My Name is Pride

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  • Published: 23 Nov 2013
  • Updated: 23 Nov 2013
  • Status: Complete
Nesrin Viscaria is a reckless and ambitious teenager. Attributes that will eventually get her killed in the cruel region of Panem, specifically, The 78th annual Hunger Games.
~NOTE: This is just a story and I am well aware of events and deaths that actually happened in the books but I may have twisted them to fit my story so, please, no hate.

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2. Chapter 1

“Nesrin! Nessy? Come on down now. We need to get going!” my mother called from the front door. I smoothed down my orchid coloured dress once more, glancing in the cracked mirror as a tucked a stray lock of wispy, brown hair behind my ear. The dress was my mothers, she had worn it to her first reaping in District 8 where she originally came from before she married my father and came to live here in District 12. Her mother had made it for her and now I was wearing it to my second reaping. My name is only in twice; I haven’t needed to sign up for tesserae as both my parents and my brother, Linden, have been able to earn enough money for trade or food. Sometimes I slip under the fence to pick and gather flowers and reeds to weave into crowns to sell to people off the street. Sometimes the people of our poor district just need the small inkling of joy brought on by the bright colours of the flowers. It certainly makes me feel happy when I see the people, coated in coal dust which has been set deep inside the lines and folds of their rough work clothes, wearing the garlands I made on their heads as they work, the bright colours of poppies, daisies, violets and other wildflowers in sharp contrast to the brown, black and grey of our dull world. It makes me feel like I’m beginning to make a difference, like I’m uniting our district in a way.

I trudge down the stairs, my heart in my throat and my stomach being harried by butterflies. No, wasps. No, I think birds are a more accurate description. Perhaps mockinjays. Today is the reaping for the 78th annual Hunger Games and my family and I are on our way to the town square as required. Thankfully, Linden is 19 now and out of reach from the games. But I’m only thirteen. I still have six more reapings to endure, including todays’. I have already survived one, and the odds are in my favour being that my name is only in the glass ball twice. But then again, Primrose Everdeen’s name was only in once and she was drawn. She didn’t go into the games though, as you should be well aware, Katniss Everdeen volunteered for her. There’s another name that makes people react. Everyone knows Katniss, she, Primrose and their mother live in the victors’ village together but frequently visit the other parts of the district.

My mother and father stood at the door, arms around each other as they tried to cover up their worried expressions with tight smiles. “You look beautiful sweetie.” My mom said to me as she stroked my hair back. “Not as beautiful as you.” I replied, stretching up on my toes to give her a kiss on the cheek. “C’mon poppet, Linden’s waiting outside.” My father said to me as he gave me a light push out the door to where my brother was waiting. Running his hand through his brown hair, messing it up even more, he grabbed my hand and we raced to the square like we always used to when mother or father gave us a coin to spend at the bakery as a special treat. Except, this time, there wasn’t anything joyful about it. I looked around at all the grim faces filled with regret, worry and sadness. The Hunger Games was not popular in the poorer districts like ours, we didn’t train and hardly stood a chance against the other districts.

