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These Are The Names, Chapter 3 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
These Are The Names, Chapter 3
Well, what a difference deciding not to rush makes. I spend a week and a half trying to figure out how to cram six chapters into one and only get about six hundred words, then realize that I just need to spread it out, and... boom. It comes right out.

Anyway, we last left Effie, ages ago, at the interviews, which were just beginning.

Chapter Three
"Chaff Leary," Haymitch says, pointing at the man who is now sitting on my other side as Caesar does his opening riff. "Chaff, this is Effie… Euphemia Trinket. New escort. Try not to offend her too much. Turns out she's actually pretty good, and I don't want her to run off."

I shake Chaff's single hand, which he has to twist around in his seat to offer. "Nice to meet you," I say. "And I'm really not that easy to offend."

Haymitch grins. "Don't challenge him like that, Effie. He'll find a way." He winces. "Euphemia. Sorry."

Chaff laughs. "Honey, I think you best get used to 'Effie.' He's never going to remember the other one drunk. Besides, 'Effie' suits you."

He is shushed by a passing security guard, and we settle in for the interviews. Before last year, I would have spent this time deciding who I liked best. In Haymitch's year, I liked his ally, Maysilee, best. I loved her pretty hair, and her dress, and the way she talked about everyone trying to get along. I didn't think much of Haymitch (other than that he was very good-looking, which didn't mean much to me at nine) until he was actually in the arena, and really, not until Maysilee caught up with him. I think that's when he started growing on everyone. At least he was never one of the screamers. I've never liked the ones who do what the District One boy is doing now -- flexing his muscles and screaming at the top of his lungs about how fit and ready he is.

The District Two tributes are more or less the same -- both of them -- and the girl from Three makes an attempt at a brag. The boy doesn't bother. He just lets Caesar guide him into talking about his favorite inventions.

When Caesar moves on to the tributes from Four, I see Haymitch tense up and glance at the security guards, but I can't see any reason for it. Regardless, both the girl and the boy from Four are tensing up as well, and so is Mags Donovan, who's sitting a row ahead of us.

The girl, Fanning Kavanagh, practically jumps when Caesar leads her out. She manages a brittle smile, and tells everyone how much she loves going to the beach, and how greatly she's been enjoying the generosity of the Capitol since she got here.

The boy, Harris Greaves, comes next.

"Well, Harris," Caesar says, "an eleven… quite a score. I'm sure everyone's curious!"

"I'm sure they are," Harris says coolly. "And I assure everyone, once I get into the arena, you'll see why I got it. But I wouldn't want to spoil the surprise."

There's a kind of nervous laughter in the audience. The words sound like a joke, but Harris's face and tone don't seem to match them.

"Oh-ho!" Caesar cries, waggling his eyebrows. "Surprises in store… then what shall we talk about?..."

Caesar does most of the talking. Harris glares out at the audience, answering Caesar's questions about his home life with only the briefest of comments. I doubt he'll get many sponsors out of this. Caesar seems glad to be done with him and move on to District Five, where he fusses over a nervous redheaded girl named Athena Burke. Back in his seat, Harris Greaves continues to stare. Judging by what's on the screens around us, the television audience isn't seeing much of him at all.

I have mostly forgotten about him by the time we get to District Eleven, where the girl, Daylily, is a simply beautiful thing who barely has to say a word to be guaranteed a whole crowd of sponsors. Chaff's boy, Planter Maye, tries his best to be funny. It's his only chance for sponsors -- he's a skinny, bucktoothed boy of thirteen wearing a pair of thick glasses. He does pretty well.

Caesar reaches Babra, and I look around the audience. Many of them are checking their watches, and I see two women playing a discreet game on their handhelds a few sections over. No one is watching. I realize that they almost never are by the time District Twelve comes around.

"Look at you!" Caesar says, leading her forward into the light, where the pretty blue dress we found for her glimmers. "Aren't you beautiful!"

