Chapter 1

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I can still hear the screams that keep me awake at night. Mom's screams. They haunt me most when I try to sleep. The stories she told my brother Caleb and I about the Hunger Games weren't that scary at first, until we realised how much it screws people up.

The Hunger Games look lame and fake. But I still pray not to be chosen. I've gone 2 years without being chosen to participate. My luck, huh? Caleb is 13. He's only been part of the reaping once and this is his second year, and my third. I'm good with a bow and arrow like my mom, so that would come in handy if I was chosen. Caleb always goes on and on and on about how he could murder everybody with just one knife. He's pretty full of himself if you ask me.

But, the reaping is tomorrow and I have nothing to look forward to.

I hear a scream as soon as I doze off.

'Mom', I think to myself. I walk into mom and dad's room to make sure everythings okay. I see mom fast asleep and dad is reading a cook book. I sigh as dad looks up at me. "It's late," He says to me. I nod. I should be asleep, but everytime I fall asleep, I'm awaken by screams.

"She wasn't screaming?" I ask dad. He shakes his head not looking up from the recipes. "Just my imagination again," I continue, "Why am I the one that always hears it andnobody else?" Dad still reads his cook book. "Hello???" I say and I wave my hand infront of his face. He looked up, sighed, and began to speak.

"It's too late to talk about this Thalia," He said. "I don't understand why we can't!" I snapped back. Dad frowned. 'Shut Up' I thought to myself. "Tomorrow is the reaping and chances are, you won't get to tell me about why I hear the screams every night if I'm chosen," I said quickly. He scoffed at me. "You won't be chosen," Dad said. "I'll vollunteer like mom did for Aunt Prim!" Mom woke up after hearing Aunt Prim's name. Dad looked over his shoulder and mom looked panicked.

"Evening Mom!" I said pretending I didn't say anything. Mom looked at me, then at dad, then back to me. "Is this about the screaming?" She asked. I nodded. Mom giggled a little bit, then her smile was wiped off of her face. "Thalia, you have to get over it. If you go into those games hearing the screams at night, it will only make things worse," Mom said. I nodded with my eyes tearing up a bit. Dad and Mom looked at each other and dad turned off the light. I stood there for a moment, then walked away.

"Good night!" I heard mom and dad call after me. I wiped my eyes and cleared my throat, then said good night back. I climbed back into bed and I started to cry.

A while later, I woke up only to find that I had a few hours to get ready. I asked mom to braid my hair into the braids she used to wear her hair in. I'm terrified. Caleb walked out of his room and into the brightly lit kitchen. I sighed and he punched my shoulder. "Can I help you?" I said irritated. Caleb laughed. I rolled my eyes.

"Hey," he said.

"What?" I asked.

"You nervous?"


I was lying.

"Are you?" I asked back. He shrugged. I hate it when he does that, because you can't tell what his actual answer is.

"You look weird," He said.

"I look like Mom."

Caleb's face turned bright red and Dad put down his coffee and took a blueberry muffin out of the basket, smiling. Mom walked in and gave me something. It looked like a little bird with an arrow. It was a mockingjay. I'd read about them, I've just never seen one before. It was a beautiful pin. I smiled. "Thank you, it's beautiful!" I said. Mom pulled me in for a hug and I squeezed her so tight she almost passed out.

She pulled away a little but I knew that she appreciated my big hug. "Time to leave! Everyone ready?" Dad asked. We nodded but Mom stayed back for a moment and motioned Caleb and I towards her.

"Katniss? Is everything okay?" Dad asked. Mom nodded. "I'll be waiting outside," Dad said and walked out the front door. "I want you two to remember, that no matter what, Be Brave, Be Couragous, Don't let anything stop you." We nodded and left for the reaping,

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