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Genesis 'Gen' Lantbruk is a tribute created by PoisonedPoetry. Please do not use her without permission.

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Name: Genesis ‘Gen’ Lantbruk

Genesis Valotis
Genesis RL

District: 11

Gender: Female

Age: 15

Personality: What people make of Gen is a sweet and cheerful young girl who does whatever it takes to help out around the district. Her selflessness ensures that she gives up her spare time assisting everybody, even if they don’t deserve it. If there was a list of nice people, Gen would be near the top. She may seem optimistic, but there lies a dark side to her.

In reality, Gen is depressed. She has been trapped in the cage of sorrow for years. For ages, she’s been replying on hope to help her combat the pain and heartbreak she’s been through. The only reason she’s helping out the others is so that they don’t have to bear any anguish any more harrowing than hers. She’s sympathetic with them, yet she’s secretive about her own past. All she wants is to make sure the other unfortunate children keep their innocence about the agony that lies outside the hunger games. Although she does help out the others, her trust skills or lack thereof and altruism mean that she doesn’t want anything in return due to fear. Of what exactly, even she doesn’t know. But it’s safe to say that she has her times where she wants to be solitary.

Height: 5’5

Appearance: Gen is a jewel to the eye, somehow pretty enough to compete with a few residents of district 1. Her facial skin is pure of any blemishes and as smooth as marble. Her skin tone makes it seem like an olive-black colour. On her torso though, are scars, cuts and bruises that she has obtained from domestic abuse and self-harm. Her hair is a luscious dark brown colour with some lighter streaks of lighter shades here and there. It’s naturally curly and reaches her chest area. She usually wears it so that it rests on her right shoulder only. Her eyes are a vibrant olive colour. She is usually seen with a small grin playing on her lips. However, in her eyes lingers a flame of sadness and confusion.

Weapon(s): Hailing from District 11, Gen is used to the idea of wielding sickles. She has constantly used them for harvesting wheat and other grains in her workplace, though her competency with them in battle is around average. She is more used to using knives considering how much she would harm herself with them.

Strengths: Gen is used to going hungry, as do most tributes from 11. Her family is one of family facing poverty and death every day. She also has high pain tolerance after taking many beatings from her father for things she didn’t do. After seeing many disturbing images, she’s grown used to anything that could scar somebody with low/average mental tolerance capacities for a long period of time.

Weaknesses: It is easy to scare Gen and send her into a flap, which would hinder any combat skills she has. This also means that hiding is not an option for her, as she would jump in shock and scream. Thus, her opponents would be alerted to her presence. Another downfall of hers is her lack of trust. Even if anybody was to request an alliance with her, she would likely decline the offer. Her past is to blame for this.

Fears: Gen’s biggest fear is being stuck in pain for a medium-long period of time, whether it is physically or mentally inflicted. It reminds her of the ways she’s been mistreated by her father in the past. She’s also scared of being tortured, because she knows that it involves long periods of time in suffering. The thought of slowly dying also makes her heart freeze in fear.

Alliance: Loner, or possibly one other person if she feels they are trustworthy.

Token: A small lump of coal

Backstory

WARNING: THE FOLLOWING TRIBUTE CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING TOPIC(S):Domestic Abuse, self harm, suicide
IF YOU FIND THIS EASILY TRIGGERING, IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT YOU READ THE TRIBUTE WITH PRECAUTION.

My life begins in a run-of-the-mill shack, where I was born to Exodus Lantbruk and Elisiara Lysée. From what little clues my father supplied me during our time, the two were lovers who had embarked on an affair and kept it secret. When my mother had become pregnant with me, they called time off so that my mother could easily pretend it her was then-husband that was the father. The very first tragedy of my life happened merely three hours after I was born: My mother passed on after she lost too much blood during my birth. At the time my father was very deeply heartbroken, nonetheless he brought me back to his home.

In my early childhood, I didn’t ever get time to play games with any of the other children within the district. Because me and my father were so impoverished, we had to work extra-long hours just to live on for another day. Our relationship with each other was strained to the limit. Because we spent over half the day gathering the crops and tending to them, we never really got to see eye-to-eye until the evening and night times. For me, they used to be the biggest highlight of the day: We would often converse about how our day was, rant about the work and share a couple of jokes. Family time was a stash of treasure compared with money, until father encountered a different hoard of gems to cherish: Alcohol. At the time, I was twelve.

