Thirty years before the destruction of the Hunger Games, children were forced to have their names put into reaping balls and risk having to go into the arena. Being a victor is a luxurious but torturous achievement. Children's lives are changed forever when the step onto the stagw where they were reaped or volunteered to be on. A young girl named Cressica Vollux from District 8 is sent to the Hunger Games after being reaped. The worst part? She is being forced through the same torture the her late brother Andross suffered. She and the other twenty-three tributes are about to enter a life-changing journey. This is the Hunger Games.
Andross Vollux (deceased)
Chapter 1- You Just Got ReapedEdit
I woke with a start. Today was that day, that notorious day. The nightmares I had had the night before easily overpowered the chances of having my name drawn out of thousands of slips. The terror was reinforced by my brother's gruesome demise nearly a year before. Today, I would've had to attend the reaping for the 45th Hunger Games.
District 8. Here, factories cover the land. Here, factories cover the land. Gray, identical, and back-to-back. An infant could be amazed by the stature and size of these structures, but after a while, they're all the same. A red ribbon hanging from a window is considered a festive, decorative touch. The most, or rather only, beautiful part of this district is the shining Victor's Village. The large, bright mansions are surrounded by something green that grows in blades. No one seems to know what that substance is. Two months before, I was sent to a factory to work, making Peacekeeper uniforms for export to the homeland of President Snow, the Capitol.
My name is Cressica Vollux, I am twelve years old, and I am known as the sister of last year's male tribute, Andross Vollux. Andross received third place in the 44th Hunger Games. He was killed by a boy known as Lipton from District 1. He was avenged by the victor, Enobaria of District 2, but nothing can take his place.
My father pulled me out of my slumber. His tear-ridden face confirmed that, he, too, fears the reaping will kill me, as it did Andross. My father seldom shows weakness, even after his wife got whipped to death for stealing from a factory. Half of out family has been killed by the Capitol's law. Remember, I have to tell myself, it's nothing personal.
My father and I silently trudged down the stairs. I was caught off-guard by the dreaded smog, that so ever plagued District 8. It had become normal for the population, but many victors who stopped by on the Victory Tour were choked by the smog. Last year's victor, Enobaria, had come from said-to-be beautiful District 2, and was nearly choked to death by the smog. My father and I made our way to the crowded City Circle, where he bid me a mixed-signal good-bye.
He looks down, then at the houses, gray and dull, like us. "I'll... be seeing you." He coughed. I looked into his grief-striken eyes and nodded. I slowly took my place with the other twelve-year-old girls.
Miffi Socket, the escort for Eight, jogged merrily onto the stage. She beganto babble on about why we have the Hunger Games, the fall of North America, the rise of Panem and President Snow, the Dark Days, and the Rebellion.
"Ladies first!" Miffi shrieked. She went up to the girls' reaping ball and dug for a name. She held it up and looked to the audience. "Cressica Vollux!" She called enthusiastically. That's when I knew what would happen to me. I was going to die. Horribly. I could feel the color drain from my face as I stumbled onto the stage, half walking, half being carried by Peacekeepers. I made eye contact with Tabitha Paylor, my best, and possibly only, friend in District 8. Her face showed a mix of pity, hope, and sorrow. The Peackeepers dropped me next to Miffi.
"Well, then." Miffi beamed in her uppity Capitol accent. "Aren't we a bit feisty?"
I glared at the little animal.
"Vollux, eh?" Said animal pondered. "Related to Andross Vollux, last year's male tribute, third place in the last Games?"
I nodded solemnly. As I tried to figure out what it would take to regain my normal life, Miffi went to reap another innocent child.
"Now for the boys!" Miffi called. She dug into the boys' reaping ball. The slip of paper was read in front of all. "Tobias Silkworth!" Silkworth. It can't be.
A boy with slick blonde hair and expensive-looking clothes came to the stage. He stood by me proudly. It wasn't difficult to figure out that his family owned a business. A factory. Something in the back of my head nagged me about him. Do I work in his factory? No. Does my father? No. Tabitha? No. No, it can't be. No. It is. Tobias Silkworth is responsible for the death of my mother.
"This sure to be a year to remember." A voice cooed. I turned and found a man in his thirties. His hair was neat and attractive, but he was dressed as a lowly factory worker. Still, I knew who he was. One of the few in this district that could call themselves a victor. Woof, the victor of the 21st Hunger Games. He was to be my mentor.
Miffi nodded. "Happy Hunger Games!" She cried. "And may the odds be ever in your favor!" She and Woof hopped into a car bound for the train station.
Two Peacekeepers dragged Tobias and I into another car. That's when I realized that Tobias was going to kill me. District 8 had had some victors, like Woof, but we're not exactly killer warriors. What good does working in a factory do? Sewing. Stamping. All of our textile skills, useless. What Woof and the other victors had was speed. If one doesn't produce enough of their product, they go hungry. We must work fast. I looked over at Tobias, who was simply cleaning his nails.
Tobias' eyes met mine. "Hmph." He scoffed. "A lowly schoolgirl trying to win the Hunger Games? How amusing."
I ignored his comment. What an idiot. The car parked in front of City Hall. Tobias and I were led to large, expensive-looking rooms.
"This is where you will get some time to say goodbye to your loved ones!" Miffi informed before getting on the train. Somehow, I began to respect this woman. Every year, she has to see innocent tributes she picked out get killed brutally. Yet, she hides it under those cheery eyes.
Not long after Miffi exits, Tabitha enters. Her face is flushed with pity. She trudged up to me, silently. "I'll see you." She sniffled. "On TV. And, then, hopefully, in the Victor's Village. She straightened up. Tabitha is a serious but friendly girl. She works harder than anyone else I know, but occasionally tells me her negative thoughts against the Capitol. How just even our district could make a difference. She always been the type to give orders. "If you die." She told me. "My vendetta for the Capitol will only grow."
"Do me a favor, Tabitha." I requested. "If I don't make it back, take care of my father."
Tabitha nodded and left the room quickly.
My father walked in, depressed. I could tell that he had been crying. He sat down next to me and sighed. "You're going into the arena." He sobbed. "I never thought we would have to go through this again. Losing Andross was enough. Cressica. If you don't come back, just remember that I will always love you. If you come back, we will be the happiest family in the Victor's Village."
I nodded and let out a tear of my own.
"Cressica." He ordered sadly. "Before he left for the Games, Andross told me that if he didn't come back, to give you this." He held out a crimson piece of cloth about the size of my palm. "Take it. It will be your district token."
I took the cloth and nodded silently.
A Peacekeeper came in and motioned for me to get onto the train.
My father exited slowly.
I stood up and joined Tobias outside as we hopped into the train bound for the Capitol. The train that would take me to the end of my life.