Not Alone: The 130th Hunger Games

District Five Reapings

Sapphire Everlast's POV (D5F, 17)

"Sapphire, hurry up! It's reaping day!" my mother calls from downstairs. Of course, how could I forget. Another year where two kids from Five have to go and fight to the death in the Hunger Games. I am absolutely terrified of the Games, they are the worst things ever. Especially since the 124th games, when my older brother was killed by the Boy from Two. He hadn't even made it past the first day. He was my best friend and trusted brother, and now he was just another fallen tribute. Until he was reaped when I was eleven, he would train me in a few skills, including knives, just in case I was reaped. Even though I have some training, I would never volunteer for the glory of it.

I roll out of bed lazily. This is the second to last year of reapings for me. Just two more years and I will be free. I go over to the mirror in the corner and brush out my long blonde hair. Due to my hair's extreme thickness, it takes longer to get through the tangles and snarls. Once my straight hair is tangle free, I pin a few stray strands with a copper hair pin. I make sure that my hair is parts so that it covers the back of my neck, where I have this weird scar in the shape of a flame. Ice always been self-conscious about it, so the only people who know of it is my mom and my dad. I add some light make up and a thin layer of black mascara to complement my navy blue eyes. Make up is a luxury in Panem, reserved mostly for District One and the Capitol. However, since my dad is an executive at one of the main power plants, we can afford a few luxuries, like mirrors and makeup.

I go over to my small closet and pull out a simple grey dress. Even though I'm part of a wealthier family, I don't shove it in other people's faces. I try to be as average as I can while giving back to my district by donating to charities. I slip on my worn brown combat boots, and head downstairs to find my mom making breakfast.

My mom, Alana, is honestly the best mom in all of Panem. Unlike most mothers, she doesn't spend long hours at the factories wiring memory chips and such. Instead, she stays at home, taking care of me and making sure our family runs smoothly. She's always big on family togetherness, ever since my brother, Emerald, went into the games. Once a week, on Sundays, she hosts 'family night', with sweet treats, games and lighthearted chats. I love those nights, where it's like the Hunger Games don't exist and the Capitol isn't ruthlessly controlling everyone.

"Good morning, Sapphire!" My mom calls out to me. I can smell the delicious omelet she's cooking from the other side of the room.

"Hey, mom," I reply as she hands me a plate of a delicious omelet. I sit down at the table and quickly eat it all. I slept in today, and I only have fifteen minutes to get to the reaping. In District Five, reaping attendance is the most enforced rule. If you're even a minute late, you'll be beaten by the peacekeepers, or worse. When I'm finished, a set my plate in the sink and hurry out the door to meet up with my next door neighbor and best friend, Kat. Her real name is Katrina, but she always insists that it's too old fashioned and shortened it to Kat.

As I'm heading out the door, my mom calls after me, "Your dad and I will meet you there!"

"Finally. Took you long enough, let's go!" Kat says. Sometimes, I have to strain to hear her, her voice is so tiny. Kat is my closest and pretty much only friend I have. We've known eachother since we were toddlers.

The two of us speed walk down the street, not wanting to be late. We are the stragglers who are always the last to show up. Many people arrive almost an hour early to reaping, they're so afraid of being late.

As our feet slap against the pavement road, I sense movement from the corner of my eye. I look to see two little orphan kids, maybe about six or seven years old, digging through trash cans for food scraps. A wave of sadness comes over me as I see their tattered clothes and dirty little faces. Quickly, I rush over to them.

"Sapphire, what are you doing? We're going to be late," Kat warns me.

"One sec, I'll be right there."

As I get to the kids, I dig my hands through my pockets until I manage to find a few bits of money. I hand the paper bills and silver coins to the kids and they look at me with smiles of pure joy on their faces.

"Thanks!" the girl cries as she and the boy run off to buy some food with my donation. I love the feeling of happiness after I help out those in need. It's not fair how the class systems are so messed up. In Panem, you're either poor or rich, their isn't really a middle ground.

With one more look over my shoulder at the two kids, Kat and I run off to the town square.

William "Will" DeVon's POV (D5M, 18)

"Will! You're going to be late!" my grandpa calls from down the hall.

"Just let him be late. It's his fault for not getting up!" I cringe as I hear my grandmother snap. Figures, she has always hated me and wouldn't care if I lived or died. She's got quite a temper, and I'm pretty much positive that she blames me for my parents' deaths. Well, my mom did die in birth of me, but that couldn't have been my fault, right? And how could I have prevented my dad from dying of the Flu when I was two years old.

Not wanting to be late, I throw on some ripped jeans and a tattered black tshirt. I really don't care about how I look, it's not like I'm going to be reaped or anything. Besides, the other people in the district couldn't care less about me. I'm a quieter guy, and I don't really talk much. Apparently, I'm 'hostile and impossible to be around'.

I finger brush my short chestnut hair and pull down my jeans to cover my long scar on my left leg and I march downstairs. Grandma is no where to be found, she's probably off reading one of her classical books in her room. Grandpa is sitting in a chair at the kitchen table reading the daily paper. I go and pour myself a bowl of granola cereal and sit down by my grandpa. My grandpa is the only person I can really trust. He's my only friend and father figure in my life. He can be really protective of me, but I just get used to it.

