As the Seasons Come

I suck at intros. SO for me it's like, GET TO THE STORY ALREADY!!!!! I am impatient. 3....2......1

Chapter 3

Elizabeth Rodrick: Spring

by: Clato
I wake up with my palms sweating and my throat dry. Instead of screaming, like I might do with a bad dream, I lay in my bed, paralyzed with fear. Today is the day. I will be tested today, to see if I can be the "Ruler of Spring." I really want to be, but no one knows what is inside the test, except for people who have already been through.

I already know that I don't stand a chance. Laurel Twist and Rowena Frost both have their parents as the rulers of autumn and winter. I have no one but my average family: my father and two younger twin sisters, Sam and Dani.

I push myself up, supported by my elbow. There are others, older than thirteen, that could easily be spring. But I can't be autumn or winter, the daughters will get that position. Summer is way too popular, too. Spring is really my only option.

But I don't have a choice. You are given an aptitude test, and they will tell you which one you'll test for. Again, you will test, and be weeded out test after test until one remains. That is all I know. That is all that I am allowed to know.

I shiver and pull my body out of bed. Dani will be up; she is always up early. But she isn't being tested this year. She is too young. She and Sam both.

I arrive in the kitchen, shivering in my nightgown, to find Dani sipping coffee. Each home is set to some season in our town. And in spring houses, we grow a lot of things, one being coffee beans. Even though the other seasons don't allow young children to drink coffee, we encourage it.

I sit down across from her, trying to hide my shaking hands. But her seven-year-old eyes pick up on anything.

"Don't be scared," she says softly. I look into her green eyes, so different from my light pink ones. The only similarity in looks we have is our blonde hair, but even that is fairly different, because mine is shoulder-length and hers is long and flowing. It's more of a light brown on her, but on my pale skin, it is dirty blonde.

"I'm not," I whisper, but my voice catches.

So she hands me her cup of coffee, and I sip it slowly. Sam and my father, Mick, walk in eventually, but we don't speak. We just drink our coffee and watch the wall clock, waiting for it to strike twelve, when I will have to leave.

**************************************************************************************************************

I smooth down my short pink dress and turn to my father. He left Dani and Sam at home.

"Good luck," he mutters, tucking a stray strand of hair behind my ear. I look at my pink sandals. They match my eyes, just like the dress does.

"You look beautiful," he says, kissing me on my forehead. I can tell that he doesn't like the length of this dress. It needs a couple more inches, but neither of us mentions it. It was my mothers. She gave it to me... right before she...

"Welcome, citizens," Rosetta Fleur, the representative of spring says in a hard to read voice. I can't tell her emotion. Is she excited? Sad? Who knows.

"The time has come to select a qualified young adult to take my place as ruler of the Spring Kingdom, and therefore take on the responsibility of becoming an adult. We honor your courage and sacrifice. Each challenge is specified to challenge their wits, abilities, character, and athleticism. If you break the rules provided at the beginning of each round, you will be disqualified. If you do not earn the required number of points in each test, you will no longer be eligible to compete for this title. My best regards to you all." Then she steps off of the stage.

Elves holding signs enter the room. I search for mine, and sigh once I see the elf holding the M-Z sign. I take a shaky breath and stride towards it, trying to seem confident but failing.

I sit down on a new seat, looking around. I don't really have any friends here to talk to, so I just wipe my sweating palms repeatedly onto my dress until they are red.

Then they begin calling names. I am afraid that I won't be able to hear my name over my heart pounding in my ears, but I am wrong. It rings out above the crowd like a bell-- loud and clear.

I rise. "Here," I say, unsure of how to respond. "Elizabeth Mae Rodrick."

The elf nods and points his head towards the door, not even bothering to look up. I bow my head slightly to thank him, but he doesn't acknowledge it.

Then I let another, more cheerful elf open the door for me. At first the bright lights nearly blind me. Then it all focuses.

And I almost faint.

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