Audri Dhmitros - 15 Years Old


My dress looked very pretty.

I could tell my dad spent a lot of time picking it out for me since it matched everything I wanted on my list. Not a single thing was off design. The silk taffeta was colored as pink as baby's skin, the dress felt as smooth as velvet, and no matter how hard I twist and turned it, the dress never wrinkled at the slightest. The dress was perfect, and yet, I haven't even tried it on.

I was standing in front of my mirror, admiring the dresses beauty. But I wouldn't dare put it on, knowing exactly why my father decided to buy it at all. I could just imagine how my friends would react at the sight of me, pleading and wishing they looked just as flawless as my father made me. Well, they can have it, I never wanted to look this way anyway. It was my attendants who spent an hour brushing my hair, painting my nails, shining my shoes. It was all them, never me.

My golden blonde hair shined as brightly as the sun, my lips were full and sweet like an apple, and my diamond eyes glowed. I looked better than I usually let myself be.

Of course, I knew why I had to look better than I usually do. The games were starting soon after all, and I knew the entire capitol was buzzing with excitement. At school yesterday, it was all my friends could talk about, speculating on what types of tributes there may be, how the arena would look like, how the games would play out. It was all anyone would talk about.

And I talked about it too, but instead of enthusiasm, I answered my friend's cheerful conversations with a bit of hesitation in my voice. Whenever my father would invite his co-workers to talk about the event, I would politely greet them and never look at them again. It was something that many people considered odd since I was the president's daughter after all. Shouldn't I be the most excited for them?

That's what I always thought, a big ball of emotions always formed inside me when the games started to come around again. However, I knew, even as I was watching them, that they were the wrong types of emotions. Full of disgust, sadness, anger, for the children stuck in their enclosed hell, rather than joy like the others. I always tended to hide my displeasure for the games in front of my friends and family, the latter more crucial since my father was always one who hated the districts with a fiery passion.

Sometimes I would slip, and my friends would question me. During the 82nd games, when the sister of Calico Cruz, one of district 8's previous victors, was reaped, everyone cheered and celebrated. Excited to see how a victor's sibling would fair in the games, just like Cashmere and Gloss from district 1. I, however, cried out in alarm when I watched her mount up the steps. I felt just like Calico at that moment, confused, enraged, and just scared for her survival. Everyone was so confused, worrying at my sudden outburst, but I pretended like everything was fine.

It wasn't fine though. Even after she died, and the games ended, I still was kept awake at night by the little girl from district 8. I think I was the only in my group, who paid any attention to her age since everyone seemed to forget that she was just twelve years old when she was reaped, and twelve years old when she died.

I've gotten better at hiding my emotions though, it was easier as I grew older. I would respond to the reaping's in fake excitement and cheer out an empty tune along with my friends as the deaths on the screen kept on going, and going, and going. They would all believe me, except for my father.

The sudden knocking at my door snapped me out of my senses as I looked away from the mirror. Whoever was knocking, did it with artificial type movement, banging on the door one, then twice, then three times until I would answer.

"Coming," I called out, opening the door for them.

As it silently slid open, I could see my father, towering over me, wearing his standard black suit, with his hands behind his back. Tall and still, like a predator ready to strike and an unknowing prey It was a little shocking to see him, not only because he looked so out of place in my small room, since he was a huge muscular man for his age, but also because I expected him to be in an office right now, talking to the new head game maker Adrian Basil, who was much younger than my father. Maybe he finally got bored and left him to check on me.

"Oh," I said, "Hello father. I wasn't expecting you here."

My father didn't even bother to look at me and opted to look around my room, before eyeing my dress that lied on my bed. His huge hands turned into a fist but quickly relaxed. My heart was beating faster now.

"Yes," He said coldly, "I wasn't expecting to be here either, considering you were supposed to be in my office ten minutes ago."

At first, I didn't remember what he was talking about until a cold feeling went up to my body when I remembered that my father wanted to talk to me today about the games. Knowing that I would react with displeasure to knowing it was coming back.

"I'm so sorry, I completely-" I tried to say, but I was immediately cut off.

"Completely lost track of time," he finished as he slid past me and straight toward my bed, "Yes, I know you have, and those are the least of my concerns. What worries me is that you haven't even tried on your dress yet."

