Waiting Room

As in room for waiting. My last installment on this quick little repost jaunt 🙂 Hope you (mostly Jessie 😉 ) enjoyed!

I feel heavy. Sticky. Like I have restlessly slept all night and not dreamed.

I have been in bed too long. I panic when I see a square of light from the window on my blankets. I’m late at the fields, they will punish me for sure. I’m about to jump out of bed and run to the fields without thinking, when I see my brother, still at home as well, in his best, and only, white buttoned shirt. The shirt used to be our father’s, and it hangs off of his body, which is strong but underfed, like all the workers.

My panic starts fresh, but even more strong – It’s reaping day.

“Cleora, get up.” My brother says when he sees me awake. I nod and get dressed quickly in the only dress we have, an old yellow thing with a long tear down the side seam that I have patched.

Matteus and I live alone in a small apartment. Our parents and little brother died in a house fire 6 years 11 months and 24 days ago. Reaping day always makes me think of them.

I eat a small loaf of bread with Matteus and then he hugs me, just holds me until we know we have to go to the square or risk being beaten. He is 22, so is safe from the reaping and has been for some time. I am 17, and am not safe at all. My name is in the reaping 12 times. Not very much, but more than makes me feel “safe”.

Matteus wraps his arm around my shoulders and we walk to the square, following the crowd. I know he is thinking the worst, preparing himself for it, just in case. That way he can be even happier if I’m not reaped. I don’t think at all.

At the entrance to the square we have our finger pricked and scanned and Matteus is pulled away from me. I keep my head down and shuffle to the area roped off for the 17 year olds, trying desperately to blend in, to not be noticed, to not be chosen.

The mentors for our district, a heavy set man named Juvio and a wasted old woman named Minara, sit with stoically on the stage with the strange capitol escort, a man with pale pink hair and dark facial tattoos that I have never seen before. He chatters at Mayor Perrier who has a strained smile on her face.

I breath deeply as the anthem of Panem plays and Mayor Perrier reads the history of Panem.

Finally the capitol escort stands.

“Hello district eleven!” He said with a voice surprisingly deep for someone so flamboyant. “My name is Cimilio Rannin, it is such a pleasure to be here! I can’t wait to take two lucky tributes on an adventure back to the capitol with me! Enough blabbing, to the reaping! Ladies first!” He swirls his arm deep into the giant bowl.

Only twelve Cleora. You will be fine. I think.

“Okay,” Cimilio says, painstakingly opening the folded slip of paper. “Cleora Oyer.”

I don’t move. I don’t breath. I don’t walk up to the stage like I know I should. I can’t. All of Panem will see me. In my horrid ripped dress and my chopped hair and my malnourished body. They will see me and know I can’t win. I know I can’t win. But I have to try.

Title Borrowed From: Mark Hahn Photography

 

Cheating Or Mastering?

Installment four 🙂 my page is here: Panemaniacs

I sit on the floor in my basement hiding from my brothers. It is the night before the reaping and I am starting to fall asleep, I don’t want to go upstairs and endure the emotional torture of being in that broken house.

I curl up on my side and am in the lovely dreamless moments before sleep when the window across the room slides open and a face appears there.

“Hello lovely.” His voice is oily and his face is dark. Its Dilan. The peacekeeper that is the reason my parents are both avoxes in the capitol. He is cruel.

“Persai…” He strokes my face and I jump back.

“What do you want?” I hiss. “I have nothing left. You took my parents. There is no one else I love. Nothing else to take away from me.”

“Except your life.” Dilan says, with a raised eyebrow.

I shrug. His threats against my life mean little.

“I’ll make you a deal Miss Spectral.” I don’t react and he continues. “Volunteer in the reaping tomorrow, and you have a chance for fame and riches, you know this. But if you volunteer at the reaping and win the games, I will get you your parents back. They will be allowed to return to district two and will be allowed to live as regular citizens. Don’t volunteer and your fate will be the same as theirs. It is your choice.” And Dilan is gone.

My breath is coming faster and my heart is racing. Is he telling the truth? What are his motives? Why, why, why?

If I volunteer I have a one in twelve chance to win, the odds aren’t in my favor. But I am strong, I have trained my whole life, not with the intention of volunteering but to be ready in case I am reaped.

If I volunteer I will save someone. I will also have a chance at rescuing my parents.

I will volunteer. Tomorrow I am going to the games.

Title Borrowed From: Gödel’s Lost Letter and P=NP

The jaws of defeat

Installment three!

