Congratulations on making it to the finale, tributes! As it's the end of the Games, you have as long as you need within reason to wrap things up — although please be considerate and mindful of the approaching 66th Games. As always, introductory posts are required, but as with any normal fight, stealth may be used.
When he fell down, I didn’t leave. I thought I would leave. I swore I’d leave. But I didn’t.
What did Iago Izar have anything to offer to this world but terror and a tyrannical wrath? But is that really true, Iago? He was nothing but a bully, worse than the kids in school. Do you really have no heart beneath your stone mask? At least they wouldn’t go through with most of their malicious threats; they wouldn’t rip Hope Woodard’s eyes out of their head. Can we be truly heartless? Yes Beatrice, yes they can. Look at the people who sent us here, to this fantasy gone wrong. I don't think it's possible, no matter how hard we try to be perfect, try to fit into their high-standard mold, we're always going to fail. Shut up. I did nothing wrong. I did nothing wrong. They can't take our motives away from us. Shut up shut you and your goddamn letter shut the fuck up. They can't steal our hearts, even if they wanted to. He was going to kill me. I did what I had to do. Then why was it so difficult to look at the anthem last night? Scout, Scout I tried to avenge you in so many ways and I’ve done it now why can’t this feeling just leave but what if this was never what you would have wanted?
I did not kill Linus Cohen, but I murdered Iago Izar. With my blade, with my aim with my intentions full set on getting back to the sandy shores I killed someone and now I have to face the consequences, no matter how disgusting they are. And I know those images will never leave my brain, never not even when death takes me away. I will still see Linus’ eyes, staring blankly at the sky. I will still see Iago’s arm being ripped from his body, the blood pooling out of him by the bucketful. Did they deserve it? No, of course they didn’t but I did what I had to I did what I had to there was no other option. My hands need to stop shaking my knees need to stop wobbling why the fuck am I like this, quivering and weak when I’ve just done something quite the opposite (or maybe it’s actually the weakest of all actions)? I know, Iago, I know all about you. I've done my research. You are not a monster. Shut up Beatrice shut up SHUT UP all he did in the arena was kill with a deadly smirk and a sharp glint in his eye and quite frankly you did just the same. Your life is not about killing, killing, killing, and that is not your purpose, not even here, in the arena, Iago. Really? Well it certainly seemed like it to me.
You got your wish though, Bea. Iago’s going home – both of you are, just not in the way you intended. And now either Saffron or I will join you. Who it’ll be, I have no fucking idea. Saffron killed her ally; I killed someone who shouldn’t have been allowed here in the first place, to terrify already dead children for shits and giggles. It’s amazing what a little pinch of hope of ambition of deep dark fear does to someone. I don’t know where we’ll have our finale, but it’s today – it must be today. Today I will be going back home; whether it’s in that box that the rest of you are in or on my own accord is up to me. And I have to get back I have to I have to – I need to see it one more time hug my family one last time skip stones and cook chicken noodle soup and draw draw draw draw the skies and the earth and everything that I see because there’s so much truth and wonder to the world and I never had the chance to capture it all on paper. I’m only fourteen, there’s so much I have yet to do, so much I have yet to see and experience and love and hate and just – fuck.
I can do this. I know I canI know I will do it when the time comes because what else can I do? I’m not going to just give in, give in to Death as he grasps me with cold, clammy corpse fingers and a maniacal laugh caught in his throat. No, I am Ewe Saw of District Four, who has a leg that never works and a laugh that would ring out across the ocean. I am Ewe Saw of District Four, who will never let his honor falter, his courage wane, his determination disappear in an instant. I am Ewe Saw, I am Ewe and I am going home, Saffron – on my own two feet, even if both of them can’t be classified as such right now. I am Ewe and I am going home for Mum, for Dad, for Eye, for Scout, for Iago and Emery, for Cassie Radke and Shadow Bison, for Hope Woodards and the Boy from 12, for Linus Cohen who didn’t last ten minutes. I’m going to live for them, for them, all I did was for them. Mum Dad Eye you must know that everything I did I did to see you all one more time.
Last night I took apart Scout’s pocketwatch – there was far too much caked on blood for it to work right anymore, so I cleaned each piece in the stream. I fixed it though, Scout. It work again, ticks just as loudly as it did before. Please be there for me, even if your soul has disappeared into the otherworld or even ceased to exist, please please I need someone here with me I don’t know if I can do this I’m just me with a gimp leg and a feeble heart – no, I can do this I can do this I can do this but please come with me so I’m not alone. I can almost feel like you’re here, walking along with me, each foot the sound of a second hand ticking away tick tock tick tock tick tock don’t stop. And I think I can do this, even if it’s not you even if it’s just a figment of my imagination I have my guardian angel here with me, to watch over me as I win, to take me across the divide if I die. I truly hope that it’s the former.
Quick, quick she’s coming she’s coming she’s here. I can do this. And there’s no explanations needed; we both know what’s at stake. We both know how close yet how very very far we are to making it back to the sun-baked lands and hugs and smiles and chocolate cake that’s far too dry and arithmetic that’s far too difficult and art that’s far too complex. But only one of us gets to see it again, and while I don’t know how if I will be able to do this, I know that I can, and at the moment that’s all that matters. I can do this, I can do this, I can do this and so I swing. But this time my blade’s lit, like Iago’s, the dragon fury unleashing itself into the already scorching skies. I hope I can be as ruthless as your flickering form.
[ewe uses jug of tar and a match to light the glaive on fire] [ewe attacks saffron | glaive & fire] [dice=200+13000] [Shallow Cut on Stomach | 4.0 damage]
Post by slate • d9f • zoë on Dec 15, 2013 23:33:35 GMT -5
Just one more-
I'm so tired-
I left Lucy in the snow to be buried by the winter, her sword placed in her hands like a true queen would be buried. (There is no point in trying to be brave when my entire kingdom has fallen down. I fell asleep to the echo of my sobs and awoke flooded with grief.) With trembling hands I taped my axe to the place where my hand used to lie and forced myself up into the open air. Weightless is hard to be when the weight of the world rests on your shoulders but I haven't stopped walking since.
