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PARATIME (37th Hunger Games) - Chapter 1


It was exactly 20 years ago, when my mom was reaped to be one of the tributes and became the victor of the 17th Annual Hunger Games. After 5 years, she gave birth to me.

Hi. My name is Bliss Anterly; 15. Brunette with green wolf-like eyes, and a medium-built person, I’m not seeing myself as an attractive person. For ordinary boys in District 5, they always wanted to date a blonde and sexy girls, like Denise Atkins, the mayor’s daughter, and Delia.

I am living with my mom, while my dad is working at the fabric factory in District 8. I have a best friend named Delia Foxes. We’re friends since we were 5, and still, our friendship holds to last forever.

When I was 3, my mom luckily didn’t join the first Quarter Quell, well since there are 4 more living female victors aside from her. But sadly, none of the District 5 tributes returned alive after the Quell, including Delia’s mother.

So sad to know that every year, 23 innocent lives are taken up, for entertainment. I had survived 3 reaping seasons already, hoping to survive the fourth.

Today is another reaping day, another stomach-aching, breath-taking and mind-twisting day. Now, I am beside my best friend, and with the other girls, crossing their fingers, while the other side, the boys. Others were nervous; others were calm, accepting the fact that there is a pinch of chance of their names to be reaped today.

I don’t want to be picked; neither do I want my best friend to be in. I tapped her shoulder and whisper.

“If they pick you, I would volunteer,” I say.

“Me, too,” she says, while lingering her blonde hair.

“No. You stay,” I say, with the words emphasized obviously.

“Just pray our papers be jinxed, so that they’ll never seek for it,” she says, with humor rising on.

We burst into laughter, forgetting the tension. After several minutes, the people from the Capitol came. The two white-armed men holding the two terrifying fishbowls, then the other armed guys marching in, guarding the guests, and the District escort, Valerie Sway.

For me, she dresses really horrible, because I hate pink. Her curly black hairs with pink highlights were visibly irritating and her square face was full of pink glitters, with extensive make-up (which means dark pink lips with bright pink blush-on and eye shadows). Her pink sequined cocktail dress matched with pink ribbon-printed leggings and down to her pink wedges.

“Here comes the pink lizard,” Delia kiddingly says.

We laughed again until we heard Valerie’s tiny voice.

“Good day, District 5. Here we are again for the 37th Annual Hunger Games reaping. From these fishbowls are the fates of two spirited young man and woman in honor of representing the District 5,” she says, smiling in front of nervous people.

The district gave applause before Valerie spoke again.

“We’re not gonna waste time. This time, I’ll select first the girls,” she says, then the marching armed man carrying the girls’ fishbowl.

She pressed her hand, she shook the papers inside then when she finally got the one, she usually raises it to see.

She opened the slip and said the name clearly.

“Bliss Anterly”

I was motionless. I didn’t move. I felt nothing, but hatred. Delia started to release tears, the first time I saw her crying for me.

“Where is Miss Bliss Anterly?” Valerie asks again.

I raised my hand straightly. All stared at me. Then the guards walked towards me.

“No, Bliss, don’t go. I wanna volunteer, just please... please don’t go,” Delia mewled, kneeling in front of me.

I moved with the guards without looking back at her. Hard hearing her begging, I just crossed my fingers and sauntered. The guards started to restrain her from moving a bit to me. It was hard, a painful moment between me and my best friend.

Her father gets her, her body still battering for me for me to go down from the stage, for us to come home like nothing happened.

I was already on the stage, watching her throat coming out from her mouth. I know she would not volunteer for me, because she thinks of her father. Without her, Mr. Foxes would be as miserable as he lost his wife.

“Bliss Anterly, the victor’s daughter is our newest tribute! Give her a round of applause,” Valerie says.


--- kirstenchin

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