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The 34th Hunger Games

By @GuineaPigWriter13

The Reaping

My hands fumble on the ties of my dress. I’m shaking so badly that I can’t hold onto anything for more than a few seconds, in case I drop it. Pull yourself together Willow. But I can’t. More than anything, I want the nerves to go away. I want to go away. Away where no one can ever find me. Except maybe my brother. I’d tell my brother. He means the world to me, and I will be so glad if his name isn’t pulled out of the bowl, because then he is safe. I want and need him to be safe, because then he can make sure I’m safe, because no one else can. But this, this is something he doesn’t have any control over. And it scares me. It scares me to death. Because there is every chance that my name will be picked; every chance that I will never see him or District 7 again.

Josef takes me to the town square. He holds my hand, and gradually, gradually, I stop shaking. Then a peacekeeper drags me away from him.

“Josef!”

He looks at me, then says, “I’ll meet you when its over.” But I’m not much comforted. I’ve never done this before though. My name’s only in there once. There are so many others whose names are in there 30 or so times. They’re not going to pick me. I feel reassured. Slightly.

i join a line of other twelve year old girls. All my classmates are here, looking just as scared as me. They prick my finger, and I’m glad of it. the sharp, quick pain shoots through me and it helps me to focus. The nerves retreat a little as I take my place amongst my classmates. All we can do now is wait. Wait with the knowledge that two of us won’t be returning home. Wait with the fear that it could be one of us.

Mattia Linker walks onto the stage, sporting a brightly coloured wig, and ridiculously high heels. She heads over to the microphone.

“Well”, she said, in her clipped, chirpy Capitol accent. “Happy Hunger Games everyone. And may the odds be ever in your favor.” She makes her way over to the girls’ ballot. My heart begins to beat faster as she snatches a slip of paper with her talonned nails. She walks back to the microphone, and unfolds the bit of paper.

She reads out the name but I don’t hear it. The world has stopped, and me with it. I can’t breathe.

Then the worlds comes crashing down on me and I acknowledge the sea of parting crowds, making way for someone. Making way for me.

“Willow Shiels? Is there a Willow Shiels?” Yes there is. God help me, yes there is.

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