Note: This is set after the 44th Games
Every Friday, after Career training, it was Jewel’s responsibility to pick up Farrah from school. She would be sitting under the old willow tree with two younger girls named Topaz and Violet. The three were inseparable, the three musketeers.
Violet was a victor’s child’ Ivory, who won 11 years back. Her and Farrah were much alike; meek, shy. Topaz, however was different story. She was the exact opposite of the two; brash and loud, a little girl with a thirst for the life of a Career.
Jewel found it peculiar that Farrah chose to hang out with that particular group of people. Farrah was never the social butterfly of the family.
As she approached the three, she heard their girly giggles and laughing. A sudden, hollow feeling filled Jewel’s chest.
I never had that.. she thought miserably. Jewel never had many friends. Maybe it was her brash aggression, or her tendency of brushing people away like flies.
She slowly neared her sister and her friends, putting a smile on her face and doing her best to ignore that empty feeling that was beginning to spread through her body.
“Hi girls,” she said sweetly.
Topaz looked at Jewel. “Hi Miss Jewel! Are you up for that fight yet?” She was always pushing to fight against her.
Jewel laughed and ruffled Topaz’s hair. “Ah, maybe want to wait a few years there, Topaz,” she said. “You need to get more of that Career adrenaline.”
The young girl frowned. “I so do! I can’t wait for the 45th Games!”
Farrah raised an eyebrow. “What’s so special about 45?”
“Kids that are eight to twelve years old are being reaped! Isn’t that exciting?”
Jewel noticed Farrah’s body tighten up and her brown eyes go wide. She looked at Jewel in desperation. But what could she do? Jewel had no control over the reaping.
“I don’t think you want to go in there, Topaz,” Violet piped up. “My mother said I’m not allowed to. She says it’s terrifying in that arena.”
“Y-you’re not going to volunteer, are you Paz?” Farrah asked.
Topaz nodded. “I’m really excited. I don’t want to wait until I’m of age!”
Jewel’s stomach began to turn into knots. Nothing could be more harsh than sending very small children to fight to the death. She tried to diminish the thought of these kids turnung into brutal savages.
She turned away fro the girl’s gaze to spot Tyberius, Topaz’s twin brother, leaning against the wall by himself. Another horrible thought came to her mind. Was he going to volunteer at his sister’s side?
“But there could be kids, maybe even younger than you that are stronger than you,” Violet pointed out ot Topaz. “It’s possible.”
Farrah seemed to be sinking further and further into the ground. She knew that Jewel was planning to volunteer. Jewel could see the pain in her eyes. She already lost a sister, and she could possibly lose a friend; and another sister.
Topaz’s voice seemed distant as Jewel tuned out of the conversation. Her mind wandered to five years back, the pain and loss she suffered when Justice died. When her friends left her. She looked at the fearful expression displayed on her sister’s face. Most likely, she would go through the same thing as Jewel.
And, like a Career, she would have to deal with it.
Jewel looked at it as everyone goes through pain. There’s no way around it.
Submitted by: Justice, tribute in HGOP39. careervictor.tumblr.com
Violet and Topaz’s conversation about if it was a good idea to go in the Games or not had turned into an argument. Farrah was basically sunk into the ground, trying to drown out the sounds of her friend’s yelling. Jewel grabbed her hand and pulled her away from ground. Farrah said a timid goodbye and her older sister pulled her away.
It was always like this just before the Reaping of another Game.
Swift couldn’t sleep. And when he did, he had some of the worst nightmares, making it almost worth his while to stay awake and deal with the consequences of sleep deprivation. He would put Titus, now just over 2 years old, to bed, tell him a story, sing him a lullaby- whatever he had to do, say goodnight to Addie, and try to fall asleep. He drifted off, hoping to have no dreams.
As if death hadn’t ever parted them, Onyx found herself drawn to that boy she loved. She couldn’t make it back physically but she could find her way to him through his dreams. She couldn’t explain how it worked but the years of wishing she could talk to him one more time. It was finally happening. She could find her birdy again. “Birdy…” She almost sobbed, please hear me… please let me finally talk to you again.
