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HG: Golden Mean, Chapter Seventeen - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
HG: Golden Mean, Chapter Seventeen
The individual evaluations have been going on all day, and Haymitch realizes quite suddenly that just maybe, he should have actually done some mentoring ahead of time.




Chapter Seventeen
I see the elevator go up in reasonable time after Katniss, and let myself think for maybe a minute that everything is all right. Peeta's no hotheaded zealot, so maybe whatever he did was just messy. Katniss is a zealot (though nowhere near as hotheaded as she thinks she is), but whatever she did took a normal amount of time, and there are no Peacekeepers storming through the lounge door to take me away.

But before I can convince myself of this -- and that would be a long shot, anyway -- the door from the stairs opens, and Plutarch is glaring at me. I start over toward him to see what he wants, but he just shakes his head, slams the door, and leaves.

"Someone's in trouble," Cecilia says. "I do that when I'm so angry I don't dare go near my kids." She looks at me in an evaluative way and says, "Maybe you shouldn't go near yours, either."

This is, unfortunately, not an option. I try to keep it under control when I ask them what they did. I really do. I mostly manage it by remembering that I'm the one who didn't tell them they were in a minefield and needed to watch their steps. Of course, they probably should have figured that out on their own.

Peeta decided to smack them over the head with a moral lesson about what they did to Rue McKissack. To hold them accountable, apparently. Bully for accountability. Effie nearly hyperventilates at the thought that he's been thinking forbidden thoughts. This snags in my head somewhere, but I don't have time to deal with it. Peeta may not be a zealot, but self-righteous moral philosophers aren't much more welcome in Snow's Capitol.

Of course, Katniss must have realized that he did something crazy, because she decided to top it.

By hanging an effigy of Seneca Crane.

Great. The leader of the rebellion -- at least as the Capitol politicians see it -- just threatened to execute the Gamemakers. That'll be helpful.

Peeta caps it off by saying, "And Haymitch? We decided we don't want any other allies in the arena."

For a moment that I guess I'll spend the rest of the Games regretting -- at the moment I don't care -- I am perfectly content to tell everyone to fend for themselves. "Good," I say. "Then I won't be responsible for you killing off any of my friends with your stupidity."

"That's just what we were thinking," Katniss says, and I think she means it, which makes it worse somehow -- that for them, it really is about not killing the others.

The only problem is that, if they don't make the alliances, more people are going to die. If they're out there on their own, waiting out the Games and trying not to kill any of my friends, my friends are going to die trying to stop the Careers from hunting them down.

The situation is not improved when Claudius Templesmith paints a bright target on them by awarding them perfect twelves on their evaluations. There's no way that was about the skills demonstrated. Neither painting nor noose-tying is a serious threat to anyone.

I send them to bed. They don't even bother pretending to go to separate rooms. Whatever. At this late date in the Games, I doubt Peeta's capable of any more mischief than finger-painting her or something. Even Effie doesn't make a scene about it.

We sit around in silence -- Cinna, Portia, Effie, and me. We all know what just happened. I start to feel worse about how I talked to them. I knew I would. I think we've all wanted to shove the Gamemakers' faces in what they do, and Katniss and Peeta think they're on their way to die, so they wouldn't have another chance. I'd apologize, but I doubt they'd appreciate me interrupting the finger-painting just now.

Finally, more to break the silence than anything else, I say, "Effie, what did you mean about forbidden thinking?"

She looks puzzled. "What do you mean?"

"How do they forbid you to think something?"

"Well, they just... it's... it's forbidden."

"I never had to do anything myself," Cinna says. "But I remember once no one was allowed to talk to a boy who said we should have elections for a new president."

"Yes," Effie says, nodding. "Of course. When I was nine, I had to..." She giggles oddly. "Actually, Haymitch, it was your Quell. I said that it was mean that your friend died. I had to write out how many people died in the Dark Days, a thousand times on a blackboard in the playground, and they made me live with my aunt until my parents proved they weren't teaching me things like that. Everyone said I must like wars and want a lot of people to die. I finally realized that, well, it was all very horrible, but it's better than having a war. I had to do a report on it in front of the whole school."

