as he mimics Effie Trinket, the maniacally upbeat woman who arrives once a year to read out the names at the leaping. “I al- most forgot! Happy Hunger Games!. Some survivors think it's good luck, though, to be free of District 12 at last. .. Flickerman, the eternal host of the Hunger Games, with his painted face and sparkly. If it were up to me, I would try to forget the Hunger Games entirely. .. A small, white-haired man who seems vaguely familiar is reading a book. . our place beyond the reach of the Capitol, where we're free to say what we feel, be who we are.

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PART I “THE TRIBUTES”2|Page The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins. begins to read the long, dull Treaty ofTreason as he does every year. Like the reap- ing, or food shortages, or the Hunger Games. Prim might woman who arrives once a year to read out the names at the reaping. Read Catching Fire (The Hunger Games #2) online free from your iPhone, iPad, android, Pc, Mobile. Catching Fire is a Young Adult novel by Suzanne Collins.

Who do they think should pay for the unrest? And what's worse, President Snow has made it clear that no one else is safe either. Not Katniss's family, not her friends, not the people of District Powerful and haunting, this thrilling final installment of Suzanne Collins's groundbreaking The Hunger Games trilogy promises to be one of the most talked about books of the year.

Did it actually end the way you planned it from the beginning? A:Very much so. While I didn't know every detail, of course, the arc of the story from gladiator game , to revolution, to war, to the eventual outcome remained constant throughout the writing process. Q: We understand you worked on the initial screenplay for a film to be based on The Hunger Games. What is the biggest difference between writing a novel and writing a screenplay? A:There were several significant differences.

Time, for starters. When you're adapting a novel into a two-hour movie you can't take everything with you. If only he was with me now! I just. I just miss him. And I hate beingso alone. Does he miss me? He must.

I think of the eleven flashing under my name last night. Gale and I were thrown together by a mu-tual need to survive. How do you sidestep that? Tomorrow night will be our tele-vised interviews. I guess the whole team will have their handsfull readying us for that.

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I get up and take a quick shower, being a bit more carefulabout the buttons I hit, and head down to the dining room. Peeta, Effie, and Haymitch are huddled around the table talk-ing in hushed voices. That seems odd, but hunger wins outover curiosity and I load up my plate with breakfast before Ijoin them.

Perfect on the bed of wild rice. I take a big gulp of orange juice and wipe my mouth. Trying to appear mediocre in front of the other tri-butes is the last bit of strategy I remember. Haymitch shrugs. Forthere to be betrayal, there would have had to been trust first. Between Peeta and me. And trust has not been part of theagreement. But the boy who risked a beatingto give me bread, the one who steadied me in the chariot, whocovered for me with the redheaded Avox girl, who insistedHaymitch know my hunting skills.

And high time, too. The Games begin in two days, and trust will only be a weak-ness. The shoesare the worst part. The dress poses another problem. Smiling is mostly about smiling more. Effie makes mesay a hundred banal phrases starting with a smile, while smil-ing, or ending with a smile. By lunch, the muscles in my cheeksare twitching from overuse. Then she composesherself and beams at me. After lunch, Haymitchtakes me into the sitting room, directs me to the couch, andthen just frowns at me for a while.

Are you going to be charm-ing? You volun-teered to save your sister. Cinna made you look unforgettable. People are intrigued, but noone knows who you are. If you appeal to the crowd,either by being humorous or brutal or eccentric, you gain fa-vor. Or am I not allowed to ask? Haymitch takes the role of the interviewerand I try to answer his questions in a winning fashion. All I can think is how un-just the whole thing is, the Hunger Games.

Why am I hoppingaround like some trained dog trying to please people I hate? They want to knowabout you, Katniss. Make something up! That hurts. Try actinghumble. How nicethe people are. How the city amazes you.

Just keepturning it back around, all right. Or mysterious. By the end of the session, I am no one at all. Haymitchstarted drinking somewhere around witty, and a nasty edgehas crept into his voice. Just answer thequestions and try not to let the audience see how openly youdespise them. When the girl with the red hair comes in to turn downmy bed, her eyes widen at the mess.

For her, justice must finally be happening. At least mydeath will help pay for the life of the boy in the woods. But instead of fleeing the room, the girl closes the door be-hind her and goes to the bathroom. She comes back with adamp cloth and wipes my face gently then cleans the bloodfrom a broken plate off my hands. Why is she doing this? Whyam I letting her? She shakes her head.

