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HG: The Narrow Path, Chapter Six - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
HG: The Narrow Path, Chapter Six
Haymitch is visiting Hazelle at her job when Peeta's propo airs, and he sees how badly Peeta's been treated.



Chapter Six
Plutarch calls a meeting an hour after Peeta's propo, and I leave Hazelle to go to it. It is not attended by Coin, and the lights are off. It's Plutarch, Fulvia, me, Gale, Beetee, Cressida and her crew, and Boggs.

It is not a discussion. Plutarch orders us not to bring up the propo with Katniss.

"She and Finnick Odair were watching together. She was upset by her own segment. They turned it off. It's a piece of luck."

"She needs to know about it," I say.

Plutarch shakes his head sharply. "I managed to convince Coin that Katniss doesn't know a thing about it, and it's going to stay that way."

"Why?"

"Because she was demanding that Katniss immediately appear in the studio and renounce Peeta. Entirely. She wants Katniss to cut him off from the mockingjay deal and hurt him as badly as she can. I convinced her that Katniss even knowing about it would be a disaster, and it's better to ignore it than risk that. So as far as we're concerned, it would be a disaster. Are we all clear?"

"I'm clear enough on what you want," I say, "but there's no way in hell I'm not telling Katniss. We just tell her to not tell Coin. I don't think she'll have any problem with that." I think about what Peeta said, about finding out who these people are. I think Katniss already has a pretty good idea.

"We can't be sure she won't break down," Beetee says. "You saw her in the arena when he was hurt. She's not rational about him. She may wish later that she had been, but it's not out of the question that she'd simply..."

Plutarch finishes the sentence by bringing up the image of Katniss pounding on the glass and screaming at the medics after her first Games, accusing them of trying to kill him.

"I don't want to lie to her," Gale says. "But this would really hurt her. And she's already not sure who she trusts... except for Peeta." To his credit, he manages to keep the bitterness in his voice to a minimum.

"It's not going to help her trust issues if we all lie to her," I say.

Gale turns on me. "You're such a hypocrite! You lied to her more than anyone."

"I'm not a hypocrite. I'm a person who's already made this mistake once."

I leave the meeting without giving them an answer. I go straight to the hospital, but Katniss is already asleep. Finnick is awake, and asks me if there's anything new happening. I start to obfuscate, but I see him looking at me steadily. Waiting.

My mind goes back to Hazelle's desk at the jugs. The way she reached for the dial at the end of Katniss's propo.

The way she didn't even have time to turn it off.

There wasn't nearly enough time for Katniss to decide she was too upset to go on, find the remote, and turn the television off. She and Finnick are lying, to test us and see if we're going to lie.

I choose not to. I don't say anything at all. I try to reach Plutarch to warn him, but he's in sleep hours and unreachable.

In the morning, I find myself scheduled for a work detail instead of Command (though Plutarch assures me at breakfast that it's because there's nothing on schedule today and he himself is supposed to be doing a supply inventory). This takes me to far side of District Thirteen, and I see no one I know all day. We're tending a farm topside. They bring us our lunch and supper, so I don't even get to go to the dining hall. The foreman -- whose voice is almost as good as Glen Everdeen's -- leads songs to pass the time, with lyrics like, "No, no, it ain't work, it ain't work if we're building the world" and "A guy from down the hall dropped it all for old Thirteen." There's also one that involves flying grizzly bears. I don't know how that turned up in a place where no one drinks. Everyone else seems to know the words. Most of them seem to enjoy singing. I try to say that I can't sing because I don't know the words, but this leads to being taught the words and lacking an excuse for the rest of the day.

It wouldn't be so bad, except that shortly after lunch, they start complaining about "that Mellark kid," and how he deserves to be shot for doing Snow's bidding. I try to point out that he's probably been worse than shot already, but they all think they would stand up to it better. They'd never break. I choose not to share my opinion that the things Peeta is saying are not entirely Snow's doing. He wouldn't be saying them publicly if it weren't for Snow, but I think he's perfectly sincere -- and completely right -- about not knowing who we're working with or if we can trust them.

After the shift in the field, I'm assigned for my daily check-in at the hospital. I'm clean.

"Haymitch?"

I am heading out when I hear Delly's voice. I turn around. Her ever-present smile is gone. She has a towel in her hands and she has twisted it so hard that her knuckles have turned white. At some point during the day, she has taken down her braid and let her hair fall in the curls she generally wore in Twelve.