I am so tired. Or even beyond that. In this arena I have aged a hundred years, stealing away the lives of all those children, stealing away all the years they should have lived. There's just one more left, one more to defeat, and I can rule with an empty heart and a missing hand and try to comprehend the world through victor eyes. (They will haunt me, each and every one of them, until the end of my second forever.)
Maybe I have already died, and I didn't quite know it. Maybe I am just wandering through this arena, trapped in it for eternity. I have become weightless, walking with no footprints, treading with no sound, a whisper of a soul before the end reaches me. (Quick, quick, outrun the floods. You'll drown, you'll drown!) Yet I do not feel weightless - I am tied to this place, every piece of me hell-bound. So I drag myself to my final battle and face my impending fate.
I see him - small, at first. In this arena, which I'm sure grew taller and larger with each passing day, we're all so small. District numbers churn through my memory until I find 4 - he's District 4. (Before, I would have worried at the idea of facing no doubt a Career. Now, I am too tired to feel anything except pain and determination.) I dare myself to alert him of my presence and call out with crackling words, wearing a mask of blood, sweat and bitter apologies.
Welcome, I think, to the end of forever.
"Hello," I wave. "My name is Saffron."
Closer. Step. Closer. Step.
"Never forget it."
And I run.
attacks [ewe] with [meteor hammer] [dice=200+12000] Broken Right Collar Bone -- 6.5 damage
lights flail on fire with jar of tar [dice=50] moderate burn -- 4
The blade cuts across her stomach but her swinging weapons smack me square in the chest and I can feel the bones cracking breaking surrendering to the will of burning flames and pain pain pain. The armor around me is useless now; surely it'll fall at the slightest touch - so I rip it off of my body, watching the tattered pieces flop to the ground. This battle's just beginning. Pawn to e4. Or maybe you're not such a pawn after all. It's almost Round 2, almost uncanny to the fight that I won just yesterday (how is it already tomorrow I feel as if time has slipped away at the slightest touch. I don't know what day it is I don't know what day it was yesterday or two days ago all I know is that I'm still alive and my heart's still beating beating beating thumptump thumpthump thumpthump)
It hurts to move my neck, it hurts for my lungs to expand and contract, for my diaphragm to bend. This is all your doing, Saffron Lowe. Of course I'll never forget your face as the light dies out from your eyes because you cannot make it out of the arena, not while there's still a chance of me escaping from this nightmare only to enter another. I'm sorry it has to be this way, but I will not apologize anymore; there's no point, is there? We're all just pieces in their chessboard - twenty four figures scattered across light and dark and even the grays in between. We all know the rules, we all know how one's victory ensures the other's demise. And I cannot will not let victory elude me, I will not let the shroud take me away I will not I will not I will not.
Please win, sister. For my sanity. For my sake.
Saffron Lowe, stop trying to act tougher than you are - your act doesn't faze me. We're alike, the two of us. Two scared kids who just want to go home, want to escape the clutches of blades and fire and poison and smite and jump into the opened-arm grasps of friends and family and home. And only one of us will be able to fulfill our wish. Last night I wished towards the stars, Scout's pocket watch grasped tightly in my hands, Vinnie's letter echoing through my mind, Beatrice's ode forever ingrained in my thoughts. And while I do not and will never know why you must get home, Saffron (the pain would be too much to bear, and while we are alike we cannot be the same) I need to be there, back in the sun and the shade. I need to get to Eye, I need to show him that I'm alright, that he did all he could and I know that my death will do absolutely nothing to prove this.
I fight to soothe a conscience, I fight to live for the ones who've been lost, I fight to return to the world I was ripped away from, even if I know it will never be the same on my return. I hope you know what you do fight for, Saffron Lowe - because if you don't and you kill me I'll never forgive you. "I'm Ewe, and you need to disappear."
The dragon roars as it swings forwards.
[ewe attacks saffron | glaive & fire]
[dice=200+13000] [Shallow Cut on Left Hip | 3.5 damage]
If I disappear, I'd like to fall upwards. Into the sky I'd go, drifting and floating and laughing in the breeze. I would leave my pain behind, watch as it (or I) vanishes from existence. Pain reminds me that I'm still alive, as it tears across my stomach and punctures my veins and brings the flood that I ran away from - the flood that I've been running from all this time - to burst from the crevices of my eyes.
I'm so tired and it hurts and I just want to go home. Home is a kill away (I never thought I could kill someone. Lucy's broken body flashes before my eyes and I let a choke escape from my mouth. She's safe now, ruling some wonderful place away from these horrors as they took her beautiful shell and turned her into a machine that I tore down. I promised to remember her - remember them all (Lucy Cerise Ivana Lucy Cerise Ivana) as long as I lived. If I am to die here, I shall die with their names on my tongue for all of them. For all that I could not shelter any longer.
"You need to disappear" the boy says as his blade sinks into my side (it hurts it hurts it hurts) and I don't know how much I'm supposed to take before one of us disappears. This is my kingdom now, I am the last of our line left to rule. (Steal him away, my mind ticks. Steal him away, save your soul, just as you saved them from living with this tragedy you write in blood.)
But I don't want to steal - not anymore. I don't want to do anything but step, step, step - rhythm drilled into me day after day after day. I am weightless, I am air. I am selfish, I am selfless. I am Saffron, I am a sister. I am tired, and scared, and angry. I am a killer, a victim, and everything in-between. I was a Queen, once. A thief, too. And what did I tell Lucy's shell before she crumbled to the ground? I am brave.
