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Breath

This story is based on the Hunger Games, though, in a new setting and with some tweaks here and there. I'm not going to explain anything else, I'm sure you will understand as soon as I begin to write. So with-out further or do, let the games begin- And please, try to remember to Breathe.

(This is written by Mrodd on the fanfiction wiki but he has let me update it over here)

Reapings:Edit

District One; The District of Entertainment.Edit

Conor's PoV:


“Conor! Todays the day! The big choosing day!” My younger sister Lila giggled jumping up and down at the end of my lime-coloured bed. I smiled, as I crawled out from under my blankets.

“Yeah,” I said, as I walked over to my closet, looking for my best dress shirt and denim pants. “What do you think?” I asked pulling out a white polo and black denim.

“It's perfect.” Lila smiled happily wobbling over to me, as she handed me a black tie.

I shook my head, “No, now it'll be perfect. But do you mind giving me some privacy?” I chuckled as she ran out of the room.

I closed the door, turning around, eyeing my room; The dark blue walls, the white curtains hung over my window, my maple closet and dresser, then finally my ornate mirror. I quickly made my way to in front of it, looking at my blonde hair and blue eyes and how they reminded me of the Angels we were taught about in class.

I pulled my pale grey tee over my head, and tossed it onto the bed. I glanced at my so-called faded six-pack, that's what my friends call it any ways. It wasn't as carved as some of the other guys in my grade, but it was still there, partially. Then again, my friends also say I'm good looking, but I'm still single. Then again, dating is the least of my worries today. Today is the day of choosing- and trust me, it's not a good thing to be chosen.

I turned away from the mirror as I pulled off my light-blue silk bottoms and slipped into my white polo and black pants. I turned again, to look at my reflection, how my outfit made my eyes look even more angelic. I sighed, wrapping the tie around my neck before tying it. In the mirror, I no longer saw myself, I saw what was my older brother, clean and crisp- until he was chosen. I whispered “I love you.” softly towards the mirror before opening my door and walking down the stairs.

As I walked down the stairs I saw my family eating at the dinner table; My two parents, both well-over the age to be chosen, my younger siblings, Lila, Viola, and Edwin, aged, 11, 9 and 8 respectively, and finally my two older sisters, Roxxy and Vive, aged 19 and 20, all just out of the being chosen age. I sighed, as they all just gave me a sad look, ever since Braden died last year, they have been worried I would get chosen this year.

“Just come home tonight, O.K, Conor?” My mom weakly smiled, as she hid her face in my dad's chest. “I'll do my best, I promise.” I smiled, grabbing a couple of pieces of bacon off the table, before hurrying out the door. There was no point in getting emotional, I would be coming home tonight, we lived in district one, the biggest district, what were the odds?

“A promise is a promise!” Lila, Viola and Edwin began chanting as I stepped off our porch and onto the lawn, careful not to step on any of our flowers, I quickly made my way onto the side walk. As I slowly began to make my way down the road, the road began to fill with the youth, heading for the town hall.

This would be my third year making my way to the Town Hall on the day of choosing, since you can only be chosen starting at the age of twelve and ending at eight-teen, and I'm only fourteen... Just like Braden was.

“Hey Conor!” A girl called from behind me, I turned my head to see Seleste, walking with her younger brother Aiden. Seleste was adorable, she was my age, and almost always wore her hair in pig-tails.

“Hey!” I grinned, waiting for them to catch up to me, as soon as they were close enough I pulled them both into a hug. Seleste and I weren't officially dating, our parents didn't approve because of our age, but every one knew we were meant to be together.

“You better not get picked,” Seleste whispered into my ear, I could hear her voice cracking, then she pulled away, “That goes for you to!” She called at Aiden before messing his hair up and dragging me away.

“Come back here!” Aiden called chasing after us.

We kept running until we made it to the Town Hall, every one was already getting sorted by age and gender. I hugged Seleste one last time before walking away to the Male/14 section, as I watched Aiden make his way to the Male/12 and Seleste to the Female/14. “May the odds be in your favour!” Some one screeched, as the area went silent, and Pearl, the person the Crown sent to choose walked onto the large stage.

Pearl had pearly white skin, pale pink eyes, that matched her rose-tinted hair, and white ball-gown. “Welcome to the 49th annual Choosing!” She called, showing her pearly-whites, she was way too happy. “That's right, it's been 49 years since the Crown saved you all, 49 years that we have supported you, and today, two of you will be invited to pay your debt to the crown!” Invited? More like forced. “So who's ready, because I know I am!” She beamed strutting towards a large sphere, inside every eligible persons name was place, in the pink orbs were the girls, and in the blue, the boys.

Pearl pulled a small switch, and one pink, and one blue ball popped out. “Now, who's first?” She asked, talking to herself before grabbing the pink ball. “Ladies, I guess,” She giggled.

“Please... Any one but Seleste, Please.” I thought, and with out realizing it I began to hold my breath.


Teddy's PoV:


The pearly-white lady picked up the pink ball-thing, she scanned the ball before calling out “Seleste Grey!” She grinned, I looked in-front to see a small girl walking up to the podium, she had the most wonderful pig-tails, and was really the most adorable thing I've ever seen. She kind of reminded me of myself when I was little. We were both blonde, and had the boldest blue eyes, though instead of pig-tails I wore bows.

“Now before we have our first Chosen One say her final words to most of you, would any one like to take her place?” Pearl called out, and that's when for some reason I stood up.

“Me!” I shouted, racing to the stage, out from the six-teen year old section, “I wanna say some words to some people!” As I ran to the stage, a lot of the other kids gave me funny looks, but Seleste gave me a great big hug, and I glomped her up.

“Thank you.” She whispered before running off the stage and back into the crowd of kids.

“That was very nice of you, may I ask what your name is?” Pearl asked, but why? What did I do? I just wanted to say a few words about the Fall Dance...

“Teddy? Teddy Jones!” I grinned, still confused about what was going on, but like Momma always said; To get attention, you need to, One, look cute, and two never look confused. Though, I never really understood what she meant...

“Well then, Teddy Jones, any last words?” She asked, as I stood tall.

“Yeah, don't forget that next week is Fall Dance, remember to dress in red and orange, to really show our district spirit!” I cheered, as the crowd burst out in laughter, why? I really don't know.

Pearl gave me a funny look, and I stuck my tongue out at her, “Any ways, onto the boys.” She smiled, grabbing the blue orb and called out “Aiden Grey! Wait.... Another Grey? Are you two related?” She asked, as a small boy walked onto the stage, he has the curliest blonde hair I'd ever seen, but he was just as adorable as the other girl.

Before Aiden could even reply another boy was on the stage, I remember seeing him in the local circus, his name was Conor, he was usually doing some crazy gymnastic stunt, but he was cute.... “Yeah, they are siblings, but, like Seleste, Aiden is being replaced. I volunteer to take his place. Before you ask, my name is Conor Zoomermin.” He said, brushing his hair aside and taking a seat in the ornate throne beside me.

“Well, it looks like today is a good day to be Grey!” Pearl cheered out, as the audience burst out in cheer, though I'm not sure if they were happy because of what she said, or just in joy because of the dance next week.

“Teddy, please follow me.” A man spoke, as he held my hand, beside me Conor was in near-tears, as we made our way into the Town Hall. I'd been here often, as I would often sing for the Mayor.

They led us into the Red room, Conor and I were both instructed to take a seat as the two men left. “Why did you do it?” He asked, turning to face me.

“Do what?” I asked, as he gave me that funny look every one was giving me today.

“Volunteer to pay the debt.” He said, as my jaw dropped. Pay the debt! I never....

“I didn't! I think you have something wrong in that head of yours.” I said, as I began to tug on my pink bow.

“Teddy, you just volunteered to pay the debt. You and I, odds are we are both going to die.” Conor said, and I slapped him- And I slapped him hard. No one can say I'm going to die and get away with it.

“What was that for?” He asked, rubbing his cheek.

“You said I was going to die...” I managed to peep out, as Ted, my brother, and his girlfriend Vive walked in.

Vive, who I have idolized for the past couple months quickly embraced Conor, were they related? “Teddy, what have you done? I knew I should have gone with you.” Ted spoke, squeezing me tight.

“It's ok Ted, I'm sure Conor will protect me... He wouldn't let me die.” I said, as both Conor and Vive turned to face me.

“Yes, Conor will be protecting you, just like you'll be protecting him. You two, from this point on, are in an alliance, no matter what. Got it?” Vive said, as Conor just glared at her.

“Do I have any say in this?” He asked, visibly stunned.

“Conor, your brother, Braden. He died near the end of paying his debt, why? Because he was alone for the entire game. He didn't bother to make an alliance. That won't happen to either of you.” Ted said, his voice cold and serious, I've never seen him like this. I guess, I really did offer to pay the debt...

“I'm sorry Conor... I shouldn't have slapped you.” I said, as he nodded.

“It's ok, I should have had more patience.” He replied, as our siblings let us go.

“One of you two better come back home. I don't care if you two have to kill every single person in there. One of you two have to come home. One of you two need to come back into my arms.” Vive stated, as the two were escorted out of the room.

Two more people entered the room, Pearl, and an elderly women, she introduced herself as Cream. She was the last winner from our district and would be our mentor.

“I've never ever seen any duo so kind-hearted, so adorable, and so idiotic as you two... You're perfect for what I have had in mind for the past twenty years. Just promise me you will do what ever I teach you.” Cream smiled, as both me and Conor put our right hand on our heart.

“I promise.” We said in unison.

District Two: The Fertility District.Edit

Josie's PoV:


District two…. The district of love, and fertility, I always envied the other girls who always seemed to have any guy they wanted at the snap of their fingers, but then I met him… He changed my life, for the better of course.

I sighed getting out of my bed, “Robert?” I whispered out, but no one answered. I guess he went to get ready; after all today was the day of the choosing. This was a good thing though; this gave me the privacy I needed. I started humming, walking over to my dresser, pulling out a large white gown; I have to look my best for Robert, even if the occasion isn’t the greatest.

Slowly I eased off my tang-top and sweats, and I carefully put the gown on, careful not to rip the delicate fabric. My older brother had bought the dress for me, until he was sent to district eleven to join the army. I’ve worn it to every Choosing since, Robert and I are both 16, past the age to be sent to the eleventh district, but we can still both be chosen- or worse, just one of us. But thinking of the negative doesn’t get you anywhere in this world, so think of happy things Josie, happy things…

Like Robert… I smiled to myself as I grabbed a small piece of paper of my dresser and scribbled in black ink, “Off to my courses, if you come home before the Choosings… Good Luck. –Josie.” Like every Monday before this one, and every one after, I had my Home-Ec training, sometimes we learnt how to create meals, sometimes we would sew, and on special days, we would practice raising a baby. Today however, we’re going to go over the history of our district, due to it being the day of the choosing.

I placed the small piece of paper on the bed, and hurried out the door, bare-foot. I walked down the long stone pathway to the large building at the end, the one where all the courses in the city were held, I could hear the faint sound of voices from the inside, reminding me that there weren’t many girls my age in the district anymore, as the classes were held by age, and gender- No mixing or swapping, ever!

“Glad you could make it,” Camila swooned as I entered the large building, “We were just about to begin reading from the Great book. I think you should start.” She finished, as all the other girls began to nod their heads.

I nodded, grabbing the withered book, and began to read out from it, “After the Fourth War, our country, the country once known as FrostFyre signed a pack to join the so-called great alliance of the 16 Countries, this alliance was meant to end all wars- for good. But in the end we were all given the short end of the stick when from within the group, the members of Royal Blood betrayed us and created the Crown.” The royal blood, something I wish I had. It would allow both Robert and I to live amongst the royal in the Palace it would grant us safety, for life.

I paused, and then continued, “The Crown, despite having far less people were able to trick and puppet their way into controlling the sixteen countries. However the so-called alliance would not put up with this, and one faithful night to show how they are not in support of the Crown, a group of cloaked killers snuck into the palace and murdered 16 young boys, and 16 young girls. So from that year on-wards, to show the countries that the Crown is still in Power, each country, or district now, would have to send one girl and boy aged between 12 and 18, into a battle royale, where they would pay their debt, but to make things interesting, the last child standing would be allowed to live their life in luxury.” I finished, as the girls my age looked at me, then back to the ground.

“Great reading!” Camila beamed, as the girls began to clap. Though, to be honest I have no clue why they were clapping, the Crown controlled, for no reason what-so ever. Each district in itself had more people than the actual Crown. Yet, the people in the districts are just too scared to do anything about it… At least that’s what Robert always tells me.

“He’s here!” A young boy screeched as he ran into the room, and then exited. Great. I sighed, as I looked at Camila who made a simple heart with her hands, and I followed suit, before walking out of the building and slowly making my way to the town-square.

“Josie…” A voice whispered from behind me. “You weren’t planning on leaving me, were you?”

“Robert!” I yelled, pulling him into a big hug.

“Nice dress.” He chuckled, lifting me up and carrying me bridal style into the town square; now, if we were in any of the other districts people would look at us funny, but here, it was common to have public displays of affection… It beats being sent to work in the military.

“Hush you, I only wore it to make you happy.” I laughed, half-punching his broad shoulder.

“Excuse me, sir. Would you please drop the lady? She needs to be in her own section.” A follower of the Crown asked Robert, when we stopped in the Male/16 section.

Robert laughed, “I’m sorry if we’re disturbing you, but for all I know this can be the very last moment I will ever spend with her. So no, I will not put her down. I don’t see what the problem is anyways.”

The man glared at Robert then back at me. “Very well, names please?” I looked at him, then smiles,

“Josie Amber, and his name is, well, Robert Koontz.” I laughed, as Robert rolled his eyes.

“Whatever you say.” The follower left, heading towards the large stage in the middle of the town Square.

“Talk about major Crown-Follower.” Robert laughed. He called anyone who followed the rules of the Crown, or a member of the Crowns law-enforcement team that.

Our mayor stepped onto the stage, and then welcomed the Crown-Follower as Garnet, our districts new Crown Rep. I looked at Robert, and his eyes showed his fear. We had just insulted the one person who could rig this entire thing.

