? I finally learned how to spell immediately! :D Anyway, hope you enjoy. Sorry if I switched your characters up, but I tried to make them really realistic and interesting and stuff so y'all got attached. Also, Lae from 2's last name was originally Kyler but I changed it to Migon to avoid confusion. Sorry about that to his submitter. Thanks. Anyway, here we go.
District 1: Ransom O'Hare (pugswanthugs) and Brooke Chauncy (my sister, who insisted on making a tribute, even though she doesn't have an account)
Ransom O'Hare set his jaw and stared at the rather annoying, fuchsia-colored escort, standing on the stage, blabbing away in her silly Capital voice. Get on with it, he thought. I have to tell Fresca...
He sent a meaningful look in the girls' seventeen year old section. There his love stood, looking beautiful and perfect in every way. Even the way her brow crinkled worriedly as she watched the escort, he loved. He would do anything for her. Ransom loved Fresca with all his heart.
She flicked her luscious dark brown hair behind her and then caught his gaze. She gave a loving smile and he grinned back with his own goofy, lopsided smile. He couldn't wait to ask her.
And then her eyes flicked back up to the stage as her friend nudged her. Ransom looked up, too, and saw the fuchsia escort gingerly picking a slip of paper out of the bowl. She opened it and read into the microphone, "Diamond Rowland".
Diamond was a very popular girls name here and several girls' heads jerked up as she said the first name, but one small fourteen year old started towards the stage, realizing the last name was her own. However, then another girl called out, "I volunteer!"
This girl bounced towards the stage, shoving right past Diamond. She had long, black hair and soft blue eyes. Her skin was very pale and had no freckles, so it was just about perfect. She was tall, maybe just a bit shorter than Ransom, and though her arms had muscles she seemed to be very slender. She also seemed to have a fondness of pink, since her very short dress was a bright version of it with black lace around the rims and sleves. She, thankfully, had black tights under the outfit, since if she didn't it would barely cover her bottom. Finally, she had stylish boots. Obviously she came from a very wealthy family.
"My name is Brooke Chauncy," she announced into the mic loudly, grabbing it right from the escort.
"Uh, okay then," the Capital woman said, looking baffled. "Onto the boys."
Ransom blinked and took a deep breath. This was it. It was time. He stuck his hand in his pocket, comforted by the feeling of the small, white case.
Several of the boys around Ransom smirked, whispering. It was a rather funny name.
A small thirteen year old boy with an ashen face, black hair, and glasses squinted at the stage, making his way through the crowd. Ransom could instantly tell he was blind or at least had poor eyesight by the golden cane he held and his uneasy walk.
Now, Ransom may have lived in one of the wealthiest districts, being from One. Most of the Hunger Games tributes from his District were cocky, beautiful, and strong. Most volunteered purely for "fun". Here, it was an honor to win the Games.
Ransom was a very thoughtful young boy. At seventeen he was almost old enough to no longer be applicable for the Games. He was also one of the oldest and best-trained students in his training facility. So when he raised his hand and called out, "I volunteer!" it wasn't just for fun or honor. Sure, a little for the latter, but mostly he did it because he had a good heart. And, he wanted to come home to his soon-to-be fiancee as a wealthy victor. Then he could provide them a nice house to begin a family.
Ulysess blinked at him, surely not really seeing him. Perhaps just the outline of a very strong boy who wouldn't shame his District as Ulysess would have done, had he actually gone forward to be a tribute.
The fuchsia escort, who Ransom still didn't know the name of, smiled at him. "What's your name?"
"Ransom O'Hare," he told her evenly, flashing an award winning grin.
"Ah, Ransom. A pleasant name. Thank you." The escort turned to the crowds. "District One, I present to you your tributes for the 51st Hunger Games: Brooke Chauncy and Ransom O'Hare."
Everyone cheered, even Fresca, Ransom was surprised to see. She was grinning widely. She had faith in him.
Ransom waited paitently in the room where they said goodbye to family, his leg crossed neatly against his other. He smoothed his pale golden pants as he waited, finding them to be wrinkled, because he knew there would be lots of cameras from this point on. He looked down at himself. His nice, black, long sleeved dress shirt seemed to be fine. Okay, good.
He ran a hand through his short dark brown hair just as his family flooded in, crooning all at the same time; his siter, Cornelia, his mother, Rouge, and his father, Russel.
"You're gonna win, right?" Cornelia questioned him, standing with crossed arms in front of him.
"Well, duh," Ransom said jokingly. "Do I ever lose?"