Half of me screams to be the hero - and another yearns with a selfish desire to do nothing but live. To live, at the cost of his life, of all their lives, of every face that flashed in the sky just so I can wake up every morning to a beating heart. Am I worth all of their lives - have I really saved them all? Or did my fantasy come crashing down as my kingdom did, too?
In the heart of theourmy kingdom, I shall save them all.
It yelps as it sizzles out of existence and for a moment I'm left without my dragon without my warrior as she laughs and it's so bitter and her words leave a familiar pain that I haven't heard since I sat with my head hanging low in a too-big too-narrow too-disgusting wooden desk with snickers audible from across the room. I shook I shook so much as the light faded from view and all I could see were the smirks and the geers and the gestures and the laughs as I tried to escape, my leg giving out with a little push and it was so, so cold on the tile, all alone in a crowded room.
Eye wasn't there for me that day. That day was a bad day. Today hasn't been that great either. But there's a difference, there just has to be because before I was running solo in a cluttered building and now I'm running solo with just one left; everyone else is gone, dead, throats slit and bodies burned and brains bashed in and arms hacked off and eyes staring staring staring I didn't kill him I didn't I didn't he fell it wasn't me. You've got to believe me it wasn't me. (I regret everything.) No no no I don't regret it I can't regret it you're not the boss of me you can't tell me how to think I am my own person and they had to die for me to live. And now I'm here, with Saffron Lowe, female tribute of District 10. A girl who protected a girl who loved a girl who lives.
And who am I? I'm weak, I'm a coward, a boy who followed in others shadows, a boy who couldn't say stop or halt or do the right thing or save the only one he cared about or slay the Jabberwocky. I'm here on sheer luck and well-aimed attacks. But, but but there has to be more there has to be there has to be I can't be here for no reason I've got something that got me here besides all these negatives. There's light in every dark, I just have to find it. Who am I besides the boy who lurked, who wore a mask to hide, who took lives and names and left the nest burning in his wake?
I am Ewe and I loved, I loved I loved I loved and I still love and I will always love and all I do is for this, for this thing that some say doesn't even exist. I love and I love until my heart explodes with scarlet. I may be many things, but never say that I didn't care, that I never tried my hardest, that I didn't try to get back. Every fiber of my being has been put into loving my way home, into slicing and screaming because that was the way to return, that was the way to complete the journey, to return home. Every adventurer has a start and end, but mine cannot end here, so close to the finish line, so close so close so close but it cannot be farther away.
I am Ewe. I am of District 4. And my fire is still burning bright, even when others have burned out in the rain. I am Ewe and my dragon still breathes its embers in and out, still pulsates with its love still burns with its ruby scales and piercing red eyes and it's too big to stop until it's fought to its very last r o a r. And my eyes narrow at you, Saffron Lowe, as my fists clench my weapon and my mouth turns into a snarl. The dragon inside of me was always there, it was just waiting to get out.
With one look, he asks me a thousand questions. And I reply with a million answers.
Who are you?
I'm Saffron Lowe. I'm fourteen years old. I come from District Ten and I am very, very tired.
What are you scared of?
I am scared of Peacekeepers, of crawling insects (except spiders) and poison. I am scared of being stolen away in the darkness as I venture back home (there's a reason I run through the fields all the way home so the sunlight can protect me.) I am scared of Paige getting hurt, of my Momma dying, of coming home to an empty house. I am scared of fire consuming everything I love, of floods washing me away downstream, of a tornado ripping my home apart. I was scared of the Capitol, of the reaping, of the Games and the arena. But I'm not scared of those anymore - I'm just scared of dying here instead.
What do you love?
Paige. Momma. Sunsets in summer. Racing through long grass and stretching my arms so the daylight can shine down on every inch of my existence. Bird calls in the morning that flutter through the trees and into my ears. Kids laughing as I run with them down the lanes to school, playing hop-scotch or jump-rope or hide and seek. Climbing trees and gazing across my kingdom, my home, and escaping from the world below. My box of secrets hidden away from the whole world - owning a secret all to myself and letting it dance across my mouth in a constant smirk. The feeling of paint against my fingertips and catching snowflakes on my tongue. Home. Warmth. Memories.
What have you lost?
My right hand. My friends - my best friend. My younger years, my older self, a part of me that now lays hollow and every time I think of where it went, I shiver. The chance to grow old, to plan my future and look forward to things. Being able to wake up and know that I won't be dead by the time the day is done, knowing that I'll come home at sunset to a warm house and a loving home and not have to count the beats of my heart to convince myself that I'm alive. My home, perhaps, as I don't think I'll ever see it again. Perhaps my family, too. (I never knew my Father - now I'll never know who he was or where he went. I'll never get the chance.)
Why should you live?
I should live because I know of nothing else. I do not know of death, of darkness, of the unknown. Death is the future and I only know the past - a past I long for once more, a past I want - need - to slip back into so desperately my body aches with despair. I know of people back home that are waiting for me, desperate for me to leave here alive and to hear your canon go off. Before all of this began I searched out every house I could find, hear them whisper of times before and ache with the last remnants of life and stole them away to keep in a box under my bed so that they'd never die, not really. They'd live with me, always and forever, until it was my time to climb into a wooden box of my own and lay down to sleep.
I should live so the rest of us can live, too.
"Begone" he commands.
"Not yet", I heave in time with arms that swing with violent intentions. "Not yet."
attacks [ewe] with [meteor hammer] [dice=200+12000] crushed skull - x 10? [/center][rand=08160404837690294730089254677295764089219877496368174635414034128]
It cracks my head like an eggshell and I yell as the heat engulfs me, burning and blinding as red gushes down down down down and I'm not ready yet no no no I will not die in this maze when victory is in my grasp and I can taste the sea salt winds on the tip of my tastebuds let me get home let me get home I have to get back to them I have to I have to.
