"It is time," the Escort said as they stood over the impatient people of the District, "To once again send two of our own children to the Capitol to compete in the Hunger Games. Let us begin the Reaping!"
They did not look to see the reaction of his district before reaching into the glass ball that held the names of the female children. "Ladies first," they announced, pulling out a slip of paper. They unfolded it and read out to the crowd, "Jenny Sycamore!" They then reached into the other ball. "Alphabet... uh, there's a smudge here... Alphabet!"
OOC- RPing is allowed. If you wish to volunteer, let the tribute post first either accepting or stepping down from their place for volunteers, and then post. If the tribute doesn't reply by Tuesday, June 3rd, a staff member will post saying that volunteering is open. Please do not post until you see this staff message. FIRST COME, FIRST SERVE.
Tributes, please do not make your acceptance or denial of your spot in character; instead, please leave an ooc note at the end of your post stating whether they accept or are stepping down for volunteers.
Nothing stopped for her. She worked, day in and day out. Not because she needed too, her parents did enough to keep her well taken care of.
She did it because she couldn’t stand being restless.
It was a common feeling for her, one that she knew came about because in the forest, there wasn’t much for her to do.
She hated that part of living away from everyone, but everything else about the forest was more than enough to keep her feeling like she wasn’t completely disconnected.
She had enough around her to make her feel like she wasn’t a ghost in this district.
It wasn’t much, but it was enough. That is what she kept telling herself as she brought down an axe and cut right through a piece of wood with little resistance.
Her father made sure that she knew how to use an axe after all, it was like a birthright almost, and while she spent more time tinkering with random objects that found their way to her, she still had more than enough time to make sure she learned to carry that axe with her.
She got stronger as she learned to wield it, both physically and mentally, and she wondered if others would fear her one day because she was more than capable of fighting for herself.
Her parents made sure of it after all.
The forest would always be home, but that didn’t mean that she was free of obligations that were forced upon her even though she wanted nothing to do with them.
She had survived all the reapings thus far, lucky because her family didn’t have to take anything extra from the capitol. Doing so would have been the equivalent of selling her soul, and she knew that. Its why she tried not to overthink it as she started to pull on her ceremonial dress that her mother had sewed together herself. To get the materials to do so took a lot of time and a great amount of patience, but one thing that Jenny could remember when she was younger was watching her mom sew the dress for her the night of her first reaping.
Her parents had been lucky, avoiding the reaping themselves, but they had a feeling that Jenny might not be as lucky, so they decided that if she would be chosen, she should always look her best.
At the end of the day, after each reaping, Jenny was safe. She knew the chances were low, but she didn’t think she would be lucky every year.
She didn’t know how the odds worked, or even how many times her name had been entered into the bowl at that point, but each year the bowl got bigger and bigger, more white then clear, it was hard not to think that she would be the next person called to walk to her death.
She was spared though, every year.
And she hoped that maybe this year would be different.
She walked through the edges of the forest, noticing that she was getting closer to civilization, the smell of painted over wood started to become pungent as she pulled past the trees and finally to the district square.
She stood there, taking in the sight of the other children that were gathering around the center of the place they hated the most, and Jenny tried to take a deep breath before making her way into the ether.
She had to keep reminding herself that everything was going to be alright, she might have not known math, but she felt confident that her name would be skipped over yet again. After all, her family had done all they can to make sure that Jenny didn’t have to take extra anything from the people that wanted to see her die.
The idea made her stomach twist for a second, but her feet kept going, guiding her down an alleyway that she wished she didn’t have to walk through, but hell was not a place she could choose not to go. It was a place she was forced into every year around this time. She was just lucky that this was possibly going to be the last year.
And so she stood on the side, with the other girls that were around her age. All of them looking at her like she was some stranger that came from a distant land.
However, she was not, she just didn’t spend much time with the likes of them.
She ignored constant eye rolls as she looked around to see the staggering amount of children around her. It boggled her mind, how many children were around her as she watched them all look up at the screen. They had shown a montage of the last games, and Jenny couldn’t help but think about Diana Sayers from last year, stepping up to the plate in order to show the world that District Seven still would not hold back from trying to claim a victory.
She died in the finale, a fate that could have easily been her as well.
She took a deep breath as she realized that this was all happening so fast, almost like they had been trying to speed it along because they were antsy to get yet another wave a children to slaughter.