The evening before he began to drink, I had found myself inquisitive about my mother: Most of my co-workers and schoolmates had mentioned their mothers before, so I found it naturally fishy that only my father was around to look out for me. Piqued by this mystery, I decided to enquire upon the matter during our evening meal.

During our gathering, my father noticed how sullen I was. I could tell from the way his eyes glanced over me, seemingly pondering over something. Since I was too shy to begin conversations, I believed that the best way to draw his attention would be to act differently. It was working. I continued this pantomime, until at least he begun the question I was hoping for:

“Are you feeling alright, Gen? You don’t look so happy.”

“I’m fine… I’m just wondering about why there isn’t a mother figure in this household.” I sighed. The instant I mentioned it, my father’s face faded to white. His breathing rate rose and his hands tensed up.

“Gen… I vowed to myself that I wouldn’t speak about your mum, not unless you were to ask about it. So since you brought up the subject at hand, I’d-I’d,” A few tears shed in his eyes, dribbling down his once rosy cheeks. “I’d better explain everything,” He paused, only to grab a tissue and blow into it. “I was a single man, she was married. We met each other at our line of work, and we slowly bonded until we eventually became lovers. Everything was great… but then-” His sobbing forced him to hiccup, making several of his words unclear at first. “She became pregna-hic! Pregnant, with you. We were terrified over wha-hic! What may happen. Nonetheless, I continued to support her right up to y-hic! Your birth. She died three hours late-hic! Later. She lost too mu-hic! Too much blood. You… you killed her. It may not ha-hic! Have been your fault, but you still killed her.” He slammed his fist onto the table, attempting to numb his mental pain by physically harming himself.

“I’m sorry father! I-I didn’t know it would trigger you. I only meant well!”

“Gen… for your benefit, leave me be. I have some m-m-mourning to attend to.” Respectfully, I did as he requested me to. I was overcome by new emotions that I had never encountered before. First of all, there was guilt: Guilt for making my father feel depressed. Then there was fear: Now that I had re-opened the scar of his past, I wished that I could predict the future: There was no telling what he might do next. Finally, there was sadness: I pitied my father for losing who must’ve sounded like the best lover ever. And though it was an illegitimate relationship, it was still love… and without it, I wouldn’t have existed.

The very next day, my father remained at home. He told me to report to work about his absence, due to an illness he had developed. From my perspective, he seemed perfectly fit and healthy. However I took his word for it and gave the message. The head of the farm accepted it, though he was salty about having one of his workers staying behind. Thoughts of how he was coping rushed over me in the entire course of the day. I tried to shrug it off, but within me I had a gut feeling that the revelation of yesterday was taking its toll on him. I couldn’t wait until evening time to eliminate the lingering sense of mystery.

When I did finally arrive home, I felt an essence of malevolence lurking within the walls. As I cautiously  approached the front door, I smelt the air. It smelt bitter, yet sweet at the same time. It smelt familiar, but I couldn’t recall what it was. Nonetheless I stepped in. Inside, slumped on the couch, was my father. Lots of brown and green bottles lay around him, emptied of their contents. Somewhere near his foot lay another one, still dripping it’s noxious liquid out. Father was glugging down another bottle, and I gasped as I realised what it was: Alcohol. I had heard about it from one of my friends at work, only I didn’t imagine it to be as bad as this. Father was a complete mess, laughing at one moment then sobbing his heart out the next. And to think that I had elicited this mess… horrified couldn’t even describe my feelings on this quandary.

“Father?” He paid no attention to me. The rest of the drink was downed in one go, leaving him in a sequence of mood swings. From the elusive highs to the hellish lows, you name it, he faced it. That didn’t put me off from stepping towards him. It was only when I was three feet away that he took notice of me. He gave me a pitiful stare, the kind that pleads for help and emits fear at the same time. Encased within the hellish contains of booze, he reached out for me. I reached back, but at the last second he pulled it away.

“Elisiara, no, please…” He whimpered. “It can’t be you. Y-you’re dead. Leave me! Please, leave!”

“I’m not-” My mouth could say no more. Everything seemed to go in slow motion. Father’s hand rose, flat as paper. No longer was there pity in his eyes, but instead what lay there was burning hatred. My heart was beginning to shred to pieces, merely by watching as the flames singed the edges. Then my eyes were directed back to his hand. It closed in, inching closer towards my face. Common sense would’ve told me to evade the hit, but I was frozen… as if his new state hypnotised me. Too late. Instant agony stung at my cheek like a swarm of hornets. The recoil forced me to fall to my side. The aftermath of the slap was still there: I could feel it on the tips of my fingers. And stood above me was the deliverer of the blow.