It was true. Ransom was very good at winning things. He was great at sports in school and everyone always wanted to be on his team. Though he was popular, he didn't really have many close friends to hang out with. Just other people who were popular as well.
Cornelia frowned but then said, "I'll take that as a 'yes'," and hugged him.
It was a large group hug in the end, no words being spoken. His whole family had decided he was coming back. He was plenty strong enough. Though he was only 5'9, he still had very tan, muscular arms most boys envied and girls loved. And he had the charms, with his goofy grin and his intelligent, blue eyes. Their only qualm was that Ransom was against violence. There had been things in his past that had made him become that way. He hated hurting anything, let alone anyone. In the world of The Hunger Games, that was a fatal flaw that could result in your death.
The Peacekeeper quickly came and took them away, but there was no resist.
Next came Fresca.
"Oh, Ransom!" she sobbed, falling into his arms.
"What's wrong?" A moment ago she had been cheering for him along with everyone else, and now she was sobbing in his lap.
"What if you don't come back?" she whimpered.
"Not likely, baby. I'm coming back."
"Yep. Sure as everyone has five toes. Well, except dogs."
"They have five," Fresca argued, wiping her nose. "They have that weird little thumb thing."
"Technically, they have four."
They argued for a while and ended up laughing. During that time, Ransom looked up at the clock and realized they might take her soon.
"Oh, hang on. I gotta give you something."
"Oh, yeah, thanks for reminding me," she said. "Here. A token."
She was taking off the pretty silver chain she always wore around her neck. She once told Ransom her grandmother, who had recently passed away, had given it to her and she'd never taken it off.
"I can't take that, Fresca. That's too special."
"Yeah, you can."
"No. I won't take it."
Fresca gave the pouty face she always did when she was disappointed. "Please?"
"Fine." she clipped it back around her neck. "Take this then." She was removing the pretty red flower she wore in her hair most days.
This, Ransom took. Frowning at it, he joked, "What, you want me to put it in my hair?"
"No, but you'd look delightful," Fresca giggled. She took it gently from him and clipped it onto his shirt. "You know how the men wear flowers on the lapels of their tuxedos? Like President Snow always does? You can wear it like that."
"Even when I'm in the arena?"
"Yeah. That way you know I'm right with you." She pecked him on the cheek.
"Thanks, Fresca." They sat together for awhile, before Ransom remembered. "Oh, yeah! I can't forget!"
He smiled goofily and prodded her gently, since she had been sitting on his lap. She stood, and so did Ransom. Then he fell to his knee. Fresca's mouth parted slightly, realizing what he was doing.
"Fresca DuRevois," Ransom said, pulling the little case out of his pocket and holding it out. "Will you marry me?"
His love smiled, a tear leaking out her eyes, making her makeup run slightly. Ransom found it cute. She choked out, "Yes."
She leaped into his arms and kissed him for a long moment.
When the kiss ended, she said, "Now you have to come back, Ransom. You have to."
"I will," he told her. "I promise you."
They shared one last delicate kiss.
Then the Peacemakers came and took her, to which Ransom smiled. Fresca waved and then her flowing brown-haired head disappeared from view.
Meanwhile, Brooke was in her own room, impatiently waiting for her family. When her mother and father came in, being her only family- her being the latest in a long line of only children- she hugged them.
"Now, Brooke, I don't want you dying because you're being stupid and not paying attention. Don't be cocky. The cocky ones die first." Her father told her.
"I'm not gonna die, Daddy," Brooke said, rolling her eyes. "I'm Brooke. I can't die, because dying means losing. And I don't lose."
Her father closed his eyes and slowly shook his head. Brooke was strong, but she hardly had a brain, let alone a strategic one. She shouldn't have volunteered.
They left soon and were replaced by Brooke's closet friends, Fiona, Keira, and Addison. Brooke was a snotty jerk, but still she was incredibly popular. But her main friends, her constant clique, were those three girls.
"Oh, Brooke!" Keira, who was prone to hysteria, cried. "Don't die!"
Fiona shoved her. "She won't die, stupid. She's Brooke!"
"Exactly!" Brooke said, putting her hands on her hips. "That's what I told my Dad."
Addy was staring at the District 1 tribute for this year.
"What?" Brooke asked indignantly, looking at her friend with wide eyes.
Addy brushed some brown hair from her face. "Nothing."
"I thought so." Brooke gave a grin. "I can't wait for the party we'll have once I win!"
Fiona and Keira cheered. Addy looked at the ground.
Brooke waved goodbye as they were escorted out, waiting now for her boyfriend.
Dakota came in soon, holding something behind him. "Hey, baby."
Brooke pecked him on the lips. "Hey."
