Hi all, this is my second story, but first for the Hunger Games. Enjoy.
Disclaimer: I do not own the Hunger Games, only Septa.
I look around me, bored with the work I have to do. I am a goldsmith, one of the few female ones. Half of the gold we mine we turn into plates and such that are then shipped to the Capitol. I hate it and I hate the Capitol. I look around me again. Many of us smiths are at least sixteen years old. Old enough to still go into the Games. I shiver in spite of the heat of the day and of my furnace. The Reaping was in a couple of weeks. This would mark the One Hundredth Hunger Games. I look around at the grim faces. They are black with soot from the furnaces. I try not thinking about the Reaping, but I do anyway. I am the second youngest, and last, in my family and it has been our family's luck to go into the Games. Every year, for the past twenty-five years, at least one member of our family has gone into the games. There was one year where we barely escaped that fate. In the past five years alone, I have lost my three older brothers and my little sister. If the odds were still against us, I would be picked to go into the Games.
I hold back the tears as I think of my little sister. I tried to volunteer for her, to go in her place. But that was against the law now. The last volunteer from our district had led a rebellion. I look at the gold and stamp it. I stare at the mark, District 12, the Gold Miners. That's right. We are the new District 12 and we mine the gold the Capitol uses. The old one had burned twenty-five years ago after the Seventy-Fifth Hunger Games. Why the Capitol felt the need for twelve districts is beyond me. Though, a hundred years ago, there were thirteen.
I look up at my name. "Yes?"
"Quit daydreaming. The day is over." My supervisor orders. I nod and cover my fire with the ashes. Tomorrow was Sunday and there would be no work.
I look at the darkened house. My parents were inside, waiting for me in the dark. That was the rule now. When the sun went down, no candles were to be lit. So many new rules because of one child, one girl, one Mocking-jay. My father told me that some of the citizens of District Two had been relocated to the new District. That's when Twelve had gone from coal to gold. Others had been relocated as well. And there were no more Careers. The Career Districts had fallen out of favor with the Capitol after the rebellion. I shiver again, thinking about my fate in the next two weeks. I knew my parents would be mourning me. The odds were never in my family's favor. Maybe this year will be different. But it is unlikely. This year marks the fourth Quarter Quell.
I sigh and open the door, wanting to hug my mother. But she is not there and neither is my father. I look in all the rooms and find no sign that they even lived in the house. Did I come to the wrong house? No, I've walked to this house for sixteen years. This is my house. So where are my parents? I look around and try to find some sign of them. It is impossible in the dark and if I light a candle, the Peace Keepers would arrest me before half an hour had passed. I look in the fireplace where some of the coals are still warm and find some stew left for me in a stone bowl. I grab the bowl with the tongs and place it on the table and eat in silence. I go to bed right after, having no one to talk to tonight, and think about this year's Games. We do not know what would make this Quell so special. The president had decided to wait until the Reaping to disclose the Quell.
The sun shone into my room, waking me from a peaceful dream. I get up and look around for my parents. Then I remember. They are gone. It had become a common occurrence. It was a great achievement to die of old age. Your life and livelihood would be remembered by the people of your District. But this was rare. Often, adults would just disappear in the night and never be seen again. But this was after one had turned fifty, forty-five at the earliest. My parents were closer to the forty-five age. I look around the house and, as I expected, I only find my clothes in my drawer. My room alone had been left untouched by the Peace Keepers. Why couldn't they have waited until after I had died? Then this wouldn't be so hard for me to bear.
I look under my bed and see what I am looking for. It's my staff. Dad had trained us all to use them, except my little sister, Christa. She had been too young to learn. We had not expected her to be picked at twelve years old. Dad had forbidden us to apply for tesserae. But that had not been enough to prevent my brothers and my sister from being Reaped for the Games. I think the Capitol is punishing us for some reason or other. But now there is no one to confirm my thoughts. I hold back the tears as I look around my room. If my staff, which was usually kept in the closet, was under my bed that meant my parents knew the Peace Keepers were coming. Maybe they had left something for me. Just maybe.
No one came by the house as I searched my room. It was getting close to dark when I finally found it. In my top dresser drawer, there is a small silver key. Every house has a lockable pantry to keep looters from taking the food from abandoned houses. The Peace Keepers all have a master key though. I look up and notice the sun is close to setting. There is food in the kitchen. I cut up some vegetables and some of the meager meat we had left and make a small stew. I sit and eat while the sky darkens. My parents are gone. I am alone. Each of my siblings had died in the Games and I was next. My family is gone.
"Septa!" I hear and moan. It is too early for her to be coming around. But then again, that means only one thing. "Septa!" I get up and throw on my father's old jacket and go to the door. As I expected, Hima is standing outside my door. She is another goldsmith and she and I usually walk to work together.
"Super says for you not to come in today. Said something about a day for grieving."
"Oh." Is all I can say. I had expected this and hoped against it. I had my day of grieving yesterday. "Thank you, Hima." I say and close the door. I hear her shuffle away, back to the smithies. The tears threaten to fall, but I push them away. There is no use crying. I see the key on the table. I had left it there last night. Mom and Dad left it in my room for a reason other than so I have access to the pantry. The Peace Keepers know that I live here and would have left it on the table. My parents hid it for a reason. I grab it and go to the pantry and open it as the sun peeks into the house. Now I can't stop the tears from falling. In the closet is my mother's favorite dress. It is an emerald green with gold stitching on the skirt, an heirloom of her family. She had worn it when she had married my father. I look around some more and find my father's pendent. It is silver and has an engraved eagle on it and hangs by a leather string. Dad told us that it was our family's symbol. He had also told us, in the dead of night, that it had been the symbol of the country that Panem had been before it was Panem.
I slip the leather around my neck and grab the dress and exit the pantry. I hang the dress in my closet and throw myself on my bed, finally letting the tears fall.
I hope you all like. If you have not read my first fanfic, I am open to all critic, even flames, so please review. And thanks for reading.