Does this mean we were right to standby? That she has forgiven me? She taps her lips with her fingers then points to my chest. Ithink she means that I would just have ended up an Avox, too. Probably would have. An Avox or dead. I spend the next hour helping the redheaded girl clean theroom.

When all the garbage has been dropped down a dispos-al and the food cleaned away, she turns down my bed. I crawlin between the sheets like a five-year-old and let her tuck mein. Then she goes. I want her to stay until I fall asleep. To bethere when I wake up. I want the protection of this girl, eventhough she never had mine. My lessons with Effie and Haymitch areover. This day belongs to Cinna.

Maybe hecan make me look so wonderful, no one will care what comesout of my mouth. The team works on me until late afternoon, turning my skinto glowing satin, stenciling patterns on my arms, paintingflame designs on my twenty perfect nails. Then Venia goes towork on my hair, weaving strands of red into a pattern thatbegins at my left ear, wraps around my head, and then falls inone braid down my right shoulder. They erase my face with alayer of pale makeup and draw my features back out.

Hugedark eyes, full red lips, lashes that throw off bits of light whenI blink. Finally, they cover my entire body in a powder thatmakes me shimmer in gold dust. I can feel the silken inside as they slip it down over mynaked body, then the weight. It must be forty pounds. Then si-lence. Where skin shimmers and eyes sh and apparently they make their clothes from jewels.

Be-cause my dress, oh, my dress is entirely covered in reflectiveprecious gems, red and yellow and white with bits of blue thataccent the tips of the flame design. The slightest movementgives the impression I am engulfed in tongues of fire. I am not pretty.

I am not beautiful. I am as radiant as thesun. For a while, we all just stare at me. I hold out my arms and spin in acircle. The prep team screams in admiration. That heknows how dreadful I am. Haymitch called me a dead slug. Cinna thinks about this a moment. The prep team adores you.

The Hunger Games

You even won r the Gamemakers. No one can help butadmire your spirit. This is a new thought.

In a sort of brave way. Cinna takes my icy hands in his warm ones. Who would your best friend be?

Iwould never be telling Gale those things about me. He alreadyknows them. Could you think of me as a friend? Because it might be,really.

Or at least a straw to grasp at. The interviews take place on astage constructed in front of the Training Center. As Cinna turns the doorknob, I stop his hand. Portia and her gang have been hard at work. Peetalooks striking in a black suit with flame accents. Hay-mitch and Effie are all fancied up for the occasion. When the elevator opens, the other tributes are being linedup to take the stage.

All twenty-four of us sit in a big arcthroughout the interviews. How Iwish I could be first and get the whole thing out of the way! Plus, the audiencewill start to get bored, just as the Gamemakers did. So act like it. I thought we abandoned that when Peeta asked forseparate coaching. But I guess that was a private, not a publicthing. Just stepping on the stage makes my breathing rapid andshallow. I can feel my pulse pounding in my temples. An elevated seatingunit has been set up for prestigious guests, with the stylistscommanding the front row.

The cameras will turn to themwhen the crowd is reacting to their handiwork. A large balco-ny off a building to the right has been reserved for the Game-makers. Television crews have claimed most of the other bal-conies. But the City Circle and the avenues that feed into it arecompletely packed with people. Standing room only. At homesand community halls around the country, every television setis turned on. Every citizen of Panem is tuned in. There will beno blackouts tonight. Caesar Flickerman, the man who has hosted the interviewsfor more than forty years, bounces onto the stage.

Same face under a coating of pure whitemakeup. Same hairstyle that he dyes a different color for eachHunger Games. Same ceremonial suit, midnight blue dottedwith a thousand tiny electric bulbs that twinkle like stars.

They do surgery in the Capitol, to make people appear young-er and thinner. In District 12, looking old is something of an ievement since so many people die early.

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You see an elder-ly person you want to congratulate them on their longevity,ask the secret of survival. But here it isdifferent. He looks freakish but lessfrightening than he did last year when his color was crimsonand he seemed to be bleeding. Caesar tells a few jokes towarm up the audience but then gets down to business. The girl tribute from District 1, looking provocative in asee-through gold gown, steps up the center of the stage to joinCaesar for her interview.

