disclaimer: the hunger games © suzanne collins.
note #1: oh but i adored johanna. naked chick with the bloodthirsty smile.
note #2: you want to do her too, don't you.

— a grave for a forgotten heart
by breakable bird

This Johanna learns well:

Life hurts. Life is insanity. Dying is easy, but Johanna dislikes easy things because if life sucks and the easy way out is dying, then being dead must suck an ever bigger deal. So she stands her ground, killing everyone who tries to kill her, and once she is a little girl of mischievous eyes and the next day she is playing a fucked-up game and the next she is winning—stand your ground, she remembers, never fall, they have to say «she is the one who won»—and then she's just... just Johanna.

Walking at the edge of life and death. It's like breathing less than an inch away from that goddamn barrier. Johanna dislikes water, electricity, clocks and blood (but this has a bit of a whatever hanging on its sharp, red-stained sides because how is she going to dislike blood? A victor?

What kind of moron would even dare to imagine—)

A victor is cursed, she learns. A mockingjay keeps silence when there is someone worth hearing. Tall, camera-ready boys with dark hair and pale eyes are meant to look at one woman only. She tries anyway, because it's like being eleven and wishing for a tesserae except dreading it too and picking locks to steal food because—

Because Johanna can. Because who cares. Because Johanna measures life like this: if you're not death, keep moving and shut your whiny ass because nobody gives a fuck. (This is life in the Districts. There is no life in the Capitol, and this she knows before stepping in a train full of girlish smiles and polite nods because Johanna has never, ever been stupid.) This man, she thinks as she stares at a President who will one day choke in his own blood, this man is a monster. And these are his puppets.

(Shut up, she says, we'll kill you anyway.) It's been three years since a war that never started and so never stopped and when Johanna is trying to lit a cigarette she thinks it's time to go see Katniss, who pulls herself from ashes like no mockingjay can (those suckers, she dislikes them too), or maybe go and shoot her head off like she's wanted since she was way too young and her heart way too warm and her life way too short. Life hurts, life sucks, life blinds you with white-hot pain and she is too fucked up, she is too stubborn to fall and in her pain there is no insanity.

(No relief.) She'll go screaming into the dark with her eyes wide open.

There are a few consolations: tall, camera-ready, dark haired boys who are dying inside because they've got a fancy job but still live in a world of ideals and rebels and muttering under their breath, so Johanna goes and fucks them (him) dry, wishing to feel something but morphling is strong and covers the need, fills its purpose. (Death. Doesn't remember her age these days, when her name was picked out by fate or destiny or some stupid shit like that.)

The woman wearing spine-breaking heels smiles, showing razor-sharp teeth and she knows. "Our lovely Johanna Mason!" (She hates that word.)

This Johanna remembers well: there is no life for a victor before the Games. (There is light, and there is laughter, and there is bubble-fragility and cloud-softness), and walking on that godforsaken arena is like waking up.

She welcomes the nightmare. (And leaves nothing behind.)