"Delly," I say. "Did you need something?"

"I need to talk to you. About Peeta."

I look around. I don't trust anywhere in the hospital not to be bugged. I'm not actually sure where I do trust. I go with an old standby that I've used in the Capitol. "Is there someplace a lot of people go in the evening?"

She nods. "There's a promenade on level seven. Nothing to do there, but lots of people from school go anyway, if their work assignments are over."

"Lead the way," I say.

When we get there, I realize I may be the only person over the age of twenty, but I don't care that I’m conspicuous. There are enough people having enough conversations to confuse anyone listening. And I think I'm going to say something that really shouldn't be listened to.

The promenade is a long, wide hallway, half-heartedly decorated with potted plants and terrible art. There are study tables and computer kiosks set in alcoves around it, and a few game tables in the middle. I find a chess table and sit down at it with Delly. While I line up the pieces, I say, quietly, "I take it you saw the show last night."

She nods. "What are they doing to him, Haymitch? His hands were shaking. Why haven't we recovered him yet?"

"It's complicated. And it got more complicated when that aired."

She slams a pawn down on the table. "I know. I've been hearing it all day. If they'd gotten him out before, this wouldn't have happened."

"I know."

"He's hurt. I don't know how bad. They didn't show him trying to stand up."

"Did you see him on the news earlier?"

"What?"

"I guess you were in school or at work. He was out and about in City Center. Got mobbed by fans and 'rescued' by Peacekeepers."

The blood drains from her face and she puts her hand over her mouth. "If he got away from them, they'll kill him."

"Not as long as they can hold him against Katniss."

She catches people looking at us, and again pulls that smile of hers out of nowhere. She finishes setting her pawns and makes the first move. Her voice is weak, though, and her hands are shaking almost as much as Peeta's. "What can I do? I'm the closest thing he has left to his family -- his old family; I know he has you and Katniss now, too. I can't just sit here and watch him get tortured. Just smile and listen to the people in school saying he deserves to die."

"That's exactly what you're going to do, though," I say. I look around, make sure no one is paying attention, and say, "Do you remember what he said? About who we're with?" I move a knight.

"Yeah. About whether or not Katniss trusts them."

"I don't. You don't either." This is not a question.

She nods and moves another pawn. "Which makes me wonder why I'm just going to smile a lot."

"Because it's less suspicious. Delly, I want you to find out who they are. I can't think of a better place to do that than in school. Find out what they're being taught. Prim says the history classes are different. "

"Well, there's more revolution and less coal."

"I want to find out what makes this place tick."

"How's that going to help Peeta?"

"I don't know yet," I say. "But it can't hurt if we listen to him, can it? And maybe once you get to know them, you can start to tell them about Peeta. Carefully."

She sighs, then grabs her hair and pulls it around. She starts smiling as she braids it, and waves to a girl who's passing. "Hi, Belva!" she calls. "Did you get that assignment in math?"

The girl comes over and starts chatting, and in a few minutes, I'm drowning in teenagers. Some of them guess that I'm Delly's dad, and she claims I'm a distant cousin, a few times removed. For all I know, she's right. I realize that this must have been what Peeta was like in public before the Games isolated him. No wonder she's his friend.

The kids in Thirteen are surprisingly normal. They chat about who's going out and who's broken up, and how much their teachers hate them. I remember my Games, realizing during training that even the Career kids were perfectly recognizable. (This didn't make me like them any better. I did not enjoy the company of most of the kids I went to school with.) Later, I realized that even Capitol kids could be completely normal under some circumstances. I guess I shouldn't be surprised to find it in Thirteen.

When we get the lights-out warning, I head back toward my apartment. Dalton restricts his booze quiz to "Dry?" and I assure him that I am. I consider telling him how bad it was this morning, but decide not to. He apparently doesn't find it all that hard to ignore, and nothing came of it, anyway.

"Found you something," he says, and, grinning, pushes a tattered paperback book into my hands. "It's definitely not published by Panem in the last seventy-five years."

I look at it. There is a picture of a one-eyed giant holding a boulder on the front. "The Odyssey," I say. "Thanks."

"Oh, you know it?"

"One of my favorites," I say. I point to the giant. "The main guy, Odysseus, gets out of this one by blinding the giant, then sneaking out by hiding under his sheep."

"You don't say!"

"And he says his name is 'Nobody,' so that when the other giants ask who blinded him, the blind giant says, 'Nobody did it!' and they don't help him."