I try to imagine little Effie Trinket, her hair in girly ringlets. I have no idea what color it is naturally, and I see it as pink. She is standing in a playground while the Quell plays above her, writing on a blackboard over and over. The other kids would have been making fun of her. She would come home from school to be snatched away from her parents. Then, at some point, made to stand up in front of everyone who'd been ridiculing her and recite the "right" way of thinking. All because she said it was "mean" that Maysilee Donner was murdered.

"Thanks," I say.

"What for?"

"Never mind. Just, thanks." I lean over and kiss her cheek.

She looks stunned. "Well, thank you for the kiss. But it's not going to get you out of meetings tomorrow." She shakes her finger at me playfully. "I have five sponsor meetings lined up for you. I'll take care of coaching Katniss and Peeta for their interview. I guess they'll be in prep all day the next day."

I wave it off. "Give them the day, Effie. They know how to walk in fancy clothes, and they already own the audience. Let them have a breather."

"I guess they've earned it," she says, then gets up, gathers her things, and leaves.

I decide to add Effie Trinket to the long list of people I want a little justice for.

I talk to Portia and Cinna for a little while after she leaves. Cinna says that Snow has demanded that Katniss wear the winning wedding dress, but that he plans to make it more memorable than anyone anticipates. He won't tell me what he means.

"He won't even tell me," Portia says, annoyed.

"This one's on my head. Even Katniss won't know."

I don't find this reassuring.

They leave. I go to the bar, but Darius is locking up the liquor. He waggles his fingers around his head to indicate Effie's wig, then touches his mouth. Effie's orders. Maybe I won't fight a war on her behalf.

Darius and the girl start cleaning up around the apartment. I wonder if either of them was ritually humiliated to spur right-thinking. If so, it apparently didn't take.

The girl slips me a bottle from the bottom cupboard before it's locked. I wink and go to my bedroom. Drink.

I dream about little Effie, with cramped, chalk-stained fingers, wandering through the arena and trying to find Maysilee.

In the morning, the real Effie shows up early, chirping that it's time to get ready for my first meeting. Today will be making deals, cutting agreements. They still can't give me money, but I'll have solid figures promised by the end of the day. The breakfast meeting is at the home of Adamaris Brinn, an elderly woman who never had children and sees no need to save her money when it could go to such a nice cause as keeping that sweet Mellark boy alive. I know that she patronizes Finnick from time to time. I manage not to hit her. She asks if I'd be interested in spending the rest of the day with her. I tell her I'm terribly sorry, but Effie has me booked.

After Brinn, there is a nice couple named Nova and Virgil Tannen, who I meet in a hotel conference room. They fell in love during last year's games, and want to give all of their monetary wedding presents to Katniss and Peeta, and beg me to work whatever magic I can to let them both live happily ever after. I tell them that I doubt another exception will be made, and Nova starts weeping. Virgil makes me promise to try.

I stay in the conference room for the next two meetings. One is with a serious gambler who's worked the odds and decided to put his money on Katniss. The other is with a popular boy singer who came to the victory celebration in Twelve last year and was excited to get Prim's autograph, of all things. He tells me to just let him know whatever I need. "I mean it, man. Whatever it takes to get them out of there. District Twelve can count on me. Everyone was nice to me there. Just tell me where to sign." He performs under the name Julian Day, but signs the sponsor contract as Stephen Bregmen. When I ask, he shrugs and says, "My parents were from the districts, my friend. They won't say which. But Julian Day gets places that Stephen Bregman can't, you know?"

He shoves a pair of shades onto his face and slouches out. He's still mobbed in the hotel lobby when I leave for my next meeting ten minutes later.

This one is in a part of town I've never been, the apartments near the train station. We're generally just whisked through here. No one in the Capitol is poor in a sense that District Twelve would recognize, but in Capitol terms, this is the Seam. People wear cheap imitations of Effie's fashions, live crowded into small apartments (some with as little as one bedroom per person), and have to settle for second-hand technology. Some of them are deep in debt, and I'd guess this is where a lot of the Peacekeepers who actually hail from the Capitol came from. The buildings look like Capitol buildings in the same way the clothes look like Capitol fashion -- cheap knock-offs.

There is a street fair going on. I check the address Effie gave me. It's smack in the middle of the block where booths line the street, and people are playing their own Games. At the corner, there's an archery game, where cushion-ended arrows are being shot with abandon at red bottles. A girl who has just missed a shot spots me and points, then giggles to her friend.

