It's not confidential- I've got potential.
-Somebody Told Me, the Killers
Brucite Gergeon, 18, District One
"Bruce, Bruce, can I come with you?"
I wrinkle my nose at Nano. You'd think that at fifteen he'd have some friends of his own, not just pawning off mine.
"That sounds like fun!" Mom claims, wiping her hands on her cream-colored apron, a small smile slowly making its way to her mouth. "What are you boys going to practice?"
"Mom," I protest, shoving a spoonful of scrambled eggs through my awaiting mouth. "He's not coming with me."
"Yes I am!" Nano replies indignantly, hurrying over to Mom. I scowl, knowing immediately what will come next.
"Honey," begins Mom. I quickly cut her off to try to avoid her world-class speech.
"Mom, can't he hang out with- wait, what's his face… Lemme think here…"
"His NAME is Dustin," Nano tells me sullenly, hanging his head.
"Yeah. Dustin. Can't he hang out with Dustin? They can shoot some bows and arrows or something, maybe even-"
"Swing an axe if they're lucky and the trainer-"
"Bruce, Nano is coming with you."
I pause in the middle of my sentence. Mom raises her eyebrows and I know that it's pointless to argue. "Fine," I snap, throwing my bowl at the sink and storming to the front door.
Topaz and Dunite are waiting for me out in my yard, throwing a football back and forth.
"Hey, guys!" cries Nano, rushing forward to intercept one of Dunite's perfect passes.
"Bruce," Topaz grumbles, his blue eyes flickering over to my little brother, "Why is he tagging along with us again?"
"Sorry," I mumble. "Mom made me. We can ditch him at the sword station, you know how he gets caught up in watching his reflection."
Topaz looks like he wants to say more to me but instead hollers to Nano cheerfully, "Hey, little buddy! Pass me the ball!"
The walk to the Training Palace is uneventful, mainly because there's no girls to show off to. Usually Dunite, who has even larger muscles than I do, and I will flex at a random mailbox and snatch up their attention. Topaz, the most quiet one, would chat with them until he 'accidentally' mentions us, and then we have a triple date for that night.
As Dunite and Nano annoyingly chuck the ball back and forth, Topaz talks with me a bit. "Happy Reaping, Bruce."
"Yeah," I reply, a smirk plastered onto my face firmly. "Happy Reaping."
"Gonna volunteer like you did last year?" teases Topaz.
I snarl back, "Yes, but this time that tiny little escort will notice ME, not that one guy. Marvel, his name was, right?"
"Marvel Damper, that's the one."
"I can't believe that she noticed that skinny little idiot instead of me. He hardly killed!"
"He made four kills and lasted until the final six."
"Yeah, but then what happened? He gets murdered by the Eleven girl, and we all know that District Eleven has no chance of winning since the Training Palace was built!"
"I heard she was good at bow and arrow because she shot birds out of the sky from feeding on their orchards. You know, a Scarecrow."
"Scarecrows never win. You know that, Topaz."
"Oh, shut up," Topaz responds back. His deep voice vibrates his Adam's Apple, and I watch with slight fascination as it bobs up, then down. Up, down. Up, down. Up, down. Up, down.
"Bruce," he motions ahead of us. "It's them, Rasp and Monica. Aren't you and Dunite gonna, I dunno, roll up your sleeves and casually do push-ups or something?"
"He's not interested," I shoot back. Dunite's actually checking out the chest on the brunette one discreetly, but I know that Topaz's eyesight isn't the best. It's sort of a mystery how he noticed the two girls in the first place.
"Anyways… Ready to murder some dummies?" I motion to the Palace that looms ahead of us.
Topaz smirks. "Read my mind, Bruce."
Constance von Trapp, 17, District One
As I toss and turn in my bed, images from the night before haunt my mind.
There she was… my sixteen-year-old sister. Everybody's favorite little girl, destined to volunteer these Games. Just innocently splashing and giggling with her slightly older friend. What was her name? Dazzle or something equally stupid like that.
