Hi, I am Maple Serena from district 7. Life has a way of throwing obstacles your way. Like now for instance. I am standing in the district square, waiting for this year's tributes to be reaped. I feel sorry for the poor kids. District 7 hasn't had a victor in years. The last person was Andre Pears who won the 78th games and is our only living victor left. Every year we have kids fight to the death in the arena, some even look promising, but they don't last. Most don't even make it pass the first day.
Like last year's tributes. An 18 year old brute that looked as if he could snap someone's neck like a twig and a 15 year old that, even though she was young, could swiftly kill somebody with a knife (She was fast). But the boy died in the bloodbath. He got careless and was taken down by a career tribute. The girl was good though. She made it to the final 3 but died in the final battle.
This year though, is a little scarier. This will be the 100th hunger games and the fourth Quarter Quell. Yes, a quell. Held every 25 years and each one having a twist. The first quell got everyone from each district vote for their tributes. The second quell had double the amount of tributes competing. The third quell was interesting, or so I've heard. The tributes were all victors, who had won previous games. As I have read in the history books at school, Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark, winners of the 74th games, caused a rebellion but failed horribly.
I can remember hearing about the 4th quell twist just like it was yesterday. I can remember how hurt I had felt.
I look around at my family. My father is sitting on the couch, his arm around Fern's, my stepmother's, shoulders. My little sister Venia is playing on the floor with an old rag doll that my gran brought for her when she was born. My gran is sitting just behind her in a lone chair. I smile at my family before looking at the television set.
We have all been told to watch the television today at this time. The announcement for the 4th quell is being announced. The screen fills with the capitol seal with the national anthem playing. A screen pops up on the screen, President Arin with her bright red hair curling around her face and over her shoulders. Her blue eyes, icy as ever and her bright full red lips standing out against her snow white skin.
"Hello my nation. Welcome to the reading of the card ceremony" the 'Witch', as I call her, says into the microphone. I hear the roaring of the crowd as she carries on talking. "On the twenty-fifth anniversary, as a reminder to the rebels that their children were dying because of their choice to initiate violence, every district was made to hold an election and vote on the tributes who would represent it."
That must have been hard. I can't begin to imagine what the chosen tributes would be thinking.
"On the fiftieth anniversary" the president continues, "as a reminder that two rebels died for each capitol citizen, every district was required to send in twice as many tributes."
Imagine that. Facing off against double the amount of tributes. Having to fight against 47 kids. Some guy from district 12 called Haymitch won that year. He won by using the force field around the arena to take out the last tribute. Not bad really. He was one of the victors killed after the second failed rebellion.
"For the seventy-fifth anniversary, as a reminder to the rebels that even the strongest among them cannot overcome the power of the Capitol, the male and female tributes were reaped from the existing pool of victors."
That was the start of the rebellion. The tributes broke out of the arena and those who were not caught by the capitol were taken to district 13. Everybody thought that district 13 was destroyed, but they moved underground. They had an agreement with President Snow, if they stay silent and under the radar then Snow will leave them alone. After the rebellion failed, President Arin had it destroyed for good this time.
"And now, for the one-hundredth anniversary, to remind the rebels that no one can overthrow the glorious Capitol. The reaping age will be extended. Tributes will be from the ages ten to twenty."
I was shocked. That made both me and my little sister eligible to be reaped. I only just got out of being reaped last year. Venia is only 10 years old. If she was reaped, she wouldn't make it pass the bloodbath for sure. As she was in my arms crying, I promised myself that if she did get picked then I would volunteer. I won't be able to watch her be murdered by some trained career who would make it slow and painful.
Suddenly the anthem burst out of the speakers set up around the square. I look to the stage to see our Mayor make his speech about how good it is to be under the Capitol's power, such a lie. Then I see Merinetta Coster take the stage. She looks as pathetic as always. Green puffy wig and crimson eyes that pop against her pale skin. Her get-up is just as worse. A dark green shirt and a camouflage pencil skirt with giant high heels which add about 10 inches to her height. God knows how she could walk in them.
"Greetings district seven" she shouts into the microphone. God I hate her stupid Capitol accent. "And welcome to the reaping's of the one-hundredth hunger games and the fourth quarter quell."
"No need to remind us you freak show" I mutter under my breath causing the girl next to me to snicker. I turn and smile at her which she returns.
"Well then, what a big celebration this is. A quell and an exciting one at that, now enough with the introduction. Let us get on with the reaping" she shouted the last part out. I cringed as her squeaky voice vibrated through my ears. I am so glad they don't show the little video clip now. They stopped it a few years back for no apparent reason. "Because we chose the female first last year, let's go with the male first." Merinetta made her way over to the male reaping bowl and dug her hand in. She pulled out a slip and read it out, "Oak Chambers."
I see a terrified boy walk from the 15 year olds section. He looked fragile and by the look of his body, he comes from the poor part of the district. He stumbles his way to the stage with everyone looking at him pitifully, even Merinetta who I thought was void of all emotion except for joy.
"Right then, onto the female tribute" Merinetta chirped as she went to the female tribute bowl. She dug around inside and after a couple of seconds, she pulled out the slip. She reads it out clearly, "Maple Serena."
Like I said, life has a way of throwing obstacles your way.