My mother brushes my crimson hair roughly and puts a silver clip in it. A piece slowly slips out of the clip and falls in front of my face as I stare at myself in the mirror. I look at my mother’s face in the mirror. Tears run down her face and there is a deep crease between her eyebrows.

It is the very first Hunger Games and the pain from the rebellion is still fresh. District 8 didn’t have as many casualties than the other districts, but my father was killed, and our family is broken. I miss my father every day. And if I am chosen to fight in the games, I am going to win for him.

My mother and I stare at each other through the mirror and we both cry.

As we walk to the square together I think about my odds in this competition. Each person has their name in only once, and there are a lot of girls in district 8. I feel very confident, but I am also terrified deep down, not for myself, but that my mother will be left alone. I tuck my hair into the clip again, but I know it wont stay.

Right before we enter the square I turn and hug my mother, but then we are pushed along by the crowd. I find myself surrounded and roped off with all the other 13 year olds, near the back of the crowd of children. I can’t see anything.

I hear the anthem play, and then a lecture about why the Hunger Games was created, to show us, basically, that the Capitol is in control and that we need to stay subservient. It makes me mad but I bite my tongue.

I hear a person with the frothy capitol accent come up to the mic. Their accent is so heavy, I can’t tell if it is a boy or a girl.

“Hello district eight!” They say. “Welcome to the very first Hunger Games! May the odds, be ever in your favor! Ladies first?” There is a rustling of paper and then the capitol escort reads a name.

“Alita Poten.”

That’s me.

Title Borrowed From: Shaw Pro Photo (this is an AMAZING article)

What/Who is Anonymous?

Installment two of my Hunger Games Headcannons.

*Mayor Blythe reads us the history of Panem as we sweat in the dull sunlight. My hands wont stop shaking and I keep looking up at Ky who gazes off in the direction of the low hills. He is only twelve and looking calmer than some of the oldest kids at the front. I am three years younger than him and I am terrified.

Our district escort, Jennelle McCordia sweeps her lavender hair off her forehead, I can see that it is sticking there. My whole body starts to shake as Jennelle pulls the girl’s name.

“Maritrista Rae.” A sixteen-year-old blond girl bursts into tears and is pushed up to the stage.

I wipe my hands on my pants as Jennelle walks to the glass ball with the boys’ names in it and reaches way down to the bottom. With a dramatic flourish she pulls the name out and reads it in the microphone. “—*

It was Ky Alder. I know it was Ky. I just don’t have to remember it that way. But I do. I wish I could have volunteered for him and saved him from being randomly slaughtered by the Careers in the first five seconds of the game. It was over so quick. The reaping. The game. His life.

Every day the story plays over and over in my head. I can’t stop it, but I have learned to make it help me. After Ky was killed in the bloodbath I decided to take revenge on the capitol and the tributes that killed him by becoming a Career to beat the Careers. As far as I know, I am the first and only district 9 tribute to do this. I have been secretly training since Ky was killed, and eight years of training and guilt later, I am ruthless. Practice in the fields cutting grain has made me deadly with a scythe and years of hate towards the capitol and the Careers has made me unafraid to use it.

I am eighteen now and today is the reaping day – my last chance to enter the games.

I get ready methodically, knowing I will soon be on the stage. I pull on a black sweater and turn to face my parents. They both hug me absently, I know they are thinking of Ky.

The three of us follow the masses to the town square. I nod at my parents and make my way to the front of the crowd. A girl named Izzali Brown calls out to from the seventeens.

“Jace!” She smiles at me. I make eye contact and then nod at her too.

The reaping ceremony seems to take longer every year. Finally, Jennelle, who I have come to think of as a funny cartoon character, comes to the microphone.

“Hello district nine! Ladies first! And – may the odds be ever in your favor!” She reaches into the girl’s ball and swirls her hand around for an indeterminable amount of time.

As luck may have it, the name Jennelle reads is Izzali Brown, the girl who smiled at me earlier. I sigh inwardly, I don’t want to have to kill her.

Izzali is surprisingly calm as she walks up to the stage, shakes hands with Mayor Blythe and her mentor Shenna Corslan. She proceeds to blow a kiss to the camera closest to the stage.

Jennelle moves to the boy’s ball. She takes even longer choosing a boys name but finally calls out, “Jereme Skitz.” A slim, trembling thirteen-year-old boy with pale brown hair stumbles out of the crowd and starts to shuffle to the stage. Before the peacekeepers surround him, I step out of the crowd and take the stage.

I look straight into the camera, as Izzali had.