I watch as his large boulder-like hands gripped onto my soft dress. It dangled like a doll in his hands as he picked it up. He eyed it up and down and then looked at me, with cold, unforgiving eyes. I knew he was displeased already.

"I was just, you know, trying on some other clothes," I say shyly, which wasn't exactly a lie since clothes were all over the floor, but I didn't tell him that it was from yesterday when I threw them all over the floor in a rage because of the game's announcement.

"And why is that?" He asks.

I gripped tightly onto my skirt, the color draining from my fingers. I could tell he didn't believe me.

"Because my dress was too tight."

He looked me right in the eyes but said nothing. But I could tell he knew I was lying. He could see through anyone, even his so-called happy daughter. He always lectured me about how important the games were, to him, and to my mother, who was killed in one of the district riots as they tried to overthrow the capitol a few years ago. He never tolerated my thoughts on the games, and I would never talk about them with him.

We just stood there until he quietly set the dress down back on the bed. I almost sighed in relief, but he was still in my room. It was odd, to be so nervous around him, he was my father, I should have been so comfortable in his presence, but instead, I stiffened in fear whenever I saw him. Everyone did.

"Nervous?" He asked.

Somehow, I was surprised I didn't nod right away, I was terrified, not only of him but of the games. But I gradually was able to shakily nod my head.

"Don't be, you have no reason to be around me."

It was funny because that was every reason why I was. I didn't want to be in this conversation anymore, it wasn't normal, or calming like the others I used to have with him before mom died, then, he always was gentle and caring to me, now he was distant, emotionally detached from me and only said things nicely to me because I was still his daughter.

"I know father," I said casually, trying to keep myself calm.

He seemed relieved, but not because I actually knew I wasn't nervous around him. I knew how he acted around other people, he was cold and uncaring, artificial in all of his interactions with them. He never treated anyone with respect and treated them cruelly. He obviously hid his actions from the public. But being his daughter, I knew him as well as he knew me. I knew he was going to say more, tell me his life, how he used to be just like me when he never was, he had everything figured out, I still don't know where I'm heading.

"It's okay to talk to me Audri."

I paused, I knew where he was going with this. I had to get out of it now.

"Actually, I would like to try on my dress now," I say.

At first, I think he's going to push it, he opens his mouth like he wants to say more, but, to my surprise, he backs off. I think he's going to stay in my room and watch me get dressed, as he has had servants do that in the pass to make sure I wasn't lying, but simply walks right past me, letting cold air flow near my body. I sigh out in relief but still keep my fist tight.

"Very well," he says quietly, and then closes the door.

Everything is silent and still when he leaves like nothing ever happened. I sit on my bed, trying to calm down from my previous conversation. The dress lies down on the bed, brightly contrasting against the white blanket on my bed. I want to grab a pillow and hold it tightly, just like I did to my father before my mom died. I sigh, there's no use to look into the past anymore, at least not now. After all, I have a hunger game to look forward to, what's the point in thinking about anything else?

It isn't long until I eventually put on my dress and stand in front of the mirror. I do look pretty, but nothing like myself.

Sometimes, I wonder if I was supposed to be born in the districts. I mean, not that I don't like having great friends, and fancy gadgets to play with, and not participating in the hunger games. But I don't think I can consider myself to be like these people, none of them have any humanity in them. None once so ever.

Except me…

It isn't until a few minutes of staring at myself in the mirror before I decide to walk out of the room and let the door close behind me.


So, about that update schedule.

I'll try an update every Sunday, but for the time being, I'm getting all three prologue chapters done before this Sunday. Seems pretty crazy, especially since I have school, so I might not get the third chapter done in time, but hey, you got to dream right?

So far, I've got four tribute submissions. I like to thank call me calamity, 66samvr, and 20 for giving me them. I'll try my best to write them as best as I can. For the time being, however, I still got 20 spots left, so there are a lot of districts to fill up before I can get the reaping's going, and eventually the games.

I also have news for my Walking Dead submitters. I have the chapter done, I just want to get these three chapters out of the way first, before I post that one. Sorry that I'm taking so long. Other than that, though, I hope everyone enjoys this chapter, and until I get the next one up, I hope you guys can read just these two.

Take Care

CandleFire45

(Right now, I'm debating whether or not to post this chapter right now on Wednesday, or tomorrow on Thursday.)