Of Arranged Marriages

Chapter 1: Letters and Amendments

"What did you do that for?" complained Reid as he rubbed the back of his head where he'd been hit.

"It's for this," Pogue Perry replied as he threw a letter in Reid's direction. "You're not the only one who's bored, but you have to stop with the pranks already. This one wasn't even close to being funny."

Perplexed by the accusation Reid picked up the letter and read out loud: " 'Dear Mr. Perry, it is our duty to inform you that as of December of the year 2006, an amendment has been made to the laws that govern our society. As you may be aware of, births have decreased drastically over recent decade and will continue to decrease if events are left to unfold naturally. We have therefore taken the liberty to implement amendment XV as follows: All eligible and unattached young men and women are to be married within the next three months with their assigned partners and have the duty to produce an offspring within the next year. If any man or woman who is already attached to another has been assigned a partner, then it becomes imperative that he or she notify the Council of said attachment immediately so that her or his partner may be reassigned.'" Snorting Reid returned the letter to its owner. "I didn't write that crap. I have much better taste in humor, not that it wasn't funny."

"Don't lie. I already asked Tyler and Caleb, they both received a letter like this one. And since you're the only one who seems to not have one…what is that?"

Confused by the abrupt change of topic, Reid turned around to see what his friend was talking about. "What the hell?"

With three steps Pogue had reached the window and opened it for the bird on the windowsill, which simply dropped its assignment in the room and flew off. Both teenagers stared at the letter on the floor as though they might be able to read its content through the envelope. "I think that's for you."

Reid snatched the envelope off the floor as Pogue moved behind him to read the letter's contents over his shoulder, which read: "Dear Mr. Garwin, it is our duty to inform you that as of December of the year 2006…"

Caleb entered the room followed by Tyler Sims to find both Pogue and Reid pouring over their almost identical letters. "Reid, the pranks really have to stop."

Looking up for the first time since the bird had come, Reid replied: "It wasn't me dude." Seeing the skeptical look on Caleb's face he added while holding up his own letter, "I just got one too."

"Okay, what is going on? Do you think someone knows something and is trying to freak us out?" Tyler directed the question to Caleb who was more or less their leader when they needed one.

"I don't know. I guess we'll find out," he answered as four more falcons dropped off letters in Reid's room.

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"Did you get a letter from the Council?" asked Lily as she barged into her sister's room. "They are unbelievable! This time they've gone too far, they can't just decide to arbitrarily tell us who to get married to and on top of that give us a time limit of THREE MONTHS! Really, who does that? It is so undemocratic, and who voted them into power anyways? Those people need to be…."

Micah knew from experience that once her sister got started on a rant, nothing would stop her. Saying nothing, she watched Lily pace back and fort all the while half-listening to music and nodding when it seemed appropriate. "Yes I got a letter too," she finally answered when Lily threw herself on the bed next to her. "I don't think it was a very wise move but I can see how they would believe that such measures are needed. The magical community is decreasing in population; the races have been inbreeding for too long, which is causing infertility at a pretty dangerous rate."

Turning on her side, Lilly faced her sister. "Still forcing everyone to marry perfect strangers? I don't think that's fair. I've never heard of this Nicca I'm supposed to get married to. Who did you get? Anyone we know?"

Micah shook her head and replied, "Someone named Reid Garwin."

A/N: Yes, it is very short, but I couldn't go to sleep until I'd written at least a prologue. I promise that the next chapter will be longer and much more will be explained. And I am also looking for a beta for this story, so if anyone would like the job, let me know.