Author's note: Sequel to Pure Half-Blood
The ReapingNeedless to say, I certainly wasn’t going to see Karen or Gretchen. I did leave a note and some yellow roses for Anthony; he meant well, even though he did have a pretty twisted way of helping me. Couldn’t he have just said “You’re gorgeous just the way you are” like any other guy? Anyways, back on topic. Yellow roses are known throughout the world as the friendship rose, and I didn’t want to send him any wrong messages with red or pink.
Sneaking into District 12 wasn’t that difficult.
I mustered a quick spell. “Sanguis!” Immediately, I felt blood flow through my veins. I did it! This could work after all! I gave a small shriek out of joy when I heard footsteps.
“Hey!” he yelled. “No hiding, it’s almost time for the reaping!” He brought me to where I was pricked for blood, and I couldn’t help but smile as I saw the dark red color flow, like the sweet juice of a cherry. My craving grew too strong. I sucked in my breath and refused to let it out. This is what I would be dealing with for the duration of my stay here. I might as well get used to it.
Did anyone notice that I didn’t belong? I crossed my fingers and tried to go with the flow. One girl, probably a few years younger than me, waved.
“Do I know you?” she asked being surprisingly social for someone whose life might be ruined in a matter of minutes.
“Probably not,” I responded confidently. The key to lying is not giving away any more information than you need to.
“Oh. Well, nice to meet you, although the circumstances surely aren’t the best.”
I asked curiously, “Are you scared?” The more I soaked up of what it felt like to live in District 12, the better chance I had for playing the role convincingly.
“Not for me. My little sister...” her voice trailed off in pain.
Maybe, in some way, I was helping these people. None of these girls had any reason to worry. I would volunteer as tribute, and they’d return home perfectly safe. “Is she here?” My bloodshot eyes (hidden by contacts, of course) scanned the crowd, curiosity prodding at my mind. This was so much to take in!
“No, she hasn’t been entered yet. She’s much too young. But we depend on each other, and right now, she needs me at home.”
“You must love her.” I reminisced on my yearning for a sibling when I was just around her age. Then again, every time I get what I want it tends to backfire.
“Oh, yes, very much so.”
We stood in silence for what seemed like forever.
“Katniss,” she introduced herself, holding out her hand.
I shook it. “Proserpina.”
“May the odds be ever in your favor.”
“And with you,” I whispered.
Just then, Effie Trinket captured our attention. “Happy Hunger Games!” she trilled. Katniss mouthed each word with her. “And may the odds be ever in your favor.” Those words echoed in my head over and over again like the fading sound of a drum.
Effie daintily raised her hand, fingering her spidery fingers through the girl’s names. In attempt to not attract attention, I waited to see if the odds really were in my favor.
I stepped forward obediently at the sound of my new name, astonished that I had been chosen. I pretended to look horrified at I dragged away, when I realized I actually was quite petrified. What on earth was I thinking? Is this really what I wanted? Oh well, what’s done is done. I’m one of twenty-four tributes, and I can’t take that back. At least I couldn’t die.
It was then I realized something much more terrifying than anything else I had ever encountered – more frightening than becoming a vampire. Due to my stupid spell, I had blood.
With blood, I could die.