Life isn't just daisies and holdin' doors for the ladies. It's hard work. It's gettin them boys up for work and gettin those boys up for school. I had to do everything for them because it was expected of me. I was a girl - a woman in the makin for them to take advantage of but I tell’em like it is. I ain't no lady. I don't intend to be one neither. Momma tried her damndest to teach me the proper ways of being a woman, what with make up and gentle speak, but she was wrong for thinkin I'd wanna be like her. No, I wanna be like my brothers. The two that came before me and the two that came after me. I'm sandwiched between testosterone, belches and fist fights. I was brought up fightin like the rest of them.
If I didn't, I wouldn't have survived this whole time.
The war was shit, but I made my father let me join 'em. I wasn't about to stay with momma. She had my two younger brothers to watch out for. She didn't need me but they needed her. So, I took off after my daddy that day and took along a bunch of supplies I stole away from Harris' supply. A bunch of leads and bottles, handfuls of shrapnel and nails and other things. I wasn't about to be the one to go down without a fight.
Daddy didn't like it none one bit. He demanded I turn around, take my sorry hide back to the house and help my momma tend to the other two but I planted my feet on the ground, sat down in a huff and began to fiddle with the supplies. I was a stubborn thing and refused to listen to Herman trying to coax me back home. He even called me a lady and with a quick response of hatred for that word, he had to dodge the onslaught of a handful of nails aimed in his direction. Daddy laughed, but Herman didn’t. He shut up though as I began mixing things together, putting the nails I didn’t throw at him around the edges. I taped a shit ton of the metal things to the handmade grenade. Daddy didn't do anything but watch and guard my efforts to show him I was one of the men. It wasn’t until I was done, that he glanced to my brothers, Harris and Herman, who had kept a lookout. I handed it to him and put my hands on my hips.
"I ain't stayin to be a lady. Momma's goin to hafta kill me first. I'm helpin you win the war." I pushed past him, stealing the genade back and stashing it away knowing I didn't have it ready to explode just yet. My brothers, I can still remember it, hit daddy on both sides of his arms and fought for my right to stay with them. I was the brains who could fight my own way in. It wasn't until the night before the war was lost, in favor of the capitol (damn fuckers), that we had an accident. I'd gotten pretty fair makin roadside bombs and once in a while, for my own amusement, I would lure the peacekeepers in my direction causing a pretty explosive introduction to my family and the group of people we had collected.
Only something malfunctioned, and the bomb didn't detonate like it should have, the wire must have been faulty or snapped prematurely. The keepers kept gettin closer to me. I stayed my ground though. Berries were used as a medal of honor of war as they radioed about an injured female. As I played a perfectly placed victim, Harris had thought I was goin to be in danger. So, he charged the men and in the scrap, he was shot.
The battle was lost and as he lay writhing on the ground my cover was blown when I stood to their surprise and threw one of my grenades at them. Shrapnel went in every which direction, two bits of metal piercing my upper shoulder and lodging itself into my lower right leg. Daddy, came to my aid but it was too late.
Capture was imminent. I had made plenty of roadside bombs and never once did they falter, but this time, our luck ran out. While the keepers took in my daddy’s capture, Harris and Herman were escorted away. Just because I was a lady, fifteen at the time, they sought fit to release me back to my birth giver under strict house arrest while I healed.
I never saw daddy or my two brothers again.
I can barely remember Herman’s face. I do, however, hear his scream every night in my sleep. He survived the wound I heard. Back at home, Momma’s excitement to have me home quickly died away when the games were announced and she fought with everything in her power to try to protect me and my two younger brothers. She blamed me, in a way, and even though the wounds on my body healed, the constant reminder of the scars tell me I better never neglect my ability to be perfect. To fight harder than anyone else, and to be ready for anything that may arise.