“People may get thrown, say, by the color of an actor’s hair, or something physical. But I tell you, if Josh had been bright purple and had six-foot wings and gave that audition, I’d have been like, ‘Cast him! We can work around the wings.’ He was that good.”
“Let’s go back then, to the moment they called your sister’s name at the reaping,” says Caesar. His mood is quieter now. “And you volunteered. Can you tell us about her?”
No. No, not all of you. But maybe Cinna. I don’t think I’m imagining the sadness on his face. “Her name’s Prim. She’s just twelve. And I love her more than anything.”
I want to do something, right here, right now, to shame them, to make them accountable, to show the Capitol that whatever they do or force us to do there is a par of every tribute they can’t own. That Rue was more than a piece in their Games. And so am I. A few steps into the woods grows a bank of wildflowers. Perhaps they are really weeds of some sort, but they have blossoms in beautiful shades of violet and yellow and white. I gather up an armful and come back to Rue’s side. Slowly, one stem at a time, I decorate her body in the flowers. Covering the ugly wound. Wreathing her face. Weaving her hair in bright colors. They’ll have to show it. Or, even if they choose to turn the cameras elsewhere at this moment, they’ll have to bring them back when they collect the bodies and everyone will see her then and know I did it. I step back and take one last look at Rue. She could really be asleep in that meadow after all. “Bye, Rue,” I whisper. I press the three middle fingers of my left hand against my lips and hold them out in her direction. Then I walk away without looking back.