"I feel prettier with clothes on," she says. "That's for sure. I've never been so embarrassed in my life!"

Caesar puts a protective arm around her. "Now, everyone knows you didn't make up that parade costume -- or lack thereof." He looks to the audience. "Babra doesn't have anything to be embarrassed about, does she?"

The audience cheers on this implicit command.

"See?" he says. "You're fine. Now, I understand your family has a grocery store. We've only had a few other merchants from your district here to talk to us…"

Babra warms to this topic fairly quickly, talking about her store, and how nice it's been to get to know Trill, as the miners and merchants apparently haven't had much chance to know each other at home. I think about the miner turning me away from part of the town, and I wonder just how bad it is. I should ask Haymitch, if I remember.

"And finally -- last but not least -- Trillium Morrison!"

Trill swaggers forward. "Hi, Caesar," he says. "Most people call me Trill."

"Ah, I stand corrected. So tell me, Trill -- you've been listening to all the others for a while now. What is it that you'll bring to the arena that you haven't already heard about?"

Trill thinks about it for a minute -- or pretends to -- then says, "Desire."


"I want to get through the arena and get a kiss from our pretty new escort, Effie Trinket." He grins wickedly, and suddenly, my face is all over the big screens. I see Haymitch snickering.

He coached Trill. He knew he was going to say that.

"Well," Caesar says, as the camera cuts back to him, "I'd have to say that is certainly a motivational goal."

"What can I say?" Trill pats his chest and bats his eyelashes. "I'm a romantic at heart."

Now Chaff is snickering as well, and there's laughter through the audience, and in my head, I hear the boys in the hall at school laughing at me when I came through the doors in my new clothes and my new wig. I see them jeering. It wasn't just that day. I heard their laughter all the way through school. They would always make horrible declarations about how they just couldn't live without me, and would just die right then if I didn't "loosen up" for them. I thought I was done with it.

I force myself to continue smiling, in case the cameras come back. Beside me, I see Haymitch looking at me sharply, no longer laughing.

Trill finishes up, and Caesar does his closing patter.

Haymitch takes my arm just above my elbow and whispers, "You okay? You look spooked."

"I'm fine. Why wouldn't I be?"

He looks at me steadily, and something tells me that he doesn’t believe me for a second. His eyes, which are even sharp and lively when he's drunk, are narrowed and bright. "Effie, you need to tell me if something's wrong. But don't tell Trill."

"I know. It's okay."

He nods and we make our way through the crowd, back into the training center, where Babra and Trill are waiting for us. We take the elevator up with the District Eleven team. No one really talks on the way, though Daylily smiles awkwardly at Babra and says, "Well… um… see you tomorrow?"

Babra swallows hard. "Hopefully not too closely."

"Yeah. That."

They exit into their apartment.

We go up to the last floor.

The kids are nervous now, so Haymitch and I distract them as much as possible. We don't discuss this. He mentors them intensively and technically, and I try to tempt them with some rich desserts. Neither approach is terribly successful, but when it comes time for them to go to bed, they at least seem a little less keyed up.

Once they're down for the night, Haymitch turns to me. "We won't see them tomorrow morning," he says. "And you'll have an early meeting. The escorts almost always do. You don't need to stay here anymore. You can go back to wherever you live."

"You want me to leave?"

"I want you to get some rest." He sits down. "It's going to be bad tomorrow, Effie. You know that, right? You're not going to have to worry about Trill demanding his kiss."

"If he makes it through, he'll get one."

"No." He points to a chair. "Effie, sit down."

I take a seat.

He leans across and takes my hands. "He's not going to make it. I can't talk him out of the damned Cornucopia, and he's not going to make it through there."

"Haymitch -- "

"But even if he does, it's not your job to dole out kisses or anything else. Trill knows it, too. You're our escort. You can kiss anyone you feel like , but you're not anyone's prize. You get that, right? I mean, no one's been telling you anything else, have they?"

