District 13 - The Time For Change

This is an entry into the 'Hunger Games: Catching Fire' competition.
It's a short story following a young girl named Marlin Leonie. Marlin's mother died giving birth to her, and her father later died in a weaponry-testing accident. She is cared for by a young girl named Hanora; however the absence of Marlin's parents makes her feel lonely and isolated, and she feels a constant longing for answers and change. She's heard the rumour of an upcoming second rebellion - something she dreams to be a part of. This dream seems near impossible - that is until District 12's legendary tribute, Katniss Everdeen, shows herself at the 13th District of Panem.


1. A Simple Act of Defiance



     I'm Marlin Leonie, and I live in the thirteenth district of Panem. We're hated by the Capitol, because we're labelled as the one, true cause of the first Rebellion. And, as far as I'm concerned, to be given that label is an honour in itself. I'm proud that my ancestors fought for what is right. And when the time came, I wanted to be a part of the second uprising. I knew that one day, our time would come. And a matter of fact, it became nigh sooner that expected...

     The day started like any other. We prepared ourselves once more for the long hours ahead; the same, slaving away  as every other day. The same tiresome routine as it is every other day. Following the same schedule so conveniently tattooed onto our very skin from just ten years old. It needn't even be there at all; it feels etched right into the forefront of my mind. But, I decided that this was the day I wanted to be different. This was the day I wanted it to end. Enough was, finally, enough. Today, was going to be the day that I made my stand.




     It was time for The Command. The time when me, along with all the other boys and girls at 12 years old are given just 2 minutes to request any changes that we wish to make to our schedule... Others wrote innocent things. Innocent things such as, 'let me play with my brother for ten minutes extra each day', or 'let me have an extra portion of pudding at dinner.' But me? I wrote one word. One simple word. Six letters; infinite possibility.

I wrote, 'change.'


     I closed my eyes and drew in a slow, deep breath; and waited for the moment I knew would soon come. And it did. I felt myself being violently dragged to my feet and pulled along through some double doors. The other children's gasps and screams now muffled, and a million miles away. I was taken down a long, narrow corridor, through some more doors, then finally thrown to the ground, hearing my only method of escape instantly slam shut behind me. I looked around. There were tables draped with white lace cloths, decorated by fine vases containing exotic-looking flowers, shining every colour of the rainbow. There were exquisite paintings inside solid gold frames, wrought-iron candelabra's and a huge, fur rug. I couldn't help but sigh one huge, sorry sigh; partly due to disbelief, anger, confusion, jealousy... but also to stifle a laugh at this absurd choice of interior design.

     "What's wrong, Marlin? Do you despise of my choice of decoration?"
  I jumped at the sudden, unexpected sound of another human voice, then turned my head slowly to find that President Coin was standing right above me. For a few, long seconds of amazement, I silently stared into her big round eyes. Snapping back into reality, I realised how rude I was being, and remembered how I should behave in the presence of the president of District 13. I slowly began to bow my head downwards.

     "Well now, there's certainly no need for that." she stated, reaching out a hand to help me to my feet. "I've had my eye on you for a while now, Marlin Leonie. You're quite an extraordinary young girl of 12, aren't you?"

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