"Good luck in there. I bet you'll get far."
"Far? I'm gonna win this thing."
"Oh, yeah. Hey, Brooke, my Mom wanted you to take this." Dakota held out a little gold chain, a golden heart decorating the end. A locket, Brooke realized.
"What is it?" Brooke asked, grabbing it in her rough manner.
"My grandmother's locket. We pass it through the family. It'd kind of a couple thing. See, this is my heart. When you come back, we'll get married."
Brooke smiled and kissed him again. "Thanks, baby."
He took the locket back and gently put it on her. She rocked in his arms for a moment before the Peacekeepers came. She kissed him and he disappeared, possibly forever.
District 2: Laercio Migon (BecauseofKillianJones) and Jociellia Migon (BecauseofKillianJones)
Laercio Migon watched from the very front of the crowd of children, his sea blue eyes narrowed. He couldn't be chosen; he just couldn't. He had a baby, and a wife, and a family. They all needed him. Lae felt sick, imagining what would happen if he was reaped. He was the main supporter of the family, and without him it wouldn't be good. They owned the local library, which, of course, rented books out for free, resulting in little money, except the payments required when people wanted to buy a book or they lost one. Distirct 2 also had little people who liked to read; most were brutes who's only goal in life was to win the Games.
Likewise, the point was food was always scarce for the Migon family.
They had a large family, too, which didn't help. It consisted of Lae, his mother, Eva, his father, Rocky, his sisters, Savannah and Lilac, and his brothers Daniel and Hero. Plus Savannah, who was twenty-five years old, had her husband Hunter and their daughter, Collen. Finally, Lae himself had his wife Jociellia and his daughter Azure. Twelve members to feed.
And, worse, Lae had his name in eighty times. At least he thought. He didn't even know. When his daughter had been born two years ago, he'd been sixteen, so he'd had fifty. He knew that. But now, he had no idea. He'd stop keeping track a while back.
He looked at his wife, beautiful as usual. She had beautiful, sparkling brown eyes the color of chocolate- which Laercio suddenly craved for; he hadn't had anything with cocoa in it since... forever ago- and naturally curled hair. Her nose and cheeks were dotted with freckles. Her outfit was extremely simple; a sky blue dress and Greek sandles. She didn't notice him looking at her.
She may have been the reason the Migon family was starving, but he would never give her up. She meant everything, and he really meant that, to Lae. That's why he had taken tesserae, and not her. She had merely seven entries, being she was eighteen like him.
Now, it wasn't just himself and Joc that Lae had to worry about. He also had his fourteen year old brother, Daniel, and his fifteen year old brother and sister Hero and Lilac, who were twins. They were all eligible for the reaping and he was very worried for them. Plus, though not directly, Joc had her estranged family. She had her twin sister, Ariellia, who she had always been close to. Dimly, Lae noted that their was two sets of twins in the family, then.
Lae was yanked violently out of his thoughts, though, by the worst possible news he could get. The neon orange escort was calling out, "Jociellia Lillacony-Migon!"
Joc blinked as the crowd around her looked at her and parted as if she had a disease of some kind. Lae just stood there, disbelief flooding his face. No, how could Joc have been chosen? She had seven slips. Seven! Lae had eighty, for God's sake!
Lae looked around desperately, holding onto the light hope someone would volunteer. Volunteers were common in District 2. Maybe, just maybe...
Nope. Joc got to the stage and kept her eyes on Lae. Lae hated it. So he looked away. His eyes happened to fall on the girls' fifteen year old section, where Lilac was carefully avoiding his gaze, obviously guilty. Lae had to tell her it was okay; she didn't have to risk her life just for him.
The Migons were one of the few families who didn't train for the Games. They were too poor to afford lessons. Joc's family had originally been from District 8, where her abusive father was the mayor, and they had moved to District 2 when she was eight. However, due to her father, she became a recluse, quitting school and being confined in her room. At fifteen, however, when she'd moved into Lae's house, she'd gone back to school. She was caught up, now. But none of them had any training, besides cutting vegetables up for dinner often.
Lae mentally slapped his forhead and told himself to pay attention. Because now the escort was calling out, "Spyke Ronan!"
A tall, muscular, no-nonsense looking boy stepped out from a few feet away from Lae. He mounted the stage with ease, his jaw set and his ice-cold grey eyes narrowed. He had ashy black hair and he kept cracking his knuckles. But it was the look of pure hatred he gave Joc that made Lae do something extremely, and by extremely he meant extremely, stupid. He volunteered.
Everyone looked at him, realizing he was her husband. Some people muttered in pity, knowing they had a big family and even a daughter.
