February 7, 2013
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District 3
Chapter 1

Demon, Beast, Animal, Monster, Human; these are the few words used to describe those who keep peace in my home. No, I suppose the way things are now, this home is no longer my own. I don’t blame myself. I mean, why should I? I have no control nor do I have power. No, I blame the people who stand above us like gods. They took nothing from us; they only polluted what we already owned. Our life styles, our technology, our freedom; the peacekeepers have made it so that hope is harder to find than despair.
Andrew Leroy awoke in his bed tired and in a daze. He had been working for hours the night before and had to be carried home by his father after he collapsed from exhaustion. He stands up lazily, not ready for the day ahead. This is a time in Panem before the rebellion. The civilians are enslaved by the Capitol, the Districts are separated with no motive to be united; during this era, the first Hunger Games have not yet begun. Some people referred to this time as: “After the Dark Age”. Back then, Andrew and his friends considered this: “Normal”.
Andrew was a young man just over the age of 18. His black hair hung messily below his eyes as he stepped out of bed. He stretched his arms and yawned loudly, trying to wake up from his deep sleep. The bed he laid on was hard and close to the ground so getting a good snooze was always a difficult task. Andrew had to position himself just right so that the metal springs didn’t poke his back as he lies down.
“One hour. Attention to all tenants. Work begins in one hour!”
The intercom installed on the ceiling of Andrew’s room blared loudly, bringing him to full consciousness. He gritted his teeth, annoyed at the high-pitch voice that shouted every morning. Each day that passed was the same as the last. The land lord would yell into her microphone from down stairs and it would be received by the intercoms in every other room. The people who lived in this small building would wake up annoyed and grumpy; Andrew was no exception. He stepped outside of his chamber and into the hallways. Without even brushing his teeth he made the 20 story trip down the stairs so he could get to the cafeteria before a long line was formed.
“Andrew, is it really that hard to make yourself seem presentable in the morning?” Came a defiant voice. Andrew turned around to see his father standing a couple steps behind him. He only made it to the 18th floor when his father came stomping after him. Mr. Adras Leroy was a large, muscular man; completely opposite of Andrew. He was wearing a grey suit and tie with a dress pants to match
“Why do you care so much about presentation father?” Andrew shot back. “Our wardens don’t care about what we wear. In fact, they expect us to dress like people from the ghetto.”
His father sighed and strode toward his son. He placed a hand on Andrew’s shoulder and spoke calmly.
“That is precisely we must present ourselves like this. We must prove them wrong; that we are better than what they expect us to be.” His eyes become cold, his grip tighten on Andrew’s shoulder. “Now, march back to your room and put on something decent. I also expect you to reach the ware house on time. Even if you have to skip Breakfast.”
Andrew clenched his fists in frustration. He hated his father’s stern and cocky personality. He was glad that they no longer shared a room together but he didn’t know how long he could stand being in the same building. Pride, Will, Presentation. That’s all his father talked about day in and day out. He believed that District three still had values to uphold. Andrew believed that his father was delusional. Losers don’t have morals; they only have dreams of winning. Andrew never bothered telling his father this though. He did the same thing as always when he and his father had this conversation; swallowed his anger and do as he was told.
“Yes, father” Andrew muttered. He brushed his father’s hand off his shoulder and ambled back upstairs.

“You’re late! Leroy, how many god damn times do I have to tell you to get your ass here on time?
Andrew had just walked into the warehouse when a warden noticed him. He had tried to sneak through the back but that plan failed. The warden came rushing over to him once he heard the creaking of the door. Andrew knew this man. His name was Parker but his co-workers called him Butch. (Probably because of the noticeable scars on his forehead.) He was much bigger than most peacekeepers but of course like all of them Butch couldn’t just let Andrew go. He had to humiliate him first. Thanks to his father, Andrew was forced to skip breakfast and even though he dashed all the way here, he somehow managed to be tardy. He looked over to the side of the bulging man and noticed his colleagues staring back at him. They tried not to make it obvious but Andrew knew clearly that they were watching him. One of them stopped working completely and just allowed the gadgets on the assembly line to pass by. Andrew sighed deeply and put his focus back towards the warden.
“My apologies sir.” He said simply. “There was an urgent emergency I had to attend to.” Andrew was about to step pass him but the warden blocked his path.

“Bullshit!” Butch spat. “All I hear is excuses coming from you, I’m right aren’t I Corky?”

Andrew bit his lips. “Corky”, it was meant to be an insult to the citizens of District 3. Our wardens thought they were so clever when they came up with the word that it’s become extremely popular. The freaks, even though our minds are better, somehow we’re not in power. How is that so?

“I’m sorry sir.” Andrew began. “However, it was an emergency. I was-“
Before Andrew could finish, a hard smack came across his face and he was knocked to the ground. He laid there; stunned. Not fully registering what had happened. He put his hand over where he was hit and could feel a panging pain. He tasted the blood in his mouth.
“What the hell did you do?” Andrew stood up outraged.
Butch looked sternly at Andrew, like a statue.

“I punished you for wasting my time!” He explained.

Andrew stared at him dumbfounded. His mind was filled with hate; toward the peacekeepers, the District, the Capitol and the loss of the war. The Dark Age is over? Don’t screw with me. Andrew thought. We’re living in it right now. The events that took place after was a fuzzy memory for Andrew. All he remembered was a deafening scream and several peacekeepers were restraining him and then; darkness.
If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair.
-C.S. Lewis

Hey everyone thank you so much for reading. It really means a lot to me that you would take the time to read one of my written chapters. Don’t worry I would never end a story this way. This was just an intro to give you guys an idea of what’s going on and explain the setting of the story. Andrew will be back and in the upcoming chapters we’ll get to see more depth into his relationships, society and the current conditions of District 3. Anyways, thanks again and please review this story. You’re opinions really do matter to me. Oh and check out my short story, “A Book of Dreams.” It’s a slap-stick comedy that’s updated every day for your enjoyment. So, if you ever need a quick laugh, just look it up.

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