"It is time," the Escort said as they stood over the impatient people of the District, "To once again send two of our own children to the Capitol to compete in the Hunger Games. Let us begin the Reaping!"
They did not look to see the reaction of his district before reaching into the glass ball that held the names of the female children. "Ladies first," they announced, pulling out a slip of paper. They unfolded it and read out to the crowd, "Blair Havoc!" They then reached into the other ball. "Claudio Markham!"
OOC- RPing is allowed. If you wish to volunteer, let the tribute post first either accepting or stepping down from their place for volunteers, and then post. If the tribute doesn't reply by Tuesday, June 3rd, a staff member will post saying that volunteering is open. Please do not post until you see this staff message. FIRST COME, FIRST SERVE.
Tributes, please do not make your acceptance or denial of your spot in character; instead, please leave an ooc note at the end of your post stating whether they accept or are stepping down for volunteers.
There’s something blissfully serene about living in oblivion.
She’s always known it, in the three years that her head has felt as though it’s suspended in the air; it’s better than facing reality. Everything is ethereal, transparent, and she feels no less when she looks in the mirror that morning. It’s been four days since she’s stood in her own room, and judging from the silence of the house and the discarded clothing strewn around his room, it’s been some time since her father has as well.
Four days away from home means four days without facing her own reflection, and as she stares back at herself, she remembers why she tries not to look anymore. Her eyes are dulled, glazed over, and for a moment she sees double before she pulls herself back to reality. The room; in its chaotic state, she can barely pick out any of the few possessions she values. Her mother’s cardigan hangs on her door as normal, and she welcomes the warmth of it as it slides over her frame, scratching against skin and making her feel uncomfortably real.
At least in oblivion, she can be truly alone. The weight of the cardigan is as heavy as the weight of her mother’s expectations – a woman who can control her every thought, even after death. She hasn’t decided whether she prefers solitude or company; she supposes it depends on where she is. At home, with a drunken father and an empty mind, she could use some company to keep her from insanity.
Her mind tiptoes around the topic of the Reaping as if it’s something she should be afraid of; if her heart has the capability to show fear, she’ll welcome it gladly. A semblance of emotion in a bleak world could pull her from an oblivion she isn’t sure she wants to be rescued from, but maybe feeling is glory. After all, if you can’t feel the pride of your victory, have you really won? Her promise to reinvent glory dwindles from time to time, but with her mother’s departure, she is now the playwright of her own stage, tugging on her own strings and forcing herself to move the way she wants to. It’s cathartic, having control of herself, and she reprimands her past self for succumbing so easily to her mother’s wishes.
Her father is weak. He cannot uphold glory by himself, which leaves the job in her hands. And if the glory running through her veins commands her to step forward and sacrifice herself to their game, she will die bleeding her family’s name. Her name.
The thought is enough for a ghost of a smile to cross her blank face.
Biding time until the Reaping proves to be a success – her father leaves the house in such a state every time he goes on one of his rampages, there’s enough to clean up to last her all day. Her blood boils, desiring to feel the impact of her blade hitting the vitals of a training dummy, but she chokes down her thirst and channels her energy into cleaning. Tedious work makes time go faster, and moments before she leaves the home, her father stumbles in, drunk off his head.
She no longer reacts to his arrival. He looks around, barely acknowledging the new state of the house, and tumbles into a nearby armchair. She pours a glass of water routinely, and presses it into his hands. He stares up at her with a scoff.
“Sober up,” she says – no, she demands, and she’s sure he can see that in her eyes. “We’re going.”
He grumbles, but drinks, furrowing his brows as he downs the water. She watches, pitifully, like predator watching prey. He is weak. You are strong. Glory courses through your veins, not his.
She reminds herself of this, even as she holds him steady as they make their way to the square.
Seventeen. Seventeen years on this earth. Six years in the Reaping bowl. Three years liberated from her mother. The cardigan feels constricted, as though her mother is draining her of air slowly. With a sharp tug, she pulls it off, wrapping it around her waist and tying it loosely so that it hangs pathetically from her frame. Unrestricted. Free.
Moments spent in oblivion may be as peaceful as life can get for her, but the moments spent fully in control are possibly the ones she enjoys the most.
As the escort speaks, she recalls the previous years, the endless failures of the tributes from Two – the two deceased last year, whose names escape her. Two volunteers. To willingly put yourself forward for death; is that honourable, or is it foolish?
A hand in the bowl. A slip of paper.
Her first thoughts don’t drift towards her safety, or her vitality, but rather to an entirely different place – the back of the crowd. She hears no sound, no reaction to her name. Is the fool really so drunk he can’t comprehend his own daughter’s name?
It’s a question, she thinks gravely, that she doesn’t think she wants the answer to.
She walks the path alone, eyes gravitating towards her. Their gazes burn on her back, but she is fireproof, and she walks with a hardened heart, intent clear in her steps. Show no weakness. Contrary to her lack of emotion surrounding the situation, her heart thumps beneath her chest, as if something’s trying to escape her. She resists the urge to clutch her chest. She is imperishable, moving against the wind, onto the stage to face what once was. But there is no looking back. The moment your name is picked, amongst all others, life as you know it fades away.