{C}Robert’s PoV:


Shit! I glared at Garnet and then I looked at Josie, I mouthed “I’m sorry.” Then Garnet began to talk.

“Welcome, one and all, to the 49th annual Choosing Ceremony, I wonder who will be chosen in order to pay the debt to the Crown this year.” He laughed with an arrogant tone, winking . He had short dark red hair, which went over his tanned skin, and just barely covered one of his hazel eyes. His face was matched with long white pants and a solid white tux. “I think you all know why we are doing this, so to not waste any more time, let’s get this thing started!” He shouted as two older males carried a large box onto the stage, the box was split in two, all of the guys them on one side and the girls on the other.

“May the odds forever be in your favor,” He laughed picking a slip of paper from the girl side. “Josie Amber.” He grinned, as I gripped harder onto Josie, not letting her go. “Josie? Are you out there?” He chuckled, then rolled his eyes, grabbing a slip of paper from the other side. “Robert Koontz?” Rigged. It had to be. I growled, but my so-called friends around me shoved me forwards. Probably just plain happy it wasn’t them.

“I think we really screwed this one up, Robert.” Josie whimpered as we walked up onto the stage. The crowd of teens looking up at us, and Garnet turned and stuck out his tongue at us. He signaled for us to say something, and I just looked out towards the audience.

“Expect the unexpected, Josie and I, won’t let something as simple as having to fight-to-death destroy us. We will and always will be Josie and Robert. Nothing higher, and nothing worse.” Then Garnet dragged us both into the train station. He told us to wait here, while our visitors came. Obviously he knew nothing of our district because it was rare for anyone to have any parents, and our friends wouldn’t come say goodbye because why should they?

“Robert, do you really think we can make it in there?” Josie asked, looking into my dark brown eyes. I rubbed her back.

“We can do whatever we want to do.”

“Well then, one of you will be making it out of the arena, which, it’s not up for me to decide, the arena will choose. But, hear me out, one of you will make it. With me as your mentor, there’s no way you can lose.” Griffen boasted as he entered the room. Griffen was the winner from just last year, he won by allying with a large group and slowly turned them all against each other. He had brains, something I could only hope Josie and I had.

“You don’t understand though, we don’t think like you do. We think in the present… We do what we want when we want.” Josie frowned, obviously thinking about what had happened with Garnet.

“Then we’ll find something that works for both of you. I know I may seem incredibly cocky, but since I won, I have spent every night watching and rewatching past-games, I don’t want either of you to die, but in the end, one of you will but you will die knowing your lover will be in good hands. “Griffen smiled, as Garnet walked into the room.

“Well it seems like luck is truly on your sides today my friends, Griffen is likely one of the best mentors you could possibly have.” Garnet gleamed, as Josie rolled her eyes.

“How can you say that? You just rigged this entire thing!” I growled out. As Garnet just cocked his head.

“Now did I? I’m sorry if you think that, but I don’t hold grudges, our argument and your names being drawn have no connection.” My thumb.

“I don’t know, I mean really what are the odds?” Josie asked, looking at Griffen for back-up.

“Honestly, I don’t know what happened, and I really don’t need to know. But in order for either of you to actually do well in the games you will need to trust Garnet, he’s an alright guy, and will be doing his best to get you your sponsors.” Griffen stated, eyeing Garnet.

“I have no time for this, I do have to arrange your plans and such. I will see you all for dinner at 5, do not be late. And please, try to at least dress nicely, the people from the Crown will be here to film the chosen ones.” Garnet glared at us, tossing two pieces of paper to the floor, and walking onto the train.

Griffen looked at both of us, then dropped to his knees to pick up the pieces of paper. He let out a small laugh before handing me them. With one look, I felt terrible. Josie and I had terrible luck, we WERE chosen to pay the debt, it wasn’t rigged at all, but now we just may have made the one person who could save us, mad. Josie and I…. Josie and I are screwed.

District Three: The District of Textiles.Edit

{C}Nathan’s PoV:


“I think I’m gonna do it.” Rex whispered into my ear, his voice filled with a slight arrogance. I looked at him then back to the textile I was sewing.

“Do what?” I asked, hoping he didn’t mean what I thought.

He looked at me with a big grin on his face. “I want to pay the debt. Come on, we both know I have what it takes to win.” No, no we don’t. All we know is that you’re cocky…

“Are you sure?” I asked, looking behind us as one of the monitors approached to inspect our work. I nudged Rex to quickly finish up his textile before they got here.

Sadly, Rex was too busy flaunting his so-called sword-skills with the needle he was using, swinging it back and forth. “Come on, mate. Can you not see this?” He taunted.

I continued to sew the textile hoping Rex would get my point, “Rex!” I hissed under my breath when I could hear the monitor’s foot-steps fast approaching.

“Nathan!” He hissed back, as he started to chuckle, quickly finishing his textile. Rex was 17, and had a lot more experience than me; it always amazed me at how fast he could finish a textile still, though.

“Very good work, Rex. Nice texture Nathan.” The monitor stated, picking up our textiles, “You two may leave for the day, good luck at the choosing.” The choosing? That was today!?

“Come on, let’s get going.” Rex smiled, tugging on my sweater towards the door.

“I’ll meet you at the house, I need to get my bag.” I smiled, heading back to the locker room. Rex and I lived together since both of our parents died during the potato famine. We lived on the west side of the city- or as some people would call it the ghetto. We were lucky to at least have a small apartment-like house to live in, but that meant we had to keep an eye open when we sleep because anyone could try and raid us.

I made it to the locker room and grabbed my grey back-pack, my parents had sewed it together for me when I was young, and it meant the world to me. It was my life. Inside of it was everything Rex and I needed in live. “Tia! Why is it every time I come to your station you have nothing done?” A monitor screeched, at one of the girls stationed at the blanket station.

Tia, just sat there, looking up at the monitor, her crystal blue eyes screaming of innocence, but her long black hair challenged that with the dark colour. The male monitor picked Tia up by her shirts collar and dragged her behind one of the large metal doors. After that, all I could hear was her screaming. The monitors here worked for the Crown, and the Crown didn’t take a liking to people who didn’t do their share of work, people like Tia.

I hurried out of the textile factory and navigated my way through the small crooked streets of the west-side. The small bakers shop, the produce store, and then the bridge. Rex and I lived in the first complex on the right side after the bridge.

“About time!” Rex called out as I made my way into the complex and up the four flights of stairs. He lifted up two shirts, one was white while the other a sky blue. I pointed towards the sky blue one, and he pulled off his grey hoodie, revealing his pale skin, and lack of muscle- And this is the guy who wants to volunteer to pay the debt? Sometimes I think that Rex is losing it.

“Rex, are you sure you want to do this? I mean, some of the other districts, the chosen have been training since they were young.” I said, as Rex pulled on the sky-blue t-shirt, and took our small shard of mirror to see how he looked.

“Really? I am positive. When,” He started, but I interrupted,

“If!”

“Fine, IF, I win, we won’t have to work in the silly factory any more, we will live the life of royalty, come on, and tell me you don’t want that?” He grinned, approving how he looked and pulled out two apples from a drawer, and tossing one at me.

“Yeah, but what if you don’t win? How am I supposed to go on through life then?” I asked, Rex and I depended on each other for everything.

“I guess I never thought of that… But no matter, I will win. So there’s nothing to worry about.” He grinned tossing me a long-sleeved black shirt, as I pulled it over my white one.

“You better.” I sighed as I bit onto the small red apple.

“Come on, we’re going to be late.” He said as we began the descent down the stairs and towards the Felt. The Felt is our town hall, but because it’s covered in a dark red felt, everything just calls it the Felt.

We managed to make it there perfectly on time, I moved to the fifteen-year old male section, while Rex went to the 17 year-olds, he gave me a wink as a young girl walked onto the stage. She had emerald green hair, and dark green eyes. She wore a lime dress, she quickly introduced herself as Emerald- but we all knew that. Emerald had been repping our district for the past couple years. “Hello every one!” She laughed, as everyone cheered. Emerald was a sweet-heart, being chosen wasn’t as bad with her being there for you 24/7.

“Now, I know this isn’t exactly the best thing to be missing work for, but hey, it needs to be done. So if I call your name would you please join me in the front?” She sighed, reaching into the solid blue, felt top hat. “Keep those fingers crossed lads!” She laughed pulling a slip of paper out.

Rex… Please don’t volunteer… Please. I thought, but I knew it was pointless, Rex can’t read minds, and when he sets his mind to something he won’t give up. “Any ways, this is the 49th annual choosing, and the male who will be paying your districts debt this year is….” She began.

“I would like to volunteer.” Rex smiled, creeping behind Emerald.

She jumped, “When did you get there?” She laughed, but nodded and shook his hand, “Glad to see someone happy to participate this year!” Why Rex! Why?

“Aha, my place in the textile factory but still be there when I get back!” He joked as Emerald put her hand into the pink hat.

“Well, it looks Tia Faith will be joining… Hmmm, what’s your name?” She asked. Tia? Why does that name seem so familiar?

“Rex Drago. The one and only.” He grinned.

“An interesting name, now, Tia? Where are you.” Emerald smiled, as a girl wobbled her way beside Rex and Emerald. Tia…. The Factory… Her face was covered in bruises, her shirt was stained with blood. The crowd began to gasp, as Emerald hurried the two into the Felt.

{C}Tia’s Pov:


I felt like screaming out no! That I can’t be chosen, I just can’t. But no, I need to be strong. I need to make it out of the Arena. Too many people depend on me. The people at the factory, they think I’m useless, they get mad at me for not doing my work, but I do, do it. I just hide it. District three, that’s where we live. In this district only a few families live a decent life, and because of that… I, I tried to kill myself. But I couldn’t something inside of me wouldn’t let me. That something is what makes me hide the blankets I make at the factory, I hide them and then give them to the homeless who live around my small apartment. They can use them more than the people in the Crown. But now what? Who is going to take care of them now?

“Tia? Are you ok?” Emerald asked, after asking someone to get a wet clothe and alcohol.

“I’m… I’m fine.” I managed to blurt out. But I wasn’t. The monitor truly beat me this time, more than they have ever done before. Every part of me hurt; my face, my arms, my hands, my legs but most of all, my spirit. I just don’t know if I can do this anymore… The games are the perfect suicide option. I can just sit there, and wait for someone to kill me. Then I wouldn’t have to worry about any one anymore. I could just be happy in the forever-after.

“T-Tia?” A voice asked from behind me. I wanted to turn to face whoever it was, but Emerald held my face still, rubbing the alcohol across my face to keep the scars from being infected.

“T-Tia, th-thank you. For everything…” A young boy came into view, he was one of the homeless, he was adorable… “H-Here” He finished dropping a small ring onto my lap, just as Emerald finishing attending to my face.

I was about to tell the boy that I couldn’t accept his ring, it was, after-all the only thing he had left of his parents, but he ran out before I could.

“Who was that?” Rex asked, his black hair in a messy tangle, and a single white strip of hair covering his left eye, which was a gentle blue.

“Just a boy.” I replied, hoping he would shut up.

But of course, if I want something, it wouldn’t happen, “Like a boyfriend? Or a brother?” Emerald teased.

“Neither. He’s just a boy.” I stated. Picking up the small silver ring and twirling it onto my pink finger.

“Woah, what happened here?” A middle-aged women asked, as she walked into the room, eying me.

“Not important, she can still talk and I’m sure fight.” Emerald assured.

“Perhaps, but she has way too many cuts and scars, how on Earth am I supposed to train someone like that?” Chestnut raged, she won about ten years ago, she was viscous, and killed three twelve-years old, all of whom she promised to protect.

“Are you saying you won’t train her?” Emerald asked, raising her thin eyebrows.

“Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying.” Chestnut finished, as Emerald rolled her eyes at her.

“Well, that’s not exactly fair?” Rex asked as Emerald backed him up,

“You should be training both of them. We don’t need a repeat of last year, now do we?” Emerald asked. Making a reference to last year, how Chestnut only bothered to train the male tribute, as she assume he would be stronger, but he died in the blood bath, meanwhile the girl managed to make it to the final three, but without any training she didn’t know how to kill, and was killed- brutally.

“That was a one-time thing. This year will be different.” Chestnut stated walking onto the train, Emerald quickly followed behind her, trying to convince her otherwise.

Rex looked at me before sighing. “You know, even though I’m gonna win this thing, it would be nice to see you at least stand a chance. I don’t think Chestnut will help you at all, but for some reason I think you have a lot of spirit. Just think about everything that wouldn’t work if you don’t come back. Or every one that would miss you.” Rex finished, turning around. “By the way, nice ring.”

…Rex was right, I was silly to just think I could give up. Cole, the little boy, he believes in me, why else would he give me his ring? He trusts me, he thinks I can do this. Someone actually cares about me for a change. My name is Tia Faith, and I will not sit, and let anyone trample over me any more, not the monitor, and surely not Chestnut!

District Four: The District of True Fashion.Edit

Zac’s PoV:

{C}“How does it look?” I asked, turning slightly to the left to see how my hair had turned out. Though, I only asked out of courtesy, I knew it looked great, my hair, no matter how I dye or cut will always look great. One of the advantages of being a Saint, I guess.

“It’s… Different.” Dylan smiled, “Though, can’t you be like most people and stick to one colour?”

“Of course not, that would be boring. I’ll be right back, I need to gel it up though.” I said, as Dylan nodded, taking a seat on the pale-olive couch, while I walked into the bathroom.

With one glance at the mirror I could see my pale blond hair, with the strips of maroon; I picked up the comforting gel and slowly eased it into my hair. I slowly began to smooth the hair into a faux-hawk, the maroon strips making a racoon’s tail. “Perfect.” I whispered to myself.

“So, where are we going to buy a choosing outfits this year?” Dylan asked getting off of the couch. Every year, Dylan and I have gone out to buy a new outfit just for the Choosing. You never know, we could be chosen and we would want to be in style for the cameras, we wouldn’t want the people in the Crown thinking we wore things from last season.

“Let’s just visit the Clinton factory; I heard they have some new things coming out today.” I laughed, as we left my house and started down the rose-coloured path. I live in District Four, the district of Fashion, and I live on the North-Side, where all the designers live. As opposed to the South shore, where their only job in their small lives will be to produce our designs.