"No. I just…"

"It was supposed to be a joke. Just sort of making him seem normal to everyone… a boy with a crush on the pretty girl. I didn't think you'd take it seriously. You want to tell me what that was about?"

"Nothing," I say. "I just don't like being laughed at. I know, it's stupid."

"No. It's not." He reaches up and rubs his head. "I'm afraid you're on the wrong team if you don't want to be laughed at, though. They've been on me since my victory tour, and you just got stuck with me."

"Maybe if we could get your image cleaned up a little…"

"Yeah. That'll happen." He shakes his head. "It's too late for that, Effie. It's been too late for that for a long time now. But thanks. I'll try and keep it directed away from you."

I sit there across from him for a few minutes, then he seems to realize for the first time that he's holding my hands. He lets go and smiles sheepishly.

"Are you sure you don't want me to stay?" I ask.

He nods. "You should go home. I'll see you tomorrow." We get up, and he walks me to the elevator. "It's going to be ugly," he says again as I step into it. "I'll probably be pretty ugly, too. I apologize in advance."

I push the button for the door to close, but he's leaning on it. I think for a minute that he means to kiss me, which is crazy -- he's seven years older than I am and quite famous -- but he doesn't. He just steps back and lets the door close. I don't know whether I’m disappointed or relieved.

The training center itself is quiet tonight, as the tributes try to rest, and the rest of the buildings in Games Headquarters, while lit up and full, are just busy with the last stages of work before the Games begin.

When I cross out of Games Headquarters and into the city, everything changes.

You never have to go far to find a party in the Capitol, but during the Games, the whole city is a party. The streetlights are sparkling, and people spill out of the clubs, dancing to music so fast and cheerful that it's hard not to dance. Vendors line the sidewalks with all kinds of memorabilia. Daylily from Eleven has inspired large, lit-up hair decorations shaped like the flower she was named for. There are headbands with floppy springs on them showing the wearers' favored districts, and tee shirts with the tributes pictures on them. I see someone wearing a black shirt with blond hair stenciled in over the breasts, and a giant "12" between them.

There's betting going on, and it's spilled over into more innocent kinds of betting -- dice and cards have come out, and footraces are being contested by drunken revelers.

In the distance, at the lakeshore, I can see Bacchus Pleasure Park, its wheels and rides lit up against the blackness of the water beyond. I was there two years ago with Capitol Dreams, handing out Stay-Awake fizzy candies so people could keep the party up. There were face painters and clowns and an amazing dance team that did numbers representing every district. I wanted so badly to be one of them, but I don't think I'd have really been comfortable dressed in their skimpy costumes, shaking my breasts at strangers.

But they were so pretty.

I let my feet carry me through the city. I'm never afraid out on the streets like this. Strangers mostly ignore me, even if my face was on television a few hours ago. My wig isn't that unusual, and my makeup is up-to-date, so everyone is wearing it. I could blend in at any of the clubs, but I know Haymitch wants me to get some rest, so I just weave through the parties, catching bits and pieces, on my way home.

At Club Caligula, there are naked people dancing outside, covered in coal dust. They seem happier about it than Trill and Babra were. At the Forum -- the big outdoor club only bounded from the street by netting and armed guards -- there's a light show, and, as I pass, they start playing a dance version of the Games fanfare. I go into the park that goes around City Center, where the festivities are more family oriented, and I see children enjoying their late night up, racing each other around crazily and playing tag with toy swords. Parents watch indulgently, and I think about Haymitch telling me that it will be ugly tomorrow, that Trill will never collect his kiss.

I stop walking. I can't start thinking that way. The Games are played for a reason. If it weren't for the Games, there would be a lot more dead children. They should be celebrated. They stopped thousands more deaths from happening, and they remind us all of how horrible the war was.