He went up to the stage. Spyke gave him his worst glare and then went back into the crowd, huffing slightly.
"What's your name?" the escort, who's name, Lae realized, was Peach as he saw her little ID in her palm, ready to use for whatever purpose, asked him.
"Laercio Migon," he managed to get out evenly.
"Ah, another Migon! I take it you two are siblings?"
"No." Lae responded, not giving any more.
"He's my husband." This time Joc spoke, her gentle voice wavering as her eyes remained stuck on Lae's.
"Oh! Aren't you a little young-?"
"Who says?" Lae asked, turning to the escort. "Love knows no age."
At this Peach seemed dumb founded, her perfect, orange eyebrows coming together in the middle. "Uh, alright then." Into the microphone, she said, "Well, we have a pair of wise tributes this year! Let's hear it for the District 2 couple, Jociellia and Laercio Migon."
Incredibly surprising for their district, no one cheered. No one clapped. It was silent. No one did any kind of respectful gesture. Nothing. Just silence.
The mayor, thankfully not Joc's father anymore, stood up and read the Treaty of Treason and then the anthem rang out, but Lae was focused on holding his wife's hand. He even gave her a gentle kiss on the cheek, knowing it would mark him as weak during the recap, but he didn't mind. Joc was trembling and she needed reassurance.
Joc and Lae were seperated during the goodbye session, but they knew they'd be together soon. Thankfully. Both didn't know how they would survive without the other.
Lae waited in his own room. He knew his family would probably come to him first. Which is what they did exactly.
First came his mother and father. They smiled at him, but both looked exhausted and close to breakpoint. His father scruffled his hair, like he would have done as a kid to him, and said, "Good luck," in his gruff voice. His mother seemed to be holding back tears as she hugged him. The Peacekeepers came quickly, taking them away. It was mostly silent. Then came Savannah, her husband, and their small daughter.
Savannah leaned against Lae's shoulder and sang a calming lullaby into his ear as she used to do when he was small. She was seven years older than him, and she'd always been a good big sister. Hunter nodded at him and averted his eyes, rubbing the light stubble on his chin. Their daughter, Collen, was just a year older than Lae's own daughter, being three, and she'd been fascinated with walking ever since she'd started. Now she walked around the room, peeking over chairs and tables to see what was on the other side. Lae was going to miss playing with her and teaching her things.
"You'll take care of Azure, right?"
"Of course," Hunter answered. "Collen and Azure are close. She's family, anyway."
"Yeah," Lae nodded. "Thanks."
"No problem, man. Good luck."
It was quiet. Collen came up to Lae and he lifted her and set her in his lap. She giggled sweetly.
The Peacekeepers came then. "Watch her, 'Anna!"
Savannah nodded as the police-like man led her out. "Of course. She'll be fine."
Next came Hero and Daniel. They smiled at him and wished him good luck before they sat for a moment and then were led out. Finally came Lilac, holding Azure. She instantly handed the baby to her father and then sat on the other couch.
Lae looked down admiring at his daughter. She had Joc's hair; brown, natural curls. But she had Lae's eyes. Everyone loved them. They were like the sea; sometimes a beautiful seaglass color, light and shining, and other times like the ocean during a storm, boiling and dark.
Lilac was quiet. Lae looked up to see that she was silently crying.
"Li? You okay?"
"I'm worried about you and Joc. You shouldn't of volunteered. She could've got out of there herself and then you both would live. Now there's no way-"
"Did you see how Spyke kept looking at her?"
"He looked like he was going to kill her. I had to volunteer."
"Azure's gonna grow up as an orphan or without a mom or dad!" she cried out, suddenly angry.
"She's got all of you," Lae said in a relaxing voice. "She'll be fine."
"Ease up, Lilac." Lae said, reaching over and gently rubbing her back. "I'm gonna get Joc home and that's all that matters."
"What about you?"
"...we both know the answer to that, Li. But it doesn't matter."
"No." Careful not to disturb Azure, he stood and gave Lilac a hug with one arm. "I love you, Li. Keep everyone okay. Since Daniel's youngest, he'll only have a few extra strips. Have him do tesserae."
"I couldn't do that. I'm oldest if you're gone." She was, after all, a whole half an hour older than Hero. "I'll do it."
"You'll have fifty-five in next year," he warned, somehow managing to do the math in his head, though it had never been his strong subject. "Daniel will only have fourty-four."
"I think your wrong," Lilac said, frowning. "That's not right."
Silence. Then Azure said something. She had started talking a year ago, but not large sentences. She was somewhat of a late bloomer. But now she said, "I love you, Daddy."
