The Tribute's Daughter

When the tributes from District 8 are chosen for the 75th Hunger Games, Cecelia leaves behind three children. This is the story of her oldest daughter Jennetta.

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2. The Reaping

       It had been almost three weeks since President Snow's message about the upcoming Hunger Games. Things at home had hit an all time low, there was no smiles to be found on anyone's faces lately. The upraising had been all but wiped out, and we were once again free to leave our homes. Not that anyone wanted to stray far from their homes, not when there were so many Peacekeepers roaming around looking for the slightest excuse to shoot someone.

      Some of our younger neighbors here could be seen outside at night training, so they'd be ready if their names were pulled. Mom tried to do some running, and training but Lizbay had taken sick, so most of her time was spent taking care of her. I helped as much as I could, but mostly we all just waited with dread.

       The day of the Reaping dawned grey and cold. Hardly any sunlight made it through the combination of the over cast sky, the smog from the many textile factories, and the smoke of the recent burnt down buildings. The weather seemed to be a reflection of everyone's mood.

      There were many in the crowd that looked relieved that they wouldn't be in the drawing. Parents held their children close, happy they would get at least on more year with them. Then there was the small group of us with family members that had at one point been victors, those faces showed a range of relief for themselves, and fear for their loved ones.

      There were three women in one pen to the left, and five men in the one to the right. The youngest among them was a boy about my age who had won only a few years ago. The oldest was an old man in his seventies, who I'd seen training every night since the announcement, despite his age, and the fact that most people said he wasn't all there.

      The drew the male tribute's name first, and the old man I had just been doubting was named. With a grim expression and more grace then I would've thought him capable he mounted the steps. Then it was time for the female tribute to be named, I held my breath and prayed with everything in me that we weren't about to lose are only remaining parent.

       "Cecelia Hollard," rang out over the crowd, and I couldn't help myself, I grabbed my sister and ran toward my mom as fast as I could, my brother on my heels. This couldn't be happening, she was all we had left. I didn't know how we were going to manage without her.

     I ran up the steps and wrapped her in the tightest hug I could manage, I could feel my brother Johnny doing the same. The Peacekeepers grabbed me and tried pulling me off, I resisted long enough to hear my mom whisper "Go to Aunt Meldy!" and then we were all held back as they led her away.

      All I could do for a long time was stand there and cry, embracing my brother and sister. Poor little Lizbay wasn't even old enough to understand what had happened, all she wanted was her mommy.

     I felt someone put a hand on my shoulder and turned to see the boy who had been among the victors. He was older then I'd first thought, but still not much more then a child. Like me, I thought, trying not to think of everything I must now do.

      "We should leave," He said picking up Lizbay and taking Johnny's hand. "We don't want to give the Peacekeepers anymore reason to punish someone else today,"

      "Your right," I said around a hiccup. It felt nice to have someone else make the decisions, if only for a few minutes. I knew there were going to be a lot of harder ones to make coming up.

      "I can't believe the Capital would do this," I said thinking out loud.

      "Shh, not here, you don't want to be over heard contradicting the Capital," He said stopping for a moment to look at me. "Do you have somewhere to go?"

      "Aunt Meldy," I said automatically, thinking of what my mom had said. "She lives out by the fence,"

      "I know the place, let's go," He said still holding onto my brother and sister.

     "Thank you, I'm not sure why you helped us, but thank you," I said as sincerely as I could manage, with tears still randomly running down my face.

      "I helped because sticking together is what we need to do to survive, and exactly what the Capitol doesn't want," He said the last part under his breath but I still heard it.

     "Well I'm Jennetta, that's Lizbay, and Johnny," I said pointing to each in turn.

     "I'm Coraz." he said " and maybe with the help of your aunt we can take this District back again."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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