Glancing back at him, I could find no more remorse harboured in his soul. Emotionlessly, he scanned over me.

“Father… please.” My lip trembled as I weakly made my bid to mercy. “It’s your daughter.” Only I wasn’t. This wasn’t the paternal figure I had grown up to acknowledge and love: This was a beast in disguise as a human being. This drunken maniac began to chortle.

“Funny you should say that.” More tears began to run down his cheeks. “You look just like your m-mother. And you’re not even, even…” He lurched towards a cabinet, clumsily opening the door. Several piles of precious crockery fell to the floor. But it was what was left at the back of the cabinet that had me in even greater fear: A leather whip. “You killed her, ‘daughter’.” He couldn’t even remember my name. That was the biggest punch in the gut to me that I had ever heard. “And because you killed her,” He giggled slightly. “You dese-deserve p-punishment.” His words started to slur now, and now that I had heard it I was bemused that I hadn’t noticed it before. My wrist was sharply taken by one of his hands. I cried out in pain, hoping for help, deep down knowing that nobody would be able to save me: We had lived quite far from the company of other humans. He plucked me away from the remnants of my happy family life, dragging me down a void of nightmares. I was shoved down to the floor, having now become a weeping mess myself. Father brandished his prized whip, eyeing me with a wickedly sorrowful facial expression. I squinted through my tears, helpless to do anything but watch on as the first blow was made to my legs. The pain was unbearable. Snapping out of my stance, I feebly attempted to pull myself back up. The second lash came, this time across my thigh. I caught myself on the side of the table, preventing me from being brought down again. Unfortunately, the next attack came to my forehead. I was instantly thrust down by the force. Barely conscious, I dragged myself across the floor to the door to my bedroom. Along the way I still received lashings from the belt. The marks stung so much, I felt like I had already died and gone to hell to repent for my mistake. But I was so close to safety...

With my last ounce of energy, I shoved the door open and clambered through. Before father could even storm through, I temporarily blocked the door by sliding a chair so that it interlocked with the doorknob. Afterwards I pulled myself up to my feet. In desperation I rummaged in my draws for a rope I had once been given. My heart beating in time with the knocks on the door, I growled in frustration before I finally came across it. Limping back to the passage to hell, I tied one end of the rope to the doorknob. The other end was fastened to a metal pole that was screwed into the floor. Hoping that this ploy would work, I dragged the chair back to its original place. My father was still trying to get in at this point, so it made me jump whenever the door clanged. propitiously, the most he could open it at was an inch. I held my breath, hoping he wouldn’t use a knife or anything sharp to cut through it. Outside, there was still the sound of him blubbering in his condition. The mood swings constantly came and went, until at last I couldn’t hear anything behind the door. In anticipation I waited a couple of minutes. Nothing. exhaling in relief, I fell backwards onto my bed. I willed my mind to trick itself into perceiving this as nothing but a nightmare. Although I tried my very hardest to do so, I couldn’t deny what had just happened: My father had almost literally taken ‘drowning their sorrow’ in a real life context. Ashamed of myself, I wept myself to sleep. I found myself dreaming of a situation where this was a one-time event. That it would never occur again. When you’re praying that tomorrow it’s ok.

By the time I had woken up, the memories of the previous night had been permanently glued to my mind. Every single action replayed over and over again. I glanced down at my body, finding the wounds from my encounter with the drunken demon. Who knew what today was going to be like? He might go sober and regret what he’d done, or maybe he would continue on with his actions. After changing out of my current clothes, I undid the rope lock and exited my room, back to the hallway where much of the action happened. For a brief moment, I found myself watching the whole thing unfold from a third-person narrative. There I was, pleading and wailing after each crack of the whip. Then I blinked. Nothing. It was all normal again. I continued on through the living room, where it had all begun. There on the seatee was my father, dozing away like an angelic baby. The room literally stunk of alcohol to the point where I had to cover my nose with my top. Loitered on the shelves were more bottles, and they all looked half-full. Needless to say, it seemed like he was secretly replenishing his stocks from elsewhere. The question was, from who? All I knew was that this wouldn’t be the end of the domestic abuse, as much as I wanted to debunk it. But we’re old enough to know that what has been will be again… When I finally returned from work, my worst fears were confirmed: He was still drinking. Some of the bottles on the shelf had vanished, having ended up on the floor along with the many others he had drunk prior to that fateful day. By his side was the same leather whip he had used against me. At the sight of me, he sneered.

