District Twelve Reaping
The house was quiet… almost too quiet. I contemplated going to check on my parents, but I remembered that Mom was at the Hob, and Dad was in the mines. I was alone.
I had slept late- the sun was shining bright. It may have been Monday, but there was no school.
Today was reaping day.
I groaned and- after much consideration- pulled myself out of bed. I attempted to tame my black hair with a comb before slipping on coal-dust-stained jeans paired with a simple white, button-down shirt. I know I should want to look nice for the Capitol- like all the other normal kids- but at the age of fifteen, I didn’t really care what the people there thought.
Why should we be breaking OUR backs so they can lounge around on sofas all day and eat like gluttons? Why should we sacrifice OUR people for something that happened forty-nine years ago?
Of course, I kept these opinions mostly to myself.
My contemplation was interrupted by a knocking on my bedroom door.
“It’s open!” I called, sitting on my bed and slipping on a pair of socks. The door opened gently, and I could make out a female form standing behind it. Thinner and shorter than I was, with dark wavy hair, olive-toned skin, and dark brown eyes.
Daisy Gray was the daughter of a merchant (although she clearly had Seam in her), and a year older than me. I don’t know whether I consider Daisy a friend or not… we don’t really talk; I just sort of let her hang around me. She’s nice and non-intrusive, never bugging me about where my parents are or why we don’t do things the way normal friends do. I think Daisy understands that’s not what I like to do anyway.
“The front door was open.” She says in her soft voice, coming in and closing the door behind her.
“The lock broke.” I shrugged. Not that I mind anyway… My mom started just letting her in a few years ago.
The silence is awkward for a moment until she speaks up:
“How many times is your name in the reaping bowl?”
“Nineteen.” I answer her. Four times because I have to, and the rest are tessarae entries for me and my parents. She sits on the bed beside me. “And you?”
She doesn’t answer right away, just stares at the floor. Eventually, she sighs and gives me a number even I wasn’t expecting:
A fiery rage burns inside me… her name is in the fifty-four times? At the age of sixteen?
She has a rather large family, consisting of her, her three younger siblings, her mother, her aunt, and her grandfather. They live in the merchant part of District Twelve, so why does she take the tessarae? Does she KNOW what it may lead to? Does she KNOW how I feel if she were yanked away from me, only to be fattened up for the slaughter?
Actually, no, she doesn’t. And I think I’ll keep it that way, at least until we’re both out of the pool for good. Four years is enough time to think.
We’re silent for awhile more, just sort of sitting there in silence, but welcoming the other’s presence.
The time seems to fly by all too fast, because I hear a knocking on my door and a loud, “Josh! Time to get ready for-”
The door opens, and it’s Mom, back from the Hob. “Oh, Daisy, I didn’t know you were here.”
“I’m sorry I dropped by unannounced, Mrs. Cole.” The dark-haired girl apologized, jumping up off my bed.
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