I swallow hard and go sit in a crowd of parents who are watching their children fondly. I wonder where my parents are. I think my father decided to re-contract with someone younger and have another child, but I haven't seen him for a few years. I'm not sure if it ever happened. Last I knew, my mother was working at a shop in the fashion district, still trying to pay off the bills she ran up, but I haven't seen her since I moved into the Capitol Dreams compound. I should call her.

"Are you all right?" a woman says beside me. "You look a little sick."

"I'm fine, really."

"We're going to put on some music in a few minutes. Do you want to dance?"

I shake my head. "No -- I really should get home."

But I stay there for a little while, watching the party. Everyone's having fun. A little blond girl is pretending to be Babra, and she's decided that the high score she got was for being a good shot. She is pretending to fire things from a slingshot while the others laugh.

I wait until the odd feeling passes, then move on.

The Dreams compound is on the far side of the park, and the party is going on here as much as anywhere else, though a lot of people are out working the clubs and parks. Once the Games are over, I'll look for a place of my own, so someone else who's in money trouble can have my bed, but everything happened so fast that I didn't have time before I left. I go up to the third floor, which I share with five other girls. Miss Meadowbrook is our house mother, and she's the only one home when I get there.

"Euphemia!" she says when I come in, and I've been "Effie" so constantly over the last few days that I almost forget to answer. She comes over, smiling widely. "Oh, you looked so pretty on television tonight. I imagine you were a little nervous."

I let her lead me to the kitchen table, where she pours me a cup of tea. "It was all right," I tell her.

"Have you really been kissing young Trillium?"

I shake my head. "Haymitch thinks I won't be doing it at all."

"Haymitch is a sourpuss." She smiles. "How is he? Other than being sour, of course." She laughs and rolls her eyes. "I wish we could get him to cheer up a little bit. I think he could be happy if he'd let himself. Is he still drinking too much, or is that just a rumor?"

"He was pretty drunk the day before the reaping," I tell her, though I feel inclined to add, "but he sobered up right away when the mentoring started. He's sober for the tributes."

"That sounds right." She takes a sip of her own tea. "Do you know, he actually had moral qualms about taking a little something for himself -- me -- because it might cost one sponsorship?"

"I don't understand."

"If he was with me, a sponsorship would look like a payment, so he had to decide whether he wanted me or my money. It was quite a scandal that year -- some of the victors trading… well, best left behind. But there are rules. I still can't sponsor District Twelve, at least until people forget, if you were thinking of asking."

I'm not sure that anyone other than Miss Meadowbrook -- Haymitch included -- remembers, but I don't correct her. The public probably thinks of her more with Avitus Ames, the singer she was married to for about forty-eight hours two years ago, and even that's sort of a while back. She never talks about that, just Haymitch, though that's probably just because of my assignment. It's not like she talked about him all the time before I ended up on the District Twelve team.

"It's probably better you didn't get that kiss," she muses.

"What?" I look up, wondering if I somehow let slip that I thought Haymitch might kiss me before I left, but she just has a kind of faraway look on her face. One of the other girls, Verina Dorne, says that Miss Meadowbrook is a "high attention case," and frequently needs to be taken on outings to prevent her lapses into maudlin thoughts. We all take our turns.

"The boy is cute," she says, coming up with a smile, and I realize that she's talking about Trill, "but it's better not to get involved with district boys. I suppose you could always just play with them, but…." She sighs. "They take playing very seriously, and you can end up hurting them. There's no reason to do that."

"What if I were serious?"

She looks at me with vague interest. "About a district boy? Where would it go, Euphemia? Do you imagine there would be some long, happily-ever-after life? They can't move here, and of course, you wouldn't want to go there. And if there were children…" She goes very quiet, then the smile comes back. "Well, you wouldn't want to pull your own children's names out of the reaping balls, would you? Because Capitol citizenship has to come from both parents." She shudders theatrically. "Imagine that! The child of a Capitol citizen in the Games. That's hardly what they're for!" She laughs. "Oh, listen to me, going on about things that aren't going to happen. You know better than that. Of all my girls, you're the last I'd expect to get in that sort of trouble."