Lilac's and Laercio's eyes both went to the small child. She said it again. Lae grinned and hugged her close, kissing her forehead. "Bye, baby. I'll miss you."
"Take this," Lilac managed, her eyes squinty as she kept back the waterworks. She held out a little shoe. "Azure's first shoe. Mom had me run back to the house real fast to get it for you."
Lilac was the fastest runner in the family. Lae took the small shoe and fingered it, a smile on his lips.
The Peacekeepers came for them soon after. "Love you," Lilac said, taking Azure. "Good luck. Azure, tell your daddy-"
"I love you, Daddy," Azure said again.
Lilac and Lae both smiled and then Lae was alone.
In the nieboring room, Joc sat, worried. She was worried about her daughter, she was worried about her husband, and she was worried about herself.
Daniel, Hero, Savannah, Hunter, and Collen all came in. There wasn't much discussion. Daniel and Hero, who liked Joc because she let them do whatever they wanted, clung onto her, silently crying. They were teenagers, but that just showed how tearful the Games made people.
The Moral family hung around, not speaking.
Soon, the Peacekeepers came. None of them had spoken during the long time they had together, but it was okay; in this case, words were not needed.
Next came Lae's parents, Eva and Rocky. They'd grown close to Joc and now they gave her a small hug. Rocky rubbed her back and Eva kissed her head. "Good luck. Be safe."
After them, finally, came Lilac and Azure. Joc instantly grabbed Azure, wanting to hold her baby. Lilac just sat there, awkward.
"Uh, Joc?" the fifteen-year-old asked after a while of silence.
Joc looked up from rocking Azure.
"Mom had me run back to the house and get this. Lae's getting the other one when I go to him next." She held out a little shoe. Joc realized it was Azure's first.
She took it and smiled. "Thank you, Lilac."
Time passed, and then came the Peacekeepers. Joc kissed her baby's forehead for what could easily be the last time.
Then Joc got a surprise. Her sister's husband Inacio along with their daughter Nathalie. Joc didn't think they would come, but she guessed she was wrong.
"Where's Ro?" Joc asked him.
"She can't come. She's a victor, and apparently they're not allowed to see tributes because they may give away tips on winning. She told me to tell you to lie low, though, and don't be with the Careers. You're too weak."
"I noticed," Joc snapped, quite unlike herself. Calmer, she said, "Lae and I will ally. Maybe get a few more on our team. Anyhow, hey, Nathalie, baby! How've you been, sweetie?"
Nathalie wore a cute little red dress that complemented her pale skin and brought out her golden curls. Inacio was rich, after all, so Nathalie's clothing showed it. The little girl grasped at her hand and giggled.
"She also said she loves you and she know's you have the ability to win."
Joc looked up and blinked. "She did?"
"Tell her thanks," she said, looking down again. Out of the corner of her eye she saw Inacio nod.
Only Nathalie's laughing was heard for the next few minutes, until they were taken away. Joc said nothing, and neither did Inacio.
Her twin sister Ariellia showed up next. The two hugged for a long time, and then looked at each other. Ari was crying, but Joc had hardened during her time living in poverty and she didn't so much as let a single tear out.
Ari and Joc looked nearly identical, each with long, curled brown hair, a slender build, a tall height, and pale skin, except Joc had a spray of light freckles from her time in the sun and chocolatey brown eyes and Ari had flawless skin, since she prefered living her life indoors, and pretty, glowing green eyes.
"You're safe, Ari, for the rest of your life. Why are you so sad?" Joc asked.
"You're not. You don't stand a chance, Joc."
Joc frowned. "I have Lae. He would do anything for me."
"And you would do anything for him."
"Exactly. That's how love is supposed to be."
"That's the problem. He risks his life for you, fine, you live. You risk your life for him, you die."
"He gets in a sticky situation, as he's bound to do sometime, you die."
Joc sighed. "Say what you say. We'll get out."
"We? As in you both of you?"
Joc looked away and didn't respond.
The Peackeepers came faster than expected, maybe because Joc had so many visitors. Joc refused to look Ari in the eyes. She collapsed on the couch, tired and wanting the whole thing to be over.
When her mother, Evalynn, and her brothers Fabian, Kai, and Lector came, she started getting angry.
"What, Dad didn't bother to show up?" she asked sourly.
Her father had been a very violent and controlling man. Though, deep down in her soul she loved him, she mostly just felt a pure hatred.
"He didn't want to face you," her mother told her, sitting down beside her and placing a hand on her leg gently.
"Good. I don't know what I'd do if I saw the bastard."