The side of my hand burns from the scrape I got earlier in snatching the knife. I wince slightly, pushing the bloody side into my thigh.
"Constance!" calls Kimberly, her chestnut hair glistening in the aqua water. "You said you weren't going to swim with Dazzle and me!"
"C'mere," I call, motioning to the pool bench next to me. "I need to tell you something… in private." I sneak a glance at her friend, who is too busy adjusting her halter bikini top to pay me any notice.
Kimberly skitters out of the water perkily and follows me into the lady's dressing room. "What did you need?" she asks, her voice never once wavering.
"You can't volunteer tomorrow," I say, giving her one last chance to prove herself.
Kimberly's eyebrows draw together. "Sorry, sister. You've had more chances than I have. Maybe you can volunteer next year, after I come home as victor!" she chirps.
"But this is my year," I reply, stalling for time as I adjust the tool in my hand so my fingers enclose the ivory handle.
"No way," giggles Kimberly. Always smiling. Always chipper. "My year, Connie."
That's the last thing she ever said. Quicker than lightning I knocked her to the ground. Her skull smacked painfully into the wet tiled floor. I straddled her quickly and poised the knife over my head.
Kimberly's brown eyes widen and her lips stretch out into an O, but it's already far too late. The only part of the knife visible is the beautiful ivory handle, glimmering faintly in the tacky fluorescent lights. A thin stream of crimson slowly trickles out of the fatal wound and blends with the clear chlorine-filled water.
I shoved her body into a shower stall crudely, not knowing where else to put it. By the time they discovered it was me, I'd already be in the arena with a few more kill counts to my name. I'd have no punishment at all for this terrible crime.
Sweat glistens on my forehead as I step awkwardly out of bed. My black and silky pajamas cling to my skin. "Water," I croak out nearly silently, feeling the dryness of my tongue as I moved it around my mouth.
My family's Avox, Dais, was downstairs knitting something. I know what you're thinking- slavery. But it's not like that, not really. Almost every family in District One has at least one Avox, and some don't treat theirs well. But Dais is important to us… To me and Divines, my big brother, at least. Mother and Father are very formal to her, almost like she's not human.
"Dais," I call in a haunting, creaky voice. "Would you please get me some water?"
She sets down the red knitted item and scurries to the kitchen.
It's very early morning, around two or three. I'm surprised Dais was even up. When she returns I ask her, knowing full well that she can't respond, and when she makes some gestures to indicate she couldn't sleep I don't believe her but let it go.
Later in the morning, about nine or so, my friends came over. Tempera's my best friend. Her appearance isn't unlike most in One, with curly brown hair and sea blue eyes. Her face is rather narrow, something she's spent hours obsessing over and goggling at herself in a looking glass. But each time I've assured her that her facial structure is fine, she takes ten more minutes to stare at it.
Trancer Tooran is older than us by a year. He's a bit handsome in my book, and I think Tempera's harboring a mad crush over him. He has bulging muscles, deep red hair, and soulful blue eyes. Strangely, he's not crazy about training like many other boys in One. He's training instead to become a musician- he specializes in guitars mostly, and he sings a deal as well.
When Dais led them up to my room, I gasp. I knew there were purple splotches circling my eyes and my skin was paler than a ghost, which Tempera was prompt to point out.
"I think I know that, Temp," I snap as I quickly dab some foundation on. Trancer groans.
"You girls, always obsessing over your face. I think y'all look fine, to be honest."
"It's a female thing," Tempera defends quickly, jabbing an index finger at his ratty old orange sweatshirt. "You could learn a thing or two from us, Trance."
"The name's Trancer?" my friend says teasingly, ruffling a hand through her curls like she's just a little sister to him.
I briefly swipe some grey eyeshadow over my eyelids before turning back to the quibbling duo. "It's the Reaping!"
"We know," Trancer says back-handedly, examining an antique doll whose foot was sticking out from under the bed. "That's why we came here."
