It had been two weeks, Aspen was finally healed., but tomorrow was the day I was dreading forever. The reaping day. I woke with a panicked scream. I had a dream, I was picked. I don't know how but it happened. I saw myself burtally killed by another tribute. Tears streamed down my face. No one was ever here to comfort me when I had nightmares. No one. My mum did when I was very little but, I can't remember the last time I saw here. She was driven mad when her sister was picked a she watched her die in the most terrible way. I looked at the clock, it was very early in the morning. I couldn't fall asleep now. I walked to my closet and picked out my brown leather jacket. I threw on some green pants then my brown combat boots. I need to get out.
I trudged along the soft, damp moss of the forest path. The tree's soft whisper against the wind was like a lullaby, soothing and warm. It was so welcoming and calm. The feeling of security was all around. The colour of trees around me were so breath-taking, there was no birds chirping anymore. They had all hid in the trees for the dreadful day to come. Only silence. There would be an occasional snap of a twig or crunch of leaves but the forest had lost it's life. Even the creatures of the forest had feared this day. I walked to through the forest until I came into a meadow. It was gorgeous. The tall grass was a the shade of fresh hay. Pine trees surrounded it and kept it enclosed, safe, and protected. A bit in the distance a hare nibbled on some dandelion, their favourite snack. I pulled back my string and aim for the eye. Ready... and release. I told myself every time. It struck the animal killing it instantly. I liked this method because it brought the animals no pain. I walked to the rabbit and pulled out the arrow. I wipped the blood off on the grass then grabbed the ears and put it in my game bag. I put the bag on my shoulders like a backpack and continued on my morning hunt.
When the sun rose I had collected three rabbits, and a turkey. I was very lucky. I was now heading to Luke's house to give him the rabbit. When I arrived I realized it was still to early for everyone. Luke and Aspen would need their rest, so I left the game in their kitchen with a note saying, "Meet in the meadow" -D I felt bad for my friends, they had to go through the reaping since they were 12 till they were 18. Just one last year.
We had all met in the meadow. Throwing blueberries Dawn had brought in each other's mouths seeing would could catch the most. Luke threw one in my direction I moved towards the berry and caught it in between my teeth. I bit into the delicious berry and the flavour exploded in my mouth. One of the sweetest things I have ever tasted. Thank you Dawn! I thought to myself. "Luke, How many times has your name been put in?" I asked. Luke looked down before answering. "thirty- five" I herd a gasp from Dawn. That was a lot considering our district having so little people. Dawn looked down. I could tell she felt bad for us because she never had to be reaped. "I had 21." I said. Dawn shook her head. I looked at the rising sun. It was time to get ready for the reaping. "Guys we have to go, it's reaping time." I said calmly. Luke and Dawn nodded.
I looked a the beautiful white dress that Fern picked out for me to wear to the reaping. It was to pretty to worn to such a painful event. I took a quick shower and dried my long hair. I put on the white dress and then did my hair. Once I was finished I looked in the mirror. I actually looked pretty. The dress was tight on my waist then flowy below. My hair was pulled up into a pony tail which I added a pink crown of flowers. Fern walked in. "Oh dear, you look dazzling!" I blushed. "Thank you Fern." I told her.