Dalton laughs. "That's something. I like it. And that joke made sense thousands of years ago in a different language?"

"That's what I like about old books," I say. "Everything's different, except the people."

"You don't think people change?"

"Individual people maybe. People as a whole? If you're waiting for that, you're going to wait a long time."

I try to settle into the book and put aside as much as I can of what's happening in the real world, but watching Odysseus steadily lose his crew as he makes his way home doesn’t exactly comfort me. I find it all too easy to think that one of these days, I'll wander back to Twelve with no one I know left alive. There'll be no Penelope or Telemachus waiting for me there, either.

The lights go out, and I lie awake in the dark long after Dalton starts snoring. I am trying not to think about Peeta. I do believe that they won't kill him as long as he can be used against Katniss, but that's about all I believe they won't do. My thoughts drift to an old woman named Adamaris Brinn, a wealthy sponsor of Peeta's who I know made use of Finnick's talents from time to time. I think about the girl in the street who was excited to have ripped his hair from his head.

Sleep doesn't seem to be much of an option, so I get up and leave the apartment. I haven't done this during sleep hours before, and I don't know what to expect. The hall outside has pale emergency lighting. There is a small common area with a television a few doors down, and Harriet Peale is there, watching a locally produced show about maximizing efficiency. The host has a weirdly perky attitude about how to squeeze more housework into Reflection time. He is working in family quarters, which I haven't seen before. They look almost like normal homes, though they're very sparse, like everything else here. The "mess" he's cleaning up seems to be made up of five or six toys that have been left in a corner instead of in their designated box, and a single child's bed that was left unmade.

"I used to do that all the time," Harriet says wistfully. "I got in such trouble for it."

I think of the colossal mess that Hazelle dug me out of in my house in the Victors' Village, and opt not to say anything. The whole thing leaves me with a crazy desire to throw dirty underwear on the floor.

I finally fall asleep on the sofa out here, which is not terribly comfortable. I'm woken up by Plutarch wanting to know if I feel like taking a jaunt out to the ashes of District Twelve today, since Katniss will be filming a propo.

"You're not worried that I'm going to spill the beans?" I ask.

"Er, yes, that. It seems that she and Finnick may have... um..."

"Lied their lips off to test us?"

"You knew?"

"I told you we shouldn't lie to them." I get up. "I better check with Effie to see where I’m supposed to be."

"With Effie?"

"The scheduler. I call it Effie."

"Oh." Plutarch thinks about this for a minute, then apparently decides not to think about it anymore. He shakes his head and says, "That's why I woke you early. Do you want to be scheduled with us for Twelve or not?"

"I'm surprised I get a choice."

"Well, you're not on-camera talent, and we're not expecting to get into any tussles that you'll need to get her out of, so it's not really necessary. I just thought you might like to go."

"Yeah, I can't wait to smell the rotting bodies of people I know."

"I -- "

"No, sorry. I just... unless there's a stash of white liquor there, I'm not going. I can't handle Twelve without a bottle of something."

Plutarch sighs. "I'm sorry, Haymitch. It was just an idea."

"Thanks, but no. I'll go pull radishes and sing about flying bears."

"Is there anything you want from your house?"

"There's a painting on the wall. Me and Katniss. Peeta did it. I could stand that. And maybe my books if they can find them under the floor."

He leaves. I don't end up scheduled on the farm. Instead, I'm downstairs with Beetee in Special Weaponry all day. We go over some of the more effective improvised weapons in the arenas we've observed over the years. Beetee's trying to work out something that would approximate Finnick's net and trident. All that makes me think of these days is Rue. And, as I point out, Snow already seems to understand the concept -- he trapped people in a hospital, then dropped a bomb on them.

"I suppose it's not useful in hot combat, anyway," he says. "Too much planning."

"I doubt they understand the idea of 'too much planning' around here."

Beetee grins. "You've noticed that, have you? I don't think Thirteen would have had a single victor. It's too messy in there."

"Oh, I think they can fight dirty if they need to."

"Maybe. But not in one on one fights. Eno would rip their throats out before they finished making a plan and call it a day."

I think about this. "Is she working for Snow now? Does he have any victors on his side? Voluntarily, I mean."

"Not that I've heard of. There may be a couple in Two, if they didn't die getting out of the Viewing Center. Maybe one of the ones from Nine. But Enobaria's useless in planning -- if she's on his side at all, which I doubt --"

"You do?"

