Sadly, I don't own the Hunger Games or anything to do with Suzanne Collins. The characters, events, places, etc. that you don not reconize, are mine, probably.
This story doesn't mention the rebellion, as I started it before reading Catching Fire.
I never thought that the worst day of my life would be my fifteenth birthday.
I lay in bed thinking about things I shouldn't think about. Like my mother's death or my cousin, James, being diagnosed with cancer, and of course, the reaping.
The reaping is the way to pick out the tributes for the annual Hunger Games.
78 years ago, there was a rebellion between the Capitol and 13 districts. The Capitol won and while they beat Districts 1 through 12, they completely obliterated District 13. Then to make it worse, the Capitol made up the Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live T.V. The rules, every district will draw one be and one girl, between the ages of 12 and 18, to participate and represent their district, and the rule against cannibalism, but I won't go into that.
I hate the games even more during Quell season. They make it even worse, every 25 years, the games get harder by changing the rules, calling it the Quarter Quell. On the 2nd Quell, districts had send double the usual, which is how Sam, James' dad, died.
Also, you can put your name in the draw in extra times, to get grain and oil for your family. I'm fifteen and my sister's fourteen. I had my name in 4 regular times and added an extra 5 times. Katie had hers in 2 regular and added twice.
I get out of bed and put on a pair of jeans and a white t-shirt.
I go to the kitchen and grab some bread and cheese. I wonder where my dad is, then remember he's at work. He'll be home to take us to the reaping. I eat, then head to town to find Jack, my best friend.
I knock on his door and walk in. "Jack. Ya here?"
"No Colin. He went to town." says his mother, Alane.
"Thanks." and I leave.
Jack tends to hang out by the explosives shop, because the owners daughter, is cute.
I hed over and of course, there he is, talking to Jordin. Jordin Snow (no releation to President Snow, I hope) is one year older tahn us, with long, straight blrown hair and blue eyes. She is a bit shorter than me.
"Hey Jack. Hi Jordin." I wave as I walk. "What are ya chatin about?"
"Nothing much. How'd you find me?" asks Jack.
"I went to your house, and your mom said you weren't home. So, I figured you'd be here." I tell him.
"Oh. I'm that predictable?"
"Dang." he says. Me and Jordin both laugh. "Why were you looking for me?"
"It's our Reaping Day tradition. Has been for 3 years. We meet up and hang until we have to go and see someones lives get ruined!" This makes Jordin laugh again. She moved to 3 during the Games last year from 8, textiles.
"How many tesserae did you sign up for Jack?" she asks.
"8. So 12 in all. You?" he nods at me.
"5, 9 in all." I poke Jordin. "Now for you Ms. Snow."
"Well, 6. That makes 11."
We go on and on until Alana takes Jack to get ready, leaving me alone with Jordin.
"Can I tell you something Colin?" she asks me.
"Depends. Are you gonna make fun of me or Jack?"
"Then fire away."
"Well, I really like him. Like, really, really, really like him. Do you think he's interested?"
I can't believe she's asking me this! "Of course he likes you. Haven't wondered why he comes to see you everyday?"
"I thought that, but I wanted to ask you, since you're his best friend."
"Colin. Colin" My dad comes puffing over. "Oh, hello Jordin."
"Hello Mr. Hays."
"Why are you here, dad?"
"It's 1:00, you have to be ready for the reaping in one hour." And he grabbed my shoulder to get me home.
When we get home, my dad draws my bath in one bathroom, and Katie's, in the other. In mine, I strip down and sink in the warm water. I wait for ten minutes, then I get out and wrap myself in my towel. It is soft and warm. I head to my room, where my dad has laid out my clothes; a pair of black dress pants, and a white dress shirt.
When we're finished, we leave for the town square.
The square is a huge place in the center of 3. Everyone must come. We go to the check in, then I get herded into the group of 15 year-olds. I spot Jack and walk over to him.
"So much for spending the day together." I say.
"Ye-" He gets cut off by Mayor Johnston.