“I volunteer as tribute.”

Title Borrowed From: Cybernid

Day 25: Blue

This is a headcannon I wrote for my facebook page, Panemaniacs. I have  five. Enjoy!

Its very early on the morning of the reaping. I am sitting criss-crossed on a bluff and looking straight down into the turbulent waves. I used to panic every time I came out here, but now its a symbol of everything I have overcome, all of the things that no longer scare me. I stand up at the edge of the bluff and scream as loud as I can, just to let out the tension of the day. All the bad memories of this place need to be scared away.

This is where my mother fell and was swallowed by the ocean. This is where my father jumped because he couldn’t live with out her.

I used to hate them for leaving tiny Jayce and I alone. But I don’t anymore. I just miss them. But I am better now, it has been around five years. I try not to really count, I wouldn’t be able to let go. I am amazed to find that the gripping sadness leaves me with a sense of strength.

And after all I still have Jayce, Amoya, my best friend, Sortiana, my cousin, and Marina, my aunt. Marina is quiet and caring and takes care of us like we are her own. I still have a family, so I am luckier than some.

I take my time walking to the square, as it is still a little early, and the fog from the ocean is thick over district four.

Sand coats the pavement everywhere here and it is gritty under my bare feet. Many people are walking around in their reaping clothes and I start to run to my house so I can change into my clothes in time. I bang the door open and no one even looks up, they are used to my loud entrances.

“Get up! We have to go! Why are you all sitting around?” I shout. I really mean: This is a very stressful day and I love you all. But I cant say that. Not unless… No I can’t think like that. I am strong.

But Claria, you have sixteen entries. I tell my stupid inner voice to shut it.

“At least we are dressed! You look like crap.” says Sortiana. She is dressed in a sea green dress, much more beautiful than the loose black dress that is my reaping outfit.

I roll my eyes and go to help Jayce button his shirt. He is only ten, and I love him more than anything. I will never let him take out any tessarae. I don’t care how hungry we get, its better than being dead.

I tuck in his shirt and kiss him on the forehead.

“Now you be good silly boy. No throwing things or spitting or yelling.” He makes a serious face and nods and hugs me. And then runs to Sortiana and hugs her too. Sortiana is 18 and has 24 entries to the reaping. The odds are much less in her favor than they are in mine.

The four of us walk to the town center together and are seperated as soon as we get there. In the fifteen-year-old section I see Amoya and walk over and give her a swift hug. She perches on her toes to see over the crowd and I scan the sixteen-year-old’s section for Rusell. I have been in love with him since I was twelve and we sat next to each other in class. We talked all that year, and then he never talked to me again because we never had any classes together. He suddenly catches my gaze and gives me a small smile. I blush and turn away, but don’t have time to be embarrassed because the ceremony has started. The mayor reads to us the history of Panem, and it is all going so fast, and our capitol escort, Jessa Crossler, is pulling a name. “Amoya Depoco.”

Amoya lets out a hiss of air and walks tensly up to the stage where she stands with her chin jerked up.

No! I think. She can’t die, she has no one but her father. He will fall apart without her.

Most people who volunteer are Career tributes who have trained their whole lives for the games. I can swim faster than anyone I know, and my job is gutting the fish, so I can use a knife. I have a better chance than Amoya, not more than five feet tall, and who was always given the easy jobs because of it. “Any volunteers?” Asks Jessa Crossler.

There is a beat of silence. “I volunteer.” I whisper. And then, “I volunteer!” I yell as loud as I can. Peacekeepers take Amoya off the stage and she kicks and screams with all her might. I mount the stage and I have no fear, just strength. I will win.

Title Borrowed From: Love the Bad Guy

Wandering in Style

Chapter 2 of “Lights”, for the blurb that should go before this, see the post before. The blurb/explanation turned into a nice little rant about why everyone should try writing a novel, and I thought it should be separate. So enjoy chapter two, and give me feedback please! On the story and just the poem/song itself.

Princess Marisen had started out the morning as she usually did, reading the next book on the list that Lesley had compiled for her.

Lady Lesley Oliver was the librarian’s apprentice and Marisen’s best friend. Her dearest ambition was to be a writer but she would never show her work to anyone and Marisen asked her on a daily basis how she expected to be published if no on ever read her stories. Lesley’s daily answer was, “It isn’t ready,” which of course really meant, “I am not ready.” So Marisen shrugged, said okay, and asked again the next day.