"Ease up, Jocie," Kai said in his smooth-talking voice, using the nickname Joc despised. "Technically, you're still a child. Don't use bad language."
In Lae's family, he was second oldest, just under Savannah, but in Joc's family, her and her twin sister were youngest. They were also mistakes. Four children had been enough for the family. Two more messed everything up.
Ro was oldest, and after her came Fabian, at 23. He was married, but Joc wasn't at all close to the girl, who was a snotty model of some kind. Next came Lector at 21, who was married as well, but Joc was already living with the Migon's at the time of the marriage. Finally, Kai, at nineteen, who had somehow weaseled his way out of commitment, and then Ariellia and Jociellia, the eighteen year olds. Ari was due for marrying a rich victor, but Joc had run away and therefor landed in the arms of the poor but wonderful Laercio Migon.
"Why are you guys here?" Joc asked, looking up.
"Well, duh," Lector said, feeling the need to be sarcastic. "You're our family."
"Not anymore," Joc said curtly, turning her back to them.
"Don't be-" Kai began, but Fabian cut him off, saying, "Let her. It doesn't matter. Let's go."
"Whatever," Kai and Lector said together. Joc heard their footsteps heading for the door.
"I love you, Jociellia, and no matter what I'm by your side," her mother told her tearfully, and then quickly- Joc heard the quick slapping of high heels against wood- followed her two younger sons.
Fabian remained, even when the door slammed and it was quiet. Joc turned around. "What, Fabian?"
"Good luck, Joc. With everything. I saw your daughter the other day. She's beautiful."
Joc blinked. "Thank you."
"Your.. family seems great too." Joc couldn't help but notice the second long pause before the word family.
"They are," she said simply.
"Good. You deserve it." He leaned over and kissed her on the forehead. "Good luck, again, Joc. God be with you."
As soon as he left, Joc scowled. Sometimes it seemed like God didn't exist in Panem. Or maybe he was like the Capitalites and enjoyed watching children die. Either way, Joc didn't really think He would help in this kind of situation.
"Every girl for herself," she said to herself as she was escorted out.
District 3: Loren Swellow (Vaan Levy) and Myrtle Litehmmer (Vaan Levy)
Myrtle Litehammer was prepared. She was good at balancing, climbing, constructing traps, and handling a dagger. She was smart, level headed, cunning, manipulative, and charming. She was only twelve, so she was easily be overlooked if she maintained the image of a scared, innocent little girl. She fully believed she could win the Games.
But, for the sake of her thirteen-person family, she didn't volunteer. She wasn't that stupid. Only the Careers, who had had years of training, were stupid enough to do that. Plus, it was her first reaping where she was eligible. If she volunteered, she would be a target; they would know she had some kind of hidden talent that made her cocky enough to risk her life. Plus it would ruin her angle. No, Myrtle couldn't volunteer.
But she supposed luck wasn't exactly on her side when the escort, who was named quite accurately Violet Moonblossom, pulled out a slip and read out Myrtle's name, despite it merely having one slip. One in thousands. Thousands.
Myrtle wouldn't describe herself as cocky. No, she wasn't proud. But she was confident in herself. She believed she could win. But, had you been another District 3 citizen watching solemnly from behind the ropes, you'd have thought different. She managed to channel her inner emotions, where fear did exist, though she refused to comfront it any other time, and bring tears to her eyes. She clenched her fists at her sides and clenched her jaw, starting towards the stage. Just another young person trying to seem tough for the sake of their family and their sponsors, if any.
"Hi, Myrtle," Violet said, smiling.
Myrtle moodily nodded at her.
"Now for the boy tribute," Violet said cheerily, going to the boy's bowl. She fished around for a few painfully long seconds and then plucked on out, unfurling it gently. Then she read, "Loren Swellow."
A fifteen year old with sooty black hair and chubby cheeks waddled up to the stage. The mayor, who was this boy's father, immediately had fear on his face, sitting in his own chair on the stage, but then wiped it off.
Loren, Myrtle instantly noted, was tall for his age. He was also easily past two hundred pounds- he had an extra large tuxedo and it still seemed tight. The small girl looked down at herself, more specifically her flat stomach, and wondered how he could do that, mayor's son or not. Myrtle ate fairly decent and she was still only ninety pounds or so. This boy must be showered daily with treats, which was a rarity and a pleasure to have for the Litehammer family.
"I present the District 3 tributes for the 51st Hunger Games. Loren Swellow and Myrtle Litehammer!" Violet announced.