With that flowingblonde hair, emerald green eyes, her body tall and lush. Each interview only lasts three minutes. Then a buzzergoes off and the next tribute is up. I sit like a lady, the way Effie showed me, as the districtsslip by.

Everyone seems to be playing up some angle. The monstrous boy from District 2 is a ruthless killing ma-chine. The fox-faced girl from District 5 sly and elusive. I spot-ted Cinna as soon as he took his place, but even his presence not relax me. The crippled boy from 10 is veryquiet. Rue, who is dressed in a gossamer gown complete withwings, flutters her way to Caesar. A hush falls over the crowdat the sight of this magical wisp of a tribute. The boy tribute from District 11, Thresh, has the same darkskin as Rue, but the resemblance stops there.

If only I was his size, I could get away with sullen and hos-tile and it would be just fine! I bet half the sponsors are atleast considering him. What did he say? My mouth has gone as dry as sawdust. I desperately findCinna in the crowd and lock eyes with him. I imagine thewords coming from his lips. Be honest, I think. Be honest. Caesar laughs, and vaguely I realize some of the audiencehas joined in. I nod. This is what I meanabout Caesar. He tries to help you out.

Whatdid you think of that costume? Big laugh. A real one from the audience. Cinna, my friend, I should tell him anyway. Twirl for me.

I spin in a circle once and the reaction is immediate. The audience breaks intocheers. But the nerves and thespinning have gotten to me. Caesar wraps a protective arm around me. So, how about that training score. Give us a hintwhat happened in there. My lips are sealed. His mood is quieter now. Can you tell us about her? No, not all of you. But maybe Cinna.

The Hunger Games

And I love her more than anything. After the reaping? I swallow hard. But instead of warmth, I feel an icy rigidity take over mybody. My muscles tense as they do before a kill. When I speak,my voice seems to have dropped an octave. I watch as Gale pulls out his knife and slices thebread.

He could be my brother. Straight black hair,olive skin, we even have the same gray eyes. Most of the familieswho work the mines resemble one another this way. They are. They ran an apothecaryshop in the nicer part of District Since almost noone can afford doctors, apothecaries are our healers. My father got to know my mother because on hishunts he would sometimes collect medicinal herbsand sell them to her shop to be brewed into remedies. She must have really loved him to leave her home forthe Seam.

I try to remember that when all I can see isthe woman who sat by, blank and unreachable, whileher children turned to skin and bones.

Gale spreads the bread slices with the soft goatcheese, carefully placing a basil leaf on each while Istrip the bushes of their berries. We settle back in anook in the rocks. From this place, we are invisiblebut have a clear view of the valley, which is teemingwith summer life, greens to gather, roots to dig, fishiridescent in the sunlight.

The day is glorious, with ablue sky and soft breeze. Run off. Live in the woods. The idea is sopreposterous. But they might as wellbe. Andyou may as well throw in our mothers, too, becausehow would they live without us? Who would fill thosemouths that are always asking for more?

With both ofus hunting daily, there are still nights when game hasto be swapped for lard or shoelaces or wool, stillnights when we go to bed with our stomachsgrowling. The conversation feels all wrong. And Gale is devoted to his family. And evenif we did When wemet, I was a skinny twelve-year-old, and although hewas only two years older, he already looked like aman.

It took a long time for us to even becomefriends, to stop haggling over every trade and beginhelping each other out. You can tell by the way the girls whisper about himwhen he walks by in school that they want him. Good hunting partners are hard to find. We can hunt, fish,or gather. We can leave our poles andgather in the woods. After the reaping, everyone is supposed tocelebrate. And a lot of people do, out of relief thattheir children have been spared for another year.

Butat least two families will pull their shutters, lock theirdoors, and try to figure out how they will survive thepainful weeks to come. We make out well. The predators ignore us on a daywhen easier, tastier prey abounds. By late morning,we have a dozen fish, a bag of greens and, best of all,a gallon of strawberries.

I found the patch a few yearsago, but Gale had the idea to string mesh nets aroundit to keep out the animals. On the way home, we swing by the Hob, the blackmarket that operates in an abandoned warehousethat once held coal. When they came up with a moreefficient system that transported the coal directlyfrom the mines to the trains, the Hob gradually tookover the space. We easily trade six of the fish for good bread,the other two for salt.