“What-ever you say.” Dylan laughed, as talked about the smallest of things, neither of us were worried about us getting picked to pay the debt, there were only seven families on the north side, and thus only 13 people from the north side who could be picked, compared to the hundreds on the south shore. It’s almost always south shorers who get chosen, so we have learnt not to worry.

In no time we made it there, the factory isn’t really a factory, it’s a small family-run store, but Dylan and I both agree it has some of the best clothes. We both made our way through the small piles of clothes they had, looking for something interesting. “Welcome back, wasn’t expecting to see any one today…” Clinton, the owner laughed.

“Well, we do need new clothes for the choosing.” I said pulling out a bright blue polo, a grey sweater-vest and dark blue pants. Dylan had found his usual hoodie and jeans. “How much for these?” I asked, but Clinton just shook his head, saying we don’t need to pay.

With that, Dylan and I quickly changed into our new outfits and headed towards the district center- On the South shore. “I really hate going there. Everyone looks at us funny- Because you know; we are defiantly the funny looking ones.” Dylan laughed.

“You know, if my sister was her she would slap you so hard.” I said. My sister was against the way our district worked, she hated everything about it. She hates how only seven families have money, she hates how we pride ourselves on how the Crown wants us to look. She hates the North shore, but she adores the South shore. She likes how hard they work, she likes the people, and she adores their sense of style and mimics it into her own. My sister has pitch-black hair, and the most faded brown eyes, she often wears black, in place of the bright colours most of us on the North shore wear. If she wasn’t related to me, I doubt I’d even bother to talk to her.

“That’s the kind of attitude that would go good for paying the debt, don’t you think?” He laughed once again but I just glared at him.

“I don’t care how she acts or dresses, she will not go into the arena. And we will not joke about it. Ok?” I stated, grabbing him by the collar. He nodded and we walked in silence, crossing over the Rainbow Bridge, the bridge that connected North and South.

“I’m sorry.” Dylan said as we reached the South-Shore and he began to walk closer to me. Dylan has always been afraid of the south-shore, ever since he was little and he had to drop off some fabric to one of the factories and he was mugged.

“It’s fine.” I smiled running my hand through his hair.

“You’re ruining my hair.” He said mocking me.

“Oh hush.” I said as we finally arrived at the District Center. The sight was so sad, everyone wore blacks, greys and browns. And scattered through the crowd were the bright and pastel colours of the North-Shore.

Dylan and I made our way through the crowd, Dylan clinging onto me like I was the only thing that could keep him alive. Eventually we made it to the Male/16 section. We were surrounded by the colour-less as Dylan liked to call them. They were boring in every way possible.

“Hello! Everyone, my name is Amethyst, and I’m your rep for this year! Can I get a woooo?” She asked, but the crowd remained silent- well asides from those of us from the North-Shore, those of us with manners. “Well then, I can tell you are all happy for this to happen. So how about we start with the guys?” She laughed, shaking her head so that her pink hair twirled with her, her hair matched perfectly with her bright pink eyes. She wore a simple white gown, but everything about her screamed innocence.

Dylan gripped onto my t-shirt, he was scared. But what was I supposed to do? There’s no way I can guarantee his safety, I can’t save everyone. “Zachary St.Ange.” Amethyst Called out- I can’t even save myself.


Sam’s PoV:


{C}Sucker got what he deserved. I started to laugh as Zac made his way up to join Amethyst, the way he looked, the way he dressed, and even how he walked was annoying as heck. Zac has way too-much self-pride, and hoping for the best won’t help him now. No one from our district has ever won, except for the second games, but Jackie only won by chance, and she’s died since then. We are the only district without a proper mentor, Amethyst will be mentoring, as always, which basically guarantees the two chosen ones will die at the blood bath.

When Zac made it to the stage, he was asked to say a few words, and all he managed to say was, “Forever and always.” Whatever that was supposed to mean, it won’t get him any sponsors that’s for sure.

“Well then, I guess it’s time for the lady tribute!” She beamed, pulling out a second piece of paper. “Oh… Oh my, well this is a first for me. Samantha…. St.Ange.” Me…? No, that couldn’t be right, never in our history have two north-shorers gone to pay the debt. Never! Rarely ever has any one from the North-shore gone to pay the debt! Now two? Let alone, us being siblings! No, this can’t be right… Right or not right, the people around me, my so-called friends were quick to push me to the front. Ok, Sam, it’s ok. You can do this, just be brave, you ARE strong.

Zac just looked at me, sadness in his eyes, but it was my turn to say my so-called final words, but they won’t be, I’ll be back. No matter what. “Good luck, brother.” I grinned and the crowd burst into an uproar, they adored me- because I liked them, unlike Zac, poor lil’ Zac.

“I’m sorry Sammy, this wasn’t supposed to happen, ever. What are we going to do?” Zac asked, as the three of us were escorted into a room, while we waited for the train.

“Oh, boo-hoo. Figure it out for yourself, this is a game you know, and you know how much I just love games.” I grinned, but Amethyst just looked back and forth between the two of us.

“I really want to see one of you make it out of the arena this year, but that won’t happen if you guys would rather rip each other’s heads off. Will you two calm down? Or are you both just going to die in the arena?” I looked at Zac, and I could tell he really wanted for us to work together.

“Fine. We can work together. Just like old times.” I said coldly.

Zac came over and hugged me. He was older than me by two years, but you would never know by how he acts. “Thank you.” He whispered.

“Good, now. No other districts will want to ally with you guys at the start because of your district, but if you guys can prove yourselves at training, I’m sure they will love to.” Amethyst smiled.

“What if nobody wants us even then? You do realize we weren’t raised and taught anything except to design?” Zac said, letting go of me.

“Well then, I guess you’ll just need to design then execute.” She smiled at the two of us, but smiling doesn’t make her words any more clear.

“Eh?” I snapped. “if you’re going to sit and talk in word games, we can always do this on our own.”

“But I thought you said you like to play games?” Amethyst pouted, she was even more of a kid than Zac, who by the way was laughing about this entire thing.

“You do realize, Sir. Laughs a lot, that if she keeps this up, you WILL die?” I snarled at him, but he just laughed even harder.

“Sammy, of course we’ll die, there’s really no chance of us living, but do you really need to be so pessimistic? I mean that’s not going to give us any advantage over anyone.” That’s Zac for ya’, he’s annoying when he should be serious and serious when he could be annoying.

“Oh, so now it’s a given that we’ll die? I thought you were supposed to be the King of peppiness?” I glared, as Amethyst slowly backed out of the room. “Just where do you think you’re going!”

“Oh…. Uh.”

“Thought so. Now Zac. Please, talk some sense into our mentor, or at least tell me what she means by design.”

Zac stopped laughing then looked at me, “Wait, you really don’t know? She means we’ll sit and learn how to make traps during the training, design some in our free time, and then in the arena put them into action!” He beamed. How the frick did he get that from, ‘You’ll design.’ Ugh.! Zac and his bizarre way of knowing what everyone means.

“And that’s going to work?” I asked, looking at Amethyst.

“Well it worked in the 18th hunger games, when that person from the 14th district won, so I’m sure it will still work. You two will just need to work together.” Yeah… Unlikely.

“I will if she will.” Zac said, adjusting his hair.

“Sure.” But in reality, this is what is going to happen. Zac and I will work as a team during training, that way I have someone to translate what Amethyst says, plus Zac was always the better designer, I’m sure he’ll come up with some kind of interesting trap for us to use- well for me. The moment we get in the arena, and the moment Zac comes crawling to me, I will kill him. No matter what. “We are siblings after all, and we do love each other. No matter what.”

District Five, The District of Fish.Edit

Justin’s PoV


The Sun was pounding on my bare-back, as I pulled off my long jeans, it was way too hot for them any ways. But like any good District Fiver I had my swimsuit on underneath. “Do you think we'll catch anything today?” I called to Ronald, my fishing partner. We were taught to fish in pairs, in-case we caught something too big for us to handle, but that didn't apply to me or Ronald- We both had a fair amount of muscle and a simple fish wouldn't scare us.

“It looks like we're doing fine.” He replied, but fine isn't good enough. It never was and sure as heck won't be now.

I turned to the nets and quickly began to cast out a second net. “We need more.” I stated when Ronald gave me a look.

“Ok, wanting and something being possible are two different things, it takes both of us to lift one net, and we can barely lift it. How are we supposed to lift two nets at once?” He questioned. Ronald and his dumb questions, he never had enough confidence in himself, or me.

“Jeez, have a little faith in our strength for once, we can do anything we think we can.” I grinned, eyeing my stunning body in the water, the way my pecks rippled in the water made me all bubbly on the inside. The way my short blonde hair made my face look masculine, and the way they made my dark blue eyes pop. I slowly eyed my reflection, lowering them to my white swim trunks. I was a hunk, and every one knew it.

“Face reality for once, we can't bring in a second net.” He sighed, sitting down on a nearby barrel. “But, if this will finally make you shut up about how strong you are... What's the worse that could happen?” He asked, and I rolled my eyes. It's not being cocky if you're actually as good as you say you are.

“Good, now come on, let's bring these bad boys in.” Living in District Five was fantastic, we made more than enough food for us to eat, and so every one in the district was healthy, though we mostly ate only fish, that didn't seem to both many people. Probably because that's all we know, we only have a few food imports, and they only come the 16th district.

Ronald rolled his eyes as we approached the two nets, the nets were always tied together that way you could catch more fish- But it took more effort to bring them up. “On, three.” He stated as we both began to count out loud.

“Three.” We shouted, both grinning, at the pure thought of catching twice as much fish as we normally would, but then at the last second, Ronald let go and I was dragged under the sea water.

My first instinct was to gasp for air, but that didn't help, at all. The water rushed inside of me, filling my lungs. I tried to scream, but that only made things worse. I eyed the colourful fish around me, as they floated and swam around me. Then the colours went out. Everything went black. Was I dead?

The world felt alone, but then I felt something underneath me, it felt cold to my bare feet. I glanced down to see that it was grass. Where was I? I looked around, noting the light blue sky, and pastel coloured flowers surrounding me. I couldn’t be in District five any more, there was no place like this there, district five was made up of beaches, not meadows.

“Why do you look so confused, brother?” A voice called out from behind me, and I quickly turned around to face the intruder of this perfect meadow.

…It was him. Grayden. I opened my mouth to speak, but the words were trapped, and locked around my tongue. He slowly came closer to me, taking one step at a time. He had short blonde hair, and blue eyes, just like me. “Brother? It is me. Do not fear. We’re in a better place now.”

A better place? Was I dead? No… This couldn’t be happening. My life was perfect! I had everything! This could not happen to me. I wouldn’t allow it. “No! You’re dead. Me, I’m not dead!” I shouted, running away from Grayden.

But the farther and faster I ran, the emptier I felt. “Justin. Justin. Justin!” He called out. I turned back, but he wasn’t there. “Boo!” Someone called out from the now-behind me.

I jumped, and Grayden laughed. “Face it, you’re dead. But unlike me, you died in your own district, not in the arena.” He began to laugh even harder. Yep, good old Grayden, always thought he was better than me.

“I’m not…. I’m not dead.” I whimpered out.

“True, but you will be if you keep thinking you’re better than everyone. Sometimes you might just have to put faith in others… And Justin please, if you only remember one thing, remember, drowning can be a good thing.” He whispered, giving me a small hug before everything went black once again.

That’s when I felt her soft, angelic lips. They were warm to the touch, and just ever-so-lightly moist on my lips. I kissed back, as if by instinct. Then something pushed into my chest, causing me to cough out water, the lips parted from my own as I opened my eyes.

“Why did you stop?” I asked, looking at the girl with caramel hair, and brown eyes. She quickly blushed before replying,

“Because you’re awake now.” Then she ran off.

“Really Justin, we all thought you were dead, and the first thing when you do come-to is ask why she stopped ‘Kissing’ you?” He laughed, “Glad to know, our good old Justin is back.” I smiled as he helped pull me up and patted me on the back.

“How long was I out?” I asked, and he only shrugged.

“Was I supposed to keep track? All I know is that… Well it’s time for the Choosings. You don’t have time to get changed.” He laughed, as I groaned. Not that I don’t like the free chance to be shirtless on national T.V, but it’s still a little rude. “Any ways come on; you don’t want to be late.”

I nodded as began our way to the Yacht , that was our town center, since most families live on boats. By the time we got there, the crowns Rep, Onyx was already on the stage, he had short, gelled black hair, and wore a black suit, had already finished going over why we were doing this, and all the boring stuff no one actually cared about. Ronald and I quickly made our way to the Male/16 section as we waited for Onyx to fish out two fish and cut them open, to decide who would be paying the debt.


Sarah’s PoV:


Onyx quickly fished out two fish from the sea, this ritual was unique to our district, but it was highly disturbing, we kill fish just for the sake of killing them. Not at all like how we were taught to do things in class. In class we were taught that our district is killing the eco system and that we all need to do our part to help it, but by just killing fish we our killing it. I’m the head of the new eco-group here in town, and it’s my job to fix things, sadly the mayor declined most of my ideas, but I’m going to propose some new ones later today.

Onyx dug a small dagger into the first fish before calling out, “Sarah Provst.” I mean, the mayor is a complete idiot for not accepting my ideas; they would help the environment and help the economy. “Sarah Provst? You out there?” Onyx idly said. Wait, Sarah…. Provst? I gulped. That’s me.

“I’m coming!” I called out; I had to be bold and brave, just like my mom always told me, that’s how she won her games. She managed to get a ton of sponsors because she never showed her fear, but I’m not my mother, and I’m afraid. I mean, today everything seems to be going wrong, first the Mayor denied my requests, then someone nearly drowned, until I rushed into the water to save him, then he started kissing me, and now this!

“Well it sure took you long enough,” He said, offering the knife to me to cut the second fish, I refused. “Well then, since you just have to be like that.” He growled, cutting open the second fish before asking for some one named Justin Stoner.

A tallish, shirtless teen walked over to the stage, he was 16, a year older than me. As he got closer, I realized that I knew him, I knew those lips. Justin, he was the guy who I saved earlier today.

