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I look in the glossy mirror at our house and smile. At least I look nice. It is the reaping day in district 1 for the 74th annual Hunger Games and my mother has put me in a flawless white dress, she has done my shiny hair in two fishbone braids.I steal a glance at the iron clock on our wall and read 12:57. The reaping is at one. Wouldnt want to be late.I open the door and walk to the square where the drab affair is held. My friends walk by to compliment my hair and pretty dress but a face in the crowd watches me. Marvel. This morning I caught him in the small, ugly, meadow that has yet to grow because of all the luxury factories spewting black oil. I had risen early and was out for a walk. He looked distraught, and me, being curious walked over. "Hey," he said. I didnt know the boy but was insanely curious so waked over."Glimmer? Thats your name right? I mean, people talk about you enough." I reply," Yes. If you dont mind me asking, do you think I should be....happy? I could be picked. Its what Im trained for. But....I feel mad. All those years of getting tesserae to enter my name more dont sound so smart right now.." He nods." Im Marvel, by the way. I cant imagine what you feel but I think getting picked wont happen for me...and i'll never know. 'Cause Im leaving. The district." I shake my head. "Dont. We've got it pretty good here. And who says you'll get picked? And..um..where would you go?" He seemed not entirely sane. We have enough to eat. We arent poor. But this boy didnt seem to care. " No Idea. But...I want to be free....and....and....well, you seem to be right....fine. I'll stay. One more reaping. Your right. We are careers. The odds are always in our favor. Thanks....if we dont get picked, see you around." After that, he left. I then remembered seeing the boy in school. And he was, well, at least reasonable. So here Iam. Reaping day, pretty and doubtfull. The brightly clothed escort introduces the mayor and he reads our list of victors.......i count 17 in all. After that is the dull treaty of treason, the kind of hunger games laws, and then turns the attention back to our escort, whos name I have never paid much attention to, and she approaches the girls names.
I freeze as my name is read.
Someone behind me pushes me and wakes me from my panic. I pretend to smile and wave politely to the escort, who beams back at me. "Congratulations Glimmer and happy Hunger Games!" she says. "Now, for our male tribute.." she reaches in the second large glass bowl, then draws out one of the perfectly folded white papers. I dont even remember to wish for Marvels safety when the name is read. And a-look who it is. Its my newest issue.
Who looks about ready to punch my face in.