love can't protect you now the love that I can feel it'll only break you down love, the secret that I keep
Someone has to be the bad guy. People these days are going soft on the games, creating mutts that help tributes as opposed to tearing them down. Don't those idiots know the point of the Hunger Games?
What I create and cultivate is the stuff nightmares are made of.
Snake-Crocodile hybrids, vines trained to kill, mind-altering spores, entire flocks of carnivorous birds— there's been talk that my creations may be getting me a Muttation of the Year nomination at the annual Arena Awards ceremony, and rightly so. I work my ass off to make sure all those fat cats can sit in their living rooms, hiding under bowls of popcorn while they watch the tributes try and fail to survive. It doesn't come easy, you know. My work has taken a lot of practice; my parents were not particularly wealthy, nor were either of them highly decorated in the field of Mutt Making.
The look on my Dad's face when he saw my first article get published, the tears of joy my mother cried when my Dante's Ivy dared anyone in the arena to come close to it? I guess there has always been some sort of a need within me to make my parents proud, and it feels good knowing now that I have.
But I have grown greedy, haven't I? And now that I have tasted their approval, unfiltered and true, I need more of it. Not even just from them, but from everyone. I made a good career out of making a person's nightmares come true, now I want to ensure my dreams do the same.
My laboratory is small but pristine, with slate gray floors, walls of double-paned windows. My office, of course, is on the top floor of the five-story building, with a big desk made of cherry wood and ceramic stars on the ceiling which glow at night time. When I'm working hard or working late, anyhow, it feels good to just look up at them glowing, in all of their child-like innocence. Takes me away from everything for a moment, I guess, even if I know they aren't real.
That's actually why I made those bio-luminescent lizards. Well, that and complaints that our subject matter was always bordering on... What was the word they used? Psychotic. Turns out, people only ask for drama until it starts to show up. They all loved my modified crocolisks until they started chowing down on bits of their favorite tributes. Then, suddenly, people were 'uncomfortable letting their children watch.'
What do they expect? It's a fucking contest where people kill each other!
Anyway, so I was in a funk for a couple months, my trashcan overfilled with wadded up pieces of paper— failed ideas. I rested my hands on the back of my neck, leaning back in my new chair, and I just stared at those stupid, beautiful plastic stars for a moment. There was a cluster of them just above the doorway which I always thought sort of looked like one of those common garden lizards, and then, bam. Every little kid in the country has a pet-nightlight combo. Pointless little shits, but still exactly what I needed to get the officials off of my back.
Plus, I was able to pay for the top two floors of the building on kecleon profits alone. It's always the least favorite that manages to do the most, huh? To force us to say through gritted teeth, "Good fucking job."
And then what do they do? Weaponize it. I make something people are meant to fear, it's too scary. I make something people can pet, and it's too friendly. Can't win for losing, I suppose.
But they met me halfway. I could've just as easily become one of those sad saps in an emptied office, too proud to leave and too embarrassed to stay. They paid for the additions to my building and upped my pay enough to hire more staff, they kept food on my table and a roof over my head.
I was bold enough to ask for the chance to be great; they were kind enough to let me.
full moon rising; run, baby, run dear, the kiss that steals your breath will steal your soul instead the night is all that's left