The 5 of us ran along the road. The noises raising out of the factories were deafening, but you could see on our grinning faces that we were laughing. Even if it was Reaping Day.
"C'mon As'ad!" Adeeb called back to me. When I finally caught up he sighed and said, "Your getting slower."
Hannah sniggered. "How are you going to cope in the Games running like that?!" Hannah was the oldest of the group, and the only girl. She was only a girl in appearance though. She was pure boy, right to the core. All of the girls in school are so soft, Hannah had no choice but to hang around with us.
Diya and Farid looked at her nervously. It was our first year of being eligable for the Games. All of us were the same age, 12. Though she'd safely been through the Reapings twice, we'd only ever seen it on T.V, and the nerves were starting to settle in. "What happens if one of us-"
"Stop it Adeeb!" Farid shouted.
He was taken aback, but I nodded. "He's right, we shouldn't think like that."
* * *
For the first time I stood in the large crowd of boys in the square, my body shaking a little. I was ashamed to admit it, but I was scared. Really scared. What's going to happen if I get picked?
A strange looking woman with a strong Capitol accent walked onto the stage. "Happy Writer Games!" She said, smiling. "And may the odds be ever in your favour."
As usual, the girls went first. I didn't really pay much attention. I should've. Hannah could've been picked and I barely would've noticed. I looked over when gasps echoed across the square. A girl stood with her hand in the air. She was volunteering.
"Now the boys." The escort said when the girl was up on the stage.
She unfolded the paper.
"I- I volunteer!" I muttered, barely audable. The escort didn't hear, but the boys around me did. They pushed me through the rows to the stage. I saw Adeeb being held by a Peacekeeper, tears streaming down his face. Farid and Diya too were crying.
The escort seemed pleased to see me. "Well, well. Two volunteers? I am impressed." She was beaming. "And what's the name of our brave tribute?"
I told her blankly, as I stared.
I looked to Hannah. She was deep in the group of girls. The Reaping was the only time anyone could get her so near to someone of her own gender. Their was a dry look across her face and something twinkling in her eye.