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The Book

Mum woke up in the night. Again. I always thought that only kids got nightmares. But mum’s always had them. I just hadn’t noticed until a few weeks ago.

But come day time, she’s back to being happy, back to being joyful. I’m sitting with her under the shade of the tree, watching dad play with little Finn in the long, golden grass.

“Prim, could you come with me?”

Mum gets up and heads back towards the house. I’m wondering if I’m in trouble, but I head towards the house anyways.

I find mum in her room. There’s a book on the bed.

“Prim, what do you remember about the Hunger Games in school?”

I’m taken aback. “Not much. Just that after the Dark Days, the twelve remaining districts, as a punishment, had to give one girl and one boy to the Capitol, who would then place them in an arena where only one would survive. But what has that got to do with anything? The Hunger Games were abolished 27 years ago.”

“I know you’ve noticed my nightmares. Your dad has them too. This book will explain everything. Your dad and I won the 74th Hunger Games, and were a part of the 75th, although that was never finished, because by that time, the second rebellion had begun.”

She handed the book to me, and I took it uncertainly.

“Make sure Finnick doesn’t see it. He’s not old enough.”

Im the only one who calls my little brother Finn. Mum and dad both call him Finnick.

The book is dark, and if my mum hadn’t given it to me, I would have stopped reading it a long time ago. But this is the key to understanding mum’s nightmares, and, it turns out, mine and Finn’s names. Primrose Everdeen. My aunt, who I never got to meet. Finnick O’dair, a good friend of my mum and dad’s, who died during the rebellion. And a hatred of the long dead Capitol surges through me. What they did to my dad. And I understand now.

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