Swift shot up. No. No. She couldn’t be- he had to have been dreaming. “Onyx…” he couldn’t believe his eyes. Almost 7 years had passed since he’d seen her. She was so close, he could nearly touch her. “What the hell are you doing here?”
My birdy… “Birdy…” She breathed, “I miss you… don’t you miss me too?” She peered at him, her heart aching. He looked so different, grown and alive. She was forever frozen at 17, the boy she loved was no longer a boy. Before her sat a man, a man she wished she could have had all to herself. But their love was too short and fate was too unkind.
“Of course I miss you…I never forgot you.” Titus was mysteriously absent from the dream, the crib completely absent from the room. “I don’t understand… I’ve never seen you before. Since then.” Swift ran a hand through his hair. This was cruel, almost. His subconscious taunting him with images of her.
“I’ve been trying to find my way back to you. It wasn’t you who flew away, it was me.” She wished she could touch him, to kiss him one last time. “You’re different, Birdy.” She stared at him, she could tell, he changed. What had happened to him?
“It’s been seven years, Onyx.” Swift said gently. “I’m 23 now. I’ve mentored tributes, I’ve seen them die, I find comfort in the Victors… and I have a family.” He didn’t know how she was going to react. Onyx had never been one to understand things like this. He braced himself for her anger. Or, god forbid, her tears.
She had once been one to like the pain, but this pain was different. He had a family, he loved another woman. There were kids? No… he was flying away now. She squeezed her eyes shut, tears rolling down her face. You knew this would happen, Onyx, he couldn’t love you forever. She couldn’t give him a family to love, she could be there every day to comfort him. It wasn’t fair of her to do this to him. To reopen wounds he’d healed over. “Family..” she whimpered, oh how she wanted that.
“Hey…” Swift sat up in bed, reaching toward her, trying to touch her, to wipe away her tears like he would wipe away Mag’s when things got rough… Magdalene. An invisible force stopped him from reaching Onyx. He settled back, defeated and full of guilt, guilt of having Onyx not be the mother of his beautiful twins. “I’m not in love with her. It was a mistake. We got drunk one night and it happened… nine months later the twins were born. I named my son after you. Titus Onyx Maylin-Solomon.”
Onyx looked at him, she didn’t want a child named after her, She wanted to be the child’s mother. “birdy… just fly away.” She sighed, “She can give you everything I can’t.” admitting that hurt the most. “I’m nothing but a memory now. Another lost tribute.” She looked at him with a tearful gaze, just let him go. Let him move on and let him forget you. Lessen his pain and fade away into the past. “Forget about me, Swift.” She breathed, how odd it felt to not call him Birdy. “Forget me and you can love her.” She stared at him, trying to believe the lie. “You are another game I lost. She got you, she won you over.” She failed again.
“Stop that.” Swift stared at her, like his heart was wrenched out of his chest. “Stop thinking that for a second, I ever stopped loving you. The reason I lost my mind, the reason I did it, the reason I’m still alive right now is because of you. I don’t love her, Onyx! I still love you!” He was shouting now, his voice rough with pain and with a tone of regret. “I don’t need your guilt, or your presence right now, because in a few weeks, I get to watch two children die again! This is the life you left me in, Onyx, be glad you died! Be glad you never have to experience this!”
She stood up, “I didn’t choose to leave you!” She cried, “I was taken from you.” she ran her hands through her hair. “Its not fair!” She hissed, her voice wavering. “Its not fair, Swift! Why can she get you and she doesn’t even love you! I love you so much and I can’t have you!” She turned to him, “It’s not fair that I died and you lived. You don’t deserve the pain of this, you’re too good. I could have handled it!” She brushed away the tears, “I was just the crazy broken girl who didn’t know any better. Nothing hurt me then, nothing hurt like this hurts right now. I could have done the cold Victor thing, but you. Birdy… that’s not you. You’re heart is too perfect, you are too good for all of that. You don’t deserve that pain.”
