It takes departing to the roof to get any quiet or peace. She has spent days watching and studying the other tribute training, but she can’t see the point. It doesn’t matter if she knows what they do, they can’t get near her.
Orina has told her time and time again to ally with someone strong, but she can’t seem to find anyone to fit that description.
The afternoon air is hot, but every once in a while a breeze rushes up over the guard railings and sifts through the force field with just enough strength to cool her slightly. Her eyes are closed and she sits in the center of the expansive, flat roof.
Her flat lined lips curve downward when footsteps creak at the stairs behind her. Her preference would be that they don’t speak to her, or even acknowledge her presence, but with the amount she’s seen this batch of tributes talking and mingling and even flirting, she doubts they’ll just let her be.
The only aspect of the Games she did not prepare for is the odd courtesies of speaking.
She stays silent, eyes closed and completely still and hopes that the intruder will do the same.
He’s been looking for her. His father told him and his mentor told him and he tells himself the same thing. Ally with Minka Pellisande. Ally with her until it’s time to get rid of her. It’s simple, but finding her is not. He’s scoured the entire building and, when he reaches the roof, he has to stop himself from celebrating.
There she is, sitting in the center of the roof. Eyes closed. He remembers suddenly how young she is, and wonders if it’s wise to ally with her. He hasn’t met her before, just heard of her. Everyone back home talked about her skill, but the main thing they ever spoke of was the odd way she looked at people and never spoke.
Shy, he thinks. She’s only fifteen and she’s been voted in by her district. He doesn’t know for certain that she’ll be a good ally at all.
“Need some company?” he asks, breaking the silence. Her face is completely still and the subtle winds lift and drop her thin, gold hair. He looks out over the Capitol skyline with a frown. He’s never much been fond of the Capitol, and even now, seeing it in its full splendor, he can’t seem to see the appeal. He turns back toward Minka with a smile.
If she’s immature enough, she’ll jump into an alliance without thinking. She’ll trust him when all he plans to do is stick with her until she’s unnecessary. That’s what alliances are in these Games, and he’s watched a couple more than she has.
Stick With Me.
A simple phrase and he means it. She’ll be happier in the long run because she’ll survive the Bloodbath, which the Gamemakers did not expect her to do. Whether it’s him who kills her or another force, she’ll be happier for an alliance and he will be, too. She has appeal in the Capitol and her company is better than most. He isn’t fond. That’s not the word.
Fondness is for the weak tributes who fall to passion and friendship. He plans to do neither, so he is not fond of Melly Mowler. He will keep her for her company and when he no longer needs it, he’ll get rid of her.
He would rather not. He wants to win, but killing an ally is nasty work. He supposes he considered her an ally before he had her answer.
Just Stay With Me.
This time it’s different. He takes her hands and holds her there because it’s the first time he thinks that maybe, if she has any sense, she’ll leave. He hurts and his value as a tribute is minimal. He can’t walk and he can’t swing and he can hardly stand. Melly has stopped being a temporary alliance because now she is his life source.
He hates her for it. He wants her to stay because he needs her to stand. He is not fond of her he only needs her for a little bit. He keeps saying it because he so desperately wants it to be true. He doesn’t need her much longer.
It will be easy to kill her later. Keep her now.
He’s started lying to himself and it’s so easy he’s tricked himself into thinking it’s truth. It’s similar to what he asked her when they first talked, but this time his voice is quiet and shaky because he needs her far more than she needs him.
Don’t Leave… Don’t Leave
His voice is not weak now. It is a whisper. Barely audible, but she hears it.
It’s the same as the others but he is not lying to her or to himself. He holds her. Her cheek, her arm, her hair, her. It’s taken him this long to realize it, and as the warmth leaves his body with all of that red, he only wants her fire. He’s forgotten about his district and his parents and his friends because he can see her only her and he doesn’t want her to leave.
His vision blurs with hot tears that have welled, because oh gods it hurts. He just want to see her. He wants to die with her face there. She can’t leave, she can’t she can’t. She has to win, because she can’t leave at all. No, no, no she can’t leave. His hands are numb and his arms won’t work, but he wants to hold her.
Whisper into her hair. Touch her face. They have had hours for him to say what may have taken a lifetime, and now he can say nothing at all but one phrase that means everything.
“Don’t leave… don’t leave…”
Lol what happens when everyone around you is quality and you just want them all to win and have victory tours?!?
He was supposed to win. The gamemakers said so and so did his parents, so he decided he would. Anyone who was with him was temporary because he was supposed to win. No one asked him why and that was good because he didn’t really know. Winning was enough. It always was. He maybe wondered what winning meant once, but whatever it was he would do it because he was supposed to. When he opened up and he is losing he thinks he gets it, because he did not lose. No, he did not. His life was very short because was born in that cave and he died in that, but he won because he lived at all.
