Running Wild

Told from the view of Katniss and Peeta's daughter: Rue Primrose Mellark about life in District 12, the people we left behind at the end of Mockingjay and the new improved government of Panem.

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2. Chapter 2

I opened my eyes and blinked slowly. I watched the sunlight stream in through my half closed curtains. Today was Reaping Day. Not the same as it was when mother and father were younger. Different but still with the same name. You see, to help with the government and the needs that the different districts needed, one boy and one girl (as in the Hunger Games) are picked to go to the Capitol for a year to discuss politics and problems the government are facing. Before the chosen children go. Yes, children. Between 12 and 18. Father doesn't like it, says that children shouldn't be involved in politics. Mother hates it. I overheard her talking with father about how she never wanted children so they couldn't be taken away from her and slaughtered in a game. If we go we won't die, but we'll be away for a year, and that's an awfully long time if your 12. But I'm 16 so I don't think I'll mind much. Even if a younger person is chosen, someone always volunteers to take their place.

I sat up and looked at the mockingjay clock my best friend got for me. She loves mockingjays, knows how mother was a part of the rebellion and how the mockingjay became so famous. I don't know much about  it, so I get June to tell me. Mother was the symbol of the rebellion. She was the mockingjay. June sometimes lets me watch old footage she's got of mother and tells me stories about her. I wish mother would tell me. i drop her subtle hints but she doesn't seem to get it.

It was time I got ready. I stood up, yawned and walked slowly out onto the long hall. I reached the top of the stairs and trudged down them softly. Once I was in the kitchen I greeted father, who was always up early making bread and slid grandfather's hunting jacket on over my pyjamas. Father nodded and handed me a knapsack he always prepared for me. I kissed his cheek and walked outside, into the warm spring air. Makign my way to the forest was easy, I went the back way so nobody would see me in my pyjamas. Once in the forest I walked quietly to a rocky ledge where I sat and ate my freshly buttered and still warm bread roll. I drank some refreshing water from the stream and picked a handfull of berries to eat as I walked along. I always did this in the morning. It gave me a silent yet warm place to think. I was usually by myself in the forests, maybe with mother. But she didn't come out this early in the morning. Father usually has to sooth her after her nightmares first. She'll wake up screaming and it scares me. I'm worried though, because sometimes it isn't always her screaming. Sometimes it's me. Then father will come in and see me. Maybe I'm more like mother than I think.

I can't be bothered to hunt this morning, I'm too jittery. So I head back to the house instead. Normally there's more movement in the forest but today it's pretty still.Unless I'm too tired to notice.

I come in the side entrance and hang the jacket on the ebony hook before coming into the kitchen and smiling at mother. I ruffle my brother's hair. He's 13, grumpy and obsessed with gadgets and currents. He's always on the phone to Beetee. Another victor who also competed in the Quarter Quell. He made mother's bow she uses in the forest when we hunt.

As I've eaten breakfast I sit and watch father ice a dozen cupcakes, he always caters for the refreshments we eat after the reaping. I watch the flowers form from his swift hands and don't look away until the doorbell rings.

I leap up and rush to get it. I know exactly who it is. I grin as Octavia, Flavius and Venia walk through the door. They were mother's stylists in the Hunger Games and I love them to bits! They always complain about little things which make me laugh and they make us look really nice. They always do our clothes on the Reaping Day, it's sort of a tradition. They take off their thin jackets to reveal wonderful outfits underneath.

Venia, with her gold tattoes is wearing a summery pink and blue dress that is made of thousands of feathers, complete with a bird nest hat to accompany it. Octavia, green as ever is wearing an orange dress which has a hem of ruffles and her hair is in a perfect sheen which looks a lot like a wall. Finally, Flavius is wearing a black shirt with diamond encrusted breaches to match his sequined trousers. his orange corkscrew hair, is still curly. It looks a lot like Venia's bird nest hat.

I lead them up to my room where they open my wardrobe and look to find what they think I should wear. Covering up their chosen outfit they follow me to the bathroom where they shave my legs and cover me in a shiny ointment that stings a tad. I wince but then Flavius squishes my cheeks so my lips pucker up. He slimes a rosy pink onto my lips and carefully wipes away any incorrect lipstick. My eyelids are painted with a pale blue which is so pale I can barely see it. Then my nails are painted the same blue as my eyelids but slightly darker.Finally I am sprinkled with gold dust. They step away from the mirror so I can see, I quite like it. Not as flashy as my first year. I had red lips, swirling green patterns around my eyes, and a strapless gold tube dress. I was 12.

They hadn't touched my hair, they knew that's what Grandma did. Reaping Day was also the only day Grandma came and stayed for a whole week. She did my hair how she did mother's in her Hunger Games. That's another tradition.

Octavia brings out the dress they chose for me. A pale blue dress which would reach my knee, with a golden belt around the middle. I didn't even know I owned this. Mother walks in through the ajar door. She smiles at her old prep team and looks me over. Mother didn't really trust the prep team after my first Reaping Day.

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