The sun was shining the next morning and I was working with Dill and Marin on a small bit of the garden that way they can get the crops in the ground for this round of the late spring season. I bent over and placed the seed from my small seed pouch into the ground and placed the ground on top while Dill already had the watering pail ready to go over the seed that had been sewn. I watched proudly while the ground transferred the water to where the seed will get its start of food for the next few days. Dill looked proud of his work while I wiped of the sweet that gathered on my face and neck because of this horrendous decree my Mistress gave us to where only black today. As I stood I had glanced in Marin’s direction and he was acting like he was interested in me.
The light in his eyes was different than what I normally see in an Avox eyes but I started to like it. His chiseled black face made him look odd within the rest since his skin is almost like bark on a tree where his eyes might as well been grown as white mushrooms with movable lush green color centers. Marin moved his red leafed ear length hair before He showed his white teeth at me before it quickly disappeared and he pointed to the city which had suddenly sparked with activity.
I can hear the hoopla that is in the main sector of the capital as if a bunch of war vets of the unknown brigade had just came home with goodies for the needed district, but instead of food and necessities there are glitter and unneeded materials that would make the poor want to kill one another more than ever just for a look.
“It’s that time of year again.” I read from Mirin’s book and I shuttered thinking that it had to be the Hunger Games once again and the Tributes just arrived to see the Capitaninimals before they die for shier bloodshed.
“Hunger games.” I mouthed thinking that I am glad that I am here and not there. I had been in several places where owners were not this mournful or someone else’s lost. They would drag us Avoxes to the parties and had them watch what their fate would have been so the drunken days after the owners could destroy souls instead of being thankful that some of us chose this fate.
I went back to what I was doing trying my best not to see any one of us as the tributes. The presentation should be later on in a few minutes just to give the tributes long enough to settle into their hopefully last abode for the winners are going to clash for the rest of their lives and that is a battle in itself.
I planted the seeds into the ground and I thought of each tribute that would be in the Hunger Games. Three seeds in the ground, three chances that one would sprout and flourish till the harshness of life might take the rest of the crowded arias out leaving the few to grow fully. Meanwhile in these games, there are more than the three that are planted, there are twenty four if they live through the first five minute bloodbath then the rest would flourish into something else but they still would have the harsh life before they can truly call themselves free by dying in their sleep or by their own hands.
I tried to keep focus but the seeds seemed to switch from seeds to heads that I am thinking about the tributes more and more now to where they were tiny heads that I was planting in the ground instead of the seeds. I threw the bag to the ground thinking that I need a brake while the crowds hassled their way and the noise continued.
I feel a hand on my shoulder and it was Dill’s. His facial expression was full of concern of my sudden reaction. I slowly grabbed my book from my bag and my pencil and wrote. “I’m scared for the tributes.” I wrote knowing that I wasn’t only thinking of them.
“I know sweetie, the wind had blown them to a different direction to where they will become something none or few of us would understand.” I read from Dill’s other notebook and I wondered why he showed me this one till I spotted the title “personal thoughts and creativity” on the cover. I thought that it was sweet of him to share this with me as I hear Mistress calling all of us in for a minute.
I knew what was going to happen promptly as soon as we go in. We are going to watch the reaping of this game. My stomach turned a little thinking that I am going to do this once again while a real savor would not even let us watch or even mention it, sadly it is a rule so we all are forced weather we want to or not.
I slowly grabbed my bag while Dill was on his way into the house and placing his water bucket to where he can get right back into gardening as soon as that symbol turns on to say that the program is over. I was at the steps when I spotted Marin go into the shed but he looked around first as if there was something that he wasn’t supposed to do in the next few minutes. I cocked my head a bit while he went in and I fallowed thinking that there had to be a reason that he wanted no one to know.
I plastered myself to the side of the shed where I could easily hear but not be seen in both pathways. I thought that there was something going on as I suddenly saw Catre come out of the house and into the shed. It had given my mind something to run on as they started to settle in to the shack not knowing that I am right there listening in.
“So is it what I thought it was?” Marin asked and I was surprised that HE can speak as well. His voice was like dull church bells that ring in the churches before service which matched his complexion perfectly.
“It is… And it is going to be soon that the Avox will be here at the plantation.” Catre sighed and he slowly let out a long breath of air.
“The capital had gone on an outcry since they are doing too much for Mistress to do this again. Do you know why Mistress is doing this once again? It isn’t obvious this time like you or me. A under aged girl and a pussycat type of man that just happened to grab all the girls and if it wasn’t for him being saved he would have died.” Marin explained and Catre nodded in agreement.
“I’m not sure Marin. It can be anything; even just working there can be an excuse or even making a bridge inside the Perfection institution.” Catre sighed looking like she could put everything together.
“I agree but there is something in the air that doesn’t make me feel pleasant Cat, we better watch our every move since anyone can ruin this sanctuary. “ Marin chimed and Mistress walked in without me noticing and apparently it was the same for those two.
“There you two are! We must all gather, the presentation will start at any minute.” She choked while Marin and Catre exchanged contact for a moment before leaving with her and I fallowed a long time after.
I made my way to the living room trying to take in everything that had happened in just a few moments to where we all became intertwined. I looked at the field as not only tributes but also the Avoxes that I come to work. I opened the door to the entryway and living room and Mistress and everyone else was already settled into seets, the floor or anywhere else where they could find a spot around the projector.