"Give me a break, Haymitch. Do you really think there aren't a lot of guys in the Capitol with a biting fetish? She's turned out almost as much as Finnick. Personally, I think we should recruit her to assassinate Snow. She'd have fun."

"She'd turn on us the second his heart stopped beating. Maybe before."

"Mm. Probably." He looks down at a rough sketch he's been making of an electrical net. "I wonder if even occurred to Snow that he's been gathering up a trained force of killers and making them hate him. It would have been a lot smarter for him -- and ultimately cheaper -- to actually pamper us like he promised to."

"It would have been smarter and cheaper to make a more reasonable surrender treaty in the first place."

Eventually, we move on to the airtime assaults. Beetee is sure he's close to a breakthrough that will let him interrupt broadcasts in the Capitol itself. He tries to explain it to me, but he's never been any good at verbalizing his ideas to anyone other than Wiress.

After lunch, I'm scheduled for training. It's the first time this has appeared on my itinerary, and I'm half afraid that I'll end up doing laps with a bunch of kids. Instead, it turns out to be weapons training. Not the one-on-one stuff I learned for the Games, but education about bombs and defenses. It takes the rest of the afternoon, and I'm just finishing up when the transport gets back from Twelve. Katniss looks put out about something and doesn't show up for dinner. Plutarch is delighted with whatever she did today. Gale may well have eaten a box of rusty nails at some point.

After dinner (Katniss doesn't come; Prim says she's sleeping), Plutarch asks if he can see me. I follow him to a little alcove with a work table in it.

"How did it go?" I ask.

"Great. She sang. Literally sang."

This surprises me. "What happened after that? She's sleeping through dinner now."

"No idea. Some kind of fight with Gale." He makes an impatient motion with his hand. "Haymitch, I need to tell you something."

"What?"

"The Capitol has obviously been sending people into the houses in Victors' Village."

"What do you mean?"

"There's a floorboard up in your living room. I'm guessing they took your books. And Haymitch --"

I'm still processing that my books have been stolen. I barely notice that Plutarch's face has gotten serious, almost pitying. "What?" I say absently. "What else?"

"They slashed the painting you wanted. Slashed it and... befouled it."

"They did... what?"

"I'm sorry. I wish they hadn't. I know what it must have meant to you. I could see that it was a beautiful piece."

"Did you bring it? Can it be fixed?"

"Haymitch, it's gone."

I shake my head. "Peeta made that."

"I know."

I can't think of a single thing to say that doesn't sound absurd. There are more than eight thousand people dead in District Twelve. Mourning a painting seems selfish.

I go back to my apartment to mourn it. When Dalton asks what's wrong, I don't tell him. I don't want him to offer to paint some lopsided, clumsy replacement. I find Hazelle and try telling her. She remembers the painting, at least. But it's not hers, and her sympathy is exactly like Plutarch's.

I go back to the apartment. Look at pictures of Effie. I imagine her saying, Oh, that's an awful thing! That was Peeta's painting! Why would anyone do something like that?

Of course, she'd probably find a way to cap it off by saying something horrible that comes out completely wrong, but I'm used to that from her, and I don't pay attention to it anymore. Just before lights out, I check the digital archives to see if there are any pictures of Katniss and me. Or of Peeta and me. There aren't. I kept out of the official shots, for the most part.

"Are you even going to tell me part of what's wrong?" Dalton asks.

I turn off the computer. "I want my kids," I say. I don't explain, and don't wait for him to ask me to.

The next morning, Katniss is nowhere to be found, certainly nowhere that Wall-Effie thinks she is. I finally go to production and help Plutarch pick out good shots from yesterday. I listen to her singing the old rebel song, "The Hanging Tree." Glen used to sing it all the time, at least until Ruth managed to convince him that he'd end up on the real hanging tree if he didn't stop, even though our little rebellion never got any further than tussles with the local Peacekeepers.

There's a lot of discussion of the segment. Everyone loves it. Cressida wants to do an extended propo with it. But it can't be cut down into shorter parts, which means it's less likely to make it through an uninterrupted airing. They finally decide to put together the film later, as part of an extended documentary, which, they optimistically announce, will be aired after the war has been won.

We stick with shorter images. Gale talking about the bombing. Katniss in her house. The two of them chatting on a rock in the woods (there are a few soundbytes they can find for separate propos). Most important -- and Beetee decides to air it first if we can break into the Capitol -- a shot of Katniss, looking weary and sad, addressing Peeta directly from the remains of the bakery. I wonder what he'll make of it, if he sees it.