The mayor, who appeared visibly disturbed, stood and read the Treaty of Treason and then announced the anthem. Myrtle zoned out, considering her position, but trying to appear to be terrified. Though she had good chances with her abilities, there was still the fact that she was only twelve. There was probably eighteen year old Careers that could kill her in seconds with their bare hands.
Myrtle shuddered at the thought.
The mayor finished, gave his son a look, and the gave a nod, dismissing the crowd. Myrtle went with the flow as the Peacekeepers escorted her away.
She was a very observant girl, so she looked around the posh little room they put her in. Soft purple carpet, pink walls, purple furniture. Elegant, sure, but not necessarily her taste.
Myrtle liked red. No, she loved red. Her hair was red, her cheeks were red, the flower in her hair was red. Red was a good color.
Her hand went up to the flower- a rose- and she delicately touched it. Her had mother placed a flower in all of her daughters' hair, as she did every reaping. She always said, when asked why she did it, "You're all so beautiful. You deserve to look pretty even on the most sinister days."
Speaking of her mother, just then she was coming in, looking wild. She collapse almost literally on Myrtle in a hug.
The tribute actually found herself laughing. "Mom, get off me."
Her mother stood and looked surprised. "Myrtle, you're going into the Hunger Games!"
"So? That means I have to be sad? Why?"
Her mother seemed confused. "Uh, I don't know. You could die."
"I won't, though. Plus, even if I were about to, why would I want to be miserable? Then your last memory of me will be me all sad and stuff and a big old tearfest."
Her mother blinked. Very true.
"Good luck, baby," she finally decided to say, hugging Myrtle once more, especially fingering her red flower. "You're brilliant, Myrtle. Good luck. You'll do good."
Myrtle smiled. "Thanks, Mom."
The Peacekeepers came and took her. Myrtle waved, but her mother seemed miserable, not even looking up. Myrtle scowled. As if she was the one about to die.
Her father came next, smiling, arms wide open. Myrtle collapsed into them, happy to have someone to reassure her. They stayed like that for a while before he said, "Your mom is-"
"I know. She just came. I think she's depressed."
"Who wouldn't be? But it's okay. I won't let it get deeper. Without you at the Company, we'll have to work harder, but it's okay. Mya can take your job."
Myrtle smiled. Mya was her younger sister, just nine years old, and she was her favorite. She loved her so much. Before the events of today, she'd been training her to repair electronics. Quite like Myrtle, Mya had shown a great talent almost immediately. "Okay."
"I'm going to miss you, Myrt."
"I'll be right back."
"I know, but still."
The Peacekeepers came. Her father kissed her forehead and left, not voicing how much he doubted she would come back.
Next came all of Myrtle's siblings. Eleven children, all crammed up together in one room. Six girls and five boys. The youngest, being six month old Tanner, and the oldest being twenty year old Tech.
Between them were three year old Rylee, six year old twins Megan and Tegan, nine year old Mya, Myrtle (who was twelve), fourteen year old Greg, fifteen year old Wire, sixteen year old Byte, and nineteen year old Pixel.
Myrtle pitied the four first children, who's names were rather painfully sterotyped for District 3, the electronic district.
Pixel held Tanner in her arms, watching Myrtle with a numb expression. She'd been Myrtle's only older sister, so the two had been close. Myrtle had often followed her around as a child, admiring her extreme skill in rewiring things.
Now the twins hugged Myrtle's legs, Rylee cried into her chest, and Mya sat next to Myrtle, hugging her tightly. Tech, Byte, Wire, and Greg all looked awkward, standing a distance away.
Lots of tears. Tons.
Pixel cleared her throat, and everyone looked up. "Myrtle, stand up. Everyone can say goodbye to her one at a time and then leave. Tears do nothing. We only have a few minutes. Tech? You wanna start?"
Tech cracked his knuckles, his brown hair wet with nervous sweat. He was a handsome boy, and very smart, but he'd always been awkward and never good with girls, so he was therefor single. He went up to Myrtle, stooped down to hug her- her being 5'2 and him being 5'8- and said, "Good luck, little sister." With that he left.
"Byte?" Pixel said, bouncing Tanner on her hip.
Byte gave Myrtle a hug and said similar, leaving.
"Wire? Greg?" the process continued. "Rylee?"
Rylee waddled up to Myrtle and hugged her legs, crying. There was a yellow dandelion in her hair. "Don't go, Myra."
As a baby, Rylee hadn't been able to say the "tle" at the end of her older sister's name, so she'd been Myra. Still was, for Tanner and Rylee, who both couldn't say it.
"I'll be back, Ry. Before you know it."
