My little sister, Prim, curled up on her side, cocooned in my mother's body, their cheeks pressed together. In sleep, my mother looks younger, still worn but not so beaten-down. Prim's face is as fresh as a raindrop, as lovely as the primrose for which she was named. My mother was very beautiful once, too. Or so they tell me.
Then I know Prim is right, that Snow cannot afford to waste Peeta's life, especially now, while the Mockingjay causes so much havoc. He's killed Cinna already. Destroyed my home. My family, Gale, and even Haymitch are out of his reach. Peeta's all he has left. "So, what do you think they'll do to him?" I ask. Prim sound about a thousand years old when she speaks."Whatever it takes to break you.
I notice her blouse has pulled out of her skirt in the back again and force myself to stay calm. "Tuck your tail in, little duck," I say, smoothing the blouse back in place. Prim giggles and give me a small "Quack." "Quack yourself," I say with a light laugh. The kind only Prim can draw out of me.
I reach for Prim in the twilight, clamp my hand on her leg and pull myself over to her. Her voice remains steady as she croons to Buttercup. "It's all right, baby, it's all right. We'll be OK down there." My mother wraps her arms around us. I allow myself to feel young for a moment and rest my head on her shoulder.
Some days I want to look like a hipster kid, and then other days I want to be prim and proper. I really wish I had, like, seven lives so I could go from being a hipster one day to a punk the next. But that's the great thing about fashion. In a way, it's like acting, because you can try on all these different roles.
The first 'Polly and the Pirates' is about a prim and proper girl who gets kidnapped out of her comfy boarding school by a bunch of pirates that think she's the daughter of their long lost queen. In the course of the adventure, she discovers she has a natural penchant for swashbuckling, despite her sheltered childhood.
Flo Owens: You liked him, didn't you Helen? Helen Potts: Yes, I did. I got so used to things as they were: Everything so prim, the geranium in the window, the smell of mama's medicines. And then he walked in, and it was different! He clomped through the place like he was still outdoors. There was a man in the place and it seemed good!
I have always liked reading biographies. It is the ideal literary genre for someone too prim, like me, to acknowledge a gossipy interest in the living - don't you hate gossips, aren't they too awful? - but avid for any nuggets from the private lives of the dead because that is perfectly respectable, an altogether worthy and informative way of spending one's time.
Child of woe is wane and delicate... sensitive and on the quiet side, she loves the picnics and outings to the underground caverns... a solemn child, prim in dress and, on the whole, pretty lost... secretive and imaginative, poetic, seems underprivileged and given to occasional tantrums... has six toes on one foot...
But a shift has occurred since I stepped up to take Prim's place, and now it seems I have become someone precious. At first one, then another, then almost every member of the crowd touches the three middle fingers of their left hand to their lips and holds it out to me. It is an old and rarely used gesture of our district, occasionally seen at funerals. It means thanks, it means admiration, it means good-bye to someone you love.
To the everlasting credit of the people of District 12, not one person claps. Not even the ones holding betting slips, the ones who are usually beyond caring. Possibly because they know me from the Hob, or knew my father, or have encountered Prim, who no one could help loving. So instead of acknowledging applause, I stand there unmoving while they take part in the boldest form of dissent they can manage. Silence. Which says we do not agree. We do not condone. All of this is wrong.
A woman can be demure, lady-like and the most prim and proper character, and still have a toughness and resiliency as apparent as a superhero-type female character or a warrior or soldier type. It's all about the story, the character, and the course of events in that piece of work and how that character is presented.
Almost all of my early art dealt with the fallout from middle-class taboos, the messy, the ambivalent emotions couples felt, the inherent racism, the sexual tensions and the unhappiness roiling below the surface of our prim suburban lives. Meanwhile I was a suburban bad boy - cynical, sarcastic, contemptuous of all authority.
I'm relieved Peeta's alive. I tell myself again that if I get killed, his winnings will benefit my mother and Prim the most. This is what I tell myself to explain the conflicting emotions that arise when I think of Peeta. The gratitude that he game an edge by professing his love for me in the interview. The anger at his superiority on the roof. The dread that we may come face-to-face at any moment in this arena.
What, suddenly I am a figure from an ancient bit of nursery nonsense?" He lifted a forepaw and began chewing his toes, the picture of dismissive indifference. "And the next egg you come across you'll ask, 'Tell me, sir, what were you doing up on that wall anyway?'" "Are you ashamed to answer?" "I am ashamed of nothing. I am a cat." The cat gracefully placed his paw next to the other, sitting as prim as a perfect statue.