The idea sickened the girl that lived in the forest, but it was not her world to control. No.
It was a world that she just had to live in.
The Escort made it very clear that she was the only one that was allowed to speak, and Jenny couldn’t believe her ears as she greeted them all and told the crowd that she was happy to see them.
She could her the sounds of people whisper under their breath as they averted their eyes from her, like a simple gaze would signify the fate. Jenny on the other hand, let out a small chuckle. She knew that the kids here knew that the chances of them getting reaped were low, just like Jenny’s was as well.
At least, that is what she thought as the stylist announced that she was going to pull from the ladies side first.
Jenny took a deep breath, thinking about how this was her chance to finally be done with the reaping. She could move on, do something more with her life, and find something to live for.
She didn’t care what it was, as long as it didn’t involve fighting for her life.
The hand went in and out in a record speed and Jenny couldn’t help but cross her arms around her back and waited patiently to hear the name called out for the district to hear.
She paused in her tracks and felt her body flat line. Her lungs felt like rocks, weighing down her chest. She never thought in a million years that her name would be called for the last thing she wanted to do.
She looked forward and pursed her lips, taking a moment to see if someone was going to step in for her. If someone was going to keep the tradition alive in seven and volunteer, a death sentence for some, especially for the ladies.
She realized after a couple seconds that no one was going to do that for her.
Hell, not even a lot of people actually knew who she was.
And so she quickly had to come to terms with the fact that she wasn’t going to get out of this. That the moment she stepped on that train, she would sign her life away to never earn it back.
She was good as dead.
”I volunteer…” She hears a sound in the distance, turning around and realizing that someone truly did have more of a death wish than her.
Jenny hadn’t even made it to the aisle before having the opportunity snatched from right under her.
And the moment she stopped, she sunk back into the crowd, taking long deep breaths.
She would go on to chop wood another day.
But how long would always be the question.
[Jenny Sycamore steps down from D7F position] [volunteer post coming soon when I am not tired as poop <3]
I didn’t do much anymore, the anger that pent up in me found its way out after the last mayoral election.
I had reserved myself to a quiet life of just doing what I was told, because there hadn’t been much for me anymore around the district.
Sure, my mother was busy, trying to put a roof over our heads and food in our mouths, but still, we managed.
I didn’t waste any time around the district talking to people that I did not care about. I knew that looked back on me, but honestly, it was for the better.
My anger could rise at any moment, and in order to avoid cursory glances, my head stayed down and out of the drama. I had given up trying to find my father.
It was funny actually. He was a man who did not want to be found, yet, if you looked hard enough, you could find all of his children running around.
Yes. I knew about most of them, because my father didn’t realize that I had become somewhat adept at tracking him.
District Seven by far was one of the largest districts in the land, which meant I spent a lot of time roaming it in order to keep tabs on him. There would be months were I wouldn’t even think about him, but the moment I found another that looked similar to me, I knew that there was something foul going on.
Sometimes it was as simple as asking a quick question, and then other times I had to follow signs that I had seen before. Most of the time it didn’t lead me to my father, but sometimes it did.
However, I never confronted him because it was not my business to do so. I knew I should have, but the moment I locked eyes on him, I froze.
Weird seeing a statue in the middle of a recon mission, but that was what I was used to.
And by that time he would realize that I was close, call it an intuition or something, but my father knew how to split quick if he felt like there was a confrontation about to come.
However, little did he know that I had no clue what to even say to him if said confrontation was to happen.
I hated him, or at least that is what I told myself every day since the day he walked out, but then I realized that I barely even knew him.
He was always secretive.
Maybe I would thank him for being brave enough to realize that my mother did not deserve him, or maybe I would pity him because he thought that he would be good enough for no one.
But then I realized that I had siblings, tons of them across the district hiding in plain sight.
That’s when I realized that he thought that he was way too good for any woman to hold him down.
That made my blood boil.
However, it took time for me to find him, and today I was particularly bummed because there was no chance of me getting enough free time in order to plan some grandiose plan to corner him and ask him a million question.
No. Today was reaping day, and for once, I felt like I didn’t need answers for him.
Because the reaping was the one day a year where my life wasn’t about him. I didn’t think about him, I didn’t care about him, everything that I had ever felt about my father was gone from my memory and instead, replaced by me, and the other children that were related to me by half blood.
