|This article, Silence (Crippled Series), was written by Necterine411. Please do not edit this fan fiction without the author's permission.|
Matza Oriana AKA Deaf Girl
Silence is the fifth chapter of Crippled. It is the first chapter written in another character's point of view.
I’m shaken awake. I look up and see my escort talking with an angry look on his face. Not that I can hear a word that he says, but I can read his lips and make out a few of the words. Only the words my mother taught me go along with the signs I communicate with and learned using a special Capitol-issued book. His lips form a tiny o, and then spread out to a long oval shape. I know this word, why. I put an apologetic look on my face and shrug. My escort storms out of the room and I get up to get dressed. I grin; my escort still hasn’t figured out that I’m deaf.
I’ve been deaf since I got sick as a baby. Whenever people find out they look at me with looks of pity I despise. Who needs music, or sound for that matter? I communicate fine with my mom, the rest of the girls at school seem stuck up anyway. And when I see people cover their ears at a loud noise, I know for sure hearing isn’t that great. I always have peace and quiet, even when surrounded by people. But… when I wake up some mornings, the echoes of sounds I remember from when I was a baby hovering in my mind; I wish for nothing more than to hear my mother’s goodbye, or to know what the blind girl, Alexandria I think the name she mouthed was, sounds like when she laughs at my jokes. I would never, ever, tell anyone this. Even if I wanted to, who would I tell? Certainly not my District partner, who completely ignores me, or my escort, who doesn’t know I’m deaf. My mentor only cares about District Partner, who I know he thinks has a chance at winning. I would never be stupid enough to think the other tributes would care, and it would ruin what little reputation I have. I’m Matza Oriana, the tough outcast who only talks to Alexandria, and ignores everyone else. I’m Matza, the girl who cut her pretty blonde hair. I’m Matza, the girl who doesn’t care.
I throw on a t-shirt and some pants and walk straight to the elevator. As fun as getting yelled at by my escort and ignored by my mentor and District partner sounds, I’ll pass. I rig the elevator to stop at Alexandria’s floor and walk to her room. She’s sitting up unblinkingly in her bed. I sign hello into her palm and she smiles and takes my arm. I guide her to the shower and take the clothes she hands me as I look away. She taps on the shower door two times and I pass her the soap, then the shampoo, then the conditioner. Despite the fact that this is only the second time I’ve helped her, we’ve already fallen into a routine.
I knew as soon as I saw her that she’d be my ally. When I went up to her before the Chariot Rides and signed “hello” into her, I was shocked when she signed it back. For the first time in my life, I’d met someone who I could talk to. It was only natural that I’d be her friend, and help her out the best I can. After the Chariot Rides I walked away from my chariot to meet up with the girl. She mouthed her name several times, and I think she said Alexandria. That’s one of the things I dislike about being deaf, names are hard to learn. We communicated using the signs and I promised I’d meet up with her tomorrow. Ever since then we’ve spent all our time together. I still haven’t asked if she wants to be allies, but we practically are anyways. I’ll probably ask today.
Alexandria taps three times on the shower door and I hand her a towel, wait a few minutes, and hand her clothes to her too. When she comes out she takes a ponytail holder off her wrist and pulls her hair back. Without bothering to take my hand she walks easily up to the door. She’s already memorized the layout of her room by now; me helping her is just an excuse for me to hang out with her. II look at the clock and realize we have plenty of time to eat breakfast. We walk to the dining room and I only reach out to help Alexandria twice. She has a knack for remembering layouts. The dining room is empty, except for the avox’s. There’s an abundance of them, most of them rebels from the dark days. Maybe others feel sorry for them, but I hate them. What did they do, what did they change? Nothing good. They’re the reason I’m here, the reason all but one of 24 kids will die. I clench my hands into fists and ignore their offers of rich food. I grab a soft roll from a basket and sign all the food choices into Alexandria’s palm. Her lips move to order, and two avox’s rush to prepare a plate of pancakes with syrup and chocolate covered strawberries. I pull out and help her into her chair and take the one beside her.
