|Little Miss Prim & Proper
Author: Meg Dani PM
"Just two weeks after graduating with honors, and at the top of my class, I was given my first assignment. I would be replacing the District 12 Escort for the Hunger Games. My name is Effie Trinket, I turned twenty the day I received my diploma and I had yet to stop smiling." What happens when Prim and Proper meets Drunk and Disorderly? Rated M for later chapters.Rated: Fiction M - English - Romance/Drama - Effie T. & Haymitch A. - Words: 1,911 - Reviews: 3 - Favs: 4 - Follows: 8 - Published: 07-31-12 - id: 8379572
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Rules to Remember:
1. Keep pristine and proper manners at all times, holding the perfect posture and carriage. Appearance and charm matter.
2. Keep your schedule with you at all times. Do not deviate.
3. Never participate in public confrontation, do not allow anyone to see you shaken or flustered.
4. Always smile. A cheerful countenance can be the key to salvaging even the most horrific social disasters.
I scribbled these four rules into the cover of my journal and I had them on a paper pinned to my bedroom wall after my first day of class in the Capitol School of Charm and Etiquette. I was only fifteen years old and for the next five years of my life, this school was my home. They primped, trimmed, painted, tucked, and polished me, making me their doll as I went through the motions of becoming a prim and proper lady. Just two weeks after graduating with honors, and at the top of my class, I was given my first assignment. I would be replacing the District 12 Escort for the Hunger Games. My name is Effie Trinket, I turned twenty the day I received my diploma and I had yet to stop smiling.
I arrived at the District 12 penthouse apartment to interview with Darius Bolstram, the current escort. He was the picture of a Capitol citizen. His posture was straight with a practiced control, years of training and practical application giving him a look of ease and nonchalance that I envied. His sense of style was perfect, every inch of him covered in the latest rage from his hair to his shoes. His skin was shining with a biologically enhanced blue tint and I only prayed my stylists would be so skilled. His hair and nails were deep purple with ice blue tips to draw everything together with a charming symmetry.
From the moment he opened the door to greet me, Darius intimidated me. He was everything an escort should be and he knew it, too. His lavender eyes glanced over me with a veiled disdain even as he smiled brightly and invited me in with a gallant swipe of his arm.
"Welcome, welcome!" His deep voice melted like butter, taking my hand as I shyly stepped into the apartment. "I am Darius Bolstram, but I'm sure you know that! So very glad to meet you!" His deep blue lips barely brushed my knuckles as he brought my hand up for a kiss. "My, my…but they just get younger every year!" He shrugged with a sort of sigh and turned to lead the way to the couch where he took up a thick folder from the coffee table and flipped to the back. He glanced at a page and back to me, nodded, and smiled again. "Effie Trinket! I've heard good things about you, I have, indeed!"
He had heard of me? Good things? I smiled again, blushing and dropping my gaze. I was nervous, and he spoke so quickly that I had trouble controlling my emotions as my training had taught me. He was charming me and I could do nothing to stop him. "Ah! She blushes. A rare gift, my dear! It's rare that anyone have a natural blush these days! Please, do take a seat."
I felt my cheeks redden more, the blush spreading all the way to my ears as I cursed myself inwardly and took a seat, willing my teeth not to clamp down on my lower lip as I had a terribly bad habit of doing when nervous. I gracefully took the offered seat, my posture perfect, hands folded in my lap and chin inclined just the right amount to offer the best angle for any cameras that might be nearby (a habit engrained in me from the first day of classes) as I smoothed my skirt over my knees and hooked one foot daintily behind one ankle. Despite how intimidating I found Darius to be, I had a reputation for my perfect manners, my perfect posture, the perfect representation of a Capitol lady. I could be just as charming as Mr. Darius Bolstram, and I intended to show him.
I let my eyes roam the room, taking in the decor and looking for any signs of history of past Tributes, finding none. District 12 hadn't had a Victor since the 50th Hunger Games. There was a picture of the boy on the far wall, a banner hanging beneath the picture frame, bleached by the sun and years of going untouched. He looked to be no more than sixteen in the photo, dark wavy hair hung heavily on his head, coming just beneath his ears and going in all directions, shadowing piercing, deep set grey eyes. His mouth was a hard line, jaw clenched, and he glared into the camera as though he might come straight through the picture and destroy anyone who dared meet his gaze.
Haymitch Abernathy, Victor of the 50th Hunger Games!
