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                          “Although the world is full of suffering,

                          it is full also of the overcoming of it.”

I stare at my reflection on the mirror in my room and after staring for a while, I get satisfied and content with it. There is nothing else I can do to myself. I am wearing a beautiful green dress that reaches above my knees and nice black shoes, I also put on some small earring and a gold bracelet. My golden blonde hair is in a French braid, done almost perfectly.

My parents announce it is time to go and I rush down the stairs to join them and my brother, who are already out the door. The four of us walk the whole way in silence, it’s really awkward. I would usually play with my hair in such situations but not today, I just can’t. The braid is so well done I don’t want to ruin it.

It’s a chilly and grey day. The clouds above are covering the sky, stopping any sunray from passing to warm us and light the day. It is almost depressing. It takes us about ten minutes to get to the centre of the city, where most of the children are already waiting for the reaping.

My parents stay behind, where all the parents and every person younger than twelve and older than eighteen watch the reaping, away from the children. Without saying a word my brother goes to the side of the boys, joining his friends, and I do the same but walk to the girls’ side. While my brother goes almost to the front, I am almost at the last row. Older kids are in the front, closer to the stage, since there are more chances of them getting reaped than the younger kids. It is almost completely silenced, almost no one talks.

The reaping. Something I have dreaded since I turned twelve. Something uncommon in the district I live in. Lots, if not every one, are eager to be reaped and even volunteer. But honestly I rather turn eighteen and never be reaped, I want to live.

This woman from the Capitol that comes to pick the names suddenly walks into the stage and fake smiles at us. Her bright pink hair catches the attention of everyone. It is not natural, it’s actually the complete opposite, but it seems like the most unnatural things are found the most attractive at the Capitol. For example the Games, something unnatural and even sick they love.

The manor and the woman from the Capitol, Enebry, welcome us and make us watch this video about the rebellion about the old and dark days and why the Hunger Games are hold. It is the same video every year, almost everything about the reaping is the same every year except the tributes of course. It is quite boring to say the truth.

“What a fantastic video, isn’t it?” Enebry says cheerfully, with a big smile on her thin pink lips. “Well now we should continue with the reaping, girls first.”

I take a deep breath as Enebry starts to walk towards this big bowl of glass containing all the girls’ names. My heartbeat increase rapidly with every step she makes, every chick that her heels make echoes my heartbeats. She smiles at the crowd before grabbing one small piece of paper from the bowl.

‘You won’t get picked Danie, don’t worry.’ I say in my head. ‘And if you do, someone will volunteer.’

‘Who are you kidding? No one would volunteer.’ Another thought crossed my mind.

I bite my bottom lip as all these thoughts are raining inside my head. It almost tunes out the world. Well it isn’t like there is much noise, everyone is quiet.

Enebry goes back to the middle of the stage and steps in front of the microphone. She smiles once again as she unfolds the little piece of paper. She reads the name, but my thoughts are a bit louder and I couldn’t hear her well.

The people around me turns to look at me then, my best friend, Hallie, looks at me with a sad expression. And in her eyes I can see the answer to why people are acting strange. My name was picked. I was picked. I am the tribute of this year.

Suddenly I feel like someone has his arms around my throat, preventing me from breathing. I start to feel dizzy and the ground under me seems like it is spinning fast. Everyone is looking at me. Hallie, some school mates, my brother, my parents, Enebry. Everyone. Maybe all of Panem is and will watch me.

Enebry repeat my name and this second time my brain finally processes the information. My feet somehow manage to move one in front of the other, over and over again. Peacekeepers walk along with me until I reach the edge of the stage, I walk up the few steps and look hopeless at the crowd.

Even though people volunteer almost every year, this time no one seems interested in doing it. I am almost pleading with my eyes but I know no one will. I am not that popular, I am not even loved by my own parents. Who would someone volunteer for me? It seems like they are glad they are getting rid of me.

“Well, now for the boys.” Enebry says, walking the other direction she did before.

As she walks and reaches the bowl with the boys’ names, I pray that my brother isn’t picked, she picks one piece quickly. She smiles the whole way back to where the microphone is. I am a foot or two away from her, watching the faces of all the people in my district. Boys, girls, parents, everyone.

“Ryle Rosht.” She calls and I give a silent sigh of relief as my brother is not picked.

I know who he is, but probably he doesn’t know me, until now. I see Ryle walking towards the stage with so much confidence and even smiles as he walks to the stage. He stops right at the other side of Enebry and people start to clap even before Enebry asks the crowd to do it.

“No volunteers this year?” Enebry asks when the claps die out.  

No one moves, I think they don’t even blink. Ryle is already eighteen and os one of the strongest guys in the District, no better chance at winning than him. And then there is me, a girl most people don’t like or don’t care about. I have no chance of winning at all. I am too thin, so I am not strong, I am not that smart, and I am young.

“Well then.” Enebry says in her Capitol accent. “So here are the tributes for District 2, Danieka Hadley and Ryle Rosht. May the odds be ever in your favour, now shake hands.”

Enebry takes a step back as I turn to look at Ryle. His dark blue eyes are already looking into my light blue ones. He offers his hand and I take it quickly, he squeezes it before letting go of it.


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Something Worth Living For [THG] // Finnick OdairRead this story for FREE!