Grandeur


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She’s just a little girl; guiltless, blameless. She pays for her country’s crimes, fuels her country’s ignorance, prolongs her country’s folly. A mould of society, nothing more; nothing less, pretty and stupid, faint-hearted, spun along by all the other faint-hearts. The grandeur of her costume is enough to cover the imperfection inside her mind and heart; the splendor of her mask is too perfect to want to see the face beneath.
Who wants to break the mould, when you already fit the model? She is just a little girl, and she wants to be the biggest, best model. The prettiest: to have all the other little girls crying, dying to look like her, to wear her gown, to be who she is now. Her dresses will be the handsomest, the newest: dresses erupting in candy colours, ribbons the length of streets and frills the size of people. Netted tights the colour of bloated apples, shoes with heels like knives, swollen sleeves and vast skirts piled on top of each other to make the Princess’s mattresses on top of the Pea. She'll be the most magnificent, and all others will fade away beside her.

And who can blame her, the little girl? The stupid, stupid little girl, who will grow on the outside but die within? Can you blame her, the Capitol’s princess, who can’t turn the fame and fortune away? If it were anybody else, wouldn’t they also do the same, take the same? Why refuse? Wouldn't that be selfish: to turn away ignorantly what everyone else wants?

Just because she’s the lucky one, the pretty one, the jewel of her country, doesn’t mean she’ll stay that way forever. Because there’ll be others waiting behind her; prettier, younger, luckier. There are queues of them in the making, and the little girl’s prime is now. She should make the most of it while she has it still, because it won't be long.


The little girl waits in her bedroom, the dress of the world stacked around her, piles of scarlet and cerulean. Waterfall ruffles, trimmings and ten stone lace and silk from God knows where. A bodice of ribbon and satin, a waist three inches thin. Her hair is piled above her: a tower of curls and locks, the third colour she’s had this season, and the last her daddy can afford. It’s the colour of sun-kissed flaxen, corn waves like the fields her inferiors slave in, and its twice as pretty as Ruby’s, who swore she’d have hers nicer. The red-haired women plaited in the pearls, so that they would shine under the lights of the party. They all say she’ll look like she’s sparkling, shining, a little like District 12’s dress did. And the little girl wishes she could be on fire, because that’s what everyone’s talking about. They all love District 12 now, and that’s why  she’s wearing red – wearing the inferno - like Katniss. She knows they’re going to love this frock – specially picked out by her stylist.
Her hands hover over a box of lipstick, paint to smear across her face. Postbox red and blushed pink, pansy violet and natural tan. They all look fabulous on her – mommy said – and she wishes she could wear them all. But only one, only one, because that’s the fashion now. Anything else is ridiculous, lunacy: it’s her job to live in the now. Violet, violet, that’s what she’ll wear: wasn’t Glimmer wearing that only yesterday? She’s the District One exemplar, and everyone loves District One.
The little girl spreads it over her rosebud lips, puffing them out with all the vanity she’s worshiped for. Mommy did her make-up today, and it looks stunning. Her cheekbones are nonexistent, but they're now huge black contours, sloping, slashing, sliding. It’ll make her skinnier, because once she gets to the party she just has to eat. The food is the best in all of Panem, there. Or so they say.
Oh, the little girl can’t wait. And who can blame her? Its harmless, she’s helpless, and life is heartless.

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