“You aga-hic! Again? When will you l-hic! Learn?” I didn’t reply. Seemingly provoked by the lack of response, he reached over for the whip. My eyes widened in alarm. That happy glazed look in his eyes returned. “I’m going to enjoy bea-hic! Beating the sense back into you.” True to his word, he cackled as he lashed the whip across my torso. I had no time to react as he made a repeat of the previous night. As hit among hit made its mark, many grazes continued to mark my body. I made an effort to reach refuge in my room, but not before a couple of my older wounds were struck by the tip, causing them to begin bleeding. Thankfully, I had more energy than the previous night so I was able to reach my only haven in time. My movements mimicked that of what I had done, barring the door before I attached the ropes at either end. In a matter of seconds, father gave up on intruding in my room. This gave me time to analyse my wounds… and boy, they weren’t pretty.

Blood dripped out of the lacerations that had been opened, streaming down the sides of my body. My shirt had been sliced open, making me wonder how a leather whip could even be so powerful. Then it came to me: At some point whilst I was at work, father must’ve added a metal spike to the end. I shivered to imagine how much more violent he could grow. ‘Probably a lot more…’ I had thought to myself. By this point, my stomach was growling: I hadn’t eaten for two nights straight. At first this made me fear of dying from dehydration, but then I remembered that I had had two drinks of water at work. For now, I was still alive. This brought up a sequence of questions though: For how long will this continue? Will I ever be liberated from this agony? Will I be able to find help? Can I stay strong? In any situation like this, I knew I should’ve just confessed it all to someone. But at the same time, there was the sense that in doing so, I would bring shame to the family. Then again, nothing matters when the pain is all but gone. I felt my mind enter a slight state of relapse. Even though I hadn’t been abused for long, I believed that it was already pulling a part of me away. Truth be told it was very minor, but at the time I didn’t know that.

This cycle of working and being beaten was a regular one for me. Because of the massive impact the punishment made on me, I would hide within the town and offer help to other people around, in return for a tiny portion of food and water. Seeing their happy faces and gratefulness left me smiling… yet I was overwhelmed by a burning jealousy that their lives were much more peaceful than mine. I never let that get to me physically: The pressure of survival was on my mind 24/7. Sometimes I would have to purloin from work just to fill my stomach. I seldom did this though, in fear of getting caught and executed for it. On occasion, I would sleep next to my workplace just to have a peaceful night for once. I missed the warmth of my bed, the relics of my past that offered me salvation and imagination. However much I hated the feeling of the whip across my body, I couldn’t bear to part from home for longer than two days. The scars built up repeatedly, cunningly marked across my torso so that almost nobody would notice. Because of this, I was unable to receive help without opening up to anyone. And if I did, my father would be executed and I would be sent to an orphanage. Now, it was no longer a matter of the pride of the family, but of avoiding the rickety child homes that I had heard of within gossip and rumours. Nothing matters but the pain when you’re alone…

I was about fourteen when I begun to develop new thoughts. Though the gratitude of other people and offers of help were a luxurious comfort for my soul, I couldn’t help but feel fragmented. Never being able to have a permanent haven was only now beginning to have a more significant effect on my mind. Every now and then, I’d snap at people whenever the coercion became too much for me to handle. I had my hopes up that this would be my only side effect of my disastrous life. That wasn’t the end of it though.

Even though I was truly alone, I found that there was this voice in the back of my mind. It sounded just like me, but its characteristics were very much different. Mostly it lingered around like a parasite, but there were also moments when its influence began to grow over me. For example, one day it kept whispering to me saying ‘Just end it. Nobody cares for you. Nobody would miss you if you do it. Jump off a building, cut an artery, blow out your brains, doesn’t matter how you go down.” Half of my energy was spent just to ignore the mockery made by this voice. All I wanted was to be able to live, as the thought of dying was the most terrible aspect of my life I could face. However, the more this conscience spoke, the more it made sense. What was the point in living if you can’t even have a good life? What was the point in facing the never-ending nights when you’re awake? In the end, I couldn’t bear denying the philosophy I was being provided with.

