Flowers are for the dead. So are funerals. It seemed weird to go to a funeral for a sister I never knew so I plan a picnic instead, a fucking stupid idea the more I think about it but I'd much rather wear white than black in this scorching summer heat.
I tell myself it's not a funeral but that doesn't stop me from packing a bunch of flowers, then unpacking them, then packing them again. Hanaa's dead so it seems appropriate to bring some but I'm not planning on eating sandwiches in a graveyard so maybe the girls - my sisters - will find them a bit morbid.
In the end I shove them into the bottom of my basket, who the fuck cares. They probably won't even show. I myself might drop dead from shock if Sasha turns up, then the flowers might actually serve some use.
First to turn up, or the last, or both, I set myself down underneath a tree and roll out a faded blanket we've had for god knows how long and discover that the ground isn't as comfortable as they make it seem in the books I read. Fuck sakes, I think, sighing into my hands and tossing the bouquet to my side, this was a shit idea.
Bet Sasha will turn up just to roll her eyes and kick up dirt in my food.
Bet she wouldn't give it a second thought; not showing up at all.
I pluck one from the bunch and twirl the stem between my fingers, plucking away its petals one by one.
She loves me.
She loves me not.
They'll turn up.
They'll turn up not.
- maisy dupree -
[ this is blitz-ish! no pressure to write novels or anything bUT IF YOU WANNA then pls go for it!!! ]
When Hayward got the invitation in her mailbox, little and almost insignificant, she thought it was a mistake. How could someone that she barely knew get ahold of her based on the idea that she might have been related to a dead girl? Then again, the cynic that had recently awoken within her told her that it really shouldn’t be such a shock that she didn’t know who her family was. Her grandfather told her that her father was an unsavory, utterly undesirable character, not good enough for their little Leila. Yet, with all that Hayward had been put through in recent weeks, she was positive that he was just fine compared to the folks she knew. She crumpled the postcard in her hands less than five minutes after discovering it, stuffing it away in a drawer somewhere. Out of sight, out of mind. She wasn’t going. Until she was. She had walked along this path before; it wasn’t really that far out of the way of where she needed to go. She’d always admire the robust trees and vibrant flowers that dotted the terrain, but to treat this clearing as a destination in itself was, frankly, a little unnerving. The picnic blanket caught her eye first, and then she saw the girl - blonde like her, stripping a flower of its petals. She seemed almost sad, but that would make two of them. Her feet kept moving until she was towering over the other girl, this stranger, someone who was supposed to be family. She was silent for a moment, before simply deciding to say what had been on her mind for days: ”Who are you, exactly?”
Post by delaney youngblood 2f [goat] on Aug 7, 2019 22:51:33 GMT -5
I walk the path to the picnic barefoot. The grass pokes into my soft soles, the dirt squishing between my toes. Before I left, I stopped at the town square and bought a small box of strawberries. It was supposed to be a picnic, after all, and there’s no such thing as a picnic without fresh fruit. As I get closer to what’s supposed to be the location, I feel no butterflies in my stomach. I wonder if I’m supposed to. I wonder if I should fake some.
There’s a blonde girl sitting on an old blanket, and a darker haired girl hovering over her. I wonder which one of them is the one that invited me. I remember receiving the postcard, folding the corners over themselves over and over. I didn’t tell my mother about it. I didn’t know if it would upset her or not. We never talked about my father, and honestly, I didn’t mind that. I’ve said before that I don’t care who he is. He seemed like an awful person, and that was enough to quell any feelings I could have had about him.
The siblings, though. That was a new thing. I had three of them at home. Half-siblings, technically, just like the people I’ll be meeting today. I wonder just how many of us are out there. It’s amazing how quickly your world can expand in just one day.
I approach the two girls with the strawberries in hand. I’m not quite sure what to say to them. I open my mouth, then close it, then open it again with a deep breath. “Cassie,” I say. It’s my name, blunt and flying out of my mouth. “I mean— I’m Cassie. Thank you for inviting me.”
