Call For Their Blood (A Hunger Games Group Story)

Four out of seven. Four out of seven of the surviving tributes of seventy-five Hunger Games voted to do this to us. Why? Didn't the rebels already win?

But no; they voted for President Coin to hold a Hunger Games for children of important Capitol citizens. Our fate was confirmed when Katniss fired her arrow, killing President Snow.

It's rebels' faults.
It's our parents' faults.
But most of all it's Katniss' fault.
Not ours.

Welcome to the 76th - and Final - Annual Hunger Games.

Chapter 2

Muscida: Jewels and Feathers

I swallow a lump in my throat. If any tears slip out, they are hot and angry. Sometimes it helps if I picture Katniss burning, like she did when the parachute-bombs went off.

I hate Katniss Everdeen.

While the leaders of the Capitol and the Gamemakers were so bravely keeping the country together, she had the audacity to defy the Hunger Games because she didn't have the backbone to face her inevitable death. Everyone else has to pay the price now, because of her.

But it doesn't feel right to say 'her'. I like to think of her as an 'it'. After all, Katniss is a mutt, coughed up by the districts for the sole purpose of making everyone else's lives miserable. But I will not stoop to her level, so 'her' it shall be.

It was terrible, watching her kill Snow. What is it the rebels are accomplishing? They rebelled, seventy-six years ago. We punished them with the Hunger Games. So now, they are getting revenge for us working so hard to keep them in line? It will never stop.

I feel my personal stylist, Althea, stick the jewels on my long eyelashes. My lashes curl up so high that they can almost touch my eyebrwows, and now when I blink, there will be flecks of light cast around me.

My eyes close as she finishes embellishing them in jewels. I feel her use the curling wand to carefully spiral all of my lavender locks around my narrow face. The least I can do in honor of my father is to look good for the reaping. Shortly after the assassination of President Snow, my father was tracked down and killed in his sleep by a few of Coin's 'top soldiers'. Cowards.

My father was the famous Gamemaker Whytt Wellwood. My mother was murdered during the time when Katniss led her mission down the Capitol streets. They entered our house while she was home alone and killed her on the spot. Now I am all that remains of the Wellwoods, being raised by Althea, so I must make good on our family name.

After my hair is finished, I head to my quarters to dress my best. In my closet I find navy blue seven-inch platform heels. They used to belong to mother, but they fit me. She had surgery to reduce the size of her feet, but insisted that I was too young. Then I pull out one of my favorite dresses. It falls a few inches above my knees. It cinches together at the waste, and is darned in ivory feathers the whole way. The dress is asymmetrical, with one long, flowy sleeve and tights made of lace the same colors as the feathers.

The entire outfit - aside from the shoes - was custom-made for my tall and delicate frame. My skin is tinted the palest shade of lavendar, so that my striking green eyes stand on their own.

When I am dressed, I look in the mirror. I am stunning. Althea knocks and peeks her head in the door.

"It's time to go to the reaping," she says dejectedly.

I nod, unable to say anything, but then I clear my throat. "Of couse it is. I'm ready. Keep your fingers crossed."

********************************************************************************************

This Hunger Games is to have twenty-four tributes, as did the previous ones. (But of course there was the Second Quarter Quell, with forty-eight tributes. Haymitch Abernathy won that year. Would my situation be any different if he hadn't?) However, there were complications. The Captiol is divided into four regions, whereas the districts had twelve. In order to accomodate the demand for sacrifices, there is to be three boy and three girl tributes chosen from each of the regions.

All the children or close descendants of any Capitol politicians, Gamemakers, and virtually anyone associated with the Hunger Games is to be entered according to age, as there is no tessarae. But people can still volunteer if they choose. As if.

I'm only fourteen, so my name will be entered three times.

Althea is among the many eager Capitol citizens forced to attend, watching from the viewing platforms. Since I live in Sector IV, the 'Justice Building' of our Sector is where we are holding the reaping.

After a minute or two, the glass doors slide open. First out is Percia Pertshire. her flourescent green hair is wrapped over her head. It must be around some type of frame, because it is shaped vaguely like a teardrop above her. She scurries out; there is a plastic smile on her face but her eyes convey a different emotion. Resigned? It's hard to tell from where I stand. She will be in charge of the six tributes for Sector IV, as she used to work for District 6. It is her job to keep the tributes on schedule, and arrange the interviews and such.

The audience lets out a collective gasp as the next person walks out. Annie Cresta hangs her head and keeps her hands behind her back. She looks stunning in her flowing sea green dress, but still contains that certain ordinary quality found in the districts. Apparently she will be the mentor for Sector IV.

Well, of course. It seems obvious now. It's not like there are any other citizens here that have survived the Hunger Games. And the rebels have so much respect to maintain by giving us a fair Games. I gag to myself.

"Welcome, welcome," Percia muses half-heartedly. "It is time to select three young men and women for the honor of representing Sector IV of the Capitol in the 76th - and Final - Annual Hunger Games!"

Instead of ladies first, she heads to the glass bowl containing the names of all of the boys' names. I close my eyes and take deep breaths as she reads off the names, one by one.

"Rendwick Lockherst; Erwin Greenlaw; Atlas Herriot."

I do not open my eyes. I hear the cries of a woman; there is the sound of footsteps rushing onto the stage; I hear the rustle of papers - three of which that could be mine.

"And now for the ladies," Percia declares.

Wait for it. Listen to the sound of her picking up the papers. I make a silent vow to myself.

Hear her rip open the first one: "Kramisha Velona." If I go down...

The second one: "Valeria Ivory." ...I will go down with dignity...

Here comes the last one. "Muscida Wellwood." There it is. I quickly complete my promise to myself: ... and I will make my father proud. Then my eyes fly open.

At the sound of my name, all heads in my general vicinity whip towards me. It's showtime.

"Well," I demand. "Why are you all just standing there? There's a country waiting for me!"

They all gape as they part in front of me like a ripple.

Yes, my father would be proud of me, right about now.

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