"Hello. Today is a big day: the annual Hunger Games Reaping!" his speeches always start this way. He goes on and on. Then the escort, Caesar Jackson comes up. Caesar always draws the names. When he comes to the podium everyone laughs. I've seen Caesar in some funny outfits, but this one takes the cake. He has his hair blown to oe side of is face, a black lip stud, two gold earrings on each ear and a brown suit.
"Hello. As you may know, my name is Caesar Jackson, the District 3 escort." he gives a speech about how the participating in the games is a big honour. Finally, he says, "I will now draw the name of the girl tribute." He sticks his hand into a bowl and pulls out a slip.
"And the District 3 femle tribute is," he unfolds the slip. "Jordin Snow!"
Jordin, who is wearing a floral blue dress, looks shocked, but she walks up on the stage. I hear soft cries to my left, and see Jack is crying.
Now Caesar repeas the process, and draws out a slip. "Your District 3 male tribute is," he coughs. "is, Colin Hays!"
My heart stops beating. I hear Jack cry harder. Someone pushes me back into reality, so I start toward the stage. When I get up, I stand on Caesar's Left, with Jordin on his right. He shoves a mic in my face and says, "So, how old are you Colin?"
"Umm. Today's my 15 birthday."
"Wow, what a great birthday gift." he shoves the mic at Jordin "Now, how about you Jordin?"
"Allright. Now you can go sit by your new mentor."
We go sit down. I recognise our mentor as Jason Brooks, who won the 73rd Hunger Games at fifteen. Now he's an alcoholic. His black hair is drenched with sweat and caked with dirt. His face is just as dirty
"Hi Jason." I say.
"Leave me alone." he says.
"Fine." I reply.
The mayor comes back up and reads something equally as boring as the first. I glance at Jack, who is balling his eyes out. His two best friends, both reaped for the same games. When I look for dad, he is nowhere to be seen. Katie is still here, crying. When the mayor is done, Caesar takes Jordins hand, and my shoulder, leading us off to the Justice Building. We have one hour to say good bye to friends and family. One hour.
My first visitor is Katie.
"Where's dad?" I ask.
"When your name was drawn, I saw him take off. I haven't seen him since."
We continue to talk until the Peacekeepers tell her to leave.
Next is Jack. He is still crying, and obviously just finished with Jordin.
"My only t-two reasons to live, and the-thery're gone!"
"Oh come one Jack. You have your mom, school and you have other friends! Just live and we'll make it. I swear."
"Yeah, well, my other friends aren't as important as you." And with that, we remain silent. When the Peacekeepers tell him to leave, he says, "Oh,and mom wants you to have these." He reaches in his pocket and pulls out a bag and leaves. I look in the bag. It is filled with cookies. How Alane managed to afford these, I'll never know.
My last visitor is unexpected. It is my dad.
"Where the hell have you been?" I yell.
"Colin, shhh. When I heard your name, I ran home to get this." He pulls out a ring.
"An old gold ring. Wasn't that your wedding ring?"
He starts to whisper, "No. This is a healing ring. I created it so whenever you say "remender", the wielder will be healed!"
"Hmm. Prove it."
"Fine," he says. "I will." With that, he pulls out a knife, which he uses to slice his arm.
"What are you doing?"
"Just say "remender" and I will be fine!"
"Remender!" The blood that was pooling out of his left arm retreats back into his arm, which then instantly heals.
"Whoa. Cool." I say.
When the Peacekeepers come in, I jam my hand in my pocket. He is led out, then I am. I meet Jordin, Caesar and Jason in the hall.
"OK. Now, off to the train station." Casar announces. The train station, filled with people, and cameras. It won't be so bad, as it looks like we haven't been crying. At least, not too badly. We climb into a car and drive off.
"Well. Who visited you Colin?" asked Caesar.
"My sister, my friend and my dad."
"Oh. What about you Jordin?"
She gulps. "My dad, Colin's friend and hten nobody."
"Well, it seems you don't want to talk about it, so I'll be quiet." And he was.
I was right, the train station was packed with cameras.