The center of town was filled with all the citizens of district 7. They were all so grim. A man walked on stage. His voice was boring and plain, but he looked, just plain weird. Must be from the capital. Blue suit, green tie and green... hair. He also wore weird looking makeup making him look extremely tan. "Welcome lads and ladies." he said. It was dead silent as I watched from the stage. "We are going to watch the video then the reaping will began, now here is the video from the capital." he said lifelessly. Everyone turned to the large screen on the stage and watched the same old video we always watch. Blah Blah you shall be punished blah uprising blah tributes. Finally the video was over and the capital man spoke. "Ok ladies go first." he said and reached his hand down the vase filled of names. Then name I herd next broke me. "Pepper Skylark." this girl was a long time friend and I loved her dearly, she was only 12. She started to walk up to the stage. I can't let this happen she is small and will never make it! I let my emotions over take me. "NO!" I yelled. People looked at me like I was crazy. Pepper looked at me with sad eyes. "Don't go Pepper, you can't." The next words I said ruined me. "I volunteer." I said looking at the ground. Pepper shook her head. I can't let Pepper go. She is all I have left of my mother. She has a family that loves her. "Ok, the mayor's daughter, come on up miss." My legs shook so hard I could barley stand. Pepper stood there her eyes welling up. I walked on stage. "Now your name is...." Dawn Carter." I mumbled. "Ok moving on. The next girl. Serria Rosslinn." Everyone looked to a tall blonde girl hidden in the crowd. Another scream appeared. "I volunteer for Serria's place." The all to familiar voice said. Aspen walked forward and joined me on the stage, she looked so elegant. She wore a dress similar to mine but brown. Her hair was up in a very messy bun. She looked at me and grabbed my hand and squeezed it. I searched the crowd for Luke. I couldn't seem to see him. The capital man who's name was Burit. It said on a name tag on his tux, called out another name. "Ashton Irwin." A boy who I recognized came forward. He has sort of long brown hair that was really messy. Him and Luke were good friends but something happened. Ashton walked to the stage and joined Aspen and I. We all shook hands then turned to face the crowd. Luke. I thought to myself. He has lost everything. His whole family died in a fire a couple years ago. My eyes teared up. I looked to the floor. "Ok last name." Burit said rummaging through the names. He picked a name close to the bottom and unfolded it, the butterflies in my stomach started again."Luke Hemmings." I closed my eyes as Luke walked to the stage. How did all three of us end up here. Luke shook hands with all of us giving us sad eyes. At least, we will die together.
My father and Fern were able to say one last good bye. My father came first. He approached me with an angry face. When my father was close enough he right up smacked me across the face, hard. I felt a stinging sensation rise and my cheek turn red. "Why would you ever volunteer for such a peasent? You better win this! If you don't you will die a failure and a disgrace to me." he told me then walked out of the room. Tears streamed down my face. Fern entered the room and wiped my tears. "Oh honey I'm- I'm so sorry." she said in between sobs. "You will win. I know it you have true skill with that bow of yours." she said startling me. I never told her about that. "How-." Fern put her finger to my lips. "Shhh, honey you can keep your secret safe with me. I love you to much to do that. Now remember no matter what everyone says. Don't kill those friends of yours. You will regret it so much. And, the Ashton boy, be his ally. He is very skilled to and I trust him with your safety. He will protect you. Now I got to go. I love you so much and I believe in you." Fern said in her slight country accent. "I love you too Fern." I said as she left me in the room alone.
The train. Wow the train. It was surprisingly beautiful. Steel walls so clean you could see a clear reflection in it. Weird colourful food sat on a table next to some lounge chairs. I was so used to the dull food of district 7... Burit introduced us to our Mentor, Tegan. She sat on a chair in front of us. She was truly beautiful. Long jet black hair framing her pale oval face. Her almost golden eyes stood out being very bright attracting my attenchion. She had a very skinny face, it looked like there were holes in her cheeks from her thinness. "Welcome. I'm Tegan your mentor. I will be giving you tips on how to survive. I can tell you one thing," Tegan leaned her face in closer. "The arena has no mercy at all." she said coldly. "Now introduce yourself." she said in a more friendly way. Aspen quietly started. "I'm Aspen and I am 17 years old." she said then looked to me. "I am Dawn and I am also 17 years old." I said. Ashton started. "I am Ashton, I turn 18 in a week." he said sadly. I looked down sorry that he was almost safe when he was picked. "I'm Luke and I am as well 17." "Wow." said Tegan. "Unique for all of you to be 17 years old and not a different age range." I sighed then spoke. "I volunteered for a 12 year old. There are not many younger kids, most of them died in the big district 7 fire." Luke looked down, he bit his lip holding in a sob. That's the fire his family died in. "Wow. I'm so sorry." she said. "And the thing that hurts district 7 the most is that we are all friends and we would die for and with each other." uttered Luke with a frown. I could hear a little sniffle from behind me. I turned around and saw Burit was crying. "It must be so hard for you guys?" he asked. we nodded. "I'm so sorry." he said then turned around and walked away. "Ok, now to the rooms." Tegan said.
We each got our own room. Though we wanted to share, we didn't. That's when I realized how hard this was going to be, so I called the others to form a plan.