Anne Elisabeth Stengl
I don't have a talent, unless you count hunting illegally, which they don't. Or maybe singing, which I wouldn't do for the Capitol in a million years. My mother tried to interest me in a variety of suitable alternatives from a list Effie Trinket sent her. Cooking, flower arranging, playing the flute. None of them took, although Prim had a knack for all three. Finally Cinna stepped in and offered to help me develop my passion for designing clothes, which really required development since it was non-existent.
So seek beauty, Miss Prim. Seek it in silence, in tranquillity; seek it in the middle of the night and at dawn. Pause to close doors while you seek it, and don't be surprised if it doesn't reside in museums or in palaces. Don't be surprised if, in the end, you find beauty to be not in Something but Someone.
Natalia Sanmarten Fenollera
Then, in my most careful handwriting, come all the details it would be a crime to forget. Lady licking Prim's cheek. My father's laugh. Peeta's father with the cookies. The colour of Finnick's eyes. What Cinna could do with a length of silk. Boggs reprogramming the Holo. Rue poised on her toes, arms slightly extended, like a bird about to take flight. On and on. We seal the pages with salt water and promises to live well to make their death count.
At least, you two have decent manners," says Effie as we're finishing the main course. "The pair last year ate everything with their hands like a couple of savages. It completely upset my digestion." ... My mother taught Prim and me to eat properly, so yes, I can handle a fork and knife. But I hate Effie Trinket's comment so much I make a point of eating the rest of my meal with my fingers. Then I wipe my hands on the tablecloth. This makes her purse her lips tightly together.
Then something unexpected happens. At least, I don't expect it because I don't think of District 12 as a place that cares about me. But a shift has occurred since I stepped up to take Prim's place, and now it seems I have become someone precious. At first one, then another, then almost every member of the crowd touches the three middle fingers of their left hand to their lips and holds it out to me. It is an old and rarely used gesture of our district, occasionally seen at funerals. It means thanks, it means admiration, it means good-bye to someone you love.
She's not here, " I tell him. Buttercup hisses again. "She's not here. You can hiss all you like. You won't find Prim." At her name, he perks up. Raises his flattened ears. Begins to meow hopefully. "Get out!" He dodges the pillow I throw at him. "Go away! There's nothing left for you here!" I start to shake, furious with him. "She's not coming back! She's never ever coming back here again!" I grab another pillow and get to my feet to improve my aim. Out of nowhere, the tears begin to pour down my cheeks. "She's dead, you stupid cat. She's dead.
She's not here," I tell him. Buttercup hisses again. "She's not here. You can hiss all you like. You won't find Prim." At her name, he perks up. Raises his flattened ears. Begins to meow hopefully. "Get out!" He dodges the pillow I throw at him. "Go away! There's nothing left for you here!" I start to shake, furious with him. "She's not coming back! She's never ever coming back here again!" I grab another pillow and get to my feet to improve my aim. Out of nowhere, the tears begin to pour down my cheeks. "She's dead, you stupid cat. She's dead.
When Jo's conservative sister Meg says she must turn up her hair now that she is a "young lady," Jo shouts, "I'm not! and if turning up my hair makes me one, I'll wear it in two tails till I'm twenty.... I hate to think I've got to grow up, and be Miss March, and wear long gowns, and look as prim as a China aster! It's bad enough to be a girl anyway, when I like boys' games and work and manners! I can't get over my disappointment in not being a boy; and it's worse than ever now, for I'm dying to go and fight with Papa, and I can only stay at home and knit, like a poky old woman.
Louisa May Alcott
His gaze slid toward the back of the sanctuary and collided with Joanna, standing silently in the doorway. You... Crockett's voice tapered off. For a moment, all he could do was stare. Her rapt attention, the tiny smile that brought into relief the freckles dusting her cheekbones, the way the light passed through the doorway behind her to see her hair ablaze beneath the prim straw bonnet she wore. Yet it was her inner light that captured him the most. The serenity of her features. The glow in her blue eyes. This was a woman of authentic spirituality. No wonder the Master Weaver had chosen her to be the central thread to anchor his new tapestry.