Lesley’s latest suggestion was a shiny new book called The Crystal City. It was about a girl who lived in a city where all the buildings were clear. She supposed the moral was that someone was always watching you. It was confusing, but still pretty good, up until the girl started falling in love, then Marisen had to put it down for fear of being sick all over the pristine white pages.

Not that she didn’t like love stories, on the contrary, she usually loved them. But it drew her mind to what was going to happen the following day. The point of reading was to draw her mind away from her problems.

The following day she was going to be introduced to a group of eligible suitors.

Her mother always said, “It is the age of Kings and Queens, Knights and dragons, lords, ladies, and fancy dresses.” That included the age where princesses were supposed to have a steady courtier by the age of seventeen, and Marisen’s birthday was only 36 days away. She had a chart checking off the days.

She was staring at that chart when Lady Delaney arrived to dress her for lunch. Marisen noticed she looked tired. Come to think of it Delaney always looks tired.

Delaney dressed her in a pretty yellow dress with a lace-covered bodice and helped pin her small gold tiara into her dark hair.

Delaney asked if Marisen would please wear shoes and Marisen politely declined.

Her father was always trying to get her to wear shoes and had Delaney ask her daily, but she never did unless she had to leave the castle.

Marisen walked slowly to breakfast, thinking about the next day and admiring the sun streaming through the windows.

Her father, King William Christopher D’Corrol III, greeted her as she walked into the dining hall and she smiled brightly back at him. She loved her father, everyone did. He was a very fair and loyal king.

Throughout the meal King William talked. About what Marisen could not be sure. As he talked the secretary of something and the officer of something else listened from across the table and took notes.

All this was very important business she was sure, but Marisen was watching her little sister. Marisen’s little sister was named after their mother, Queen Delilah Caroline D’Corrol and looked just like the queen.

While Marisen and her father were olive-skinned with dark curling hair, Princess and Queen Delilah were fair-skinned and blue-eyed, with blond hair and a smattering of freckles across the bridges of their noses.

Princess Delilah was still young enough to play with dolls and that was what she was doing as her sister studied her across the table. Marisen watched as Delilah created her own world in which painted faces laughed and wooden legs danced.

Marisen wished she were still young enough to play with dolls.

King William dismissed the officer and the secretary and turned to his daughters.

Put the dolls away when you are at the table please, Delilah,” He said. Delilah scowled and stowed the dolls under her chair.

Are you ready for tomorrow, Marisen?” the king asked.

No. “Yes,” Marisen lied, trying not to grimace. “But… um, what am I supposed to wear?” If it were up to her, Marisen would wear her pajamas. That way the suitors would think she was strange and leave.

Oh. I’m not sure…” King William mumbled. “Actually, I think your mother is working with the seamstresses right now. She was going to show you later today, but why don’t you go now? Please take your sister.”

Marisen nodded and picked up Delilah’s dolls as the eight year old ran out of the room singing a silly sing about jealous spring flowers their mother had sang to them.

When the tulips start to sing,

The daisies they will sleep.

But when the daisies start to rise,

The tulips they will weep.

The tulips they are jealous,

For not everyone likes pink.

They ask for yellow and for white,

So the daisies stop and think.

They look the tulips up and down,

And ask around the garden,

But in the end they still say no.

Giggle, ‘Please beg our pardon’.”

At that point she stumbled and forgot the words, and just started humming. But the words continued in Marisen’s head and she realized it was not such a nice song after all.

But then the flower in the shadows,

Opens up her wide dark leaves,

And in her voice they all hear stories,

They can only half believe.

The rose, the rose, always the rose,

Oh, she only sleeps in the fall.

She climbs up the house,

And tears down the wall.

The tulips cry,

And the daisies weep.

But in the end,

They all go to sleep.

When the tulips start to sing,

The daisies they will sleep.

But when the daisies start to rise,

The tulips they will weep.

The tulips are now missing,

Their lovely shades of pink.

Their stuck with yellow and with white,

And this makes the daisies think.

They stop to wonder when,

The summer, autumn, or the spring,

When will a daisy in the ground,

Grow with petals colored pink?

So basically the rose takes the tulips’ colors and makes the daisies live in fear of waking up colored pink. Or in human terms, makes an example of them. Marisen had not heard the song for ages and wondered why Delilah had started singing it. It left her with a strange sense of dread as she belatedly followed her sister to the sewing room.

She turned the corner and stood in front of the sewing room doors. Delilah came and pulled on her arm asking her why she would not go in.

Come on Marisen!”

