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These Are The Names, Chapter 1 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
These Are The Names, Chapter 1
Okay. This one is coming slowly, because it's not sure what it wants to be. I meant to do a study of the Capitol, but it stubbornly insisted on opening with Effie and Haymitch's first reaping together.




Part One: Temperance


Chapter One
"Euphemia Trinket?"

"Yes," I say, and hand him my credentials. I am trying very hard not to notice the room beyond the front door, but the smell makes it difficult. Caesar Flickerman warned me that Haymitch Abernathy does his best to be off-putting, and he is succeeding admirably. He's turned a fine house in Victors' Village into something that looks like a garbage pit and smells like an abattoir. He doesn't do much better with his personal hygiene. I know he's a good looking man. I saw him before he let himself go, and I've helped clean him up in the Capitol. But here at home, he greets me the day before the reaping unshaven, filthy, and wearing long underwear that looks like it might be able to walk off on its own. Judging by the smell, he's seen more of the inside of a bottle than the inside of his shower, and his hair is sticking up in greasy black clumps. He seems to have made a passing attempt at shaving in the recent past, but it's uneven, and there's a large spot along his jawline that was missed entirely.

I watched his Games on the way out here. He looks better than he did when he was holding his spilling guts in… but it's a pretty close thing.

He squints at my credentials. "You're the hair girl, right?"

"I was on the girl's prep team, yes. But -- "

"What are you, fifteen years old?"

"I'll be eighteen next month. I know I'm young, but --"

"This says you're my escort. Glass on to bigger and better things?"

"He was transferred to District Four."

"Four?" He frowns. "Why Four?"

"I don't know. They just called me in to say I needed to replace him."

He looks at me for a long, long time. Usually, when men do that, I have some idea what they're thinking about, but he doesn't have that look about him. "You're the one who cleaned me up last year. Before Glass stuck me on television."

"Yes."

"And they didn't fire you for it?"

"No. That's why Mr. Flickerman promoted me. He said I did what I was supposed to do. That the escort is there to help the mentor. I'm here to help you." In fact, he told me that he'd been trying to get rid of Mr. Abernathy's old escort, Ausonius Glass, for years, and that it was Glass's attempt to have me fired that led to the final blow-out, but I decide that Mr. Abernathy doesn't need to know about that. It's all settled now, though by the sound of it, Mr. Flickerman was annoyed that he still couldn't just fire Glass. I don't know why. I can't imagine anyone doing less of what he was supposed to do.

"Here to help," Mr. Abernathy muses. "That'd be a first. What are you really supposed to do, Euphemia? I know Caesar's got an agenda, but I don't know what it is." He tips my folder at me. "Says here, you did six years in Capitol Dreams before you joined my preps. And you quit school?"

"I tested out," I say. It's not his business that I just couldn't stay there any more, not after the… the thing they did with my wig. Not after they posted pictures of it all over the walls, with me crying and bloodied. That's not anyone's business but mine. "I did graduate, you know. I have my credentials. Well, you have them at the moment."

He looks at my file again. "Credentials in hair and fashion."

"Yes. And I took a math class once, even though it wasn't required." There's no response to this. I lower my eyes. "Well, Mr. Flickerman said you might want to know that."

"Did you take any history? Literature?"

"Those are more of college school sorts of classes. I was in practical school. We take things we'll be able to use in a job."

He sighs. "That sounds familiar enough. I had to take mine safety." He shakes his head. "Well, I'd invite you in to say hello, but you look like you're about to faint out on the porch. Gimme a second. Want a drink?"

"No. Thank you."

"Your call." He shuts the door, leaving me on his porch, which should be a pleasant enough space, but somehow isn't. I sit down on a delicate ornamental bench that I am reasonably certain was never purchased by the man behind the door.

It's not that he has his mess out here, or even the faint smell that comes through from a slightly open window. It's certainly not the view, which is quite pretty. District Twelve is full of trees and dense grasses, and the green in the Village is beautifully kept.