Staring out upon the district, a home she never felt she belonged in, she decides that she might just prefer this to Oblivion after all.
blair havoc accepts her position as d2f trib wall: x or x?
Post by d2m claudio markham [windy] on Jun 1, 2019 22:41:27 GMT -5
Each year, Claudio contemplates running away.
Unbidden and unbound, his thoughts turn to sun-baked sands that burn at the slightest touch, to lush rainforests too dense to properly navigate, to wasteland cities teeming with hidden life just beneath the surface, to stars.
It always takes him by surprise.
What more could he want than what he has? There is food on the table, a roof over his head, a bed to call his own, a family that has built him up from nothing. Yet, and there is the traitorous word that starts the clockwork cycle of wanting out out out, Claudio turns to look to the future and feels his lungs flutter at the uncertainty. He has a future; he’s sure of that much. As of yet, he’s just not quite sure what it will look like. It’s not all that unusual, but it makes the panic bubble higher in his stomach as his eyes turn from training towards where the district boundaries lie. He isn’t prepared for whatever it is that his future might hold, and that’s not good enough for mother.
Her vision of his future is very particular. Her vision of all of his siblings’ futures is very particular, not that some of them mind. Helena in particular throws herself into training each day with a sharp grin and an even sharper tongue, but Claudio has never had his younger sister’s drive, not that it has ever bothered him. Yet, and there’s that word again, slipping from him as he stares blindly up at his ceiling in the dark, it would make things easier. It would make hearing mother’s disappointed sighs easier when he spits blood from his mouth as he stands with Garrison’s help. It would make dealing with her pointed criticisms over dinner less painful as he avoids Phyllida and Orla’s watchful eyes.
Maybe it would even keep his mind out of the stars.
But there are whole worlds existing beyond what he doesn’t know, farther than he can presently reach, and he aches for it when the sun goes down and mother’s words ring in his ears until his world is roaring with sound. He has time, she tells him, a year or two before he can follow in the footsteps of his brother Garrison who she means to have volunteer. We’ll train you up well, she assures, as she puts away his books and draws him towards the ring. The glory, she says in a reverent tone, eyes shiny with promises she never kept herself to keeping, but which she holds to the throats of her children with a smile. Her eyes have been blinded from looking into the sun she means to fling her children into for too long, too carelessly.
Garrison teeters on the edge, and Helena unbalances herself with her anger, and Phyllida and Orla slip quickly into the corners to stay out of the crossfire, yet mother doesn’t notice.
The Reaping plays back each year, horrified faces staring into crowds of people who won’t speak up for them, who can’t speak up for them. With hardly a sound, they’re whisked away beyond reach to somewhere farther than Claudio can begin to fathom.
“I have time, I have time,” he whispers to himself in the dark, eyes squeezed shut as the swelling tide of his mother’s voice rises ever higher.
Yet, and here it stings more than he can bear, too much for him to hold in the tears as another year passes him by, dying on a beach somewhere could certainly be better than living with mother’s expectations. It wouldn’t be so bad.
The Reaping feels more claustrophobic with each passing year.
Garrison had slept in Claudio’s room the night before the eighty-second Reaping, his usually gruff voice edged out by a softer contemplation that’s rare to find. This year is different for him. He’s aging out, like their half-brother Everett had before him. Into the starlight beyond the windowsill, he spins tales of how he’ll marry and work and never have children because he couldn’t possibly bear the idea of subjecting them to this life. Claudio doesn’t blame him. When Garrison asks him if he thinks he’ll break their mother’s heart by not volunteering, he assures him that that would never happen.
He doesn’t regret lying, not when he hears his brother drift off to sleep.
Standing shoulder to shoulder with the other boys his age, Claudio cranes his neck to look around him at the sea of faces, catching on his brother’s blank face a few pens away. His eyes are glazed over, mouth tugged down into a small frown, but there’s no hint of the world-weary wonder of last night. It’s as if it had never happened. Like he hadn’t admitted he was scared of dying so far from home. Like he hadn’t shuddered at mother’s frenetic energy that morning. Like he hadn’t softened past the point of malleability and into a puddle at the thought of getting to live.
Yet I want out so badly I could kill for it.
The thought is nearly nauseating, and Claudio has to fight not to collapse where he stands. Helena has always been the fighter, not him, but he thinks of life on the other side of his mother’s expectations and yearns. It could be worth it. They could be worth it, if he could make them mean something when the time came. A chill runs through him at the thought, and he prays to whatever might be beyond the sky that he won’t have to make that decision for some time.
I have time, I have time.
All around him, the cresting wave in his head is amplified by the sudden nervous hum that sweeps through the crowd, shoulders and elbows knocking as the escort steps up to rip two from the lives they know. It’s but a moment, and the world shifts.
This year, when he contemplates running away, he thinks about the consequences. He doesn’t think the Peacekeepers would let him get very far should he go for it.
That doesn't stop him from trying.
After, standing on the stage next to his district partner with a stoic smile, Claudio smooths the wrinkles from his vest and combs his fingers through his hair in an attempt to seal up the seams what have come undone.
He needed more time.
claudio markham accepts the position of d2m trib wall: 1, 2, 3