Maryn decided early on that she would achieve great things. Even at the height of society, with every reason to be content with living the life afforded to her by her parents, she could never quite scratch the itch burning at the back of her mind. That overwhelming, consuming desire for a thing she didn’t know how to name. She would stare into her vanity mirror, at her room with all of her books and toys and distractions — always looking quietly at all of the reasons she had to feel whole. She was a girl but a prelude, too.
Strategist wearing the guise of a daydreamer.
Serpent in the garden.
She knew she was different from her peers as early as that first year of schooling. There was an intensity to her that none of the other kids could match, and while her teachers were supportive of her academic gifts, they couldn’t help but to notice a certain lack of social grace. Even when she was young, and all of her worst parts could still be blamed on that youth, her words were sharp and biting and merciless. What she wanted, she would have, and she offered no apology for this fact. She put in the work without complaint.
Even while her older sister allowed for all of her wants to be handed to her, Maryn couldn’t stop herself from falling in love with the competition that was unfolding around her. Waking up before the sun, cold water rushing over her shoulders, standing in that same contemplative silence. If she excelled in her education, then she would succeed in her career. She refused to ask for something that she could simply take for herself. Class president, four year scholarship, interning for the gamemakers by age twenty-two. She was her father’s pride and joy, socialite of the century.
And within that love, all the unspoken words would echo into eternity.
A void of her own making.
Her parents adored her, of that much she was certain, but she had a terrible habit of never returning their calls. She moved out on her own as soon as she had the opportunity — used her first paycheck and her inheritance to secure a home worth building into an empire. For all of her harshness, there was a quality to her that demanded respect from those in her presence. A domineering personality, the kind of woman that had no qualms removing the crown atop her head to use it as a weapon; to shatter a skull beneath the weight of pure gold.
In her gracelessness, her true beauty was found.
There was no task too extreme for her to complete, just as there was no shape that she wasn’t willing to bend herself into in order to obtain the things she hungered for. Even after a decade in the business, countless days spent proving her worth and talent to her community, she could still remember the moment her sister was announced as one of the head gamemakers of the Eighty-Third Annual Hunger Games. She smiled politely, played her part and pretended like she wasn’t caving in on the inside. And later that evening, the mirror looked back at her with indifference. The itch kept burning.
Strangers looked at her in pity, and deeply, it made her want to steal their eyes from their heads. Another cold shower, scrubbing her face until the skin was raw there, spitting out blood in the sink after brushing her teeth too fiercely. She was a force as much as she was a human, with her fair share of demons making their home inside of her head. Lonely girl who chose isolation — prodigy without the proof — loved and unloving. Maryn wanted perfection to the point of unravelling herself. Shedding her layers to reveal the god beneath.