I go past. My first thought, that this was some cheap aping of the Hunger Games themselves, isn't right. There aren't any general exhibits. Aside from the archery station, there's a "Paint Yourself Like Peeta" booth, where kids and adults are trying to camouflage themselves. There's a music booth, where District Twelve music is playing. There's a girl selling doll clothes that look like Katniss's dresses (I buy some, thinking Cinna will get a kick out of them, especially the ones with fake flames made from glitter), and someone has made Peeta's paintings into postcards. Blond "Prim" wigs made from yarn are a big seller, and there's a pamphlet containing all of the information on herbs that Ruth gave during the games. There's even a booth with a handmade sign that says "Mellarks' Bakery," where they're selling fresh District Twelve bread. Mockingjays are everywhere. There are even badly manipulated photos of me and Maysilee made to look old together. These are being sold from a closed tent near the address I've been directed to.

"Mr. Abernathy?"

I turn. A teenage boy with bleached curls is standing on the steps of one of the apartment buildings. I check, and it's the address I'm supposed to go to. "What's all this?" I ask.

"We're raising money to sponsor District Twelve," he says, and holds out his hand. "I'm Aurelian Benz."

That is the name on Effie's list. I shake his hand and say, "Haymitch Abernathy. Quite a set-up you've got here."

"I hope it's not offensive," he says.

"It's a little odd." He looks crestfallen, so I add, "But it sure is a lot of work just to help out complete strangers."

Aurelian smiles brightly. "Come on," he says. "We're not exactly an official group. That's why I'm the only name. But everyone wants to meet you."

He leads me through the carnival, behind the "bakery," and into an alley between two buildings. He whistles Rue's tune. A window opens, and a little redheaded girl looks out and smiles. She looks at someone behind her and says, "They're here! Haymitch Abernathy is here!"

"They're excited," Aurelian says.

A door pops open, and he leads me inside. This building is obviously abandoned for some reason, and, like abandoned buildings in every place since the beginning of time, it's been taken over by local children. There are ten kids here. I have no idea who they are. They've set up a round table in a corner with no windows, and put up an old lantern.

"We never let the fire go out," a teenage girl tells me solemnly.

The little redhead curls up beside the older girl. They look nothing alike, but then, neither do Prim and Katniss. I have no doubt that they're sisters. The little one holds up a fashion doll, beaten up and dirty. It's one of the Katniss dolls released just after the Games. Currently, it's wearing the pants and boots from the arena, and the top of the yellow dress she wore for her last interview. The skirt has been hacked off around her thighs. "Yellow's my favorite color," the girl says.

"That's... nice."

"My sissy got my doll," she explains, leaning into her sister's arm. "So she could watch out for me when she's at school, just like Katniss watches out for her sissy."

"Mr. Abernathy doesn't care about that, Solly," the sister says.

"Actually," I say, "Mr. Abernathy cares a lot about that."

The older girl smiles faintly.

Aurelian tugs her hair and says, "This is Tacita Vole, and you met her sister, Solana."

The others come over and introduce themselves before they sit down. They all want handshakes. Aurelian, at eighteen, is the oldest, which is why his name is the official sponsor name. Solly is the youngest, at five, but she insists on telling me that she helped "Tazzy" make bread to sell, so she is a sponsor, too.

My main job in these meetings is usually getting as much money out of a sponsor as I can, which requires listening to their stories, but here, they barely have enough to send in a cracker on the first day. They just need to tell their stories.

Aurelian was in with a bad crowd last year -- like Peeta with the Careers, as he interprets it -- and seeing that it was better to be a good person and love someone, he got on a better track. Tazzy and Solly's parents are in debtors' prison, and they've been begging. Tazzy doesn't say it outright, but there are only so many ways for a pretty teenage girl to make money, and I suspect that it's not school she's at when Solly needs watching. (And I'm guessing that she got the doll on an old fashioned five-finger discount, which I'd congratulate her for if we were acknowledging these things.) She started crying when Katniss volunteered for Prim. "I just felt like I knew her! I'd do anything for Solly, too! Katniss can't die."

