School is in full swing now! I’ve been pretty busy with school assignments, so I haven’t gotten a ton of fiction writing in lately. However, I have been working on some essays for my online writing class. My last assignment was a descriptive essay, and I chose to write about District 12 from The Hunger Games. It was actually a lot like fiction writing, since I had to describe a setting, which in my case was a fictional place. Anyway, I ended up earning an A on it, and I thought I’d share it today!
District 12 is known as the mining district. Its streets are tinted black with coal dust, and every morning starts with the tramping boots of miners on their way to work. The Seam is an area between the mines and the meadow, where the sulfur stench of coal is mixed with the sweet odor of trees from the forest that is blocked by a long, metal fence. The Capitol teaches everyone that 12 is no more than coal dust and fences. However, if I look closely enough, 12 has more to offer than just coal mines and electric fences.
The small house smells like pine trees mixed with coal dust. It is right by the fence, settled on the edge of the Seam. Long, rough wooden planks make up the only two rooms. One of these rooms is a tiny bedroom, barely big enough for two beds, while the other is longer with a wide wooden table in the center of it. The ceiling is low, and the wooden slats don’t quite line up, leaving skinny patches of sunlight that dance across the floor and warm my bare feet when I walk through them. The mismatched boards creak under the slightest pressure, and the door to the outside whines as it slowly opens on its rusted hinges.
The hum of the electric fence is gone, leaving only the rustle of the trees in the wind. The fence is a high chain-link one, crowned with barbed wire loops. Beyond it, there is a wall of green pine trees, like a barrier to keep the Capitol out. The shrieking of a squirrel on the other side warns me to stay away. I tug on the sharp edges of the broken fence to make a hole big enough to squeeze through. The cool metal rattles as I slide underneath it
Out here, there is only the forest to see, making it one of the few places untouched by the Capitol. The singing birds and sweet air make the woods seem even more welcoming, especially with the warm sunlight on my skin. It sneaks through the vibrant green leaves tinting everything a yellow-green color, making it look a little happier out here. The flowers, nestled on the bank of the winding brook, smell like perfume as I walk through them. I dip my hand in the cool water, feeling it splash up against my wrist as the stream runs along, chattering happily.
Everything in 12 is covered in black coal dust. I can’t escape the grit of it under my boots, the feel of it in my teeth, and the smoky smell of it in my nose. In the forest, that is replaced with sweet, clean air and the song of birds and rustling trees. It is a whole different side of District 12, one that many never see. Outside the Capitol-controlled town, there is an untouched world that is the closest thing to freedom that I will ever find.
Thanks for reading!