As my parents caught up to us, we said our goodbyes and I promised them that no matter what, I would stay strong. I went over to sign in and stand with the other girls my age. I was near the back and couldn’t even see the stage. The already quiet crowd fell completely silent as Effie Trinket waltzed across the stage to the microphone. I managed to catch a glimpse of her blue tinted hair, undoubtedly a wig, when the girl in front of me shifted to the side slightly. “Ahem,” she began, trying to capture the attention of the already attentive crowd. “Welcome, welcome, to the 78th annual Hunger Games!” she called out in her ever-perky capitol accent. “Now, as usual, ladies first.” She walked over to the glass ball containing the paper slips with all girls aged twelve to eighteen names’ on them. She delicately closed her eyes, managing to do so without scrunching them up, and rifled around in the paper. At last, after several moments in which the whole crowd seemed to pause, Effie pulled out a single piece of paper folded in half. On that one piece of paper, there was one name which would soon unravel someone’s entire world. She held it up in the light and unfolded it slowly, seeming to savour the dreaded suspense hanging in the air. She cleared her throat before her clear voice rang out into the day “Nesrin Viscaria.” My heart stopped. Literally. Do you ever get that feeling when it seems like your heart skips more than one beat and it comes back harder than ever and you feel like its pumping so loud you’re sure everyone in a two hundred mile radius can hear it? Yeah, that’s me now. The crowd parted like the Red Sea and a clear path was in front of me, leading to the stage. I forced my legs to walk forwards and resisted the urge to run to my parents, bawling my eyes out in hysteria. No, I promised them that I would stay strong. I covered my raging emotions with a well-practiced poker-face as I felt every single person’s eyes on me. I didn’t turn my head in fear that the sight of my friends and family’s faces would be my undoing. Instead I focused on the extravagant piece of jewellery at Effie’s throat. As I climbed the steps of the podium, I noticed that Effie was clapping profligately, a smile plastered on her perfectly made up face as I went to stand beside her. I knew that Katniss, Peeta and Haymitch were standing behind me, offering silent support as they remembered when it was them on the stage. Tributes. Victors. I was numb with shock and didn’t register anything until Effie read out the name of the boy tribute. “Aspen Dalton.” Her voice rang out and my eyes raked the audience to where the boy was indeed located. He had dark hair which was cropped short, dark eyes, classically handsome really, and he looked only a bit older than me. He walked up to the stage much more confidently than I did but I did happen to notice his hands were trembling. We were forced to shake hands and our eyes scanned each other to see if we were going to be possible threats or allies. I knew what he would see: a petite little girl with long brown hair, hazel eyes, a few freckles on her nose in a girlish dress. He would dismiss me immediately as a harmless girl but only if he neglected the blazing fierceness of determination in my eyes. On the other hand, I took on him in a totally different way. He was lean but muscular and up close looked about fifteen. I knew that my looks were deceiving but never judge a book by its cover, right? Katniss herself had given me a few lessons on how to use a bow and arrow and told me that I was a natural. Prim also showed me how to find plants which were edible and could be used for medicinal purposes. We were actually fairly close as she, Katniss and Peeta always bought my flower crowns to help support our income. They did it whenever they could. With Katniss and Peeta’s abundance of money from winning the Hunger Games, they used it to help the people of our district. Now, I knew that Katniss would be my mentor. She was the only way I could survive these games and come home safely.

The next few hours was a blur of things happening around me. I was taken to the town hall were my family came to visit me. Both my mother and father came in and told me that they loved me no matter what and they believed in me before they were taken out by peacekeepers. I sat on the thickly carpeted floor for a few minutes, in a confused daze before Linden walked in. He strode straight over to me, a serious expression in his eyes. He knelt down so he was face-to-face with me. “Listen, no matter what happens, remember that we all love you. You’re a smart girl, I know that you can do it. You can win this. Just, come home safe alright? And don’t do anything rash.” he pulled me into a tight hug and I let a few stray tears fall down my face as he was dragged away by more peacekeepers and I was left all alone.

I spent most of the train ride to the Capitol thinking. I did exactly what everyone asked. I ate. I bathed. I listened intently to advice from Peeta, Haymitch and especially Katniss. When we arrived in the Capitol, although the sights were breath-taking, I refused to acknowledge it. In my thinking, I had become more and more disgusted with the Hunger Games. It was sick! Children’s fighting to the death in an arena on television was NOT entertainment. I went through my prepping for the tribute parade with a face like stone. I was silent, stony and strong. I kept repeating this to myself until I reached my stylist. It was Cinna. I just couldn’t believe it. It was CINNA! As in THE Cinna who styled Katniss in all those whimsical costumes. I was broken out of my reverie when I was pulled into a tight hug by Cinna. Apparently Katniss had told him all about me and my flower crowns. He assured me that I would like my costume as well. Rest assured I did. It was a skin-tight jumpsuit of sorts which had a nigh halter neck and was sleeveless, going down to my ankles which led onto bare feet with orange painted toenails. The cloth of the costume was jet black and shimmered with glitter. I even noticed there were a few specks of orange and gold glitter amongst it. Wrapped around my bare arms were orange ribbons, twining in among each other and decorated with golden flowers. Except the flowers weren’t just flowers, they were made from fire. From actual live flames. The same flames which gave Katniss her title: the girl on fire. On my head, the golden tiara was enwoven with flowers made of fire as well.