A twelve-year-old boy named Faxon once had to steal back his things from bullies (just like Katniss destroying the Careers' supplies, as far as he's concerned). A girl named Elysia learned how to climb trees, which got her away from Peacekeepers who had arrested her parents for debt. (It is a common theme.) A pair of brothers named Curtis and Crispin saw Peeta's fight with Cato as an inspiration to stop picking fights and start fighting to defend people. "Now everyone's out to get us," Crispin says, grinning crazily, "but it's way better." Juniper, another girl who I suspect is not spending her days in school, didn't join until this year, when the chariot went by and she saw the anger on Katniss's face. She admired it. The group is rounded out by a couple of twelve year olds who watched the Games at school last year and realized they could be Reaped if they were in the Districts. "I don't have anyone who could volunteer for me," the girl, Minerva, says.

The boy, whose name is Nonnie, just grins and says, "Katniss is really pretty."

After all those stories, something about that last, simple statement, strikes everyone, including me, as funny. We laugh.

"Anyway," Aurelian says, "that's why we're sponsoring. Everyone in the neighborhood likes them. That's why we have the fair. But we all want to give them something, because they gave us something."

I shake my head. "You kids should keep the money. Use it to... I don't know. Stop doing whatever you're doing." I frown at Tazzy and Juniper. "You need that money more than they do."

"It's not about what we need," Juniper says. "It's like... when I saw her at the parade, and she was so mad, I felt like I could get mad. And like I could get out."

Tazzy nods enthusiastically. "It's not being mad for me. It's more like... I feel like I can win. Because she won."

"Besides," Faxon says, "we got a permit for the carnival saying it was for sponsoring. It's illegal to keep it for ourselves until after the Games, if you don't use it."

I try to argue with them -- I have everything I need -- but they insist. Finally, after two hours, I relent, and let Aurelian sign the sponsorship forms. He wants it to go toward arrows.

"And bread!" Solly insists.

Aurelian takes me back upstairs and out to the carnival. "They'll be okay in there," he says. "No one ever goes in there. We have food and everything."

"Get those girls off the street," I tell him.

He nods. "I know. I'm trying. Tazzy's got a grandfather somewhere in town. I wish she'd go to him. But you know what? Tazzy learned to bake bread. Juniper made those postcards. They're learning how to do other things. That's good, too, isn't it?"

I admit that it is, then warn him to make sure everyone keeps their heads down, thinking of Effie's school story. He laughs and tells me that they've all seen enough punishments to know what never to say.

He goes back inside. I stay at the fair a while, buying bread (not as good as Peeta's, but not bad), looking at the weirdly manipulated images of Maysilee and me. The boy running the booth offers to give me one, but I turn it down. I play a few of the games, and let a seven year old girl paint me into a rainbow in the camouflage booth.

"That's a good look for you," Chaff says when I get back to the training center. "Street fair?"

"You've seen them?"

"There was one for Rue last year," he said. "Where was yours?"

I tell him. His was on the other side of town, by the power stations. Apparently, it's the only way the poorer parts of town can think about sponsoring. I wonder if they'd be allies, but thinking about it, I realize none of them were inspired to overthrow the government. They were just personally inspired to be better people. Which, in Snow's world, may be more revolutionary than a gunshot, but isn't really a war strategy.

I go up to the District Twelve apartment and don't find anyone there. I guess that the kids are on the roof, and discover that I'm right when I open the door a crack. They are sitting by the remains of a picnic. Katniss is asleep with her head on Peeta's lap, and he is stroking her hair, completely focused on her. I could probably slam the door without being noticed, but I don't.

Darius is back in the apartment when I get there, and I tell him to make sure people leave Katniss and Peeta alone. He grins lecherously and nods, then holds up four fingers and points at the floor. I nod, but decide to clean the rainbow off my face before I go downstairs to the District Four apartment, though I'm sure Chaff will have told everyone about it by now.

It's never been forbidden to visit other floors in the training center, though of course, we only have the keys to our own floors, which makes it almost impossible to do. I have no idea exactly how I'm supposed to get there, so I head down to the main level, where I find Johanna also wandering.

"Any thoughts?" she asks.

I shake my head.

"What about that alliance?"

I wince. The last thing I want to tell Johanna Mason is that she's been rejected by a girl she claims she can't stand the sight of. "Well," I say, "you know they have to have conditions."

"Conditions?"

I think about it. "Yeah. Well -- you have to make sure Beetee and Wiress get to them."

She stares at me. "You're kidding. She wants me in charge of Nuts and Volts? What's she punishing me for?"

