Name Your Demons
Haymitch has a small black notebook in his pocket every day. The only thing in it is names, starting in his clean, sixteen-year-old print and slowly degrading into its current illegible scrawl. First, penned in blue ink, is a list of forty-seven.
Velvetine, 17, who almost won, hit by her own axeEmerald, 12, who will never have her heart broken, stung by butterfliesDiamond, 18, who should have looked behind him, shot with a dartSheen, 17, who thought the water was safe, poisonedFelicia, 13, who was too young to fight, suffocatedLaura, 14, who was never crowned, stabbedHonorius, 17, who lived and died in rock, drowned in lavaCaesar, 18, who was the strongest, eaten by squirrelsCopper, 12, who limped, strangledWiress, 15, who was the smartest of us all, stabbed in the backVoltaire, 16, who never made it to the woods, stabbed in the eyeAmper, 17, who had never seen fresh food, poisonedMary, 13, who looked so beautiful in that blue dress, snapped neckAnnabeth, 17, who had been bitten by a shark, fell off the mountainCaspian, 18, who had a cruel mind, burned in lavaFinn, 15, who could swim for hours, burned in lavaElectra, 13, who had bright eyes and a frail body, fell and didn't riseHydra, 14, who sang beautifully, beaten with a maceSol, 12, who never heard a cannon, chokedWatt, 15, who lost his sister and girlfriend, suicideTitania, 16, who blew kisses in the chariot parade, sleeping bag flooded in lavaAurelia, 14, who tried to protect Balbus, stabbedBalbus, 16, who couldn't protect himself, stabbedCassian, 18, who laughed at my outfit, stabbedMaple, 15, who slept in trees, burned to death in a treeWillow, 17, who was amazingly flexible, beatenBlight, 12, who could barely pick up a sword, caved in skullJohn, 14, who could climb to heaven, bled to deathSatin, 14, who had red hair, slashed throatCoco, 15, who had lost her sister in last year's games, burned aliveLowell, 13, who never really lived, died quickLawrence, 16, who was Lowell's brother, stabbedJane, 13, who loved flowers, poisonedPlenti, 14, who could hold her breath the longest, smothered in eruptionChaff, 16, who never kissed a girl, died in lavaCornie, 15, who was a fighter, killed by CareersJoann, 15, who ran fast, burned to death in lavaBovi, 13, who loved nothing more than cattle, shot through the heartDalton, 17, who knew every cut of beef known to man, pushed into volcanoBurke, 18, who could remember anything he heard, strangledPrim, 13, who was a delicate flower, crushed ribcageApple, 12, who was barely old enough to be reaped, drowned in poisonThresh, 16, who had nothing to live for, an arrow to the heartHarvest, 17, who knew what berries were safe, starvationAster, 13, who was my sister in all but blood, snapped neckMaysilee, 15, who saved me, speared by a pink birdAsh, 18, who almost made it, infected burns
All killed by the Capitol as punishment for people who are long dead.
He can add so much more; even now, he can remember the tiniest of details about some of them. He can remember that the Careers had tortured most of their kills, Caspian in particular. He can remember the uneasy whispers about what had happened to Cornie, the one death that he had not seen. He can remember Velvetine in her death throes and in the purple dress at the interviews. He can clearly see Lawrence sobbing over Lowell. He can see Capsian holding tiny Apple in the pond, laughing as she struggled and Thresh tried to save her; he can see Apple's brilliant smile covering panic interview night.
That's why he starts drinking, to take the edge off of the arena. The habit worsens with the next set of four.
Daisy Abernathy, my motherMarcus Abernathy, my fatherJonathan Abernathy, my baby brotherMargaret Pinewood, my girlfriend
All killed by the Capitol to punish me.
The drinking gets worse with every pair of names he has to add. In the end, he adds forty-six more. Forty-six more children he can't save.
Before the Seventy-Fourth Reaping, he was expecting to add two more.
After the reaping, he expected Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark to be written in his notebook as he rode the train back home alone.
Neither dies, but Haymitch realized that those names were going to end up on another list, the Killed by the Capitol because they were too smart for their own good list.
After writing the list down for twenty-three years, Haymitch knows full well who the enemy is.
More names go down in the next two years than in all the years since he wrote down the first set, ending finally with Alma Coin and Corionalus Snow, killed by the pawn they once controlled.
Directly before that comes Primrose Everdeen, who was a mockingbird in a word needing an angry mockingjay, killed by double-exploding bombs.
Haymitch keeps record for a reason.; the names were once people. Good people, bad people, smart people, strong people, dead people. Lots of dead people. Lots of dead children.
He censors his demons by knowing their names. When you name your demons, they lose power. Haymitch knows about power.