Pure shock slapped me in the face as my family's name was read of the small slip of deadly paper. It was the 66 hunger games, and it was special. We had special surprise games every once and a while now, and the 66 fell into that pattern. This year, a family's name was called, and all the children 5 and up were forced into the games. You could not have more than 5 people come from a family, but it didn't matter if there was only one child. When this was announced I realized how hard it would be for an only child to win, no family allies. Yet maybe it would be easier, not having to go in with your family you know would eventually be killed. I had pondered that night if my family was called could one of us make it. Well know I was facing that harsh reality.
I couldn't exactly remember how to move my body, my brain told my legs to move me, but they must have been on strike because they didn't take a step. Children my age started to roughly push me towards the isle to where I would meet my execution. I silently thanked them; at least someone here could control their bodies. I saw Oaken rise out of his group of boys, so with white shaking fingers I reached for my brother, grasping his large hand with my petite ones. I always felt like my brother resented me, so I was surprised when his hand welcomed mine, wrapping around it. I felt his hands tremble for a second and I knew he was hopelessly trying to seem stronger and tougher, consoling him and me. His large stature created a shadow over me. I barely hit 5'2 while my brother was literally a foot taller than me, hitting the scale at 6'2. I couldn't see my sister yet but I knew she would find us to walk up to the platform
There were three children in my family, my brother, Oaken who was 13, me and I was 11, and my oldest sister Lark, who was coming on the age of 17. United our family marched to our deaths unto the platform, the glory of district 12 around us. Our escort Ensai Waxen, giddily clapped her pink dyed hands and her odd shaped finger nails made a hollow clicking noise. She was a strange woman, but I suppose that was what all capitol women were like. Today she was dressed in a purple gown; feathers seemed to pop out at odd angles while bells jingled when she moved. Her hair was a dark blue and it swirled around her head. When she looked at me her garish makeup took me back, and I cringed. I knew that no one would volunteer for us. No one in their right mind would risk their entire family for someone else.
I saw my father thru the crowds of people, and tears ran down is cheeks. My mother died in child birth with me, so I had no memories of her, just faint smells of dandelions on her old dresses before we sold them and the small tarnished mirror she had, kept locked away by my father. We were all the man had left. We were part of the poorest part of district 12, nicknamed the seam. We would have starved without my father's illegal knowledge of hunting and gathering. My father was a coal miner, like most of the adults on 12, but the pay was not enough to keep a family of four even slightly feed. Because my father could get food from the forest, we were better off than most of the starving people of the seam. I knew a few other families who did this, but we were still rare.
My dad was once apart if the richer part of 12, but one day he saw my mom. My mother wouldn't give him the time of day, knowing he was from the merchant area of 12, she considered herself stronger and braver then the weak rich. My father decided to prove he was good enough for my mom by leaving the rich, and moving to the seam. She married him a month later. My father said I was a lot like my mother, stubborn and proud, refusing to except anything other then what I wanted.
He wasn't very good at hunting, so he had one of his close friends teach me to shoot a bow and handle a knife when I was 8. I knew this man as Mr. Everdeen, and I also knew he had a daughter younger than me that he also taught, but I never knew her identity. 3 times a week he would leave his family to find me and my father in the woods, to teach me to kill. He even made me a bow for my birthday. I thought of this man as an uncle, even thou he had no relation to me at all. I had picked up the hunting skill fairly quickly, and I was lethal with a bow, much unlike my brother and sister.
They were more like my Father, sweet gatherers with ice blonde hair and warm blue eyes. Even my mother had blue eyes, which was strange considering she was from the seam. She had cold, dark brown hair which I inherited, but for some reason I didn't receive either of my parents' eye color. I was cursed with almost black-gray eyes with odd slashes and specks of green and gold. I had never seen eyes like them in the entire district; in 12 you either had blue eyes or gray ones, nothing else. My father said they were beautiful, but I could never fathom why my eyes had to be the different ones. I was already different in every other way. The only person I would be somewhat like in my family would be my mother, yet thru the cruel injustice of life, she was gone.
Kicked from my memories I heard Ensai's now booming voice echo over the courtyard. "My my my, she began, what a triumphant year it will be". I had no idea why she thought one of us could be a victor. What made her think we would become victor material? I was a shaken 11 mess, my hands trembling and skin ashy white, and my 17 year old sisters weeping sobs could be heard all the way from the woods. I was sure even my brother looked like he had seen a ghost.
Shortly after the broadcasting of our districts tributes, my siblings and I were shoved into different rooms to say goodbye, but I knew I would only have one visitor. I was never what you would call "popular" in school. I was the strange freak who belonged no were. My brother was fairly attractive and he had a girlfriend I was positive would visit him, along with some loyal friends he had collected over the years. My gorgeous sister had swept up many boys in her life, and easily made friends, so I knew she would have also have many goodbyes to say. My father rushed into my room eventually, sweeping me up in kisses and hugs. "Maison", he looked me straight in the eyes. "Baby you know how to shoot a bow, so when the time comes, do it." I stared at him, momentarily stunned. He quickly pressed a necklace into my hand. "It wasyour mothers, use it as your token, I love you" these were his last words as he was ripped away from me. I opened my small palm and found a silver deer shrouded in trees staring up at me, the charm was suspended on a silver chain, and I hooked it around my neck. I sat in the overly plush chair and realized I never told my father I loved him. I scrubbed angry tears off my cheeks quickly, I knew this was the time I would need to be my strongest, the time I was going to die.