Hello! It's me, Bowler! This story is based off of Ruetheday's prompt: Frozen in Time. Here we go! I hope you guys like it! This is for my tribute Lero Kiva.
For some unknown reason the tribute's eyes draw me in. They're light green in color, but have bright flecks of brown. They're different, just like the tribute was. Her name was Totem Earhart. She was from District Six, the female tribute in this year's Games. She died only minutes ago. Her body is still warm. My first warm body.
My fingers move over her eyelids and they shut. Those eyes … they are haunting. There was so much promise in the girl. I take the rag from my apron and wipe the drying tears from the girl's cheeks.
She was strangled, Totem. The boy from Seven, Lindon Lizar put his arm around Totem's neck and squeezed. She thrashed around madly in protest. Then he ended her. Totem did put up a good fight though. She tried, but ultimately lost.
Thinking back upon the battle, it was surprising that Totem was the one to throw herself at the boy. I remember the cameras zooming in on Totem's eyes; how so much anger was wrapped up into her green orbs.
Totem screamed like a madman, a battle cry of sorts and charged the boy. The boy, Lindon spun around to meet Totem's fury with a wicked grin. Totem brought down her weapon, a small sickle at Lindon's skull. He dodged the attack, the sickle hitting his arm though. He kicked her ribcage and ripped the sickle out of his arm. Totem still held on to her weapon like it was a life-preserver. She then kicked Lindon, who proceed to fall down. Then Totem sliced him. I was sure that she was the victor of that battle. But it didn't seem to hurt the boy, I had gazed with wonder at the vermillion line on him, I watched the blood seep out.
Lindon did not look like he was enjoying this fight like he had the other two he had been in. In the previous two he had killed both of the tributes he fought against. But those two tributes were weak. This tribute, Totem Earhart, was where he met his match.
Totem had gotten him against a tree; she was ready to deliver the death blow when Lindon began to fight back. He kicked her away and Totem's sickle remained in the tree's trunk while Lindon tackled her.
I examine Totem's arm. Blood drips from a bite wound; a bite given to her from Lindon Lizar after he got her on the ground.
Totem wailed in pain as Lindon bit her already wounded arm; but she punched the boy hard in the jaw with her other arm. He released her and fell into the snowy ground of the arena. Totem came from behind him.
"You. Freaking. Asshole," Totem shouted, breaking Lindon's ribs with several solid kicks. I had cheered the girl on from the television down in the morgue.
Obviously the Lizar boy had never gotten such a fight as this. I could practically see the anger boil inside of him. He spun on the ground which unfortunately made her fall. Then he got on top of her, put his arm around her neck and squeezed. Totem resisted though, clawing at his arm. He only squeezed harder.
Totem then began to cry. She had gotten so far, but she knew she was fighting an uphill battle. I knew she wasn't going to win.
"I remember watching your reaping," I say to her, stroking her dark brown hair, "All you said was, "Shit". And some of your relatives, they fought back the Peacekeepers," I can feel my eyes water.
I smile a little at Totem, "You're the first one I've cried over, you know that? I suppose it was your promise, that glint in your—your,"
I re-open the dead girl's bright eyes. I see the promise. I see the anger. The hate. The fear. The odd sense of lost innocence. The life. It all seems frozen in time.
"Eye. The glint in your eye."
After these Games, the one with Totem in them, the 64th, I decided to quit my job at the tribute morgue. I personally escorted Totem's body back to her home district, Six. Something in time froze when Totem died. I don't know if I can explain it; it's caught in her eye. Something primal and real; and I just can't figure it out.
I also attended her funeral. I wanted to meet her family; it could have been one thing about her family that gave her that frozen look in her eye.
I met her brothers and God-father. Hawk and Stoic Earhart, her brothers and Henry Slate, her God-father. The three of them were fine gentlemen.
"Hello, I am Zima Harding. I prepared Miss Earhart's body after she passed," I said to her brother, Hawk I believe. The man gave me an odd look. I searched his eyes for what had been frozen in his sister's. It wasn't in his eyes. It was something unique to the girl then.
I watched as they buried Totem beside her parents. Hot tears trailed down my cheeks.
"The time," a voice said from behind me. I turned around to see an older man. He smiles lightly at me.
"I heard you talking to the Earhart family. You work at the tribute morgue, I see," the old man said.
"Worked. I've quit after this year's game," I replied.
"It's good to hear that I wasn't the only one who quit after seeing that…look in some of the dead tributes eyes. I'm Luther Botch, I used to work at the tribute morgue," the man quietly nods back.
After the funeral, Mr. Botch and I go to his house. He makes tea and we sit at the table in his kitchen.
"So you've seen the look?" I ask. Botch nods his head, "The eyes…..they look frozen in time; like that part of them is still alive,"
"Yes," Botch utters, sipping his tea, "The eyes, I reckon…" Botch quiets down. I lean in, wanting to hear what he says. He leans into my ear.
"The eyes, they capture the very soul of the tribute. The soul is locked away into the eyes. I mean, can the tribute's soul ever really leave them? Some of them have killed; they all are killed at some point. They can't go anywhere really. There is no Heaven or Hell for them to go to. They all are trapped. And the victor; oh the victor; the poor thing never really leaves that arena, now do they?" Botch ghosts into my ear.
"But I've worked in the morgue for years. Why did Totem's soul decide to have its presence known? I've never had that happen," I say. Is this old man just crazy or is he telling me something truthful?
"Was Miss Earhart's body still warm when you received it?" Botch questioned. I nodded.
"She was my first warm body," I say quietly.
"Well there's your answer. Her soul was still strong. Her pulse may have stopped but her spirit lived on….just a little longer."
Just a little longer. Totem Earhart's spirit wanted just a little longer; but I gave her soul much time in my heart. The one little bit of moxie and promise will dwell in my heart – forever.
I will never forget the pair of green eyes that held the soul, frozen in time.
So yeah…here's my submission to Ruetheday! I hope you like it!
Acknowledgements: Totem was actually a character in the SYOT "Fading to Darkness" by ATallTale. Go check it out! It's brilliant! The death scene in this is almost identical to "Fading to Darkness", but the real deal is better than mine "You. Freaking. Asshole," oh I just love that part!
I hope you guys like it!