The Trifecta Weekly Challenge is a lot more complicated (for ME anyway) than the abbreviated weekend version we played a few days ago. The difference is that I have more time and more words with which to work. The rules are pretty simple: All entries must be between 33 and 333 words. In addition, they must include the following word as defined by its third definition:
1: generally used, applied, or accepted
2: vernacular <the vulgar name of a plant>
* * * * * * * * * *
Hunger Games – The Prequel
I entered the square with my mother and sister, Prim. She was only 7 and, thanks to a mine explosion that claimed the lives of many, she would now grow up with little memory of the honorable man I knew as our father. The three of us stood there, paralyzed alongside the other families who had also lost a loved one.
I’ve never seen so many people at the Justice Building for anything other than the reaping. Now eleven, I shuddered, realizing that next year I would be eligible for this barbaric annual ritual. It was the Capitol’s way of keeping us, the inhabitants of Panem’s 12 districts, in our places since the bloody, failed attempt at an uprising seventy years earlier.
I swallowed hard, tasting bile in my throat. I knew my name would be in that glass bowl, along with all other 12 to 18 year olds in District 12. We would file in, be herded by age and wait, breathlessly, as a girl’s then a boy’s name was selected, sentencing them to an almost certain death at the hands of another child.
Effie Trinket was the Capitol’s representative for District 12. As long as I can remember, I’ve watched her bony hand pluck name after name out of that infamous bowl. But today she was here for a different reason. Today, she was here, along with a paltry showing of other heartless Capitol representatives, to bid farewell to the victims.
I could feel her staring me down, searching for any sign of weakness at my father’s death. Those from the Capitol have always been fascinated by our emotions, as they were reprogrammed years ago to have them deleted from their consciousness. As such, they perceived our displays as common, vulgar even, and found it mesmerizing whenever this imperfection was exhibited publicly.
But I wouldn’t give Effie the satisfaction today. I stared at her with the same steely eyes that I knew she would reflect back at me if my name was ever pulled from that bowl.