But I am constantly checking this. I can see your messages but I can’t reply, so if you want to release feelings at me (silvia) please please please email me.
And I really really want someone to email me because I’m really emotional.
I am sobbing.
This is horrible.
This is really, really, really horrible.
Awards coming out this morning, I believe.
And the worst part is its not even over yet.
I have the awards drafted for when you guys finish. I’ll post them.
I am sobbing.
This is horrible.
This is really, really, really horrible.
Awards coming out this morning, I believe.
His job has always been very, very simple.
Since that sword was placed in his hands, it has been easy to see the end.
Minka’s reluctance is hardly a obstacle. He is trained. It doesn’t matter who’s on his side and who isn’t. He’s never gone against his father’s advice, but if she won’t comply, he can’t force her.
It does matter who he sides with, though. Melly Mowler is weak and defenseless and helping her is putting off the inevitable, which is her death. Her vile bloody death.
Halcyon hopes someone else does it. He’s grown just fond enough not to do it himself.
His interview is perfect. He practiced it and so it was good. Her’s was better. He should be upset but he is just intrigued.
He’s stopped being able to picture victory.
The arena is not anything he trained for but he can work with it. He is frantic, but he recites it in his head.
Countdown. That already happened.
Bloodshed. It’s already in process, he just hasn’t contributed to it yet.
Victory. That’s the next part.
Melly. That’s not one of the words. She’s extra.
He comes to terms with death when Minka puts the knife on his neck, but it doesn’t come. Someone saves him.
He is predicted to be the winner. Anyone who wants to win shouldn’t save him. It only makes him confused.
He can’t stop looking at her.
She’s just extra she’s just extra she’s just extra.
She’s not extra. She’s vital. He hates her for it. His task had been very, very simple. Now it is so very, very hard.
He’s never felt so heavy in his life and it’s not because of the medicines or the wounds or his gear or even the fact that he knows he can’t win (and by now it’s dawning on him that he doesn’t particularly want to). It’s everything he harbors and carries on his back. He wants to drop his heart and its heavy weight on the floor of the cave.
But he loads it up further on his aching back and carries on.
When they share the cave, his heart becomes unbearable and it is only further weighed down by the silence he holds. No secrets will pass his lips. He remembers his father’s words again, but they are meaningless nothings that run numbly through his mind. He doesn’t even remember what they ever meant.
Too much extra. He has too much extra and he can’t carry it.
He drops it when he kisses her.
Load by load he leaves it around him, because carrying it alone is too much.
They do not love each other. Love is blissful and nice. What they are doing is not blissful or nice. They are too heavy and together they sink and drown.
Maybe he’s happy. He doesn’t know.
The pain is too much, and words can’t form on his lips. All of the heaviness he wanted to give away to her. Now he cannot. His throat is red red red with blood and there is pain everywhere and he can’t tell her any of it.
He’s drowning. Just as he thought he would. It hurts.
Brine is confusing and he says no words to him. He only hopes that maybe he’ll understand what Halcyon couldn’t.
Melly is solid so he grips her hard and holds on until he falls asleep.
His task was not very simple at all, and with his heaviness he drowns.
It had taken time to do the repairs this time. Her stomach hurt and was tight where Heard’s knife had cut her. It was unexpected. The memory made her shake. After healing, she had spent two days on her feet, eating drinking and searching Searching only for him.
She could hear his voice from a mile away. It boomed with that same unintelligent tone that it always had. It set her on edge. Her eyes narrowed and her skin quivered. She gritted her teeth before she began to move. Her knives were practically an extension of her body, and they hungered to kill. She was the first tribute she had intended to kill, but she had been delayed for so long. She had almost done it. Sliced clean through his neck. Felt his hot blood coat her hands. It would have been all she wanted to do, but she was thrown away.
Not this time. This time she would do it. They were talking. They didn’t expect her. They thought they were stronger than they were. She only truly wanted to do one thing. It was just him. All she needed to do was kill him.
She took another couple steps until she was pressed to the rock of the cave. Her hands brushed over the wall, the blade of her knife scraped along its edge. Even if they heard her, they couldn’t run. She took one long step, pulled herself into the entrance. His eyes caught hers first. The others didn’t see her. It was enough to send her over the edge.
She leapt, but there were too many people. Isle and Mowler seemed paralyzed, but June was poised to attack. One knife plunged into her chest was enough to silence her. She had nothing against the girl, and made her death quick.
She whipped around, slashing Halcyon once across the chest and pushing him roughly to the ground. It wasn’t enough. She wanted to know why he was different. Why he made her hate him so much. She pulled back her arm and pounded it down, sinking the sharp tooth of her knife in between his ribs. It was easy. She felt the rip of his muscles and the crack of his bones, but his skin parted easy. Her eyes were wide in curiosity.
