Silver Parachutes or Something

"Far below, I can just make out Finnick, struggling to hang on as three mutts tear at him. As one yanks back his head to take the death bite, something bizarre happens. It's as if I'm Finnick, watching images of my life flash by. The mast of a boat, a silver parachute, Mags laughing, a pink sky, Beetee's trident, Annie in her wedding dress, waves breaking over rocks. Then it's over."


6. A Pink Sky

My dad used to hate the sun when it rose like a bloom over the water; pink and full and heart-broken. He used to say “You can’t trust a pink morning sun – the rain hides behind it and the fish flee before it,” but I loved it all the same.

He used to say “if you want to love the sky – and I don’t blame you because there isn’t much else to love – then love the night sky. The moon and the stars are our atlas and anchor.”

“Shut up dad,” I think I once said, “You’re ruining it.”

“Ruining what? A Godforsaken sunrise? When you’ve seen as many of them as I have, there comes a time when you don’t want to ever see another morning.”

I don’t suppose I understood at the time. I suppose I still believed that if I climbed a boat mast I might get a good enough view to glimpse Beyond Panem.

Oddly enough it’s something that’s never changed because I’ve never learned to hate the morning; I’ve only ever hated the night and am relieved when the sun pays a visit and silences it. Whether I was sleeping or waking, the night was a spectre. The night was a trident, a death trap, the capitol… it was whatever could scare me the most.

The night was Annie in the arena, watching executions and trying to swim in the opposite direction while the water and the blood rushed into her mind and stopped it from knowing itself.

Sunrise was Annie’s favourite time of day too and that, at least, did not change. Her love of pink suns could not be stained or stolen and I would relish that, feeling that, as long as she still loved something of her old life, she was not entirely lost.

The sun was pink in the clock arena and that made me smile because the colour of the sky didn’t change and as long as I could see the sunrise I could still remember Annie as something other than the screams of a jabber jay. We were beached as well and although the water was rigged and false it was comforting to have it there, an imposter with a familiar face. The sky was pink and we made our plan; we propelled ourselves into the lightning strike that changed everything.

Like Panem had been waiting for that sunrise the way fishermen wait for the rainclouds that follow its rose beds.

Funny, isn’t it? I ought to loathe roses – I know Snow too well to still think they’re beautiful – but somehow they’ll only ever be the colour of mine and Annie’s suns. Their plumed heads drooping in the nooses that pinned them to the sky, morning after morning. Pink-stained martyr after pink-stained martyr.

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