“Stop it, just stop.” Swift looked ready to cry himself now. “She doesn’t get me, Onyx! You’re the only one who ever had me! She was a drunken one-night stand and we’re friends, we have kids together now and I can’t-and won’t- leave her. You couldn’t handle this, Onyx, you wouldn’t be able to stand it! You’d be in a straightjacket in the Capitol psych ward in a matter of days! I killed people like you did, Onyx, I murdered a little girl, and I am not too good for anything!” His voice was raw as he screamed. Wake up, wake up, please let me wake up.
The tone changed, and Onyx felt his words like a slap across the face. She looked at him, “Of all the people who’ve called me crazy…” Her blue eyes fell in shame, “I never thought you would have ever called me that, Birdy.” The silent tears fell from her eyes. “You were the only person who made me feel like I wasn’t crazy…”
“Shit, that’s not what I meant… you wouldn’t be able to handle that feeling, Onyx. You’re too kind and gentle of a person to understand how it feels. It would drive you crazy, like it has so many of us in the past, and will so many of us in the future.” Swift wished he could hold her, and make it all go away. “I never would call you crazy. You were so much more to me than that.”
“You just did…” She looked at him, the hurt in her eyes. “Do you want me to act crazy? Is that what you want? Because I’ll step up to the role. I’m an actress, Swift. You know that? They teach us that in District 1, to trick people. Deceive them. You were just a prop in my show. You were a supporting actor, but you played it so well. Long after I was gone.” She felt crazed, tears flowing from her eyes. Spitting out the most hurtful thing she could say. It was all a lie, she couldn’t ever fake this love, but he hurt her. He had to hurt too.
“No… shut up.” Swift said, quietly. “SHUT UP! YOU’RE NOT REAL, ONYX!” He roared. “YOU’RE DEAD! YOU’RE FUCKING DEAD! THIS ISN’T REAL, THIS MEANS NOTHING! YOU’RE DEAD!” Swift shot awake again, alone, no Onyx, nothing. Hot tears dripped down his face. He half-expected Adelaide to come running, but remembered she slept with her hearing aids out, she wouldn’t hear a sound. His heart dropped at the next noise he heard.
Swift whipped his head around, met with the sight of two-year-old Titus, holding himself up in the crib on unsteady legs, happy with himself for saying his first-ever word. Dead. What kind of a sick, twisted world did he live in where his son’s first word wasn’t Mommy, or Daddy, or love, but dead? It make his heart break. But he needed to praise the little boy for speaking. He scooped up Titus and carried him to bed with him. “That’s right, Titus…” he said, his words shaky and unsure. “She is dead.” Titus put his tiny hand on Swift’s star and asked again, “Dead?”.
“Yes, dead.” Swift said, the tears escaping his eyes again. Titus frowned at the tears on his father’s face and looked up into his eyes. “Dada?” he asked. Swift’s face lit up. “Yes, Titus, Dada! Good!” He wrapped the little boy into his arms and laid down, waiting until the little boy’s breathing evened. He wasn’t sleeping again. Not for a while.
Written by: Ivory ( aka Onyx) HGOP33 Victor and Swift HGOP 40 Victor
Thoughts wildly pulsed through Shade’s mind, racing around as he raced away from the pack of boys. He was being chased, hunted like a rabbit, running from a hungry pack of wolves. Skidding around a sharp corner and diving through the hole in an old, rotted fence. His legs burned and begged for relief, Shade pushed on. They wouldn’t catch him today.
The wall leering in his way thought otherwise.
Shade’s mouth gaped open, still unaware he wouldn’t be escaping today. He threw himself at the wall, clinging himself to holes in the wall, attempting to pull himself over to safety. But the wolves caught up, lifting him off the wall them shoving him into a corner.
He was surrounded.
The three boys stood in a semi-circle, closing him into the corner, no means of escape. One boy stood slightly in front of the others. The mayor’s son, Nicholas. A evil, toothed grin spread over his face, a gleaming look studded his eyes. “Well then, you managed to run for incredibly longer today. For that, we’ll just have to thrash you harder.”
An eruption of nasally laughter filled the three boys and Shade’s heart sunk. He thought he had escaped the beatings when he ran away from his alcoholic father, but now on the outside it was even worse.
Shade raised his fists, a feebly attempt to defend himself.