I think it's just those eleven other houses, the empty ones, staring back with their blank window eyes. Maybe I'd drink, too, if they were staring at me all year.

I shake it off. Medusa -- the boys' hairstylist -- warned me that districts could be a little spooky sometimes. They seem too quiet, she told me. Things are as still as the grave. "That's why the district kids are so strange," she said. "It's like they're on ice all the time, and never get a chance to move around. There's nothing to stimulate the mind, and they just sort of… stew out there. It must drive the smart ones crazy. That's probably why they rebelled. Here in the Capitol, we know how to keep people busy."

I suppose this is true. In the Capitol, I'm never bored. I don't have a lot of friends, but there's always a party to go to, or a club, or an amusement complex. If I start to get bored, I can go out and do anything I want. I was on the carousel at the lakeside when I got the call to come to Games headquarters three days ago. After that, there was a crazy shopping binge -- escorts have to have better clothes than preps, and I got a very nice stipend for it -- and then packing and workshops about what I'm supposed to do. Now, everything has just… stopped.

Even the train ride out here was maddening. It was comfortable, of course -- they spare no expense for the tributes -- but being trapped in the same place for so many hours was maddening. I was glad for the television, and a small game room they have for the wardrobe staff, and a good selection of magazines… but none of those are meant to take as much time as there is to dispose of. One of the District Six transportation staffers suggested that I look out the windows, but I don't know what I was supposed to be looking for. All I saw was a big expanse of grayish land so flat that it looked like someone took an iron to it. I was glad when we started to approach District Twelve. At least the mountains were something different to see.

The door behind me opens. Mr. Abernathy has put on clothes -- expensive, high-quality ones that he somehow manages to make look like rags -- and possibly even run a washcloth over himself. He sits down beside me, but doesn't look at me. "So they sent you to pull the names. Some job you have here, Euphemia."

"They sent me to take care of the tributes."

"They all die, you know. They don't come back. You're calling them to die." I don't answer. He finally looks at me. "What, no speech about how death in the Games is noble? How they're glorifying their lives by dying bravely? Isn't that the line from Capitol Dreams?"

I was going to say something like that, but I don't. Looking at all the houses, the houses looking back at me, I guess it doesn't seem all that noble. But it's a chance.

And I have to be positive. That was the one thing Caesar insisted on. He said that they'd take me away if I let it get under my skin. I'm not sure where he thinks they'd take me. Apparently, the whole reason they let him hire me was that my parents put me in Capitol Dreams when I was nine, which means I've had a lot of experience with the Games.

I decide to leave it alone. Before I came to work for District Twelve last year, Miss Meadowbrook at Capitol Dreams warned me that Mr. Abernathy would try to "push my buttons." She used to date him, and still seems quite fond of him, though she laughs about how very seriously he takes everything. ("He actually used the word 'love' on our first date," she told me, rolling her eyes. "Before we even tried each other out. And don't get him started on the Games.")

"Nothing?" he asks me. "No comments?"

I shrug.

He takes a drink. "So, unless I missed a day, the reapings aren't until tomorrow. What are you doing here? I know they schedule the trains especially for the Games, so it’s not the only time you could catch one."

"I don't know anything about District Twelve," I say. "I thought I should find out."

He raises his eyebrows. "Wow. You've been here five minutes, and you're already a better escort than Glass. What do you want to know?"

"Could you show me around?"

"In that get-up?" he asks.

"What's wrong with me?"

"Nothing, if you're riding around the Capitol. In District Twelve? It's not going to work. And if you think you're going to make friends around here, you may as well give that up. All you'll ever be in District Twelve is the one who calls the names."

I look down. "I'd like to try, Mr. Abernathy."

He's quiet for a long time, then he finally says, "I believe you. And it's Haymitch. I think once you've seen me in my underwear, we're on a first name basis. And while we're on names, what do they really call you?"

"Euphemia."

"No, they don't. What do your friends call you?"

"I've asked the people I know to call me Euphemia."

He wrinkles his nose. "What about your parents?"

"They used to call me 'Effie,'" I admit.

"See? That's a real girl's name."

