The Fire Games

One hundred years ago, there was a time known as the Dark Days, a war that began the Hunger Games. Twenty five years ago, a change happened. The Games turned around. Capitol children are Reaped now. There is now a new name for the Games. The Fire Games.

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2. Reaping

     "Ragi, it's time." 

     "Must we go?" I feel like crying. I have a risk in going to this. Aunt Farrow knows it. I know it. 

     "Yes. It is required. Is your makeup finished? We need to get going." My aunts voice rings through the hall and into my room. The room that, if all goes bad, I will never see again.

     "I'm done," I reply, putting finishing touches on my the shadowing around my eyes. Millenniums ago, women called it "Smokey Eye." Now it is call "Disgraceful." And sure enough...

     "You should be ashamed. Wanting to go out like that! Your mother and father may have approved of this... bland excuse for makeup, but I don't. Do you enjoy being taunted?"

     "Let's just go," I snarl, quite mad at the mention of Mom and Dad. Aunt Farrow, although she loved me very much, never refused an opportunity to smear it in my face that they were gone. She never liked her brother, and his wife could have died for all she cared. 

     When we arrive at Capitol Hall, everyone stares. We are late. 

     "Now, let us begin," Wira, the Noble Guardian, once known as escort, shrieks, obviously filled with excitement. Easy for her. She has no children to worry about.

     "Sabella Drewly, 13," she speaks clearly into the mic, smiling as though she has looked forward to this all year. Sabella, meanwhile gets on to the stage, looking frightened.

     Wira continues to pull names as the tributes pile onto the stage.

     "Terrick Whinger, 16. Primus Housing, 13. Abri Sunshi, 12. Ysanne Grow, 11. Gwynn Dann, 11. Kade Dann, 10. Tal Quad, 17. Fulvia Fuller, 18."

      She stops, ready to draw the last name. All I know was that it will be a female. My heart is racing. Her hand slowly, like honey or molasses coming out a bottle, goes into the glass bowl, containing my name and age. She grabs a name and speaks loudly.

     "Wow! Another 10 year-old!" I feel like passing out. "Please come up to the stage, Ragi Myst, 10." 

     Suddenly my legs are like jello. I slowly walk up. I see my aunt crying far off in the back.  She has ruined the pearly white makeup covering her face that she had put on that morning. I now become aware of the voice in the crowd, practically screaming over everyone else.

     "Look at that makeup. You know, I always thought she was plain. Not like us. She deserves this."

     This could only be the voice of Zytka Ellens, a snobbish (even more so than usual) girl in my class. Rude remarks from her weren't uncommon. But my aunt begins to sob even more.

     "Well, this has been fun," Wira yells over Aunt Farrow's cries. 

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