I can't see, it's gotten into my eyes and the sting worsens and I cry out again, this time tears stained with wine dripping down my cheeks as my feet stumble backwards and my hands clutch my head, still gushing still oozing this was not how it was supposed to happen no no no no no. There's no one to kiss your wounds and make it better this is all you all you all you don't let them down Ewe don't let them down like you've always done. I have too much left in life for my thread to be cut so easily, so decisively. Life was never fair to me but to cut me out like this, when my feet are tired and my lungs are about to burst in exhilaration - no. Nobody could be this cruel.
I have faith in you to live. To overcome this final barrier between ultimate happiness, between us. But I don't deserve that life, Iago. You do. You deserve to live and I deserve to die. I am the monster. Please win, sister. For my sanity. For my sake. I want you to win this thing, for Sampson. For Cassius. For me. I want you to go home, and I want you to kiss a girl just because you want to. I want I want I want I want-
"Don't be stupid."
"Remember what I told you, what I tried to teach you about defense? When you get scared, just listen, I'll be cheering you on and giving you advice the whole way. You know what I'll say in every moment, I don't need to be there for you to hear me."
"I'm your older brother, I'll always look after you. I've got your back, right?"
Yes Eye, and you've got mine. No matter what.
Breathe. Just breathe. In. Out. You've got this. It's just a wound. Same as the others. You've got this. Just put one foot in front. Look. Listen. Step forward. You've got this you've got this you've got this don't stop. No matter what happens, don't stop never stop never stop fighting. "I will never stop watching, Ewe, don't worry. No matter what, you won't be alone, I'll be there."
I wipe the blood from my eyes and glower. What a sight I must be now, drenched in dirt and blood and tears. But I don't care - he's watching, he's always watching and I'm not alone I'm not alone I'm not alone he's there for me. And as long as Eye has got my back I can do anything, everything. I will be back, Eye. Trust me how I trust you.
I can feel my dragonheart beating as strong as ever as I race fowards, not caring that my leg hurts with the slightest pressure, not caring about the hole in my ear and the crack in my head. Two hands grip my weapon, my savior, my ally as we swing, together, never stopping. As we near closer I scream.
[ewe attacks saffron | glaive]
[dice=200+13000] [Deep Gash on Neck | 10.0 damage]
Steel slices at my neck and I try to scream, I really do, but it's got me, it's sliced open my throat, this is it, I can't breathe I can't speak I can't scream this is really it, I'm face-down in the snow all over again and it's done it's done it's done I'm sorry I tried I'm dea-
But pain still shrieks through my system. Not yet, my own words echo in my ears. Not yet. I must do my duty, I must finish this task. As much as it hurts and as much as I just want to lie down and sleep with Lucy, I am no coward and I will fight until my very last breath. (I thought he was dead as his head cracked open, dropping my flail in sheer horror. The sound echoed of Lucy and for a split-second she fell to the ground before me and fell asleep for good all over again.) The axe that clings to my right arm itches to play its part, Sticky's axe. Cassie's axe. My flail has brought too much death upon us all - a tool for sinners, a tool for murderers (but I already am one, aren't I?)
He screams, and terror falls into my bloodstream. (It's scary, watching it's warmth stream from your body so easily, like it can't wait to be free of you.) I had only grown accustomed to shrieks of laughter, of thrilling joy, of children playing pretend games where everyone gets to go home again. Nobody feared their life or screamed in pain or terror - at least not real pain. Scrapped knees and bruises were our battle-scars and we wore them with pride. This kind of game, of playing-pretend is all too much to handle. One of us will fall, and we'll both come terribly close to it.
I feel as if I've swallowed a cloudy sky. Weightless, yes. A fuzzy, clouded mind - that too. But I am as far away from the beyond above us, one where pain does not exists and a blank unknown awaits, as possible and I don't want to die. Not yet. Not yet.
I scream, too. I scream for them all, and lift the space where my hand once lay and send him and all the fears that he brought to my land away.
attacks [ewe] with [axe] [dice=200+11000] shallow cut 4
All this time, all this time Eye I thought that I was alone and I'm so sorry. I forgot you were here; I forgot you were watching I forgot I forgot I forgot and I'll never forget again. The fire burns in my eyes as the blade digs deep down into her neck and for a moment I'm thrown back to the Jabberwocky when Iago's neck was bleeding and the red ran in waves, from Iago Izar from Emery Moreno and Cassie Radke and Jim McCoy and Lucy Peverell and Saffron Lowe and me myself and I. Was that truly only two days ago? It seems like it's been an eternity since the explosions, the burning the terror.
And now it's almost over as the blood pools beneath our feet, two screaming children with weapons too large for their bodies and ideologies warped by a need to survive live do anything than stand there and take what fate so wishes to deal us. But I know I can survive this I will survive this because I can sense them, I can feel like Scout and Eye and Mum and Dad and even District 4 are right here with me, cheering me on. Because I can do this - I am not the Ewe that stepped into the arena with a frail mind and a paper mask. I am Ewe Saw and I can hold my own against the current. I am Ewe Saw and I am not alone, not anymore.
They're here, they're right here with me and we will get through this, together, whether five feet away or miles apart. I will win this, I will win this for them or my dragonheart will go out with all the force it can muster. Our screams escalate into the morning skies, the hazy heat radiating around us, smoke ascending further and further into the horizon. And my screams turn to laughs, relieved laughs as I know that whatever may happen, that I loved loved loved and they knew it, that they were watching this entire time, and that I can win for them.
Wait for me, I'll be right there. It's almost over. We're tired, we're both so tired but this ends here and now. It ends with our screams, so soft but so loud. I lunge fowards, glaive in hand oh, that's what it's called. This ends today this ends this hour this minute this second this ends right now. And regardless of the outcome, I'm strong enough to face what comes next - I know it, I just know it.
Just one more. Just one more step, just one more thousand-mile step, one more stretch of myself across the fields and homes that sweep across my District, just one more launch across the battlefield to win and take my crown. I did it, I made it this far, just one more, just one more life to borrow and it will all be mine.