We eat in silence, well, my type of silence anyway. I don’t know what Alexandria’s hearing. It’s impossible to sign while we eat; and I’m all alone in my thoughts. I close my eyes and wait for Alexandria to finish eating. When I was a little girl, I used to be terrified of closing my eyes, because when I did I was truly cut off from the world. It wasn’t until my first day of school, when everyone stared at me and sent me off to the corner with the book of signs, that I realized the positive of this. When I close my eyes, and I can’t see the hardships the day has brought me, I can almost forget my troubles. Whenever my problems got to be too much; I could always count on this. But the Capitol has found some way to take even this away. I can still smell the rich odors from the food, and the cleaning chemicals on the table. Even as I close my eyes as tight as possible, the escape I long for never comes. At that moment I truly realize that there is no escaping the Capitol.
A tap on my arm makes me open my eyes and help Alexandria from her chair. I’m sure she could get up just fine, but focusing on helping her makes me feel a little better. Back in my District, despite my tries, no one ever let me help them. Apparently they could never be in more need of help than me. I won’t say I’m not resentful; I am. Every time someone used big gestures at me, every look of pity I got, only added to my anger. I’m fully functional; I’m not like that boy with half of his arms missing, or the girl with a bad leg. I’m not a cripple, but everyone treats me like one.
I’ve heard a lot of controversy about how many training days we should have, but for now they’ve given us several days. How nice, giving us a mediocre knowledge of weapons that the Careers have had years to perfect. Careers, that was one of the words I learned rather quickly. When my mom mouthed that the tributes surrounding my only cousin and killing him were Careers, I understood the word perfectly. When my only aunt killed herself a couple days later; the meaning was even clearer. Careers are pathetic scum that hunt in packs to mercilessly kill everyone; even each other after a while. They must be destroyed, just as they destroy so many teenagers and their families. But I won’t be the one to destroy them. I have Alexandria to take care of.
I punch the elevator and wait patiently as it rises to our level. Alexandria takes my palm and makes a few gestures into it. She wants to know if I’m doing okay. Of course I’m not; I’ll be fighting to my death in less than a week. I don’t want to worry Alexandria though, so I do my best to move my fingers cheerily while I assure her I’m fine. She buys it for now. The elevator doors slide open, and the armless boy is there. He says something to Alexandria and she smiles and talks back. After some conversation, Jay turns and mouths hello, I’m- He must have mouthed his name, but I can’t tell what it is. Yay, Tay, Jay? It’s probably Jay, and his parents liked birds or something. Alexandria translates what Jay said. Jay wants to spend time with Alexandria today, and be her friend before his death in the Games. I have a feeling that’s not all he said. Jay is smiling tenderly at her, and Alexandria is blushing. I can’t separate them. I close my eyes briefly before signing at Alexandria, telling her to go. The elevator doors open at the training floor, where most of the tributes are already waiting. Maybe I didn’t have as much time as I thought. Oh well, what’s the Capitol going to do, kill me? I smile at this thought as I move to my first station.
The assistant at the station can do little more than demonstrate how to use the sword. After that I’m on my own, except for the small adjustments she occasionally makes to my form. My strokes are hesitant at first; but when I imagine the dummy is a Career my blows increase and the dummy is chopped to bits. I look around to see if anyone noticed. A career is looking at me. He narrows his eyes and turns back to the careers to talk to them. My cheeks flame as they all look at me and laugh. I drop the sword and practically run to the camouflage station. It just happens to be the station furthest from them. I relax and turn to the attendant. Maybe I could just watch the attendant paint until lunch.
Before I can complete my turn, I accidently elbow a girl I didn’t even notice. Her crutch falls to the floor and so does she. She’s the girl with only one working leg, the cripple. But as I bend down to help her up, she surprises me. She glances once around to make sure nobody but me is looking at her, and jumps up from the ground, using her good leg to balance as she picks up her crutch. I make an apologetic face, but she ignores me and moves to another station; hobbling slowly in a walk she must be faking. Everything I thought about her is wrong. I’m ashamed. I’m such a hypocrite, looking over my deafness and denouncing the girl just because of her leg. Of course she’d want to play weak. These are the Hunger Games; where strategy is key and nothing is as it seems.