Finnick joins us for the afternoon and puts the voiceovers on a few more "We remember" propos, short form for what Beetee is expecting to be an all-out duel.

"When are we going to do this?" I ask.

"Tonight."

We look up. President Coin is standing at the door of the production booth. "There's just been an announcement on Capitol television. There's mandatory live programming. Almost certainly some kind of response by Snow to the actions in the districts. That's what we're going to intercept."

Beetee pales, and heads down to Special Weaponry to finish whatever work needs doing. There is no more chatter as we put together the mini-propos. We work through dinner.

Boggs goes to find Katniss after we eat. I don't know where he finally fishes her out from. She has an odd look on her face, like she's gotten away with something. It ought to be obnoxious, but I just find it a little troubling. Finnick explains the situation to her.

Plutarch has the regular Capitol broadcast going. It's a new show about an honorable Peacekeeper who's tracking a serial killer that he thinks is a rogue victor, based on the patterns of the crimes. It's left on a cliffhanger when he's caught in an electric cage. The screen goes black. The seal of Panem comes up, followed by Snow.

And Peeta.

I thought he looked bad three days ago, but whatever they've done to him since they "rescued" him from the crowd has been extreme. His eyes are sunken and wide, and he keeps glancing over Snow's shoulder. He's developed a nervous tic in his face. The mild shaking in his hands has been replaced by an uncontrolled jittering in all of his limbs, marked by the repeated thumping of his prosthetic leg against a metal rung. The chair he's in approximates standing height, and the only conclusion I can come to is that Peeta can't stand on his own. Across from me, Katniss has lost that strange, smug little girl look. The blood has drained from her face.

I am sitting near Boggs, and I whisper, "We have to get him out of there."

Boggs nods. He doesn't have the authority to do anything about it and neither do I, but I'm glad he agrees.

Peeta has obviously been instructed to talk about the damage from the war. I don't know what it's leading up to. He's already having a hard time concentrating when Beetee breaks in for the first time, cutting to Katniss sitting in the ashes of the bakery. She says Peeta's name.

When they cut back, he's staring, wide-eyed. Beetee has managed to cut directly into the President's home, into whatever filming equipment they're using. Peeta has seen it.

He chokes on a word, then looks again at the spot over Snow's shoulder. He swallows and forces himself onto the script.

"What's he looking at?" Boggs asks.

I start to say I don't know, but I have a horrible feeling that I do. They're keeping him on script by threatening someone off-screen.

Beetee breaks in again. The Capitol cuts him off. Again. And again. It's becoming increasingly obvious that the point here wasn't just to show the propos to the Capitol. It was to mock Snow's power on his own ground.

I think I'd appreciate it a lot more if I couldn't see Peeta flinching back into his chair, struggling to get out lines that he has to say on pain of someone else's injury.

Everyone else is cheering.

Everyone except Finnick and Katniss. I look across at her. She understand. Finnick understands... and I wonder if he has his own ideas about who might be on the far side of that camera, at Snow's mercy.

Finally, Snow wrests control back from us and says he's planning to cut the broadcast feeds until we stop "interfering with the truth." He turns to Peeta and demands that he address Katniss.

Peeta flinches again. He's shaking. Something seems to be going on inside his head. "Katniss," he says. "How do you think this will end? What will be left? And you..." He takes several shaky breaths. "In Thirteen..." He seems to be struggling for words, the boy whose silver tongue never betrayed him before. He clenches his teeth, then spits out, "DEAD BY MORNING!"

"End it!" Snow bellows, but the broadcast goes on. I want Beetee to break in again. I'd rather see anything than the crazy angle as the camera there falls. Rather hear anything than the sounds of Peeta Mellark being beaten, maybe dying in agony, as we stand here watching, unable to help.

Again.
13 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
beceh From: beceh Date: April 11th, 2013 05:31 am (UTC) (Link)
Damn, Fern!!!!!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 11th, 2013 11:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
In the case of this chapter, I think the "Damn" goes to Collins... :D
beceh From: beceh Date: April 11th, 2013 11:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes, and I've read the book 3 times, and you still make me feel... feelings and stuff.
dragonzair From: dragonzair Date: April 11th, 2013 07:59 am (UTC) (Link)
Everything is so damn painful D:
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 11th, 2013 11:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
That was a lot of Mockingjay. I love that she Went There -- unlike some other series trying to be dark and edgy, this one started out there and almost had to go all the way down -- but it is pretty painful.
dragonzair From: dragonzair Date: April 11th, 2013 11:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think it's the reason why I did enjoy it compared to a lot of people. These people can't have a happy ever after because it just would be wrong after what they've been through. It just isn't realistic. I feel like Collins wrote the series to show what war does to people caught in between, and not to please readers. Thank you for continuing in that vein!

