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(Slendor Tylp age 18 , The Forty-Seventh Hunger Games)

The world is a fucked up place. But I can't think of anywhere more fucked up then District Ten. Of course there's always District Twelve, but who cares? Especially when in Ten we're all dying

I wish I was pulling your leg but it's the truth. We're always dying or just scraping through to get by another week. In Ten you live your life day by day. Because well, who knows if you'll even make it to tomorrow. 

Pretty bleak but hey that's home. Unless of course, you're from the main road or by some miracle are a farm owner. The main road has the merchants, most of them are butchers and believe me they have enough to not live day by day. They talk different too on the main road. Not like those Capitol freaks but more like they do in the other districts. 

The labourers and farm owners, despite owning the land still have the 'accent of ten'. I guess because we all live in the same area the farm owners just caught wing of it and never dropped it. The farm owners are probably the richest in the district. 

There's nine farms in Ten and it's where most residents reside. The owners live in decent two story houses and the labourers live in wooden shacks outside the paddocks out of plain sight. The owners like I mentioned, own the land but the Capitol owned the crops and cattle. The owners get a percentage of the Capitol's profit. I think it's like 3% or something ridiculous. It's all they get, and they're expected to upkeep everything from barn maintenance to feeding their labourers with it. 

It's. Never. Enough.

Especially if there's a draught. Then we're dying. Literally dying. 

So, the way things are run in my district is fucked. I know that. I know that most of Panem knows that. Even district twelve has basic commerce principles, District Ten is more of a communist rule. My family owns nothing. We don't own our barn like shack and we rely on the owners of our land to provide us with food, which they're struggling to do so. 

I rolled out my shoulders on my cramped bunk. This bunk is meant for two not the four of us. My two brothers and my sister. I'm the oldest which I hate. I know, go have cry right?. I just hate those puppy eyes they always give me when we finally get our only meal of the day. Like they just expect me to dump it all on they're plates. Fuck that. I'm dying too. I don't want scurvy like our cousin Patrick and honestly, if they want more then sign up for tesserae. 

Don't get me wrong, I love my family. But I'm not an idiot. District Ten has far too many idiots, like the kids that sign up for tesserae every week in the fear of starvation. You know the signs pretty quick. And this draught is the longest we've ever had in Ten. It started with two meals a day down to one. Then the portions got smaller. Then we we only ever had soup, with no bread. Now it's bone broth. Third day in a row now of bone broth...we're fucked.

Might as well be sipping water. No nutrition and I'm passed hunger pains which I think is why my youngest siblings Tiffany and Clarence haven't moved all day on the lowest bunk. They're still breathing though so that's a relief. My little sister is thirteen, she got her period last night and she needs food. My mother is staring at her like hawk, muttering about iron levels. She blames herself. When she said that, I mentioned we wouldn't be in this mess if she'd finished school and gone on to do a butchers apprenticeship. 

I got a smack for that. Don't regret it though. It's the blatant truth.

My father died two years ago. In a sheering 'accident'. He was teaching a new labourer and said labourer waved the sheer around and cut my dad's throat. Needless to say, that new labourer didn't live to see the next day. No one talks about it. It's the taboo of the farm. He died in his sleep from a slashed throat. I know he did because I did it. Of course, I left the blade in his hand with a note about the guilt ect. 

I'm not an idiot, I know how to cover my tracks. And I'm not a secret psychopath or anything. It's why I don't sleep and am filled with everlasting guilt. But I can't tell anyone. Otherwise I'd...who knows but I'd be shipped off to the Capitol to deal with. I'd lose my tongue if not my life. Anyways since those 'accidents' my mother works in dairy. Milking and turning butter until her hands bleed. Just enough work to let us live here. 

As I watched my mother I met her eye. Pained, troubled and like always fixed on me to somehow save all five of us from this miserable living. "You need to take tesserae, Slendor".

I huffed and made a point of slowly turning my head to the splitting wooden roof. 

I could feel her seething eyes on me. "Slendor! Don't you ignore me you're sisters dying".

My brother Fernis jumped beside me causing me to frown. I tusked. "She's not dying she's just in pain".

My mother dropped her knitting on the floor and I know I'm better off looking at a leaking roof then her glare. She's very pretty my mother. My father was considered handsome and together they had four very good looking children. But they were kind of idiots in the sense that they had children knowing full well they couldn't afford us. So really this isn't my problem but hers. And being the oldest  I'm the one that has to shoulder it. 

Tiffany muttered into her pillow. "Sh've u's". 

I snorted in amusement. Mum won't ever shut up once she's started, we've all just got to suffer through it. But nice try kid. 

My mother ignored Tiff and swallowed. "She won't be able to walk down to the reaping tomorrow".

I tusked in fake sympathy. "That sucks, guess she'll just have to miss it".

Fernis snorted beside me. The two of us sniggering. 

My mother growled. "Oh, so this is funny to you two?. You're sister being interrogated, poked and prodded for hours by peacekeepers in our home?!?".

Fernis rolled over causing me to kick him lightly as he took more then his designated half. He shrugged at our mother. "Oh come on! It's better than us taking tesserae the day before the reaping. They triple the entry's on the day before everyone knows that. Besides we've already taken too much this year".

It was then that Clarence cleared his throat. "I'll take it".

It was silent. It was like a pin dropped. Clearance is the youngest. Tomorrow is his first reaping. Tiffany has taken it five times in the past two years. Fernis and I always take the weight. But this is my last year and over the past six years I've taken it, it's only when we're desperate and dying. My name is in over a hundred times now. Fernis still has two years left. But Clearance we need. We need him to take when we're desperate, when Fernis and I are too old too. Better Fernis and I fill up now then let him accumulate. I don't want him to have over a hundreds of slips when he's eighteen. Afterall, I've got two siblings to take the weight...he won't. 

I sighed. "I'll take it. What's fifteen more to a hundred and twenty anyways".

I could see my mother's shoulders sag in relief and all three of my siblings started protesting as I slammed the door and muttered. "Shut up already!".

Like  I said, the world is a fucked up place. But I can't think of anywhere more fucked up then  District Ten.

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