This is a new story I'm writing about Johanna Mason. It will start with the reaping and go who knows how long. Enjoy.
Disclaimer: You should know everyone I own and everyone I don't.
"Aqua," I whisper, "You need to wake up. It's reaping day." I gently shake my little sister awake. Her dark brown eyes, which are the exact same color as mine, flutter open as I push her red-brown hair out of her face.
She looks almost exactly like me when I was her twelve. Her hair stops just above her shoulders. Mine was that length when I was twelve, but now it comes down to the middle of my rib cage. We both have very big eyes. They're too big for our faces.
Most mornings Richard and I cut down trees and sell them to the factory but reaping morning is different. The reaping in District Seven is earlier than most other district's reapings. It's at 9:30 and so in order to get ready everyone has to wake up around 6:30.
"I hung up your dress in the closet," I tell her. "I'm gonna take a bath now, okay?"
"Okay, JoJo, thanks," she says as she sits up. I walk into our tiny bathroom and strip out of my pajamas.
The cold water stings my skin but I don't mind. District Seven doesn't exactly have very many luxuries unless you're a victor.
After I get out of the tub I comb through my wet hair before putting on a long yellow dress. I put my hair into a bun and stare into my mirror.
I've been told that I'm very pretty, but I've never been able to see it. I'm quite short, only 5'2" and I'm really skinny.
I straighten my dress and smile at the fact it isn't sleeveless. I don't have anything against sleeveless dresses but it's a sunny day and my skin burns really easily.
"JoJo," Aqua whispers to me as she peeks around the bathroom door.
"Yes?" I ask her.
"Would you wake up Jordan? He doesn't like when I do it," she replies.
"Of course, but you should get ready," I tell her. She nods and I leave the bathroom.
Most girls my age think twelve-year-olds are innocent and adorable. I'd like to say that too, but it isn't true. A few twelve-year-olds really are innocent but most aren't. They've grown up in fear of the reaping and they've heard stories. Many have even been harassed. District Seven is a sick place.
I walk into Jordan's room and ruffle his blond locks. He opens his eyes and smiles at me. He looks a lot like Dad even though he's only ten.
Our dad abandoned us when I was twelve. Aqua and Jordan barely remember him but I have every move he ever made trapped in my brain. He cheated on Mom and I was the only one who knew about it. I was never brave enough to tell Mom but I can still remember the way he would completely take advantage of her. She was only a few years older than I am now. I see her around the district sometimes. Now, she works as a maid for the richer people of District Seven. I hate that fucking home-wrecker.
"Get dressed," I order, "You have to watch the reaping with Mom."
He wearily gets out of bed and I walk into the kitchen. Mom is sitting at the kitchen table, shakily drinking coffee.
"Please don't act like this," I say to her, "Aqua will have a panic attack."
"You know I can't help it but I'll try," she tells me.
I nod and walk over to the stove. I cook some scrambled eggs and put them on the table. I force myself to eat two of them because I know I need the carbs.
"Let's go," I tell Aqua, "We can't be late."
Aqua is wearing a dark blue dress that is ends about three inches above her knee. She has her hair down and it's brushed out.
Most kids go to the reaping with their friends and whisper about all the reasons they might be reaped but I don't. I might, if I had any friends but since I don't I usually go alone. Most people would kill themselves if they didn't have any friends but I know the reason I don't have any friends. Everyone is afraid of me. I'm a bitch and I know it. I love my family, excluding my dad, but that's all.
I hear a girl a few years younger than me whisper to her sister, "If you get reaped I promise I'll volunteer!"
I hardly stifle a laugh. You can't promise that. You'll only know in the heat of the moment. You could be set on not volunteering for anyone and then if a sibling gets reaped panic sets in and you volunteer. You could also tell yourself you'd volunteer for a friend or sibling but when they actually get reaped fear sets in and you freeze up. You just never know.
I let the peacekeeper prick my finger and I walk to the female sixteen-year-olds' section. Our escort, Francine, starts the speech she makes every year and I count all the blisters I have on my hands from swinging the axe all day.
I force myself to pay attention as the escort walks up to the girls' reaping bowl. I wonder what poor, pathetic girl is going to be sent to the slaughter this year.
"And the lucky girl is . . . Johanna Mason."
Oh, fuck. Of course it's me. I force myself to think as I burst into tears. I'm so small it should be easy to act like a wimp. Plus, it'll be fun to drive my mentors crazy.
I shakily walk up to the stage and continue sobbing. The boy that gets picked is a year younger than me but very big. He's a good foot taller than me and muscled. He walks up to the stage showing no emotion.
We're taken to the justice building and Aqua, Jordan, and my mom come into the room. Mom hugs me and whispers, "I'm so sorry."
"It's not your fault," I state simply.
"We brought you this," Aqua says quietly as she pulls out a little blue ring attached to a some thread. She wraps the necklace around my neck and ties it.
"Thank you," I tell her, "It's beautiful."
Her face brightens slightly at this. "You like it?" she asks.
"I love it," I tell her. "I love all of you guys."
"I love you too," Jordan says, a tear rolling down his cheek.
"Don't cry," I order gently, "You'll make me cry."
He nods and gives me a hug. The peacekeeper comes in and forces them to leave. The next person who comes in surprises me.
"I didn't expect," I say to him. "Why did you come?"
"Because, even though I hate you, I've worked with you for a few years and I felt like I needed to say goodbye," Richard tells me.
"Bye," I snap.
"Bitch," he mutters on his way out.
"You have one more visitor," the peacekeeper tells me as he pulls the door open.
"Fuck off," I tell the man who walks through the door, "I hate you."
"Johanna, you're my daughter," he says, "You are just mad that I cheated on your mom."
"No," I say, "I hate you because you abandoned us. I hate you because the girl you cheated on mom with was my age when you slept with her. I saw you with her! I got home early one day and saw you. She was eighteen!"
"I didn't know you knew that," he whispers.
"I lived with it for months before she caught you! I felt sick every time I saw you," I yell.
"I just wanted you to know I'm upset you got reaped."
He leaves and with that I dig my fingers into my eyeballs, forcing tears out of my eyes.
Here's the first chapter! Hope you liked it! Please review, follow, and favorite.