Hey! This is for the Caesar's Palace forum's Back To School Fic Exchange, and is for Brooke (Deranged and meandering)! Based off her prompts: Elegance, desert, tiger lily. One-shot. Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy! :) Although I must apologize to Brooke in advance for doing so badly with the prompts.
Lily of the Valley
It didn't happen fast. The change that came over Thresh came ever so slowly. But he could feel the dark blood dripping from the gash in his head, and he knew that he was a goner. There was no way for him to survive the rest of the Games with the head wound that Cato had dealt. And the boy, the vicious Career that snapped when Thresh refused to join the alliance, left him to bleed out. A drawn-out death for the boy from Eleven.
He didn't want it to end this way. But he knew that he was going to die. From the minute that he'd stomped up to the stage at the reaping, seeing his sister's wide eyes in the crowd, he knew that it was over.
And he knew that he was slipping into hallucinations. That hit to the head was making flashes of color and little sparkles rain from the sky, instead of the water. Instead of the tears that the Gamemakers coaxed out of the sky. The sky tears that mixed with Thresh's blood on the forest floor, becoming a soup of watery blood.
He struggled to sit up. "Nooo," he moaned, his voice barely audible. "Want to die in the real world..." But he knew that he was slipping into a shimmery land of fake things. Fake things that would hide the real world. Couldn't a sponsor give him some medicine, so he could head off the hallucinations and maybe heal his wounds?
But no. Thresh was going to die alone.
And as Thresh watched, mystified, the rain stopped pouring down. The ground dried up. And the trees crumbled into thousands of pieces, blowing away on a harsh wind that sent grains of sand flying like bullets into Thresh's squinted eyes. The arena had become a desert.
He stood up, looking around in disbelief. Everything so empty. Nothing but sand dunes. Everywhere. The sky was that odd sort of blue, the kind that's too perfect to be real, with fluffy white clouds that seemed fake. But no one. Thresh's fingers reached up to his forehead, feeling for the wound. He stared, transfixed, at his blood-soaked hand. Then he shrugged, wiping it on his pants. He was going to die anyway.
The full realization of that sentence hit him like a physical blow, and he fell to his knees. Finding himself curled up on the ground, his blood dripping onto the sand. He was going to die anyway. And he would die alone. He'd always hated the thought of dying alone. No one to say goodbye to. Final words spoken to emptiness, never remembered. No one there to even know that he'd died.
Dying alone. Lost.
It was an ache, deep inside of him, as he struggled to his feet. But his head was spinning too much.
He closed his eyes, only to see something that made him fall back onto the sand after almost managing to sit up.
His sister. Her hair was braided into thousands of little braids, done with their grandmother's old but precise hands. She was smiling, her dark skin and the whites of her eyes and teeth contrasting sharply. The deep orange color of her dress was like flower petals, like fall leaves. Even a little old, even a little faded, it was...
No. It wasn't beautiful. It was that strange word that he'd heard only a few times. Elegant. In the Capitol, he remembered Caesar Flickerman complimenting a tribute on her elegant gown. He'd found himself wondering what elegant even meant, really -it seemed like a fancy, Capitol thing. Something like jewel or silk, which he heard very little of in District Twelve. So he'd asked his mentor, Chaff, what it meant.
"What's that word Caesar said?" Thresh had asked, after the interviews. It was probably the most he'd said all week, but Chaff didn't seem to care.
"Oh, boy... it means... uh, pretty, I guess," Chaff had said, his brow furrowing, shadowing his bloodshot eyes. He'd been drunk, his voice slurred. Then he'd shrugged. "No, more than pretty. More than beautiful. Kinda... grand. In a pretty way."
That's what Thresh's sister looked like. Like a queen, perched on her throne, smiling widely, beautiful in a grand way. "Do I look okay?" she'd said worriedly, on the morning of the reaping, gesturing to the orange dress. "Thresh, do you think I look okay?"
Of course Columbine had looked okay. She'd looked better than okay, to be honest. She looked almost regal. Grand. Elegant. "You look fine, sis," Thresh had remembered saying. "Now c'mon, can't be late for the reaping."
The reaping that had led Thresh to these horrible events. To death.
Everything was running together. Real or fake? Past or present? He couldn't tell. Was his sister standing there in her orange dress, or was that nothing but a memory? Was he really lost in a desert, or was that a hallucination?
Then his brain snapped back into reality with a flash. Rain. Wet. Cold.
The desert had only been a vision. A vision, because he knew that, like he was lost in a desert, he would die alone.
He could literally feel himself dying...
And as he sank down onto his stomach, curled up on the ground, he saw a tiger lily. Growing next to his hand. But to him, it wasn't just some ordinary orange flower. No, to him, it was his beautiful little sister. Wearing her deep-orange reaping dress. Her eyes wide, a tentative smile when Thresh had said that she looked fine.
He shifted his body to bring his face level with the flower.
Thresh died with a tiger lily pressed to his lips and blood dripping onto the flower. And the vibrations of his sister's name running through the petal.
In case you think that I did really bad incorporating the prompts... I kind of did. Feel free to tell me that I suck with prompts.
Also, Brooke, the slight romance you asked for... I just kinda made it family love. Sorry. :/