The secret was there.
It could kill him.
He could be the wolf today.
As Nicholas lunged forward, intent on breaking down Shade’s defenses, Shade whipped out the long, curved knife that was hidden in his back pocket.
Shade heard a gasp, and as Nicholas slumped to the ground, so did Shade. He fell on his knees, his mouth agape and eyes glued to the ground. He heard feet pounding away, he felt something forming around his knees. He couldn’t move, Shade couldn’t think except for one repeating thought.
“You’re a killer. You’re a killer. YOU’RE A KILLER.”
Shade finally snapped out of it. He looked down at Nicholas, his face pale, drained of the blood that was flooded around Shade’s legs. The rain beat down on Shade, accusing him. He was a killer, he could never take that back. Shade poked out one finger, dipping it into the blood that spilled from the would. He pressed the red liquid against his skin, tracing a lightning bolt onto it Signifying what he was. Devastating and quick as it could be.
He was the lightning.
He was the wolf.
He was a killer.
And he was perfectly okay with that.
Submitted by: Shade Mire (Talon) HGOP43 talon-greye.tumblr.com
Ivory sat on the couch on her District floors living room, listening to the Distant sounds of Tyberius and Topaz doing what they did best, arguing. Ivory was exhausted from the week of constant bickering, she knew twins were a handful. Her own twins, Jasmine and Timber proved that, but Tyberius and Topaz were so much harder to handle. Slam! Ivory heard the familiar sound of the door being hurled shut, and then the hurried footsteps from one of the twins.
Topaz rounded the corner a smug grin on her face, appearing as if she won the fight. Ivory sighed, “Not so fast, Topaz.” Ivory called out and set down her book, “I need to talk to you.”
Topaz frowned and walked over to the couch and sat down, silently, for once the little girl didn’t have a comment. But Ivory assumed too soon, as Topaz opened her mouth, “You…”
“No, Topaz.” Ivory cut across, “It’s time for you to listen to me, and listen very closely because tomorrow is the start of the game.”
Topaz stiffened and widened her eyes, but didn’t open her mouth this time.
“I’ve let you and Tyberius bicker and fight all week, ever since that train ride. I’ve let you act like animals during your interviews, and around the other mentors and tributes. But I will not let you carry on this way in the arena. Tomorrow it stops, and I mean it Topaz. It’s not cute, and it’s not funny.” Ivory stared at the little girl intensely.
“But he…” Topaz interjected.
Ivory held up her hand, “Topaz I am talking right now, and you will listen to me. Because tomorrow once you get on that hovercraft, I can decide if I want to bring either of you back. I can fight to get you gifts or I can do nothing and watch you die.” Ivory hated to say it but this had gone too far. These two had pushed her limits and now it was time to understand they were wrong. “You may not like to hear it, Topaz, but Tyberius is your brother. That’s something you can’t deny no matter how much you wish it. Come tomorrow, you two will find out just how much you might need each other. I won’t be there to help you, it’ll be all on you. It’s your fate you carry in your hands tomorrow.”
“But Miss…” Topaz whined.
“I am not done, Topaz.” Ivory breathed, “If you both fight and carry on like this in the arena, you’ll both go home in a coffin. Believe it or not Topaz, you are no more special than the other Career children. Walking around fighting with Ty over who will get to kill each other first, is ridiculous and embarrassing. Think of your family, they have not one child but two in this game, they are bound to lose one if not both of you. So I am asking you to show me the respect I deserve for one more night, and find it in you to be civilized.”
“But, Ty will die fir…” Topaz interjected.
“Topaz!” Ivory yelled, “Enough already!” Ivory turned to face the girl, looking her harder in the eyes. “You are going into an arena that was made for kids older than you. It’s about time you act your age and grow up a little. You’ll find out that acting like a child will get you nowhere in that place. They round up children for sport, Topaz. It’ll only make you an easier target.”
Topaz started to cry but Ivory knew all too well the little girl wasn’t upset, she knew how Topaz operated. “Topaz…” Ivory said evenly, “Stop with this crying, you know that it won’t work on me.”
