"Wendy? Wendy?" Wiress asked before sliding off the couch. She sat down closer to the TV. "Wendy?" She asked. A man in a colorful suit was talking about the recap of the Games. "What about Wendy? Can you go back?" She asked. The TV went dark. "Daddy?" Wiress asked as her father dropped the remote control he was holding before pulling his wife into an embrace as they both sobbed. "Daddy?"
"Honey -" Mr. Carpenter began. "Oh - Honey - Wendy - We lost her, Wiress baby - We lost our Wendy - Our little girl - Wendy -" Wiress ran to her room and pushed hers and Wendy's beds together. She curled up with Wendy's blanket and began shaking. She knew Wendy had been in a tree and a bird had swooped down on the boy who was helping her. Everything else was a blur.
"Wendy." Wiress said again. She sat up. "Wendy - are you ok? Please - Please - don't be dead." She whimpered. Closing her eyes, she used The Force to try and contact Wendy somewhere in the Redwood Tree Arena. However, something told her that Wendy was gone. "WENDY!" She ran out into the living room. "MOMMY! DADDY! WENDY'S GONE - WENDY'S GONE!" She wailed before two shaking sets of hands picked her up. The Carpenters spent the rest of the day crying and mourning for their spunky wisecracking clever girl who would never return.
Wiress stood with her parents dressed in a simple black dress. Her mother was in a similar black dress and her father was in a black shirt and dress pants. They placed their left hands on the simple wooden box resting on a small platform. The Carpenters raised their right hands palms facing outward, fingers up and in a V at the ring and middle fingers in the district sign. They looked over at the Jones family who was doing the same thing around a smaller wooden box. Max looked over to Wendy's coffin, tears streaming down his face mingling with the light rain falling from a grey cold sky. "We are gathered here to mourn two lives cut short by revenge for our past." He said, his voice shaking. "Wendy Carpenter and Terrin Jones fought bravely and brought pride to their district. More importantly, while they were with us, they brought smiles and laughter as they shared their young lives with those around them."
Wiress let her tears flow freely. She thought about all the times she would snuggle with Wendy or how they would chase each other through their small apartment. She smiled remembering Wendy calling her Nerdling or making her change into something more fashionable. She would always remember her sister no matter what.
The mayor finished his speech and paused so the families could say their final goodbyes. "Wendy," Wiress began. "I'll always be your Nerdling. I love you." She kissed the wooden box imagining all the times she had kissed Wendy on the cheek before stepping back with her parents.
"Wiress, honey," Mrs. Jones beckoned her over. "Terrin always talked about you."
"Go on, honey." Mr. Carpenter whispered to Wiress. Wiress took Mrs. Jones' hand.
"Terrin -" Wiress began. She touched the small box. "Oh, Terrin, Thank you for being my friend and for helping Wendy and for liking me and - I love you." Wiress whispered. She smiled at Max who walked over to Wendy's box and said a few words. He lay a home made pin of a flower made of metal on top. "She would say that's pretty." Wiress whispered to Max. He gave her a sad smile. Wiress hugged Mrs. Jones before rejoining her parents. The two families wept as one as their children were lowered into the ground.
A month later, Wiress was sitting on the bench near the playground thinking about the first parcel day when she, Wendy, Terrin, and Max were all at the playground together. She had the little light controller in a box similar to the one Terrin had given her. Swinging her legs, she sighed hoping that the person who usually passed the playground would notice her presence.
Beetee saw the playground come into view as he walked home from his inventing shed. He thought about the summer spent with the Carpenters after his Games. Tears came to his eyes. He had seen Wiress at the funeral and given her a hug. She had thanked him, but he wondered if she was upset. Wendy was her world, and now her little world was certainly crushed. He paused watching the eleven year old girl sitting on the bench swinging her legs. She paused and wiped her eyes before swinging her legs again. Beetee sighed. He usually kept on walking, but he decided to at least say hi.
"Hey there, Wiress." Beetee said gently as large eyes locked onto his face.
"Hi." Wiress whispered. She smiled even though her eyes reflected sadness beyond her years.
"What were you thinking about?" Beetee asked siting next to her. Unlike last year, Wiress' toes touched the ground when she sat on the bench.
"Terrin and Wendy." Wiress replied. "Beetee, remember when you played with us?" Beetee chuckled. "That was fun." Wiress continued grinning.
"It was." He agreed.
"Wendy teased me for a long time. Like a really long time." Wiress smiled and blinked back a tear that trickled down the side of her face. Beetee reached out and wiped the tear away with his fingers.
"I wish I could've brought them both home for you." He whispered.
"I know." Wiress replied. She looked down at her box. "This was supposed to be Wendy's." She opened it. Beetee saw a coil of wire with an attachment on one end and a lever on the other. "You put the lever by your bed and connect the other end to your bedroom light." Beetee raised his eyebrows. "So if you have a nightmare, you can reach your light from your bed."
"You made this for Wendy?" Wiress nodded. "Why don't you have it in your room?" Wiress paused.
"I was - I thought you could use it more." Wiress began hesitantly. "I - I think Terrin and Wendy used The Force to tell me - you needed it." Wiress paused and smiled. "You needed to know I'm not mad, and they're ok." Beetee wrapped his hand around Wiress' smaller hand. They sat on the bench swinging their legs deep in thought.
"Thank you." Beetee said after a moment. "Wiress, Thank you so much." He smiled at the girl who's large eyes reflected wisdom beyond her years. She gave his hand a reassuring squeeze in return. "We'll figure out how to keep their memory alive. Together."
A/N: Thanks for reading! The sequel "Large Eyes Terrified" is now up!