Hey! This is Catching Fireflies, with her first three-shot! Okay... first off, the dream is actually based off a really emotional and crazy dream I had last summer. I altered it to fit the characters, the story, and Panem. And yes, I do have a twin sister *cough cursed to curse cough* that was included in the dream I had. This is in Maysilee's twin sister's point of view - I named her Addalynn-, starting on the night before the reaping.
Give me some constructive criticism, I could use it... considering that I wrote some of this chapter while my family thought I was asleep, because I felt way too inspired. Hope you like it! :)
I tiptoe into the bedroom that I share with Maysilee, my bare feet making the floorboards creak, my nightgown swishing around my legs. My hand reaches out to flick the switch to the lamp, the room illuminating with a soft, yellow glow, and I see my sister's face. She's nestled under the sheets of her bed, her golden-blond hair spilling over her pillow. I smile, hearing her heavy breathing. She looks so much younger, so innocent. The soft whir of the ceiling fan must have lulled her to sleep. I only wish that I could fall asleep that easily.
But tonight, I'm so tired, despite the reaping being tomorrow. I slide under the sheets of my bed, fumbling for the switch. The lamp's light leaves the room, everything dark. Night birds are calling softly outside, and I feel the light breeze through the open window by my head. A mockingjay calls softly, and I whistle the same quiet birdsong back. It repeats it, and I grin, snuggling under the covers. Mockingjays aren't used to being imitated.
"Night-night, May," I whisper, even though she can't hear me.
I'm in my school. What other place would have these brick walls, the scruffy shrubs lining the edges? But it's almost empty. Everyone looks dazed. Half-asleep. I guess I'm early. Well, might as well go to my first class. It's Panem History, which is at the other end of the building, so I set off at a run, my feet pounding the cracked, faded tiles on the floor. Funny, I don't have any of my textbooks with me. But it's weird, because it doesn't seem to matter that much.
I walk into my Panem History classroom, quickly sitting down in my desk and brushing a strand of blond hair out of my face. Lucky Maysilee. She has Physical Education first, instead of boring History, where we spend fifty-two wasted minutes talking about the many uses of the coal we mine here in District Twelve. It's the same every day, it seems like. Monotonous.
"Ms. Donner," the teacher says. I look up, wondering why my balding, old teacher would have such a girly, accented voice. But instead of our usual teacher, it's a woman I recognize dimly. The chaperone for our tributes, who draws the names in the reaping. My fists clench, my heart beating faster and faster.
"W-what?" I ask, trying not to look the disgusting altered Capitol woman in the eyes. Blue hair, red eyes, hot-pink skin, jewels implanted in her arms... it's sickening.
"Addalynn Donner, come forward!" she trills. I get up, my chair scraping the ground as I push it back. I wipe my sweaty palms on my skirt and walk up to the front of the room. Everyone stares at me blankly. My face flushes bright red; I can feel the heat. "Congratulations!" the woman exclaims, and I flinch. "Our lucky female tribute of District Twelve, here to represent in the 50th annual Hunger Games... Addalynn Donner!"
No. This can't be happening. This isn't happening. My heart's pounding in my chest, and I feel like screaming. But I can't say a thing. I'm frozen. I can't run. My mind is barely capable of processing simple thoughts.
Then I hear a scream. Wait, is it me? No, it's coming from down the hall, by the gym. "Fire!" a voice screams, coughing violently, staggering into the room. "Fire! In the gym! Get out, as fast as you can!" I start to run for the door, down the hall, so relieved and terrified at the same time. I need to get out. I can't die now. Not when I'm a tribute. But then I remember something.
She's in the gym. My sister is burning.
I turn around. "No!" I yell, but the hallway's on fire. I cough on the thick, black smoke. It's too late. I'm too late to save Maysilee. So I just run for the nearest exit as fast as I can, my legs pumping. I've got to make it out. For Maysilee. I can't burn for a lost cause.
I stumble outside, choking, trying to rid my lungs of any trace of smoke. But then I feel something else, as I watch from a distance, watching my school burn to the ground and turn to ashes. Grief. For Maysilee. My beautiful twin sister. She's dead. She's dead, she burned, she's gone... there's no way to sugarcoat it now. I lean against a tree, bracing myself. Maysilee. How am I going to be able to live without Maysilee?
I think I stay like that for hours. It's only when I see the eastern sky illuminated with orange light that I realize how long it's been. Literally, hours. But I still haven't cried, not once. I'm too numb to cry. Even though there's no one else, as far as I know, that made it out. I jog to the edge of the school. Strangely, the bricks took the worst of the blaze, containing the fire inside what was once the school. The shrubs and scruffy flowerbeds are almost untouched.
That's when the pain hits. The sadness. I'm on my knees, my head to the cracked sidewalk. The sobs wrack my whole body, making me tremble. I fall into the flowerbed, crying, curled up into a ball, rocking back and forth. Maysilee. My sister. She's dead. My sister is dead. It's sunk in by now. I'm crying, sobbing so hard that I get out of breath, my nose getting stuffed up.
And right then, right when I'm sure that I'm not going to be able to go on living in this cruel world without her, I hear the mockingjays. They're imitating a common violin melody that even some of the youngest District Twelve children know. Greeting the sunrise, saying hello and goodbye at the same time. The song is slow. Sad. Sweet. And beautiful.
But even though this should push me straight over the edge and send me into a sobbing fit, I stand up shakily. I sing along softly, on the word 'ah'. My gaze travels slowly up the hill that the school is at the bottom of. The rich, black earth. The soft green grass, streaked with yellow-orange sunlight. The tall trees that border the small field between the school and the woods. And finally, the top of the hill.
And as the mockingjays' melody crescendos beautifully, I see a figure standing at the top of the hill, bathed in yellow light. Her blond hair looking like pure gold. Smiling at me. I don't believe what I'm seeing.
"Maysilee," I whisper-
"Silly sleepyhead," teases a voice. Maysilee. I roll over in bed, attempting a smile. But it's reaping day. And... oh. My dream. The images flood back through my mind, and I sink back into the pillows, closing my eyes for a moment. "Since it's reaping day, I'll let you off." She's already dressed in her reaping outfit, a lovely deep blue dress that matches her eyes. There's a gold pin glistening on her chest. I rub my eyes, looking closer. It's in the shape of a mockingjay, flying.
"Maysilee..." I say, rolling out of bed, my eyes widening. "There's double the amount of tributes. And... oh, May, I had a nightmare. You were dead... and I was going to die..."
"It's going to be okay," she says, smiling. Her smile can usually make me smile back, but I can't seem to manage that now. May, always the happy one. "The reaping's in a few hours. And Mom laid out the most wonderful dress for you, Addie." She's gushing now. "It's pink, the same design as mine. And she gave you a pin like mine, too. A mockingjay, only yours is silver. And Dad says that we can have some candy from the shop for lunch! Imagine it, candy for lunch, Addie!" She skips out of the room merrily, grinning and whistling a little tune.
It's because he's worried that we'll get reaped, I think. But I follow her into the kitchen. Smile at my mother, thank her for the dress and the pin. Give my father a hug and pick out some sweets from our shop to eat. But it's all false, because I'm so scared. Scared that my dream will become reality.
But it won't, will it? It can't. We'll be fine. And if we're not... The candy doesn't taste so sweet anymore, and I go back to my bedroom. But my thoughts don't stop. If we're not fine, remember... the end of the dream. Maysilee was waiting on the top of the hill. She'll never be truly gone.