He looked shocked to see me, as he made his way up beside me. He shook my hand, he had soft hands for someone who worked on the fishing boats.

Onyx quickly brought us onto a large boat, yet not as ornate as the yacht we were just on. He informed us, we were heading towards the crown.

My mother came out from behind one of the smaller counters; she smiled gently then eyed Justin. “You will do very well in the games, but Sarah, you were never meant to be chosen.”

What was that supposed to mean, I wondered, eying my mother. “Sarah, you’re not strong like everyone else in the games, and you don’t think like a killer. I’m not sure you’ll have what it takes.” She said softly, but no matter how softly she said it, it still stung.

“I didn’t know you felt that way…” I said, innocent as always before leaving the main deck and entering one of the quarters below.

I eyed my new room, it had a faint glow to it, but it reeked of sea-salt. I turned around hearing the faint footsteps of someone entering the room. “Mother. This isn’t the time.”

“Well, I didn’t know I was your mom, but I can come back later, if you would like?” Justin laughed.

Perfect. “No, please stay.” I gave him a sly smile, as he got closer to me. “I was thinking about… earlier today.” I almost gagged, but managed to stay cool, by twirling my hair.

“Oh? Now… what about it?” He asked, taking another few steps closer to me.

What to say…. What to say…. What do they do on those drama’s in District One… Oh! “Well, I was thinking about the butterflies I felt… I’m sorry for leaving, I was just…. Scared.”

He took one final step and gently pushed me to the wall, he put his right arm on my side and his left on the wall. “Well then, how can I change that?” He asked, giving me a wink. Ewwww. Ewww. Ewww!

“Oh uh… Just promise you’ll keep me safe in the arena? I just don’t think I can do it… Not with-out you.” I said, looking down at the ground, and at Justin’s tan, his trunks… His feet. I leaned into his lips, and he quickly followed suit.

He paused for a moment, looking at the bed, then back at me. “I promise, darling.” Oh mother, how easy it will be to win these games. I don’t have to be strong. I don’t even have to think like a killer. I just need to be seductive. I just need to keep everyone wrapped around me finger. Justin jumped when he heard footsteps, “Later.” He finished before racing out the door.

Distirct Six: The Technical District.Edit

Davis's PoV

“Why do we need to pay a debt?” My younger brother Travis asked, as he curled up into my arms. Despite being 14, Travis was incredibly naive, he was pure innocence. I mean, until a couple weeks ago, he thought babies were built in the Second District and carried over here by storks. Well, that's what he thought, until he caught my jerk-brother, who doesn't understand that when you baby-sit, you aren't supposed to invite your girlfriend over, and have a little too much fun on the couch. All to say, Travis hasn't been the same ever since.

“Because we owe the Crown.” I smiled, kissing his forehead, Travis still thinks by paying the debt, we mean the chosen ones go and work for the Crown. We would never let Travis actually watch the people pay their debts, he hid under his bed for an entire month when he saw a deer get electrocuted by the gate around our district.

“Oh...” He said, playing with his toy truck, I had gotten that for his birthday last year... Exactly one year from today. Yeah, Travis has the worst birthday ever, the day of the Choosings. Though, now that I think about it, he really doesn't seem to mind. He's always so happy that he doesn't have to work in the building sector, instead he works in the testing sector. Since Travis was never really able to produce anything, he became one of the few above ten-years-old to continue working in the testing sector. Though, part of him hates it, because it always made him feel so small and useless- And if there's anything Travis hates, it's feeling helpless.

“Come on Travis, let's go get dressed.” I smiled, pulling on his hand as we walked up the stairs. Travis wasn't exactly the smartest thinker either, and I really couldn't trust him to dress himself up. I mean last year he almost went to the choosings in his birthday suit, saying it was the only logical thing to wear... Some logic my brother has.

We walked down the chocolate brown hall, and entered his small room. His room was a faded blue, his favourite colour. He quickly ran onto his bed and began to bounce up and down. I smiled, walking over to his small dresser. Most of Travis's clothes were blue or white, so I just grabbed the first dark blue sweater and white shirt and pants that I could find. I tossed them over to Travis and told him to come out when he was done.

“Why do you baby him like that!” My older brother, Ravis scolded, “He's fourteen, and you still treat him like he's seven. Davis, come on. I think it's time to snap him into shape.”

My older brother. What can I say? He's a dick. “Ravis... He's not like us. You know that. I'm only helping him along.” I said, eyeing the Travis' door.

“So what! Do you know how many guys bag on me because I have the idiot for a brother?” It was true, the people in our district were usually extremely smart, and most of them mock those who aren't at their... level, perople like Travis. And since we're related, people pick on me and Ravis some times too. “Travis needs to learn to grow up! I don't care how special you think he is. If he doesn't learn to grow up soon, I'm moving out and changing my name. I can't live with that twerp for much longer!” He screeched.

A small sniffle came from inside Travis's bedroom, I glared at Ravis and he just walked away. “Not my problem.” He said leaving the house.

“Travis... Don't listen to him, please?” I said forcing my face against his door, tying to open it, but Travis had managed to lock it.

“Go away!” He called out, as I could hear his voice starting to crack into a light cry.

“Travis, come on. Please? Ravis is just a big sour-puss. Let me in. Please?” I asked again, to hear shuffling coming from the other side. I waited a few minutes for Travis to open the door, but he never did. I tried to open it myself, but it was still locked. “Travis?” I asked, but there was nothing on the other side of the door, nothing.

Was Travis just being silent, could he be asleep? “Ouch!” A voice screeched from outside... Did he jump? I thought as I flew through the house, rushing to try and find Travis.

Our entire district was made up of stone cold rock, the buildings were all stone, and there was barely any grass or an plant life at all as the ground was basically paved over. This made the district feel boxy and cold, but, most of us didn’t' mind, most people here were always busy tinkering away in their workshops.

“Looking for some one?” Stefani grinned, she had long blonde hair, and blue eyes. She was the mayors daughter, and trust me, she made sure every one knew it.

I nodded, “Yeah, have you seen Travis?” I asked quickly and she replied with a nod. “So where is he?” I asked, only for Stefani to start laughing.

“Oh... I never said I would tell you where he went.” She rolled her eyes, and turned on her deep red heels, and began to strut away. So many words to describe Stefani... One in particular that starts with the letter B.

I wanted to go check out the fence, that's where Travis usually went when he was upset, but I didn't have any time. If I was late for the Choosing, I would be sent to work in the military in district eleven, and that isn't exactly an option for me, I can't fight. So, sadly, I sighed and turned around walking to Lights Central- Which is the sector where we hold the Choosings, since it's the brightest.

I managed to get there in time, and stood in my section, the Male/16. Sapphire took hold of the mic, and quickly began to speak in her, very chantey way. Every thing about her was bubbly, she had a constant light blue blush, and sky-blue hair and eyes, today she wore a long dark blue gown. “Welcome every one.” She giggled. “Today I would love to welcome you to the 49th annual Choosings, where we will be choosing two of you!” She smiled pointing out into the audience, the way she winked made me feel uneasy, what if Travis was chosen? Would I have to volunteer for him? “So let's get this started!” She beamed, pushing the small button in front of her as the lights quickly began to flicker.



Stefani's PoV:



As Sapphire pushed the button I was estatic, I loved watching the lights glow, as they revealed the name of the sucker who was going to die this year. The lights flashed from green, to white, back to green then they finally stopped on a light pink, revealing it would be a girl first. Slowly the lights began to flicker on and off, as the first letter was shown to be an S. Then a t... e...f...a...n...i... St-Stefani... That's me. “Stefani Neige, please stand up!” Sapphire called, as I stood up, and slowly made my way to the stage.

Now, I know I should be all scared, and stuff like that, because in reality my life is on the line. But I'm the mayors daughter, my father already found some one to volunteer in case I was chosen. I'm safe, no matter what. So why was no one standing up? Why was no one rushing to my aid? I quickly made it beside Sapphire, but no one made a move. Had my father lied to me? “No volunteers? Well then, Stefani, do you have anything you would like to say the audience? Remember, these may be your final words ever!” She grinned, and I wanted to punch her fake teeth out of her mouth.

“Only that I wish you all support me.” I smiled, before taking a seat, as the crowd erupted into cheers.

Sapphire pushed a second button, and I once again watched as the lights played their games, and finally stopped on the name Grim Noir. Grim was the local bad-boy, and I think it's a good thing he's going to die, though it may be a good idea to use him for as long as I possible can... Decisions Decisions. I mean, no one would mind if I killed him, and it could give me a couple sponsors, but if I kept him around I could use him as a personal meat-shield... “I would like to volunteer.” A small voice squeeked out, but Sapphire seemed to ignore it. “I would like to volunteer.” The voice chirped out louder, but still Sapphire ignored him. “I WANT TO VOLUNTEER” He shouted, joining Grim, Sapphire and I in the front. It was that Xros kid, Travis I think.

“Oh my, well if you're that enthusiastic, I guess I better let you.” Sapphire smiled, as Grim returned to his seat. I could see Davis in the crowd trying to make his way up, but the crowd was too busy laughing, every one knew Travis was just a kid at heart, we all knew he was a wimp. “Now why do you want to volunteer?” She asked as he grinned.

“Because my brother told my other brother, that if I don't get lost, he will and I don't want to hurt my family no more.” ... Suck up. Trying to get sponsors a lil' early I think- But the crowd thought other wise as they began to go in awww. I could even see Ravis getting glared at.

“Well that's, just so sad...” Sapphire whimpered, wiping away a few stray tears, “Why don't we get on the train so you can meet your mentor, hun.” She smiled, putting her hand on his shoulder as we began to walk into the train.

We made it onto the train easily, and Prill was waiting for us. He was one of the two mentors our district had. Despite our district seeming weak, since we only do technology, we have had plenty of winners because we are incredibly smart, Prill, Trist, Van and Karine are the four mentors who still mentor in our district, this year only Prill and Van are mentoring though, as the latter two are having a child and can't do both. Prill won his games by turning the careers against each other and then slowly picking the rest off with simple traps, while Van won his by out-lasting the others in the harsh winter climate, by making a suitable igloo and staying warm.

“Well looks like we have an interesting batch this year.” Prill grinned as Van joined us from what looks like the kitchen, he carried a large sandwich.

“Was that a true story kid?” Van asked pointing at Travis, his mouth still full of his food- He had no manners, I grunted at him and he rolled his eyes. “If you have a problem with the way I act, I don't care.” He laughed as Prill smiled beside him.

“Yeah... So what kind of work are we going to do for the Crown?” He asked, his gentle eyes beginning to water. Travis had light blonde hair, he was my age, but I was much taller than him, and I had better looking blue-eyes, so why were they so interested in him?

“Whatever.” I stated taking a seat on the couch... Wait... Work? What the frick was he taught, he does realize we are going to fight to the death?

“Work? What do you mean kid...?” Prill asked looking at Travis and then at Van.

“My brother told me that if we get chosen we go to work for the Crown. That's how we pay our debt.” Travis said munching on a small cookie- Idiot. He does know there aren't any cameras around, he can drop the innocent act!

“I don't know how to tell you kid, but your brother lied to you, paying the debt means you are going to fight to the death with 31 other kids around your age.” Travis's eyes just filled with tears...

“Davis lied to me?” He sobbed, shoving his face into my lap. What did this kid think I was? Some kind of towel. I was about to shove him off of me, when I realized something- This kid is a sponsor magnet, and fits the dumb blonde stereo-type perfectly, I can just use him,

“There, there, Travis. I'm sure he just wanted to protect you.” I smiled, rubbing his head. Prill and Van gave me an odd look, did they know what I'm planning? And if they do are they going to tell him?


District Seven; The District of Hard Wood.


Chimmy's PoV;

I make my way out of the eternal forest, one foot in front of the other, faster and faster. The maple, oak and pine trees all seem to become one. The forest was like a maze, but I know my way around this maze. He needs help. I need to get him help. My younger brother, Himmy. We were playing super heroes in the forest again, sure we were supposed to be cutting wood, but we never did, so why should we have got wood this time? It just doesn't make any sense. Himmy, my poor, poor brother. Why did he insist that he could do it. He's not small like I am! Oh, Himmy.

“Chimmy, you look like a mess. You do know the choosings are very soon, don't you?” Mrs. Liken, my trainer, she taught me all about how the forest works, the simple things like what a tree needs to grow, and more complex things like tree-jumping, something my brother tried to do... but he didn't make the jump!

“Mrs.Liken!” I burst out, pointing towards the forest. “Himmy! He's hurt, he can't walk! I'm not strong enough to carry him back. He's bleeding! Please, he needs help!” I scream, the tears slowly drifting out of my brown eyes and onto the white snow below me. “Please, before he freezes to death.”

She nods, before asking me a bunch of questions about where he was, I answered to the best that I could before she smiled, putting her soft hands on my cheeks. “Chimmy dear, go get cleaned up, go to the Great Tree, go through with the choosing. Your brother will be back in your arms before you know it.” But... I couldn't I had to be with Himmy! He needs me. But I knew after all those years of training with her that she wouldn't let me come with her. I bowed my head, staring at the ground as I made my way to Himmy's and I's house. We didn't live with our parents as they are part of the real tree cutting sector in the district, Himmy and I, well we work on preserving the balance in the biosphere.

“It'll be ok.” I mutter to myself. I follow the shovelled-out path, towards the tree-houses. Since our district wasn't the most developed, and is set in the middle of the largest forests in the entire Crown, and a lot of animals live around us, we chose to live in the trees, that way we could avoid the deadly predators... But you know, part of me thinks that we live in the trees simply because it's much cooler than living on the ground.

Eventually I made it to the small orange-coloured tree-house, a worn out vine ladder attached to the trunk. Slowly I climb up, the vine was cold to the touch, but that would likely be due to the cold weather outside, still I wish I had my gloves... But I gave them to Himmy. Once again, tears began to dribble out of my eyes. Once I make it inside of the tree fort, I can feel the difference in the temperature. It was warm, and almost cozy.

The walls were all warm colours; deep reds, bright oranges and yellows. Himmy always thought that if we made the house look like fire we would stay warm... If only he were here now, he wouldn't be out there. What happens if she doesn’t find him in time... Himmy, please stay safe.

