Pride for Primrose

When seventeen-year-old Primrose Everdeen is reaped for the 79th Hunger Games, there isn't much she can do - her sister, Katniss, would volunteer but she's twenty-one and can't take part, and no-one else is willing to risk their life for her.

When people start to write Prim off as just another bloodbath tribute, she's determined to prove to Panem that she can make it in the games; even if there hasn't been a Victor from District 12 for twenty-nine years. Prim isn't just fighting for her life - she's fighting for her pride.


1. Chapter One: The Reaping

Pride for Primrose


Chapter One: The Reaping


When someone shook me out of my restless sleep, I expected it to be my Mother. But when I groaned and opened my eyes, I saw that it was Katniss. At first this surprises me - why is Katniss home at this hour? Shouldn't she be out hunting, or at the bakery with her fiance Peeta?


Katniss obviously sees my confusion so she says, "It's Reaping Day. We don't want to be late, do we?" She says bitterly. She is not normally this way, she's usually quite cheerful - around me anyway - but The Reaping brings back bad memories that she would rather forget. Katniss had always been slightly bitter where the reaping was concerned, but it was the reaping of the 75th Hunger Games, the Quarter Quell where the tributes were aged nineteen to twenty-five, that made her become so, so angry about it. The female tribute, Lira Osta had been twenty four, a merchant woman who was engaged to Peeta's eldest brother. She died in the initial bloodbath.


The male tribute, however, had been none other than the one Gale Hawthorne. He reached the final two tributes before he was killed by the female tribute from District 5. The effect it had on Katniss was tremendous; she stopped hunting and didn't do anything for two days until Peeta came round and gave us some bread. That was how they ended up dating each other. Katniss realised that day what she'd been doing - she wouldn't stop apologising, even when I told her it was okay. ("It is not okay, Prim! I - I abandoned you! I abandoned you just like mother did!") Katniss got it into her head that she owed Peeta because he saved her life twice, and soon after that he confessed his feelings to her. She thought it was only right to give him a chance, and soon it was clear that she didn't regret it.


"No." I answer blearily. "I put some cheese from Lady in the kitchen - did you find it?" As Katniss nodded I pulled myself off the stiff matress and make my way to the front room, passing my mother who was filling a tub of water for our bath. The sunlight in the room told me it was around noon. It startled me a little, this was the first reaping where I'd slept in late. Usually I couldn't sleep due to nightmares. Maybe it's a sign of good luck. Or maybe it's an omen of my death. Or it could just mean I was really tired last night.


It's unnerving to think that I might never return in two hours. Sitting at a chair, Buttercup, my cat, leapt onto my lap and snuggled into me. For a moment, I put myself in Buttercup's shoes; it must be so easy to be a cat - you don't have to fear being chosen to take part in a competition where you have to kill to win, for a start. For a while I just sit there, thinking. I decide against breakfast - I can have food after the reaping, when I'm safe and the tributes have been chosen. This is my second to last reaping, and I'm as safe as a seventeen-year-old can get. I've only got six slips in the reaping, as Katniss down right refused to let me sign up for tesserae, no matter how much I felt inclined to. Still, I helped out with getting food when ever I could.


When I was fourteen Katniss started taking me into the forest with her. She taught me how to use different weapons for hunting. I was hopeless at the bow and arrow, her specialty, but I was pretty good with knives. But it was the thought of killing the animals that gave me the creeps and while I didn't burst out crying like I had when I was younger, it still wasn't pleasant - I only hunted when it was absolutely necessary. Mostly I just collected edible wildlife and the herbs that my mother needed to run the apothecary. It was interesting, and helped me learn a lot of things about what was safe to eat and what wasn't.


Katniss came into the room, having washed and dressed herself. "Prim, I'm going to Peeta's. I'll see you after the reaping." I nod and she walks to the front door. "Good luck, Prim. May the odds be ever in your favour." The last sentence is said with a sneer, sarcasm evident in her tone. But I can tell she's worried. She doesn't want me to be reaped. I'm her sister after all. I sigh and return to the back room and step into the tub that mother has set up for me. After the cold bath, I put on my reaping outfit. Katniss wore it when she was sixteen, and it used to be my mothers but since my sister was so much bigger than me at that age, I'm wearing it this year. Even so, it's still a tad too large for me.


