On the Chariot
The noise. It was too much, too loud; the screaming, the cheering. Everything. We weren’t even on the bloody chariots yet and I could hear other tribute’s names being called from the masses outside. They sounded like worshipping mortals crying out for their God to grace them with their presence.
I looked down again at what I was wearing. My stylist Setty seemed to think it was perfect and set off my eyes. I thought the matching tridents for both me and Theo were a bit too much.
The dress was beautiful, without a doubt… but it was far too flamboyant for my own personal taste. It was a light fabric of rich blue, swathes of fabric that draped elegantly over my shoulders, around my chest and down my thighs as well.
It fell like ribbons of water falling down my body. Rather attractive if you ask me, it made me look slimmer than I actually was as well as hiding all those parts of me that I found repulsive, especially my stomach and breasts. Then again if this was what my chariot costume was like I dread to think what the interview dress would be like. It was well known that during the interviews the tributes were dressed to show them off in a way that made them look, well, sexy. Even my legs looked good in this dress, miraculously.
I looked over to Theo, he was pulling at his tie, trying to sort it out. But he was getting frustrated and wad frowning down at piece of clothing. The fabric was thick, almost like velvet. But the shape was unusual, like the flowing water of a river. I giggled under my breath while walking over to him and smiling up at him while he continued to frown.
“Let me?” I asked, cocking my head to one side.
He nodded, laughing too, completely giving up on the tie. I smiled and took hold of the tie, but because I was much shorter than him I found that I had to pull him towards me so I could reach for the tie. The action of pulling him towards me turned out to be quite awkward, he shuffled towards me, halting abruptly only a few inches away from me. I blushed and bit my lip.
“Why hasn’t Helm done it for you?” I asked, hoping to divert attention from the fact that I basically just yanked him towards me and now we were standing…rather close.
“He said something about fixing his hair, then as he walked off he said you might know how to fix it.”
I laughed at his antics, having met Theo’s stylist Helm once when we first arrived in the Capitol I found him to be extremely…happy and excitable. He winked once or twice at Theo which made him blush increasingly so as each wink past. While I was grappling with his tie, Theo was quiet. Something that I was used to, but when I looked up at him, he was looking back at me. I blinked, startled.
“Thank you.” he said stiffly.
“It’s the least I could do.” I smiled, resisting the urge to look down and blush.
Theo just looked at me, his blue eyes emotionless again.
“Are you ready?”I nodded.
“Yes, I suppose.”
He smiled at me then.
“We’ll be fine, together.”And so together we walked onto the ink black chariots, and stood tall. Almost proud. The other tributes were in front of us, many behind us in various different dramatic costumes. Many of them had elaborate headdresses on, now I see by what Setty meant when she said,
“I could put you in worse.”
The smiling faces of the crowds around me startled and scared me. How could they smile at a time like this? They knew we would die, yet they were happy, yelling and laughing.
That’s when it really hit me; they didn’t give a damn.
They were all safe. The Capitol doesn’t give their children away to die at the hands of others. Doesn’t force them to fight for their lives, doesn’t strike fear into their hearts from such an age when they shouldn’t know pain or fear like this. They were too busy with parties, money, wine, expensive clothes. Nothing that had any real value. How sad and pathetic they were, I almost felt sorry for them.
I wanted to show them. To give them something to remember, if this was going to be one of my last moments then I’d make damn sure they never forgot me. I’d do something no one else had even dared to do.
Defy President Snow.
I looked at Theo and he nodded as though he was reading my mind yet again, grasping my hand and giving it a squeeze. I smiled, together. Together we raised our joint fists to the sky, grinning like we were possessed. But we didn’t stop there. Grinning with absolute adrenaline and fear I tugged at his hand and turned us towards the back of the chariot. Together we stepped off the back of the chariot onto the hard tarmac of the road. And we walked with our heads held high, tridents held high too.
We didn’t need the Capitol to walk before, and we sure as hell weren’t going to need it now or ever again. I couldn’t help but smile, couldn’t help but laugh at their faces of shock and astonishment.
Now I was the one smiling. And my reasons were far more real than their’s could ever be.
I wondered what President Snow’s face looked like at the moment.
I laughed at the pure absurdity of this moment, never had I thought I’d be brave enough to do something, but sometimes, the smallest action speaks louder than any word.