"It's a little girl's name."

"I think a grown-up lady could wear it well enough, and it's a whole lot easier to say."

"Fine. You can call me Effie. But not to other people, all right?"

He shakes his head in disbelief and says, "If that's what you want. Where do you mean to stay tonight?"

"I have a room at the inn. I don't really know where it is."

"I do." He sighs and stands up. "Come on. It's way across town from here, so I hope those heels don't hurt you much."

"Do you have a car?"

"I couldn't drive it if I did." He sways a little and sits back down. "And probably shouldn't. Most people in District Twelve walk places. Let's give it ten minutes. The guy who does the gardens has a little cart. Maybe he can take you in."

We end up waiting a little more than an hour. I prod him into telling me at least a little bit about the district, though after a little while, he stops talking. I get more from the gardener, Merle Undersee, in the ten minute trip across town to the inn. Undersee is much more positive about the town. He points out the little shops, and tells me about his wife and his little baby girl. He talks about the coal production issues, and where the prettiest flowers grow.

"And don't let Haymitch fool you," he says as we pull up to the inn. "He grumps about the place a lot, but he's as much District Twelve as the rest of us. And believe me when I tell you, he's glad to have you here. He hates Ausonius Glass like poison."

"He didn't seem glad."

"He was still sitting out on the porch with you. He asked me to take you back here. Most people, he'd just leave to sink or swim. He was being downright sociable to you, by his standards." Undersee grins. "Don't worry too much. He's got an edge on him, but he takes people like they are -- not like he guesses they're going to be -- and as long as you're decent to him, he'll be decent to you."

"Thank you." I climb off the cart.

"You enjoy your stay. I can't say anyone here's going to enjoy it, with the reaping tomorrow, but that's nothing personal. You try the ham and peas at the inn. I hear it's great. And you might want to drop by Cartwright's for some walking shoes if you mean to look around. And have some strawberry pie from Mellark's. They're in season and fresh."

"Thank you again."

"Nice to meet you, Effie," he says, and I realize for the first time that I gave him the wrong name. After listening to Haymitch call me Effie for a while, I guess I just had it on the brain. I'll have to remember the right one when I meet the mayor tomorrow.

I watch him pull away, and go inside. The young woman minding the counter hands me a key -- an actual old metal key, the sort of thing that might open a fairy tale gate -- and mutters some kind of a welcome. I go upstairs and put my bag on the four-poster bed. The room here is immaculate, and it looks out on the pretty town square, where they're already setting up the stage for tomorrow. The crew came up with me, and I guess they're setting things up, too, though I don't see them.

I don't change my shoes. I already walked to Victors' Village from the train station in these, and they're actually quite comfortable. I can't quite see myself wearing the flat-foot boots that I see the women in the square wearing.

I do change clothes into something a little less conspicuous -- a blue skirt and a pink top -- and I wash off some of my makeup. I don't really have a wig that would pass for local, and obviously, going without isn't on the menu. Now that I have money, after the Games, I'll get the scars on my scalp removed, but at the moment, my head looks like a jigsaw puzzle.

(Let's have a look at her! Grab her! Hold her down! Let's see what's under Effie's wig!)

I shudder, and make myself not think about it. I've gotten good at that in the past year. But usually, I have a few televisions to turn on, or a party to go to. Anything but thinking about the way the wig pins tore out pieces of my scalp when they yanked it off. About the way they kept me pinned down, and grabbed my shirt and tore it. About what might have happened if the teachers hadn't come when they did. About coming in the next day and finding the pictures projected everywhere.

"Stop it," I tell myself firmly. I know better than to dwell on negatives.

There's no television in my room, so I go downstairs to the lounge to watch the preliminary Games coverage. There's even a little special on me.

I walk around the square a little bit after. No one seems inclined to talk to me. At the bakery, I get a slice of strawberry pie, which really is heavenly, though I don't miss the fact that the baker shoos his little children into the back when I come in. He's nice enough otherwise. I start to go down a side street, but a gray-eyed miner says, "Ma'am, that's not a place you want to head for. Let me walk you back to wherever you belong."

