District 4, boy

District 4 Male - Jason Henry.

The waves of the ocean crashed against the shore, the sun was slowly making its way across the sky. The day of the reaping. Every year two of us have to leave the warmth and security of our family and lift our chins to the occasion of the Writer’s Games. The rules are simple enough – 24 go in. 1 comes out.

The ocean is a crystalline blue and the waves are slow and small, as if they too are sad. Even the wind is still and is not singing the way it does on normal days. “Jason!” I turned around to meet the sky blue gaze of my little 12 year old sister. Lily was standing on the banks of the beach, her skinny arms drooping by her frail sides. Her head was tilted to the side and her blue eyes glimmered with unshed tears. Dad had her wearing a small, flowing white dress that swayed around her knees like a waterfall. She looked so pretty for her first Reaping.

I pulled my feet away from the gentle water and hugged her fiercely. Lily wrapped her skinny arms around me and looked up. She was seconds away from tears. I knelt so I could be eye-level with her. “I promised I’d protect you till the very end. And that’s what I’ll do.”

The morning haze had disappeared completely by the time we reach the town square. The stage is lit and the kids – all with faces of unrelenting fear – filed in to their respective places. Youngest at the front, oldest at the back.

Even from my place at the back, I can see Lily’s whimpering figure at the front. Comforted by a little girl next to her. Rage flows over me. How can they be so cruel as to make innocent kids go through this? It’s wrong on so many levels.

Suddenly, my mind is ripped from my train of thought as I stare at the girl taking place on the stage after her sister is pulled away. It’s not hard to imagine what is running through her mind, or that of her family’s.

The escort from the Capitol, a psychotic lady of some description, hesitates for a millisecond before her hand dives into the bowl containing the names of all the eligible boys in District 4. I don’t even have the time to gasp as my name is called in her shrilly voice.

The End

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