Topaz sniffled and wiped her tears, “Stop telling me what to do!” the little girl pouted. “You don’t know anything about me!”
Ivory smiled, unphased, “Topaz, I might not know much about you but I do know for certain what will happen if you keep going on like a little diva. This entitled attitude will do nothing for you in that area. You will die, Topaz, if you don’t learn how to become the person you need to be tomorrow. Favored, spoiled and entitled little girls have no place in the arena. It’s about time you become the career now. Calculative, strong and reserved. It’s okay to be confident, Topaz. But being cocky and cruel to Tyberius will not help you at all. If anything it’ll drive him to kill you first. You are fueling his fire to fight, how about you focus on fueling your own fire. You’ll need it tomorrow.”
Topaz looked up at Ivory, it was clear that something had hit home. The girl settled down slightly. “Topaz, you might not like what I’ve just told you, but I’d rather not see you die in the bloodbath tomorrow, sweetheart. When I see you I see my little girls. You know Jasmine and Violet. I love you Topaz but please just this once, listen to me.”
Topaz nodded, “Okay, Miss Ivory.”
Ivory stood up and lightly braided the little girls hair, “No you need to sleep, off to bed now. It’s not a question, go on.” Ivory ushered Topaz down the hall to her room and tucked her in. “Good night Topaz, remember… Dream of how you’re going to make me proud tomorrow.”
Ivory smiled as Topaz softly said her goodnight, now she walked down the hallway and headed off to tackle the other twin. Ready to give the other one a similar speech.
Written by Ivory, requested by Topaz Selkirk, tribute in hgop 45.
Ivory walked down the hallway to her room, another late night in the Capitol. Having spent most of her night on the phone with her husband who elected to stay home with their newborn twins. It was late and she noticed the lights still on in Justice’s room. With a soft knock Ivory pushed the door open and saw her tribute perched on the window seat in her room.
“Justice, sweetheart. You have your private training in the morning, first one up. You need your rest.” She pulled back the covers on the girls bed and fluffed a few pillows.
“I know, Miss Ivory.” The girl smiled, “I’m just so excited.”
Well, at least she was excited and not mortified, Ivory thought. The horrified tributes broke her heart, the tears at night, the sobbing moments before training and the interviews. With a small smile she looked at the girl, “Excited? I’m sure you will stun them, we always do.” Ivory delved into her own pride. It was hard to abandon her career instincts even now as a busy mother of 4.
“I want to follow in your footsteps, Miss Ivory. I’ll make you proud, I have my ways.” Justice smiled and slid into bed, Ivory tucking her lightly.
“You want to win, everyone does, you’ll be brilliant no doubt, Justice.” Ivory smiled, tucking a piece of hair out of Justice’s eyes. “We all had our ways to get what you want. It’s living with it that becomes even harder.”
Justice smiled, “What did you do to win Miss Ivory. I saw how your fought but what drove you to need to win?” the girl melted back in her pillows. Ivory sat on the edge of the bed and considered the question.
“Well… It’s simple…” Ivory nodded, “Justice. I needed justice for myself. I was abused my whole life, and winning the game held the key to freedom and justice for the wrongs done to me.”
Justice smiled, “You are brave Miss Ivory.” The girl questioned, “What is it about how you won that makes you say living with it is hard?”
Ivory raised an eyebrow, this girl was sharp and inquisitive. She had a capable tribute on her hands. “Justice… it’s not the horrors of the 33rd game that keeps me up at night. It’s the far worse terrors I lived with for 17 years before the games. You will learn sweetheart, that there are worse games in life than the hunger games.”
Justice nodded, “I understand. Trust me Miss Ivory, I’ll make you proud of me. I can’t wait for morning. I have a lot of people I need to impress, I can’t wait to rise to the occasion.”
Ivory smiled brightly, “Okay sweetheart, rest then. Close your eyes and dream of that training arena, the interview stage and the arena. Dream of how you’ll make me proud, and everyone else back home. Let your dreams train your eager mind and then live them out with your body in the next few days.” Ivory gently flipped of the lights in her tributes room.
“Don’t worry Miss Ivory, you’ll have so much pride in me that you won’t know what to do with it all.” Justice sighed from the bed and finally settled down.
