"Jean-Louise Finch!" The escort, Choux Pip, anounced in her distasteful Capitol accent. The rest of District 7 was silent. For a moment, everything around me blurred. I'm going to die. I'm going to die like Jem did. A skinny girl standing beside me nudged me and drew me back into reality. I took in a deep breath and stepped foreward to the stage.
As she picked out the boys name, I stared into the crowd. One person stood out a little. The girl that was beside me, now filling where I stood. I saw her mouth move. At first I didn't understand, but later I figured that what she was saying.
* * * * * * * * *
"Atticus." I said to my father. "What happens if they choose me?" I'd been pulling at the collar of my dress, and Atticus knelt down to fix it. He looked into my eyes through his glasses with a hard expression.
"They won't choose you, Scout." He stood up and turned around. I knew it was a delicate subject, but it was almost impossible to avoid on Reaping Day. I tried hard not to talk about it ever since my brother died.
Jem was my best friend. He always seemed to nice to be a brother. It was just after I'd turned 9 when a was chosen for the Games. At first I didn't understand what was going on. My father had tried to protect me from the terrors that were supposed to disipline the nation. When we were saying goodbye to him in the Justice Building, both Jem and Atticus were strong, and acted as if he was going on a luxury trip to the Capitol and was sure to come back. He never came back.
Jem survived to be one of the last 5 tributes. But that's when it gets ugly. Or uglier. In the final days, people get desperate, allieces break, and it's every man for himself. My brother got desperate. He was tired, wounded and weak, but he wasn't going to give up. He wasn't giving up for me.
At twilight, he was deep in the mountains. He had no idea that he was being followed by a Career tribute from District 1. Steeve Copperden was his name. Tall, strong, smart. Everything a tribute feared in his opponent. As Jem lay to rest for the night, he heard rustling in bushes around him. He thought it was something to hunt, so he only took a knife. It wasn't anything to hunt. It was his death. First, Steeve pinned him to an oak by his neck with a trident. By this time Jem had dropped his knife and it was about to be used against him. The demonic tribute carved into Jem's arms the words; May the odds be ever in your favour. He proably would've bleed to death, but it wasn't enough. So, Steeve sunk three arrows into his chest. It still took him all night to die.
His dying cries echoed across the nation. I'm sure the Capitol found it perfectly entertaining. But it tore Atticus apart. Our friends had told him to stop watching, but he couldn't, as much as he wanted to. I suppose he felt guilty and was trying to punish himself. Even if he had stopped, the screams of pain wound haunt him forever.
"They won't pick you, Scout, I promise."
How wrong he was...