The air is breezy, its cooler than it has been recently. A nice day to explore the district and see what is going on today. Silver decides to take a nice walk. She comes across the district seven graveyard. It is a cheery place, unlike most, here you can get a real sense of peace. The stones are place like a grid, some older than herself. The overgrowth on the older ones is the first thing you can see when you enter. These tombs have become one with nature, it truly shows how life can be full circle.
On closer inspection she can see three ladies. All at a picnic blanket, settled in the center of the yard. Curiosity, or nosiness, got to Silver. She pretends to walk around, looking at tombstones so old that not even her grandmother would know of. Every so often peering over at the group of girls. She would slow her pace, giving her more of a chance to see whats going on. A picnic in a graveyard, this time of year, means something. Silver can assume its a memorial for the Tributes of our district.
As she walked around pretending to be interested in these graves, she became more interested in the girls. Its sad that death has become so regulated that there is really no service for the tributes lost. Its so normalized that Silver doesn't even remember the tributes names. Maybe its time for Silver to make a change. To realize that loss is loss. Even if its in the name of Panem, it is still loss.
Her eyes would more intensely focus on the girls, with no attempt at being discreet.
The idea of being invited to a picnic with some of the other children my father created made me feel a bit uneasy at first. I knew it was because of Hanaa’s death, but I sincerely hoped that the topic of our shared father didn’t surface in conversation. I hated that man, and I didn’t like to talk about him, either. Even though I knew it was possible that we would end up talking about him, I decided to go to the picnic. I wanted to stay positive. Plus, it’d be nice to actually meet some more of the people who I’m related to.
There were three girls sitting on a picnic blanket when I got there, as well as another girl who seemed to be lurking about, watching them. It was a bit of an odd situation, but I didn’t focus too much on it. I went over to where the girls were and sat down next to them. I hear one girl introduce herself as Cassie and decide that it would be a good idea for me to introduce myself as well. I liked meeting new people, after all.
”Hey,” I said. ”I’m Piper.”
I gave a slight smile with my introduction and looked at the other girls, hoping they weren’t deterred by me. Then, I looked over to the girl that seemed to be watching us.
”Who’s she?” I asked my half-siblings in regard to the lurking stranger. It was kind-of strange to have someone watching us. A stalker was never something I’d ever dealt with, or at least that I’d ever noticed before in my life. It was something that now I realized made me a bit uncomfortable, but also a bit intrigued as to why it was happening.
I squint up at the tall, dark-haired girl that towered over me and I almost quiver with fear.
"Who are you, exactly?”
Blink once, twice, I shrink into myself. Pathetic. "Oh, I'm Maisy," I stammer, glancing from the flower to the girl and back to the flower. Fuck, I think, get it together - the voice in my head sounds just like Sasha.
But doesn't it always? "I sent the invitations."
More and more figures appear - some approach, and others peered closely at us from afar. I don't blame them - if I hadn't organised this I might hide behind a tree and watch for a bit, too. Overwhelmed, I wave half-heartedly at the group and let them introduce themselves one by one. Cassie, Piper - they're all so different. I'm not sure what I had expected, growing up with a sister that looks like me but is so much the opposite on the inside - maybe I was looking for someone to actually get along with. Maybe I was looking for our father in them. Fuck knows, but we've all got names and the same brown eyes. I start there. "Cassie, Piper, hey," my voice is sad, monotone - what's new? "I'm Maisy. I sent uh, the invitations..."
You'd think I'd be happy, delighted, even, that people showed up. It's four more than I had envisioned. Piper has a good point, though - one of the stranger-girls is just standing there with a furious look on her face. "I... don't know," I confess, patting the spaces on the rug next to me as I straighten my posture and try to wave again.
"Hi!" I call across the way, summoning as much courage as I can and well-aware that I don't have much to begin with. "Did you get my invitation?"
- maisy dupree -
“and men said that the blood of the stars flowed in her veins.”
Post by vargen forrester; 7m [ɢʀɪғғɪɴ] on Aug 16, 2019 13:54:17 GMT -5
He purchases roses,
solely because they are the most ambiguous out of all flowers when it comes to messages and stories hidden inside them. A rose could mean anything, from rosy cheeks and affection, to rose-colored memories and tender mourning.