"Probably true," I say. "Would you like to go downstairs and see who's back from the park? It looked like Zeno and Leontia had a dance contest started when I came through."

"Oh, that sounds fun! Why didn't you join them?"

"I was going to get some rest. I told Haymitch I would. But I'm not very sleepy, really. And you look like you could use some cheering up."

"Oh, don't let the sourpuss spoil the party for you. He's a dear, but my heavens, he could make a meadowlark mope." She opens her purse and takes out a few pills. I know at least one of them is for staying awake. I think the others are for her mood. She gulps them down with her cooling tea and offers me two of them. "They'll get you out of that mopey place in your head," she says. "And you'll be fine for work in the morning."

I take them. I'm not sure what they are, but I am sure that Miss Meadowbrook isn't out to hurt me, and that she knows exactly what they are.

Half an hour later, I'm happy again, and dancing with my friends, and, as promised, in the morning, I wake up on time, feeling much better -- clearer -- than I have for days.

I paint my face and put on a bright yellow wig and a pretty green dress that a designer sent over for me. It's made from preserved spinach leaves. Clothes made from food are supposedly going to be big over the next few months. It's a big hit at the escorts' meeting.

Haymitch is nonplussed by it when I get to the Viewing Center just before ten, and Chaff looks actively annoyed, muttering about a waste of a harvest, but I let it wash over me. There's no time for either of them to get any further with their commentary. The Games are about to begin.

"Are you ready to take sponsor calls?" Haymitch asks.

"I have the book. I was taking them for days, remember?"

"Right." He frowns. "What's wrong with you?"

"Nothing at all!"

He sighs, then says, "Okay. You seem alert enough. If they make it past the Cornucopia, the calls will start coming. I've been looking through the supply book. From the looks of it, it's going to be wet out there. I'm looking at some protective plastic bags for whatever supplies they can get. And maybe their feet, depending on what the uniforms are. They're pricey, but we're almost there. Try to get as much as you can."

I rearrange the call area to put things in easier reach for me. "On it," I promise, and give him my best smile. "I told you -- I've got your back."

He rubs his head. "Yeah. You do. I guess that's what counts."

The Games fanfare blares over the sound system, and we all turn to the big screen, where the broadcast that will go out to the public plays out. Around it, hundreds of dark little screens are waiting to go live with their views of the arena.

On the screen, the producers have linked together scenes from all of the previous Games. I see a flash of Mags with her slingshot, and Beetee with his wires. I see Faraday Sykes and Brutus Emmett. I see Haymitch laughing atop a cliff (beside me, he grinds his teeth).

All of this fades to a dark room, and a hazy gray light. A few tables down, someone identifies the camera as being on one of Woof's District Eight tributes.

Claudius Templesmith voices over the rise up into the arena. The hazy light is all we see, even as the camera pans. The Cornucopia is lit with golden light, but the camera sees the tributes only as hazy dark forms in the fog. Thin rills of water run through deep mud all around, and trees with thick, vine-like leaves trail down.

"A swamp," Seeder says. "How are they supposed to run?"

But they try.

When the countdown ends, and the gong sounds, they rush for the Cornucopia like they always do.

Trill doesn't even make it halfway.
10 comments or Leave a comment
sonetka From: sonetka Date: April 29th, 2014 06:58 am (UTC) (Link)
I think for a minute that he means to kiss me, which is crazy -- he's seven years older than I am and quite famous --

Capitol Dreams must shelter its proteges to a nigh-criminal extent for this thought even to exist in Effie's head. Of course, God only knows what sort of stuff they've read about the victors' lives. Miss Meadowbrook is a mess, poor girl -- does she ever get out of Capitol Dreams or is she going to be stunned and distracted for the rest of her natural life?

