District 2 Reaping

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District 2 Reaping

Malcolm Jackson:

"FASTER JACKSON!!!!" My coach screamed in my face, his spit hitting my face as I ran on the treadmill, the spit quickly becoming one with the sweat and tears already pouring down my face. "DID YOU HEAR ME?!!! ARE YOU DEAF?!!!" He screamed again "FASTER!!!!"

I tried to nod as I forced my legs to move faster despite the agony it caused me. I closed my eyes for a brief second, trying to block out the screaming of my lungs.

Faster.

Faster.

Faster.

Don't stop.

You can't stop now.

My head felt incredibly light.

How much longer could I keep this up?

I was dimly aware of my coach screaming curses at me to run faster as my legs give out from under me. I fell to the ground next to the running machine. I lay there panting, my head swimming as black dots danced before my eyes. After a few minutes I felt blindly for my water and grabbed it clumsily, pouring it into my mouth, completely forgetting the fact I was lying on my back. The water splashed out of my mouth and  down my cheeks, but I didn't pay mind as I drank greedily.

"Malcolm Jackson." My coaches gruff voice came from above me.

Oh dear crud, he was going to kill me. I must of done terribly, prolonged sprinting was never a strong suit of mine.

"Yes, sir?" I asked quickly swallowing my mouthful of water and looking up at his harry face attentively. He frown purposely as he made a note of checking his ever present 'clipboard of death' as I like to call it.

"You managed to sprint at top speed for sixteen minutes, you lost speed after that but managed for another six. You made it just under 5 miles." He looked at me, the all to familiar glare penetrating me. "Sadly, you passed by the hair on your neck, I would recommend that you try harder next time. I expected more from you."

I felt a lump in my throat. This was my entire life, training for the games was my entire life, and this monster always made me feel like I was a failure. "You always expect more from me." I mutter bitterly under my breath as he walked away from me to yell at some other poor chap in my class who was still on his treadmill.

With inhuman speed my coaches head snapped around to face me. "Excuse me, Mr. Jackson?" He asked hostilely walking over to me aggressively.

My eyes widened, startled. I hadn't meant for him to hear, I was so stupid sometimes. "I- I said I like your shoes." I uttered unable to think of anything else to say.

Collin, another guy training with me made a loud 'ooooohhhh' from a few treadmills down.

I hate that loser.

"Jackson, I wear these shoes every day." My coach said sarcastically, for whatever reason he was grinning- but not like a friendly grin, more like a 'I'm going to eat you alive' grin. "Now, tell me what you really said."

My heart must of been racing at 1000 miles per hour at that second. I had never been in trouble with Coach Jonoson before, I was generally only insult him when I knew it was safe, but I had seen what he had done to kids who had messed up in front of him.

"Uhhh." I laughed nervously rubbing the back of my head instinctively. "Look, I didn't want to say this aloud in front of the other boys, but you're the best coach ever and I aspire to be like you one day." I lie, hoping the flattery will save me.

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