Chapter One-- Audrey SwiftEdit
"Audrey Swift! Come down!" My mother calls. "What mom?" "A letter came for you. It's the Selection letter." She says exitedly. My little sister Eliana runs up and hugs me. "Audrey, you could meet Prince Jesse!" She squeals.
"Audrey, please enter." My mother says, knowing I don't want to. "Fine, but I won't get picked. Sevens never get picked." I remind her. "Yes Audrey, I know. Help me set the table for dinner." I run swiftly, pouring iced tea, putting garlic bread (bread with butter and grated garlic) on the table. My mom puts the beef broth on the table.
"Eliana! Eowyn! Arwen! Esmée! Holden! Jay! Dinner!" Mom calls. My sisters, Eliana, Eowyn, Arwen and Esmeé rush to the table, while my brothers, Jay and Holden, take longer. My dad is at work, so he doesn't come home tonight. I sit down, and my mom sits down, and we eat. "Seconds." I say, and everyone inhales them. This is a rare occasion at my house, we get anything other than broth and water. My mom got payed, as well as Holden, Jay, Eowyn, Esmée and I. We barely get payed anything though. That's why Holden and Eowyn are working underage.
When dinner is over, we sit down to watch the Illéa Captial Report. Illéa is where we live, and I live in the province of Carolina.
"Good evening Illéa! As you know, the Selection has just started. We are giving you only one week to enter. Then we will anounce the 35 lucky girls who are going to compete for Prince Jesse's hand!" Prince Jesse is very handsome, dark brown hair and blue eyes, not very stuck-up, like the last prince, but he just seemed stuck up, the queen loosened him up. Queen Alexia. She was a 6, and she is beautiful. From past interviews, Jesse behaves like a Four... or some other caste, not a stuck up one though. He doesn't use big words, like the king does, and he is really sweet, he also loves to not wear tight, grey suits like the king. His tuxes tipically match the queens dress, and tonight it's green.
"And now we have just a moment to talk to Prince Jesse." The prince walks up, and Esmée melts back in her chair. Esmée's had a crush on Jesse since forever. But she was one year to young for the Selection, as you have to be sixteen. I am sixteen.
"Well Jesse, what do you think of having 35 girls move into your home for who knows how long?" The announcer says. "I've thought about it, and 35 does seem like a lot. 10, or 15 would be fine, but 35 is a lot." He says. The announcer laughs. "What was it like for you, and do you have any advice for Prince Jesse, King Bridger?" The announcer asks. "Well, it was very suprising. They were all exceptional women, but Alexia was the best. Alexia didn't stick out until the Elites were determined. But she was very lovely, and that's why she was an Elite, and in now my wife. Just look for the ones that stick out, and make them Elites, unless they are doing something terrible." The king does annoy me some. But still, he's the king. "Well that's all the time we have! Goodnight Illéa!"
Chapter Two-- The SelectionEdit
One week later, my name is submitted, and my picture is in.
"Good Evening Illéa! Tonight, we reveal the Selected!" My stomach is tingling, and I'm barely blinking. Esmée can't get her eyes off Jesse. "Let's begin. Marina Beatrix of qaljhfaso ahosduf." I miss the first Province and Caste. "Miss Felicia Lynde of Belmont, 4. Miss Audrey Swift of Carolina, 7." Audrey Swift... Me. I was chosen. I'm a seven. Sevens never get chosen.
The next day, we get gazillions of phone calls, and someone comes in, to make me sign paperwork.
The day after that, is my send off. I wear a tiger lily in my hair, and a white shirt, with black pants. The tiger lily compliments my orange hair and freckles.
Everyone seems happy, or suprised. Then all my siblings, and my parents send me off. "Bring me back a note from prince Jesse, please Audrey?" Esmée asks. "Sure, if i don't get sent home for being ratty." Eliana hugs me, and so does everyone else.
Then I go to the plane. I sit down, as I'm the first one here.
I've memorized the names of every one of the selected.Marina, Felicia, Jennifer, Leven, Solange, Adeline, Bonnie, Allegra, Cecelia, Dominique, Eili, Flora, Gina, Harper,
"Is that Jennifer?" I whisper. "I'm Jennifer. You need not worry though. Jesse and the Crown will be mine." She says, answering my question. Marina rolls her eyes. Then, a bubbly dark haired girl walks in. I recognize her as Felicia.
She sits, and Marina, Felicia and I talk the whole way to Angeles.
When we get there, there's a huge crowd. So many people are there! So many with signs. I notice about 6 with Jennifer's name on them, a great amount more with Felicia's name on them, about the same amount for Marina, and suprisingly enough, significantly more with "Audrey Swift" on them. One has a weird slogan on it "Audrey will win Swiftly!" It's sweet, but weird.
Then we go into a room with a whole bunch of girls getting made over. The rush me into a station, and they start to think over what they are going to do with me. The girl next to me has tinfoil in their hair. "Hi!" I say. "You're Leven, right?" "Yep. They're going to dye my hair dark brown. It was blond before." She says nervously. "I think it'll look nice! It'll compliment your green eyes." I tell her. "Thanks! Your Audrey, right?" She smiles. "Yeah." I answer, and then people start working on me and her. "What colours of makeup do you like Audrey?" A girl squeals. "Neutral." I say. They begin working. They put blush on, beige eyeshadow, mascara, lip gloss, and clear nail polish on to me. Then someone straightens my hair. I look nice, for once.
