Author: jnl94 PM
Cindi wants to be a Warrior. It's all she's ever wanted. But she's Placed elsewhere and, on top of that, her Matched isn't a match at all! Then she overhears something she shouldn't and her life gets turned upside down and inside out. Someone in the village isn't who they say they are. And they aren't alone...Rated: Fiction T - English - Fantasy/Romance - Chapters: 30 - Words: 53,527 - Reviews: 220 - Favs: 28 - Follows: 24 - Updated: 02-14-13 - Published: 10-13-12 - Status: Complete - id: 3065321
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
"Thank you for waking me up. A warm good morning, after sweet dreams of last night. Wish you a good day with good morning." — Unknown
I wake up and stare at the ceiling of my bedroom. I feel different today. It's my eighteenth birthday and that means that I am eligible for Judging Days this year.
Judging Days comes every year, though the number of teenagers included is always different. This year it will be me and three others. My best friend Elizabeth turned eighteen last month and will be Judged with me. And then there is Anthony and Darren. Both boys turned eighteen at the start of the year and have been waiting a long time for the coming days.
It's crazy to think that one of those boys might be my husband.
When I stand before the five Judges in just a few days, they will decide which of the five Paths I will follow.
The Hunters and Gatherers are the food getters. They go out into the woods surrounding the village and get all of the food we eat. I wouldn't mind getting placed there. They see some action when they hunt at least.
The Travelers are those that venture out to other villages in search of information, people, or new tools to bring home. I don't think I will be placed there because I don't want to leave home and have no interest in doing so.
The Healers are the medics of our village. They look after the wounded and the sick. I wouldn't be very good there because I can't stand to be around sick people. It just sort of freaks me out.
The Workers are those that do all the work around the village. They run the shops that keep the village running. I wouldn't want to be placed there because nothing exciting ever happens to a Worker. It would probably be the worst thing that could ever happen to me during Judging Days.
And finally, the Warriors. This is where I want to be placed. Unfortunately, I know that the chances are slim because a woman has never been made a Warrior before. Ever. But I've got my fingers crossed!
"Cindi!" Mother shouts, pounding on my door. "Get up! You're going to be late!"
I sigh and roll out of bed. So much for my relaxation time. "I'm up!" I call because, if I don't, mom will only keep beating the crap out of my door.
I dress for the day, slipping on my favorite blue tunic and skirt. I brush impatiently at my long blonde hair and dab on a little lipgloss before stepping out of my room. I head downstairs, following my nose. Mom is a Worker and her area of expertise lies with cooking. She works closely with the Hunters and Gatherers – which my dad just happens to be.
"Morning," I say, sitting at the table.
Mom throws me a look. "Judging Days are coming," she says.
I nod and grin as she sets a plate of food in front of me. "Yep," I say, digging in.
"Where do you think you'll be placed?" mom asked, sitting across from me. She cups her chin in her hand and smiles, probably remembering a time when she did the same thing with her mother.
I sigh. "I don't know," I admit. "I could go anywhere."
"It's scary, isn't it?" Mom asks me. "But also exciting."
"Are you glad you were chosen to be a Worker?" I wonder. I don't know why I never thought to ask her before.
Mom smiles tiredly at me. "Yes and no," she admits. "At the time I thought my life was over," she says. "I wanted to be anything else. Then, over time, I realized that being a Worker was a good fit for me. I like cooking for the village," she explains.
I nod. "So I guess the Judges know what they're doing, huh?" I ask.
"That they do kiddo," mom says, tapping my nose. "Just remember, sometimes it may seem like the end of the world, that the Judges made a mistake, but they do know what they're doing and the decisions they make, they make for a reason. And they're making those decisions based on the answers you give them. So I wouldn't lie if I were you."
"But what if I hate it?" I ask, the first real wisps of worry creeping into my mind.
"You won't," mom says, standing. "Now then, don't you have school young lady?"
I jump to my feet and grab my bag off the floor. "Crap," I mutter, running for the door.
"Have a nice day!" Mom calls after me, as always.
"I will!" I call back to her, as always.
I make it to school just in time, sliding into my first class as the bell sounds. Elizabeth grins over at me from her seat. "Late night?" she teases.
I make a face at her. "The latest," I laugh.
"What did you do, stay up all night reading trashy romance novels?" a voice asks low in my ear.
I jump and shoot Darren a nasty look. "Are you sure you're eighteen?" I ask. "Because you are so immature."
Darren plops down into his seat and pushes his fingers through his midnight black hair. He narrows his forest green eyes at me. "That wasn't a no. Stop avoiding the question Cindi," he mutters.
Anthony claims the seat in front of Beth. "Leave her alone, Darren. Just because you were all by yourself last night is no reason to pick on Cindi."
I smile gratefully at Anthony. Both Beth and I are hoping to get paired up with him. He's such a sweet guy, not to mention handsome. He has longish brown hair, just a little shorter than Darren's and chocolate brown eyes.
Unfortunately, Beth and I both knew that only one of us would be paired up with him. The other will be stuck with Darren or worse – unmatched. I slide a glance his way and he glowers back.
Please let me be paired up with Anthony. I think to myself.
Regrettably, class starts and I am forced to pay attention to the lecture. Beth slides me a sidelong glance and grins as if she knows what I'm thinking. I roll my eyes and try to focus on writing my notes.
Halfway through writing the first sentence, however, my mind starts to wander. I think about the forms I will have to fill out and turn into the Judges. The answers I put on that form will determine my fate. Of course, there is always a chance that I won't be matched with either boy. If I'm not compatible enough with one of them, then I won't be paired up. It has happened before that a teenager must wait until someone comes along in the following Judging Days to be matched with.
I can't imagine the mortification I would feel if I was told that I didn't match up with anyone. I would be forced to wait until someone came along.
"Cindi?" Beth asks. "Earth to Cindi?"
I blink and look up. Beth is standing beside my desk, holding her books. "Huh?" I ask brilliantly.
"Guess she needed more beauty sleep," Darren laughs.
"The bell rang," Anthony explains. "Class is over."
I blush and gather my things, hoping that Beth paid better attention to the lecture than me. Did I really miss the entire class?
Beth bumps my shoulder as I step out of the classroom. "Daydreaming?" she smiles.
"Thinking about me?" Darren asks with a wink.
I throw a glare at him. "You wish," I say snidely.
Beth giggles and pulls me on ahead. "Okay spill," she says. "Where were you?"
"I was thinking about what would happen if I didn't get matched," I admit.
Beth laughs. "Oh please," she says. "You and Anthony were practically made for each other. I'm the one that's going to end up with Darren, or even worse, unmatched!"
I roll my eyes at her. "Are you for real?" I ask. "You are way more likely to get paired with Anthony."
"Guess we'll just have to wait and see," Beth smiles.
"I'll see you later, okay?" I ask.
Beth nods. "Absolutely," she says.
We both go our separate ways, each lost in our own thoughts of the upcoming Judging Days.
Hey everyone. I know I haven't posted much of anything in a long while, and part of that is because of school, but only part of it. I hate to admit it, but I got bored with The Unnaturals. I need to go back and fix some serious issues, but I can't say when that will happen, if ever. So I've moved on to another idea that I hope will spark my interest again. I will try to update faster than with The Unnaturals, I swear!
So, please enjoy.