Stories of elves have long been told and passed among my people. Stories of creatures who are most beautiful and graceful; whose elegance surpasses even the princess' and noblewomen of my race. They appear human in every way except for the points on their ears and their extravagant beauty. They are said to have extraordinary skills in magic and music. No one alive has ever seen an elf, since they are nothing but a legend it is no surprise. But their legend provides entertainment and mystery to my people. Magical tales told before bed, or around a campfire, bringing smiles, laughter and wonder to all.
Haymitch Abernathy, village drunk and the best storyteller in all of the kingdom of Panem always has new stories of the elves. How he imagines it all I do not know, but I imagine that it comes in part from his drunken state of mind. He always tells the most amazing stories of the Elvin race, adventures of their princesses and the love story of their king and queen. The royal family of the elves, the Everdeen's as Haymitch had named them, ruled the Elvin race for hundreds of years. Their immortal lives nowhere near over, they would rule for hundreds more, or till Haymitch grows old and dies, their tale with him. It is a nice escape though, to get lost in their world and their stories.
I am Peeta Mellark, Prince of Panem, soon I will be King. My father is just about ready to give up the throne and both my older brothers have married princesses from neighboring kingdoms and taken those thrones. I now must stay to rule in my father's stead. I am thankful my brother's married to other kingdoms. Not only did that strengthen the power of Panem, but it also saved me from having to marry a princess from another kingdom. None had ever caught my eye, although I had the misfortune of catching the eye of Delly Cartwright, princess of the kingdom of Twelve. Such a strange name for a kingdom. My mother unfortunately admired her as well and had often pushed me into her path, hoping we would marry. Thankfully my father wants better for me. He wants a love for me like he had with a maiden in his past. He told me of her once, how she must have been an elf, for she possessed all the beauty and grace of one. He told me that she had married another, who sang with enough beauty to still the birds. He always joked that they were elves, but even as a boy I knew better than that. Elves were not, could not, actually be real.
There is one maiden, however, that has caught my eye. She is the most beautiful creature I have ever laid eyes on. If I believed in the tales of the elves I would say that she is one, but again I know better. She is the 'niece' of Haymitch Abernathy. Everything about her is a mystery. Her grey eyes hold more mystery than any tale. Only a few years ago she had stumbled out of the woods and had been found by Haymitch. He cared for her and helped her regain health, and then he essentially adopted her as his daughter. Although he prefers to call her his niece. She even took on his last name, Katniss Abernathy. Never had she revealed her original name, and no one knew anything about her life before Haymitch found her. He claims she has amnesia. But in her eyes I see that she indeed remembers, I think her past is just too painful to remember. Her eyes hold such sadness beyond her years.
I walk down to the stable and mount my steed; nearly every week I ride through the village to check on the well being of the villagers. My father, despite my mother's protests, takes excellent care of his subjects. He is an excellent king and I only hope I can be half the ruler and half the man he is. I wish I could say that it makes these trips to truly check on their well being, but truly I wish to catch a glimpse of the fair Katniss. I know it is selfish, but I am drawn to her for reasons I cannot explain.
I sit in the tavern, a drink in hand, waiting till she returns to the tavern after her daily hunting expedition. My plain peasants cloak pulled over to conceal my identity; although our subjects love my family I cannot risk my mother knowing how I come to see a peasant. If word ever reached her of how often I sit and admire Katniss she would probably have a fit. It would be one of the worst things I could ever do to our royal reputation, according to my mother, to fall in love with a peasant. She was still pushing me towards Princess Delly Cartwright.
Katniss barges into the tavern a sack full of game on her back, she nods here and there to customers before retreating to the back where she will leave the game till she can skin it. A few minutes later she emerges in clean clothing and her braid straightened and tidied.
She floats around the room and smiles politely with customers, making friendly conversation with the regulars and new comers alike. As soon as her back is turned though a scowl crosses her beautiful face. It does not mar her features; rather it is the most natural thing. It makes her look even more mysterious.