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."


5. Beetee's Trident

I got my first proper trident when I was ten, I got my second when I was fourteen and I got my third when I was twenty four. In-between I had others but they were only for show; flashy accessories that supposedly enhanced my attractiveness. As though weapons were ever beautiful.

Beetee’s Trident was something else. My first was for the sea, my last was for the Capitol, both were exquisite but the latter was maliciously so.

Beetee’s Trident was like the first ripple of a dropped stone. It was the little nudge toward self-recognition that lead me to this; right here, right now, the mutations. It reminded me of the man I’d once been before… before everything, really.

I didn’t like my former self much but at least the reminder of it was a pointed finger telling me ‘look what you’ve become Finnick – a snivelling, self-pitying wreck who can barely stay off morphine’. A new trident meant a new start, another battle. Originally battles were against fish, then against boys, and finally against men.

I was actually terrified by the prospect of it, not convinced I had anything left to give without giving up, but simply holding that goddamn trident was like being charged up to a power supply. The old rush of tension and instinct flooded back in. The perfect beauty of the handle acted like a stimulant upon my twitching limbs. There suddenly seemed to be a difference between letting the Capitol push my face under water and being pushed down fighting.

There was a difference.

There is a difference… and maybe now I’m just trying to convince myself because I don’t want to feel like I inhaled the sea because I had no oxygen left to care but because I have a purpose.  In dying I’ll be leaching a little less oxygen from a mission that runs off of it.

I remember my dad teaching me to stab fish, back when it still felt like a game. Seeing how many fish could be skewered with the fewest number of ripples excited me. I used to relish it. I used to relish the power of being a puppet master who’d had the authority to steal life bestowed upon himself. I controlled what lived and what died with the flare of a trident. I hate myself for it but I can kind of see how The Capitol came to be The Capitol. Supreme. Life granters and life stealers; we were only ever just fish to them.

My father’s lessons were the only way I stayed alive in the arena and that was when I learnt that killing was not a game no matter what they decide to call it.

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