He doesn’t know how to, or if he should, mourn the ghost of a girl he’s never known.
He doesn’t know the flower she holds dear to her heart, the one which scent and hue etches a smile onto her face, the one she never grows tired of tucking behind her ears or braiding into her hair. There are a myriad of guesses and predicts that could be made, but Harper would never choose the right one, because he never knew Hanna Darton, not as friend, not as a kin.
So, as he scatters a handful of coins over the vendor’s wooden counter, he muses:
let it be roses, a cheap excuse for a flower.
The bright bouquet clutched in his hands act as a handy, makeshift shield against the harsh beams of sun, he discovers, as he adjusts the note in his hand under its soft shade. Faint, graphite-sheer words spell out a location near the edge of the woods. Priscilla had taken so long to get ready that he’s decided to seek this location all by himself, and he feels no ounce of guilt about abandoning her. He feels no ounce of grief as Hanna Darton’s death rippled across the district, as fretted water would. He doesn’t feel much these days, aside from his own heartbeat in the chest and even that dwindles from time to time. Perhaps, Harper King is truly callous and stone-hearted, disregarding others’ sentiments because he feels only his own are true and only his own counts. He wonders about the parent he inherited this way of thinking from for a split second and about the other hereditary traits and mechanisms, growling in this factory of a body that had begun to bulge at the seams. As the thoughts become louder than he prefers them to be, and morphs into a cacophony altogether, he counts the pink florets to distract himself.
The petals have begun to wilt.
As the rendezvous and a few, unknown faces emerge, Harper’s nerves become a knot wedged in his throat and he hastily swallows it before taking a step forward, close to the frayed blanket and the strawberries and the bouquets of flowers for a dead girl, all possibly the exact ones she loathed back in her living days.
Perhaps, Hanna Darton detested all flowers, and the pollened air and the fragrance.
He would never, never, and never, know.
“I thought this was a wake, not a–” he trailed off, hazel eyes narrowing into perplexed, dark slants. “Not a ... tea party.” Harper set the roses down on the blanket, with the magenta petals already beginning to shrivel up. ”Did any of you here even know Hanna Darton?” he queried, trying his best to keep his tone steady and unwavering.
“—For all I know, Hanna is just another ghost of another dead girl.”
More people arrived in the clearing faster than Hayward had anticipated, and they were all chatting amongst themselves with more energy than she was truly able to muster up. She turned in the unknown girl's direction when she was referenced, but merely shrugged in response. I don't know half the people here. No big deal. Slowly, she turned over the names that had just been given to her. Maisy, the source of the invitations, evidently the sentimental one. Cassie. Piper. All were just as unfamiliar to her, but still just as familiar. New people to form relationships with, or new people to simply glance at in passing when they inevitably never spoke to each other again. This couldn't hurt. It was certainly one of the least reckless things she'd done.
"I'm Hayward," she finally forced out, no thanks to the unwelcome tightness in her chest. "Hayward Dunn."
She hadn't realized that the first boy - her brother? - had approached until he spoke. "I thought this was a wake, not a tea party. Did any of you here even know Hanaa Darton?"
She folded her arms across her chest, feebly attempting a fierce glare and willing herself not to betray her anxiety. "Aren't wakes and tea parties the same thing?" Hayward remarked. "Everyone gathers to talk about life or the lack thereof. And no, I didn't know her. But I don't think you did either, so we're both on level ground here, buddy."
WORD COUNT: 240
Last Edit: Aug 16, 2019 15:44:07 GMT -5 by fireflyz
A swallow slides down my throat, hiding its guilt in the pit of my stomach. All the names that I'd collected over the years sounded like girls, but trust me to be too ignorant to double-check. As if sandwiches and introductions could make up for stupidity - maybe Sasha was right. Maybe this was a shit idea.
And then I look up at my sister, Hayward, defending me from my brother and a small smile catches between my ears, warms my cheeks to a blush - guess this is what broken families are all about. Bickering with my sister I'm used to. Bickering with brothers, well...