He doesn't talk to me all the way back to the inn.

I think I'll just come for reaping day next year.

There is no air conditioning here, and I rest uncomfortably with the window open. It's screened, but I still wonder what sorts of things might get through it. Something out there is making a chirping noise. Under it, I hear rough men arguing in the streets.

I don't sleep until very late, and I'm glad I arranged for someone to wake me. The reaping isn't until two, and there's a lot to do. I wasn't allowed to bring a prep team, so I have to make myself up (luckily, I have experience in this), and I have to choose the right outfit, and I have to touch base with all of the technical crew. There's a long checklist of things to make sure of. Mr. Flickerman promised that I'd have it down in no time, but I can't imagine keeping all of this straight in my head.

At one, I go to the mayor's house and practice introducing myself as "Euphemia Trinket," only to be greeted by a cheerful, "Hello, Effie!"

I blink. "Mr. Undersee? I thought you were -- "

"Oh, I just haven't found anyone else to take over grounds keeping yet. They just appointed me a month ago. Come in. Meet my wife…"

So, before I can correct my name, I'm led deep into the mayor's house, to a little nursery where a thin woman with light brown hair is rocking a swaddled baby. Something about her seems very familiar, but I can't place it for the life of me. Her name is Kay. The baby's name is Madge.

"You won't call her, will you?" Kay asks dully. "They called my sister. Maysilee Donner."

That name, I remember. Haymitch's ally. His true love, if you ask the Games fans, though Miss Meadowbrook says it's not true, and he really loved some other girl. I remember watching them on television, and on video on the way out here, huddled under a blanket together. I remember being very upset when she died. I got in some trouble for how upset I was. That was when my parents got me into Capitol Dreams, so that I wouldn't be so upset anymore.

That must be why Mrs. Undersee seems familiar, though the tired, beaten looking woman in the rocking chair doesn't have much in common with the feisty tribute I remember.

I can't promise never to call the baby's name. I don't have any control over what will come out of the reaping balls. But I do tell her that Madge is beautiful and sweet, and that's very true.

Kay Undersee grabs my arm as I start to leave. "Please never say her name again. Please."

I nod.

When I get out to the platform, Merle Undersee is testing the sound system, and Haymitch is trying to get up the stairs, without any noticeable success. I go down and help him up to the stage. He's clean and dressed properly, at least. I'll have to get him de-toxed on the train.

I spend most of the introduction wringing my hands. I'll be on national television, live, and I'm suddenly not even sure that my wig is on straight. If I start patting at it, it will be worse.

Finally, the mayor says, "And now, may I introduce, with great pleasure, our new escort, Effie Trinket!"

I stand up. It's too late to correct him now. Maybe next year.

I pull out the card where my speech is written. Mr. Flickerman also says that I'll have this down pat soon, but I don't believe him. I feel like the air is being sucked out of my lungs. The town's children are gathered in their roped off areas by age, dressed up, but looking frightened and sullen.

They all die, you know.

The reaping balls seem very large beside me. They're filled with innocuous looking slips of paper.

They don't come back. You're calling them to die.

But if I stumble here, I'll be fired for sure, and what good would it do, anyway? At least it's only two, a lot fewer than would be dead in a war, and one of them has a chance to live in one of those big houses around the Victors' green.

I smile. "Welcome," I say, looking down at my card. "Welcome to the Fifty-ninth annual Hunger Games! It's time to choose this year's representatives from District Twelve. May the odds be ever in your favor!" There is no applause at the Games motto. They always show applause on television. It must be edited in later. I smile as widely as I can and go to the girls' reaping ball. My hand is shaking, and I force it to stop. "Ladies first!"

I draw out the first of the names I'll call -- Babra Kennedy. A thin blond girl of fifteen comes up onto the stage. She has a spray of little freckles on her nose, and as I watch, I see a tear cling to her eyelashes. I put my card in my pocket and take her hand. I hold it while I reach for the boy's name. Trillium Morrison. He's about my age, a huge, broad-shouldered boy with black hair and striking gray eyes. His hand is covered with cold sweat when I take it, but I don't let go.