There is no justice. There is no ruling, or leadership, or duty to perform. There is only anarchy - anarchy here as I stand in the middle of destruction, at the edge of a forever (whoever's forever it is I am so, so sorry for), anarchy in my mind as selfishness takes a stand in me. I have nobody left to protect, the took them all away, turned them into machines, there is nobody. Nobody left but I, the last of my kind, and I shall not fall down today. Not today. Not ever.
It's mine, I think in defense. It's mine, I think in desperation. It's mine I think in utter selfish desires, a lust to rule, to live, to feel the crown upon my head and be bestowed the rest of my life pounding within me. (I'm tired, I'm so tired but I've come this far and I will not have it all ripped from me, form the earth beneath my feet and the blood in my veins.) That feeling in my fingers that ran into my heart twitches inside of me, that feeling I thought was forgotten with the girl before, before all of this pain and suffering and dreadful, dreadful events.
The need to take, to take things and clutch them to my chest as I ran away from any threat who'd try to steal them back. To hide them away, lock them up. My secrets, my tokens, mine now, forevermore. I have practiced and practiced taking the last shaking breaths of life and keeping them all to myself - I earnt this crown. I earnt it, I earnt it and I need it, for me, for Momma, for Paige, for Lucy and Ivana andCerise ('Lucy Ivana Cerise, Lucy Ivana Cerise' I breathe, too quiet for anybody to hear. I promised they'd stay upon my lips until my last breaths, and here they shall stay, locked between my teeth forever.)
"You have no right," I tremble in-between cries of pain and shivering lips. "No right at all."
You have no right to steal me away from them, Ewe. No right at all.
attacks [ewe] with [flail] [dice=200+12000] miss 0
Saffron Lowe easily blocks my attack, and yet she swings and misses as well. We're both tired, we both have fatigue nestled in our bones, ready to send them snapping at any given moment. The day is harsh, the night is yet to come. I hope my eyes will be able to gaze at the stars tonight, not having to make a wish because it will already have been granted. It's in my grasp it's in my reach I only have to stretch my arm a little farther, a little more a little more it's almost there and then and then and then -
"You have no right, no right at all."
None of us have any rights to anything here, Saffron Lowe. The world in this arena is not composed of the good and the bad and the in between. There is only life and death. Or is there? I mean this is certainly something that Iago would have said but was he ever right about anything? But was he ever wrong either? When I came here I had vowed to do what I could to get home, but there was a limit to what I could do, what I would do what I had to do for my dragonheart to keep hatching and my body to be strong enough to withstand its firepower. Do I have a right to kill you? In here, yes I do. Should I be using this right? Well that's debatable.
All I know is that out there, beyond this ecosystem there lives lives worth seeing, people worth meeting things worth trying and I need to be there I want to be there I have to be there to see it, to immerse myself in it. And that means that you must die, Saffron. And I know I've thought and said this a million times already but it bears repeating - one will live, the other will die. There's nothing more to it than that. So do I have the right? Do I do I do I? Do I want it even if I have it? I want you gone, Saffron, not six feet underground. I want you gone so I can get home so I can live my life for the ones who were taken from us all too soon.
I wish I was as strong or as smart or as kind or as cunning or as generous or as motherly or as wicked as every single child whose footsteps echoed across the Cornucopia floor. I wish that I sung my ally to sleep as she died I wish that I defended the weak and slayed the crusaders that terrorized the land. But they've all vanished into the darkness, and I must be their eyes their nose their mouth their songs their tears their past present and future in order to even make up the smallest fraction of being a factor in their demise.
She must vanish from this plane of existence, she must disappear so I can take her place. It's the law that we've been forced to follow, have always been forced to follow, will forever be forced to follow and it's so unfair and disgusting and awful and grotesque. But this is the life we were placed into; these are how the cards were dealt, how the chess-board was placed. We just have to make sure our moves are the right ones. And perhaps they aren't - perhaps they cost us the game set and match perhaps they result in our throats slit and our tongues ripped out of our mouths and our bodies burnt up by the fire within but at least we did our best. And now I must do my best, I must do my best for the ones who are no longer here and the ones who wait for me back home with eager, desperate eyes that mimic my own. I'm sorry that it's come to this, but I can not be sorry for what I must do.
"This is not your palace, and you are not the queen."
[ewe attacks saffron | glaive]
[dice=200+13000] [Shallow Cut on Back | 4.0 damage]
No. My palace is home. Warm, love-filled home. With my sister to rule beside me and my box of treasures more precious than silver and gold and all the riches in the world. My old home, with my childhood stitched into the seams - and the new one that awaits in the Victor's Village, a place where my family can live safe and sound forevermore. Home is far away, home is Ewe dead, home is my future and living and a beating heart and air in my lungs and life - and I will reside there once this is all over.
But home could also be darkness. Home could be inside a wooden box, buried 6 feet underneath the ground. Home could be ridden with despair, home could be a place where the last remnants of my family rot away to become nothing but the old abandoned houses I searched. Life would seep out of my home as it seeps out of me. Maybe one day, a little girl will discover it and find my box of treasures. Maybe she'll find my key, too. Maybe she'll open it up and discover my secrets and steal them away for her own safekeeping. Maybe she'll stand upon a stage and watch her little sister tremble as she's stolen away in the blink of an eye. Maybe she'll fight, maybe she'll put one foot in front of the other and step, step, step to victory.
Or maybe she'll come crumbling down.
"And you are not the queen."
I am - how dare he define me, how dare he accuse me of my right to win. Lucy Peverell, the valiant, the brave, she told me I was Queen, we were Queens of forever, until the end, until the end of our lives and the end of all of this. I may not be the queen of this place (after all Lucy was the bravest, I've known that from the start) but I am the ruler of my destiny. I am the ruler of me, of my life and my future and I shall be damned if I let him defeat me.
