It's Life and Death Now

Terra Witt is 13 years old living in District Nine in the strong grasp of the Capitol. When her name is drawn to compete in the 63rd Hunger Games, her adventure begins.


9. The Tribute Parade

The horses run so fast, I barely notice our chariot rolling out in front of all of Panem to see.
District One is obviously the favorite. 
The female is dressed in a shorter dress that is covered with diamonds, except for a small cutout on the dress.
Her hair is decorated with diamonds, her makeup with jewels, and her skin is glowing. 
The male is in a diamond jumpsuit with another cutout in the same spot as the female's. His skin is also very vibrant.
People throw chocolates and flowers to District One mainly. I hear cheers and chants of 'District One! District One! District One!'
When we roll out people are pleased with our costume and a few people even take the time to cheer us on and one even throws us flowers.
Once District Twelve is just coming out, something unexpected happens.
District Two is wearing costumes made of rocks, since their district specializes in masonry. 
Their costume explodes and reveals them in armor from head to toe, with bows slung over their shoulders, and knives, darts, and swords clenched in their hands.
The crowd immediately goes wild, with people screaming and cheering for District 2.
I stare at the crazed fans with their dyed hair and skin, and their crazy clothes.
I see the anger on Baxter's face. He wanted so badly to be noticed, or maybe for me to be noticed. 
He shoots his free hand up and the air and cheers. He smiles at the Capitol.
A few people turn and cheer us on.
But most people are still focused on District's Two, One, and now Eleven, in beautiful monarch butterfly costumes.
Baxter cheers louder and more people start to notice him.
I smile at his bravery and slowly raise my hand up into the air.
I cheer on District Nine and a huge smile starts to form on my face.
Just as our chariot slows to a stop, Baxter is thrown a rose.
He catches it and slips it into my hand.
I look down at the rose, then up at Baxter.
I smile at him, and this time, for real.
When our chariot stops in front of the President's mansion, President Snow comes up to the podium.
He says, "Welcome! Tributes! Citizens! Mentors! We appreciate your courage, your sacrifice, and most importantly, your bravery! Now please, let us play, our national anthem!"
The national anthem is played, and while it's playing, a camera goes around and focuses on each of the tributes and their chariots.
When they focus on District One, I notice that the female isn't smiling. In fact, she seems sad, maybe even scared.
When the camera comes onto us, I stare at how beautiful I am. Lachlan is definitely good at helping me make an impression.
When the anthem is over, the horses trot back to our stylists.
Lachlan helps me off the chariot. "That was excellent! Although Two was the favorite, I could definitely tell that there were several people willing to bet on you." she smiles and winks at me. "Now we're going to head off to our rooms for dinner, and so you to can get some rest!"
"Follow us dears!" Kara says gleefully as we follow her and Thoth to the training center.
We ride an elevator up to the ninth floor where we will be homed to until the games begin.
When we step out of the elevator, my mouth literally drops. The training center is even better than the train.
The dining room instead seems to be bigger than District Nine.
The windows and balconies overlook the Capitol. The table is already filled with lavishing treats and goodies. The couches look to be velvet and very comfortable. 
Before I have time to even sink in the front rooms Kara hurries us into our rooms.
I walk into my room and immediately in love.
Again my room is plush. The bed is huge, and it has mountains of pillows and blankets.
There are gadgets all around the room that I have no clue what to do with.
I take one and swipe it and the window changes. I do this a few times until it shows a grain field. I stare at it in awe. I instantly feel at home and decide to keep it like that.
There is a device where you just have to whisper the mere name of the food and it will materialize in front of you.
The bathroom shower has another panel with even more buttons than the train panel. 
Before I decide to take a shower, I look down and realize I am still clutching the rose. I set it on a dresser.
When I take a shower I have hot water sprayed all around me.
Lilac spelling soap is sprayed on my body and rose shampoo and conditioner is massaged into my scalp.
More oils make me soft and shiny, and massaging sponges calm me.
A brush gently brushes the tangles out of my hair and parts it to perfection.
I step out onto a mat where a box flows air and instantly dries me off.
I design a closet to my taste exactly how I like it.
I put on a soft, flowy tank top, sweats,  and put my hair in its original high ponytail.
I walk out of my room where Kara is getting Baxter for dinner.
I sit at the table and am served a plate of fish, peas, sautéed pears, and gourmet Mac and cheese. 
"Thanks you," I say sweetly to the woman who serves me.
She bows, but doesn't speak.
It only takes me to realize why.
When she yawns, I have a clear view of her cut-out tongue.

Author's Note
Do you like Terra's bond with Baxter?
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