I liked seeing Haymitch's dry run there with coaching Trill, and hated seeing Trill ignore the Cornucopia advice. I know it's canon that the Cornucopia massacre happens every year, but all I can think of is that line from Galaxy Quest -- "Didn't you guys ever WATCH the show?!"
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 29th, 2014 07:09 am (UTC) (Link)
I think it's less innocence about what the victors might or might not get up to than her belief that she's not good enough for him to be attracted to. (Of course, she's accidentally reading him right, though for the wrong reasons: That seven year gap is a big deal between eighteen and twenty-five, and he doesn't want to take advantage of her crush... though he is quite attracted to her, at least until she comes in brainless.)

Poor Mimi is pretty well stuck for life.

I guess a lot of kids every year must weigh their options about the Cornucopia and decide that they'll beat the odds, and end up with good equipment, while everyone else starves.
persephone_kore From: persephone_kore Date: April 29th, 2014 07:44 am (UTC) (Link)
I guess a lot of kids every year must weigh their options about the Cornucopia and decide that they'll beat the odds, and end up with good equipment, while everyone else starves.

Go for broke, and either beat the odds or have it over with fast. I can... kind of see the appeal.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 30th, 2014 12:56 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, it's not like the odds are great either way. And Haymitch may be rare among mentors in telling his tributes not to -- the others may try and train the kids to handle it as well as they can instead.
redrikki From: redrikki Date: April 29th, 2014 08:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
One of the other girls, Verina Dorne, says that Miss Meadowbrook is a "high attention case," and frequently needs to be taken on outings to prevent her lapses into maudlin thoughts.

There's something vaguely chilling about this. Oh, no, she's thinking deep thoughts about how f-ed up her life and the world are. Best distract her, quick!

I like how disconnected Effie seems through all of this. She's disconnected from her feelings about her trauma and the games, she's disconnected from the parties and Capitol life and then she takes some drugs to disconnect some more. Good times. The fact that she didn't know what they were but is so programed to trust Mimi that she took them anyway says everything you need to know about her.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 30th, 2014 01:01 am (UTC) (Link)
I think you'd almost have to unplug to survive in the Capitol with any of your mental faculties intact.

And yeah, the intolerance for any kind of non-positive evaluation of things is absolute. It reminds me of someone reviewing an episode of Barney and Friends, who was just tearing at his hair because a little girl was being harassed by all and sundry to cheer up -- "They won't let the poor kid be in a bad mood for a few minutes!!!!" For the "good girls" in the Capitol, it's like permanently living in an annoying children's show, at least that way (though I doubt some of the activities they engage in to cheer up would be encouraged by the purple dinosaur).
From: (Anonymous) Date: April 30th, 2014 12:10 am (UTC) (Link)

I Think...

The bit that makes me really wince is where Haymitch apologizes about Trill's interview and for inadvertently allowing her to be objectified, and warning her that if she sticks with him, she's going to end up being the butt of jokes. Because while we do have the happy ending you bestow upon them in the far future to cling to, in the interim, those promises are going to be both broken and kept rather spectacularly.

Good descriptions of the memorabilia being hawked. The T-shirt based on Babra was extremely plausible and made me want to retch.

Sara Libby
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 30th, 2014 01:08 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: I Think...

Years in fandom have made it pretty easy to think of what nutty things there would be around the Games.

And yeah, poor Effie... she really is going to be the butt of a lot of jokes, though hopefully, by the time Katniss and Peeta tease her a little, she'll understand that it can be affectionate, too.
From: queen_bellatrix Date: April 30th, 2014 03:24 am (UTC) (Link)

Feedback and Typos

family has grocery Think you missed an a before grocery?

get know Trill Missed a to before know.

would some long, ever-after life? I think you missed a be before long, and I can't quite tell if ever-after is supposed to stand on its own, or if there was supposed to be a word before it; it works both ways, imho.

From looks of Think you missed a the before looks.

