Why Are They Jealous?

Why Are They Jealous?

Laryn Herrera, Writer

This is a Hunger Games Fanfiction

Chapter One: The Kiss of Death

She calls my name “Clara Keenville.” Jemma Turnbottom stands at the podium with ruby red hair, yellow lipstick, orange eyeliner, and a sapphire inlaid dress. She has a slip of paper in her hand. My name is on that paper. I take a shuddering breath and approach the podium. As I walk by friends and family look at me with jealous smiles. Why are they jealous? I thought. I could get stabbed,  drowned, or starve to death and they’re jealous! By all means, Take my place! I almost yelled as my best friend Taran stared at me with wide eyes and a broad smile on his face. I reach the top step and stand next to Jemma. Her perfume enters my nose and I have to clamp my hand over my mouth to stop from gagging. To hide this rude gesture, I start breathing heavily and pretend to cry although after a minute I don’t have to pretend anymore. Tears run down my cheeks in little rivers and I have to be careful not to sniffle too loudly. I calm down in time to hear who the male tribute is. “And the male tribute for District 2 is… Caspian Keenville.” The crowd goes silent. How is his name even in the Reaping ball at all? I scan through the crowd and that’s when I see him. He steps out of the crowd of boys and walks with a limp up the steps to meet me and stands next to Jemma. He has a blank look in his eyes like he is a zombie. I can’t bear to look him in the eyes any longer, so I turn away and focus on my dress. My dress is a knee-length bright pink off-the-shoulder look that was given to me for reaping day. 

My attention is turned away from the dress when I notice the peacekeepers. As I stare at them my mind wanders. I almost scream when one puts their hand on my shoulder. Reaping Day precautions I think. Last year the female tribute tried to run off the stage but then she tripped and fell breaking her leg and dragging the Escort with her. The escort wasn’t injured but the tribute had a shattered leg, a broken nose, and other severe facial injuries. The Capitol doesn’t care how you look coming into the games; they only care if you follow the rules and kill other children like a good tribute. She went into the games and died two days later with a still bleeding leg. When her body arrived on her parent’s doorstep her mother killed herself with a kitchen knife and her younger sister ran into the woods only to be found dead two days later. Her older sister had been reaped for the games two years earlier and was killed. That left only her dad who still lives alone five houses away from mine. Now, I guess Peacekeepers have to watch us tributes closely so we don’t do something stupid like that again. We are forced to follow our escort into the huge building we call the justice building. Chandeliers hung from the tall ceilings and velvet couches seemed to be everywhere. I had only been into the justice building once when I was little. I am directed to go into a small room and wait for my family to arrive. The small room has a very intricate ceiling and one blue velvet couch. I look around and noticed that there are cameras hidden in the corners of the room. I’m still looking at the cameras when a door I hadn’t noticed opens and my mother and sister appear. The first thing I notice is that my mother’s face is lit up by the huge smile. My sister looks as though she has no idea what’s going on. My mother rushes through the doorway and engulfs me in the biggest hug I have ever had.  She pulls me over to the couch and takes a seat right next to me. 

“Oh my dear, I am so proud of you! My family with two children in the games! Oh, how wonderful!” She said in an almost dreamy voice. I wanted to scream. Being from District 2 she considers the games to be a sort of joyful holiday and if one of her children gets reaped, she considers it a blessing. In a way, I just want my family to leave so I can get on a train and head to the capitol, so I can confront my brother and maybe even kill him before the games start if I get the chance. As if she can read my mind she says “Oh yes my dear, I almost forgot…” and then her sing-song voice disappears and it’s replaced by a serious voice that makes me want to break eye contact with her but that would be a sign of weakness, and if there’s one thing my mother hates its weakness. “Don’t Kill your Brother. You will stick with him until the end of the games, and sacrifice your own life if it means that he has a chance to win, Do you understand?”