"Your grandmother probably isn't coming to the reaping, she found a new book, so we won't be seeing her for a while. But it's about time to go," grandpa says, "are you ready?"

"As ready as I'll ever be," I respond, moodily. I throw on a dirty jean jacket and begin the trip to the Reapings.

Sapphire Everlast's POV (D5F, 17)

Kat and I stand shoulder to shoulder in the seventeen section of the town square.

" Good luck, Kat," I whisper.

" You, too."

Then, our escort, Killen Dove, come up to the stage, microphone in hand. Killen has been the escort for about five years now and I really like him. He's not stuck up like some of the Capitalites we've seen on TV. He's more modest and definitely more friendly than the last escort we had, Geddian Jeanine. Killen is more average looking with reddish hair and pale skin. The only artificial part about him is his red colored eyes. Many of the shallow popular girl's in our district say he's hot and they want to marry him. I see how they would think that. He's got huge muscles and is very charming.

"Good morning, District Five! Happy Hunger Games and may the odds be ever in your favor!"

Killen goes through the whole usual speech about the rebellion that happened 130 years ago, and I basically tune it out. I've heard it every year, and I've practically memorized it.

"So without further delay, ladies first," he says, smiling. I think I heard one girl from the eighteen year old section swoon.

"Katrina Dublin!"

I look over at my friend, who has silent tears pouring down her face. No, not her, too. I can't lose both my brother and my best friend to the games! Kat wouldn't even have a shot at winning! She can't even kill a spider on her own!

"I VOLUNTEER AS TRIBUTE!" I scream. Kat looks at me in shock.

"No, you can't so this, Sapphire. I'll go," Kat panics. But before she can stop me, I run up to the podium to join Killen. I look down at Kat, who is sobbing and my parents just have shocked expressions. I can't go back to them though, I've already made my choice.

Will DeVon's POV (D5M, 18)

I watch in shock as a girl with long blond hair runs up to the stage. I recognize her from town, but I never really talked to her. However, I am astonished by her courage. We haven't had a volunteer from out district since Gertrude Chambers, the hobo boy. However, he died in the bloodbath and his district partner, Dannin, was killed by the psycho girl from District Seven. I hope that this volunteer actually has some skill.

Our escort, Killen, struts over to the boys' reaping bowl and pulls out a name,

"William DeVon!"

What? No no no! This can't be, this was my last year! I was so close to being in the clear and now I have to be a tribute! I'm terrified, absolutely terrified. I act tough, but I won't actually be able to kill anyone. I'll be just like Gertrude, I won't win! I'm trembling as I shyly go up to the stage and join Sapphire and Killen.

"Alright, shake hands," Killen orders is, calmly. I gaze at Sapphire, who gives me a look of sympathy and sorrow.

''Ladies and gentlemen, our District Five tributes!"

As the crowd stays silent as usual, two peacekeepers in white uniforms escort me away from the stage and into the justice building, where I wait alone and in silence in a dark, cold room.

I hear faint chatting from outside the doors and my grandpa bursts in. Tears are forming in his old, grey eyes, but he stays strong for me.

"Listen, Will. We only have a few minutes. You can win this thing, you can. Find an ally, maybe a shallow air head girl. Make her fall in love with you and betray her in the end," he tells me with purpose.

"Grandpa, you know I don't like fighting girls," I whine. It's true. I'm a gentleman and I will not harm a girl, no matter what.

"Fine, then. Just do what you have to do to win. Do you understand?"

"Yes, Grandpa."

We lean in to hug, probably for the last time and tears begin to fall from both of us. We remain in our embrace for the remainder of the visitation, until Grandpa is escorted out, leaving me more alone than ever.

Sapphire Everlast's POV (D5F, 17)

I sit alone in a dark room, with heavy red curtains covering the windows and cold air blowing everywhere. I shiver in the breeze, hugging myself to stay warm.

"Sapphire!" I look up to see my mom and dad come rushing in. Mom is crying and dad is trying to stay clam, but I know that deep down, part of him is dying.

"Why did you do that?'' mom asks through tears.

"I couldn't let my best friend die! Not after Emerald. I'd have no one," I begin to sob as I realize that now my parents have lost both of their kids, "I'm sorry, mom."

"It's okay, Sapphire," my dad comforts me, "I have something for you to use as your token for the games."

He holds out a necklace, no a locket.

"What is it?" I ask, curious.

"It's a locket with the picture of us. It's shaped like a flame, just like the one on your neck," he unclasps it and puts it around my neck. The chain glimmers a shimmering gold.

"Thanks, dad. I love you."

"We love you too, Sapphire," my mom whispers.

As they are shown out of the room, Kat come rushing in, still crying her eyes out.

" Why!? Why did you do that? I could have handled it," Kat bowls, wrapping me in a bear hug.

"I couldn't see you go. Not after Emerald," I tell her.

"Fine, but try to win. Please, just try," she begs me.

"I will, Kat. Take care of your brothers."

"Please win!" Kat cries as she is shoved out the door.


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