The Reapings

Katie - District 1

I feel a bounce in my heart as I wake up. The morning of the twenty fifth writer games. My family do not know this, but I am planning on volounteering. I can't wait to go on.

"Katia. Get up. You need to get ready." My six month pregnant mum tells me, I can see she has been worrying already. Her eyes her teared up and red. I refuse to look to closely, fearing it will waver my response.

My two youngest sisters, Talia and Fearn come running in, shouting in excitement. 

"The writer games are today! Yey. I hope we get a big chicken at the feast!" Talia tells me, jumping onto my lap. 

"Do you want a big chicken?" Fearn asks me. 

"Yeah, sure. Yummy." I tell them, knowing my mum would literally kill me if she knew I was going to volunteer today. 

Darra came through. Her usual pout upon her face. 

"what's up with you?" I ask her, raising an eyebrow. 

"Dads yelling at Sard again!" She complains, plopping herself down beside me. 

"what did he do this time?" My Mum sighs. 

"I dunno. Something about  not coming home last night." Darra shrugs.  With another sigh, my mum turned and left my room. 

"where's Raka?" I ask Darra. 

"He's in bed. He doesn't have to get up till an hour before 'cause he is too young" Fearn answers for me. 

"What's the time?"

"Two hours to go." Darra informs me. 

"Okay. Time to get ready." I tell them. 

"Yey!" Fearn and Talia yell in perfect synchronisation. They run over to the wardrobe in the corner of my room, then attempt, and fail, to open it. Darra walks over to them, laughing. 

"Nothing to be exited about." She tells them, reaching in and taking out their matching Pink dresses. They scurry of to their shared bedroom to dress. 

Darra takes out her own light purple dress and goes to her bed at the far corner of our room. I get up out of my bed and reach in for my dark purple, tight skinned dress, going back to my bed, I take my nightie off and shrug into the dress. I look at myself in the full length mirror on the back of my door. 

My tall, skinny body looks back at me. Long brown hair cascading down my back. I pick up a large bobble and tie my hair in its usual pony tail. My bright blue eyes look back at me, a hint of excitement shown in them.

I turn to see my sister looking like a mini me in a lighter dress. We smile at each other before leaving the calm of our room and entering the chaos of the rest of the house. 

                                                           * * *

An hour and a half later, we are all finally ready. We leave the house. At the end of our garden, I glance back at the house. Identical to the ones around it in every way, but also completely independent from the rest. It is my house. And it could be the last time I ever see it. 

I turn back to my family, my mum holding little one year old Raka in her arms. Talia and Fearn skipping along together looking in all the world, like twins even though there is a four year age difference. My big brother, Sard, walking on the over side of mum, passing frequent glares to our father. My father has my mums free hand. Darra has my dads other hand. 

Little old me walks two metres behind them all, guessing their reactions when I volunteer my self. I know dad will be worried, mad but also proud. Worried and mad from the fear of losing his eldest daughter, he will also be mad because of what happened to his only sister in the first games. She got picked. He was too young, by a year, to participate. She was the twentieth to die.  My sisters will be jealous. Me getting all the attention. Sard will be delirious with anger. He hates the idea of the games and everything to do with them. If I survive, he will probably never speak to me again. 

We arrive at the town centre. Kids aged eleven to eighteen are put into groups of sex and age. I am the only one from my family. My sisters and younger brother are too young. Sard to old. 

I get put in with the other sixteen year old girls and quickly find a spot in the middle of my best friends. Nervous looks are passed between us as the town square goes silent I haven't told them what I am doing either. They would have told my mother and I would never get this far. The woman who had announced these games, twenty five years ago, walks steadily through the crowds of separated kids, to the front.

She stands in front of us, looking at us all with a big, sincere smile on her severely tanned face. 

"Welcome everyone to the twenty-fifth Writing Games. Because of a large dispute that erupted between the top 24 writers. So each writer has been chosen to create a character. You, my dears are these characters. One of you lovely young females and one of you handsome young males are to be chosen to decide the best author. Best of luck to you all. And may the odds be ever in your favor." With that, she steps to her right, standing over a bowl I had not noticed earlier. 

"Ladies first. Now tell me, do any of you brave girls want to volenteer?" she asks. 

I take in a deep gulp of air, pictures of my familis reactions flashing through my mind, and raise my hand. 

"I would like to volunteer as the female." I say loud and clear.  

A loud collective gasp is heard around the court. The gasp breaks up into a million different murmured conversations. The female has to shout to be heard. 

"All right dear. Please come up." I do as she says. Stepping away from my spot and slithering through the girls until I reach the wide passage way in the middle. 

"What? no! Katia! what on earth are you doing?" I can hear my Mother scream. Talia and Fearn start sobbing. I refuse to look back at them, again fearing my resolve and instead walk purposefully to the front. I stand on the raised platform at the spot indicated. I still refuse to look at my family. My sisters are crying and I can hear my father cursing. The only sounds in the whole court. 

"Thank you dear. What is your name?" She then asks me.

"Katia." I tell her, ignoring the sobs at the back of the court.

"Well. Congratulations. Katia. The twenty fifth writer games contestant from Dstrict one!" She says gleefully.

The woman then walks over to the other big jar. "Any males brave enough to volenteer?" she asks. No one moves. I look down at my feet, my heart hammering as I begin to rethink what I had just done.

I glance over at the males. I scan the crowds until I see him. My guy. The guy I have always had a crush on. 

"Okay then." she says allowed, then, under her breath, "How disappointing." She she continues louder, "I shall pick a name. 

She puts her long, thin, delicate looking hand into the jar and selects one of the thousands of pieces of blue paper. She takes it out, unfolds it and then, clearing her throat she says...

The End

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