We head out around half an hour later, at half one. When we reach the square, it is already full to the brim with teenagers roped off into different ages. Other citizens, either too young or too old for the reaping gather at the sides of the square. Eight thousand people in total. Soon to be 7998. Becoming claustrophobic, I quicken my pace and slip into the very back of the seventeen-year-old section. As soon as I'm there, the fear hit me at full force. Images flashed in my mind of careers torturing me and my loved ones and I shook my head. I only had six slips, some girls my age had thirty six, I wouldn't be chosen, I wouldn't be -


"Prim?" I twirl round so I can face the person who addressed me. Over the boundary, at the front of the sixteen-year-old section, is Rory Hawthorne. One of my closest friends. "Hey Rory. You nervous?" Rory smiles slightly. "What do I have to be nervous of? I mean, I've only got twenty-five slips after all." I shake my head grimly. "You took tesserae?" Rory sighed but nodded. I shake my head in disbelief and I'm suddenly filled with an emotion that's not too common with me - anger. "Why? You idiot, why?" Rory stares at his feet for moment, while I stared at him. "Because I can't just let my family starve, Prim. It's Posy's first reaping next year, and I don't want her to sign up for tesserae. Besides, Gale took tesserae when he was my age, and nothing happened to him then, and he had more than me." No. No, Gale was reaped when he was nineteen and had forty-eight slips. I open my mouth to say something, anything, that will cool Rory's temper, but before I can the mayor calls for attention. On the spot, I reach under the barrier and clasp Rory's hand. I feel him relax just as the mayor begins to recite the history of Panem.


He lists the disasters that happened well over three generations ago, disasters that should have been forgotten by now but aren't because of the Hunger Games, which have to date killed 1841 inoccent children in the name of entertainment. The Hunger Games. Twenty-four go in, one comes out. But everyone knows that no-one really comes out - The Victor changes from the child that went in the games expecting to die to a shattered remainder of a human being. No, no-one comes out of the games, not really. The mayor finally finishes droning on about the Dark Days. "In this time of celebration, we must look back on our successes. Anastasia Yurn and Haymitch Abernathy." The only two victors of District Twelve in seventy eight years of the games. Anastasia died years ago, as far as I know, and Haymitch Abernathy is a pathetic drunk. We haven't had a Victor for twenty nine years, though we've come close ever since the 74th games, with most tributes reaching the final six, though Gale was as close as we came to achieving a Victor. The streak was mostly due to the success of the stylists, who kept surprising the Capitol with brand new, amazing and breath taking outfits every single year.


Haymitch nodded when his name was spoken, though he looked as if he was only half listening. He was slumped in one of three seats, most likely drunk. The chair next to him was occupied by a blue haired woman in a bright yellow suit. It's Effie Trinket, the escort who will choose two people to die a horrible death years too early, and in my opinion she looks like a clown. I sort of feel sorry for her though. She has no idea what the real world is like. The Mayor sits at the unoccupied chair and Effie Trinket rises, a smile plastered eerily on her face.


"Hello District 12!" The words roll off her tongue in that odd Capitol accent of hers. Rory's hand tightens against mine. "Happy Hunger Games, and may the odds be ever in your favour!" She says those words every year, yet the odds are never in anyone's favour. "It's such an honour to be here another year! I can't tell you how wonderful it is to see you all again!" From the whispers in the crowd, I sense that no-one really agrees with her. "Anyway, let's hurry on, shall we? Time to find out who our lucky lady is, I wouldn't want to keep you waiting!" With that, she reaches into the bowl and pulls out a slip of paper.


It's as if time has stopped in District 12. Seconds strech into hours, as Effie Trinket unfolds the paper with the name of some girl who will be dead within weeks. Rory's hand tightens over mine. That's when the terror kicks in; what if it's me? I'm not the only one with these fears, I can see people all around me flinching, preparing themselves to walk up to the stage if it's them. I'm sweating profusely - please don't be me, please don't be me, please don't be me, please don't be me.


 Then time returns and Effie Trinket calls the name.


"Primrose Everdeen!"

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