Post by AlteredArcana on Jan 27, 2020 0:25:20 GMT -5
“You can’t just sit there and let them get away with it Mom! They have to pay!”
I stand defiantly on the dirt floor of my home in the Seam, finger pointing towards the rickety front door in a gesture of general accusation. My eyes, green like the grass District 12’s pallid meadow, burn with the fire of the scorned. My small frame trembles with rage, and tears pool coldly in my eyes that threaten to spill over at any moment. Tears that will make me look weak.
“Bee, I’ve already filed a complaint with the Mayor at the Justice Building. That’s all I can do. I get that you’re angry but you can’t—”
Bullshit. The complaint won’t do anything and she knows it. “Can’t what? I’m so sick and tired of being told what I can’t do. How can you just let that Peacekeeper touch you like that? How could you just let him beat you within an inch of your life?” My voice rises to a shout as the blood fills my cheeks. “Why won’t you let me do something?”
My body, now wracked with sobs, refuses to move though I so badly want to flee. If there’s one thing I hate, it’s the Capitol. Growing up in District 12’s poorest area, I’ve seen more than enough pain and suffering over the course of my short life. Daily I watch people die of starvation, of sickness, at the hands of the Capitol’s iron-fisted brutality. Daily I see my mother broken and crying, as she watches the Peacekeeper who beat her swagger past our shoddy one-room home. The home in which I live with my mother and two sisters whose fathers they never knew, and who thankfully aren’t in the house right now. My own father is uncaring, always putting work before the family. When the Peacekeeper had begun his advances on my mother, my father waved it away. When she rejected those advances, my father merely nodded. When they falsely charged my mother with insubordination and hauled her out to be lashed in the square until she nearly died, he hardly raised an eyebrow. It’s a good thing, I think, that he isn’t here right now.
What she doesn’t understand, perhaps most of all, is that I’m so tired. I’m tired of seeing the wounds on my mother’s back that still opened every now and again because we’re too malnourished to heal properly. I’m tired of going to bed hungry, going to school hungrier, then coming home to a meal of whatever rotten food my mom has stolen from the waste bins. I want to burn it all down and dance upon the ashes. My mother knows this, and it scares her to death. I see it in my mom’s face, every time I get angry or we argue. She’s terrified. But I’m terrified too. I’m terrified for my younger sisters, terrified for District 12, and terrified that in the end it feels like no one really cares about me. I explain all of this to my mother, and clearly it isn’t enough.
I try my hardest to reason with her. I try to remind her why we’re so destitute in the first place. Why she nearly had to abandon me, her first-born child, to live in the dreadful Community Home in town. Why we have to wear shoes held together by scraps of old shirts that have been washed to rags. Why my stomach growls and her whipping wounds bleed and why my sisters go to bed at night asking me if tomorrow will be better even though they know it won’t be. I try to be civil with her and to calmly state my points but it doesn’t work because I can’t stop getting angry. Everything within me burns with a seething ire that I can neither quell nor control. The kind of anger that tyrannical governments fear, that my mother fears, that I fear. Mom says that she doesn’t like when I’m angry all the time. I don’t like it either, I remind her. But what can I possibly be if not angry? I say that I try to control it. I say that I try my hardest to be a good sister and daughter and that I do everything I can. Mom says she appreciates that, but the anger is distracting me from my schooling. She says that it’s keeping me from being a kid. As if the looming threat of starvation and my traumatized mother aren’t enough to keep me from being a kid. I don’t need to be a kid. I need to be a revolutionary!
This talk is dangerous. We both know it. But what is it if it isn’t right? Mom always told me the best kind of anger is righteous anger. Is this not righteous? Is it not just? Mom doesn’t care. She’s had enough.
“Get the hell out of my house, Bee O’Hearn!” My mother yells. I’ve heard it many times before. But where will I go? I have no friends. I scare them all away. I have no safe place where I can let it all go. I can run to the meadow and beat the ground with my fists, but what good would it do? I’m powerless. Hopeless. Careless. Nothing is going to change unless their people start dying. Unless we all get up and start burning shit down.
I don’t say another word. I just leave. I walk through the warm spring evening air, past the dirty houses in the Seam. I try to ignore my reflection in the windows. I ignore how short my hair is, how choppy it is after being cut with a knife because we’re too poor for a pair of good scissors. I ignore how I could count every single one of my ribs. But I can’t. I can’t ignore how they starve us and kill us and send us to the Arena no matter how hard I try because it’s bullshit. My mother, my sisters, my father, our little shack; it’s all I have. The Capitol has taken everything else I could’ve had away from me.
When my feet touch the rough grass of the meadow, I sink to my knees. Gingerly my fingers pluck a baby blue blossom, my favorite color. The sun is setting. I’ve been out a couple hours and soon I know I’ll have to go home. Mom will be worried sick about me. But I can’t go, not yet. I can only sit here and cry until I can’t anymore.
My life is one of uncertainty; and all I know is that I’ll make them pay one day. I may just be a girl. But like the insect for which I was named, behind that small exterior lies a deadly stinger. They’ll pay for what they’ve done to my mother. For what they’ve done to District 12. For what they’ve done to me. I just don’t know how.