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He sized up the woman in front of him. She was petite, dressed in a brilliant dress patterned with marigolds. A barrette with the real things adorned her canary yellow wig above her left ear. Flowers must be in this season, he thought. She couldn’t have been older than twenty but she looked as young as sixteen; if her makeup was intended to make her look older it was having the opposite effect. She really looked no older than some of the tributes she was here to reap. He wondered if she knew, exactly, what she had gotten herself into. Probably not, he figured. None of his other escorts had lasted long in this position, the district where a loss was guaranteed. There was nothing about this fragile, flowery woman to suggest she any was different.

She extended a hand towards him politely. “Haymitch Abernathy, I presume. I’m Euphemia Trinket, your new escort. Pleased to meet you.”

Well, whatever he had expected, it wasn’t that. What a name! It definitely didn’t fit with the little almost-girl in front of him. “Yeah, no,” he snorted. “Let’s go with Effie.”

Her eyes flashed dangerously. Maybe not so fragile, he thought with interest.