Fluffle [absalom, walter, eloise, alfonso) Feb 12, 2020 15:36:24 GMT -5
Post by absalom ottrel d1m [zori] on Feb 12, 2020 15:36:24 GMT -5
When his father had spoken of the luxury of the capitol, Absalom hadn’t imagined it feeling quite so sterile.
This was supposedly the city of gold. Gates of wealth and rubies, of shocking awe that could make a man weep. He spoke about it with such affection that Sarkine whispered their father and mother got their rocks off playing capitolites in the bedroom. It took a while for Absalom to imagine this – his father donning a silver wig, his mother the white pancake make-up – and when it finally came to fruition, he wished he could unsee it all.
Their house was awash in capitolite propaganda, too. Smiling faces of gamemakers, one of president Snow whose eyes seemed to follow him no matter where he stood.
His father liked to put on an affected accent as though he could ever have been mistaken for a capitolite. Sarkine once told Absalom that she believed he’d started doing it when they were children because it might make him look better in the eyes of the more well-to-do families (those far more established and dynastic than the Ottrels). Absalom thought it silly to pretend to be something else to be well liked. Hadn’t the purpose always been to be who he was, and find the right people to blend into his life?
It was confusing to hear that he’d have to present one face and become another. That sounded childish, like the sort of games that he’d been scolded for still playing as he entered teendom. But he supposed it was a different sort of play for adults.
That afternoon in the training center, he’d discovered that there were people who he heard were called ‘runners.’ These avoxes would do their best to satisfy demands of the tributes within reason. He’d discovered this wonder of wonders when he’d been sitting in the apartments and requested another grapefruit. A pale faced boy came running with the citrus fruit cut in half on a plate, silver spoon in hand. And so Absalom asked for a protein bar. Again, someone sauntered off to scrounge for a chocolate chip bar, then placed it in front of Ab.
He pulled open the plastic wrapper and nibble at the edges. Gears turned in his mind as he pondered what else the men and women might be able to provide.
The thought didn’t shake when he walked down the hall toward the double doors of the training center. He paused as he placed his hand on the cool metal handle of the doors, and listening to the fluorescent lights hum.
He wasn’t sure if the voice he heard was Sarkine’s, or maybe an approximation of his sister’s voice, but it was quite clear that he shouldn’t feel as though he needed to spend today training. Not when he had a world he’d never know at his fingertips.
Perhaps it was irresponsible; perhaps genius. Somehow he reasoned the difference mattered little.
So, he about-faced from the entrance, puffy athletic pants swishing as he turned back.
At first they thought it was to test out his trapping abilities. Why else would he request so many? More, please! He said after the first few were brought, and then others, until at last, there were at least a dozen rabbits hopping around the trapping simulation room. He’d changed the settings to present something of a low sloping hill with comfy grass and clear skies overhead. At the center of it all, with a few rabbits in his arms, others hopping over his chest, and still others flopping around his vicinity sat Absalom Ottrel.
He didn’t find any of them as pleasing as Bryan. It made him sad to think the rabbit might not ever see him again; he trusted Sarkine to watch over him but what would he think if he didn’t come back?
A few hopped over his stomach and another sniffed at his face, enough to pull Absalom away from intrusive thoughts and into something better.
“This is much better than being with the rest of them, you guys,” Absalom said, holding up a gray bunny above him.