“Okay, Honey.” Ivory chuckled lightly and shut the door, she couldn’t help but realize that her eager tribute reminded her so much of her ownself in the 33rd games. Confident in the face of everything. Ivory smiled and walked to her bed and prepared to wake early and set her tributes up for one hell of a ride.
Written by Ivory, request from D1 tribute Justice from HGOP 39.
In the last moments of my life, I feel loved.
And that’s all that matters.
Submitted by Eilley December (cinnahummel.tumblr.com), Tribute in the 42nd/44th HGOP
“Can we both win?” he asked.
Ivory walked into her familiar home in the District 1 Victors Village, it had change slightly from the first time she ever set foot in it. It was more inhabited by her husband, Sheb and her children. She always dreamed of having this family, to do nothing but love all of them and soak in their love in return for the cruel childhood she had. Her tortured past barely became a problem these days. Her failures as a Victor and her traumatic childhood gave her nightmares, but what Victor didn’t suffer from those? She watched as her crowd of children raced for the house eager to get home from their trip to the Capitol, and just as eager to welcome Tyberius into the family. The little Victor boy, essentially unwelcome in his own home was son to become part of Ivory’s family. Sheb hugged and kissed each one of the kids as they walked in, squeezing 13 year old Thet’s shoulder, rustling Timbers hair, and picking up and swinging his little angels around, Violet and Jasmine. He even warmly hugged Tyberius, and as the kids raced up the stairs to get Tyberius a spot in the boys room.
Ivory smiled weakly and melted into Sheb’s strong arms, the weight of what happened in the Capitol was crushing her. “I missed you, sweetheart.” Sheb breathed and pulled her inside. “You were brilliant this year. Bringing home a Victor.” He kissed her softly and held her close.
She tucked her head into his chest and crumbled, unable to hold back the tears. She brought home a Victor but at the cost of her baby, the stress and reality of this quell had been too much on her. “Sheb…” Ivory whimpered, her eyes alight with tears and pain.
Sheb was accustomed to this, the deaths of her tribute each year always took this toll on her. She always came around after a few days, she always did. He kissed her head and took her to the kitchen and poured her a glass of water. Ivory scooted into a tall chair and leaned her elbows on the counter, covering her face.
Sheb gently took her hands from her face and scooted the chair to face him, “Sweetheart, I know it was rough. They were so young this year, and the quells are always harder. I’m here for you darling.” He soothed, wrapping his arms around her. “You’ll get past this like the other times, I promise.”
Ivory shook her head, “You don’t understand…” She sobbed harder, Sheb held her tighter trying to calm her down so she wouldn’t frighten the kids. They were used to one of their parents have night terrors, but the kids never saw the tears. Especially from Ivory, unless they were happy tears.
Sheb sighed, “Yes… I do.” He stated, “I’m a Victor too, Ivory.” He rubbed her back, “I’ve lost tributes, I’ve known the heartbreak that come with working so hard to have just one survive and then coming home with nothing but two bodies. I understand, Ivory, don’t tell me I don’t.”
Ivory fought to contain the broken sobs but she was so sick, so disgusted with herself, so broken inside. She failed, she failed so much this time. “It could have been ours.” She breathed, hot tears trailing her face, “Thet and Violet, she’ll be of regular age next year. He survived his first. Sheb, I can’t mentor if it’s one of them. I can’t take my child there and set myself up for the curse all over again.”
“But darling I understand that.” He pressed his lips to her temple. “I know our kids are entering the reaping pool, and there’s nothing we can do to stop it.” He tipped her face to his, “Listen to me, that curse is not real. You are not a failure, you won this year. You brought Tyberius back. We have our kids and a long year ahead of us before we have to think of the games again. By then the new one will be here, darling. Look forward to meeting that baby.”
Oh but the curse was real… She brought home a Victor at the expense of her unborn child. She failed at the one thing she knew she could be good at, being a mother. She couldn’t save that little baby. She failed at the only thing she wanted to do with her life, to be a mother. To be a mother like the one she never had. To give her children siblings like the family she never had and love them like she had never been loved. She sobbed harder, shaking her head no.
