She'd wanted to travel, she'd admit that. Most journalists - if you could call them that - in the Capitol seemed to stick to the four walls of their offices, especially in broadcast. But Skye wanted to be where the people were, venture beyond the pretty pearly gates of the Capitol into the heart of Panem, wherever that may have been.
It was an ambitious goal for a teenager, even a precocious one such as Skylah, but she had a mind to get it done. In between her lessons, she'd put on her best outfits and parade through Style Street in search of sources, pointing a tape recorder at anyone who seemed remotely interesting, which believe it or not was far and few between in the Capitol. Everyone was flashy or glamorous or all of the above, but very few had the kind of depth Skye was searching for.
Her only glimpse of the districts was when they plucked children out of their homes for the Hunger Games. Some of them were as dull as the Capitolites, sure, but a few gems glittered in the shadows. That was why it was good to go digging - you never knew what you'd find.
It shouldn't have been a shock, then, when the same happened to her - but it still took her off-guard.
When she wasn't out on the hunt, she tinkered with a blog she had started in early secondary school. She shared vignettes of small business owners, street performers, anyone beyond the usual high-scale life - stories that she was proud to hear and share. Occasionally, she veered off-path and wrote about dressing for success, posting her tips alongside images of her outfits. She expected no one to pay much mind to it. But of course, they did.
Her blog didn't get her far in snagging news internships - they weren't so much interested in, well, human-interest as the next big eye-catcher. And her clothes caught eyes, which Skye supposed she wanted but never in this way. She was 15 when she began working as an assistant to Sky Lorraine Kelvin - what were the odds that they were both named Sky(e)? - a stylist for the Games. It was never her dream to take notes for someone else or manage their daily schedule, but she figured she'd have to do grunt work in journalism anyway, especially if she ended up working for one of those vapid TV show hosts. Lorraine insisted that she be the only one called Sky, but in her head, Skye called her by her middle name anyway.
Lorraine was as sweet as she could be - she didn't give heart-to-hearts or particularly constructive feedback on Skye's work rather than move faster, I haven't all day, but she showed her appreciation. Occasionally, she'd beckon Skye close and show her how to do a proper stitch, and why sometimes it was best to do clashing colors even when people turned their noses up at it. She'd allow her to meet some of her colleagues, and for a moment, Skye would allow herself to believe she was important, and that she was being entrusted with the most precious details of their lives. She'd write particularly striking statements on her leg when they weren't looking and transfer them to a journal later.
She figured when the 76th rolled around, she'd step away and look for the job that she truly wanted. But Lorraine was stepping down and she wanted Skye - of all people - to fill her shoes. "It'll be easy enough, we're both named Sky."
She was reluctant. She'd dedicated much of her short life to telling stories and dreaming of being a journalist, not a fashionista. Certainly not one of the youngest stylists to grace the Games. But getting to see the tributes up close and speak to them, if only briefly, intrigued her. The tributes from Six were an especially solemn bunch, given how rarely any of them made it home and how frequently they seemed to accept it. But they had heart - the kind of heart Skye wanted to see. If only those hearts kept beating for longer than three weeks.
Skye wasn't sure what to expect when she met Teddy Ursa. He was kind, she was kind right back. She didn't expect to see him again once it was all over.
But then he returned. And suddenly, Skye could craft a story of hope, rather than the one of sorrow she'd been building for the past year. (And she got to travel.)
There was something here worth staying for. And so she did.