Clouded by despair, I rushed home after work one day, breaking my typical schedule. Father was still an abusive alcoholic and was even in trouble with loan sharks. Why? Because he constantly borrowed money to buy his daily dose of alcohol. He would constantly participate in illegal imports in order to receive the payment. He was missing when I got back, giving me relief: He wouldn’t be here to see it… I made my way towards the kitchen, finding exactly what I was looking for in the draws: A sharp knife, ready to slice and dice. Afterwards I withdrew myself to the ‘bathroom’, which was more like a shabby hut in the back of our house with a miniscule hole for us to excrete out waste. Above it was a tiny bench with a hole, which was very uncomfortable to sit on. Anyway, I took my place on the bench. I held the knife in one of my hands, stroking it lightly across the blade with the other. “Do it. Cut the artery. Shut the door, say goodbye.” My hand shook as violently as an earthquake as I held it above the aforementioned vein. Along with it, my lip trembled and tears came out of my eyes. I held my breath as I lowered the blade. Shut the door, say goodbye. Its cold touch embraced the sudden warmth of my skin. Shut the door, say goodbye. My eyes squinted shut as I prepared to make the fatal incision. Shut the door, say goodbye…

Except I didn’t…

At the very last second, my hand jerked backwards so the cut was made just below where the veins popped out. I almost hollered as the stream of blood flowed from the new wound. Despite the pain, I held back the urge to scream and instead grunted with a heavy sigh. Even more tears came pouring down from my eyes. It felt much worse than the beatings, and yet it brought me a sense of relief. As if this type of punishment would bring forgiveness after my mistakes. My breathing became more rapid, as my apparent panic over what I had just done overcame me. I found myself going ballistic, stabbing holes into the walls of the hut everywhere. I growled with fury and anguish, just as I made another sharper, more swift and elegant stab on the underside of my arm. This time, more of my voice could be heard as I made a longer howl. I paused for a couple of seconds, waiting for the pain to be eradicated. Once it faded, I begun to make another few cuts into my skins. Eventually, I felt that it was enough for one day. Glancing down at my arm, I felt somewhat appalled at what I had just done. My original aim was to live on for as long as I could without hurting myself or the other people around me. Now? The first section had just been thrown out of the window. The voice had won against the immense strength of my willpower… and with my defences splintered, I had permitted more and more of it to take control of my body. It left me on the edges of the sharpest knives in the middle of the darkest nights. I hoped that they could be built up again, but at the same time I believed it was better to leave it unattended.

More and more of my self-inflicted torture began to show up all over my body. From my arms to my legs, there was an abundance of scars and bruises all over me. You’d have thought that I had just strolled right out from a battlefield based upon my physical appearance. The delusions of my father and my wearisome life in half-poverty had struck me harder than I could’ve imagined. My suicidal mind-set often urged me to cut the lifeline, but I often clung on tightly to my will to keep a hold on life. That was, until I chose to take a different route home. It was completely random, but it allowed me to stroll above rooftops. Glancing downwards, I could tell that a slip meant certain death.

Shut the door, say goodbye.’ The very same voice that led to my tendencies to inflict pain upon myself… I wanted no more from it. Just as I spun around to continue onwards, I felt a force freeze me on the spot. At first it felt like time stopped alongside me. Then, tentatively, I began to walk backwards, until I was close to the ledges. I almost lost my footing doing so, but I recovered. Afterwards I allowed myself to sit down on the edge of the ledge. Shut the door, say goodbye. Once more, I had granted the voice access to my body. My defenses had fully gone. At this rate, so too would my will to live unless I could resist the suicidal thoughts. However I felt like I was glued there, and the only way to break free was to go down.

Minutes later, a small crowd formed below me. One or two people gazed at me with a sense of awe. The others, though, knew very well of ‘my’ intentions. All of them were crying out for me not to drop down. My hands clasped tightly onto the ledge. I half-expected the suicidal thoughts to return. Above the crowd, feet dangling from a rooftop. She waits from ledges for a voice to talk her down…

The very last thing I anticipated was a hand to grasp onto my shoulder. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see a girl a few years older than me with chest-length hair. Her face was neutral, betraying no emotions at all. She took a seat next to me, at first looking down at the audience. At first I was puzzled, but then she faced me again.

“Genesis,” I jumped a little, due to how she knew my name. Seeming to read my mind, she continued on. “I’ve heard wonderful things about you. You’re the gem of the district, the one gluing us all together. I don’t understand why you’re thinking of launching yourself into the hands of death.”