I made my way into my sunset-orange room, falling onto my small peach bed. I took a few heavy breaths before sitting back up. Staring at my closet, I get up, opening the door. Before me, a cornucopia of green fabric was neatly hung on small branches. I loved Green, any shade; Malachite, Emerald, Sage, Hunter, heck even forest green. I pull out a plain hunter green sweatshirt, a lighter green tee shirt, and a pair of dark green pants. I look into my slither of a mirror, gently brushing away my dirty blond hair from my face. I'm ready.

I race out of my house, down the ladder and I start walking towards the district centre. Around me I can see all the youth of the district heading to the same place, which for some could be their death bed. This is my second year, being 14 and all, it would have been Himmy's first, well it still is... But I just really don't want to think about him being pulled away from me and sent to pay the debt. Then again, just being from district Seven was not only good luck, but always greatly increased the chances of coming home- Our district is known to be part of the careers.

Eventually I made it to the centre of the district, one of the few places we had actually clear-cutted. It's a large circle, a perfect circle actually, in the centre a small stage, around it the seven sections for each age were clearly marked. Our district doesn't bother with sorting the genders, it would be too much effort for the large population.

I try to spot Himmy, but I just can't seem to find him, maybe he's at the hospital... Or maybe Mrs. Liken is with him... Yeah, that must be it. I stand silently in the fourteen year old section waiting for the districts Crown Rep. To show up. Opal, that was her name, and it is nearly impossible to miss her, every year she wears a similar outfit, a soft opal white, which seems to mystically let out a radiant array of pastel colours.

As the crowd begins to get louder, I spot her. She looks the same as usual, though, this year her blond hair was in two pig tails, as if she were trying to look young. Our mayor quickly escorts her to the centre stage, as they begin some speech about why we need to participate in the debt paying. But like always, no one listens. The crowd is loud, and to be honest rude, well that is until Opal pulls out two envelopes. Apparently, since our district is so large they prechoose who is going to pay the debt, and make sure they are here.

As she begins to tear the first envelope I swear you could hear a dime drop, but then again that could just be me going insane. “Katie Swift.” Opal soothes out of her pale, pale lips. It's not me! I'm safe? Wait... No! Nonononono! That is me. Katie. The name I was given at birth. The name I hate. Swift. A silly last name, actually, I remember a girl in district one a few years back with he last name of Swift, singing most of her time in the arena, Taylor or something like that.

The guys around me quickly shove me to the centre, I wasn't exactly who you would call popular around here, I usually would play with my brother... But I guess that's over now. There's no way I can come back. Unlike most people from this district who actually cut wood, I don't even think I've ever touched an axe before.

“Why howdy, Katie!” Opal grins wrapping her arms around me, giving me one big hug. I smile back, returning the hug, trying to hide my tears. “Come on deary, there's no need to pretend...” Pretend? My mind numbs out her words... Pretend. I can pretend! I can pretend to be a career! I can pretend to be tough! Yes... Himmy, I am coming back for you.


Samuel's PoV

The strangest thing, that girl, Katie, one second she looks like she is about to break down crying the next thing you know she's flexing her, well to be frank, non-existent muscle. She was something, that was for sure, if she keeps this up she might get sponsors, I mean, she would be able to lighten up the mood in the arena for sure, so I'm positive some one would sponsor her just for that. My name's Samuel, I'm also fourteen, I live alone. My parents were sent off to work in the eleventh district, when I was with a baby sitter, apparently no one ever thought about bringing me with them...

“Samuel Daimion!” Opal howlers, as if she were surprised to hear the name, or she was already frustrated with how our district was too rowdy for her tastes. After hearing the name I couldn't help but give out a small laugh as I began my way to the centre stage. Despite most of the kids my age giving me evil glares, I kept laughing. By the time I made it to the stage, it was more of a chuckle but stil, Opal smiled, “Well then, looks like some one thinks they are going to do well, hmm?” Opal winks, before raising my left hand, and Katie's right high into the air. “Give it up for your debt payers!” The crowd began to cheer as the three of us were ushered down a stair well and straight onto the nearby train.

We were informed that we were running late and that we wouldn't be able to say any good byes. I nodded, but Katie looked worried. “My brother... He's hurt... I'm not sure if he's ok. I need to say good bye.” She whimpers out, her head finding my shoulder. What happened to the girl up on the stage... Maybe she won't be such a sponsor magnet after all...

“It's fine, you can always write a letter, I'm sure that Opal would gladly give it to him.” I smile, as Opal nods.

Katie sniffles a little before standing up on her own, “You're right, thanks.” She grins, as we walk onto the next train cart, meeting two young faces, likely in their twenties. In our district, since we have a number of victors, the victors take turns mentoring, I guess that this year it was theirs.

“'Ey, name's Bella, and his name is Edward.” He had pale skin and looked like he was in pain, but he smiled any ways.

He stood up from his seat, “First of all, I would like to thank you both for actually not looking terrible.” I chuckled, I had short black hair, and deep brown eyes, I wore light brown shorts and a plain tee. But, I'm pretty sure this is the first time I've ever had a compliment on my looks, and by looking at how red Katie's cheeks were, I'm guessing it wasn't a common thing for her either.

Bella laughed, “Oh stop it, no need to embarrass them already.” ... Already? “Anyways we have a few questions, so Opal if you could please leave for a few minutes.” Bella continued as Opal left the room silently, guess she was used to being ordered around... I kind of felt bad for her. “First, Katie dear, what was with the sudden burst of, well I don't really know what to call it, energy?”

Katie lets out a soft giggle, “I was pretending to be a lumber-Jill. My brother and I, we work in the naturalists part of the district, and I know that unless people think I'm big and tough I won't get any sponsors.” She says, and I wondered if being an ally with Katie would be a mistake. Our district usually kills one another once the paying of the debt reaches its end... But I swore I never would.

“Interesting... And what about you?” Edward asks looking at me, he must have meant the whole ordeal with me laughing the entire time.

“I just found it was funny. My parents were sent off to the military district, some how I was left behind. I used to spend every waking moment of my life thinking about if they were wondering what kind of person I had become... And now they won't have a choice but to watch me, and finally learn about the Son they never knew.” Every one was silent after that, I looked over at Katie who looked like she was in tears.

“That settles it. I'm sorry for eavesdropping, but I have a plan.” Opal gently smiles, walking into the room as she brought the five of us into one big hug.


District Eight: The Glimmering District

Jessica’s PoV.

“How much do you love me?” I whispered into his thick, black curls. I kept my arms clamped tight around his build torso, every inch of him was mine. Damian... My Damian.

His soft hands slowly braided my caramel hair. “Too much, I think.” He smiled, letting his bright teeth see the light of day.

So we continued to sit on the ornate bench, Damian in his bold green tuxedo, and myself in my spring green dress. Today was the day of choosing, but the odds were once again in our favour. Our names were only in the glass box once, unlike some who had their name a couple times over, due to their larger families. In our district, the district of 8, the smaller the family, the better you live and both me and Damian, are lone children. “What would you do if I were chosen?” I asked, as I slid off of his lap and onto the cold bench.

“I would volunteer so that we could be together forever, no matter what.” I perked my lips up against his cheek, he was perfect, and he was all mine. He gently wiped a strand of my hair from my face before getting up and whisking me off of my feet. “Today will be the perfect day. It’s our four year anniversary you know.” He beamed he began to make his way across the stone bridge hovering over the Glimmer River.

I nodded, wrapping my long arms around his neck. We began to date on the choosings four years ago.... That was a tough year for the two of us, but we managed to pull through. The view in district 8 was amazing, and from what I’ve learnt about the other districts it was the most beautiful. Waterfalls were a common sight here, with flowing rivers separating the district into many smaller islands. “As long as I have you, nothing can go wrong...”

He continued to carry me in silence for awhile, eventually we made it to the Shimmering Falls. They say if you come here with a loved one, you would be with them forever. “Do you think they came here?” Damian asked, letting the gentle wind blow into his tux.

“I don’t know. Sometimes at night I like to think they did, and that they are still together.” I whispered, as we crawled into the small dove-shaped boat. The wind played with my braided hair, and small ducklings crowded around the boat. My lover pulled out bread crumbs as we swiftly tossed them into the river. We drifted through the water, letting the current take us where it pleased.

We floated underneath a blossom tree and Damian tossed a pebble at one of the low-hanging branches, causing it to rain us in the soft pastel flowers. “It wasn’t fair what happened to them...I just wish that we could have been there for them. We were older, if only-”

“Damian... It’s not our fault. They volunteered. They wanted to prove to the world love conquers all, but they were unlucky... Truly unlucky.” I cut him off. Rory and Harmony... Our younger siblings, they were too foolishly in love to see anything else. How they never managed to hear the mutts coming for them, I’ll never know.

Our boat slowed down as we reached one of the smaller docks. We made our way off of it and onto the lush grass. Large stone gems were sprawled across the green land. Here laid the chosen ones who didn’t make it. The ones who died too soon. Engraved into each gem sculpture was the game they were part of, their name and age, and that of their partner, and finally how they died. Only a handful of the gems were coloured, and those belonged to those who won their games. We made our way down the pathway of the fallen, until we found their names. They made it so far together, being in the last 6 and the last pair of district partners left. “They belonged together.” Damian whimpered out softly, dropping small crystals onto the soft soil in front of their graves.

“And they are together.” I hugged him tightly, “They died in each other arms, you know that.” We fell to the ground together, letting the tears drain out of us.

“Don’t let me go Jessica, please.”

Shawn’s PoV:

It’s a hard-knock life for us... The tune from the show district aired last night rang inside of my head. I hummed gently to the rhythm, as I hacked my pick into the hard stone. And today could only make it worse. Two people would be chosen, to play in the strange game where lovers turn against one another, and enemies become allies. It never made any sense to me, but that’s how it was played. The strong come out on top, and the weak simply fall apart. Apparently it makes for good tv... But most of us can barely keep our eyes open and watch. “Shawn, pick up the pace!” A superior yelled, lashing out a whip towards my ankles, I jumped just missing it. But I quickly slammed the pickaxe into the stone again in search of jewels.

One of the well-kept secrets of the district I suppose. The mayor is way too cheap to buy coal from district 12 anymore, and so he forced manual labour, instead of using the machines. Some of us are taken at a young age, and only see the daylight for the choosings. Others, like me, come here for the extra money- I’ve been saving up to buy my way out of this place. “Ok. it’s been long enough for the day. It’s time to go. It’s the holiday today.” He laughed as he unshackled my leg and took the pick from my hands.

I fell into line along with the other kids. I was 15, but there were many who were younger, and so many more who were by-far older. They say, once you are in the mines for a while, there’s no way out, but I’ll prove them wrong. I continued to hum, as we marched our way out of the dark and into the brightly coloured outside. A large metal fence with too many locks to count stood in our way. One of the superiors in their large black uniform began to unlock it. “Hey Shawn!” a frail voice whispered from behind me. “Are you ready for the makeover?” She asked again, finding her way into the place behind me. She never told me her name, but her number was 2102... Sometimes I think she’d forgotten her own name.

I’d almost forgotten about the makeovers... In order to cover-up the truth about what half of the town does, the mayor gives us all makeovers, so we are clean and ready for the camera. If you didn’t know any better you would think we lived like the rest of the majority of the district. “I guess so.”

The locks were soon off of the gate, and we were ushered through, quickly being directed to different buildings where we would be cleaned and groomed. I was rushed off into a pale pink building where a group of older ladies wasted no time in pulling me into a bubbly bath. They dunked my head under the water, while pulling at the clothes I was wearing. Soon I was naked with only the bubbles to cover me from their prying eyes. They cleaned my hair in a matter of minutes before they began to scrub my body. I gave a wink at one of the older women as she scrubbed me, only for her to squirt me with a bottle of water. “Naughty.” She scolded.

Soon-after I was whisked out of the water and covered by a towel as they began to prance in circles around me. It almost felt like it could be one of the musicals they would often air on the television. They bickered with one another about what colour I should wear, the one who I had winked at prior won out in the end, and they soon had been dressed in a pale blue tux. Satisfied with their work, they handed me a grey beanie to put over my short black hair. The blue clothes they had me wearing really made my darker skin flush.

“Well go on, shorty, you have a choosings to attend.” They grinned, as a shorter teen entered the building and I left. I relished at the slower pace I could take now, as I made my way down the pale stone path towards the glass tower in the centre of town. That’s where they would drop the glass boxes to determine who would be chosen.

When I arrived a crowd of teens had already been formed, I briskly made my way to the guys portion, too lazy to try and find out where the 15-year olds belonged. At the top of the tower I could only assume Ruby was already waiting as bright red lights illuminated the see-through tower. “Welcome to the choosings of District 8!!” A voice yelled, as cheers erupted from the crowd. “This is the 49th year of the games, and this will be no exception, we can only expect the best of the best this year. One of you will be coming home this year! I can feel it, but who will that be?” The crowd grew silent as Ruby grabbed a glass capsule from a box and tossed it to the bottom of the tower, there our mayor waited. His name? Not really important, we just called him Satan.

The orb burst as a small piece of paper was left in its place. The mayor grabbed hold of it and asked for Jessica Willow to join him. A sad gasp was heard. We all knew her sister competed in the 45th games, only to die in Rory’s arms. Rory was her boyfriend... They made it far, compared to most of chosen ones from here. Despite this, Jessica stood tall, a gentle braid hanging from her head as she appeared beside the mayor, not a single tear to be seen in her eyes, her dress a bright green. Before the crowd had time to chill, another orb shattered on the ground. The mayor pulled out another piece of paper, from the remains. “Damian Mcginty.” If the crowd wasn’t already upset, they were now. People were yelling ‘Fixed’ and other words of the such. Damian’s brother, Rory was Harmony’s boyfriend, and it was no secret that Damian and Jessica were dating. Before things got too riot-like, the two chosen ones were ushered away. Leaving the crowd stunned. I only wandered around. I wasn’t chosen.

Everything was loud. The yelling was too hard to try and drown out. And so I walked. I wondered what would have happened if I was chosen. I would finally get out of this place. I could finally be free of the people here. But, I wasn’t. So why bother thinking of the what-ifs? What would happen to them though... Would they suffer the same fate as Roramony? If so... how could I just stand around and let that happen?

