I feel someone start shaking me awake. Gale… I groan. I take my pillow and throw it at him.
“Go away,” I say.
“Sorry, can’t time to go hunting,” He keeps shaking me.
“Alright alright i'm up,” I say getting up, “Now go,” I point to the door. He walks out. Same routine everyday, Gale shakes me awake to go hunting then we hunt. Simple. I silently get into my jeans, and black long sleeve shirt. I make sure it to wake up Lizzie. I walk out of my room. Gale is sitting on the old run down dull brown couch. My entire house is one floored, four roomed and dull. I slip on my boots and put my black hunter’s jacket on. It's way too big for me but I don't care. We walk out. It's not a far walk to the fence. The so called electrified fence that no one is allowed near it across. We listen for the buzz of the fence. Nothing… it's never on. We cross. I take out knives from a tree stump and Gale gets his ropes and snares. We set up the snares one by one. We walk away. It's great time for catching any unsuspecting rabbits. We walk around. I see a squirrel in a tree. I walk over to an adjacent tree and climb up. Gale always calls me a sugar glider the way I can jump from tree to tree like i'm gliding. Knife in hand I jump and pierce the squirrel in the eye. It had no time to react. I jump down with the squirrel in hand.
“Let's go check the…” Gale turns to me and i'm holding the squirrel to his face. He is really tall but i'm 1 year younger than him so it doesn't matter, “Snares…” I slightly giggle. I put the squirrel in my belt and we go back. Many rabbits at hanging over our heads.
“Guess it worked,” I say.
“It always works,” Gale replies. I climb the tree and drop the rabbit down. Gale catches it. I jump to the next tree and do the same. I jump to another tree and I see a girl looking at the snares. I jump down silently next to Gale. I point in her direction. She has dark hair in a side braid. She looks around my age. She walks over and touches the snare.
“What’s your name?” I ask coming up from behind him. She widens her eyes and flinches at the sight of me.
“Katniss,” she says barely over a whisper. Must’ve spooked her, I think.
“Well, Catnip, stealing is punishable by death or haven’t you heard?” Gale says.
“Katniss,” She says louder. And too late, the name’s fixed in his mind, I think. He calls me Luah cause that’s how he heard it when I told him, “And I wasn’t stealing it, i just wanted to look at your snare, mine never catch.” Gale doesn’t look convinced. Right, like anyone wouldn’t want about 10 fresh rabbits, I think sarcastically. I raise my eyebrows in an unconvinced way.
“Um… hum...” I trail off.
“So where’d you get the squirrel?” Gale asks her trying to keep it civil.
“I shot it,” She says. She takes a bow off her shoulder.
“Can I see?” Gale asks.
“Sure, Just remember, stealing is punishable by death,” she says handing it over to Gale. He smiles. He looks at it then hands it back. She picks up her sacks and goes off on her own.
“I've seen her before. I think her dad died in the coal mine accident like ours,” I say.
“Yeah I think so,” we finish getting the rabbits down. We walk back to the fence. I touch the fence and feel a shock go through my entire body. I give out a yelp and jump back.
“What's wrong?” Gale asks.
“It's on, the fence is on!” I reply with shock.
“Uh oh…” Gale says.
“Today's the reaping, even though I'd love to miss it if one of our names are picked it wouldn’t be fun,” I say, “besides I promised Lizzie I'd be there with her on her first reaping.” Gale holds my shoulders.
“We can get across somehow we just need to be calm,” he says. I sigh and nod. I look around I see a tree and a branch that goes over the fence.
“Gale!” I yell he comes jogging over. He sees the tree
“We can get across using the tree just be ready to jump,” I say. He nods. I climb up the tree I then start crawling across the branch I get to the end and take a leap of faith. I land on the ground hard. I feel a small tang in my foot but I shake it off. Gale lands beside me.
“Let's never do that again,” Gale says. I nod. We run back home. I race into my house. I open the barley on door. All eyes look to me.
“Where have you been!? It’s only an hour to the Reaping!” Lizzie says running up to me.
“Sorry, the fence was on and Gale and I had to get over it somehow,” I reply.
“Okay, barid please,” She turns around. I quickly braid my sisters hair and put it into a nice twist then pinning it to the rest of her hair. I then go back to my room and change into a green dress. It’s the same one every year. I keep my hair in the same back braid. I walk out and My brother is leaning against the run down counter that will fall apart sooner or later. He’s wearing his usual clothes.
“Ready to go?” He asks. I nod. We all walk out. We split in lines of boys and girls. My sister’s name is only in there once, we didn’t allow her to take any tessere. My mother and brother didn’t want me to but I did anyway. We get into the line and then I see the lady up front pricking fingers and scanning them. Lizzie saw too and freaks out. She starts to cry. I hold her shoulders.
“They… they… they…” She can’t talk.
“Shhhh… it will be okay. They’re just going to prick your finger okay, i’ll go before you if you want me to,” I reassure her. She settles down and nods. We get back into line. It doesn't take way too long to get to us. I walk up and put my hand out. She pricks my finger. I feel a small pain but it was gone as fast as it came. She pull my finger onto a sheet of paper and scans it. It turns green and I can pass. I look back and my sister comes up to me.
“It hurt,” She says.
“I know but the more times you do it the less it hurts,” I say.
“Okay,” She says. I walk up the the thirteen year old section, I look at the two bowls. One has all the boys names in the district and the other has the girls. In the girls bowl 6 of them are mine. I have no chance of being picked, and more Lizzie than me, she only has one. I see Effie walk onto the stage. I don’t see Haymitch anywhere, but I see the other victor, Cassadee. She’s old but wise, I can see it in her eyes. Effie gives a speech and shows the video of why the games came to be. It ends.
“Now as always. Ladies first,” Effie says. I’d rather boys first in this case, Effie walks over to the bowl and moves her hand in there for awhile. Just pick one! She takes a slip and reads the name.