"We'd like to wish you good luck when you volunteer," Tempera tells me shyly, something unusual for her. "I really hope you make it back OK."
"Do you seriously have to volunteer?" Trancer's dark blue eyes pierce mine, and I avert my gaze.
"It's something I'd like to do," I say uncomfortably.
"Trance," warns Tempera. "Let it go. It's our Connie. She'll come back alright… Right?"
Her tone, uncertain, makes me hug her tightly. "Of course. I'd never dream of anything less."
Suddenly a very awkward air hangs loosely in my room and Trancer clears his throat. "About your sister, Constance…"
"We're real sorry," Tempera interrupts him.
"Don't be," I reply boldly, shrugging. "Kimberly was stupid. It was bound to happen sometime or another, right? She always was reckless."
Tempera's mouth falls open and Trancer is quick to push his thumb under her chin. "Some people handle death differently," he mutters quickly to her, turning his steely stare back to me.
"Well… we brought you a care package," Tempera says, still shell-shocked. She quickly moves outside my door and brings in a wicker basket filled with fresh fruit and magazines.
"Oh my God, I love you!" I screech, moving in for a magazine with my idol, Gloss, on the cover. I examine his tanned face hungrily, looking for the birthmark just above his left eyebrow that defines him as the one and only Gloss Catch.
Trancer looks a bit uncomfortable as Tempera hops onto my bed and pats the spot next to her. Instantly we get immersed in an interview for the upcoming Hunger Games, and one shot of him raking a hand through his perfect chestnut hair makes me squeal girlishly.
"Excited much?" my redheaded comrade says sarcastically from his spot propped up near my door.
I spring off the bed, land on the carpeted floor with a small creak, and wrap my long arms around his torso. "Thanks so much, Trance!"
He smirks and pats my head awkwardly a couple times, his arm obviously half-blocked from my own. Whatever.
"Connie, you and Gloss would look super good together," Tempera comments from the bed, the glossy pages of the magazine nearly pressed to her nose. "I mean, honestly, you guys have a matching pair of abs."
"Tempera!" I protest.
"Whoa, whoa, Constance has abs?" Trancer questions Tempera quickly.
"They're so defined. I dunno how she gets them! My belly's always been, like, this pudgy." Tempera stands up and pinches the lower half of her misty grey tank top.
Trancer gets an evil look in his eyes and before I know what he's doing, I'm on the ground and he's trying to get a glance at my stomach. Most girls would find this totally invasive of their space, but Trancer's basically an older brother to me so instead I simply cackle- not giggle, my girly giggle is terrible- and attempt to throw him off me.
Finally he gets a good look of what he tackled me for and rolls over. "Not that defined," he comments quirkily.
"Thanks so much for wrestling me to the ground to make that deduction," I grumble good-naturedly.
Trancer lifted his eyebrows in fake hurt and started to say something when Tempera gasped and pointed to the clock, her wrist shaking a bit. "Oh my God, there's only a half hour left before the Reaping! I have to go get ready!"
"Throw on a pretty dress, put on some lipstick and run out the door. Perfect."
"Trance-errrrr," Tempera giggles, flipping a lock of hair over her shoulder carelessly, "You really flatter me sometimes."
Trancer raises an eyebrow, but before he can say anything I stand up and give each of them a shove. "You. Two. Out. Reaping. Now. BYE!"
Rosary Hayes, 44, District One escort
"Are you ready for this year, Rose?"
I peer over my thick purple and white striped glasses at Cashmere, who loftily yawns and sips her thick brown coffee. "Quite ready, thanks," I snap snippily. "It's my first year in District One, I'd have to be brainless not to be ready for this."
"Right, you knocked Wanda right off her high horse!" Gloss, the victor's brother, claims with his arms outstretched. "Glad you did, Rosary. She was a bit, how do I say, obnoxious and too fashion-intoxicated to understand anything revolving around her."
"I know," I reply stiffly, not exactly wanting to badmouth her but agreeing with the young victor.
