This dystopian novel is about friendship, adventure and finding out who you truly are.


1. Reasons

Everything happens for a reason.  That is what we are told by the speakers.  A person disappears, a reason. A disease outbreak that kills hundreds, a reason.  Sixteen year olds, sent to choose their future, always a reason.  All the eligible are taken out of classes and put into a large room with desks and paper. We are told to think about what we will choose.  The groups or Aggregations as we know them are meant to keep out society going, so we all know our place and do our job as we are told. Everything is decided by the Reign, they are the gods of our society. They tell everyone where to move and what to do, keeping us all in a line that they can so easily push over. They are the ones that created the Aggregations and every year put all the eligible into them.  There are the Ravagers, the soldiers, who work outside the wall that runs around our land, protecting us.  The Revolutionaries, the intelligence and inventors who create the technology for us.  The Recorders, the historians, who write the information that we need to know and teach us about it in the classes.  The Reapers, the field workers and labourers, this is where most of the people go, the grow all the food and do all the maintenance to keep is up and running.  The Reinforcements, they are in charge of making sure that everyone follows the law and nothing gets out of hand. The Rescinders work closely with the Reinforcements and remove the citisens who do not follow the rules to make sure our society was safe from harm.  The Restricted is the final group, no one expect them know what they do.  It is the least joined aggregation because so many who join, are never seen again.  Everyone else is Redeemers, the caregivers who take care of the children, the elders and the sick, anyone who is not able to work.  We were taught this in school and I have been repeating it to myself ever since we learned it.  I run through it again as I stare at the blank piece of paper.  You have to pass some tests to get into the aggregation you choose and as I twirl the pencil in my hand I wonder it this is one of them.  No one knows who their parents are except for the children of the Reign so we are all brought up in groups based on birth month.  The dens all have about fifteen people in it, so it is like having fifteen brothers and sisters.  The den mother is the person who teaches us the basic things in life and brings us all up.  I am in the takes care of the den, and the March den mother Genevieve positively hates me.  I was always a bit of a problem child, questioning the reason that we all have to do what the Reign says and causing trouble by fighting with the boys who picked on the smaller people.  Most of them are scared of me, ever the ones I helped, so I tend to be alone most of the days.  Ravagers, Revolutionaries. Why do they want us to do this? Recorders, Reapers. Why is being part of the Reign not an option? Reinforcements, Rescinders. Restricted.  The last name sticks in my head. What are they doing and why does everyone never talk about them? How come no one who joins them is ever seen again?  We are all in this room, the people from my year, all of us decide on the same day.  A small boy with light brown hair on my right is scribbling furiously, too small for me to read.  The girl in front of me has blonde hair that cascades down her back; it is so bright it is almost shines in the darkened room. I don’t want to turn to see who is behind me for fear of being called out as disruptive, again, but I occasionally hear them clear their throat along with the scratching of a pencil. I turn to my left slightly and see a girl with long, shiny, black hair pulled back into two braids that twine around one another.  Her profile looks focused and almost angry as she too stares at an empty piece of paper. I had not been staring at her long before she turned her head and looked back at me with her eyes widened as if she was not used to people looking at her.  I inhaled bit as I saw that her eyes.  They were different, something I had never seen before.  One was green like the lights that shone over the street saying if it was safe to walk of not, and the other was periwinkle, like the tiny little flowers that grew along the outside of our den.  She gave me a shy smile and I blushed, pushing my choppy red-brown hair behind my ears and turning back to the paper, still blank. I pick up my pencil and draw a line. Adding on I gradually turn it into an R, the names running through my head.  I add a little curl on the end of the leg and draw a string of periwinkles wrapped around one of the legs.  I slowly glance back at the girl and I see that she has begun to draw as well.  A feather.  It is so life like, that it looks as if it had just fallen onto the paper.  I look back at my own page and draw a bird, landing on a nest on top of the R, right below I make my own feather, falling from the nest.  In the top corner I write a word, “why?”  I have no idea what makes me do it, but I do.  It sits there, the word that got me into so much trouble when I was younger. “Miss Genevieve” a six year old me says in my head. “I was walking home from school and a man was being taken away by two people in yellow clothes. Where did they take him?” Her response sticks with me to this very day, “we do not question why things happen, everything happens for a reason.” That was not the first time I heard that saying, it is spoken out of loud speakers on the morning announcements at the education building and at night out in the streets cleverly disguised among other pieces of information.  “All of the eligible, please write your name at the top of the page and leave your pages your den’s box by the door as you precede orderly back towards your den,” A female voice falls over all of us from above as we all pick up our pencils one last time and write our name.  We only have one name, given to us by our den mother from a list of available names, cycled through every twenty or so years.  We have a letter after our name that we pick at the age on 10 to distinguish us from other elders of our name.  I write in a slow fluid motion, my given name Skylar, for my piercing sky blue eyes, and the letter that I chose. A letter that always had so much mystery and unknown to me. I make two lines that cross in the middle; X. I follow the brown haired boy to my right out of the line of desks and towards the front of the room.  We wait in a line as other eligible file in as we all head towards the baskets with our den’s month on the front.  I glance behind me but the dark haired girl with the braids has fallen into line about ten people behind me.  I walk up to the March basket and put in my paper, leaving the pencil in a large box by the door while walking as slowly as I can, trying to wait for the girl.  I see her walk up to the basket and drop hers in, was that July or August? I am too far away to know for sure.  Though the crowd is moving together like one body, I manage to fall back in the mass until I am next to her.  “You’re eyes are different” I say quietly besides her, causing her to jump a bit.  “Sorry, that was a stupid thing to say. I mean, I’ve never seen some one with different eyes and it is really quite…” I pause feeling slightly ridiculous. “Beautiful,”  I turn away, blushing again and now feeling very ridiculous.  “Um, thanks," She whispers, so quietly I almost don’t hear.  “I’m Skylar by the way,” I say glancing back up and biting my bottom lip, hoping I am not still blushing.  “Emerald” she says, as I look into her different eyes again in wonder.  The dens have begun to separate so I quickly say, “I’m a March, and I guess I’ll see you later?” She smiles a bit, one side of her mouth rising in a little crocked way, “I’m a July, and I guess maybe.”  I wave a bit as we separate and I smile to myself, thinking for the first time in all of the sixteen years, I could possibly be making a friend.

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