I earned this. I earned all of this. I had to watch my friends die (Lucy Ivana Cerise Lucy Ivana Cerise) and destroy Lucy's shell (she dances into my mind, happy, free, ruler of whatever land she has found after this) and say goodbye to my sister (Paige's trembles still haunt my bones, sending earthquakes through my body and shuddering whimpers through my lips and I bleed for all of them, every last one.)
Some are born with greatness. Others have greatness thrust upon them. And I, I earned my greatness and did my duty and it's time to take back what I really, truly rule: my life.
"No," I choke (I'm so tired, I'm so tired, just another step just another step) "You're right. I'm not."
I'm sorry. I am tired and weightless and scared and so, so sorry.
And I am feeling so small. It was over my head I know nothing at all.
It's different this time, as her flail embeds itself deep into my arm I can feel the energy fly, fly fly out of me like a songbird just learning to soar and I try to grasp it, to take it back with all that I can but there's nothing, just wisps of a time now lost. My eyes widen, pupils dilate, the smallest of gasps escape from my lips. And the only thing I can do is stand, slowly stepping back one step two step three. The glaive begins to slip from my clenched fist, no matter how much I try to grip it and I'm trying I'm trying so hard I can't give up now I can't I can't I can't I won't let myself fall.
The blood is thick as it trickles away, life water ebbing away bit by bit (but there's no tide to bring it back). The air, once sweltering now feels colder and colder and where did the fire go no please bring it back please no I'll do anything please please please not now please not now. And in the distance there is Saffron Lowe's voice, drifting towards me in the breeze, the last remnants of "brave" finally reaching my eardrums. Perhaps they already had, but the echo remains. I try to hold my weapon again I try so hard but my hands refuse to work, my arms lift ever so slightly, my knees begin to feel so so heavy. It clatters to the ground now, each thwack against the dirt ground feeling like a stab to the heart. The embers are fading, there's no one to will it back alight.
Is this how it all ends? Is this how I end? Here, in a plane of existence with walls too far to see above, where the sky is one long rectangle, where girl in front of me has never and can never be anything other than my enemy? It can't no no it can't I tried so hard I worked I fought I killed was it all for nothing? There's no one to answer my questions though, is there. Nobody can now. But you're still breathing your heart's still beating start moving do something but my body has had enough; the engine has stalled the tires have burst and now it lies dormant. Forever.
And I will stumble and fall. I'm still learning to love Just starting to crawl.
I could have gone back. I could have I could have so why aren't I? No this isn't right no no let me go back let me do something to fix this I can make it up to you all I can get back and I can live for you all, all of you - please no no no why can't I work anymore I'm broken and I can't even fucking fix myself. My eyes fixate on my hands, pale pale sickly white stained with rust and scarlet and crimson paint strokes. They're dead hands, lifeless hands I can't paint anymore I can't draw I can't read or write I can't hug my family or even scrape my knees on the rocks by the harbor or get kicked around like the punching bag I am all the stuffing's been torn out it's just a useless shell.
Were you brave, Saffron? No, yes, no, I wouldn't know. I only ever saw you when you were at your weakest, fighting like the rest of us, ignoring the greater danger that looked down on us with her talons and fangs. No, I wouldn't know how brave you were, I even forgot you existed until you showed up three days ago. Now here you are, and here am I. My left hand feebly clenches my arm, a vain attempt to stench the blood that's already been tossed onto the ground like an overflowing gutter. I could have done something in this world but now I'm nothing, a pawn tossed aside, a pawn that was never destined to become a rook nor bishop nor knight nor queen or king. Just a pawn, always a pawn. I suppose I was a useless one too.
"I was brave too, wasn't I?" I utter, my voice too far gone to reclaim, just a cracking whisper in the wind. "Wasn't I?" My eyes have turned towards the girl who could not never could never would answer my question, the question I need to know have to know because all this time I've been a coward but I was brave I was brave I was so brave when I could be when I had to be. I sniff once, and I can feel warmth trail down my cheeks and a knot in my throat. "Not brave enough, I guess." But there's still time, I can still be brave can't I? Isn't there time there must be time I can still hear Scot's watch ticking away second by second by second there must be time for one last cry one last scream one last yell one last something.
Say something, I'm giving up on you. I'm sorry that I couldn't get to you. Anywhere, I would've followed you. Oh-oh-oh-oh say something, I'm giving up on you.
"Tell them I loved them," I whimper (Always forever even to my death I was too weak to be strong but never too weak to love). "Tell them I tried, I tried I tried." My knees lose their war and finally falter and I plunge, falling falling down was this how I was meant to go, with a small thump on the ground and no goodbyes left. My arm rests at my side, my hand still grabbing at the wound desperately grabbing never giving up even when everything's gone now. It's cold, it's too cold and I can feel goosebumps on my arm and the trembles through my frame and the world begins to spin and I know this must be the end. It's almost peaceful, serene, how even now I'm kneeling, as if I'm just taking a rest. But this is eternal.
In a desperation I look up, some cliche part of me searching, searching I always searched but never found anything for something, for one last thing to see before I go but the world is already obscured by the clouds swimming before my eyes. Eyes, eyes, eye. Eye. Please don't hate me, I tried my best. Please don't remember me like this I don't want to be known for my last and utter failure out of so many more. Remember me when I fell out of the treehouse, remember me when I burnt my tongue on too hot soup or cut my hand the first time I ate crabs. Remember me by all my faults, all my insecurities and struggles - just not this one. I'm sorry, I'm so sorry that I can't wipe away Mum's tears or help Dad tie the knots anymore. I'm sorry there's no one else to pester you with dumb questions, or tell you that you should keep that earring in because it looks cool.
And I will swallow my pride. You're the one that I love And I'm saying goodbye.