"I'm sorry, I, uh," scratch the back of my head until straw-coloured strands stick up like hay. "I've never been to a wake before. I don't actually know what that is. Care to enlighten me...?"
I hope he'll tell me his name. Probably not, pending the unimpressed look on his face, but a girl can dream a silly dream.
Shrugging, I gesture to his roses and back to my own petaled gift. "Looks like we had the same idea, though."
- maisy dupree -
“and men said that the blood of the stars flowed in her veins.”
Post by vargen forrester; 7m [ɢʀɪғғɪɴ] on Aug 17, 2019 1:44:00 GMT -5
“They are the same,” Harper replies with matched ferocity, “because both of them are equally fucking tedious.” The dark, skeptical slants of his eyes rake over the others, vaguely studying Hayward and all the other faces. “I hope you all didn’t invite kids younger than ten.” His choice of language, as evident, does not flow well with children.
Priscilla had coerced him to come – digging up some old blackmail she’d had saved for times and events like this – but there are some parts of him that have craved to be in this clearing too, to be amongst the people he supposedly shares some things, like the colored flecks in the eyes, like the curve of the knuckles, like an eye-brow, like a smile,
like a father.
Itching for a smoke, Harper’s hand delves in his pockets, only to find that he’s decided to wear new trousers for this strange hybrid event between a wake and a picnic and he grows more exasperated—at Priscilla, at Hayward, at the girl that gestures to her own flowers that are much fresher and brighter than his roses, and ultimately, at himself. The daydreams about his mother marrying a different, more refined, committed man arise in the back of his head once more. If she did, Harper muses, I wouldn’t be in this fiasco. He would have never been guilt-ridden about not knowing Hanna Darton, and about his father’s absence.
“A wake is where we mourn the girl who died, a picnic is where we eat food and try not to think about the same girl.”
Inward, in the visceral parts of his self, he knows the spite in his words are for his absent father, not these new siblings he’d only discovered a few weeks ago. But, at the moment, every boundary is blurred and Harper knows only the sprawl of rage in his gut, rage towards everything and nothing.
Anger is a beast and it howls within, hungrily.
“But, it’s—whatever,” he sits down near the stem of an oak tree after tossing the bouquet next to the girl’s, the bark cool against his spine, “if Hanna didn’t die, we wouldn’t be having either so, hurray, I guess.”
Broken families tend to flock back together only at marriages and funerals; each one of them had fracture lines painted all over them.
“I am Harper King,” he says, with a smile that is the opposite of genuine and warm.
The Reaping is the first time we hear of Hanaa Darton - the girl who volunteered to get sent home in a casket.
But I like to think I know a lot of people, it's all part of the job, and the idea that this whisper of a girl could've been family was baffling.
I had never thought much about Dad, but I never really thought much about Mom either. Because she raised me as a stand-alone daughter, a blinding light, all glassy and brittle on the outside.
And then she left too.
So the invitation had been a surprise, some kind of memorial for our last tribute, our possible sister. I had crumpled mine up and threw it out, halfway through the door when it hit me.
Having a dead half-sister might not be the worst thing in the world. A good old cat came back situation, thirty different people flocking for the truth, a yeah that's her and hey did ya hear?
It's one hell of a story.
And I always knew I'd end up famous, promised my reflection that we'd make it big.
Harper tried to avoid the whole thing, but it was easy enough to convince him to go. I've got enough dirt on him to last years, thinking about it all real hard and finishing my hair in the hall, screaming out, "Harper, lets go." But when I stomped down the stairs his shoes weren't by the door anymore.
And damn? The coward actually bolted.
I still can't believe it when I finally leave, turn the clearing corner and see him standing around with handful of other kids. Maybe this is some kind of test, old ghosts coming back because I didn't bring anything but my dazzling personality, and I probably should be feeling bad.
Except I never really took after Mom.
"Harper King, you absolute dick, I can't believe you left without me."
I could've been mugged or something.
