Here in the Capitol (a Hunger Games Story)
“To show that the citizens of the Capitol are just as strong, if not stronger than the citizens of the districts, we shall send twenty-four Capitol children from the ages of twelve to eighteen to compete in the One Hundredth annual Hunger Games!”
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How many people have wondered what it'd be like, in the Capitol? Here in the Capitol, we can teach you (cue freaky, yet friendly, smile)!
Here in the Capitol
Well, there never was before.
No one considered the fact that the citizens of the oh-so-perfect Capitol would ever be entered into the arena. The Capitol is a marvelous place, obviously! So why would we, of all people, need to experience the pain of the districts? We never found a reason. But the makers of the Hunger Games did.
It was the fourth Quarter Quell that decided my fate.
During the Victory Tour of the Ninety-Ninth Hunger Games â€“ with the victor from District 5, Scarlet Brown â€“ Caesar Flickerman, the official announcer of the Hunger Games, announced the fourth Quarter Quell.
â€œTo show that the citizens of the Capitol are just as strong, if not stronger than the citizens of the districts, we shall send twenty-four Capitol children from the ages of twelve to eighteen to compete in the One Hundredth annual Hunger Games!â€
Everyone in the audience was shocked. The citizens of the Capitol, like me, muttered things to each other â€œHow dare they!â€ â€œWe are citizens of the Capitol, and there is a chance that our children must die?â€ â€œWhat in the world were they thinking?â€
This is when the realization hit them that this was exactly how the people of the districts felt when their children were put into an arena to dieâ€“to be murdered, excuse me.
But now itâ€™s time to know about where we are today. In this exact moment, me, my friends, and everyone else in the Capitol is experiencing something that we have never had the pleasure to experience right in front of President Dawnâ€™s house: Reaping Day.
Watching Reaping Day in the districts was always such fun for us, as members of the Capitol. We got to watch the shocked expressions of the tributes, and we placed our bets on who would be the victor of that yearâ€™s selections. Most likely, it would be a tribute from District 1, 2, or 4 â€“ the â€œCareersâ€ as the outlying districts call them â€“ because they train for the Games before they start. The other tributes donâ€™t like the Careers, but I think that they are smart, getting ahead of themselves to be prepared to kill.
Personally, my favorite district is Two. They make all the weapons and such, and the stylists from there are generally the most creative, put the most effort into their work. Iâ€™d say I canâ€™t wait to see them this year, but they wonâ€™t be around again until next time.
The way they have arranged everything this year is a little odd. They rope us off into seven sections â€“ one section for each eligible age â€“ and have previously put all of our names into the large, clear Reaping balls.
President Dawn welcomes us all with her fake, warm smile. â€œHello, Capitol citizens. Happy Hunger Games! Welcome to the Reaping of the One Hundredth annual Hunger Games, or the fourth Quarter Quell. I hope you are as excited as I for the most interesting Games there ever will be! Good luck, and may the odds be ever in your favor.â€
Since we do not have an escort, President Dawn reaches her hand into the boysâ€™ Reaping ball and randomly selects twelve names. She reads them off after she has finished.
I do not listen to the names of the boys that I will either have to kill or watch die from my own living room. But I do feel for them, because I hear the shocked voices, the cries, the screams, the pleading. But that doesnâ€™t stop me from wanting to laugh in their faces. This is being broadcast live to all of Panem.
If I get Reaped, I promise myself, I will not look like a fool. I will look like someone that Iâ€™d be scared to come across in the arena, someone that Iâ€™d be scared to fight.
President Dawn looks like an idiot on stage, smiling and clapping. I blur out the line of the twelve boys whose lives are already in jeopardy. What I notice is that no one has volunteered so far, because it would be a heck of a lot louder outside than it is now if someone had.
I will not allow someone to volunteer for me. That is the very reason you do not have to agree to let someone take your place in the Hunger Games. There are many possibilities as to why you may want to go into the arena: your loved one is the one that has volunteered; your family/district is very poor and you believe that you could win, just for them; you want to go into the arena, just because.
The president dramatically breathes in before she speaks, and I focus my attention on her face, on the words, the names, that she will be speaking. This is something for which I cannot zone out. If she calls my name, I must have been listening intently and paying the closest of attention so I can follow through with what I had promised myself.
I will not look like a fool.
â€œAriel Longborne.â€ She begins. A girl with bright red hair and a light tint of pink skin walks up to the stage. Sheâ€™s crying, but sheâ€™s still very pretty. Her gold eyes shine through her clear, wet tears and her face sparkles in the light of the hot summerâ€™s day.
â€œRita Krote. Daniella Sparkle. Demotia Flavorial. Smerick Spotts. Linta Dell.â€ Those are the girlsâ€™ names that I pay attention to, but itâ€™s the last name that sparks my eye.
â€œDeBella McPrite,â€ she calls lastly. I straighten my back, stand tall, and walk forward. Iâ€™m not just walking forward to the stage; Iâ€™m walking forward to my death.