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Celeste Deluna, District 5


That was the word that best described the hours leading up to the interview. My dragon-like stylist scurried around me like a mouse, dusting my face with this white chalk-like substance to make it paler and adjusting my dress as if it could simply never be perfect.

I didn't see her frustration. In all honesty I couldn't quite believe what he had turned me into. I felt a tad ashamed at my sudden desire to just stare at myself in the mirror awestruck and gape. My blonde hair was piled onto my head in a tight bun and tied in place with a shimmering blue ribbon with a flower that was so safire even I knew that nature was incapable of producing it. My dress was the same vivid color as the flower with a sleeveless sequined top that shimmered like the waves on the ocean, at my hips is flared out into an airy material that went to my knees in the front and then draped to the floor in the back. I looked unearthly, like a fairy from some of the stories my mother had told me as a child.

I just quite believe this was the same woman who had sent Braven and I into the parade in nothing but a white suit that was supposed to be a power plant workers uniform. I looked down at my stylist as she adjusted my bracelet for the seventh time. I was very tempted to ask her what had changed, but I decided against it. I didn't want to hurt her feelings. Instead I settled for a soft, "Thank you, I look beautiful."

The woman looked up at me, her blue eyes looped in a violet haze. A grim smile stretched across her pale skin. "Ha, yeah. I put a lot of effort into this. Do me a favor and kill tonight, I want you sponsored." She gave my dress a sharp tug and stood up, her eyes scanning for any imperfections the dress might have the way a hawk scans the forest for it's food.

I nodded numbly as our escort scurried up from behind her, dragging a dashingly dressed Braven behind her. "Drem, we are going to be late! Celeste looks fine, darling, now spit spat lets go!" Our escort came up behind my stylist and whacked her on the butt, my eyes widened in shock but the dragon-like woman didn't flinch.

My stylist stood up without taking her eyes off of me, while my escort put her hand on my shoulder to guide me away. I looked over my shoulder at my stylist who opened her mouth and then shut it abruptly as if she wanted to say something but decided against it. I hardly realized we were in the elevator until the the big doors slid shut cutting off my view of my very confusing stylist.

Our escort tucked her hands behind her back and stared ahead without making eye contact with either of us. "You two are sticking to the plan?" She asked sharply as if to warn us.

Braven bit his lip and looked down. "I don't like the role my mentor has laid out for me but I will. I mean I trust him. I think...." He said slowly in a way that made it very obvious he didn't. I felt bad for Braven, being told to be something he's not and everthing, at least with me our mentor only told me I had to act fiercer. I wasn't sure I was going to comply... if I was going to die I wanted to die myself.

Their was a small 'ding' as the elevator doors slid open leading us to a white walled hallway that led to a curtained doorway where a television hung in the top corner of the hallway the stage. A peacekeeper stood before the rapidly increasing line of lavishly dressed tributes as if he was guarding the stage. I didn't see why he would need to guard it. The dark violet of the curtains looked so ominous, like huge jaws that would swallow anyone who dared to go through. Our escort pushed us to about the middle of the line behind the boy from 4 and ahead of the odd boy from 6. "Everything is set. You just stand here like good little darlings until they call your name. Walk on the stage. Do your interview. Then you will walk off the opposite side of the stage. Your mentor and I will be waiting." She blew us a kiss and then walked away, her elevator shoes clicking on the hard tile.

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