Chapter Four

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I felt the train come to a stop as it pulled into District 12. I stood up trying to pull myself together. My eyes were still puffy from crying and my body was shaking. I'd never win the games in this shape.

I walked towards the bedroom door, just as I reached to turn the door knob a figure flung it open. At first I thought it was Jake or my father here to comfort me but instead it was the young maid that had been in my room earlier. She shut the door behind her and pulled me aside.

She put her hand on my shoulder and frowned, she knew I was in the games. She reached around her neck and pulled out a necklace with a key at the end of it. She moved the necklace towards my neck and buckled it up on the back. She smiled again, but didn't say a word.

"Thank you, I will cherish this for as long as I have," I said to her. She nodded to me but once again did not say a think. "I'm sorry but why don't you talk?" I asked her. Her face went stern for a second then relaxed, she opened her mouth. To my horror there was no tongue, she was an Avox.

I gasped and apologized. The girl hugged me and walked out of the room without anything else. I stood at the door frame for a second trying to figure out what the key at the end of the necklace was but couldn't figure it out.

I started to walk to the exit of the train. I didn't have much time I would most likely be taken straight to the town's center. I walked to the end of the train and took a step down onto the paved sidewalk. I suddenly felt two sets of hands clasp my arms and drag me away.

Two peace keepers dragged me to the town center where everyone stood praying they would not be chosen for the games. They turned to look at me, when I looked at them their eyes darted away. The peace keepers brought me up on the stage and placed me up in a chair.

An older woman walked on the stage with a wig about 2 feet tall. She wore bright blue and her hair was the colour of the ocean. She walked over towards the microphone and tapped it twice to get everyone's attention. Everyone peered at the lady who stood in front of them fearing they would be one of the 24 to be chosen.

"Welcome to the reaping of the 100th Hunger games," she smiled, her makeup cracking. "As you all know this year President Condust came up with a twist for these games, it will be such fun," she said with a little hop of joy. I sat horrified, how could she say that when we were all going to die?

The screen behind her lit up and The Dark Days played. The woman stood in front of the stage saying every word from the video as if she had seen it a hundred times, I'm sure she had. The video finished and everyone looked back to the Capitol dressed woman.

Two victors stood behind the woman, Cristal Nestle and Mower Studdum, two previous Hunger Game winners. They smiled and waved to the crowd but you could see the sorrow in their eyes.

The overly dressed woman stepped forward to the microphone, "Ladies first." She slipped her hand into the bowl full of names and snatched one.

"Adira Bellemore," she announced to the crowd. The girl came up on the stage and sat down beside me. She didn't look very old, maybe sixteen at the most. Her hair was dark brown and it went over her shoulders. I looked away I didn't want to concentrate on anyone to long in case I got attached to them and had to kill them.

The woman continued reading off the other 10 girls' names, "Celestia, Cyra, Honora, Lilou, Branny, Vita, Zea, Dinah, Willa, and Cora." I had seen these girls before but never met them, some looked old where others looked like this was their first year putting their name in the bowl.

The woman walked back the microphone and smiled, "Here are the ladies, now on to the men." She moved towards the other bowl full of names. She slid her hand in the bowl and snatched a name, "Alok Oben". I felt my feet hit the ground and I was out of my seat.

"No!" I heard myself scream. Alok moved up to the stage with a frown across his face. I had known Alok since we were 6 years old, we had been close friends. Now we were in a game that we had to kill each other. His arms reached around me and he pulled me into a hug, "It'll be alright," he whispered. He led me back to my seat and then headed to his.

Everyone stood dazzled that I had done that even the Capitol woman stood there speechless. "Well, shall we get on with the boys?" she asked the crowd. She reached back in the bowl and named numerous boys names, "Nero, Obi, Holden, Kellen, Bahari, Tadeo, Naveen, Toshi, Ryker, and a set of twins Sandor and Saxon."

I couldn't imagine going into the games only to have to kill your brother. It would devastate me, it would devastate me if I had to kill anyone especially Alok.

I peered around at everyone who sat in the chairs around me. I studied everyone hoping in some way their weaknesses would appear. I guess these are the people I have to fight, the people I have to kill.

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