A/N: the link for the blog had to be reissued, so now it is- siblingrivalrytributes/blogspot/com except the /s are .s of course. hope you enjoy the District 10 Reaping.
I am awakened to Dustin trying to find a bowl. As I walk down the stairs, I see that he has managed to wake no one until now. But then again, Austin, Emmy and mother have always been heavy sleepers. Which is a good thing this morning, as I see Dustin has attempted another breakfast that has turned to a fiasco. I can't help but laugh. We always have told him if he needs something to wake us up, but he ignored that once again this morning. He has managed to climb onto the kitchen counter and open the cereal cabinet. I see he has somehow clambered up the fridge to pull the milk off the top shelf. And rummaged through the fruits drawer and pulled out several oranges. Luckily, this is all he's succeeded in doing, because next he would be looking for the knives to slice his precious oranges, a small obsession of his. As I quietly make my way to where he is, I see in pouring milk, he has made a trail with half of the originally full jug. I can't help but let a smile creep across my face. I see him probing the lower cabinets for the bowls I presume. I cautiously stalk up behind him, and pull him into a big hug. He turns around in a flash and asks for help, which is a rarity.
"What are you trying to do exactly?" I ask with a slight grin.
"I wanted to make breakfast for ever' body. I heard y'all talking last night and I wanted to make ya feel better. What's a reapin'?" the innocence on his face breaks my heart. He has never known what it meant. We have always avoiding talking about it with him. Now his curiosity makes my heart shatter to a million pieces. But I go ahead and change the subject.
"Well, I guess if ya wana make breakfast for us all your gonna need me! Let's clean up first though. Alrighty?"
"Okie dokie artichokie, I'll go get cha the mop!"
I can't help but look at him with such agony. But I'd made a promise to Pa to not let him know about those reapings until he was 10. Enough time to prepare him but not have to grow up knowing the evils of the world. I resolve to keep the promise just like Austin and Emmy keep it. It was Pa's last dying wish before he left this world for another. Dusty was just two when Pa got sick. Those peacekeeping bastards brutalized him, claiming he was taking a couple of newborn calves and selling them, not telling the capitol, making a little extra on the side even. But he wasn't. He just got good prices for his prized cattle, because we took such good care of them. Making sure each got feed, and exercise, making their life like it should be. But those damned peacekeepers didn't believe us. And with a severe whipping consistent of 50 lashes, he went out cold. But still felt every last stroke of that whip. That wasn't what killed him; it was the infection that got in through those lashes' marks. Poor Pa took five days before the infections overtook him. Dusty has never really known Pa, and we know he has so many questions. But, he's just too young to understand.
Dusty is back with the mop and bucket, ready to help. I begin to wash the floor with steady strokes, while I ask Dusty to collect a few ingredients. I tell him to put the cereal back up, cause were going to make a special occasion hot breakfast. I tell him to get out the eggs, and carefully put them on the counter, then the Emmy's pre-made bread-dough and the skillet. I put some dough into the oven and the floor begins to dry. I ask Dusty to be my mixer and he is ready to help. I throw in Pa's recipes for eggs a la mode, which are basically eggs, spices and other things. He stirs away while I begin to heat the stove and cut oranges for Dusty. I never understood his obsession with those bright orange-colored fruits.
The morning chores go by fast than normal, and I am not a fan of it. All it means is the reaping is getting closer. I am shocked that Bilbo and Frodo are not outside yet, begging for food. I love Nico's little brothers' attitudes, even if they are a pain in the butt. They are our pain in the butt. I look over to the house, it's pretty small but it's enough for our mishmash family of 5. We aren't rich, but we can scrape by, which is all we ask for.
When the chores have been completed, I see why Bilbo and Frodo haven't bothered us this morning. They are behind the barn, and it looks like they are trying to capture the cat. We only keep her around cause Serena begged me, and she's good at catching the mice. She has to earn her keep after all. But the boys, appear to be attacking the poor cat. I run over, and sneak behind them, making certain they haven't heard my stealthily foot steps. Silently I slip my hand over each of their mouths and spin them around. They scream in terror at first, but then begin to laugh hysterically. I rub their heads and tell them to go clean up, I rub the cat's head, and take off to the house.
Dustin 'Dusty' Reyna
I cannot understand why I have to dress nice today. It isn't a holiday, Austin and Ma and Emmy and even Colleen aren't happy. And that's what a holiday's about, they are happy and it's a lot of fun. But today I do have to dress up. Austin is making me put on these annoying light blue shorts, that I don't like. I prefer my jeans, cause I can wear those in the barn. Ma is picky about that kind of stuff I have to wear jeans to go riding, no matter the weather. But Austin made me but this blue jacket on then put this thing he called a cravat around my neck. I asked him why I had to dress up like this and he only had a tear come out his eye, so I was quiet from then on. He has to wear a suit thingy, so I guess it could be worse. Downstairs I run into Colleen's arms.
"Lena, you look so pretty, and your flowers are the color of my shorts! We match!" I see she and Emmy are wearing similar white dresses, but they aren't quite white. And they aren't long like they would be when's cold or a wedding, they stop at their knees, and I add, "Emmy your pretty too! But we don't match like me and Lena, you have red flowers, how come?"
"Cause Dusty, me and Lena don't need to match. And we are all three wearing flowers. See, your belt has some dark blue and white flowers."
"You're right! Where's Ma?" but just then I see her come out o' her room and she looks really pretty. She's got a soft red shirt tucked into her white skirt. And she's got red flowers like Emmy. Only Austin doesn't have a match.
"We need to go to the square now Dusty, then we'll come back and I'll take you out riding, alright?"
The look in his eyes is what gets me to agree.
We are waiting in the square. Mr. Archer is already on the stage wearing a bored look. But then Peeta Mellark, our district's new mentor, since Benny Reynaldo died last year. I can see a look of happiness, or almost happiness, spread across Mr. Archer's face. I guess he's happy to finally get a good mentor, so he won't have to help keep these poor kids alive. Ladies are always first, so he gingerly sticks his hand in the bowl, and grabs a strip at random. He walks over to the microphone, and begins the name, Colleen Reyna. Whew, not me, and I am greatful, I wouldn't be able to take it. But I cant help but wonder about the teenage girl. She can't be more than 17, and when I see her brother run up to her, I see a silent tear fall down her cheek. I can't help but allow a tear to fall with the sight. A little boy, probably 7 has begun to speak in the microphone.
"Hi, I'm Dustin Reyna, but everyone calls me Dusty. I'm Lena's sister, and who are you?"
"Why Mr. Archer of course. Great to meet you, I introduce you all to our first set of tributes, Dusty and Colleen Reyna. May the odds be ever in their favor," He turns his attention from me and begins again with "now for the boys."
When he calls Whyle's name, I can't help but cry, and walk to the stage, meeting Whyle at the top. Afterwards, I zone out. And then, we are herded like cattle onto the train.