He was right in the middle of talking to a blonde girl and I feel bad for her, truly devastated. Because that right there's a fate worse than death.
I should probably save her.
"I'm Priscilla. The better King" I lean over, voice raised so I know he can still hear it, "Don't listen to him, he's the worst."
She didn’t waste much time on luxuries. She wasn’t that type of girl after all. She didn’t indulge in watching the games, because that was not going to make her any money at the end of the day. However, she changed her mind this time around, because it was very clear that Hanaa needed her support.
She had met Hanna years ago, mostly by accident. Hanaa had been dropping off some wood to the shop that she worked at, and the moment they caught a glimpse of each other, they realized that they looked a little too similar.
She had taken a small break in order to chat with the girl, and they realized that they had a bit in common when it came to their upbringing. Both of them had an absent father. And they both shared the information that they knew he was still in the district, fraternizing with other woman while they only grew up with their mother.
It was a shocking realization, even to her, the girl who stated proudly that she did not need a man in her life to validate her.
So when Hanaa went into the games, you watched only to show support. She wasnt sure of her motive for throwing herself into the ether, but that didn’t matter. Jenny Sycamore was able to dodge a bullet, and that was all that mattered.
She watched closely, and the moment that Hanaa died, she couldn’t help but craft a wooden vase in her honor. Asha worked with a friend to craft the wood around an already obtained glass one, and she left enough room in order to make sure that the sun found its way to the roots. After weeks of working on it, she finished it with a great amount of glee.
And then she got a weird letter in the mail.
She had realized that there were more children with similar upbringings.
Asha at first didn’t want to go, because she thought it would have been weird, but then the thought of Hanaa made her rethink that decision. She would have jumped at the opportunity to meet anyone that would have been related to her, just like she did when it came to Asha.
So with a lot of reservation, she wrapped up the vase, some snacks that her mother had made for the occasion, and a whole lot of apprehension.
Once she found the group of people that all seemed to share the same look as her, she pressed her lips together and kept her distance. She didn’t know a single one of them, and it was always easier for Asha to hide in the shadows.
However, Hanaa’s words rang clear in her head. She wasn’t doing herself any favors by being shy.
So she walked up to them.
”So, are youre guys dad a hoe too?” Asha opened up, the vase still in her hand as she tried to get a feel for the group of people that she didn’t know one bit.
how absolutely morbid. how absolutely perfect, so toe-curling, spine-tinglingly depressing and absurd that i'm almost impressed that maisy has come up with the idea in the first place. then again, she's so depressing that i probably should have seen it coming. she probably doesn't even see the fun that this locale could entail, only the graves she so longs to bury herself in.
when she told me about this little plan of hers, all i did was roll my eyes and walk away. "why mourn a dead girl that neither of us even fucking know," i said, walking away. "or no, sorry, knew," i went on, turning on my heel to give her a mockingly apologetic look she probably didn't deserve.
i gave it to her anyway.
at first, i didn't plan on going. i mean, that's probably a lie. like, i think i was always going to go, because maisy asked. had a fucking idea all her own. as much as i hate her miserable ass, i fucking love her, and i wasn't going to just not support the first actual push towards hanging out with other people that she's had in what feels like years. maybe here she'll make some friends, find some other family members to love her as unconditionally as i do.
or, i guess it's more that i love her because of the very singular condition that is the fact that she's my twin sister, and despite how exhausting it is to love her, i do.
so i show up.
i want to kick dirt into her picnic basket for making me meet all these other dadless losers, but i just make sure to get laid before heading over instead. and honestly? i also smoke a cigarette, stand at the edge of the graveyard where i can see all of them congregating around the gravestones if i crane my neck just right, and perch on top of some dead girl named caroline.
i hope she doesn't mind.
then again, i wouldn't care even if she did.
i drop the burnt down filter into the grass behind her headstone. "enjoy," i say to the earth.
flowers won't grow there anymore.
i watch as two unfamiliar girls stroll up, though one of them looks like another of the strangers, and i can't help but overhear that their last name is king when she introduces herself. i can't even lie, it makes something stir in the bottom of my stomach, something like butterflies or waves or something i don't understand, only know that it makes me want to claim it for myself. something royal. something powerful. i want it. the other newbie makes a joke, and i finally stroll into the crowd, mouth turned down and nose turned up.