"Your tributes from District Twelve!" I announce. "Babra Kennedy and Trillium Morrison!"

There is dutiful applause now.

We lead the children inside. Trillium manages a smile in my direction. Babra won't let go of my hand until I get her settled in the shabby little parlor where her family will visit her. I finally let go when she's on the couch, but she grabs at me again.

"Please, stay!"

"Your family will be here soon," I tell her. "You'll want to be strong for them."

"Please don't leave me alone!"

I'm not supposed to be here with the families. That's definitely not on my list of duties. I'm supposed to be by Haymitch's side, helping him get ready.

I say, "Okay," and I stay until Babra's family comes. They hold her, and glare at me.

I go downstairs to the main hall, where Haymitch is sitting in the shadows under the stairs.

"I'm sorry," I say. "I know I should have been here right away, but the girl -- "

"That's where you belong," he says. He leans forward into the light, the line of the stair-shadow now cutting diagonally down over his ear. "They outrank me. You did what you were supposed to do."

"Do you want me to go back, in case she needs me after her family leaves?"

"Let it be for now. She seems willing to call if she needs you. I don't know how she ended up in there. She's town, and her parents haven't done anything. Why did you call her?"

"Because her name was on the slip pulled."

"Really?"

"Yes. I promise, I wasn't even asked to do anything else."

"No. No, I guess not. Nothing's happening this year."

I sigh. The other escorts have told me what the district people believe, about punitive reapings. None of the ones I talked to have ever been asked to skew the drawing either, but, looking at Haymitch, I have a feeling nothing I say will change his mind, anyway. "Do you need anything?" I ask him. "Something to help you…"

"…sober up?" He shakes his head. "No. That thing on the stairs was the last of it. Just head-spins. I didn't drink enough last night. It's already wearing off."

"Maybe you should consider being sober for the reaping."

"I consider it every year," he says. "Very briefly."

"They'll need you in better shape -- "

"I always sober up in the Capitol, at least until" -- he smiles bitterly -- "until my duties have been discharged."

The door opens. I expect it to be one of the families, looking for Haymitch. I imagine that they all want to talk to the mentor.

But it's a Games Security officer.

"Haymitch Abernathy," she says.

He looks up dully. "Yeah?"

"You'll accompany me to the train now, and report for questioning."

"Not until I know the families don't need me."

The officer drags him up rudely, ignoring my protest. "The order was to bring you immediately."

"What for?"

"For questioning in the murder of Ausonius Glass."
22 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
sonetka From: sonetka Date: April 8th, 2014 05:12 am (UTC) (Link)
Effie's point of view! I love it! She sounds so ... Effie. And so young and cowed, as well as polite -- everyone is Mr. This or Miss That. And that is one thing about the districts -- they may have television, but there's no way they'd ever be allowed any internet. That's a lot of potential distractions gone right there :). (Does the Capitol have the internet? I can't imagine that they don't). Can't wait for the next chapter.

By the way, thanks for the Frozen review! I left a comment on your blog but didn't see it turn up; I figured you probably had to approve it but I wanted to let you know just in case it decided to vaporize.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 8th, 2014 05:20 am (UTC) (Link)
I think it vaporized -- I don't have comment approval turned on.

I expect the Capitol has something like the internet (the better to spy on you with, my dear), and in the districts, something to deliver information, but I'm guessing it's more like broadcast out there, with no interaction.
mirandabeth From: mirandabeth Date: April 8th, 2014 05:15 am (UTC) (Link)
Ohhh, so lovely. Her voice is perfect. Oh gosh, she's so conscientious.

"Please never say her name again. Please."

That's my favourite line. Ouch.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 8th, 2014 05:20 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, poor Effie. The Grim Reaper in a pink wig.
From: (Anonymous) Date: April 8th, 2014 11:36 am (UTC) (Link)

You Can...