"The doors take forever to open," Gloss tells me knowingly as I tap my finger cautiously against the thick door that will open into the square.
"I know that, Gloss. I've done other districts."
"Right," Gloss agrees, his cheeky smile evident. "You were stranded with Eleven for a couple years, then moved down to Five. You stayed there for one year, same with Four, then you came to Two for three or four years. You sure did move fast."
"You memorized my district sequence?" I marvel with wide open eyes.
"Sure. Do that with every mentor. Wanda, for example. Why, she was a quick one as well. Twelve had her for three years before-"
A blond Avox taps my shoulder, signaling the opening of the doors. Gloss shuts up and rejoins Cashmere in the victor line. From each side of the door, silent Avoxes pull on heavy ropes that slowly open the gigantic doors, letting in blinding light.
I, glad for my glasses, adjust my sparkly wig and strut to the awaiting microphone and the two glass bowls that are full of white slips. A giggle can't help but escape the imprisonment of my mouth.
"Welcome, welcome, welcome!" I chirp, holding the microphone close to my mouth. "And here we are for the District One Reaping of the seventy-first annual Hunger Games!"
After I announce the Treaty of Treason and that wretched, endless video plays, I turn back to the bustling crowd. "And now… we pick our tributes!"
I stroll over to the male's bowl and root around, searching for just the right white slip, when suddenly peace is disrupted. A brunette female with a very nice red and orange pantsuit stands at the edge of the stage, a smirk painted onto her beautiful face.
"Constance von Trapp," she speaks calmly into the microphone. "Girl tribute, that is."
My mouth agape, I watch as she methodically struts over to the girl's Reaping bowl and stands there, seemingly guarding it. I can hear the female side gasping and complaining loudly. Is this even allowed? What will happen next?
Meanwhile, on the male's side, there is shouting and whooping going on…. A lot of it, too. "HURRY UP AN' GET THE SLIP!" one screams, his face red.
My ruby red lips pursed, I pluck a white sheet from the top. Andrew Thompson.
The booming voice comes from the eighteen-year olds. Above all the shrieking and pushing to get to the stage, my eyes lock onto a very muscular man with steely, determined emerald green eyes.
"You there," I call out, pointing to him. "In the sky blue shirt."
His face breaks into a tremendous grin and instead of desperately-needing-to-be-Reaped perspiration, it's now victorious sweat that collects in a thin sheen on his forehead. Cheering, the boy darts through the pool of eighteen-year-olds to take the steps two at a time. Once up, he snatches the microphone- rather rudely- from my clutch and announces broadly, "Bruce! Brucite Gergeon!"
He then shoves it back into my hands and rolls up his shirt sleeve. Constance rolls her eyes and lets out a low groan, as if knowing what will happen next. Yes, it does. Brucite flexes his muscles, a luminescent beam crawling across his face.
"Looks like we have a winner in this district!" I reported proudly to the screaming audience. "Happy Hunger Games! And may the odds be ever in your favor!"
A/N: Cue the screaming fans! Lights, cameras, action! The first Reaping chapter has been posted! *Gasp*
Alrighty, people. So far I've picked out most of the tributes, except I'm still deliberating on a few. Here we have them so far—
Male- Brucite Gergeon
Bruce, a muscled man with a wicked ability to swing maces, has volunteered. Will his vainness work in his favor, or, like most, will the odds never be in his favor?
Female- Constance von Trapp
The murderous female from District One went calmly up to the stage before the girls even began to be Reaped. Few know what happened to her sister, but she shrugged it off. Her intelligence is strong, but is her will?
Female- Serafina Aegis
After recovering from a very rocky relationship, Serafina's icy and unemotional nature will be tested when the arena shoves her around for yet another adventure.
Male- Arthur Augustus
Although never diagnosed fully, Arthur's ADHD has never brought him down. If anything, it's made him more chipper than anything. Will the broad beam on his face fade once he rises on the arena plate?