"Stripping in front of her boyfriend?" I suggest.

"Oh. Right."

The elevator comes down and Finnick beckons us onto it, scooting us up to District Four, Johanna complaining all the way about "Katniss"'s requirements for an alliance. When the door opens, Finnick crooks his arm at Harris Greaves and says, "Your turn!" Mags shakes her head and manages to hobble over to the elevator before Harris gets there. Finnick rolls his eyes. "She loves the elevator. Says she used to ride it during her Games, just for fun."

About half of the tributes are here, not all from rebel districts. Gloss is dancing on the coffee table with Cecilia. Enobaria is pouring drinks. Chaff is entertaining several people by describing my make-up from earlier. Cashmere, whose talent as a singer never did light the world on fire, nevertheless managed to make friends with a lot of people in the industry, and she's playing music that hasn't been released yet.

"I guess everyone's done with their arduous interview practice," Johanna says. She takes off her shirt, going down to some kind of fancy bra, and climbs up on the table to dance with Gloss and Cecilia.

I wait until our entrance has passed beyond notice, then tell Finnick, "We need to talk."

He frowns. "Somewhere quieter?"

"No. Best not anywhere quiet."

"Oh."

I look around to make sure no one is looking. "I lied to Johanna," I say. "I don't know why, but I did. Katniss doesn't want allies. Peeta's going along with her."

Finnick swears under his breath for a minute, then says, "Now what?"

"You're Katniss's ally," I say.

"I am?"

"Would it help if I told you she hanged an effigy of Seneca Crane?"

"I'm her permanent ally, in that case," Finnick says, smiling. "Until the end of time."

"Good. Because you're going to have to prove it to her." I take off the bracelet Cinna gave me. "I'm pretty sure she saw me wearing this, so congratulations, you now have a District token."

"From someone else's District, no less."

"She still might not go for it. She doesn't want to make friends that she thinks she'll have to kill."

"That's crazy," Finnick says dryly. "Who wouldn't want that?"

"Keep Peeta alive. As long as she sees you're doing that, she'll tolerate an alliance."

"You're assuming that there's going to be something to save him from right away."

"With a twelve, and the Capitol gunning for both of them? I don't think you'll have to wait long."

He nods and takes the bracelet, putting it on absently. It's the most I can do for the arena.

I spend the evening with my friends, knowing that tomorrow, most of them will be stuck in long prep sessions for Caesar's interviews, and after that --

There may not be an after that.

I sit down with Cecilia. She's been drinking and is now weepy and miserable and wants her husband and her babies. I listen to stories about all of them. I play a game of chess with Chaff, and lose. I dance with Seeder, and thank her for bringing Chaff to the hospital after my Games, which I realize I never actually said in so many words. I let Berenice paint me for the second time today, this time with a row of flowers over my cheeks.

The Capitol attendants finally realize what's going on and demand that everyone return to the proper apartments. Beetee's argument that there is no law against fraternization in the training center falls on deaf ears.

When I get back, I can hear Katniss and Peeta talking softly in their room -- well, technically, her room -- and I don't go in, though I really want to spend time with them, after talking to Cecilia. I'm not really their dad, and they aren't really my kids (probably just as well, given that two kids with the same father probably shouldn't act the way they do), and they need to be ready for what's coming. I go to my room, stare at the phone, and wish Hazelle had one I could call her on. Instead, I call Effie, and let her annoy me to sleep.

I dream about the kids from the street fair. They're all in the arena, and I scream at Plutarch that he can't do that. They're Capitol kids, and they should at least be safe from that, if nothing else. Tazzy keeps telling Katniss, "You can't die, my sissy loves you," only Katniss is just a life-sized version of the doll Solly was carrying, dressed in pants and a chopped up yellow dress. Aurelian tries to fool people into thinking he's Peeta, and Enobaria kills him, screaming that he doesn't deserve a twelve.

I wake up and I have to see the kids, know they're okay. Katniss is already in prep, but Peeta has a little more time to linger over his breakfast.

"They're putting me in a tuxedo," he says, baffled. "Why?"

I sigh. "They're putting Katniss in the wedding dress the Capitol voted for."

He pushes his plate away, looking green. "Can't you make them stop?"

I snort. "Yeah. Sure. Right about the time I can make them hand out second place ribbons after the Games."

