0.03 ; how very wrong i was | ✔

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0.03 ; how very wrong I was


The square is crawling with peacekeepers and Capitol officials, standing around us, penning us all in. The mayor sits on the stage with his wife, and I know that his daughter, Ava, will be in the crowd somewhere. She trains at the academy, and is in my class at school, but she's popular, arrogant, and filthy rich, therefore, I don't talk to her.

I lead Chryssi and Bracken towards the desk where we have to sign up, literally having to steer them over to it. "Right you two" I say, bending down to their level as they stare at me, blue and green eyes equally wide with fright, "They're going to prick your finger to take a little blood, to sign in, then you go and stand with the other people your age. I'll come and find you afterwards OK?"

They both nod, rigid and wooden nods that make me worry. I turn around and try to walk towards the desk, but Chryssi has an iron grip on my forearm. I sigh and, sensing the need for a reassurance, lean down to talk to her, looking her in the eye.

"Chryssi, you have to let go. You'll be fine, you have one entry, that means that it's pretty much impossible for you to get picked. Trust me." I say, my voice harsh but caring at the same time. A tear leaks from her eye, but she releases my arm. I kiss her forehead, send her on her way, and proceed towards the desk.

They prick my finger and scan the print made in my blood. 'Carrow, Clove. 15' flashes on the machine, and the woman waves me forward into the roped off areas. I stand in the middle with the other 15-year-old girls, to one side of the square, while the boys reside on the other.

I stand there in my dress, feeling awkward as the other girl's stares burn into my back, waiting for Tallulah Frost to take to the stage. I catch Donna's eye, a few metres in front of me, in the 16 section. She smiles eerily and I glare back at her and mime throwing a knife at her heart. She sneers in response, and turns back to Riley, who is standing next to her, her blonde curls bouncing down her back.

"Welcome citizens of district 2!" says a distinctly Capitol voice. Every head in the square snaps up to the stage, and the 'ice woman' also known as Tallulah Frost, with her characteristic ice blue hair and eyes, and her scarily over-the-top grin - this year painted metallic silver - stares down at us. "The time has come once again, to select one brave young man and woman, for the honour of competing for district 2 in the 74th annual Hunger Games. First though, I would like to invite up Mayor Grigson, to give you all a little bit of information about our great country!"

The Mayor steps up to the podium and Tallulah takes her seat at the back of the stage, next to the mentors. Mayor Grigson tells us all about the disasters that rocked our world, and the story of our country - Panem: 13 districts set up around a main Capitol - which rose up out of the ashes of 'America'. Then he recounts the Dark Days, where the districts rebelled against the Capitol. When the districts were defeated, and the thirteenth destroyed by toxic bombs, The Hunger Games was born. The Hunger Games was created to remind the districts that, if they tried to rebel again, the Capitol would destroy them all, just like they did to thirteen. The Games takes 2 children between the ages of 12 and 18 from each district, to be sent to the Capitol, put into an arena, and forced to fight to the death. In most districts, the games are thought of as an annual horror that they have to try and get through. But, in districts 1, 2 and 4, where the tributes are trained from an early age, competing in the games is an honour. Luckily, I am from 2, which means that I have been trained, and volunteers are frequent. It is unlikely that Bracken, Chryssi or I will be chosen. Unlikely, but not impossible, but I will deal with that if and when it happens.

The Mayor sits back at his seat, and Tallulah clicks over to the podium. "Now, it is time to choose the girl tribute for district 2!" She clops over to the glass ball, her towering heels making it almost impossible for her to walk, and she takes a single slip of paper. The crowd draws in a collective breath. You can hear a pin drop as she unfolds the piece of paper and reads out the name.

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