It's not often that I tell stories. Most of the good ones have already been told in one way or another. But I feel that this one is worth hearing. You see there comes a point in history, where all those who remember have died. Tales long since forgotten by the remaining population rest in the graves of those who were present, never to be heard again by the living. That is where I come in.
It is my job and resposibility to collect souls once their bodies have checked out. I meet everyone at some point or another. Most of the dead do not speak to me. They are bitter about their ends, and yearn to return to their past life. However, on occasion I come across a pearl in an ocean of rocks. These few welcome me. They walk beside me as my equal through the void to the other, final realm. It is on these rare occasions that I might get the privilages of hearing the story of their lives.
It is one of these specific occasions that I am going to speak about. It happened about a year ago. I walked into an arena that I had visited too many times already, and greeted a dead child at their corpse. I already was aware of the occasion, of course. Once a year every year, humans put their children into an arean to slaughter each other. They call it entertaiment. I call it a waste.
It is always haunting going into the arena. The atmosphere there is always tainted with things that I would rather not talk about. Even the humans sense it- the presence of something wrong and evil. Of course they are the ones who put it there, as their species is almost always the source of such things. The souls that I usualy pick up from these arenas are never whole.
Every single one of them welcomes me, but not in the conventional way. While the old and wise see me as a friend who will take me to old loved ones, those who come out of the arena see me as an escape. To them I am the end of their torchure, the only way out of their misery. If I arrive even seconds late, I will find them laying on the ground staring hollowly at their own blood. They have the expression of a veteran who had died in combat. The slump of one who had commited suicide, because they couldn't deal with their own lives. When they turn and see me, understanding registering in their guts, they do not feel joy, or even acceptance. I am a bitter relief to the exhausted. A guarentee of a final era of infinate sleep.
For the most part, these dead will not be forgotten. Their families will remember, as will the victor. Once every now and then there will be a re-run on the television that a few odd people might actually watch, and of course in the years to come there will be flashbacks of different highlights of a particular year. The entire nation will never forget the pain each tribute suffered.
This year was different though. Somehow, it has already begun to fade from the memories of the people. Alas, perhaps even the capitol citizens have been disturbed by the events that occurred in the stadium. Or perhaps it is the capitols doing. It wouldn't be the first time they made the Districts forget in the interest of order and control. You know that things are never good when shortly after the games conclude I have to make a visit to the head game maker.
So in the years to come the people of Panem will forget. The twenty-three tributes who died in that arena will fade into oblivion, the knowledge that there was in fact a 64th Hunger Games will be the only sign that they ever existed.
I know they existed though. I have heard their stories first hand, from the people who suffered the most because of this entire ordeal. You see, the child I mentioned earlier, they were one of the first to die. They told me of their past, of the hardships they had faced, and even I was appalled. I made it my duty that day to actually make an effort to hear from the others that were soon to follow in this one's footsteps. So that's what I did.
For the days and weeks to follow I questioned each of the fallen. I learned about their families, their friends, their hopes, their wants, their dreams. And I did something that I should never ever do. I felt it, in my gut, the injustice of their deaths. I cared for these souls that I ushered to the after life. It is never a little thing to die. Take it from someone who knows, life is precious.
So I made a promise, to retell their stories, as obviously no one else will. And then maybe, one day, these so called tributes, will return to their rightful place in history's memory.
The blog is at: fadingtodarknesshg .blogspot .com