ReapingOnly Child. District 12. Today is Reaping day. One of the very few exception to the 'school everyday' rule. We all line up. I look at the stout man sitting at a table, and when it is my turn, he roughly yanks my arm down towards him. He uses a small metal tool to prick my finger. It stings. Then he pushes my small, slightly bleeding finger to the paper.
I am only 12 years old. I'm terrified. I only have my name in there once. My parents made sure of it. But still. I still watch the terrifying films every year. There have been 99 other Games. The Gamemakers are getting good. And the Capitol is expecting a lot for this year. This year is the 4th Quarter Quell, the 100th Hunger Game. Everything changes on a Quarter Quell. They can do anything it seems, make the District vote for the tributes, double the tributes, put victors in... Still my mother and father comfort me in the knowledge that I am only 12. My name is only in there once.
The announcer lady steps onto the stage in front, wearing some bright green suit, really long hair, and a huge furry hat. She pulls out a small card from a stand, reads it to herself quickly, and reads her own speech for the rest of us.
"This year's Quarter Quell will be quite exciting..." Her voice is very high pitched. Like a mouse's, it squeaks and hurts my ears. She drones on. I don't listen until I hear the following: "... for this special occasion, all 15 through 19 year-olds will be exempt from this years Games! Ladies first!"
What? That can't be.. No! They can't do that! She draws the first name. I never did have much luck. "Aspen Quista!" I tremble. Tears threaten to spill over my eyes. I look around wildly for somebody. Anybody! Everyone stares. No one comforts me. My mother is far away, but I can hear her sobbing through the silence. I slowly make my way up to the stage. "Good, and now, the boys: Zorran McNestor!" A path is made and a young boy slowly makes his way up. He just stares at the ground.