Greasy Sae, the bony oldwoman who sells bowls of hot soup from a largekettle, takes half the greens off our hands inexchange for a couple of chunks of paraffin. We mightdo a tad better elsewhere, but we make an effort tokeep on good terms with Greasy Sae. No one in the Seam would turnup their nose at a good leg of wild dog, but thePeacekeepers who come to the Hob can afford to be alittle choosier. She just keeps toherself. Like me. Since neither of us really has agroup of friends, we seem to end up together a lot atschool.

Eating lunch, sitting next to each other atassemblies, partnering for sports activities. We rarelytalk, which suits us both just fine. Today her drab school outfit has been replaced by anexpensive white dress, and her blonde hair is done upwith a pink ribbon. Reaping clothes. Itisapretty dress, but she would never be wearing itordinarily.

She presses her lips together and thensmiles. Does she meanit? Or is she messing with him? His eyes land on a small, circular pin that adorns herdress. Real gold. Beautifully crafted. It could keep afamily in bread for months. I had six when I was just twelve years old. She puts themoney for the berries in my hand. We walk toward the Seam in silence. The reaping system is unfair, with the poor gettingthe worst of it. You become eligible for the reaping theday you turn twelve. That year, your name is enteredonce.

At thirteen, twice. And so on and so on untilyou reach the age of eighteen, the final year ofeligibility, when your name goes into the pool seventimes. Say you are poor and starvingas we were. You can opt to add your name more timesin exchange for tesserae. You may do this for each of your family members aswell. So, at the age of twelve, I had my name enteredfour times.

Once, because I had to, and three timesfor tesserae for grain and oil for myself, Prim, and mymother. In fact, every year I have needed to do this. And the entries are cumulative. So now, at the age ofsixteen, my name will be in the reaping twenty times. Gale, who is eighteen and has been either helping orsingle-handedly feeding a family of five for sevenyears, will have his name in forty-two times.

You can see why someone like Madge, who has neverbeen at risk of needing a tessera, can set him off. Thechance of her name being drawn is very slimcompared to those of us who live in the Seam. Notimpossible, but slim. Gale knows his anger at Madge is misdirected. A way to plant hatredbetween the starving workers of the Seam and thosewho can generally count on supper and therebyensure we will never trust one another. Hisrages seem pointless to me, although I never say so. But whatgood is yelling about the Capitol in the middle of thewoods?

In fact, itscares off the nearby game. I let him yell though. Better he does it in the woods than in the district. Gale and I divide our spoils, leaving two fish, a coupleof loaves of good bread, greens, a quart ofstrawberries, salt, paraffin, and a bit of money foreach.

At home, I find my mother and sister are ready to go. My mother wears a fine dress from her apothecarydays. Prim is in my first reaping outfit, a skirt andruffled blouse. A tub of warm water waits for me. I scrub off the dirtand sweat from the woods and even wash my hair. Tomy surprise, my mother has laid out one of her ownlovely dresses for me.

A soft blue thing with matchingshoes. And this issomething special. Her clothes from her past are veryprecious to her. I lether towel-dry it and braid it up on my head. I canhardly recognize myself in the cracked mirror thatleans against the wall. I hug her, because Iknow these next few hours will be terrible for her. Herfirst reaping. That theunthinkable might happen. The kindonly Prim can draw out of me.

The fish and greens are already cooking in a stew, butthat will be for supper. Thisevening, officials will come around and check to see ifthis is the case. The camera crews, perched likebuzzards on rooftops, only add to the effect. People file in silently and sign in. The reaping is agood opportunity for the Capitol to keep tabs on thepopulation as well. Twelve- through eighteen-year-olds are herded into roped areas marked off by ages,the oldest in the front, the young ones, like Prim,toward the back.

Most refuse dealing with the racketeers butcarefully, carefully. I could beshot on a daily basis for hunting, but the appetites ofthose in charge protect me.

Not everyone can claimthe same. Anyway, Gale and I agree that if we have to choosebetween dying of hunger and a bullet in the head, thebullet would be much quicker. The space gets tighter, more claustrophobic as peoplearrive. I find myself standing in a clump of sixteens from theSeam. We all exchange terse nods then focus ourattention on the temporary stage that is set up beforethe Justice Building.

It holds three chairs, a podium,and two large glass balls, one for the boys and one forthe girls. Twenty of them have Katniss Everdeen written onthem in careful handwriting. They murmur to each other and then lookwith concern at the empty seat. Just as the town clock strikes two, the mayor stepsup to the podium and begins to read.

