Gale (Two Weeks in Panem)

For the Two Weeks in Panem competition. :) Please leave comments and feedback.
(Placed joint second :) )

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1. Gale

I made my way to the other boys. With the Reaping only minutes away now, they were fidgety and quiet - a rare occurrence for most of them. I recognise a lot of them from school. They act tough there, but in truth they probably would get killed in seconds in the arena. Even Prim could last longer.

I glance over at her now. It's her first reaping, so she's not likely to get picked. She doesn't have any tesserae against her, unlike me. My name is in the draw more times than anybody else's. That's because we're always short of food. The hunting me and Katniss do in the woods doesn't provide nearly enough to keep my family going, and food is always scarce in District 12.

That's another person to worry about. Katniss. She's in the draw a few times. She could probably last for quite a bit in the Hunger Games because of her archery skills, but District 12 doesn't produce winners. If she died, her mother and Prim would probably go too. I would lose my best friend, and her family. That would be more than I could take. But there would be nothing I could do about it. If I went into the arena with her to protect her, both our families would starve. Life is cruel.

Effie Trinket clears her throat and begins her speech. Her silly Capitol accent has made me laugh so many times before this. When I see her in person, on this day, not even that can erase the fear.

I must not have been paying much attention, because she's already drawing out the girl's name. All eyes watch her face.

"Primrose Everdeen."

What? Prim? How did that happen? I barely have time to think about it before Katniss stumbles up to her. She's yelling.

"I volunteer!"

No. She can't be doing this. And yet I know that if I had been in her position, it would be what I'd want. I can't stop Katniss going into the arena, even if it means I'll never see her again.

I go forward and take Prim away from the front. She's gawping at her sister, her eyes wide and scared. I feel so sorry for her. No-one should have to feel the pain she's going through.

The pain I'm going through.

The boy Effie's picked is climbing onto the stage, but I can't focus on them any more.

I'll never, ever, get to tell Katniss that I love her.

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