Rylee smiled and lifted Myrtle's hand, kissed it, and then waddled back to Pixel, standing by her side.
The twins ran up to Myrtle, almost tackling her with their double-bear hug. "We'll miss you, Myrt!" they chorused. Tegan had a white daisy in her hair and Megan a pink daisy.
"I know. I'll be back soon."
"I hope so," Tegan sniffed. "You're the best."
Myrtle smiled and gave them another squeeze. "Bye, guys."
They turned to go, but Pixel said, "Here, hold on. Take Rylee and Tanner."
She gave Tanner to Myrtle, who gently hugged him, and then handed him to Megan. Tegan took Rylee's hand, and they left.
Pixel went to Myrtle and stopped down to hug her. Her long curls- which were red, like Myrtle (they were the only redheads in the family)- were adorned by a purple pansy.
"I love you, Myrt. You're the best. Good luck, and try hard. I have confidence in you."
Myrtle smiled and watched as she left. Then she looked at Mya; the only one left. Mya looked as if she was begging for something, her eyes big and looking up though her head was down, but that was actually her sad face. Tears were flowing freely, but there was no sound.
Myrtle rocked her gently, her favorite sister. Quite like Myrtle, she had a rose in her hair- which happened to be blonde- but her's was a magenta color. They two looked most similar in the family, despite the hair colors. Both had long hair, most commonly in pigtails, large squared glasses, wide blue eyes, and freckled faces.
"I'll miss you so much. Who'll be my partner in crime?"
"I was thinking the same thing," Myrtle admitted, laughing slightly. "But I'll be back soon."
"You're so confident."
"Yeah. I think I can win. I'll just fake being weak and stuff and then kick ass."
Mya laughed at that, and Myrtle was glad to stop the tears. "I can so picture that."
Mya gave another laugh, just as the Peacekeepers came. "I gotta go. I love you. Good luck. I'll miss you! Do good!"
Myrtle smiled as she left. "Okay. Bye, Mya!"
"Bye, Myrt. Oh, fix your dress! It's wrinkled!"
The door closed. Myrtle spotted a mirror on the wall and walked up to it. She was dressed in a plaid and worn blue dress. Mismatched but strangely fitting red shoes adorned her feet. Her red hair was braided into two pigtails and she instantly reminded herself of Dorthy from The Wizard of Oz. She thought for a moment about where she'd seen Dorthy, but then gave it up, smoothing down her dress and sitting on the couch.
She realized that she hadn't been given a token. Then she figured her flower could pass for one. And then...
Silence. Myrtle was starting to get used to it.
Meanwhile, Loren was sitting with Jenna, the only person who came to see him. She was his girlfriend, as "large" as he was. She was beautiful, to him at least. She herself was very tall with very skinny arms and legs. She had big round glasses that seemed to cover half her face and messed up teeth. But he loved her to death. Now they sat rocking back and forth, hugging.
"I'll miss you. So, so much." Jenna said.
"I'll miss you too."
She smoothed his tuxedo, and Loren smiled. She was such a perfectionist. She looked up and met his eyes. "Don't be rash, Lor. Pay attention. Run. Don't be stupid."
His eyes flashed angrily. "I'm not stupid."
"I know. Your brilliant. But sometimes, with actions, you don't think. That could end bad."
"What are you talking about?" He was almost yelling. "I'm not stupid!"
Jenna was used to it. Most of the time Loren was like a small child. He was very compassionate and kind, as well as gullible and sensitive. But when he got angry, he threw fits. Being the mayor's only child, he was spoiled rotten. He was a classic only child.
"I know," Jenna said, raising her hands in surrender. "You aren't. You just have to really watch out."
Loren's brow crinkled "Oh. Okay. I will."
Loren bit his lip. "Dad's not coming?"
"He can't. It's not allowed, or something."
Loren had no friends, no siblings, and his mother had died a while back. So Jenna was all he had.
When they took her away a few minutes later, after she gave him her bracelet and a delicate final kiss, and he was left, a confused, spoiled, angry, childish boy just awaiting death.
Because, in the world of The Hunger Games, death was near inevitable. Some sooner than others.
Loren had a very bad feeling that his was coming very, very soon.
Another authors note. THAT WAS SO LONG! I'm tired now. I'm gonna go sleep. I hope you enjoy. Sorry Loren's goodbyes were short. Also, I don't think the next chapter will come for a while. I'm really exhausted, and tomorrow's Father's Day AND my Dad's birthday, so it just won't work. Anyway, hope you enjoyed. Bye now. :) Next chapter is District 4, 5, and 6. Tributes are on my page, so you know. Thanks! :D