Sam Claflin for Flaunt Magazine, 2012
a child’s voice, however honest and true, is meaningless to those who have forgotten how to listen.
Rebellion has a heart
Breaking as the dawn
Bursting into song
Bursting into song
Do you ever do this, you think back on all the times you’ve had with someone and you just replay it in your head over and over again and you look for those first signs of trouble?
"I want to give my thanks to the tributes of District Eleven," I say. I look at the pair of women on Thresh’s side. "I only ever spoke to Thresh one time. Just long enough for him to spare my life. I didn’t know him, but I always respected him. For his power. For his refusal to play the Games on anyone’s terms but his own. The Careers wanted him to team up with them from the beginning, but he wouldn’t do it. I respected him for that."
For the first time the old hunched woman - is she Thresh’s grandmother? - raises her head and the trace of a smile plays on her lips.
The crowd has fallen silent now, so silent that I wonder how they manage it. They must all be holding their breath. I turn to Rue’s family. “But I feel as if I did know Rue, and she’ll always be with me. Everything beautiful brings her to mind. I see her in the yellow flowers that grow in the Meadow by my house. I see her in the mockingjays that sing in the trees. But most of all, I see her in my sister, Prim.” My voice is undependable, but I am almost finished. “Thank you for your children.” I raise my chin to address the crown. “And thank you for all the bread.” I stand there, feeling broken and small, thousands of eyes trained on me, There’s a long pause. Then, from somewhere in the crowd, someone whistles Rue’s four-note mockingjay tune. The one that signalled the end of the workday in the orchards. The one that meant safety in the arena. By the end of the tune, I have found the whistler, a wizened old man in a faded red shirt and overalls. His eyes meet mine.
What happens next is not an accident. It is too well executed to be spontaneous, because it happens in complete unison. Every person in the crowd presses the three middle fingers of their left hand against their lips and extends them to me. It’s our sign from District 12, the last goodbye I gave Rue in the arena.