Eagle-Eye

16 year old Ven Fairweather has been hunting alongside his sister ever since their parents passed and even moreso since their uncle has become sick. When Ven gets Reaped for the 12th Hunger Games he transitions from small time hunter providing for his family to being the hunted. Will he survive the 12th Hunger Games? And what about Trin, the cunning Career from District 4? What exactly drew Ven and Trin together? Find out in this Hunger Games fanfic.

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2. The Reaping

THE REAPING

 

                Our mother used to tell us about the Reaping when we were little but she’d shield us from watching it as it was and always will be, I suspect, televised across the nation of Panem. We weren’t eager anyway to see the fading pictures of deceased Tributes being displayed across the massive screens in the Square. Now if I was fortunate I’d emerge as the Victor. I swallowed the nervousness down into the bowels of my stomach and self consciously smoothed out the wrinkles in my grease strained trousers.

 

                Every District: 1-12 had an escort for their two Tributes. The Tributes were usually one girl and one boy although there were exceptions however minute they were in happening. One could volunteer in the stead of a selected Tribute in case of their being chronically sick or injured. My father volunteered in his brother, our uncle’s stead as he’d been stricken with a bad case of pneumonia from one of the harshest winters District 11 had ever seen. It had taken us weeks to recover from the wheat famine that had resulted from the frigidity of the cold air and brisk winds. The snow had blanketed the miles of fields a coating of ashen white.

 

                “Good morning District 11 and welcome to the 12th Hunger Games,” our escort roared across the Square. She wore a garish petticoat the color of electric blue, possibly to bring out the green in her eyes. I’d be lying if I said I knew a thing or two about fashion. Many residents would echo the same sentiments that resonated strongly within us: she looked ridiculous. You didn’t have time to pick out clothing that brought your eyes out when you had numerous hungry mouths to feed. It was beneath you.

 

                Even Daisy was peppy, annoyingly optimistic and unrealistically couth. She was the very antithesis to what I represented for my District. And a part of me didn’t want to get picked if I had to deal with her kind for the duration of my stay in the Capitol. She was Capitol grime. They were insipid and lived only to cheer and rally support for their Careers—kids who had been practicing and seemingly blessed and invested with the power to win the Hunger Games year after year. We did have a victor from the 7th Hunger Games but he was a perpetual drunkard and constantly inebriated and ungrateful and just an all around nasty and unbearable person to be around. If you were graced with his presence you’d know what I mean. Still, I’d rather be with him than the effervescent Even.

 

                You could hear crickets chirping across the field signaling that evening would soon be approaching. No one said a word. Our mayor stared glumly at his citizens across the Square. A woman tried to quell the incessant coughing and crying of her distressed infant. A child wailed for his older brother “not to go.” Our uncle nervously picked at his cuticles. I stood taut and erect and sure.

 

                I was trying to convince myself that I was confident like I had been just ten minutes ago.

 

                “Okay well, Mayor Plumfeather, shall we start?”

 

                “As always, Miss Daisy, please do us the honors,” he droned on in an affected manner. He was feigning pretentiousness for our sake. But deep down, he was a sympathetic and righteous character and cared a great deal for his people. The people adored him as much as he us.  

 

                Even plunged her hand deep into a great glass ball of white slips of paper and stirred it around vigorously. I counted in my head and bit my bottom lip impatiently. I glanced over to the girls who were ostracized, as per tradition for every District, to the far left end of the Square. There was a girl there with hair as dark as sienna wood. She had a burly look about her because she chopped wood and provided lumber and firewood for her family during the colder months. She also cared for the horses and was an equestrian type. Part of me wondered if she’d be picked and if so I’d be honored to be against someone of her friendly and endurable nature. She had a natural affinity for nature and its creatures. But could I kill her? I took one look at her sea green eyes, a marked trait of our district and decided that I couldn’t.

 

                I’d never killed anyone in my life.

 

                “Ladies shall go first right, gentlemen? Alright here we go …,” there was a pregnant pause and then …, “Peony Fairweather, Peony dear come up please!”

 

                My eyes widened and my hand outstretched for my sister’s plain white dress. It was unadorned with anything—no brooch or pin or anything. Just a plain cotton dress garbed her lithely body used to climb trees and barely stumble over roots. I couldn’t lose her eased laughter and bright smile and that vivaciousness. So I did the only thing I could do because she needed to be with uncle and uncle needed to be with her.

 

                “I volunteer! I volunteer in my sister’s stead as tribute!” I screeched and every single pair of eyes looked at me in wonderment and curiosity. 

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