Thimble Thursday: Chapter 3 – Thimble & Jack open up to Panem

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Chapter 3 – Interview

Thimble Trickson Family/Friends Interview: 

Reporter: I’m proud to welcome a friend from District 8, Jack Topper! Jack, how do you know Thimble? 

Jack: I work with her at the sewing factory. We met when I was seventeen and she was eleven. 

Reporter: That’s quite an age gap. Do you see her as a younger sister of sorts? 

Jack: Absolutely. It gets repetitive, standing in one place all day, sewing the same uniforms over and over again. That’s why you’ve got to make friends.

Reporter: Are people friendly at the factory? 

Jack: Mostly. The factory owner, Frank, definitely is not, so we try and make up for it by being nice to each other. It makes the days go by easier, you know? 

Reporter: A smile is all it takes to brighten someone’s day, I agree. Tell me, what was your first impression of Thimble, all those years ago? 

Jack: When I first saw Thimble, she had a needle stuck in her finger, and for a second I thought she’d passed out with her eyes open because she completely froze for almost a minute, staring at it.  I used to stab my fingers by accident all the time, so I thought it was rather comical. She didn’t appreciate me laughing though. I think her first impression of me was pretty low.

Reporter: And how did that transition into a friendship? 

Jack: I think that shared experience brought us closer together. Good bonding time, you know?  I told her ‘a little blood never hurt anyone’, and she brightened up a bit. Feeling like you’re alone is the worst thing, but having a friend makes it much, much better, even if you are stuck in a sewing factory for twelve hours a day. 

Reporter: You speak very fondly of Thimble. Can you see this ‘friendship’ ever turning into something more? 

Jack: I’m an in-the-present kind of guy, and that question relies on a bunch of variables that I have no control over right now.  Our relationship has never gone close to that direction, but in the future, when we’re both older, you never know what could happen.

Reporter: You speak of the future confidently, like you know Thimble’s coming back. Do you think she’ll be able to overcome the odds and come home as victor? 

Jack: That’s another complicated question. I believe in Thimble 100%, and I know she’ll do whatever it takes to succeed. And that’s all I let myself think about. 

Reporter: If Thimble were to win, do you think things would be the same as they were before, or do you think she would be different after having experienced the Hunger Games? 

Jack: Every victor has to face their own demons, and the road back to normality is a treacherous one. I wouldn’t be surprised if it took a while for her to re-adjust to regular life. But I know Thimble really well. And that’s never going to change. 

Reporter: Are you close with Thimble’s family? 

Jack: Yes, I know her mother quite well. She’s a lovely woman. 

Reporter: How about Thimble’s late father?

Jack: I didn’t meet Thimble until after her father had passed away. But she’s told me all about him; I feel like somehow I’ve always known him. 

Reporter: I realize that you’re 19, and beyond the age limit, but if you could have, would you have volunteered for District 8’s male tribute in order to go to the games with Thimble? 

Jack: I ask myself that question every night. And the answer is ‘yes’. Thimble and her mother are the only family I have, and I would have done everything in my power to protect them. 

Reporter: What happened to your family? 

Jack: They died when I was very young. I grew up under the care of an old woman who lived alone in the corner of town. She passed away two years ago. 

Reporter: And now you live alone? 

Jack: I did, for a while. Now I live with Thimble and her mother. 

Reporter: So you’re actually like her adopted brother.

Jack: Exactly. 

Reporter: I can see how a potential romance could be awkward. 

Jack: Yes. I love Thimble as a sister. And her mother is like my own. 

Reporter: If you could say something to Thimble right now, what would it be? 

Jack: *smiles* go kick some ass. 

Reporter: Thank you for your time, Jack. It was a pleasure to meet you. 

Jack: Thanks. 

 

 

 

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Caesar:  Let us Welcome district 8’s Thimble Trickson!  Tell us, what is something you love about being the in the Capitol?