He tells of the history of Panem, thecountry that rose up out of the ashes of a place thatwas once called North America. He lists the disasters,the droughts, the storms, the fires, the encroachingseas that swallowed up so much of the land, thebrutal war for what little sustenance remained. Theresult was Panem, a shining Capitol ringed bythirteen districts, which brought peace and prosperityto its citizens.

Then came the Dark Days, the uprisingof the districts against the Capitol. Twelve weredefeated, the thirteenth obliterated. The Treaty ofTreason gave us the new laws to guarantee peaceand, as our yearly reminder that the Dark Days mustnever be repeated, it gave us the Hunger Games. The rules of the Hunger Games are simple. Inpunishment for the uprising, each of the twelvedistricts must provide one girl and one boy, calledtributes, to participate.

The twenty-four tributes willbe imprisoned in a vast outdoor arena that could holdanything from a burning desert to a frozen wasteland.

Over a period of several weeks, the competitors mustfight to the death. The last tribute standing wins. How little chance we would stand of survivinganother rebellion. Whatever words they use, the real message isclear. If you lift afinger, we will destroy every last one of you. Just aswe did in District Thirteen. To make it humiliating as well as torturous, theCapitol requires us to treat the Hunger Games as afestivity, a sporting event pitting every district againstthe others. The last tribute alive receives a life of easeback home, and their district will be showered withprizes, largely consisting of food.

All year, the Capitolwill show the winning district gifts of grain and oiland even delicacies like sugar while the rest of usbattle starvation. Then he reads the list of past District 12 victors.

Inseventy-four years, we have had exactly two. Only oneis still alive. Haymitch Abernathy, a paunchy, middle-aged man, who at this moment appears holleringsomething unintelligible, staggers onto the stage, andfalls into the third chair.

The mayor looks distressed. Since all of this is beingtelevised, right now District 12 is the laughingstock ofPanem, and he knows it. He quickly tries to pull theattention back to the reaping by introducing EffieTrinket. And may the odds be ever in your favor!

Through the crowd, I spot Gale looking back at mewith a ghost of a smile. As reapings go, this one atleast has a slight entertainment factor. But suddenly Iam thinking of Gale and his forty-two names in thatbig glass ball and how the odds are not in his favor. Not compared to a lot of the boys.

She reaches in, digs herhand deep into the ball, and pulls out a slip of paper. Effie Trinket crosses back to the podium, smoothesthe slip of paper, and reads out the name in a clearvoice.

One time, when I was in a blind in a tree, waitingmotionless for game to wander by, I dozed off and fellten feet to the ground, landing on my back. It was asif the impact had knocked every wisp of air from mylungs, and I lay there struggling to inhale, to exhale,to do anything. Someone isgripping my arm, a boy from the Seam, and I thinkmaybe I started to fall and he caught me. There must have been some mistake. Prim was one slip of paper in thousands!

Taken the tesserae, refused to let her dothe same? One slip.

One slip in thousands. The oddshad been entirely in her favor. Somewhere far away, I can hear the crowdmurmuring unhappily as they always do when atwelve-year-old gets chosen because no one thinksthis is fair. And then I see her, the blood drained fromher face, hands clenched in fists at her sides, walkingwith stiff, small steps up toward the stage, passingme, and I see the back of her blouse has becomeuntucked and hangs out over her skirt.

The other kids make wayimmediately allowing me a straight path to the stage. I reach her just as she is about to mount the steps. With one sweep of my arm, I push her behind me. In some districts, in which winning thereaping is such a great honor, people are eager to risktheir lives, the volunteering is complicated.

But inDistrict 12, where the wordtribute is pretty muchsynonymous with the word corpse, volunteers are allbut extinct. I am the girl who brings the strawberries. Thegirl his daughter might have spoken of on occasion. The girl who five years ago stood huddled with hermother and sister, as he presented her, the oldestchild, with a medal of valor.

A medal for her father,vaporized in the mines. Does he remember that?

Prim is screaming hysterically behind me. A weakling. I will give no one that satisfaction. I steel myself andclimb the steps. Come on, everybody! To the everlasting credit of the people of District 12,not one person claps. Not even the ones holdingbetting slips, the ones who are usually beyond caring. Possibly because they know me from the Hob, orknew my father, or have encountered Prim, who noone can help loving.

So instead of acknowledgingapplause, I stand there unmoving while they take partin the boldest form of dissent they can manage.