“It’s a complex story. One that you wouldn’t want to hear.” I shuffled closer to the edge, once more hearing the voice that persistently belittled me. This girl, however, took hold of my arm.

“How could you come to such a conclusion?” She softly glanced into my eyes, finally revealing herself as a compassionate and sympathetic soul.

“Because, because…” I couldn’t find the words. There were never any to fill in that sentence in the first place. All this time and I had been led astray from the truth and my beliefs. Feeling vulnerable, I seeked refuge in something I never thought I would’ve done then: I allowed myself to weep right in front of everybody, burying my head in this stranger’s chest. She wrapped her arms around my back, and for the first time in years I felt true nurture.

“There there. Eventually things will get better, whatever your situation. There will be a time to crack another smile, maybe not today or for a while. But that day will come.”

“I-I don’t understand why you want to help me.” I sniffed.

“Because I was too late to save somebody who I held dearly to me. Now… I’m trying to find others who felt the same way, and save them from themselves. I’ve seen enough to know it’s lonely where you are. Come with me.” The girl stood up, holding out her hand to me. As dubious as I was, I took hold of it and pushed myself away from the gateway to death. She led me away from the building, far away to another place which I could only assume to be her house. Unlike my home, it felt very warming and inviting. My spirits rose a little purely because of the aura surrounding it. And when I taken inside, I was further impressed by the lack of dreariness within. We both seated ourselves at a table inside. I was offered some tea and biscuits, which I gratefully accepted. Me and my saviour sat there in silence, polishing off our meal. When we had both finished, when I decided to ask some questions.

“So… who are you? I’ve never seen you around before.” I tried not to seem too obtrusive. After all, this girl seemed like the kind of person I could befriend.

“I’m Sierra Lysée. I hope this sudden acquaintance will benefit your mental health.” We reached our hands across to shake them. I carefully angled my hands so that my acts of self-harm were disguised from her sight, but even it wasn’t enough to fool her. “I see you’ve been cutting yourself.”

“How did you-” I paused as she rotated my arm, glancing at the scars from my former years. Some were fresh, others had faded to little visibility. But they were still there: A mark of what the past did to me and what I did to myself. It was the first time I ever glanced at them properly, and already I was disgusted by the matter that had gathered on my skin.

“As I mentioned, the person I couldn’t have saved.”

“Who?”

“My brother. Ashton,” I could tell she was biting her tongue from where the skin on her cheeks suddenly rose. “My Mom went missing almost 15 years ago. At first my Dad and Ashton were hopeful that she would return, but she never came back. For ages they waited, but in due course Dad accepted that she wasn’t coming back. Ashton, on the other hand… he was depressed. I wanted to help him, being the younger of us two, but he-he… excuse me one second,” Sierra reached over for a tissue and dabbed at her eyes. Bringing it back down on the table, she continued on. “He constantly slashed at his arm to calm down. But when it all got too much, he ended it all by hanging himself. Right here. Right above us.” I gritted my teeth as I glanced up at the wooden beams. Knowing that I was sat at the location of a suicide… I was creeped out by it.

“You don’t seem to have been too badly affected.” I remarked. “If anything you got lucky with how you handled it.”

“To be honest, it’s because I wanted to be bold when it came to this kind of thing. I aspired to remain cool and collected. Back then I believed that the bravest of faces are the ones where we fake it. If anything, we all need to learn how to move on. All that matters is the time we had, doesn’t matter how it all went bad. Sometimes Dad and I have nightmares about seeing his corpse. But we’re holding on to laugh again someday.”

“I get it.” I responded, seeing as I really did. “But my reason for my self harm and attempted suicide isn’t due to a loss.”

“Is it not?”

“No. I’ve never mentioned this to anyone, but…” Wearily I peeked from side to side. “Please don’t relay this to anyone, but the reason I self harm is because my father… he abuses me.” Sierra’s jaw dropped to the floor. “He’s an alcoholic, gets it illegally.”

“Gen,” That was the very first time my current nickname was used. In all honesty I thought it had a nice ring to it. “How could you live with a man like that?”

“Because I have nowhere else to go.” I begun to stare into space outside the window. “I’ve been living out on the streets for a couple of days at a time to get used to life out there, but I tend to want to return home. I know my father needs me, but how am I supposed to when he’s drowning his sorrows?” She pondered over this for a second.

