The steady breeze rolls across my face, the morning sun warming my skin. I lay in a field of tall, billowing grass and beautiful wild flowers. It's a shame the Reaping has to be on a day like this. Many pretend they are not scared of entering the Writer's Games, but it's as much a facade as I a fairy princess.
Absently twirling a length of grass between my fingers, I considered the threat I'll be facing today. I'm not known for my friendship or compassion, but I had a sinking feeling that something horrible was going to happen today.
Lifting my leg slightly, stretching my cramped muscles, I study the flowing white dress my desperately ill father insisted I wear. I hated dresses, but this was an exception. The beautiful thing must have costed everything my father had ever made from life in the cattle industry. Simple white silk flowed from the strapless bodice, covered by a sleek see-through veil. It was nothing fancy, but dad had said it brought out my silver eyes.
In the distance I can hear the bells of the justice building demanding everyone assemble for the Reaping. Slowly, I pick myself up off the grass and make my way to the village square. Children huddled closely to their siblings and families, parents wept for their kids, praying that their name would not be pulled from the glass bowls on the stage in front of the justice building.
Grudgingly, I make my way to the roped off section for seventeen-year-olds. As our least favorite mayor began his speech, I shot a glance over to the boys section. My best friend and crush, Will Adams, smiled apprehensively at me, his blonde hair combed back and his blue eyes glimmering with worry.
Suddenly, I hear a collective gasp as the name for the female tribute is called. I casually glance over to the stage. I'm not entirely surprised when a tiny 13 year old girl with rich brown hair and wide blue eyes is brought forward. The younger the kid, the harder the fall. Everyone knows the bowls are rigged with the names of the desired tributes the peacekeepers particularly hate. Even if I'm wrong, which is highly unlikely as half the peacekeepers around the outskirts of the square all suppress smiles and look like they want to have a party, it doesn't matter - that little girl's life is gone.
I looked at Will, a new, strange feeling consuming me, he looks at me helplessly but then his eyes flare with panic as he realizes my expression. As if in a dream I pull out into the aisle with my hand raised and call out:
The escort drags me up o to the stage and begins to fuss over my dress and hair. "What's your name, dear?" she squeaks as I swat her picky hands away from me in annoyance. I was tempted to say "None of your business" but I doubted that would go over well.
"Aria Sampson." I said, hatred lacing my words.