Put someone in Capitol Dreams for six years, but you can't program the sheer *niceness* out of them. What a marvelously uplifting thing to know (and see). Liked seeing Effie struggling with her new responsibilities and her disconnect from the go-go-go of the Capitol and her traumatic past.

Nice to see all the little cameos; it's heartbreaking that everyone feels that if she so much as looks at any of the kids, she'll end up targeting them or something. Makes perfect sense, but just heartbreaking.

And I hate to tell you this, my dear Euphemia, but you are *stuck* with Effie. It won't be so bad, though.

Ding, dong, Glass is dead!

Sara Libby
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 9th, 2014 01:11 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: You Can...

Yeah, I can't say how much Glass won't be mourned.

She really is in a tough place. It's better that someone like Effie is doing that job than someone like Glass, but the best type of person for it has to be able to mentally disconnect in order to do it at all.
redrikki From: redrikki Date: April 8th, 2014 01:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
Man, I like the details in this about Capitol life like the way they encourage ADD as an alternative to thinking. I also like the fact that Effie is obviously traumatized by her experience and how her coping method is to simply not. That seems so in character for both her and the capitol as a whole. Just don't think about the unpleasant stuff and it wont have happened. Erase the scars and everything is fine.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 9th, 2014 01:12 am (UTC) (Link)
ADD as an alternative to thinking
That pretty much sums it up, doesn't it? Distract, distract, dis... OOO, SHINY.

And of course, we've never seen anything like that in the world...
From: (Anonymous) Date: April 8th, 2014 01:11 pm (UTC) (Link)

loved this!

So glad that this is part of the story. Effie!!! Yay, it is nice to hear more of her back story and find out how she dealt with things. Can't wait to see the next chapter!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 9th, 2014 01:13 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: loved this!

I have to clean tonight, before my apartment walks off on its own, but I hope to at least get it started.
From: (Anonymous) Date: April 8th, 2014 03:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yay, I'm so excited for more of this story. Lots of lovely little details, like the shadow cutting across Haymitch's face, and the strawberry pie. Gorgeous.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 9th, 2014 01:14 am (UTC) (Link)
There's something lovely about Appalachia. And some not so lovely things. I grew up close enough to spit into the northernmost counties of the region, so I feel like I can use actual observance this time.
nevrafire From: nevrafire Date: April 9th, 2014 03:59 am (UTC) (Link)
YAY! Effie! I love Effie!

Also poor Effie, she got sent to the brainwashing place didn't she? good thing it didn't seem to have worked much and she can still think for herself. I hope district 12 people are not mean to her.

the details of Effie visiting the town were great and i'm so happy Caesar is helping Effie so much.

so if Effie is 18 how old is haymitch?

and good riddance to that trash of Glass.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 9th, 2014 07:03 am (UTC) (Link)
It's the 59th Games, so he's nine years older than his games... 25. About seven years older than she is.
From: queen_bellatrix Date: April 9th, 2014 04:09 am (UTC) (Link)

Thoughts and Catches

like a abattoir Think the a should maybe be an an?

party go to Think you're missing a to before go.

when we start to Think start should be started.

that baker shoos Think you might have missed a the before baker?

there' s Just wanted to let you know you had a space between the ' and the s.

have down in Think you missed a word or two before down, but I can't quite tell what they're supposed to be; maybe it?

choose this year Think year should be year's?

family gets here. In the tense you're writing in, would here maybe be there?

I can't leave as long a comment on this as I'd like, because RL's eating my brain. Know that length doesn't indicate lack of glee, because this was amazing.

I wasn't sure how I'd feel about an Effy pov; I've never read one I liked, but I was willing to come along for the ride because it's you. And I'm utterly enthralled. I love how smart she is, in her own way, and just how nice.

Glass is dead!!!!!! One of the things I was most frustrated by this week was not being able to comment on that last Gia challenge, and a huge part of that was that I loved her killing Glass; I grinned so much in a wolfish way my face ached.