I found myself outside of the train station. They were in there. Before I really knew what I was doing I raced inside and screamed. “I volunteer.”

District Nine: The District of Luminescence.Edit

Kate’s PoV:

“I got one! I got one!” His cheery voice called out as I rushed over to where he was. He held out a small glass jar, inside a flashing ball of light jolted around. It had a pale purple colour, but even still it kept the the jar aglow. The room itself though was filled with such lights. With colours ranging from the deepest of blues to the brightest yellows. This was one of the many glowbug meadows in District 9. “Oh.... you got one too?” He frowned as he plopped his butt to the soft grass.

I smiled, “A little while ago, yeah. I didn’t want to ruin your fun.” I lowered myself to the ground as well, letting the moist grass soak through my skinnies. We sat alone letting the faint chirps of the bugs fill the air. I meddled around with the blades of grass, careful not to pluck any out.

“I wonder what it feels like out there...” He sighed softly as he looked around the stone cave. We are the people of district nine. Most of us have never seen the real Sun. Most of us have not breathed in the air of the outside world. We are trapped some of the older kids say, while the elders say the outside world will bring nothing but darkness for our people. Darkness... Darkness is what we prevent. We provide light for the districts. Deep within our mountains lye a special stone that when heated emits an extremely bright light. But we as a community don’t use it. We know the truth behind the stone, or so I’m told. In ancient legends it is said that the first of our people gave birth to two children, Dusk and Dawn. It is written that on their fifth birthday, a strange voice spoke out to the man, telling him that he had to murder one of his children, or his family would all die of a strange illness. And as it has been told, he refused, so both of his children and his wife turned to stone and fell into the ground. Mournful and full of regret, he would cry upon the wreckage but with each tear, the mountains grew taller and wider. Until they were so grand, he had the brilliant idea of locking himself away in the mountain. It was only then when he found three toddler. He named them after his family; Dawn, Dusk and Midnight. It’s said that our entire population comes from those people, and that the redstone at the bottom of the mountain are his childrens souls. But that’s just a legend...

I crawled towards to Che, he had the deepest of browns in his hair in the entire district, and it always found a way to bubble around his head in the cutest way. He turned to look at me his eyes were bright and wonderful, but he only frowned. “I don’t know. I’m not sure. Maybe it’s warm... Like the bread we get. I bet it feels like the bread when it just comes out of the oven.”

He wrapped his small arms around me as we laid in the flowers. We were best friends since we were little. He was born just a few days after me and because of that he always looked up to me, but it wasn’t always easy. It’s hard to be strong for others and for yourself, sometimes I just wish I had someone who I could depend on. “Today is the day... isn’t it?” He asked, nuzzling into my waist.

“It is.” That’s all I could really say. We both were twelve now, and this would be the first year either of us could be chosen. Maybe the last. “But come on, let’s go, we wouldn’t want to be late.”

We made the way through the darkened caves in silence, the chattering of Che’s teeth kept the halls filled with a constant buzz, and our small coloured lanterns kept us from tripping over ourselves. Our entire district was built into the ‘bodies’ of Dusk and Dawn, at the core of it all was the hub. That is where we were headed. The choosings would take place there and Amber in her bright yellow and oranges would be at the centre, the warmth of her outfit radiating throughout the room. Our district... Well we used to win the games often, or at least had a member in the final four or so very often, but things have changed, and to say the least we have been very unlucky the past thirty or so years. “Do you think our district will win this year?” Che muttered as the faint aura from the district centre began to shine.

“Maybe Che, maybe.” We made our way into the large room, pale lanterns hanging all around the room and teens of all sorts stood around waiting for the sun-ray esque dress amber was known to wear, to appear.

Our mistress of a mayor took to the stage, “It appears that Amber has managed to be late, yet again. As much as it displeases me, I will begin the ceremony. Everyone place rise as we pray to Dusk and Dawn.

Amber’s PoV:

Such a silly district. Every single turn a dead end, not a map or light in sight. My hands were bruised from the sheer amount of times I’ve tumbled over the uneven stone. Nothing in this place made a lick of sense. The constant hissing only made the ordeal worse. Why was no one there to escort me, yet again. If I didn’t know better I would think they wanted to see me dead. For the umpth-teenth time I fell to the ground, my once golden dress a thing from a fairytale a mere dish rag, the glitter creating a trail behind me. I let out a frail groan as I crawled to the cold stone wall of the cave. I pulled off the heels, and wrapped my hands around my scared feet. “Maybe it’s better I’m not there.” I muttered out to nobody in particular.

The Crown rigged most of the choosings this year. Last year didn’t bring enough entertainment it seems. District nine would be no exception. The people here, the cave dwellers would not be pleased with the outcome this year. Despite having some of the best mentors this year, there was no way the chosen ones would do well. I don’t know why the Crown despises the people of District Nine, but it does. The people here are the main source of light, for the land, their small lanterns and light-stones keep the world from fading into darkness. Once upon a time they had strong miners, but nowadays they rarely ever mine, claiming the stones are bad luck. Could that be why they chose to rig the district. I supposed it makes sense. Scare them into doing what the Crown wants.

This year... The debt paying, they are meant to be the best ever, that’s what all of the escorts have been told. We know this is the year we need to do our best to have our own chosen ones win, but it won’t be that easy. Every district has their own strengths and weaknesses, and the mentor lineup this year is filled with the best of the best. Not one district has a huge advantage... Asides from eleven, but when have they not had one? So just how am I supposed to get sponsors for two twelve year olds? Perhaps from pity, but even then, I doubt that will be enough. I sighed as I pushed myself off from the ground and began to search for the centre of the district once again.

It’s better if I’m there to comfort them, that’s for sure. In the jars of light, only their names are present, and unless someone volunteers for them, the Crown wins yet again. But even the youngest and most innocent deserve a shot, so I won’t let them down. No, I will find my way out of this maze and I will make sure they appear to be the strongest twelve year-olds possible. What choice do I have?

“Please be quiet.” A rough voice asked, the loud sound of footsteps causing me to turn around. Triff and Veer must be close. Does this mean the choosings were already over? “Come on... Please? I can’t stand whining.” He moaned out as the steps became more clear.

The faint whispers of whaling hit my ears as I began to rush in the direction of the sounds. “Veer? Triff!” I hollered.

“Amber! You have got some ‘splaining to do.” Triff laughed, his gentle voice mocking me. Soon the duo were in my sight, on straddling on their backs two youngins who I could only assume to be Che and Kate.

“I got lost. Nobody came to guide me through the tunnels, it’s not my fault. Honest. How are they holding up?” I asked as I pointed to the two.

Veer puffed, “They are loud. They keep crying and kicking. I mean, I know they are 12, but really?” He sighed. Veer and Triff won the games back to back, winning the 11th and 12th respectively. Both were young back then, and were easily in their early forties now. Their companions haven’t mentored in years, having given up. But they never did, they always have faith in their chosen ones.

“They are doing better than the two from last year who tried to run away. They might have been 18 on the outside but to the us they were six. At least this year with have two who can act their age.” Triff pointed to the one on his back, “She’s Kate and he’s Che.” I nodded as I began to stroke the girls short pixie-cut brown hair.

If you didn’t know any better you would think they were pixies that were often talked about in the tales of district 9. “It’ll be alright. Trust me, Triff and Veer know what they are doing.” I did my best to smile. Even though I wasn’t there they were still chosen. The Crown did this to them, their deaths will be on their conscious, not mine. “I bet you’re excited to see the Sun, huh?” I asked.

Kate just turned her head away from me but Che broke out into a small smile, “Does it feel like fresh bread like Kate said?!” He gasped.

Veer and Triff chuckled lightly, probably remember how the Sun felt for the first time. One can only feel pity for the cave dwellers of district nine, they have missed out on so much. “You know what, it does. Kate must be really smart.” I smiled hoping for Kate to turn around, or at least smile, but she didn’t. She kept to herself for the entire walk out of the caves.

We finally made it to the gate way, I inserted the small amber gem I had wrapped around my neck and the door creaked open. Rays of light hitting the soft cold stone, Triff and Veer let the two youngins down. Che was quick to race around in circles after a small butterfly before laying against a tree, both things he could only read about before. Kate though, simply sat crossed legged in the middle of a batch of sunflower, small whispy tears falling off of her cheeks. She reached for the Sun as if trying to grab hold of it, but never managed to reach it. I rushed over to her and hugged her. Before I knew it, the five of us were all in a group hug, under the radiant beams of the one, and only sun.


District Ten: The Renewable DistrictEdit

Jeff’s PoV:

“Why couldn’t I have been from district five.” I thought to myself. District five, the bane of my very existence. The people there, they think they are all-that and a slice of sugar bread just because they can swim- Well news flash people, the people in district ten can swim too! But no, the news about district ten only portray us as hippies, the strange rainbow-coloured people of the past. The real district ten, the place that I’ve grown up in is nothing like how it’s been portrayed on the television. No longer is the district a place of ecru land and underprivileged people. The district today is the hub of all things great, and green. On Top of our few mountains, we have the windmills, in the gushing rivers we have the hydro plants, and on every building the solar panels. Living in district ten was like living in a utopia. Well, almost. If it weren’t for the fact that the district was part of a greater evil, the dystopia that could only be known as the Crown.

The Crown has given up hope on our district long ago, abandoning us and forcing us to provide for ourselves, it was only recently when our mayor managed to convince some other districts to help us in a trade pact; where we would provide power if they gave us some food. So while some districts know the truth of our district, others fail to see the light and assume we still live in the past. But with the new technology we created, we have had to adjust the lifestyles of everyone. Some live the life of the Sun, they are the ones who keep the solar panels in check, they are usually much more tanned or dark skinned than the rest of us, they also tend to be more muscular. Then there are those who work up in the cliffs, they are much taller than the rest of us, plus they tend to be a tad ditsy. But me? I just work on the water mills. Diving to make sure nothing is tangled or to build a new pump under the sea. Really I think it’s the easiest of the three, at least it’s the one I much prefer.

There are people who use paints and pastels as a medium to express themselves, or their voice or even the way they move but for me, I use the water. The swift waves and calming swishes, the water is my kingdom. No one else in the entire district can swim like me, I’m the best at what I do. Normally I would be down there right now, but today is the choosing. Today is the day that the dystopian monarchy announces its presence to the district, the day when the people of the peaceful meadows, the wispy mountains and the crashing shores become one to celebrate the fate when our ancestors spoke out against the truth and stood for their rights. Yet today will most likely be the day that two of the youth of the district get their death-sentence. I’d already said my good-byes to my parents just in case. In this district only the children go to the reapings, parents must stay and keep working, so we can keep supplying power to the district. This meant the chosen ones don’t get a chance to say goodbye, but they are merely swept away into the air balloon, its direction? The Crown.

“Jeffrey!” She hollered. My younger sister, the only other thing wrong with this district. Her pace quickened as she jumped onto my back. We didn’t really get to see one another too often, as she worked on the cliffs doing night shifts. I tried to shrug her off, but to no avail.

I sighed, as I started to tickle her, and she quickly let go, laughing. “Good to see you too, Rose.” I muttered, as we began to walk down the all-too familiar tulip pathway to the town centre- The rainbow.

“I missed you sooooo much,” And so it begins... I gave a smile, hoping she would end it at that, but of course she wouldn’t, to be honest, I doubt she could. She talks way too much for a thirteen-year old. “... So then Ryder like dropped the flour into the wind mill and the entire village thought it was snowy! Isn’t he funny!?” She asked, but I ignored her. “I said. Isn’t that funny?” She flung her arm into my abdomen. Yep, good ol’ rose.

After ten more minutes of Rose telling me in detail every single thing she’s done in the past week we made it to the district centre. The large rainbow, for which it was named after, still gliding through the sky, cutting through every cloud that dared cross its path. The rainbow is supposed to represent the people here, bold and daring. But if the past few debt-games have taught us anything it’s that the people from district ten, just don’t know how to survive- for the past four years we have watched the chosen ones starve to death or die of food poisoning.

Behind the rainbow was the waterfall that fed most of the rivers in the district, and on a small platform in the centre of it all stood Jasper and our mayor, to their side the large air balloon. I could barely make out Jasper, and his rose-coloured jacket and pants, but I could se enough to know he was shirtless, like every other year. Rose kept hitting me until I hoisted her up onto my shoulders so that she could stare at his abs. I rolled my eyes just wishing this would end sooner so I could go back to the water.

Allison’s PoV:

Girls around me shoved me to the side in an attempt to get a better view. I let the wave of people push me away as I hoped this would allow me to fade into the background, and just not get chosen today. The cheers were obnoxiously loud, most of them girls, but I wouldn’t be surprised if a guy or two were part of it. Jasper was named the Crowns hottest bachelor only a few weeks ago, and if the girls had any say about it, he wouldn’t stay a bachelor for long. “Who’s ready for the choosings?!” He meowed out he was obviously trying to be seductive, but it sounded more like a sick cat. He gave out winks to the population so much that his eye looked like it was having a spaz attack. Soon after he spoke, the mayor began to dribble on about the history of the district. As the story neared its end, she began to speak of the great and omniscient scientist, the saviour of the district, my father. My father invented the power grid for the city, and created the eco-friendly lifestyle we all live now, but when the district began to prosper he vanished. Not a single goodbye was given, no final hug, no nothing. The only person to blame? The Crown. I don’t think my father was the type of man to leave his work behind... to leave me behind. So the verdict? He was kidnapped, and for that, the Crown will one day fall, and they will regret this.

“Let’s start with the guys shall we...And let’s just see what kind of man will be able to compete with this big hunk of man-candy!” Jasper cheered, his deranged smile spread across his face similar to that of a clown. He reached into the large glass balls, spinning his hand around until he found a slip of paper he liked and pulled out. “And the guy going to pay the debt is.... Jeffrey Woo!” The swimmer? Maybe the district has a chance this time, if there’s water that is.

