Shake It Out
A boy meets a girl. Sounds simple, doesn't it?
The seven-year-old girl sits in the meadow, alone. Her father is at work in the mines, and her mother is watching her three-year-old sister, Primrose. But the girl just calls her Prim. Katniss, is the girl's name. Her brown hair is in a side braid, how her mother ties it up for her. Her eyes are a steel grey, but there is always something lurking behind them. A dwindling flame, just building up, but when she wants it to, it can burn down everything in her path.
You see, she isn't a normal seven-year-old girl. She started hunting last year, as soon as she was strong enough to hold a bow and arrow. Her father says she is a natural, and she's proud of that. Her father's opinion is the opinion that matters most to her. She fiddles with a dandelion in her small hands, keeping her mind occupied. She wants to go into the woods. But she doesn't want to go in without her father, watching her, by her side. Just his presence makes her feel safe.
She hums a tune to a lullaby that she loves her father to sing. Actually, she really doesn't care what he sings, she just loves to hear his voice because when he sings, all the birds nearby fall completely silent.
Suddenly, a shadow comes over her. She looks up. She sees an eight-year-old boy, with spiky blond hair, and blue eyes like none she has ever seen in town.
The eight-year-old boy sits in front of the pretty girl. The boy think she's pretty. The girl looks at him and shrugs, then continues fiddling with the dandelion in her hands. The boy looks at her, with curiosity swimming in his ice-blue eyes. The boy's name is Cato. He and his family just moved to District 12, and he wants to make some friends here. And he wants her to be one of them.
He doesn't know why, or what draws him to the girl sitting the meadow, but he won't question it.
"Hey." He says.
"Hi." She looks up at him with a small smile, which he returns.
"What's your name?" He asks, fiddling with the grass around him. He likes to keep his hands busy, that's why he usually ties knots. But he left his rope at his new home, so unfortunately, he will just have to settle for fiddling and twisting the green grass around him.
She pauses, then smiles. The boy likes her smile. "Katniss."
"That's a nice name. I'm Cato." He smiles back at her.
Katniss thinks about something then asks, "Where did you come from?" She has a questioning look on her face. "You don't look like you're from town." She tilts her head slightly, waiting for an answer.
"District 2." He replies, with his eyes on her.
"Do you live here now? Why?" She asks, with what a child her age always has. Curiosity.
"Yes. My family moved here, because they didn't want me and my brother and sister to be trained, and sent into the Academy." He explains. It's true. Probably one of the only families in District 2 that didn't want their children to be trained to fight to the death with twenty-three other children, in an arena on television.
"Trained? They didn't want to train you for what?"
He lets out a puff of air. "My parents didn't want me or my brother and sister to be trained for the Hunger Games."
"Oh." Is all she manages. "That's good." She ends with a sweet smile.
She begins humming, to a song he hasn't heard before, but he thinks it sounds nice. Some of the birds stop chirping, just to hear her humming.
"Where do you live?" Cato asks, watching her blow a dandelion in the direction that the wind was.
"The Seam." She says. "You must live in Town." He nods, and she smiles. This feels, different to him. He didn't really have a friend that was a girl in District 2. Apart from a girl called Clove who was probably too excited to be going into Academy.
"How old are you?" He questions, listening to some of the birds chirp in the trees in the woods.
"Seven. How old are you?" She says, happily.
"Eight." He responds.
They end up staying their all afternoon, talking about nothing and everything. She tells him about her three-year-old sister, Primrose, who she tells him that she just calls her Prim. He tells her about his six-year-old sister, Dabria, and his four-year-old brother, Nuri. When she asks, he tells her what life is like back in District 2.
She tells him what it's like here. She tells him that, you can go hungry, if you can't provide. She tells him about her skill with archery and hunting animals. And he tells her about his skills with swords, and he also mentions that's he's been hunting with it a few times. He adds that he brought his sword here, too. She tells him that it's easier to go hunting in the woods surrounding District 12, with the hole in the fence with no electricity running through it, and the laided back peacekeepers.
When she talks about her father, he notices something in her eyes. Admiration. She really looks up to her father, and must care a great deal about him. She tells Cato that he was the one who taught her how to hunt. He's the one who feeds and takes care of her family. She also mentions that he sings, and she says it's one of the most beautiful things she has ever heard. She says that when he does sing, all of the birds fall silent.
They lie down on the grass and she starts sticking dandelions in his hair. He doesn't take them out, though, he raises an eyebrow at her and she giggles in return. He takes one out of his hair and places it in her braid. He drops four on her head then says, "flower attack!" And she just bursts out laughing. Fits of giggles, more like. He stands and helps her up.
"I have to go now." He says.
"I think I do, too."
He puts his hand out. "Friends?"
Instead of shaking his hand, she hugs him, and smiles. "Friends."
"I'll see you here sometime, maybe?" He almost requests, with a smirk when she pulls back.
"Yeah!" She turns on her heels and skips on her feet, on her way to the Seam. To her small home. But her home, nonetheless.
He watches her skip away, until she is out of sight, and begins his walk to his home in town. He enters his home, and his sister bombards him with questions. What were you doing? Where did you go? Why were you out so long?
He sighs. "I made a new friend." His sister hops around with excitement. This is what he likes about his sister, she always loves the little things in life, no matter how small.
"What's their name?" Dabria exclaims, shaking his arm, with an ear-splitting grin on her face.
"Her name's Katniss." He gets more and more questions from his little blonde sister, and he can't help but smile, as he thinks about the day.
A boy meets a girl. That's how it all starts.