Female- Alessandra Balis
Alessandra's better than everyone, and she knows it. After all, it wasn't her fault that she had to be relocated to the run-down neighborhood of Three. Her training as a District Two girl might just come in handy…
Male- Percy Brizo
Percy hasn't had a particularly hard life. There's always been the sea. Girl problems? Swim in the sea. Reaping issues coming down hard on his best friend?... Well, the sea can't solve everything.
Female- Coral Fisher
Leaving behind Kai, her brother, was hard enough. Having to be one in the most respected alliance will take this sweet girl some getting used to.
Male- Alister Rain
If he doesn't come home to Talon, she'll murder him again. His drive to win is so desperate and deep it keeps him up at night, gripping his bedsheets with his palms sweating madly.
Female- Lux Sephina
Lux has never been the outsider. She's always had enough to eat, a warm bed, and loving parents. That was then, and this is now. And now is the Reaping.
Male- Francis Theroux
Oddball. Loner. Artistic freak. You name it, Francis has been called them all. His prophetic visions don't help the matter that is now his own hell. A mixture of unpleasant traits, this male will do anything for his art.
Male- Ben Mchon
Young Ben is, to say this lightly, a lazy one. Although his physical is overall not hard-working, the cogs in his brain spin quickly. Maybe the arena is just what he needs to get back on his feet.
Female- Leaf Ender
Leaf was an accident. The orphanage battered her around so her ribs show prominent as chicken bones and her emotional tendencies increased as an effect. Will the arena provide a calming period for her?
Male- Camo Russo
Though never seen without a gum bubble slowly extending outside his lips, this boy is not quirky or hipster. He doesn't fit into any label, actually. He's more like… trapped.
Female- Willa Seamstress
Willa's a born leader and she's NOT afraid to say so. Her outspoken nature, though admired by many, is sometimes a bit much. Will it get her far in the arena?
Male- Cohush Nigrum
The son of a healer, Cohush has seen it all- decaying bodies, dead women, crying men… All of these painful sights will never have prepared him for the bloodbath known as the Hunger Games.
Female- Jinx Tesatsu (Either this district or Six, on the fence)
To put this bluntly, Jinx is a sadist. Cue the gasps of horror, the confused faces. She knows you hate her already…. Why else would she be a cruel, murderous sadist that has only felt hate, never passion?
Male- Nubu Chandlers
Nubu has a secret and he's not trusting anybody to keep it. This boy is always in a cloud of mystery that shrouds him closer than a warm robe, yet his kindness beams through as a ray of light.
Female- Savanna Poppet
Quirky author Savanna's life flipped upside down when her not-so-secret crush Elijah Bruno was Reaped for the 68th Hunger Games. She saw what it did to him and now, at 18, she'll have to endure that hell as well.
Male- Bark Umbral
Sure. Call Bark antisocial. If you do, you'll get a flurry of fists from his protective best friend, Murray. But not even Murray can protect Bark from the fate that draws him into the arena.
Female- Nessa Aoki
She's observed everybody and everything. Conspicuous, one might say. Reserved. But now she's been thrown upon a pedestal for the entire region of Panem for watch her every move.
Male- Surtr Kayhiv
Touch-sensitive with a knack for befriending. A huge heart with a shriveled trust organ. Bubbly and loving, yet covert and neurotic. Surtr's a mixture of all things bad and good. Or so it seems…
Female- Annabell Berry
Selfless Annabell the "failure" is put to the test when she is Reaped. Her world doesn't just turn upside down, it does insane backflips and angry rampages. And yet Annabell keeps mum.
There we go! Basically, all we need is a District Two male because I have a friend who will hopefully submit the Six female. If not, I'll create a character…. Mwahaha!
Review Questions (Reviews let me know if you're reading or not. The less you review, the earlier your tribute dies!)
Which tribute stood out to you more? Why?
Which top five tributes, based on their really short descriptions, sound most interesting? Why?
What top five tributes stand out LEAST to you and why?
Taking a vacation to the sunny state for a bit. B) I hope to get submissions for the guy from Two and perhaps the Six girl soon! ^-^