The glimpses of reeducated Mimi are creepy! An absolutely wonderful entrance point for a more in-depth study of the Capitol, but disturbing and sad. With as much as she still thinks about Haymitch, what she felt for him must've been really, really strong, to still be so present even with Capitol Dreams. And speaking of Mimi, when she went quiet when children were mentioned, I had the most appalling thought: Was she pregnant when they sent her to CD? I'm telling myself she was just going quiet because there is still some tiny part of her brain that understands how awful the Games are, but it's too plausible she would've been pregnant to entirely dismiss it. And the sponsorship thing with Twelve; I keep waffling as to whether that was just Mimi being paranoid/very caught in the past, or if the CD people told her she still couldn't sponsor Twelve because they're afraid it'll destroy all their careful work.

It was a really clever thought to have CD do charitable things; not just working the parties/clubs around the Games, but offering places to people with money trouble. Being taken in when you were struggling and constantly inundated would really make the "right thinking" stick, which is just diabolicly clever. And now I'm picturing homeless people who have nowhere to go because they won't conform, which is a terrifying thought. The entire setup is creepily like Brave New World or 1984; think right and we will always take care of you; refuse, and you're left in the cold.

Harris is interesting; I can't quite tell if he's just sullen (which could be exacerbated if the Four tributes/mentor are getting grilled/threatened about Gia, which seems to be the case with their and Haymitch's nervousness at the interviews?) or if the uncommunicativeness is part of his strategy.
Mmm, I'm beginning to hope for a Babbra and Daylilly alliance now, though I really should wait to see if both of them survive the bloodbath *shudders* You portray the sheer sick waste of the Games so well, especially because you always make us, to varying degrees, identify with the tributes.

I love how you're using Effy's trauma to show the limits of Capitol society. Not only how much it eerily resembles ours (far too many poor girls, me included, can relate to Effy's bullying by the richer students, and far too many girls who are careful where they bestow their affections can relate to all the boys crassness/threats), but how even the disconnect the government attempts to foster can only block out trauma to an extent. And on the subject of trauma, Haymitch and Effy's interactions surrounding the interviews were just spot-on. It's funny, in an ironic way, to see him in a similar position to what Gia was on his victory tour, though for his sake, I wish he weren't; he and Effy could have been happier together much sooner if she were just a bit older and he deserves that so much!) But, I really love how aware he is of the age gap and how easy it would be to take advantage and is determined not to. You portray attraction so well here, especially in the way that he lingers over holding her hands.

On a more general Haymitch note, I loved his advance apology for his conduct the next day, and his confusion/irritation when she showed up brainless. The level of his irritation really conveys to the reader how out of it she is; I just picture her with this frighteningly perky smile and glassy eyes.

Fantastic portrait of the Capitol and all its "distractions" with her walk through the city; I absolutely love your descriptions of the scenery; it's as breathtakingly beautiful a city as it is an appalling one the way you craft it, which is perfect.

Loved Caesar and Chaff as always; Chaff's line about her just needing to get used to Effy because Haymitch would never remember the other one drunk was especially perfect!

And the name of the pleasure park was genius.:d

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 30th, 2014 04:15 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Feedback and Typos

Got the typos.

I feel bad for Mimi in a lot of ways. She really was in love with him, and he changed her and the way she looked at the world... which is what absolutely necessitated the breaking of her mind. And yes, there was a reason she was thinking of what would happen to her child, and why her trip to Capitol Dreams started out with a "cosmetic procedure."

I figure something like CD would have to have a good face to show the world. After all, we have Snow and the Peacekeepers for fear... hope and comfort will have the more devastating ultimate effect of making the recipients feel they owe everything to this structure, and if it's threatened in any way, they'll respond with terror. They'll defend it to the death.

If the Capitol is around Salt Lake (which I figure it is, from the geography), it would have to be beautiful. That's beautiful country out there, and we know the Capitol is filled with aesthetes, if nothing else.
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