From the start, I was just a bother and now here I am, a bother once more. But I was brave, and once I had no fear, and once I thought I could slay the Jabberwocky. Once I wore a mask to protect you. Twice I sat with someone as the light faded away. Three times I set fires designed to kill. And many, many times I smiled as the sun set and laughed at your corny jokes and listened to your music that I always thought was too sad for you. I never ordered the same ice cream twice, never stepped on cracks in the sidewalk, never truly showed you that I could be as strong as you are, as strong as Mum and Dad are. I wish I could have done that, Eye. I wish that I could have protected you as you protected me for all these years. I wish that I could have hugged you more and hugged Mum and Dad more and hung out late at night even when I was too tired to stay awake. I wish we caught more fireflies, I wish drew more portraits of each other I wish you could teach me how to spray metaphors onto walls and how to get a girl to notice you.
Do I have any regrets? I regret everything. No, not everything never everything there's so much I would do over if I could, if I was given the chance, but yet there's even more that I would do again no matter the outcome. I regret not spending more time with you. Yes. I regret not telling you how I feel. I regret not telling you that I loved you more, even if you'd scoff and snicker for a few seconds. I regret being the brunt of your problems I regret you having to fight all my battles for me I regret never making it up to you.
Gravity's caught up to me now and I can feel myself losing balance, tipping like a teacup as my descent down the rabbit hole ends with a soft thump on the ground. My eyes still flit around desperately, hungrily absorbing everything they can, as if they can traverse the glove in the flicker of time I have left. With the last of my strength I whisper again. "I never stopped trying." Never, never have never will, no matter what happens. I will get home somehow, Eye. I will see you again Mum, Dad. Somehow, even if what comes after is fire and brimstone or the deepest pit or the most crushing pain or even absolutely nothing. I will find a way, because that's what we do, what we must do, what we want to do. Some day I will step on the shaky floorboards and I'll see you three at the kitchen table.
Life is fading has faded has disappeared and I'm dragged, kicking and screaming, to whatever comes next.
Some day I will make everything right.
I'm really bad with these, I'm sorry. They're short and weird, and don't truly reflect how much i really appreciate everything that you guys have done for me<3
I'd like to thank all of you for being a part of Ewe's journey, no matter if you rooted for or against him, whether you liked him or hated him. You all helped me develop as a writer and Ewe develop as a character. You sponsored me when he needed antivenom or tar or lighter fluid, you bet on him and read his posts and you cheered when he survived and you frowned when he didn't. Thank you so much for your words of encouragement.
I'd like to thank Lulu for being Gamemaker. Without you I would never have realized how much I love Ewe and how much I've missed writing.
I'd like to thank Dars for her fantastic tribsitting during the Bloodbath. You helped Ewe develop and grow from Day One, and that means more to me than you'll ever know.
I'd like to thank Semper and Mylee, Cato and Verbal, South and Cameo, Rook and Clover and Zoe. Shadow, Cassie, Jim, Linus, Brendon, Sophia, Hope, Lucy and Saffron all had a huge impact on Ewe and it was a pleasure and a privilege to read your posts.
I'd like to thank Lalia and Kay for their encouragement and help and advice - Ewe would have never gotten to where he is now without you two.
I'd like to thank Zori and Cici for being half of my allies in the Games. It was really fun writing with you guys and planning traps and being silly. I do not mean this sarcastically when I say thank you for having Iago and Emery abandon Ewe - it was in character and helped all three of our tributes develop and grow.
I'd like to thank Meghan for her superb writing, superb characters, lists of regrets and for loving Ewe as much as I do.
I'd like to thank Rosetta for also being my ally in the Games, and for creating Scout, who Ewe certainly bonded with the most for these Games. I wish they were able to share more stories. Thank you for your guidance and support throughout these months!
I'd like to thank Windy for being the wonderful garden that she is, now more than ever. Thanks for staying up with me during the long haul, I couldn't have done it without you.
Finally, I would like to thank Elegant for being the other half of the Saw family. While we created Ewe and Eye one late night when the puns were heavy handed and the ideas were a bit crazy, I will never regret making Ewe. I wish you the best of luck with Eye<3
Post by slate • d9f • zoë on Dec 18, 2013 4:06:21 GMT -5
♕ saffron lowe ♕
follow you down to the red oak tree as the air moves thick through the hollow reeds
You cannot share forever.
Forever is too unpredictable for two souls. Forever entails ongoing - ongoing suffering, ongoing happiness, a never-ending of life. Forever means you stay as you are and watch the others around you fade away, a price to pay for such a gift. They stay, for a while, but you have to leave them in the end. You know that each time they say "Hello, my name is Lucy. You all seem awfully clever." or "I'm Ewe and you need to disappear" you will be counting down the seconds, the hours, the days you have left until you have to say goodbye. The end is too much for one. Forever is too selfish for two.
I stand, at the end of one forever. I thought for sure it would be mine, my demise, where I would say goodbye as easily as I said hello and gently begin my end. But it's not, it's not the end of my forever, it's the beginning. It is the beginning of everything. (I feel all their souls crush against me, the weight of them scream from the shell of the arena and shatter me with their memories, hammering down upon my skin to never forget, never forget - I promise I won't, I promise.)
will you wait for me there until someone comes to carry me carry me down
The world ceases to exist. There is a ringing in my years, all the pain and constant screaming from every inch of my body finally reaching my head. It's done it's done it's done hammers at my skull as Ewe falls, slowly. It's all so slow, everything is so slow - the shards of my kingdom crack and fall, I feel everything and nothing at the same time - I hear all their voices, all their souls, in every silence - nothing is quiet, it is a rush, a rush of death and murder and lost souls and pain, there's so much pain.