“What do you mean ‘no’?” He asked wiping her tears, looking genuinely concerned. She never cried like this, not even during her games, she never even let a tear fall when she was brutally injured. “Ivory, what happened?” He tried to look her in the eyes but she wouldn’t even look at him. What was she so ashamed of?
“I lost the baby, just like I lost Topaz.” Ivory felt a surge of tears fall down her cheeks. “I fail her family, and I failed ours.” Admitting her failure to him hurt even worse, she let him down.
He sighed, his own heart wrenching for that baby but more so for his wife. “Ivory…Shhh..” he held her closer to him, “Listen to me, darling. You did everything you could for that little girl and our baby. You did the best you could in that toxic environment.” He lifted her chin, “Look at me, Ivory.” He asked, his fingers softly wiping tears from her flushed cheeks.
Her hands clutched into his shirt, she lifted her eyes and looked at him. Feeling vulnerable, defeated and ashamed.
Sheb read those emotions in her eyes, “Don’t for one second think you are a failure. Never resign yourself to that. You are my world, and you’ve given me 5 reasons to wake up every day in this hellish place. 4 beautiful healthy children and yourself, the only person who brought me out of my own darkness. You light up my life, Ivory. Nothing you do will ever change that. I love you no matter what.” He kissed her lightly and wrapped his arms around her again, cradling her against his chest.
She let his words sink in as she listened to his heart beating, using it to help slow her frantically beating heart. Maybe he was right, she had 5 reasons to get up as well. Their kids and the love of her life. “I love you, Sheb.” She breathed, catching her breath.
Sheb kissed her again, but as they had become accustomed to, their privacy was interrupted by the high pitched wail from little Jasmine. “Mommy!!” The little girl cried out from outside, “Thet and Tyberius are fighting!”
Ivory pulled away from the kiss, ready to pounce, but Violet’s voice sounded next, “Jaz! They aren’t really fighting!” the two little girls ran into the house, “Momma! I told her it wasn’t real! She doesn’t believe me! She called me a liar!” Violet pouted.
“No! You called me stupid first! You started it, now you’re being a liar!” Jasmine scowled.
Sheb chuckled and kissed her cheek before turning around, “Jaz, Vi, say you’re sorry. Mommy had a rough trip to the Capitol, she’d like it if you girls behaved for a while.” That comment would work on Jasmine, who at 8 years old wanted to make her mommy happy all the time. Violet was a force to be reckoned with at 11 years old, turning out to be a diva. Sheb ushered the girls out of the door and grabbed Ivory’s hand leading her out to the yard to watch their 5 kids and Tyberius spar with wooden weapons.
Submitted by: Ivory Vale, Victor of HGOP 33
It had been years since Magdalene had seen her family. Her little brother had spoken out against the Capitol and beaten to death for it, the rest of her family taken away to an unknown location. It was only approximately three weeks a year that she could see Swift, the father of her children, and her only true company now was her daughter, Mahogany, now that Titus had been taken to District 6 with his dad.
Mahogany was now learning to crawl. Her deep brown eyes were the same color as her father’s, the perfect shade to fit her name. Magdalene had dressed her in a comfortable onesie that she had obtained in the Capitol upon her last… visit. During which, Mahogany had stayed with Elias’s family.
The Victory Tour of the 45th Hunger Games had come to a close about a month ago, during which Magdalene had been sent to the Capitol to do her “duty” to President Snow. It grew worse every time that she was sent. Now that she had had two children that weren’t Snow’s, though, Magdalene’s trips had turned torturous. Not only was the abuse violating as usual, but they had turned violent and nearly lethal. On her return trip from the Capitol this year, Madgalene had to nurse a black eye and a dislocated shoulder back to health. She didn’t bother hiding her injuries from the other members of her District. Most of them never paid much attention to her, anyway.
Mahogany was slipping her way around the hardwood floor of the kitchen in Magdalene’s mansion in the Victor’s Village when a knock was heard at the door. This was odd, but a welcome change. The baby that now gave her companionship was doing wonders for Mag’s previously deteriorating mental health and Mag was longing for some friends besides those that inhabited the Victor’s Lounge.