And Haymitch; damn, I missed your Haymitch! I love getting sidelong glances at him, and this is one of the best; so defeated, but still fighting with everything he has because he's damnd if Snow will win. And the bond forming despite himself with Effy because she cares about the kids; so very IC, imho. And the way he talks to her in the beginning. I loved that entire conversation so much. If I had to recommend a scene of Haymitch and Effy interaction to a new person in fandom, I think it'd be this one, because it just so completely encapsulates who they are. Effy, so smart and positive; and Merl got how Haymitch interacts with people down to a tee when he said he takes them for what they are and not what he expects, which is one of my favorite things about him, and it's showcased so well in that first scene, when he goes from hostility or at least suspicion to being downright sociable, by his standards.:d

I remember you talking in GM about cracks in the system, and I love how you're showing that here. The way that even with Capitol Dreams, some part of her brain knows this is wrong; CD just lets her compartmentalize better than she normally would. Though, losing the tributes is going to be so hard for her.

I like the doubt you're casting on the idea of punative reapings here; I'm sure if the Capitol wanted it to happen, there'd be a way to do it without involving the escorts, but I really like the idea of it not happening as frequently as the Districts think.

And Merl and Kay; I like them so much, and Kay absolutely broke me.

And Caesar, warning Effy that she'll be "taken away"; he tries so hard to protect so many people, and he's doing it for both of them here, Effy with his warnings, and Haymitch by giving him someone decent to stand as another buffer for the tributes and give them a better chance.

And I think you're already making the beginnings of a wonderful study of the Capitol, just by contrasting it so sharply with the Districts. I have a feeling it'll be easier, now that you've established Haymitch and Effy's dynamic in the Districts, because you won't need to go to Twelve for each reaping, and can just pick up on the train or in the Capitol. However, I think the story really would've lacked something if we hadn't seen their first reaping, so I think you made an excellent choice there.

Btw, I saw you had a Frozen review in an earlier comment; what did you think? And if it's public access, where can I find it; I miss your metaish posts.:d


fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 9th, 2014 07:12 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thoughts and Catches

That review should have been linked, but if it wasn't working for some reason: http://elements-of-fiction.blogspot.com/2014/04/frozen-review.html

I think Capitol Dreams is less about making people evil than about convincing them that there's no conflict between being a good person and participating in the Capitol's b.s. Effie I think probably never got there completely.

The ability to just judge people on character is one I admire in people. Sure, of course Haymitch sees that Effie is a fancy Capitol girl who was in the brainwashing program... but instead of making a million assumptions, he just lets her talk, and finds a minute of common ground about limited school opportunities. It just seems like the person we see in canon, though I'm blanking on a specific example.

Whenever I hear a paranoid theory -- even in Panem -- my first instinct is to question it pretty ruthlessly. Does it make sense? Is it the most logical way for the villain to achieve his goals? The occasional punitive reaping, sure, but I suspect that's pretty overt, like the third Quarter Quell.
nevrafire From: nevrafire Date: April 10th, 2014 01:14 am (UTC) (Link)

???? A new blog?

is element of fictions another one of your blog ?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 10th, 2014 02:33 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: ???? A new blog?

Yup.
From: (Anonymous) Date: April 9th, 2014 06:06 am (UTC) (Link)
Wow, you're already getting started again!! It will be strange to see Haymitch from an outside perspective, I'm excited.

Also, when she talks about the "real metal key" that could open a fairy tale gate, I am totally imagining a super generic copied-at-the-hardware-store type door key like my spares for my apartment. Because that would probably be very old-fashioned by this time, and old stuff is automatically magical, AMIRITE?
torturedbabycow From: torturedbabycow Date: April 9th, 2014 06:08 am (UTC) (Link)
Oops, wasn't logged in!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 9th, 2014 07:13 am (UTC) (Link)
Yup, that's exactly the kind of key I was thinking of! And of course old stuff is magical. How else would it last so long?
torturedbabycow From: torturedbabycow Date: April 10th, 2014 10:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
Teehee, I'm so glad I was picking up that image correctly. I mean, those three little window openings at the top are totally straight out of (or maybe into??) fairyland.
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