This story is from Gale Hawthorne’s perspective and it is written by Bailey.
I could barely sleep, realising that I could indeed be the male tribute from 12, with my name in umm, 42 times I think. But I couldn’t afford to think like this. I closed my eyes and eventually managed to get a couple hours of sleep.
I later woke at the crack of dawn and needed to clear my head, so I headed off to the woods. I knew I could have my tongue cut out and turned into an avox or worse if I was caught, but that was a risk I was willing to take to provide for my family. I’m sure Catnip does the same for little Prim and for her mother.
I started heading down to the electric fence which is never on, but something caught my eye…a boot print. I thought to myself that Catnip couldn’t sleep either. I went to the trunk where Catnip hid her bow and arrows…they were not there. So I followed the bootprints till I saw Catnip eyeing up a deer.
“What are you going to do with that when you kill it?”
Saying this startled the deer and it began to run. Catnip turned around, “Damn you Gale!”. I could hear the anger and frustration in her voice. “ What are you going to do with a 50 pound deer, Catnip?”. She looked at me with a calm face but still some anger in her eyes, “Well, sell it”. I looked at her with a confused look. “ On Reaping Day? The whole of District 12 will be crawling with peacekeepers.” Feeling bad for Katniss by letting that deer get away, I looked to the ground in search of something to throw. I picked up a stone the size my hand and tossed it towards the treetops, doing this rustled up some birds and Katniss somewhat gracefully shot an arrow straight into the bird’s eye, it hit the ground with a large thud. She turned and looked at me, we both started to giggle.
I heard a faint drone in the distance, leaves started rustling overhead. I grabbed Katniss and we hid under the nearest cover. Looking up in awe I saw what at first looked like a silver cloud, I soon realised that I was looking up at the hovercraft that was used at the Reaping. This meant that the peacekeepers and the announcer Effie Trinket were here. Effie is hard to describe she is, well.. an odd person. At that moment I remembered the bread in my jacket. I rustled the bread out of my jacket and gave it to Catnip. She gasped in astonishment, “ Oh my God Gale, is this real?” I replied, “It better be, it cost me a squirrel”. So we sat there in the long grass eating our bread. I looked at Catnip and she said to me, “We could do it you know, run off into the woods. My family your family and…”. I interrupted her and said, “Yeah we could, but if we got caught that could mean death or being turned into an avox”. She looked at me with bread in hand and she perked up and said, “ Happy Hunger Games, and may the odds be ever in your favour”. We laughed, then Catnip asked me, “How many times is your name in the ballot?”. “Umm 42…I guess the odds aren’t exactly in my favour”.
I eventually said goodbye to Catnip and headed back to my house where my mother had laid out my father’s clothes, the best he had before he died. As I left, my mother wished me luck with a tear running down her cheek. As I was walking to the registration I thought about what Katniss said earlier, about running away to the woods where we could possibly survive but my thoughts and eyes were distracted, I was trying to take in what the announcer was wearing. Everything was PINK, it was quite the eyesore. Distracted by the illuminated pink of Effie, I did not realise that the Peacekeeper was getting rather frustrated by my inattention. When I apologised she still forcefully shoved the needle in my finger, this one seemed to hurt more than all the other years, both mentally and physically.
Then I saw Catnip and Primrose, the pair looked somewhat out of their element. When all of District 12 was huddled into the town square, I scanned for Katniss, I think she was twelfth from the front and I mouthed “Good Luck”. She smirked. As always the sound of the anthem boomed through the speakers and at the end of the song, out walked Effie, with a disgusted look on her face, she started reading a card. I had zoned out after that, she then pointed to the screen and the promotional video was played. At the end she said, “Okay, first will be the girls”. I took a deep breath and waited for the ‘lucky’ soul that it was going to be. “The female tribute from District 12 is……Primrose Everdeen!”. At first I couldn’t believe the words, but it was obviously true because soon after it was announced Prim started walking up. I felt my heart sink. But what happened next felt like a boulder from the mines had been dropped straight onto my chest, Katniss put up her hand and screamed something at first I didn’t understand but she cleared her throat and said, “I volunteer, I volunteer as tribute!”. These words kept doing circles in my head as I ran forward and scooped up Prim. She started screaming and practically blew out my eardrum. “Well…” Effie said “What a turn of events, I present District 12’s very first volunteer.”