Safety Before Blood

What about Peeta's brother's?

This is a Hunger Games one shot for the competition.

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1. Safety Before Blood

I heard the piercing whistle of the train. That could only mean one thing, it was reaping time. I glanced in the small mirror over the table and smoothed down my hair. I brushed the dust off my white shirt. It wasn't just dust it was coal dust, people say it is everywhere in the Seam, but its not just the Seam. It is everywhere in District 12. Coal dust impossible to escape, like a highly contagious disease. 

"Lo get down here!" I could hear my mother yell from the bakery. Usually she would walk up to the house, but there where no customers to disturb. I only saw one hunter come in here very early this morning, he traded us a squirrel, our dinner for tonight. I ran down to the bakery as not to upset my mother, she was a real witch.

I ran by the back bakery door, hearing it close. Peeta must be feeding the pigs. I walked into the front room. "There you are Lo." my mother said a bit too happily. Everyone was nervous, but honestly I was happy. This was my last year, I would finally be done with these dumb reapings. I turned to see my older brother, Kory, and my father, giving them each a small nod.

We walk  to the town square, where the reaping will be held. My mother, father, and Kory walked behind the ropes to watch, they were all old enough to avoid this retched thing, I would soon join them. I looked around and found the place for eighteen year old boys and stood there. The square slowly started to fill with our district's citizens of all ages, attendance was mandatory.

"Welcome Welcome to the seventy-fourth annual hunger games." I heard the loud voice boom and looked up to the stage to see the same flamboyant charter as every year, Effie Trinket. "We have a special treat for you all the way from the Capitol." Everyone turned to the large screens placed around the square and over spilling streets. 

I try to tune out the"special treat" that we see every year. Yes of course " honor, victor, tribute" all of it memorized by every citizen.

"As usual, Ladies first." Ms. Trinket announced in a high pitched voice. I listened for the name of any of the girls I knew from school. "Primrose Everdeen." I didn't recognized the name but saw a small blonde figure come up from the twelve year olds. Oh great, a twelve year old, dooming District Twelve to a loss again. 

But another girl volunteers. a brown haired tall lean girl. Much too lean. Might as well let the twelve year old fight, we might have a better chance. The girl walks up on stage and introduces herself, Katniss Everdeen. Everdeen, just like the little girl's.

Now it was time for the boys. I saw her remove her snow white gloves and slowly dip her hand into the bowl, full of doomed children. She picks out a small slip and unfolds it. "Peeta Mellark" Peeta? Peeta? A series of images flashes before my eyes: the cakes at the bakery, the pigs that I would now have to feed, all the new chores I need to take on. This could not be real.

A thought stopped me in my tracks, the twelve year old had someone take her place, volunteer. No Peeta would have to carry himself. I wasn't about to give up my friends, grades, future, so he could keep sitting alone at lunch and icing the cakes. No I wouldn't. I couldn't. I had to have something to my own, a life, a life that was mine. It would never be put in risk again reaping was over,

for the both of us.

 

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