Marisen handed Delilah her dolls and pushed open the doors. She walked to the back of the room where the looms and sewing tables were. Her mother, Queen Delilah was standing by a loom, on which two dresses were hung, one gold, one silver.

Which one am I wearing?” Marisen asked. Her tiara was gold, so her mother usually had golden, or gold enhanced dressed made for her.

Oh! Um, Marisen honey, you are a bit early, are you not?” the queen said, her voice ascending in pitch.

Yes….” Marisen answered, confused as to why her mother sounded so stressed. “Father said I could come over now, but I could leave….” Her voice trailed off, feeling slightly hurt.

Oh, no, that’s okay. Um, would you like to try your dress on?”

Sure, which one is mine?” Marisen repeated.

The gold one of course.”

Who is the silver one for?”

Oh… uh, no one.”

Then why did you make it?” Marisen persisted. She usually would not pry but she wanted to know why her mother was so agitated.

Oh, no reason. Really,” the queen turned around and started straightening the impeccable sewing table. “I was just playing with new colors, I wanted to see how the dress would look in silver, that is all. Nothing really….”

Right,” Marisen answered, deciding to just let it go.

Her mother quickly put the silver dress in the closet, closing the door with a snap.

Marisen went into her happy place as her mother fixed her dress, pinning a piece here, marking a seam there.

Finally she was done and Marisen wandered back to her room. She sat there the rest of the day, thinking about what would happen the next day and watching the sun sink in the sky. She knew the suitors were all in the castle, but she had not seen anyone yet. But then again, she had only left her room for breakfast, and the castle was quite large.

At six Delaney brought her dinner, but Marisen could only sip the soup, she did not touch the bread or cherry cobbler. Her stomach was too full of butterflies. She was not sure if they were nervous butterflies or excited butterflies.

Lady Delaney took away her plate with a curtsy and Marisen laid down and slowly slipped off to sleep as the sun sunk below the horizon.

 

Title Borrowed From: Brian Gaynor Photography

Stress Less, Write More

In the next chapter of my story.. I wrote a poem. Well in the story it is a song, it needs a bit of work still, but I remember writing it, it always felt very strange. I almost had a tune in my head, but if I ever tried to sing it it sounded silly. Its still a little idle wish to be able to sing this… But the problem is to find something that sounds like a nursury rhyme but is still slightly sinister. For my one loyal follower, I shall post the story part when I get home, but here is a small teaser in the form of my explination/disclaimer.

Actually, I think I am skipping over a chapter while I think about this.. But the first chapter – it opens with the Lady in Waiting Delaney rambling in a tired sort of daze. And I dont really like how she says what she says, its too contrived. So I might just leave that part out and put those details that she shares in later, in a more natural way.

If you have never written a novel, (or attempted to write, you are really never finished with a novel, no matter what you think, you can always improve it), you should try. It is a very sort of freeing experience. Well it is for those of us born with so many stories in our heads that they spill out in our dreams, so we dream things like carnivals, and this very strange machine.. that my sister was shot through – like some clear tube? And then she was performing in this glass box with other clowns and she was dressed like a clown. If you have never had any dreams like that, you are lucky but I also feel sort of bad for you. They are very strange and confusing, but so vivid and real that you think that you are in reality until you wake up and look back. They also make me question on a daily basis if everything I know is a dream and I am going to wake up as a 6-year-old, anticipating the life I might live ten years in the future.

So the point (hahaha) of this ramble, is to explain to you some of the things writing a novel, really writing one, with organized thought before hand, can do for you. When you write a novel, you have to build up to something and add in tantalizing facts throuout the story, so the readers learn about what is happening in a natural way. You cant just ramble along until you figure out where you are going, the readers will get bored.

The problem however – is that everything has been done. To write a novel you need one singular lightbulb sort of idea that sparks a story, and you write because you have to get it out or you will explode. That is why I write. It has only happened to me twice, ergo two, partially finished novels. So if that ever happens to you, get it out before you foreget where you are going. And if you have an end but not a beginning, write it down! Never say – oh I’ll write it later when I have time. I hate when I do that but then later I forget why I had that spark of insight into my own imagination.

So this was supposed to lead into chapter two of Lights (the name-in-consideration for my second novel), but I think I shall leave it as a stream of conscious little rant about writing your ideas down and having the guts to try and write a novel and see where it leads. You might find yourself famous like the goddess that is J.K. Rowling 😉

People are a lot more creative then we give them credit for, even if there really are only seven original stories, the variations are fantastic.

Title Borrowed From: Kristen Lamb’s Blog