Picking up her baby and cradling her in the crook of her arm, Magdalene walked over to the front door and turned the knob. The sight in front of her startled her more than she imagined possible. Standing frozen in the threshold of her door, Magdalene stared at the sight in front of her.
A girl, no older than 18, stood at the threshold of her door. Most of her blonde hair had been burned off and her skin looked sallow and sunken. Her body was scrawny and malnourished, but in her eyes there was a familiar gleam. The girl smiled and in that instant, Magdalene recognized her.
“Esther!” Magdalene breathed. Quickly, she set Mahogany down on the floor behind her and embraced the little sister she had thought was dead. Magdalene had been 19 when she had last seen her sister, and Esther 14. It was now 4 years later, almost precisely to the date on which her family had been taken away from her. Esther had grown up, but where and how, Magdalene was more than curious to know.
Esther looked behind Magdalene and gasped, grinning as widely as she could when she saw little Mahogany. Magdalene blushed and picked her daughter up, offering her to her sister.
“But… how? Who?” Esther looked into Magdalene’s eyes quizzically.
“Let’s go inside first and I’ll explain everything there. More importantly, you’re going to explain everything that’s happened to you. I thought you were dead! Are Mom and Dad…?” Magdalene led her inside and sat her down on a chair opposite her couch.
“Mom and Dad… I guess you could say they’re all right. They’re not the same, though. None of us are,” Magdalene could tell simply from the tone of her sister’s voice. It was rougher, more mature than she had ever imagined it could be. This was coming from her bubbly, effervescent sister. The sister who had been 13 during Mag’s Games and had held her hand before Mag left and who had known that Magdalene could make it out of the arena in one piece.
“Malachi…” Magdalene began, but the mention of their brother made Esther’s muscles tense.
“No. We’ll talk about him later. No,” Esther bit back the harsh words that were about to come out of her mouth and kept it at that. “I want… I want to hear what’s been going on with you, Maggie.”
The sound of her childhood name brought tears to her eyes. It had been so long since Magdalene had seen her family. “Things have been… interesting, I suppose. I’ve been mentoring tributes and failing more and more miserably each time. I’ve been cooking a lot.”
“Hanging out with the other victors?”
“The other victors…” Magdalene took a deep breath. “Well, one of them is Mahogany’s father. Swift. He’s, um, he’s… great.”
“But what about Jessie?” Esther asked.
“Jessie’s been dead for 5 years, Es,” Mag looked down to the floor. “I’ll always love him, but I need to move on. No, Swift isn’t the same person as Jessie. He’s not as soft spoken or gentle as Jessie. He’s not as perfect as Jessie. But he’s kind and good to me. And I’m not sure what we are, even. Sure, we have a pair of twins together, but… but… I don’t know.”
Esther grinned at her. “That’s ok. We have a lot of catching up to do, Sis.” She reached out and Mag handed Mahogany to her. “I want to get to know this little girl as well as I can. And I can tell something’s going on with you, too, Maggie. I want to hear all about it.”
With a sigh, Magdalene moved over and sat next to her sister, wanting more than anything to go back to when neither of them
Submitted by: Magdalene Solomon Victor of the 42nd HGOP
“We missed you,” Chriselda whispered as she brushed the small boy’s hair with her fingers.
“I missed you too,” Willy’s voice echoed in the brightness of his personal heaven. “But I failed you… I didn’t do my best…”
“What are you saying? Failed us? All we wanted was for you to come back… We love you.” Tucker pulled Willy into his lap and hugged him. “I didn’t want to have to kill you, though. I’m sorry if it hurt.”
Willy touched his chest, right by his heart, and shook his head. “No… it didn’t hurt.”
“Good.” Chriselda wrapped her arms around both of the boys and Tucker began to hum.
“I got 3rd this time, though. Not 4th!” Willy grinned.
“And we’re so proud,” both Tucker and Chriselda spoke simultaneously.
“Welcome back,” Tucker whispered as the light around them began to fade.
Written by Wilfred “Willy” Perkins, Resurrected Tribute in the 44th Games