The reaping is in one week. I am more scared than I have ever been in my entire life. I am 12 years old; just old enough to be entered in these games. I am from district 11. I must be strong in front of my 19 and 20 year old brothers, Jake and Paul. They won in consecutive years. My mother wishes that she does not have to endure the pain and suffering of the Hunger Games anymore, but my family has always been unlucky.
I got out of bed and put on some nice trousers, as well as a white t-shirt. I walked outside with my brothers on either side. We parted ways at the town centre. The twelve to eighteen year olds stood closest to the makeshift stage. Sadly, it was right beside the barracks, prison and whipping stations. On stage was the District 11 administrator and escort Jewel Martin. "Welcome everyone! My name as you all know is Jewel Martin. This will be the twenty fifth annual Hunger Games, so as a special bonus, this shall be known as the Quarter Quell." Jewel squeaked. She took out a large box filled with what appeared to be flashcards, out from under the podium. She picked out a random card and read it aloud. "Since the districts alone chose to rebel against the loving capital, for this year's Quarter Quell, the tributes will be chosen by their own district on the day of the reaping."
Everyone around me grew tense. I was shifting uncomfortably and some fourteen year olds were giving each other nervous glances. No one in the entire district spoke a word. Only the sounds of the Mockingjays could be heard from the fields. I didn't know what to do. My friend, Jackson appeared behind me. He just turned fourteen years old and started to sign up for the extra rations of grain. His name would have been entered twelve times this year. I was scared what would happen with this strange year's games. "Are you okay Juniper?" Jackson asked me nervously. I brushed my long brown hair out of my eyes and nodded. We stood together until Jewel finished her yearly speech on how excited we should be that the games are almost upon us.
Jackson looked at me with his bright green eyes. "Come with me. I have to show you something." He held my hand and led me out of the crowd. As we walked around the stockades, I realized that none of the peacekeepers were guarding the town centre this year. It was strange but I did not question it. We finally stopped walking when we reached the edge of the district. The fence that surrounded us and protected us from wild animals was humming loudly. He was still holding my hand, so I blushed bright red. He looked down and realized this. He let go of my hand and blushed redder than I possibly could.
We stood there awkwardly for a few seconds before a loud bird squawked. Jackson cleared his throat and said, "I think you should leave the district." I couldn't believe it. My best friend telling me to leave. My heart sank a bit, thinking he was going to tell me something else… not that I wanted him to… all I could say was "Um." He looked sad. "I overheard some peacekeepers talking about these Hunger Games. They said something about sending the children of some resistance fighters into the games. They are going to try to rig the elections. I was nervous because your mother fought them in the dark days. This means that you have a strong chance of going into them. And…well…I don't want to see you get hurt." I once again blushed uncontrollably.
We started to walk back to our houses. Jewel's speech was long over, which means our parents must be worrying about us. My mother fought in the resistance and used a gun. I thought, and I'm not even allowed to leave the house after dark.
How times must have changed.