“Yes, Mother, I understand,” I murmured. I didn’t really think my brother would survive the night and if he doesn’t  I don’t think I will.  Even if I did win somehow my mother would kill me when I got home. With that, she got up and walked away. My sister sat there staring at me with wide eyes. I felt sorry for her, I was going to the games with our brother who had left 3 years ago, our older sister had died from a fever when she was 7 years old, and now she was left with our mother who probably expected her to volunteer for the Games next year. She took one small step forward and then rushed towards me as if she had made up her mind about something that had been troubling her. She hugged me and started sobbing almost uncontrollably. 

“Clara, Ignore mom, kill Caspian, he has done nothing for us. He left! I don’t care what mom says. Just try to win, I want you to come home. If you kill Caspian along the way who cares!” Then she turned and ran out the door slamming it behind her. I blinked in surprise. Milly never talked to anyone about mom like that. No one else visited me to say goodbye. I wish that Taran would have stopped by, he was the only boy that I cared about. Less than a minute later four peacekeepers showed up at yet another door and told me it was time to head to the Capitol-bound train. As we were walking past a hallway I saw someone run around the corner in a grey tweed suit. Just like the suit, Taran wore to every reaping. Something must be up. Taran would have visited me to say goodbye and he would have known not to run in the justice building if he valued his life. I keep walking and looked away so I wouldn’t draw any attention to the hallway. We have almost reached the exit when Taran ran out of a door and stopped right in front of my escort. The peacekeeper to the left of me told Taran to get out of the way or else. Taran just stood there and looked me straight in the eyes as if he was trying to have a conversation with me that I didn’t know about. When Taran didn’t move the Peacekeeper to the right of me took his gun from his shoulder and turned off the safety 

“Seriously kid, I will shoot you if you don’t move.” My heart stopped. Would they really shoot him? He was still staring straight into my eyes. I moved my eyes to the left to try to tell him to get out of the way but he just kept staring at me. What is he thinking? Does he want to get himself killed? The Peacekeeper cocked his gun and raised it to his shoulder. Before the Peacekeeper had time to shoot, Taran races past the three Peacekeepers left guarding me and seizes me by the shoulders. Then he leans down and kisses me! Not a small peck on the cheek for good luck but a kiss on the lips given by a boyfriend or a girlfriend. I stood there in shock while my best friend kissed me and I didn’t realize that Taran might have loved me. During our kiss, the Peacekeepers surrounded us and all four had their guns raised and aimed at Taran’s head. The Peacekeepers just stood there pointing their guns at us but not shooting. Why won’t they shoot? One blow and Taran would be just a pile of flesh and bone. A chilling realization popped into my head. If the Peacekeepers shoot at Taran they would also kill me because we are so close together. If these Peacekeepers shot and killed both Taran and I District 2 wouldn’t have a female victor and I’m pretty sure President Snow would not be very excited to hear that. Off in the distance, a train whistle blew and all four of the Peacekeepers looked up. The Peacekeepers looked at each other for a split second and all nodded in agreement to some unspoken decision. The Peacekeeper that had threatened to kill Taran grabbed him by the collar of his shirt and pulled Taran away from me. My heart started to pound and a lump formed in my throat What are they going to do to him? Will they kill him just for kissing me or for some other reason I don’t about? Taran gave me one last look and smiled. 

“Good luck,” he whispered. Although his mouth was smiling the smile didn’t continue into his eyes. His eyes had a frantic look in them as he realized he was going to be killed. I tried to run to him but the Peacekeepers stopped me. I watched helplessly as a Peacekeeper dragged my best friend to his death because he kissed me. Taran and the peacekeeper were out of sight when I heard the scream. Taran’s scream. Next was the gunshot. The gunshot echoed off the walls of the justice building and many of the workers looked up in wonder.  I closed my eyes as if that would make all of this disappear. It didn’t help. images of Taran being dragged away flashed through my mind and only made reality hurt more. Seconds later the Peacekeeper reappeared but this time he had little speckles of blood on the front of his uniform and his hands. I frantically looked down at my own hands. The feeling of having blood on your hands was already starting. The Hunger Games hasn’t even started and I have already killed someone.