Twenty Three Years after the Rebellion

"Mom?" Peeta looks over at me, like me trying to decide if she was calling for help, or if it was a general question. I decided to follow my gut and went to the living room.

"What's wrong Em?" I turned the corner and stopped. My stomach contorted into a new shape, and my ears started to ring. My daughter, my beautiful baby girl, who had only just turned seventeen, the age of survivors from a past life, was holding the one thing we had hoped she would never see. The tapes. "Mom, what are these? They have numbers on all of them." She had pulled out all our tapes from the games, of the people we love and have lost. I can see numbers fifty, sixty-five, seventy, seventy-one, already laying on the coffee table. I already knew whose names were on those, and I know she would have recognized three of them. The last two tapes she holds are the ones that make me begin to cry.

"How did you find those?" I whisper, my chest suddenly burning with fear and regret. Ember, my little girl, looks up at me, still slightly startled by her find.

"I-I was cleaning the trunk out. Dad had mentioned I could have it, for my paintings. But, I didn't realize-. "She stopped when she looked back at the tapes in her hands. The shiny numbers seventy-four and seventy- five catching the light. Having caught his name in the conversation, Peeta turned the corner as well, and I saw his shoulders sag at once.

And then she asked the one question that we had both prayed to never have to hear, but knew it would happen eventually. Things like this always do.

"What are the Hunger Games?"

Because the odds have never really been in our favour.

This is chapter one, of sorts :) I'm writing this in a 'zipper' form, so we'll read about Peeta and Katniss's future, where they have to tell their kids their story. and back up to points in their life, like the birth of their kids, and what will lead to having to show them the Capitol :) hope you enjoy!