We were a sickly bunch of miscreants that would never amount to anything in a district like seven let alone the world that we lived in. It was a soul crushing thought that did nothing but bring me down most days, but on reaping day, it brought me the closure I needed in order to be okay with my name being called.
I could ascend to a greater power, something that all district seven’s seemed to do. I knew that going into the games was a death sentence, but so was living a life with a father that did not care for you, or anyone that he might have come to contact with over the course of his life.
I was nothing more to him then the tributes who went in last year, and the year before that, and the year before that even. However, if one of our names were called, or one of us threw ourselves into the sacrificial fires that be, maybe, just maybe he would care.
It was a long shot, and I knew that, but it was enough to keep me from climbing the tallest tree in the district and then falling into nothingness.
And so I walked out with my mother, hand in hand as we got ready for yet another chance for my name to be called. We both made peace with it, because at the end of the day, the capitol wanted what they wanted, and maybe I would be lucky and find my edge in the games.
Maybe my tenacity would show the world of Panem that I deserved to come home as a victor. Or maybe I could show them enough skill to give me some sort of advantage amongst the rest. I didn’t know what to expect, and just like with my father, I wouldn’t know what to expect.
Every year was a different story, and district seven had a lot to conquer with each passing year.
Jacinta winning the 77th. Raven making the Finale the 78th. Mackenzie winning the 79th. Angel and Lex making it to the top 8 the 80th. Diana making it to the finale the 81st. Seven always had a strong showing, and I wondered if that was because some of them knew who my father was. I wouldn’t have doubted it for one moment, especially after being told so many times that Diana and I looked a like.
But that was a story for another time. Another life even.
The crowds seemed to get bigger every year, and people popped out of the woodwork like daisies in this district. Its something I have become used too, because I knew the expanses of a district like seven. I wouldn’t have been surprised if new children popped out of the woodwork because they lived in the forest. There was a lot of space here, but there was also a lot of forest, which made our district strong and vibrant for everyone to get something out of.
I just wished it was bigger.
But it wasn’t, and that was just what I had to live with. I did my best to keep my mind from wandering, but that never worked, because when I laid eyes on some of the children, I saw my fathers face.
That’s how I knew there might have been a chance for them to be related to me.
It always blew my mind how many of us there were. It was like my father was ruining lives before I could even walk, and that ironically seemed fitting to describe him. He was a monster, through and through, and weve done nothing about it. I don’t know why, and I don’t know how, but I made it my mission to make sure he knew that we existed.
We would not be silenced, our tongues would not be sliced out, we would not die for him, live for him, make him feel like he had power, and I would not let him ever dictate my life ever again.
A loud thud spooked the crowd, but I didn’t flinch, I wasn’t going to, not that account. Sure I was only sixteen, but that didn’t mean I was used to having my world ripped out from under me.
I was well versed in all of that.
The escort stood on that stage and I simply crossed my arms in wait. The dress I was wearing had nothing to do with what I was experiencing. I watched as she headed towards the center of the stage and I thought about how much this was going to change someones life. Obviously for the worst, but who I didn’t know if that was completely true. After all, so many people in the past had gone so far and even have won.
I waited to see what would come next.
That’s when I saw my father, trying to blend in with the woman that were watching all of this.
My eyes squinted and my blood started to boil. I had no clue what he was up too, but then I realized that the children were about to be reaped.
I took a deep breath, as they pulled threw the female bin.
The name was called, and I took a deep breath, trying to gauge what was going, the district looked like it was in shambles, a group of people speaking as they watched the girl move through the motion.
My eyes however averted straight to my father, and he was near the woman that was screaming hysterically through the crowd. The moment I saw his hand lay on her shoulder, that’s when I realized that this was how he did it. How he ruined lives.
My blood boiled, my anger ripped out of my body and showed itself to the people there. I was not afraid of what was going to come next, but I needed to make a statement. I needed to show him that there was nothing worse than losing someone close to you.
I wasn’t afraid.
”No. I volunteer. I volunteer as tribute.” I screamed into the void as I watched the girl stop in her tracks.
Sure, I could have let her go, but I knew that this would hurt more.
I was signing up for more than I was bargaining for, but so did Diana, and Jacinta, and Lex and everyone else that followed before me.
I was strong.
And now I knew that my father would feel this.
And that’s all that mattered.
And so I stood on that stage and made eye contact with my father, I held my head up.