I was transfixed, I couldn't tear my eyes away as I stared back at the photo. I had heard of Haymitch Abernathy, seen him in the media each year. He was a drunk now, an angry, violent, drunk who hated the world. He especially hated anyone and anything to do with the Capitol. It was common for Capitol Citizens to desire the Hunger Games Victors, finding excitement in the idea of the wildness that came out of them in the arena. Most years the career districts won, and they reveled in the attention poured out upon them, but Haymitch Abernathy, according to gossip, would have none of it.
"He's positively wild!" Varinia, a friend of mine from school had said one year. "I'd just melt if he spoke to me! Imagine spending an hour or two with his arms around you! I wouldn't mind him slaying me!"
"Manners! Don't be vulgar! He's got to be at least in his thirties, he's ancient. We're only seventeen, Varinia. The very idea is grossly inappropriate!" I'd scolded her at the time, blushing and horrified at the thought of her implications. I never understood the way everyone in the Capitol saw the Tributes from the Districts. Regardless of my training, my job, I was horrified and appalled at the idea of children being thrown into a fight to the death, but in Panem, one learns very early on that you do as you're told.
Darius cleared his throat, ripping my attention away from the angry looking boy and back to business. In his lap were six inches worth of notes with every detail he could possibly think of, and though I smiled tried to play off the way the picture had captivated me, Darius could not be fooled.
"I wouldn't let myself get my hopes up on that one." He said with a sardonic smirk. "All you'll get out of him is embarrassment, insult, and injury." One purple brow curved upward on his chiseled features as he looked me up and down. "He's really more trouble than he's worth, doesn't even bother with the Tributes most years. He may find you attractive with your curves, but don't expect him to do anything but drink and rage." His manicured hands straightened the papers on his lap, tapping them on his knees to make sure they were evenly stacked.
I felt my face go red again, wanting to hug myself to hide my "curves" that Darius had so boldly mentioned, but I refrained, simply shifting in my seat and switching the foot tucked behind my ankle with the other as I cleared my throat. At just twenty years old, I had graduated from the Capitol School of Etiquette and Sophistication and had been hand chosen by the Headmaster as a recommendation for Darius' replacement as an escort in the Hunger Games, taking his place with the team of District 12. As I listened to his brief on the District, I found myself thinking I had been thrown to the wolves.
"Well, then, shall we?" Darius opened his folder and skimmed the first page. "It is a mining district, as I'm sure you are aware." He went on, sounding almost bored. "It is also the poorest in Panem, so don't be shocked when you arrive and find it malnourished, anti-social and…filthy." He opened his folder to a page somewhere a third of the way in and I watched, nodding understandably to his comments about the monetary situation, dread collecting heavily in my gut. "Now, this is the most challenging part of this district. As you know," He leaned forward and crossed one ankle over one knee, pinching the bridge of his nose between two fingers. I swallowed hard and struggled to keep my smile in place.
"…As you know, each District team has a Victor from a previous year serving as a Mentor to the Tributes of the current year. The only Victor District 12 has is Haymitch Abernathy." His hand motioned toward the wall where my eyes had just been, the motion agitated, bleeding irritation. "Mr. Abernathy won the Games nineteen years ago in the 2nd Quarter Quell." As I listened, I noticed that Darius' body had tensed, every muscle in his face retracting until his lips curled into a sneer.
"Like I said, he'll be no help at all to you. It's like babysitting a wild animal with morphling withdrawals. The only thing I can tell you is be prepared for anything, expect everything, and have back up plans from B to Z. The only thing one can do with Haymitch Abernathy is damage control." Darius let his purple eyes scan over me again, reading me. "You're small, can't weigh much, either…and if you're always as quiet as you have been today then he shouldn't give you too much personal trouble. As long as you leave him alone, he'll leave you alone, or at least that's what I've found. As much as I dislike the man, he isn't predatory. That's as close as I can come to complimenting him."
My throat was painfully dry, and my stomach was knotted so tightly I feared I may never eat again. "I-I will do my b-best, thank you." I finally stuttered out. My first words spoken to Darius Bolstram. He watched my face for a moment, looking almost regretful and then leaned forward, offering me the folder with a sigh.
"I'm sure you will, I just hope you can find a bit more fire before meeting him than you've had here. You'll need it, or else you're not going to last a week with him." He stood and I joined him, hugging the folder to my chest. "I do wish you luck, Miss Trinket, study that folder. I've given you everything you need to know in those pages." He lead me to the door and opened it for me with a small bow at the waist. "You will find your new schedule on the first page. May the odds be ever in your favor."
Nodding, I stepped passed him into the hall and turned back to wave. Taking a deep breath, I managed to remember rule number 4.