The morning was quiet, a bit too quiet, but that was understandable. It was Reaping day and no one was every cheery on those days. Not even the birds.

I walked up to my last snare. Nothing. I sighed, turning around and heading back towards home.

Hunting hadn't gone as well as I had planned that day. I had only gathered 2 squirrels and shot 1 rabbit with my crossbow (Don't ask me how I got it. It was a long story…), which was not enough to support my brother, step- mother, dad, and my- self. But, at least I had gotten something.

I came to the fence, waiting to hear the buzz of electricity that was never there, and again, wasn't there today. Crouching down, I shimmied my way under the fence, leaving the crossbow hidden from view under a rotten log.

I shot up, quickly brushing off my pants and running away, just to make sure no one had seen me or was about to see me.

I arrived at my house, opening the door and walking in.

I stopped dead in my tracks.

Where was Danny? I had told him to stay home until I had gotten back.

I know, worrying about your younger is kind of pathetic when he's a guy, blah, blah, blah, but I was my duty to protect him after my mother had left. And with the pollen level heavy, it was dangerous for him to be out.

The door suddenly shut behind me. I turned around, to find him standing there. I quickly ran into is arms, dropping my game bag, and hugged him.

"What did I tell you? I told you not to go outside until I was back!" I said franticly, blinking back tears.

"I-I'm sorry sis…" He said a surprised tone in his voice.

"Never again…" She started whispering until someone interrupted her.

"Hey, I see you brought back some game…" The voice was soft and soothing, with a bit of an accent. It was Madge.

I released Danny, turning around to see that Madge was holding the game bag, rummaging through it.

"How could you let him go out there during this time of season? You know he is allergic to pollen!" My anger released without a warning.

"Charlie I didn't kn-" She started to say, but I cut her off, my face getting red hot and not wanting to wait for a pathetic response.

"You where the one around the house taking care of him! You should know where he is and wher-" Instead of a snap back from Madge it was Danny who cut me off.

"Charlie, she didn't even know I had gone out. I shouldn't have done it. It was my fault, so stop yelling at her for something I did with my own decisions." I looked up at Danny. I felt like such a fool; yelling at Madge for no reason. Why was I acting so pathetic? I looked up at Madge, our eyes meeting.

"Madge I-I…" I didn't know how to apologize. How was I supposed to apologize for that?

"Charlie, it's quite alright." The way her eyes looked, she wasn't. I had scared the only person close to a mother farther away from my reach. Her voice knocked me out of my train of thought.

"You two go get ready. I laid clothes from both of you on your beds for the reaping. I expect them to be on in 5 minutes to we can get there in time for the Reaping." She gaze a weak smiled and passed us up, game bag in hand. Great, just what I need. Another, terrible, reminder that the Hunger Games where on its way and the Reaping only minutes away.