Thimble: I love the novelty. In District 8, I work in a factory sewing peacekeeper uniforms. I do the same thing every day, but here, I never even wear the same clothes twice. Everything is new and changing and exciting.

Caesar:  You are one of the youngest people in this competition.  Does that create any anxiety at all?

Thimble: I’ve realized that if I focus on all the things that create anxiety, I’d probably have a panic attack before the Games even started. I know I’m going against the odds, but I’m not counting on the odds. I’m going to do what I can do because that’s all I can do. Sometimes it’s comforting to know that there are things that are out of your hands. You’ve just gotta do your part and leave the rest.

Caesar:  What do you think your strengths are that will help you to possibly win this competition?

Thimble: My mentor made me swear not to reveal my strategies on live TV, but I think the fact that people don’t know what to expect from me, or don’t expect anything at all, is an advantage for me in itself. I’ll just leave it at that. 

Caesar:  Who do you have back at home rooting for you and counting you to make it back home?

Thimble: My mother works at the same factory I do, and I know she’s watching right now. She’s always been there for me, encouraging, supporting. Thinking of her makes me feel stronger, even though I’m so far away. And all of my friends, who I consider almost family are there as well.

Caesar: We’ve been briefed about your family, now you father is no longer with us, do you remember much about him, and if so, what would you feel he would have advised you to do in this situation?

Thimble: I was nine  years old when my father died, but I still remember him like yesterday. He had smiling blue eyes, and he would always tell me: “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” And I think that’s exactly what he would say today.  

Caesar:  Did anyone visit you before you left to come here and did they give you any advice?

Thimble: My mother came to visit before I left.  She told me she was proud of me for who I am, not for anything I have to gain in the arena.  And a couple of my friends came to say goodbye.

Caesar: Now we all heard your outburst after your reaping, can you explain what was going through your mind to be so bold to instruct your district to spit on the ground instead of clapping for you?

Thimble: If I die, I’m going to go out with a bang, and the reaping is no exception. The districts can’t stop the Hunger Games, but we don’t have to support them. It was an impulse, what I said, but it’s true. We shouldn’t have to pretend we like this. And we’re sure as hell not giving up.

Caesar:  Is there anything else you’d like to say to anyone back at home or possible sponsors?

Thimble: Thank you for listening to me. And to everyone back home, thank you for believing in me. I’ll fight for you with everything I have.

 

Thimble Thursday: Chapter 1 – Drown

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Many apologies for the late post–pretend it’s still Thursday–here is Thimble’s first chapter! 

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Name: Thimble Trickson

District: 8

Age: 14

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Chapter 1 – Drown

They call me Thimble. Maybe it’s because I’m small. Maybe it’s because I’m quick.  I make more uniforms than anyone else on my floor. Maybe that’s why they make me do more work. I spend more time at the factory than I do at home, but I don’t get paid very much. I’m only 14. They don’t have to give me full wages. 

My mother has worked at the factory for 27 years. Her eyes are still as sharp as when she was a child, but they’ve lost their sparkle. She looks much older than she did five years ago when  Father died. Now she doesn’t smile anymore. But she tells me one day things will be better. One day we will be free. 

 

“Thimble!” Mother cries out. I see her through the crowd. I catch her worried eyes through the bodies. We’re surrounded by stomping, talking, whispering. Everyone is fearful. Nobody is quiet. I stop where I am and wait for Mother to catch up. We both wear white. White is what you wear at weddings. But today two children will be selected to die. 

Last year was my first Reaping. I was so scared, my pounding chest woke me up in the middle of the night, and I thought I was having a heart attack. I couldn’t sleep. Every time I shut my eyes I saw Thorn–the boy from District 8 the year before, get stabbed through with a double edged blade by a Career from District 1. Blood spurted everywhere. This is what the Hunger Games is, killing and dying.  Everywhere I look there is death.

