Freedom in a Cage (A Starkid and Hunger Games Story)

I'm Julia, and this is my story about the Starkids being reaped for the Hunger Games. This is the 42 Hunger Games, so before the Book took place. I will probably switch POV but I will always say so when I do. Enjoy.

Chapter 1

District 12

Lauren's POV
I yawned, rolling out of my bed and rubbing my eyes. My younger brother was still asleep on the pillow next to me. I smiled, looking out the grimy window to the gorgeous sunrise. Today would be a beautiful day, without a cloud in sight. Then I remembered, and the sunrise seemed a little darker, the air a little colder. It wouldn't be a beautiful day. It was Reaping Day. I shook my mother and father awake, then opened the door and stepped out into the early sunlight. Clutching a coin in my hand, I navigated the twisting roads of the Seam to find the bakery. I would buy bread, and then we could have a feast tonight when I wasn't chosen. Because I wouldn't be chosen. I had to tell myself that.
I got in line at the bakery, still rubbing the sleep out of my eyes. I felt a poke on my back and spun around.
"Hey, shrimp." Brian smirked, "sure you'll be able to see over the counter?"
"Shut up, Brian."
"Make me."
"I hope the Capitol takes you away."
"Same to you, shorty."
I bought my bread and walked home, scowling. Brian and I were friends-sort of. We took great pleasure in making the other miserable, but today I was not in the mood for his taunts. Once home, I took a quick bath and dressed in the best clothes I owned, a forest green dress and black shoes. Andrew, my younger brother, watched me with wide eyes.
"Lolo, you're pretty." he said, tugging on my hand.
"Thanks, Andy, you're very handsome yourself." I replied, leading him to the doorway where our parents were waiting. We all walked to the square in silence. Once there, I was herded into the area for 16 year old girls, while Andrew and my parents walked to where they could watch. I saw Brian, standing in the area for 17 year old boys. He smirked at me, and I looked away, scowling. Reeta Jiff, our escort, climbed onto the dingy stage and cleared her throat.
"All right, all right, settle down." she piped in her ridiculously high pitched voice. "Its time for the Reaping to begin! " The mayor and Jess Holden, our only victor, and Brian's older sister, sat in chairs behind her as she began to rifle around in the big glass ball. Her finger snagged one slip of paper, and she pulled it out. I closed my eyes, chanting not me, it won't be me, don't worry, not me under my breath.
"Lauren Lopez."
No. It couldn't be me. I must be hearing things.
My legs moved without my mind's permission, carrying me to the stage. I climbed up, still in shock, and moved to stand beside Reeta.
It couldn't be me. Andy was too young to lose me, and there was no way I would be able to survive in the arena. Without the tesserae, our family would be close to starvation. It couldn't be me. But it was.
Brian's POV
The day started out normally enough. I woke up and snuck out of the house before my parents or siblings could wake up or protest. Making my way to the bakery, I spied Lauren in line in front of me.
I poked her back.
"Hey, shrimp. Sure you'll be able to see over the counter?"
Lauren turned to me. She looked angry and on edge, which was odd for her. It must be because of Reaping Day, when we all felt out emotions and nerves being stretched to the limit.
We argued and she told me that she hoped I would be reaped, so I said the same. She stalked off, leaving me wishing that I hadn't made her angry. Nobody deserved extra stress on Reaping Day.
I bought my bread and went back to our house. We were better off since Jess had won the Games 5 years ago, and I set the bread on the new table and went up the stairs to my room, changing into a nice shirt and pants. When I went downstairs, My parents and 5 other siblings besides Jess waited. 4 of those 5 siblings would be entered into the Reaping.
We made our way to the Square and separated into our respective areas. I smirked at Lauren, but she was apparently still angry because she looked away angrily. Oh well, she would forgive me in the dizzy bliss that came with not being Reaped.
Reeta Jiff started the ceremony and bored, I waved to Jess. I was closest to her out of all of my siblings, and she gave the tiniest nod of her head to indicate that she had seen me. She couldn't wave on live television.
"Lauren Lopez." What? No, no way. Lauren? Lauren was too small! She wouldn't even make it through the bloodbath! I was shocked at the amount of despair I felt. If I could, I would have volunteered.
Lauren was walking up to the stage, a shocked and disconnected look on her face. She stood next to Reeta as she began to hunt around in the boy's ball. I found Lauren's family in the crowd. Andy looked confused, and was starting to cry. Her mother had tears streaming down her face and her father was standing stock still.
"Brian Holden."
I was amazed at the relief that flowed through my body. I could protect Lauren now. I made my way to the stage, forcing myself to swallow my terror and show only confidence. Jess had jumped out of her seat as my name had been called, looking horrified.
I stood next to Lauren. She was shaking, so I, without thinking, grabbed her hand. "Its ok, Lolo, it'll be ok." I whispered.
I had to believe it, otherwise I would lose hope completely.
It'll be ok.

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