The attendant has just figured out I’m deaf when we’re sent to the cafeteria to eat lunch. Alexandria’s sitting with Jay. Judging by the expression on her face, she’s talking about something serious and heartfelt. I don’t want to intrude on the conversation. I grab a tray and load up my plate with the soft rolls I love, a cup of sausage gravy to dip them in, and a big slice of cake. I find an empty table and walk towards it, but something knocks against my shoulder. It’s Jay. He gives me a big smile and motions for me to join Alexandria and him. Unlike most people, Jay doesn’t feel the need to make giant gestures beckoning me; he simply looks over his shoulder to the table Alexandria is sitting at, and back at me. All without managing to annoy me; a true accomplishment.
Alexandria translates everything Jay says, although I can read Jay’s lips so well; it almost doesn’t matter. I can see why Alexandria seems to be so entranced by him. He radiates charm; and guides the conversation away from the Hunger Games with ease. By the end of lunch I’m in a much better mood. My probable death is almost bearable. Right before we’re led back into the training room, Alexandria takes my palm and asks Jay to ally with her and I while she asks me if I want to ally. I readily say yes; but I’m surprised to see Jay hesitate, especially after how well we got along. When he begins to speak Alexandria signs his every word, and then her reply.
“Alexandria, you don’t want me to ally with you guys. Look at me; I’m useless. If anything you’ll die trying to protect me. I’d be better off dying at the bloodbath without any allies.”
“Jay, look at me. I’m blind, and Matza’s deaf. I’ll probably die soon too, but Matza will be my eyes and I’ll be her ears. Jay, we can be your hands.”
When Jay talks again Alexandria stops translating and just stares at Jay. I try to read his lips, but he’s whispering, so his lips barely move. I catch something about him willing to do anything to keep Alexandria safe, even if that takes not being near her. Alexandria says something quickly before throwing her arms around Jay and hugging him tightly. All of the tributes, except for the Careers and the crippled girl, are watching them. When the training attendants come in to escort us back to the training center; even they’re a little taken aback. Finally Jay and Alexandria stop hugging, but they still stay close to each other, their hands entwined. I’m an outsider once again.
I walk out of the cafeteria without looking back. Alexandria was my friend, my distraction from the Games, and now she’s been taken away. I know I’m still allying with them, and I’m sure Jay will make a good ally; but when Jay and Alexandria are together, it’s like they’re part of a secret club only they know about. Maybe it’s just me being paranoid. For the rest of the training day I move quickly from station to station, avoiding any tribute that comes near me. I never stay at one station long enough for the attendants to figure out I’m deaf. As I work I focus on only the attendants, until the doubts roaring in my mind are dulled. Until I’m left in a much needed silence.
So, I've seen this done before on other Fanons, so I think I'll do it too! Basically this is just me commenting about parts of the story, in order.
- The Capitol-issued book she learns her signs from?It's the cheapest way the Capitol could think of to teach deaf person. Alexandria's family was well off enough to hire an instructor to teach her the signs.
- Matza's escort is kind of an idiot.
- Matza hates learning names, because they're hard to figure out. For the first seven years of her life she thought of her mom as bom. Not good.
- Matza's favorite Capitol food? Those rolls.
- Matza's a little hypocritical. She doesn't want others to look down on her disability, but she readily looks down on other's; like Evi's.
- Yes, Matza's cousin was in the Games. He got to the final 12 before being killed. =( How sad.
- "Oh well, what’s the Capitol going to do, kill me?"- Yay for sarcasm!
- Matza's first interaction with Evi, but will it be her last?
- Aw, Alexandria and Jay. They're begginning to fall in love. That's right, the first star-crossed lovers!
- Matza has a lot of mood swings.
Well that's it!