"Right. Yeah." He takes a shaky breath. "She wasn't even trying to do anything wrong."

"I know."

"I should've died."

"No. You shouldn't have. You don't know what you mean to people. Not just Katniss." I tell him about the boys at the fair, the ones who see him as someone to emulate.

"I'm no one to copy," he says. "I wrecked Katniss's life."

"You saved it. And I can think of a whole lot of people out there it would be worse to copy." I shrug. "I told Katniss once that she could live a million lives and not deserve you -- "

"Haymitch!"

"I could live a trillion and not even come close."

He stops and stares at his hands, which are resting on the table. "My mom used to say I was completely worthless."

"Don't get me started on your mother."

"Right. Please don't. She bought me my paints. I think she doesn't think I'm worthless now." He pulls his plate back, mostly to start pushing his food around aimlessly as far as I can tell. Finally, he says, "Katniss and I both love you a lot, Haymitch. After all this -- can you please stop poisoning yourself so you can remember that? I don't want you to kill yourself."

"I'll try," I say.

"Try hard." He gets up.

I stand up and grab him, hug him tight. I wait for him to return it, then say, as quietly as I can, "Trust Finnick. Finnick's one of my other kids. Trust him."

Peeta pulls away from me and nods.

His preps come in to get him, and I am alone.
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Comments
hymnia From: hymnia Date: January 28th, 2013 05:10 am (UTC) (Link)
Cracking up at all the booths at EverLark-Con. Everything after that was pretty depressing, though. I feel sorry for practically everybody.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: January 28th, 2013 05:20 am (UTC) (Link)
Mwa-ha. Everlark-Con. Which I would totally attend. ;p

Haymitch is in a bad situation there. Everyone is.
From: (Anonymous) Date: January 28th, 2013 05:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
I loved seeing the dark side of the capital. The forbidden thinking was really twisted in a great way. I'm getting really excited about seeing these games from the eyes of someone outside the arena. I know I say it all the time, but you're doing a great job with the story and I can't wait to read more!
Robin
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: January 28th, 2013 09:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
I figure it probably takes some fairly serious psychological conditioning to keep the Capitol in the stupor it seems to be in. Remove outside work, no contact with the Districts, the kind of psy-ops techniques that Snow seems to be so good at. And even so, we know in canon that there are cracks, even in the Capitol. Cinna and Portia (and the rebels who ended up in 13 of course) would be good examples of big cracks, but there are fine cracks in evidence, too, like Effie saying that the Gamemakers had no right to ignore Katniss.
From: (Anonymous) Date: January 28th, 2013 05:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love love love the glimpses of Capitol life. Everything, especially the knock-offs and the debtors' prisons, feels like logical extensions of this horrible world.

Watching Haymitch interact with Aurelian & Co. was like watching an author or showrunner meet fans for the first time, except that he's a character too, and this is happening in a fanfiction. What a wonderful riff on Collins' theme of how stories, fictional or otherwise, drive cultural change. The kids and sponsors are also great seeds to sow in advance of a Mockingjay told by Haymitch...

I love Johanna and Finnick as much as I usually do, and feel really bad for Cecilia.
From: (Anonymous) Date: January 28th, 2013 07:12 pm (UTC) (Link)

Cecelia

All the more so since she seems to have managed to buck all of the odds of post-Victor life and managed to create something so normal and precious -- a life without self-abuse, with a stable relationship, with children, and then to have all of that turned to dust.

Sara Libby
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: January 28th, 2013 09:28 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Cecelia

I know. I feel awful for Cecilia. She actually did it. She had a life.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: January 28th, 2013 09:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, I'm starting to re-think my decision to switch POVs for Mockingjay. I may do a nine-chapter "midquel" in the other POV first.
shortysc22 From: shortysc22 Date: January 29th, 2013 12:32 am (UTC) (Link)
I really like the touch of the Capitol in this chapter. That there was a reason none of them rebelled prior to the Districts. If I had been subjected to what Effie had at such a young age, I probably would have kept quiet a lot longer too.

Loved the carnival and that Chaff said they held one for Rue too.

Can't wait for Haymitch's perspective of the Games.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: January 29th, 2013 02:23 am (UTC) (Link)
Public shaming is a big part of mind control. How can every single person around you be wrong, after all? So it must be something wrong with you.

Yeah, Snow sucks.
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