in another situation, i might have laughed, might have tried to be this girls friend, play the role of half-sister happily. but i'm here for maisy, and for maisy alone. "who gives a fuck about that guy," i say, crossing my ankles to sit by maisy. i pluck one of the flowers she's collected out of her hand, bring it to my face and smell it. "i can't even be bothered to waste my breath making stupid jokes about him." i pull the flower away, look the strange girl in her eyes. "neither should you."
it's a command, clear as day.
or maybe a challenge.
i know it shouldn't be, that i'm here to support my twin, but who doesn't love a bit of a fight to get the day started?
Last Edit: Oct 12, 2019 20:13:49 GMT -5 by kaitlin
Harper had a sister, Priscilla. They interacted like they were sick of each other but Hayward knew they would never truly reach that point.
The girl who strolled up next had a cool air about her, vase in hand as she quipped, "So, are your guys' dad a hoe too?"
Hayward flinched instinctively as she imagined the father she did have - her grandfather - before remembering that paternity meant something different to all the people here, and in spite of that difference, it was the one thing she held in common with each of them. He's not my real father, she thought. But neither was this guy. Yes, her father was a hoe. He was a ghost.
And then, from the edge of the clearing, another girl with long blonde hair appeared. She looked really similar to Maisy. Nearly identical. Maisy had a sister too, Hayward realized.
"Who gives a fuck about that guy?"
It was ironic that they were congregating in a graveyard, because the girl's words showed that she thought her father was as good as dead. She was the opposite of Maisy, so optimistic and unskeptical. It nearly reminded Hayward of her and Angelique - she the reckless and cynical, and her sister so determined to be good. A small smile tugged at her face, and then it fell as a realization dawned on her. Maisy already had a sister. So did Hayward. Priscilla had a brother, and Harper had a sister. These people were nothing but strangers pretending to know each other.
And once again, Hayward was reminded that this happy albeit mildly combative gathering didn't mean anything, and that these people were not her family. She already had one, and so would her "siblings", should they never encounter each other again. They would be just fine without each other.
Maisy's sister took one of her flowers without asking, and Hayward suppressed her inclination to care, to defend. Maisy was not her family.
"I can't even be bothered to waste my breath making stupid jokes about him," the girl said, "neither should you."
"Babe," Hayward cut in, "I know we're in a cemetery, but there's no need to be so bleak."
She paused to gesture to Harper. "We're already getting it from him today. Don't need it from you, too. We could use some humor in this fucked up situation."
More kids just keep coming out of the woodwork, filtering out of the trees like wild beasts, and I must be tripping because someone sits next to the girl on the blanket and they've got the same goddamn face.
It's a whole who wore it best schtick, a showing up to the same party in the same dress situation, and I hope they planned it because otherwise wow embarrassing.
But the doppelgänger reminds me of Eli, all self-assured and purposeful when she brings the temperature of the air down a good ten degrees.
For twins, the two don't seem very alike.
I can't wait for all the mushy bonding, the slumber parties where we paint each other's nails and gossip about how shitty our siblings are.
Maybe they'll let me trade with them.
"There's no need to be so bleak." Someone says, gestures to Harper like we all needed the clarification of who was being the stick in the mud, "We're already getting it from him today." And I'm fucking cackling.
"Oh, I like you bitches."
Maybe we've all got some kind of hereditary fear, holes in our homes where something rotten faded out. I know I've always hated being alone, hated the quiet of a dead club and decided to surround myself with life instead.
But I still got used to the late night shifts after everyone's gone home, where the only people keeping me company are the midnight workers and their ever flowing rumours.
I still learnt how to keep myself going.
"Go ahead, drag him again, it'll make this a real party."
Maybe there aren't as many tired eyes and loose tongues, but this is a fresh change.
This is fun.
"Besides, Hanaa must've had a sense of humour right? I'm sure she won't mind."