This can't be happening

A young girls experience during the rebellion and the Hunger Games.

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2. Chapter One - Before it Happened

3 DAYS PREVIOUSLY

“Ally!” I say as loudly as I can without raising my voice above a whisper.

“Ally, where are you? This is NOT funny!”

We have been hiding for three weeks in a dirty, old shed that we found in an abandoned backyard.

Lots of the houses had been left now. That’s what happens during war. People disappear or fight and when they do decide to fight, you pray that they fight on your side.

Everything was fine, she had argued a bit at first but then she saw a dead soldier on the ground.

Everything was fine, until this morning when I woke up and found her missing.

At first I thought maybe she had gone to find food, or maybe she went outside to get some fresh air. I waited an hour, then I went looking, praying that she had just gotten lost.

Now I have been searching for four hours, she has to be alright, she just has to. She is all I have left.

My mother died in a fishing accident when I was four. Other districts have to worry about getting stuck in mines or getting burnt in fire. Not us, we get to worry about getting caught in our own fishing nets.

My father died when the war started, he went to fight even though I begged him not to.

“I’m only 13,” I told him, “what if you die? How will we survive?”

He told me I was old enough to take care of Ally and myself.

What kind of wacko tells their 13 year old daughter that they can take care of themselves and a 10 year old? Apparently my father thought I was mature enough to do it.

Well, it’s a year later and all that’s come from that is me losing my sister.

“Ally, I’m serious, if I don’t find you soon, I’ll leave you here all alone.”

Great, that was mature.

I wouldn’t really leave without finding her because I am terribly worried about her whereabouts.

Then I hear gunshots. I duck to the ground. Which direction did they come from? Maybe, I can get away before they find me, or maybe they are rebel soldiers and they can help me find Ally.

I creep towards the sound of boots stomping and gunshots. If I can just see which army it is.

I duck behind a wall as I see the army marching in my direction coming from the town square. They are from the Capital. The only army that has brightly coloured hair.

When they are all gone I run to where they were, maybe someone has seen my sister.

Then I see her. Not standing, not collecting food, not talking to a rebel. Even seeing her holding a gun would be better than what I am seeing right now.

What I see instead is her lying on the ground, covered in blood. The gunshots. No, no, no, no.

There are other children lying on the ground, all with bullet hole or stab wounds, some dead, some barely alive. Some with people holding them, some completely alone.

I run towards my sister.

She isn’t one of the few clinging to life. She is already gone.

“NO” I scream, “ NO, NO, NO, NO, no.”

I choke on my sobs. She can’t be dead, I can’t believe it. If I don’t believe it, maybe she won’t be.

But she is, nothing can change that and I let my tears fall. I cry onto my sisters’ body.

“Oh, Ally, oh sweet, sweet Ally.” How could someone do this? Kill innocent children.

I hear a voice calling my name but I choose to ignore it. I don’t care who it is or why they want to talk to me.

I feel a hand on my shoulder.

“Mags, oh my, I’m so sorry.”

I finally look up, it is my friend, well I wouldn’t really call him a friend, just someone who I don’t exactly hate.

“Leave me alone Justin.”

Instead of doing what I ask he bends down and puts his arm around my shoulders. He is stubborn, just like Ally.

“Mags, they are heartless, you know that, I know that, Ally knows that.” Justin says squeezing my arm.

“Ally knew that. As in past tense, she’s dead” I correct him.

I start to sob and Justin pulls me into his arms and holds me.

Even if it was Justin I am glad to be held.

I feel like if someone isn’t holding me together I might fall apart into tiny, little pieces on the floor.

I sob into his chest and he sits there, holding me and stoking my hair.

We sit like this for some time before he lets go and tells me we need to leave.

We get up and we walk, Justin still has his arm around me and I am grateful for I fear I would fall over and cry again if I’m not being forced to walk.

I hope we find a place to hide soon, I am tired and I don’t want to cry in the street again.

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