The 66th Hunger Games

66 years ago, the 13 districts of Panem rebelled against the oppressive Capitol, and failed. In order to keep the remaining 12 districts in check, the Capitol devised a new way to control them. Each year, one male and one female between the ages of 12 and 18 shall be offered up to compete in a sporting event known as the Hunger games, where they shall fight to the death until one remains, a victor that' be revered as a celebrity in the Capitol and live a life of luxury.

66 years later, the tradition still goes strong. See through the eyes of 15 year old District 3 tribute Elektra Sparke as she enters this deadly game. However, the one person she never thought would be her fellow competitor is, and she takes it upon herself to protect him. However, in a deadly arena where your death is in every direction, nobody can be trusted.

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2. Saved by the Wind

I stand there, frozen. Partly in surprise, partly in fear. Is this real? Have I really just been sentenced to death? I think of the piece of paper that blew out of Rory's hands. That girl, whoever she is, should be trudging her feet as if they were solid lead blocks, not me. It just goes to show how something so simple can completely change the fate of two people.

Somehow, I am now on the stage, looking down on the crowd. I see my mother, distraught, shuddering, trying to hold back tears. It reminds me of her state when I was forced into the community home in the slum. That day.

I look elsewhere, before the tears start forming. I see Rose, looking equally as upset as my mother. At least she doesn't carry traumatic memories like my mother does.

"Now, before we choose our gentleman tribute, is there anyone who would like to volunteer for this charming young woman?" Rory's flamboyant voice echoes throughout the square. A few murmurs  but nobody comes forward. How surprising that no one wanted to go to their death instead of me.

Seeing no volunteers, Rory skips over to the males' ball.
"And now, for our gentleman!" He grabs a slip of paper.
"And this year's male tribute is... Samuel Tomson!" I freeze. It can't be.

The entire crowd goes silent, until all that can be heard is a quiet sob. The crowd then parts as two burly Peacekeepers force a sobbing boy onto the stage. I take a look at him, and make an audible gasp. This isn't right. It can't be! I think to myself. I take another look at the tiny, sobbing child, burying his face in his hands, shaking. The memories return.

I had just been in the community home a week, when a tiny boy had arrived. He was no older than six, and his appearance suggested he had been extremely malnourished. His face was filthy, clothes torn. Almost as soon as he had settled in, the older kids continually beat him.

I had decided to protect him by letting him sleep in my room, and we soon bonded. I shared my food with him, and taught him ways to avoid the abusive children.

We continued to stay together for almost a year, until he was caught stealing bread. The Peacekeepers beat him unconscious, then threw him out of the top floor window. He wasn't seen again, and I assumed he was killed by either the beating, or the fall.

And now here he is, standing next to me, sobbing. The same boy from five years ago, is now going to be thrown into an arena operated by sadistic Gamemakers, and expected to kill. Then another thought dawns on me. When I met him, five years ago, he was six. Which means that right now, the oldest he could possibly be is eleven. One year too young to be a Tribute.

Rory walks over to the podium, and addresses the audience. "Now, are there any volunteers?" he asks. Silence. Not a murmur. Not even from the slum kids. No one. Not a single person, in all of District 3, even attempts to save this small boy from death. Then again, what should be expected? I remember one Games a few years back, where all the Tributes, minus the Careers, were either twelve or thirteen. Back then, nobody in any of the Districts volunteered, so what should be any different now?

Rory leaps over to him, and ruffles his black hair. "Don't be upset, this is a time for excitement! A time to show Panem just what your District is made of!" He just starts wailing louder. Rory crosses the stage, onto the podium, and says his parting words. "Ladies and gentlemen, Elektra Sparke and Samuel Tomson!"

He walks off to the Justice Building, and the mayor takes centre stage again, and goes through the treaty of treason, to which I zone out. I glance at Samuel occasionally, but he's still got his face buried in his hands. I look at the crowd, who are exchanging looks of shock and nerve with one another. I see Rose, who has entirely broken down, her father comforting her.

The mayor finishes the treaty, and me and Samuel are made to shake hands. For the first time, I see his face clearly. Slightly long black hair, his ashen face soaked in tears, his grey eyes red from crying. Looking at him, he wouldn't look out of place in District 12, except for the skin tone. We break off, and turn to the crowd as the anthem of Panem plays. I see my mother, who has turned away, ignoring everything on the stage. I feel the tears coming, so I quickly look down, to see a slip of paper on the floor.

I immediately recognise the slip as the Tribute paper that blew away. I unfold it with my foot, and my body turns to ice as I see the name.

The anthem finishes, and the mayor dismisses the crowd. Me and Samuel are quickly taken into the Justice Building by the Peacekeepers. I am quickly placed in a room, and the door is shut. I quickly observe how rich the place is. A deep, lush carpet coloured a rich shade of red, with velvet curtains, the colour and texture identical to my mother's reaping day dress, a muted violet. I sit down, and try to comprehend what has just happened, and what my strategy should be, if any. But I can only think of one thing. The name on the paper that should have been selected.

ROSALINE WEATHERS

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