Oh, well, it might look like a patterned world, laid out in prim design, but to those living there it could never be so simple. They were as alive as she: that old peasant contriving to outwit the cold; that woman anxiously counting her comical flock lest one goose escape her vigilance; all those who slept, or toiled, or loved under the low-hung roofs or the sharp turrets. Those people out there, if they caught sight of her own face pressed close to the window pane, might be speculating about her. To them she was part of the pattern of the lumbering train with its trail of smoke and little boxlike carriages. Perhaps they envied her, riding at ease to distant Paris. How little they knew of that! How little she herself know what awaited her at the end of the journey!
De ce sa scap? De prezent? Da, de acest prim-plan care-mi ascunde ce se intampla in perspectiva. Daca am spirit sau suflet, spuneti-i cum vreti, nu e unul singur, ci multiplu. Nu se poate multumi cu limitarea, el vrea spatiu. Poate sa locuiasca in numeroase trupuri schimbatoare, intrate in putrefactie, din viitor sau din trecut. (...) Otravita sau nu, mercurul ma face sa gandesc astfel. Daca-i dati drumul, va tremura in clone pe toata podeaua, dar il puteti aduna la loc si nu se va vedea nicio sutura, nicio urma c-ar fi fost imprastiat. Aveti o singura viata sau nenumarate vieti, depinde ce va doriti.' (pag 183)
I am Cinna's bird, ignited, flying frantically to escape something inescapable. The feathers of flame that grow from my body. Beating my wings only fans the blaze. I consume myself, but to no end. Finally, my wings begin to falter, I lose height, and gravity pulls me into a foamy sea the color of Finnick's eyes. I float on my back, which continues to burn beneath the water, but the agony quiets to pain. When I am adrift and unable to navigate, that's when they come. The dead. The ones I loved fly as birds in the open sky above me. Soaring, weaving, calling to me to join them. I want so badly to follow them, but the seawater saturates my wings, making it impossible to lift them. The ones I hated have taken to the water, horrible scaled things that tear my salty flesh with needle teeth. Biting again and again. Dragging me beneath the surface. The small white bird tinged in pink dives down, buries her claws in my chest, and tries to keep me afloat. "No, Katniss! No! You can't go!" But the ones I hated are winning, and if she clings to me, she'll be lost as well. "Prim, let go!" And finally she does.
Peeta, ' I say lightly. 'You said at the interview you'd had a crush on me forever. When did forever start?' 'Oh, let's see. I guess the first day of school. We were five. You had on a red plaid dress and your hair... it was in two braids instead of one. My father pointed you out when we were waiting to line up, ' Peeta says. 'Your father? Why?' I ask. 'He said, 'See that little girl? I wanted to marry her mother, but she ran off with a coal miner, '' Peeta says. 'What? You're making that up!' I exclaim. 'No, true story, ' Peeta says. 'And I said, 'A coal miner? Why did she want a coal miner if she could've had you?' And he said, 'Because when he sings... even the birds stop to listen.'' 'That's true. They do. I mean, they did, ' I say. I'm stunned and surprisingly moved, thinking of the baker telling this to Peeta. It strikes me that my own reluctance to sing, my own dismissal of music might not really be that I think it's a waste of time. It might be because it reminds me too much of my father. 'So that day, in music assembly, the teacher asked who knew the valley song. Your hand shot right up in the air. She stood you up on a stool and had you sing it for us. And I swear, every bird outside the windows fell silent, ' Peeta says. 'Oh, please, ' I say, laughing. 'No, it happened. And right when your song ended, I knew-just like your mother-I was a goner, ' Peeta says. 'Then for the next eleven years, I tried to work up the nerve to talk to you.' 'Without success, ' I add. 'Without success. So, in a way, my name being drawn in the reaping was a real piece of luck, ' says Peeta. For a moment, I'm almost foolishly happy and then confusion sweeps over me. Because we're supposed to be making up this stuff, playing at being in love not actually being in love. But Peeta's story has a ring of truth to it. That part about my father and the birds. And I did sing the first day of school, although I don't remember the song. And that red plaid dress... there was one, a hand-me-down to Prim that got washed to rags after my father's death. It would explain another thing, too. Why Peeta took a beating to give me the bread on that awful hollow day. So, if those details are true... could it all be true? 'You have a... remarkable memory, ' I say haltingly. 'I remember everything about you, ' says Peeta, tucking a loose strand of hair behind my ear. 'You're the one who wasn't paying attention.' 'I am now, ' I say. 'Well, I don't have much competition here, ' he says. I want to draw away, to close those shutters again, but I know I can't. It's as if I can hear Haymitch whispering in my ear, 'Say it! Say it!' I swallow hard and get the words out. 'You don't have much competition anywhere.' And this time, it's me who leans in.