Which says we do not agree. We do notcondone. All of this is wrong. Then something unexpected happens. At first one,then another, then almost every member of the crowdtouches the three middle fingers of their left hand totheir lips and holds it out to me. It is an old andrarely used gesture of our district, occasionally seenat funerals. It means thanks, it means admiration, itmeans good-bye to someone you love. Now I am truly in danger of crying, but fortunatelyHaymitch chooses this time to come staggering acrossthe stage to congratulate me.

Look atthis one! Is he addressing the audience or is he so drunk hemight actually be taunting the Capitol? With every cameragleefully trained on him, I have just enough time torelease the small, choked sound in my throat andcompose myself. I put my hands behind my back andstare into the distance. I can see the hills I climbed this morning with Gale.

For a moment, I yearn for something Becausewho else would have volunteered for Prim? Haymitch is whisked away on a stretcher, and EffieTrinket is trying to get the ball rolling again. Oh, no, I think.

Not him. Because I recognize thisname, although I have never spoken directly to itsowner. Peeta Mellark. No, the odds are not in my favor today. I watch himas he makes his way toward the stage.

Mediumheight, stocky build, ashy blond hair that falls inwaves overhis forehead. Yet he climbs steadily onto thestage and takes his place.

Effie Trinket asks for volunteers, but no one stepsforward. This is standard. Family devotion only goes so far for most people onreaping day. What I did was the radical thing.

Why him? I think. Peeta Mellark and I are not friends. Not even neighbors. Our only realinteraction happened years ago. It was during the worst time. My father had beenkilled in the mine accident three months earlier in thebitterest January anyone could remember. Thenumbness of his loss had passed, and the pain wouldhit me out of nowhere, doubling me over, racking mybody with sobs. Where are you? I would cry out in mymind. Where have you gone? Of course, there wasnever any answer.

The district had given us a small amount of money ascompensation for his death, enough to cover onemonth of grieving at which time my mother would beexpected to get a job. No amount ofpleading from Prim seemed to affect her. I was terrified.

I suppose now that my mother waslocked in some dark world of sadness, but at thetime, all I knew was that I had lost not only a father,but a mother as well. At eleven years old, with Primjust seven, I took over as head of the family. Therewas no choice. I bought our food at the market andcooked it as best I could and tried to keep Prim andmyself looking presentable.

Because if it had becomeknown that my mother could no longer care for us,25 P a g e The Hunger Games — Suzanne Collins The sadness, themarks of angry hands on their faces, thehopelessness that curled their shoulders forward. Icould never let that happen to Prim. The community home would crush her like abug. So I kept our predicament a secret. But the money ran out and we were slowly starving todeath.

I kept tellingmyself if I could only hold out until May, just May8th, I would turn twelve and be able to sign up for thetesserae and get that precious grain and oil to feedus. Only there were still several weeks to go. We couldwell be dead by then. Children from a family with too many to feed. Those injured in the mines.

Straggling through thestreets. And one day, you come upon them sittingmotionless against a wall or lying in the Meadow, youhear the wails from a house, and the Peacekeepersare called in to retrieve the body. Starvation is neverthe cause of death officially. But that fools no one. On the afternoon of my encounter with Peeta Mellark,the rain was falling in relentless icy sheets. Bythe time the market closed, I was shaking so hard Idropped my bundle of baby clothes in a mud puddle.

Besides, no one wantedthose clothes. Because at home was my motherwith her dead eyes and my little sister, with herhollow cheeks and cracked lips. I found myself stumbling along a muddy lane behindthe shops that serve the wealthiest townspeople.

Themerchants live above their businesses, so I wasessentially in their backyards. I remember theoutlines of garden beds not yet planted for the spring,a goat or two in a pen, one sodden dog tied to a post,hunched defeated in the muck.

All forms of stealing are forbidden in District Punishable by death. But it crossed my mind thatthere might be something in the trash bins, and thosewere fair game.

Unfortunately, the bins had just been emptied.Warmsweet air. You were about asromantic as dirt until he said he wanted you. Cut my tongue and turn me into an Avox so Ican wait on the future tributes of Panem? I sit like a lady, the way Effie showed me, as the districtsslip by.

I shove hishands off my shoulders and step away, trying to clear myhead. A pin. And high time, too. His purity of self. Haymitch isright, they eat that stuff up in the Capitol.