As I climbed onto the chariot, I noticed with slight satisfaction that Aspen didn’t look anywhere near as awe-inspiring as I did. He looked a little grumpy to be in such a feminine costume, identical to mine.

The next few days went by shamelessly. I trained alone, I ate alone, and I may as well have been alone. When it came for me to impress the gamemakers, I scored a six out of twelve. I was fairly content but I knew I had no chance in the games anyway. Being able to shoot a few arrows into some stationary targets isn’t going to help me survive in the Hunger Games.

The night before we actually got dumped into the arena, I couldn’t stop thinking. I thought up a plan. It was crazy and rash, exactly what my brother had told me not to do, but it just might work.

The morning dawned cold and cruel, just like the coming event. I was about to enter the 78th annual Hunger Games. I only just realized that I didn’t have a tribute token to take in with me. A pang of sadness hit me as I realized that I wouldn’t have anything to remind me of my parents. Oh well, I thought to myself, if my plan goes as intended then I won’t really be needing to remember my family in the short time I’ve left them for.

I was given the required uniform for all tributes to wear and Cinna braided my hair back like Katniss does. I felt a little wretched at all I was leaving, all I was throwing away, sacrificing for the good of others. Tears made my vision blurry as I was pushed into the glass tube which would take me up into the arena. I waved to Cinna and a single teardrop slid down my cheek, falling onto the cold metal circle. I looked straight ahead as I began to rise slowly with a metallic whirring noise. I saw the cornucopia about a hundred yards away and prepared to run. I had to get to the top. Ten. Nine. Eight. Seven. Six. Five. Four. Three. Two. One. Go! I leapt of the platform and sprinted as fast as I could towards the golden structure. I reached it before anyone else but didn’t grab anything. I climbed to the very stop and started yelling and waving my arms around. By now, everyone was at or around the cornucopia and I had their full attention by now. The careers and multiple others already had loaded weapons in their hands and I noticed that the girl from District 1 had a bow and arrows; she could shoot me right here and now. But she didn’t. And neither did anyone else. They all seemed to want to know what this crazy girl (me) was doing up here. They must have been wondering if I had a death wish or something. In a way I kind of did. I was willing to die and was no longer afraid to do so. I figured that if I was going to die, I wanted to make a difference somehow. “Tributes! Listen to me! Why are you doing this? Why are you letting the Capitol, President Snow, trick you, fool you, manipulate you, and lie to you? Don’t you see? We’re all just pawns in a bigger game. They’re sacrificing innocent lives to remind us of some dumb war! We don’t need reminding. We see it every day. In our everyday lives. We are worked to the bone and for what? Money? Food? We’re not getting nearly as much we should be. So join me! Stand down! Put down your weapons! If we all refuse to fight then we can prove to them that we are more than capable of an uprising. We could rebel. We could overthrow them. We could be free. All you have to do is stand down.” I wasn’t sure at which my braid had come undone and my hair was fluttering around my face, carried by the wind. All of a sudden I felt a sharp pain in my chest. I looked down and saw crimson blossoming out over my heart. I had been shot. I knew that there were no guns down there with the tributes; it had to have been the Capitol. Everything seemed to happen in slow motion then. I slowly began to fall and in my last moments to live, what I saw put a ghost of a smile on my deathly lips: the tributes had all listened to me. They were throwing down their weapons and holding hands in a line. They were defying the Capitol. And it was all because of me. As my body hit the ground in front of them, hair splayed out around me like an angel, I realized that I had achieved all that I ever wanted. I had wanted for people to react with emotion to the sound of my name. I wanted them to know who I was. I stopped the 78th Hunger Games. Now, I knew what people would feel when they heard my name.

 Pride.

My name is pride.

 

 

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