Muscles tensed. She pulled hard, and he screamed. The skin split further. It wasn’t as easy as the initial plunge. He was made of something strong. Blood burst from inside of the boy. It painted her face and arms and all of him and even the people around them. It was hot and sticky and it clotted her vision for a moment but she continued to rip. She put her other hand on the blade, using both arms to tug the knife down. The muscles in his abdomen were tight and hard to cut, but the pulled the knife through them all the same. She imagined it probably hurt judging by Halcyon cries, but she didn’t care.
The knife was hitched under more muscle. She planted her feet and pulled, ripping him open the rest of the way. It was like the time her parents taught her biology. She cut open a cat. Hat was easier, but this was more interesting. Here was hot red blood everywhere. In her hair, on her clothes, under her fingernails.
She frowned when she looked at her work.
He was just the same as everyone else. Organs, muscles, blood, heart. He was exactly the same.
She stood, blood dripping from her fingers. Her knife was still dug deep into his lower stomach. He would die, and that was enough, but she hated him more, now. Now that she realized that he was exactly the same.
“I just wanted to see what the mighty Halcyon was made of, but you’re just normal,” she spat at him as he writhed and clutched at his chest. She hoped it was painful. She took one look at the shocked expressions of the others around her before leaping from the cave, drying blood caked onto every bit of her.
It’s been quiet. The atmosphere has lightened, and he feels comfortable in the presence of not only Melly, but Brine and Sprocket, too. They’re only just putting together their plans when she appears.
She comes from no where, like a flash of white-gold and silver and then a little gasp escapes Sprocket’s lips. She’s down and then he’s on the floor. His head hits the cave floor hard, but that isn’t what draws out the scream. It’s a long ripping feeling, as though he’s splitting in two. The cold of metal begins above his stomach, and it never ends. It rips through him and he screams, but it does nothing. His breath catches in his throat when it’s over, and he feels her lithe form leave him.
It’s exactly as he thought. He’s opened up and now everyone can see.
“I wanted to see what made you tick, but you’re just like everyone else,” her icy voice whispers into the cave.
His hand is tight around Brine’s wrist, and he imagines that at full strength he would be leaving a bruise. Now, though, he’s likely hardly holding on at all.
His other hand brushes up against Melly’s cheek, over the first scratch she got in the arena. He paints a streak of red over her skin and curses himself for it. The blood is everywhere, and he doesn’t have the strength anymore to shake it off. He opens his mouth to speak and feels the hot blood in his throat. He won’t look down. Won’t look at the wound. It’s difficult to breathe.
Not difficult, impossible.
“I…” he says, and scarlet bubbles out, splashing onto his lips. His vision is dark and spotted, and his hands feel cold. Pain is stabbing at his every sense. “Don’t leave,” he whispers, and he runs his fingers through her hair. His eyes are trying to focus on her, trying to see her, but he can’t. It’s so dark, like a veil of black has been laid over his eyes.
“Don’t leave… don’t leave…” he says over and over, each time weaker. His voice doesn’t sound young this time, it sounds dead.
The symbol he showed her on the rooftop. It was only a few days ago. It’s odd to think. She’s covered in his blood, but he moves his hand up her arm to where her skin is dry and paints the symbol in red. He hates red.
He wrinkles up his nose and wipes the symbol away. He’s not here for his friends. He’s not sending them a message. He’s speaking to her.
Is the rest of me dead? Am I dead now?
He isn’t dead yet, though. He’s certain of that. He can still feel his muscles rip and tear with each breath. If he’s dead, it shouldn’t hurt like this. He knows he should probably say something about his family now. About his family or his district or about something, but the only thing he can think about is the two beside him. They are breathing, and he isn’t.
He can no longer see their faces. It’s the end. He knows it. His ears still beg to hear someone say that he will live… his skin begs to feel an injection of some sort.
He’s still gripping Brine’s wrist, and blood has pooled all over his arm. Pooled everywhere. The world is red and sticky and hot and it’s drowning him. It sits in his throat, leaping out when he parts his scarlet slicked lips.
His eyes lock upward. His body hardly wants to move. It’s cold and he is tired. Somehow, his eyes find the gray-blue of Brine’s, but he doesn’t hate them anymore. He wonders if it’s Brine he sees in them or himself.
Must be Brine. Not enough blood to be me.
It’s red and red and red and he hates red.
Maybe he’ll tell him that he doesn’t hate him anymore. That maybe they can be friends when this is all over. He’s sorry for trying to kill him… he’s happy that Brine was able to protect Melly even if he lost Sprocket.
He’s too tired. Too tired to speak, so he looks Brine once in the eyes hard and hopes that maybe he understood it.
It’s time to sleep.