All the factories are closed for The Reaping. School is cancelled. The people from The Capitol come and talk to use like they’re doing us a favour, like we want this. But we don’t. We hate them, just like we hate the Peacekeepers, whose uniforms we have to make every day. Tina Lesgarbes, the Mayor, is speaking into the microphone now, trying to quiet the crowd. There are many of us, spilling out over the town square and down the street past the houses and into the backyards.  The sun shines dimly; even it is afraid to show its face. 

“Citizens of District 8, please welcome Kiran Hutch!” 

Nobody claps for the tall, twig-like man who ascends the platform. His hair is dyed silver, as if he is trying to look like a robot. What he really looks like is an middle aged man with a poor sense of style. Or a poor stylist. 

“Ahem,” he says, clearing his voice into the microphone. It sounds like he has phlegm in his throat. “Ladies and gentlemen,” he says. “You are a noble people for a noble game. And you will fight with heart and valour. Today we will band together. Today we will make our mark on the world.” 

I frown. If Hutch’s going for the robot look, he’s definitely aiming for a smooth-oiled speech. But it’s not working. I see people rolling their eyes. The Hunger Games is anything but noble. it’s a cowardly act of cruelty from The Capitol. It’s murder. 

“Let us begin the days affair with a quick recap of the glory of former days,” Hutch says, and then we are forced to watch the same video as last year, and the year before, about the ‘glory’ of The Hunger Games. We watch Threadbare, our fifteen-year-old male tribute from two decades ago, sew a raft of leaves and twigs together and sail to victory. He was the last remaining tribute in the flood that the Gamemakers tortured the tributes with that year. Threadbare commit suicide two months after he was crowned victor–the video doesn’t show that part. 

“And now, to the good part,” Hutch says when it’s over. he snickers to himself and dips his hand into the brimming bowl. “Girls,” he says, nodding. And then he opens the piece of paper he has selected and reads.

Not me, not me, not me, not me–If I think the word over and over enough, maybe it will come true. A bead of sweat trickles down between my shoulder blade. Mother squeezes my hand. 

“Thimble Trickson”

I have never drowned before; but I’ve heard what it feels like. Your lungs scream for air. Even in ice cold water, you feel like you’re burning alive. You thrash and tear at the water. And then your eyes glazes over, and the life ebbs out of you as your spirit fades away. That is when the water claims you. And then you float to the surface, after it is too late. 

I am drowning now. 

Mother is gasping. She’s trying not to cry. My heart is pounding again. I think it’s going to pop right out of my chest. My sweaty hands are shaking. And before I know it, my feet are moving. The crowd parts in front of me. Annie Xander, from school, lowers her eyes when they meet mine. Jose Alvarez, whose brother was killed in last year’s Hunger Games, pats me on the shoulder as I go by. I don’t feel anything. I am on fire. I am burning inside. 

“Thimble!” Hutch claps a hand on my back as I step up onto the platform. I don’t know how my legs are still supporting me. I feel like I’m about to fall down. “You’re a brave one, aren’t you,” he says. 

I never noticed how large his eyes are. 

“You’re going to make us proud; I can just see it,” he says, then chuckles as he turns to the crowd. “How about a round of applause for Thimble!” 

The crowd is full of eyes. Eyes flooded with pity. Eyes beaming with relief. There is a second of silence. Clap for me? What, so they can send me off with a joyful noise to my death? Like this is a celebration? It might as well be a cemetery. 

Without thinking, I grab the microphone from Hutch. “Don’t clap for me,” I snap. “Spit on the ground. Spit at the Capitol. We came from the ground, from the dust, and dirt, and when I come back to this district, I might be in the ground. The Capitol can kill me, but they can’t make me clap. We’re not their puppets; we’re people. We are free.” 

And then I see something flash through their eyes, for the quickest second–hope. And I can’t hear the chaos in my head. I can’t hear the sobs building up in my throat. All I can hear is spit hitting the ground, and the silence that’s more thunderous than a sea of applause.