"I was brave too, wasn't I? Wasn't I?" he begs, and I'm pulled into my own memories so sharply my breath intakes and I can't breathe, I can't breathe, this is all too much, he talks and his voice fades away and "You don't deserve to rule it. But then again, neither do I. Do I, Lucy? Do I?" pounds through my everything and I sink to the ground as he did. (Do I Lucy? I scream desperately, wanting nothing more than to hear her voice just one last time. Do I deserve it now?) I want to reach out and touch his face, his blood-soaked face and steal him away so I don't have to suffer as he suffers - but I'm so tired. I'm so tired and I promised Lucy we could sleep soon and I just need to steal him away and it will all be over.
(Yes, I want to whimper, yes you were. But there's a kaleidoscope around me and it's much too loud to drown out with my own words, so all I can do is listen as he dies, listen to death, hear him steal them all away, every last one - except for me.)
see i have not i have not grown cold i have stole from men who have stole from those
"Not brave enough, I guess." (No, my mind shrieks, no, you're wrong again you were brave, you were so brave and I'm sorry but forever won't let us both be brave, someone has to fall, someone had to and I'm sorry I'm so sorry-)
All their voices scream with each violent collapse of the world around me. Shards of what they were and who they could have become embed themselves into the ground, the hedges, my own body. "Tell them I loved them," he says, "Tell them I tried, I tried I tried." (He's in my head now, they're all in my head. They tried, they tried, they tried.) I'd taste those words upon my lips if all of their names weren't already there.
"I never stopped trying" (neither did I) and he closes his eyes and it's all too much, he's gone, his forever is over and mine begins with the blast of a cannon. (23 souls scatter across my fingertips and etch themselves into my skin, my skeleton, my soul, my everything and anything. I feel all their pain at once, it spills from my eyes and cracks in sobs and it's all too much, too much.)
So I scream.
with their arms so thin and their skin so old but you are young, you are young you are young
I scream to block them out, to drown out their earth-shattering existence. I scream because I have lost my hand and lost my mind and lost my friends and lost my Queen and lost my kingdom and lost so, so much. I scream because they took everything away, they stole it all from me. ("It's not stealing if they don't belong to anybody" I told someone long ago - but they all belonged to people back home, to someone, to everyone they ever cared about. And now, now their souls belong to me.)
I scream because I must carry them all within me until the day I finally die. I scream because they are within me, around me, in everything I see and hear and do, and they are all screaming with me, too. I scream as all their names are carved into my very being like the names in the trees outside my house - forever watching, forever waiting, growing for all those years in its skin forever and ever and ever. I scream for them, for me, for everything and anything that we've ever done. I scream as the world falls down in ashes and dust and a new forever begins.
But most of all, I scream to block out the inevitable "Ladies and Gentlemen, the Victor of the 65th Annual Hunger Games, Saffron Lowe!" that seals them all beneath my skin and ties me to my doom.
My kingdom is gone, forever. A new one begins. I shall reign until my last dying breath with them all beside me.
Take my hand, I think as the helicopter pulls me up, up, up into the sky. (In my heart, we're joined at the fingertips. Forever, and ever, and ever.) Take my hand, I'll lead you to forever.
I am weightless. I am air.
And I am going home.
names get carved in the red oak tree of the ones who stay and the ones who leave i will wait for you there with these cindered bones so follow me, follow me down
♕ end of the 65th hunger games ♕
♕ my thank you's ♕
Welp, this is it. I cannot believe it. This is a dream come true and I'm still a little shocked and swimming in disbelief but it's here, it's finished, and I owe so much to all of you. Holy heck.
First off, thank you to Lulu for once again another wonderful Games. I have enjoyed them endlessly, and at the risk of sounding like a broken record you do so much for this site and I think I speak for everyone when I say that we really appreciate all your hard work, thank you so much.
Thank you to all the tribute and mutt writers these games, all the posts and threads have been wonderful to read and wouldn't be the same without each and every one of you.
Special thanks to Shrimp for a wonderful finale - as you know I adore both you and that finale was so close I couldn't breathe. I'm so glad we finally got to thread together and here's hope to many more in the future. You are awesome and a fantastic writer and such a great person and made the finale wonderful. Thank you so much <3
Thank you to Dars, Tristen, Spesh, Sarella, Arx, Elegant, Kay, Aya, Cass, Meghan & Kiah for their sponsorship donations and to anyone who has cheered on, rooted for, or supported Saffron in any way these Games. Once again the support has been wonderful and put a smile on my face and I can't thank you guys enough.
Thank you to everyone who has answered my endless games-related questions in the cbox and for putting up with me, much obliged!
Thank you to Aya, Emmie, Chime and Mylee towards the end for being the most wonderful allies, I love you guys so much and it has been a pleasure to thread with you all and get to know you better. Mazerunners forever!
Thank you to Kay, for being a fantastic in-character mentor and out-of-character friend. Your support, advice and guidance has been so helpful and appreciated and I'm proud to have had a Victor from District Ten and had the opportunity to thread with you/Mace and to share it together. You are amazing!
Thank you to Tristen and Dars for always being there for me in my ups and downs and putting up with me for so long, you two are truly wonderful friends and I love you both so much. Thank you for your loyalty and friendship <3
Thank you to Chelsey and Hannah for also keeping my chin up and being wonderful friends when I needed someone to talk to in the beginning. I love you two so much.
Thank you to Sam for just being you, you are my best friend and i love you to the moon and back.
Thank you to Emmie for also being my bestie and helping me every step of the way and for Lucy & Saffron brotp-ing and threadage. I adore you and Lucy so much, never forget that. If it weren't for you I never would have even come close to winning this games and I owe you so much for that. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, I love you so much.
Thank you to Spesh for your help with everything, Cato for your motivating pm's and general friendliness, and Rook for chatting, bonding, moving forward, support, having a laugh with me and being awesome in general.
Thank you to everyone else, too - if I've forgotten you I'm so sorry but just know that there aren't enough words in the universe to explain how grateful I am. Thank you, thank you, thank you.