A loud shriek pierced through the air, as what could only be Rose Woo chased after her brother who was swimming out to the platform. He appeared to be floating through the water much like the fish we’ve only heard about. Eventually he was drying himself off on Jasper’s pants, he rolled his eyes at the man then shot a shy smile out to the rest of us. Jasper was stunned, but what could he do? Hurt Jeff, that would likely result in a fine or his own death. Jeff was dripping water across the platform as Jasper groaned shoving his hand into a different container and pulling out a different piece of paper. “Allison Levi” He grinned, as I frowned. Even trying to hide in the darkness of the crowd doesn’t make me safe. So much for trying to stop the Crown now. Now I have no choice but to play by their rules in their own game.

I slowly made my way to the shore before dipping my feet into the water and making my way across the crystal clear water. Below me, a girl with tears and long brown hair, a pale white flower in her hair and draped in a sky blue dress swam in her own tears. Even though that girl may be what I’m feeling, I can’t let the world see that. But by the time I made it to the platform, that girl and the real me became one, as the gentle tears created pathways across my face. Jasper offered me his hand but I only shoved him into the water, “I’m not into you.” I growled, as Jeff helped pull me up, a smile on his face. “Thanks I said.” Jeff was 16, and I was 17, we’d never spoken to one another before today. Yet, just by his actions I knew I could trust him, and that maybe one of us could come home.

Jasper glared at the two of us, as he ushered us into the hot air balloon. Waiting there, were Rouge and Noire. They were the best mentors that we had in our district, but Noire was old now, easily in his late forties, he won the 14th games by using the environment to his advantage, and then there was Rouge. She was viscous, enough so that she was part of the careers her year, and she too knew how to use the environment, setting a forest fire that suffocated most of the careers that were left, leaving the rest as easy pickings, she won the 37th games. “You two are so dead meat.” Jasper muttered as he got on, cutting the sandbags causing us to begin to ascend into the air.

“Why would you say that, I think the girl has spunk, maybe enough to actually be worth coaching.” Rouge stated, smiling at me, as she played with my hair. Rumours were often told about her, and that before she started the game she had blonde hair, but by the end of it, it was stained red from all the blood, and because of this I stepped away from her. “But perhaps a little too afraid.” She finished, looking slightly disappointed.

Noire was busy groping Jeff’s muscles, “Not exactly a muscle man, but if the arena is made up of water, he has a chance.” Jeff looked down at the comment, to me he seemed fine, not buff, but he wasn’t scrawny like the others in the wind sector.

Rouge and Noir began to mutter to one another as I peered off, staring at what was once our district, but now just specks of colour on a palette of green and blue. “Do you think we have a chance?” Jeff asked, putting his hand on my shoulder.

“You know, I don’t have a clue. With Jasper, maybe we will get sponsors, but not if he hates our guts... And in the end, how far are you willing to go to win the games?” I asked, thinking of Rouge and her games.

“I don’t know... I don’t think I’ll be able to kill anyone.” He said, and that’s just what I thought. There’s a reason why there aren’t many victors in our district, we grow up protecting the essence of life and nature, never have we had to kill. Our victors for the most part have relied on the environment to bring them a victory, and if that’s the case this year, what chance do we have?

District Eleven: The Conformed District.Edit

Max’s PoV:

“Line up!” The man’s booming voice called out into the air, and soon enough a long queue was formed in front of him. I was part of it, but so were hundred others. The great man could only be the sergeant of the district, Cowell. He himself had a strange desire of wanderlust, constantly making us march around the outskirts of the district until our leather boots were stained with blood. He was harsh, fierce and unjust, he was the latest male victor of the district. This is how our district worked.

Girls and boys were not permitted to train together, so Lydia, the most recent female victor would train the girls. Not many people were actually born and raised here in the district, for the most part we are all from different districts. Having done something wrong at some point in our lives and being forced to come here. Now I was little when I was sent here, just barely four years old, I’m 18 now. I don’t know what it is that got me sent here, or really much of anything asides from the art of the blade. That’s what my speciality is. Others might train with axes or lances, but for me, only the clean edge of the sword felt right. I won’t say I’m the best, or even the smartest, but I’m good.

Things in the district work differently than others. The adults tend to the shops and the rest, they are given enough food and water to survive, but the youth, we train day in and day out. We are the nations army, by choice or not. We are fed based on our skill, the weak die off- quickly. We have tests often, usually a girls against boys battle royale, the weapons are dulled but when they touch skin they leave a red rash. Whoever is left standing becomes the winner and in the district they become renowned. But that is just one of the many tests we have here in district 11, the biggest test, and the most-known, is the debt paying. Only the two best teens get chosen for that, and if they come out alive, they pass, otherwise, they fail. As a district we are a major assist to the careers, and for that we almost always have a chosen one make it to the end.

The choosing ceremony here is very different than in the other districts. Here, the latest victor will choose his own pupil, usually the one who he thinks will fare the best chance at winning, but not always. Just last year Cowell sent in the scrawniest guy he could, because he gave him a funny look. Due to the unique set-up, we don’t meet our districts escort until we arrive at the crown. Most people say the escort is just too scared to visit the district, and she should be. This year though, I can only hope Cowell picks me. This will be my last chance to prove my skills, and I need to do that.

“Now look it here, there are many a’ hundred of you young lads here today, and it is my job to choose just one of you. Many of you are in your last year before you can no longer participate. Much like many of the past victors I will be nice and ask that if you are not 18 you leave so I can truly see what I have to work with.” There were moans of displeasure as most of the line broke off and started to head down the long trail back home. I stayed still, as about another hundred guys closed in around me. Let’s just hope today’s my lucky day. “The past years have been great training you all. Having to choose one is, well rather difficult. I want to make sure one of you will come home tonight, and because of that, I will be choosing Max Worrel. He’s proven time and time again no one can best him with the blade. The rest of you, please leave us.” He chose me. This was my chance now. I can prove it to the world, that I am good enough.

I bowed properly as Cowell came closer to me. “Thank you sir.” I stated, lifting my torso as I returned to a proper standing position. Cowell was quickly feeling me up. His hands were around my biceps, and legs soon enough he punched my gut. However part of my extra training was just that, people punching me, I’d developed stronger and tougher skin because of it.

Cowell grinned from ear to ear, “I think I chose right this year.” He gave me a huge hug before he sat on a nearby rock. “But we need to discuss the most important thing. The lady-killer you will be paired with. Do not trust her. Lydia is a master of deception, do not think it was below her to simply train whoever it is she chooses to kill you as soon as the game starts. This district does not play by the same rules, remember that kid.” He whispered out, before telling me to follow him, we were heading to the train.

Brittany’s PoV:

Lydia chose me, no surprise there. She made it very clear last year I would be the chosen one this year. She’s been training me in a multitude of different weapons since then, throwing daggers being my favourite. I was quick, and no one could deny that, strong? Not so much. I lurk in the shadows and take my prey from there, that’s just how I always imagined it anyways. Because of that, Lydia made sure I knew how to use a bow and slingshot, but both are in no way as fun as the daggers. The clean whistle sound they make as they pierce through the air is energizing.

Cowell... He could prove to be a bump in the road though. For the past ten years both Lydia and Cowell have failed to get a single chosen one home due to their own feud. They came home in back-to-back years and we childhood rivals, and their rivalry often lives out in their pupils. The past ten years, the chosen ones betrayed one another much too early, ending either of their chances. It’s sad but true, the only thing that stops us from winning will be the other. Lydia made it clear who Cowell would choose, Maxwell. Apparently he’s been playing favourites with him for quite some time, but this was good for me. I’ve never spoken to him before, so there’s no way he could hate me. Plus he’s a swordsman, he can protect me while I cover him from afar. The perfect business relationship.

Lydia started to lead me down the dirt road to the trainstation, unlike normal places, for us it was fairly far out of the way. There, Cowell and Maxwell would be waiting, and we would begin the journey. “Do not trust him, no matter what, Brittany. I have spent the past year training you so much just for you to get a knife in the back.” Ironically enough, that’s how Lydia won... But I’ll just keep that to myself. When we got their Cowell was busy yelling at an older couple, I assumed they were Max’s parents. Lydia just smirked, then pointed me off to go talk with Maxwell well the grown-ups had their own discussion.

I walked over to Max who was busy doing push-ups. “So what’s up with them?” I asked, curious.

“Don’t know.” He uttered not even looking up at me. I rolled my eyes as I went and sat on his back. He growled softly, but made no move to force me off. I smiled softly before I began to talk again.

“So, you know we are going to need to work together, right?” I asked, as he continued to move up and down. He didn’t reply, so I dug into his side with my nails. “You know we will be partners, right?” I asked getting annoyed.

He stood up, as I tumbled off to the ground. “Are you going to just keep talking?” He asked, his voice deep and dark like his wavy black hair. I nodded eagerly as he slumped to the ground, he was large, not overweight but broad with sugar-licked skin. In almost every way possible he was the opposite to me, I had long straight black hair, dark skin, and rather petite.

I blew a raspberry at him, he wasn’t being any fun. “Come On, at least you have me for a partner.” I beamed, but he only smacked his face with his hand. I sighed then sat down beside him.

“Why did you do it? Why did you volunteer to come here.” He asked. It’s true, unlike most people in the district I chose to come here. He turned to me, waiting for my answer.

“My parents, they weren’t exactly model citizens.” I uttered out through thick teeth. He nodded then moved closer to me.

He offered his hand out to shake, and so I did. “I’m sorry. I’m not really a people-person. Plus Cowell doesn’t really want me to make friends with the enemy.” I nodded, Lydia was much the same- If you don’t need them, don’t worry about them. But I needed Max, he was strong enough to protect me.

“Partners?” I asked. He nodded quickly as Cowell and Lydia returned to us, their faces deep red, they must have been arguing. Neither of them spoke to us, but Lydia dragged me away from Max. She glared at me for a long while before she shoved me onto the train and locked me into my room. I guess she saw me and Max being friends.

I groaned, pacing around the room. A large bed was in the center, it was circular and seemed retro. I opened the closets to find a ninja-esque style outfit. It was pure black, and looked like it would cover most of my body, I grinned at it, and quickly pulled it on. I turned back to the bed, noticing a small note. Lydia must have left it here for me.

The paper was pure white and cold to the touch, I unfolded it quickly; Dear Brittany, it is your year. You will be coming home, but to do this, you will need to do things as I command. This is the year the Careers will not exist. In their place team Amazon will stand. The alliance of all the best girls, you will lead them, and you will win this game. The guys are not to be bothered with. Trust me, it’s just not worth it, they will only stab you in the back in the end. ~ Lydia.

I finished reading it, then folded it back and put it into one of the pockets in the hoody. So this was her plan? And she couldn’t have told me before. An all girl alliance? Could that work. If so, that means the guys will all work together to counter us. Ugh! I wish she would have told me before, because now, I just don’t know if that’s the right choice.

I jumped onto the bed, burying my face into the many pillows. I read about the fierce tribe that was known as the Amazonians, they were from a long, long time ago in our past, they were strong, but even then they failed. And just what were Max’s parents doing at the station. What to do, who to save? I just... Don’t know.

District Twelve: The District of FaunaEdit

Sean’s PoV:

Ready. Steady. Aim and fire. I repeated the simple rhyme over and over in my mind. Today would be the day. When all of my training would be put to use. My father had spent years teaching me the sacred art of the bow string, and today he would pass on the torch... Well bow, but you get the point. I’d spent years learning how to properly lace the string around the arched wood, nights being drilled on how to notch the arrow and today it would all be worth it. Today I would hunt my first deer.

I was fourteen after all, and that is what all the other guys do. It’s a tradition. On a boys fourteenth birthday they shoot their first animal, and become a man- And I’ve been waiting my entire life to be a man. Technically, I was supposed to go shooting a month ago, when my actual birthday was, but my dad had to go on a trip to the Crown to work on some top-secret thing, and he just got back today. The day of the choosings. He says I would have plenty of time to bag me a deer before that though. I couldn’t sleep last night though. My nerves were getting the best of me. I’ve been sitting on the edge of my bed, waiting for my dad’s familiar footsteps on the hardwood floor to let me know he was awake so we could begin our quest for manhood and I Sean, would become much more than just a boy.

My faded red outfit was already pre-picked, and on my paled skin. Dark brown denim and cozy warm sweater. The weather was chilly in the morning, and if we were going to go into the forest it could only get colder. Our district had three main sectors, the forest where the men would go to hunt, the housing area where everyone lived and the stores could be found, and finally the farmland where the females and kids would grow animals. But unlike district 11, we were just one large family. We still attended school with one another, and we knew the girls. We weren’t divided to the extreme.

My ears perked up when I heard the gentle footsteps above. I quickly grabbed my maroon sack and rushed to the kitchen. My father was already dressed, he always had this way of looking like Robin Hood, and because of that around town they call me Little Red. He smiled, “Ready as always, I see.”

I nodded quickly as he pulled out a paper bag from the fridge and stuffed it into his faded green sack. He ruffled up my short brown hair before we headed out of the door. Normally my dad would go with many others as a hunting pack, much like wolves do, but today it was more of a sentimental thing, an emotional journey, a grand adven- “Oh little reeeeed!,” the frail voice called out, as the soft steps got closer, “I knitted this for you, I thought you might like it,” she tossed a bright scarf over my head, and my dad quickly wrapped it around my head like a hood. She beamed, as my father chuckled at my not-so-happy facial expression.

“Thank you.” I muttered, before hurrying down the dirt path to the forest. The leaves were quickly turning into the array of colours that only Autumn could bring. My dad handed me a small bow made of maple wood.

We didn’t say much. This was our moment. What was there to say really? We were people of the wild. Every now and then he would point to a small critter or plant and ask for the name of it each time I would respond, “Nightlock, chipmunk, wolf... Primrose. Deer.” He gave a nod each time, but not the last time. He quickly shoved his hand over my mouth. I tried to remove his hand but I was enervated by his strength and my lack of. “Oh!” I tried to say but his hand stopped the sounds from leaving my lips.

A deer, a real life deer- and it’s alive. I can do this, I know I can. My dad slowly released my mouth and began to crouch towards the buck, soon enough he was right beside him, gently petting it. He gave me the signal, a single wink. I pulled the bow up from my shoulder, “Ready,” I began to pull the string back, “steady,” I began to ease the arrow into the string, “aim and fire,” I carefully moved the bow until it was in the perfect position and let it loose. The arrow gave a soft whistle as it flew through the air.

