I blinked and covered my eyes as the sunllight filtered through the shutters on my window pierced them. I laid there for a long time, listening to the tide outside on the beautiful ocean in District 4. The smell of baking seaweed bread awakened my senses, and I sighed. Of course we'll get a hot meal today. It's the day of the reaping. The day where our over-the-top Capitol spokesperson pulls two names out of two glass balls, therefore picking the contenders for our district for the Hunger Games. Usually our district is thought to be a Career district, where tributes train their whole life for it, but we're not. None of us can stand seeing the slight children get killed in the arena. It's more of an obligation for the kids who actually stand a chance to take their place. I'm only about 100 pounds soaking wet, and I'm a shortish 5'4.
I yawned and stretched. I slowly stood up, off of my bed that needs repair. My small grey room had hardly anything in it, but a couple of changes of clothes in a pile under the window, two swimsuits, a life jacket, and a net and trident leaning against the wall, for when I get older, and learn to use them. But secretly, I've been sneaking outside at night for nearly two years, practicing, and catching fish for our family to eat. See, My father and I live in the poor part of the District. My mother and sister live in the rich part. My sister, Rosa, has told me on multiple accounts that she hates my father and I. That we're sewer rats. All because she gets life handed to her on a silver platter, and we don't. I shook my head.
I looked into my broken mirror, and fishtail braided my light brown hair to the side, the usual. I smiled in the mirror. Then, I scowled. I saw my deep green eyes looking back at me. I pulled on jeans and a white long-sleeved T-shirt, and my lucky charm- a shark tooth necklace that I've had since birth. I kissed it, tasting the saltwater on it, from my many times swimming wearing it. The leather rope was tough against my lips.
I walked into our kitchen. The reaping starts at 10:00 for our district, so I have a good two hours. I sat on a chair and laced up my waterproof leather boots.
"Morning, sunshine," My father said, his eyes twinkling. I smiled up at him and brushed my hair out of my face.
"Morning, Dad." He smiled and put a slice of bread, tinted green because of the seaweed content. There was also a piece of breaded fish beside it. I immediately bit into it, savoring the juicy flavor.
"Easy, Cass. Don't hurt yourself," he said, using my nickname. My real name is Caspia, but I prefer my nickname anyday.
Despite my father's warning, I wolfed the rest of it down. He rolled his eyes and sat beside me. "So, You have three years left of the reaping, then you'll be 18. Try not to get reaped this year, huh?"
"I'll try my hardest" I laughed. Nobody wants to get reaped. It's nearly a death sentence. I've only been in the reaping for 4 years, since I was twelve. Now, I'm fifteen. My name's been in the reaping 18 times, counting the times that I had to purchase tessarae to provide for my family, which is just a small supply of olive oil and seaweed bread.
I finished my breakfast and washed my plate and fork in the sink. At least we have running water. Some of the other districts don't. There are twelve districts. There used to be thirteen, but DIstrict 13 was obliterated by the Capitol for starting a rebellion. That's where the Hunger Games come in. They hold the Hunger Games to demonstrate their power over the districts by sending 24 children to fight to the death on live TV.
I shook the sad thoughts out of my head. "I'm going over to Ray's house."
"Be back for the reaping," My father yelled out the door as I left. I stepped out onto the cobblestone street, and looked at my surroundings. There were lots of other houses almost identical to mine, which used to be small blue cottages, but now they're cracked and peeling from the sun, and sometimes sand from the beach blowing against it. The ocean was a mere thirty yards away, and I could practically see the waves longingly calling out to me. I smelled in the salty smell, the smell of home, and walked to Ray's house. Ray is my best friend, with blond hair and sea green eyes, and tanned skin. By the way he acts, he wants to be more than friends, but I don't want to follow that train of thought. He's exactly three days older than me, and likes to brag about it all the time.