I did not care. I was ready. Just like I hoped he was ready to lose something precious to him.
Post by Catullus Brown [d3m] Kire on Jun 2, 2019 1:20:35 GMT -5
My name is Queztriankleighsobweydcoxpnemjvaf Werchpabfixevklegsutyjmonqzd but you can call me Alphabet
Today marks the last day of my life at the orphanage. This is the day of my last reaping and thus I will no longer be a child. Like the other kids that were never adopted before their last reaping, I will be sent out into the district on my own with only the few possessions I have. A job, a house, and other necessities are on me to provide for myself.
I'm glad for my knowledge of the woods and of plants. With it, I can at least hope to survive long enough to find a job so that I can actually afford to live like the rest of society. The xenolith in my pocket is a comforting weight. While the rock itself would not be able to solve any of my problems, it was a sign to myself that I could learn about the world around me and find what I needed to survive.
The clothes I am wearing are shoddy, worn hundreds of times and patched in places where the fabric has rubbed through. They are hand-me-downs from the other boys who once lived at the orphanage and now my time will come to pass them on to the next person who will need them. My pant legs and sleeves are a little too short for me - I am one of the taller boys and this was the best they were able to manage from their stockpile of clothes. Gawky and gangling, I never had anything that fit well since I was left at the orphanage. Even my name is gawky and awkward, and it doesn't really feel that well suited to me or anyone else.
Penned in with the other boys, pressed against the rope that keeps us all in - though if anyone were to try it wouldn't be much of a boundary - I once more felt the odd one out. Pockets of whispering surrounded me but I held onto my little space of quiet. This was all I really had in these moments, an outer silence as my internal mind whirled. I noticed who was nervous and who seemed more relaxed. There will always be some fear for anyone inside the ropes but some are luckier than others. The boy whose papa works in a lucrative shop will never have to add more slips of paper into the reaping in order to survive.
I suppose I might be one of the lucky ones. The orphanage never required or begged us to take out tesserae, but anyone who looked close enough would see they needed it badly. While I could have saved my own skin I knew what it was like to have nothing. I wanted to show them that I would at least relieve some of the burden I was placing on them. If I was able to feed some of the other children here while doing it then all the better.
The second the escort's hand nears the paper slips a hush falls. No one really listens to the opening rambling but everyone is now hoping that that name isn't them, or their friend, or their sibling, or their significant other. The girls are called first, as always, and the name on the paper is one I don't know. "Jenny Sycamore!" I am not surprised I don't know her. I really don't know anyone.
Like most people, the sound of her name causes Jenny to look sick. She goes deathly pale and as though she would fall over were she to try and move. She's able to manage a single step before a voice breaks the silence. "No. I volunteer. I volunteer as tribute." The second girl looks determined, almost vengeful. Jenny is off the hook and looks like she might just collapse anyway. The other girl, though, has hung herself from it.
Hardly giving anyone time to process another volunteer from this district, the escort reaches for the paper slips in the bowl for the boys. I'm watching as it happens and though I don't want to see anyone else hurt, I can't help but want it to not be me.
"Ques-", the escort pauses, looking at the name and giving a slight huff of annoyance. I'm getting a sinking feeling in my stomach because this is feeling all too familiar. "Queztri-", you can tell he's had enough of fighting with it because he doesn't want to look the fool in front of the district. That sinking feeling has dropped into my stomach like a ball of lead. "Alphabet... uh, there's a smudge here... Alphabet!"
I take a moment to myself as everyone turns to look at me. I'm the kid with the weird name. I'm the one they call Alphabet. They all know it must be me, and I agree. I knew at the start of this day that this was going to be the last day I lived at the orphanage. I just didn't realize that this would be my last day in the district, alive anyway.
I step over the rope and climb the stairs to the stage. Their eyes are burning into my back but I can't tell what they're feeling. Everyone is a little relieved, I think, but other than that they are unknown to me. I was always better with nature than I was with people.
I look at the escort, watching his brow furrow over my ridiculous name, "My name is Queztriankleighsobweydcoxpnemjvaf Werchpabfixevklegsutyjmonqzd," I turn to the hundreds of faces staring at me, "but you can call me Alphabet."
Queztriankleighsobweydcoxpnemjvaf Werchpabfixevklegsutyjmonqzd (aka Alphabet) accepts his spot as d7m.