Jay’s PoV:

The scream was loud enough that I’m sure my mom must have heard. There’s no way she couldn’t have. Just in case though... “AHHHHHHHHH” I burst out again. Gull’s eggs were hatching and he had to be here! The beauty of life, it really was something. Though, I guess I can’t really call them Gull’s eggs, I mean Gull is a he. But you know, we found the eggs by the lake, and we put them by Gull and he seems to have taken a liking to them anyways. Gull was snug on my small lap, he head cuddling my stomach. Soon enough I could hear the door open and my mother stood there in all of her glory. Many people in town claim I look like her, but I don’t know, we both had long brown hair, and faded brown eyes, but something about her always sparkled.

“What is it Jay?” Her soft voice asked, as she came and placed her hands on my shoulders, I pointed to the rocking eggs, “oh my.” She crouched down to my height and watched with me.

I’d seen eggs hatch before, but every single time it just seemed to give off even more joy, I’m sixteen now, but I remember the first time, that’s when I met Gull. He still hadn’t hatched out of his egg an hour after the others, so without letting my mom see I gave his egg a quick tab and he popped right out. We’ve been inseparable since. “What kind of birds do you think are inside?” I asked, the eggs had small blue dots speckled across them, but asides from that they were mostly pale.

My mother gave out such a high pitched giggle, and told me to wait and see. Unlike most of the other families, we raised birds instead of farm-stock. We refuse to raise chickens on top of that, we see the birds as our pets not food for the world to eat. Many people in town come to buy our pets though, as pets. This has created a strange holiday the day after the choosings... Which are today, hmmm. I almost forgot! Anywho, the day after the the choosings the people in the district let the birds go, in hopes that they will bring luck to the chosen ones. Sometimes it does... for guys anyways. The guys in our district often join the careers, and the girls are left to fend for themselves.

The first egg began to crack, as small specks began to appear across the shell. “Eeeeee” I let out, staring at the eggs. Gull stopped cuddling to take a peek at his, for lack of a better word, chicks. Soon enough the eggs were wobbling in full force and the sound of cracking could be heard throughout the field. Their little beaks appeared, and soon the soft blue colours of the birds could be seen too. “They’re blue jays?” I asked, and my mother nodded.

“Come on Jay! The choosings are about to start.” Gideon called out from across the picket fence. I blushed slightly before hurrying off. Gideon won the games just two years ago, he was fifteen then, and now’s he’s just one year older than me. He was a celebrity of sorts... But he was dashing and charming.

I skipped beside him, as he chit-chatted about silly things, I just giggled every now and then nodded with a smile. He led me to the district centre, a simple stage, nothing too fancy. He gave me a small smile before walking to stage to be with the other mentors, mayor and escort. The girls around me whispered in a hush voice, but all I could think about was his smile.

On the stage I could see the bold and stunning Quartz. He wore a simple yellow outfit, but he often reminded me of the colour of a freshly hatched chick. He was our mentor, beside him s group of males, the victors from our district. There used to be a girl, but she passed away years ago she was named after the Swans who populate the lake. Our mayor took center stage and welcomed the Quartz and told a tale of how our district came to be, two distinct tribes, one made of men and one made up of girls who found one another on a foggy day at the lake. The two tribes fell in love and created the small district we live in now. Soon enough though, Quartz took his turn to shine. “Welcome, welcome to the 49th annual choosings. This year we hope to replicate Gideon’s success two years ago.” The crowd erupted in cheers, but Gideon only faded further behind the other mentors. He wasn’t proud of winning he would tell me sometimes, he didn’t like killing. “But before we can cheer on our chosen ones, we need to know who they are! He beamed, reaching into a basket pulling out a slip of paper. Jay Lom!” He screamed out, as the girls around me shoved me forward. I looked to Gideon for comfort but his face gave nothing but despair and sadness. What about the birds... What about Gull? How will they survive without me. Actually, how will I survive without them?

I stood on the stage, almost a perfect statue asides from my legs which shook constantly. I was a wreck. Not wasting anytime, Quartz quickly pulled the next name, “Sean Reeds”. A smaller boy walked to the stage, he walked with tardigrade. He seemed sad, but that was expected. He gave me a big hug when he reached the stage and I just hugged him back. We’d be seeing a lot of each other, even if he joined the careers in the end.

Quartz led the two of us, and the mentors backstage. “Try to stay brave, for the cameras. You won’t get any sponsors this way.” Ralph stated. He won the 17th games. Sean kept his arms around me the entire time though, he didn’t move. Gideon looked at the two of us confused. The mentors didn’t have much time to talk to us before the crowd on the other side began to go wild. Screams and yells were heard throughout. The mayor was soon in our sight rushing onwards to the train. Gideon, Ralph and Hawk-Eye, looked confused, but ran quickly with us. Did this happen last year? No. I thought the chosen ones had time to say goodbye. This wasn’t normal.

We were on the train in no time. The mayor whispered some words to the mentors and Quartz before he rushed back to the centre of town. We sat in silence for awhile until the train picked up its pace and Gideon looked at the two of us, “There was a murder in the forest a male with an arrow through his chest. Your lives were in danger, I am sorry you did not get to say goodbye.” I sighed. But Sean just buried his head into my arms.

District Thirteen: The District of Extremly Sharp and Pointy ThingsEdit

Rhonda’s PoV:

“And here we have the towns golden anvil,” I explained to Moon, her dress seemed to be made of tiny white shingles that clattered together every time she took a step down the street. Despite my lagging pace, she seemed to draggle behind. The simple streets of my loving district were made of a painted clay found along the shores of the ocean. The light pastel colouring almost made me forget.

Forget about exactly what I was doing. Forget that today would be the day. Today would be my day to volunteer. Forget that, all of this, the loving colours of our streets, the smiles we plaster on our faces and the fresh fragrance of cherry blossoms are all a facade. Our district was fake. On the outside we are known for the array of flowers and cheer and the artisans who live here creating wondrous items, but we all know the truth. The simple truth, a truth long forgotten in the other districts. Pull away the rainbow essence and you are left with the charred black and white of a dead district. A district where we only live to serve the crown. Those who are not part of the artisans are part of the Dark Arms.

The Dark Arms aren’t actually people with dark arms, but a collection of families who work the black market for most of the country. We forge weapons and carefully get them out to those in need. This is how it has always been. The secret life of District 13. My role today? Make sure Moon doesn’t pick up the scent of the deceit, volunteer then go and pay my debt with my fellow careers.

“Well, it certainly is impressive. Though, I think it might be an eyesore during the daytime when the Sun reflects off of it.” Moon spoke out softly, before we continued along the path.

Our district seemed so ordinary on the outside, but if Moon would even put an ounce of effort into looking beneath the sugary sweet coating, she would realize that the district isn’t filled with a fluffy cream. But she won’t bother, she never did. Part of me thinks she knows, but she just doesn’t want to put in the effort into writing up all the paperwork. She’ll be such a useful district rep. She probably won’t even care what will happen to me when I get chosen.

We walked in silence until we reached the stage. She nodded in acknowledgement when we got there, “It seems the district is the same as it was last year. As it is every year...” Moon slowly paced back and forth, not really doing much, just muttering silent words to herself.

“It would seem so, do you need me any longer? Or can I go get prepared?” I asked. In truth, I had nowhere to go, or anything to change into, since I would volunteer this year, I had to look tough, but the manner in which Moon looked at me was unnerving.

She paused and looked at me, her pale eyes still like stone, “No, I will need to prepare you myself, rumor has it you are volunteering, I may aswell make sure you are ready.” She stated, pulling out a long and glimmering blade. My hands were quick to reach behind my back and pull out my own blade. Moons’ gave was deadly, it was unnatural, it was the look of a killer. Before I knew it, her blade was banging against my own, the warm sparks filling the air.

Alex’s PoV:

The sound was amazing. The clean hum of a steel blade through the fresh air. It was unique, and no matter how hard I’ve tried to recreate the sound, I never could. No, the only time I could make the sound was in a duel. “Ready or not....” She whispered, as the gentle candle light vanished, leaving us in darkness.

I shuffled backwards, pressing my hands against the wall, waiting for her footprints. The sound of our breathing kept the room filled. Soon enough I was rewarded for my patience. Her frantic pacing replaced the breathing, as I pulled Sky from her sheath. The blade was made of pure silver, it was perfect. I raised it to defend myself, a second blade slamming hard against it. “Here I come...” She laughed.

We quickly began to parry and exchange blows. The sparks from the connections the only light. Flashes of her face came into vision, but never stayed long. It was a miniature firework show. “Nice first date, huh?” I chuckled.

Neither of us had managed to shed a single drop when we dropped our weapons. They skidded on the ground. Our lips met and ----

Rhonda’s PoV:

Four. Four wounds. She managed to cut me four times, before she decided I wasn’t fun enough. Who exactly was she? The escorts were from the Crown, they weren’t supposed to know how to fight, only watch. So who was she? Her soft hands were busy wrapping a gauze around my arms where the cuts were. As soon as she was done, she strolled off, to the mic. “Welcome, welcome, members of the 13th district! Forty-nine years on this very day. So you all know what that means, it’s time to get choosing,” She smiled, turning her head for a split second to give me a wink.

I never really imagined what the words would sound like. To know that in just a few moments I would save someones life. It felt.... Right. I began my walk to join the other girls from my district. Those of us in the Dark Arms knew who would be volunteering, but the rest of the district would still be surprised. They just don’t understand what’s really going on in this place. They are just pawns waiting to be played, and the game has yet to begin. An arm grabbed hold of me, “I was worried you were going to ditch us,” the soft voice whispered. I shook my head. I was trained to do this, I wouldn’t give it up.

“Let’s start with the guys, why don’t we?” She shoved her hands, that not ten minutes ago almost killed me into the large bowl. She was truly a pretty women, but somehow she was deadly, and viscous. “Cary Blunt!” She called out, wearing the same smile she always wore.

Soon enough, he was there. Though, his hair wasn’t in the usual combed over state, no, his dark blonde hair was a mess. His clothes were mismatched as well. Leave it to Alex to muck that up. “My name’s Alex K. And I’m volunteering,” he grinned, with his bright teeth. Cary was one of the merchants in town, his face was already red, wet tears moisturizing his face. He gave Alex a tight hug before walking down into the arms of his parents. Clueless. Alex was going to volunteer no matter what. Like me, he was chosen.

“Well then, aren’t you a brave young man, handsome too,” Moon winked, before continuing, “now, the ladies.” Moon once again put her hand into a large bowl-- This time, I wouldn’t let her finish.

“NO!” I screeched, allowing the girls around me to squirt the water into my eyes, before I rushed to the stage. “Nononononononono no!” Everyone was looking at me now, even Alex. This wasn’t planned, me and the girls came up with it. “I just can’t! I don’t want anybody.... To... feel... Alone... I love everybody here. So... I … I... I volunteer.” See, while Alex and I were both chosen, we fight differently. While he’ll parry you blow for blow, I’ll make sure I’m not the one who’s the target in the first place.

Alex’s PoV:

Leave it to Rhonda to make an impression. The two of us were soon being escorted by our escort to our chamber. Unlike most districts where people are given the opportunity to talk to their loved ones, we believe in a more open policy, where the chosen ones share a room. Moon was giving strange looks to the two of us. It was a well-known fact in my family that Moon was well-aware of what was going on in our district. After all, she was my mother. It’s all a bit complicated, but in the end she would make sure Rhonda and I are safe. As we sat on a couch, waiting for loved ones to come, Rhonda schooded up next to me. She moved her hand to my neck. “Nice lip-stick.” I blushed. Moon went dead-pale, when she picked up on what Rhonda had said. Rhonda laughed, as I gave her a glare.

Rhonda and I, we were friends, we go way back, but still. In front of my mom? Then again she doesn't know... But that could change. Probably will change. People were walking through the doors now. Most of them, people who neither Rhonda or I even knew, but that’s how things worked here. We nodded as they wished us luck, the majority of them in tears. They were sad, but they didn’t even know us. If only they really knew what was going on.

Moon’s PoV:

The 40th games to the 43rd. That’s when this district won. That’s also when the Black Arms started. Clix. Ragan. Brecken. Clara. They were the founding members. The four were close friends when they were little, they grew up together. Then they decided to do it. To be the people who changed how things work. The games have not been the same since the Black Arms started. You never know how the alliances will play out. Each year is different. This year, we have two Black Arm members in the game. Unlike some years where the silly merchants get the chance to volunteer first, and get killed. No, this year, we can start the streak again. But which two mentors will be mentoring them?

I push the door open, leaving Rhonda and Alex to be with their loved ones. I’ll have time to be with Alex later, for now I need to know what the plan is. Clara stood in the middle of the room. She was 24 now. She won the game like the others, by being good. No one could shoot a bow like Clara. Off to the side, Clix sat. Her round eyes still as innocent as always, you would never think she could use a hammer to smash your skull in. “What’s this, the founding ladies. Back together again?” I smiled, as the three of us got into a group hug.

“We thought it would be best, your sons’ part of it this year, darling, and you know the three of us were always better than the boys and their toys.” Clara laughed, as she invited me to sit on the sofa.

Clix walked slowly to join the two of us, “The three of us are founding members for life. While you might not be a winner like us, you still founded the Black Arms.” There were six of us who founded the Black Arms. Three guys, and three girls. The third guy never made it out of his games. And I was always older the others, but the Crown can do wonders for your skin. So I became part of the Crown. To keep the Arms safe.

“I’m sure you know this already Moon, but there’s been a change. Well, will be a change to the games.” Clara began.

“Two people can win. As long as the two agree. They don’t even have to be from the same district.” That was the twist. The other escorts and I, we knew something was in the works, but we had no clue what.

I nodded. “Why? Why is this here now.” I asked but they only shook their heads. The only thing we know now. The door shut. The faces on the two were shocked. Rhonda and Alex. They just stood there.

“We can both come back?” They asked. Though, neither would mention it, they both had hoped the other would chicken out before volunteering, it’s hard to lose a friend. Sometimes... When you do lose a friend, they always stay with you. I look back to Clix and Clara, Qui sitting between the two.

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