Then They take me to a rack full of dresses. I choose a nice green one, that is sleeveless and goes down to my knees.
"Audrey sit over there!" A lady yells. I run over to the couch she told me to sit on. I grab a seat beside Felicia, Who now has a red hue to her black hair. "They dyed my hair. I think it'll take a while to get used to." She tells me. "I think it looks pretty." I say. "Thanks!" She smiles and runs her fingers through her hair. Leven comes over and sits beside me. "Hi Audrey. Thanks for complimenting my hair. I totally agree with you. The lady who dyed it even said it looks better with my eyes." She smiles. "Your welcome. It really does look nice." I say. It does.
Chapter 3-- SuffocationEdit
When I get to my room, Three girls are there. "Hello Audrey! I'm Cora, this is Margaret and Florence." She says, her brown curls bobbing all the while. "Hi." I say, suprised by Cora's happiness and bubbliness.
"Well we'd be off. There's nightgowns or a t-shirt and shorts in there, after last years incident with the girl who took her anger out on the prince for not supplying t-shirts and shorts." Margaret says, and sucks through her teeth at the end of her sentense.
Man... it's stuffy in there. I mean, it's big, but it's humid and stuffy. I slip on the t-shirt and shorts, and try to go to sleep, but find it hard to breath. I take big breaths until the humidity and stuffiness forces me to open a window. But they're locked with a padlock, and there's no key. It's so hard to breath... I have a window at home, because I always find it hard to breathe without outside air. AND THERE'S NONE IN HERE.
I take a huge breath, grab my favourite sweater that I packed, put it on, and run to the door of the palace.
"Lady Audrey, return to your room." The guard says. "Air... Stuffy... Humid... Room... Outside... Now..." I take a deep breath and collapse on the floor.
I wake up outside. It's still dark. "Is she awake?" Asks the guard. "Yes, you are dissmissed." Someone says.
"Audrey?" The same voice says. I blink, and sit up. "What?" I rasp. "Are you okay?" The person asks. "Yeah. It's way to stuffy in my room. I have problems with my breathing, and I can't stand not having an open window." I explain. The person walks in front of me, revealing who he is. Prince Jesse.
I don't talk, and neither does he. We just stare at each other. Then I start to laugh, and he does too. That's what happens when you stare at each other. "Hi." I say. "Hi." He replies.
"So what do you think of the Selection?" He asks. "To be totally honest, I never really liked it. It made me sad to see all the girls who probably had a lot of family to feed and help, go away from them for what could be a really long time. I have a lot of little siblings at home." I rant. I really hate it. "I kinda feel the same way. Who are your siblings?" He asks. "My youngest sibling is Eliana, she's 4. Then Arwen, she's 10, and Holden he's 12, Eowyn who's 14, Esmée who has the biggest crush on you, is 15, Jay is 19 and that's it." I say. "Esmée asked me to ask you to write her a letter." I laugh. He does too.
I yawn. "I should be getting to bed." I say. "With the window open."
Chapter 4-- EliminationEdit
In the morning, when I wake up, a lady named Kaye, wakes me up, and talks to me so fast that I have to ask what about a million times. Finally she talks slow. "Today, you will have breakfast, and then you will have the day to yourself." Kaye says, and then exits the room taking tiny very ladylike steps.
I pick out a nice dress, a purple one with no straps. When I open the door, Kay goes, "HI AUDREY!" and I fall over. Kaye helps me up, and I look at her and then walk away. When I get to the dining table, I sit beside Leven and Felicia. Leven is still twirling her hair and making sure she likes the colour. "It's fine Lev!" Felicia insists. "I know you like it, but Jennifer keeps telling me I looked better in blond, and my hair looks bland now. It bugs me!" Leven grumbles. Then Jennifer walks by and pulls Leven's hair.
I can't stand to see her treat Leven like that, but I can't make physical contact with any of the Selected unless it's a hug or something. Then Prince Jesse, Queen Alexia and King Bridger walk in. "Mhm." Queen Alexia says. "Jesse will be taking each one one of you and talking to you. Depending on what he thinks you will either be told to stay back or go on to the actual dining hall as this is a meeting hall." Alexia informs.
"Solange?" Jesse calls to the little 16 year old girl that is very short for her age. I see Jesse and her laughing, so I assume he likes her.
After about 15 girls Jennifer goes. Jesse looks entertained and dissapointed at the same time. Jennifer goes away, and begins to talk about how Jesse is totally going to pick her.
I stand up and follow Jesse.
"Hi." I say. "So how was your sleep Audrey?" He asks, I can tell after talking to 16 girls, he still has no experience talking to them. "Fine thank you." I reply. We just sit there for a moment and stare at each other.
I start to laugh, and soon we're both laughing uncontrollably. When we stop we just talk about random things we like or dislike. "Okay I have to talk to someone else now." He says. I get up and wave back and then I walk back to sit with Leven and Felicia.
Jennifer stares daggers at me. "If Jesse has asked for you to stay back, then please stay back." Queen Alexia says.
2 girls stay back. Veronica and Ataleah leave crying.
When I enter the dining hall, there are at least one hundred plates of food in front of the 32 other girls that are still here. I sit beside Felicia and Leven, who saved a spot for me.
Waffles with strawberries and whip cream make their way onto my plate as well as so many other dishes, and I feel like I could explode afterwards.
I don't do much afterwards, but at dinner, it was so nice outside that we had it outside.
That night I sleep soundly. I wake up to Florence telling me that my family sent me a note.