I read all the post-Mockingjay fic you've done, and I love that your didn't make it the perfect ending a lot people would write. That they're slowly getting a decent life after the war, but that there is still hate out there.

Edited at 2013-04-11 11:12 pm (UTC)
aerrin From: aerrin Date: April 11th, 2013 02:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wow. Absolute chills by the end. That was lovely and intense.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 11th, 2013 11:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. It's a far cry, I'm sure, from what the rebels daydreamed about.
sonetka From: sonetka Date: April 11th, 2013 08:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wow. In a way I feel bad that Haymitch can't take a dive back into the bottle for a bit, because if anyone ever earned their alcoholism, it's this guy. Damn, even the painting had to be wrecked? "From him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath" could be the motto of both Panem and D13, couldn't it. (Which makes me wonder -- what's the status of religion in the HG-verse? I remember in your Finch fic you had her saying a bit of Hebrew before her death, which I liked very much, but in the books themselves there's never a hint of religion. I wonder if any of the tributes would be allowed extreme unction or something equivalent once they'd been selected, or would that kill that supposedly celebratory mood too much?)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 11th, 2013 11:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
It was the girl from 8 -- I see Eight as crypto-Jewish. I made up all sorts of thematic and historical reasons for thinking this, then I realized that what actually set it off is that their district bread appears to be matzah. All my other justifications came later. ;p

I'm guessing religion has been suppressed for quite a while, as it doesn't even seem to inform the language very much (I've given Haymitch a couple of "damns" and a "hell," but I'd actually assume something else has come for those sentiments in this universe). Since I don't think a behavior that's been around since the beginning of time has actually disappeared, I expect there are some underground movements and old habits that people have lost the source for. Maybe in crypto-Catholic districts or families, tributes are given extreme unction in secret before they leave?

(And yeah, I had to wreck the painting. I was going to have Plutarch bring it back, then I realized that in "House of Cards," I'd had Snow toss Haymitch's books at Peeta to prove he could invade any part of their lives. And I realized they would never see a painting of Katniss and Haymitch on the wall and not wreck it.)

Edited at 2013-04-11 11:11 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous) Date: April 12th, 2013 01:19 am (UTC) (Link)

Haymitch

Really is almost too smart for his own good. Remembering that there wasn't TIME for Hazelle to turn off the TV before she saw Peeta, and how that meant that Katniss must have seen it too.

It's like something Sherlock Holmes would have noticed. Which actually adds layers to his alcoholism, because Holmes was already a user from sheer intellectual boredom/hyperactivity. Add a hefty case of PTSD and a brutal dictatorship, and there you go.

BTW, I got a kick out of the glimpse of Dalton's wife in the last chapter. Nice to see that some districts are doing better than others. And it was so reminiscent of a good old fashioned Western (no doubt your intent).

Sara Libby
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 12th, 2013 04:04 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Haymitch

Ha! That's what comes of taking a writing break for a Sherlock marathon, eh? ;p

I do think that's a real character type -- so smart, so mentally hyperactive, that they start self-medicating. My grandfather was like that. His hobby was mathematically tracking hurricanes by hand. He loved science and read everything he could get his hands on. The man who married my grandmother after the divorce (who, unsurprisingly, hated him) called him "the smartest son-of-a-bitch I ever met." And he drank like a tank of drunken fishes. Maybe there's a certain tendency toward it (though, as Stephen King -- no stranger to the phenomenon -- pointed out, when you're in the gutter, it doesn't matter how smart or talented you are; you're the same as the next stewbum down the line).

Yeah, I wanted a little bit of a Western with the D10 folks. D4 is more of a John Wayne action war film, I think.
shortysc22 From: shortysc22 Date: April 14th, 2013 01:25 am (UTC) (Link)
I love this from Haymitch's perspective and no surprise that he wouldn't want to go back to Twelve without any liquor. Can't wait to see how the evacuation will go from Haymitch's view.
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