Post by steel campano | 8f | zoë on Jul 1, 2017 23:01:04 GMT -5
L E I A
C H E V A L L I E R
"From humble beginnings."
It sounded comforting, scribbled down on campaign notepads in a brainstorm of ideal traits meant to paint her as a Goddess. Rags to riches is a tale fondly told in this country, one which would normally appeal to the masses of adoring supporters seeing themselves in her story - were she not born into the First District of Panem.
It was not the cunning of politics that seduced her attention towards the Mayoral Election, nor the sea of faces with mouths screaming her name and hands holding up words painted on signs in support. No - she was simply bored, idle in her role at the Justice Building, hanging transfixed and burnt out in all her brilliance.
Brilliant is a word they shrieked upon every suggestion she gave to the people around a crescent table she had paid to do for her. She was bored of that, too - it was nothing more than a tried and tested word flung about throughout her life. A brilliant mind in a brilliant child bursting forth brilliant ideas - yeah, yeah, yeah. She'd heard it all before.
She was wicked-smart and she knew it. Counting at 1, reading at 2, writing at 3, reciting pages and pages of textbooks at 4. An only child, she drunk up her parents devotion and never learned to share. A simple house with simple parents leading simple lives and she had always known she was meant for something so much more than what her mother and father had to offer her. School was boring boring boring and training was a chore she took up at fourteen to fulfill the need gnawing inside of her for a challenge. It kept her out of trouble - or so her blinded parents thought.
In the Training Centre she found the worst in people and the worst people she could find. At times she admired their need to fight tooth and nail to be the best, other times her eyes would roll into the back of her skull. She was born with brains and not brawn and it showed. Keeping up with the rest and sitting comfortably in the middle was fine with her. They would all outgrow this life some day as their bodies betrayed them with the inevitability of age. Besides, she outshone the meatheads in the classroom and a mind only gets sharper with time.
Swordsmanship was not her strongest talent and over the years the arrogant ones tried to point their fingers at her flaws, her lack of aim, her perfect grades. She bent it right back using only her words and watched as their bones snapped and their brains imploded under the weight of her silver tongue.
So they left her to her own devices. A fair few met her lips in dark corners and locker rooms but hardly ever stayed long enough to hear her words. Those that did spilt secrets of dirty money and bad blood, and it was then that Leia learned the perfect District she had grown up in was teetering on a facade of luxury and image, ready to shatter, to leave a poisonous reality of lies and deceit in its ruined wake.
She wasn't fucking surprised.
Growing into herself was easy. Growing out of her humble shackles was harder. Dark hair coiled around her face and reached for the floor, getting closer and closer as the years passed. She sprouted above the crowds and learnt to walk in heels and her wide eyes finally settled into her skull. Shedding the skin her humble mother and father had given her, she stepped into moonlight her own self. More than they had ever been and more than they could ever offer her.
Curves blossomed around her figure and she let strangers trace the outlines, flicking through one after the other like pages in a book. They shared their secrets and showed her the world beneath the glitz and glamour and glass ceilings. She watched through the cool glass clouded with white powder and unspoken words, hands pressed up against the world beneath her, studying and learning and catching glances at those slipping through the cracks.
By day she was a scholar: red lipstick and notepads and the first letter of the alphabet imprinted on the backs of her eyes. By night she was a trench coat, a ghost, a shadow. A pair of eyes looking where they shouldn't, smears of red lipstick, clothes strewn across bedroom floors.
Acquaintance by school days and a recollection of a first name, clouds of smoke met the midnight air in her presence. Dead of night with the day approaching, Leia leaned over the balcony of his apartment as he lit up a cigarette and she wondered what it would be like to rule the world below them.
"You're too damn smart for your own good" he'd say between drags.
She'd smirk - a trademark, crossing her arms against silk robes and the cold kissing her skin.
"I'm not really someone one who takes to being good."
His turn to smirk, a scoff caught in the forgettable's throat.
"You as in goody two shoes, straight-A's, scholarship, working for the government Leia Chevallier?"
Ignorance was her bliss.
Risks - calculated, of course - became her form of entertainment. With alibis sworn to silence and incriminating evidence up her sleeve she would slip through the cracks of the glass world she lived in and find the worst of the worst hidden in plain sight.
And she admired them all. Dumb enough to start up cartels and import export and god knows what else. Smart enough to keep it under wraps. They didn't trust her - not to begin with. Too smart for her own damn good, she turned words into promise into delivery and always kept her end of whatever bargain they'd strung together in the dark. In her world of suffocating bullshit above, downtown District One was a breath of fresh air.
Breaking the surface of her two words with arms outstretched and hands shaken, Leia brushed shoulders with money and sets of straight white teeth. Old money, new money, blood money, dirty money - it was all the same to her. Traditionalists, risk-takers, danger and crime, she learnt to sort them by last name and the numbers in their bank accounts.
So gullible, buying into her bullshit about a powerful District and adoration and the need to be better, stronger, greater - they infuriated her at her best. Ditzy and materialistic and all so hungry for glory, at her worst she'd started to wonder if she was meant to rule them at all.
In sleepless nights and her stubbornness she'd find solace in skin and sensation, waking up to soft lips and long hair and light laughter in the morning about their votes. They filled the pits in her stomach for a while, chased away the static in her chest, men and women and whoever else she fancied. For a while they took up her nights and the world below her sank deeper until she could no longer see the bottom. In her offices she filed and shredded and destroyed, hoping - praying - it would be enough to feel the glass ceiling against her palms once more.
But when the crowds collected and her name was drawn and she stood upon the stage of the Justice Building the antagonists of the night sifted through the glamorous and came out of the shadows - small nods or brief glances or a finger-salute from their forehead to the air.
Under the weight of her conquest the glass below finally shattered and her worlds collided into one. It had worked - smarts and all, she'd done it. And in that moment Leia felt what she, and this District, had desired to feel all along: victorious.
Perhaps she really was meant to rule them after all.
SWALLOW THAT CIGARETTE AND FOLLOW MY SILHOUETTE MAYBE YOU CAN BE MY LAST KISS BUT BABY I CAN BE YOUR DEATH WISH