“Welcome to the second annual Hunger Games! First drawing is from the ladies...” Kluto draws out the words, as if people need more of a reason to be nervous. I tap my foot on the ground, waiting anxiously for him to continue.
“Vixa Dimonsile.” I can read the words before they’re out of his mouth. The large crowd of people turn to look at me as I walk slowly to the podium. Kluto helps me up the stairs, all I can manage is a scowl.
“And now for the boys...”
I look at the staring eyes, mainly at two pairs of staring eyes. Mother and Father don’t even look surprised, they almost look... glad.
A small boy walks up to the stage, he’s barely fifteen. Air gets stuck in my throat as Kluto grabs his chubby fingers and mine in the other hand.
“Your tributes from district one! Vixa Dimonsile and Faluk Lowmon!”
The crowd lets out an awkward clap, the relieved look on most of the kid’s faces makes me jealous. Kluto turns, guiding us into the building.
“Time for goodbyes,” his smile makes me want to punch him in the face.
A few seconds pass before someone walks in, Faluk’s family. His sisters and widowed mother walk in, all carrying precious tears. They wrap each other into a hug no words even come out. I look away, my own tears welling up.
“I love you,” I hear is Mother say between sobs. I close my eyes and take in a breath.
“Time is up,” Kluto taps his watch and to guards come walking into the room. They grab the Mother and sisters leading them out of the room. Not a split second later, Mother and Father walk in. Mother immediately puts her arms around me, Father stands and watches.
“We will miss you very much so,” she says, a sad smile on her lips, I let out a shaky breath, the tears finally escaping to my cheeks. I look at Father, still just standing there. This is my last chance to hug him, so why not? I move towards him and hug him tightly. It takes him a minute to do the same back.
“I love you guys,” the words surprise me almost as much as they surprise them. I hug Father tighter, reaching out my hand for Mother. I can feel her arms wrap around us, holding us close.
“Time.” Kluto barks, the same two guards drag out my parents, I watch as their heads disappear behind the door.
“Girls first.” Kluto calls out, his voice matching his smug expression. I can feel the whole crowd holding their breath, waiting. “Cazyress Quinton.” I let out a breath, looking at my sister, safe and sound by Father.
“Now for the guys...” Kluto smiles. I push my hair out of my face, biting my lip. “Wolo Haddep.” My heart falls to the floor. No, this can’t happen. Tyra lets out a wail as I move to the stage. I feel like a robot, doing its natural thing in its natural habitat. Kluto grabs my hand and Cazyress’s hand and holds them up high.
“Your tributes for district two! Cazyress Quinton and Wolo Haddep!” Kluto declares. I can hear the wails of my family, especially Tyra’s. I close my eyes as I’m lead into the back room.
“Time for goodbyes.”