“Zava, we had been waiting on you to come!” Mistress perked up while she continued, “Since you are the newest Avox I think you should have the honor of turning on the projector for this year’s games.” I never would have imagined that of all people that would morn the losses of the tributes, she would be the one that is the most excited to be seeing the reaping. I glossed over the set of eyes that were looking at me as I noticed two things, one was that everyone was dressed in black and the older Avoxes are paired with a younger counterpart almost to learn from them and then take the older one’s place.
I slowly walked like a zombie to the projector. I felt like I was going to watch someone to their graves as I pressed the button thinking that I am hoping that it is not anyone that I know well from eight is in there this year. I can see the little glowing bulb slowly came out of its yearly slumber to show this year’s games. I hear the capital chimes as the same sorrowful history lesson started to play.
“Good we haven’t missed much.” I hear Mistress right next to me as I felt Catre take the armrest looking like she had just seen a ghost come from the wall. The play of the story was horribly played and then it was the tributes that were called up. The numbers came up first and then I saw the first person volunteer themselves to die from one.
I would never understand why no one would do such a thing as letting yourself die other than if there is a very good excuse behind the entire thing other than honor. I already can hear the tissue boxes being passed around to the few that were shedding tears for the first two being called, apparently, knowing these two souls.
I couldn’t help but notice a corner of Catre’s speaking notebook was opened and she was writing something close to the same thing angrily as well as writing it over and over again as if she was trying to memorize it. I waited till she was finished with the first page to see what she was writing: “It should had BEEN ME.”
I wondered what she meant by that statement since Catre is here and all that she had been through sounded she was saved before she had a chance to be in the Hunger Games. I felt as if I am not understanding her at all and I am missing a lot of what she is hiding about herself and all the Avoxes that are hear other than the ones that had been abused but how many more around me were supposed to meet the excruciating sound of silence and realizing that your tongue had been taken without your permission.
Suddenly Catre must have convinced herself that she can’t watch anymore of this disgraceful nonsense. She bolted from the room and I started to fallow thinking that I might as well be the one that saves her instead of letting her die.
Catre was already holding a knife and I thought that she was going to die as she had started to gag herself with her tears to where she threw the knife in the sink. Catre hovered over the sink as I slowly came to her since she had only lasted three districts before she broke.
I set my arms around her and she placed hers on my hands. “I needed that Zava.” She said before she turned to hug me. I smiled kindly and then twerked my head in suggestion that we go back.
“You can Zava, I prefer not to till the presentation is over.” Catre sighed and I placed a hand in hers and then wrote: “I’m here for you… Why are you so upset or rather not talk?” Catre opened the window to let some cool air hit her face and I watched her eyes go from sad to lost as if she is seeing her young self once again going through everything that she had been through.
“I might as well tell someone the truth since I had been keeping it kind of bottled up.” She sighed before she continued. “What I said last night was true but wasn’t all of my past and the story that I am here in the first place. I was reaped and placed in the Games itself.”
I looked at her in shock and wanting more. A person that was declared dead and is standing right here in front of me is unheard of in this realm. I grabbed her arms since she had become silent as if she was trying to choose her words and mouthed, “Tell me more.”
“I tweaked the games a little, that is how I got out and placed in the system.” She quickly finished and it was not enough as I quickly wrote, what seems like now, the three letters that I had been writing this entire time I got here. “HOW?”
“I cut my chip out of my arm ok? I destroyed it to where those CREEPS thought I was dead. I was scooped up and acted DEAD till I knew it was almost safe but the government found me and I went into the Avox system as another girl since I burnt my prints off just before they caught me finishing up the possess. ” She snapped at me and at the very end she showed me her hands and there were no traces of ruffles anywhere on the ends of her fingers. I was happy to see, who has to be, one of the twp strongest people that I have ever known to go through. Plus I was happy that I wasn’t the only other Anti Governmental figure here to where I felt like hugging her and Mistress for saving the both of them and the others as well as giving every single Avox the power of speech one by the way of writing.
Then the door chimes went off making me jump high out of my mind. I quickly spun around as Mistress hustled to it as Catre and I huddled behind the corner to listen. “You better have a grand explanation for bothering me at this hour knowing that the reaping is on the projectors! IF you are a salesman you should be completely ASHAMED!” she barked before she swung the door opened and the shock on her face said who was at the door before she spoke her first words of greeting.
“Mr. Sorrow! I didn’t know you were coming.” She shrieked as he took off his regular hat that looked like a western hat from a long time ago. His fine clothes looked quite expensive and old worldly to where it was almost like he was on his way to a party before he was called into work. I thought it was disgusting that he was dressed so festive since he should be going to a prayer session or a memorial for the tributes instead of the inspected party.
“Tis quite alright, Nacy. I just want to speak to your Avoxes ALONE if you don’t mind.” He explained and her facial expression changed from shock to worry as she glanced back to everyone possibly wondering what is going on.
“You can say it to me Sorrow. I know my Avoxes quite well to know what they are doing twenty four seven.” She hissed and Mr. Sorrow glared at her as if he was trying to be cocky.
“Mam, Some of your Avoxes had been seen outside of the institution last night and since you refused to let me in I must take you with me to the Peace office.” Mr. Sorrow chimed as if he was having way to much fun with this conversation and that he had this much power that he can abuse as a head peacekeeper of the Capital.