Despite the overwhelming odds, tomorrow came. Live by those words. You’ve been cut up about this, you’ve been hiding and fighting from this ordeal, so you’re lucky to be here even now. Now Gen, listen up real closely. When faced with tragedy, we come alive or come undone. So don’t hold back, let it shape you like an ocean. Even the deepest scars in time will fade. You’re strong mentally which is why you’ve been able to put off coming undone. Now it’s time for you to come alive. Reflect upon what mistakes and achievements you’ve made and earnt. Sometimes you have to go back to know just where you were then. Learn from the past. Rebuild your life. When they see you crack a smile and you decide to stay a while, you’ll be ready then to laugh again.” I made a mental breakdown of the vital advice that Sierra had just gave me. Two main endings for depression. Be flexible with your emotions. Learn from the past. Rebuild your life. I repeated this mantra a couple of times in my head. That was my depression sorted out, but one of the issues remained unsolved.

“What about my father? How can I support him? He attacks me the instant he sees me.” Sierra frowned.

“In terms of him… I don’t know. If the going gets too much you’re always welcome to stay here… that’s as much as I can help you with though. Don’t you have any other family members?”

“No. I’ve always been an only child and I caused my mother’s death through birth.” She patted my back.

“I’m sorry to hear that.” I felt soothed by her presence. As the very first person to listen to me gripe and whine about my problems, I had allowed myself to finally show trust. She was someone I could partially relate to, and that eased the burdens of my life.

After my encounter with Sierra, mental health seemed to steadily go uphill for me. I was able to fight back against the suicidal demons inside me. For example, if I heard them say: ‘Kill yourself. Misery always wins. We are misery.” I would respond with ‘Yep, but you’re a distant memory.” As for the rest of my mind, well, it was still on the mend. Though I was still on the other end of my father’s whip whenever I came home, I no longer feared it. Instead I used it to my advantage by learning to numb the pain I was dealt with. Despite this I never fully recovered. Every now and then, I would end up in a breakdown and return to self-harm, sometimes momentarily forgetting about Sierra’s hospitality. Sometimes I didn’t even want to be around others so that I could think on my own. What did come back time and time again, however, was the mantra. Upon reflecting upon it I allowed the muscles around my mouth to curve upwards. It might have been slightly broken, but it was still a smile. Then came the next stage of my life. At the reapings, my name was announced after being plucked from a bowl by the escort. Not wanting to receive too much attention, I casually strolled to the stage. I had my arms covered so that nobody could see what I had been through. All I wanted was to shield the innocent prying eyes of children from humanity’s ills. Some of the people I helped visited me, and so did Sierra, but my father abandoned me to my fate. And more than anything, I wanted to come back and see him in a sober state for once.

Backstory Summary

For her entire life Gen has only ever lived with her father. Her mother died giving birth to her. The duo always got on and her father so far has been able to manage his emotions. But one day Gen brought up her mother, which would tip her father off the scale and cause him to become an alcoholic. He did whatever it took to get some booze. This caused him to become abusive towards Gen, who often tried to hide away.

She would always stay at work, help out other people and stay on the streets for nights at a time just to get away. However her homesickness meant she had to return at some point, only to get beaten. Eventually all the beatings took a hold of her mind and she started to self-harm. At one point she was tempted to end it all by falling off a rooftop, but a girl saved her. Her name was Sierra and unknown to the two of them, they were half-sisters. Sierra was able to offer advice to Gen based on her own experiences with self-harm and her brother, who had killed himself at some point in the past. The two became friends and Gen was better off mentally, but still broken. Then when she become 15 she was reaped, and had the goal of winning to see her father become sober again.

Inspiration

Tragedy + Time - Rise Against

'On the middle of the sharpest knives in the middle of the darkest nights.' - Gen hiding her acts of self-harm

'Always knew I would find you here in a puddle of the bravest tears' - When Gen continues to break down after vowing to stay strong.

'I've seen enough to know it's lonely where you are' - Gen having no real family or friends (before Sierra came around)

'Above the crowd, feet dangling from a rooftop. She waits from ledges for a voice to talk her down' - This describes the whole scene where Gen almost ends it. The 'voice' in this line is the same one that's been telling Gen to kill herself.

'Nothing matters but the pain when you're alone.' - Self-explanatory

'The never-ending nights when you're awake.' - Could refer to Gen having nightmares, or the darkness of her situation.

'When you're praying that tomorrow it's ok.' - Gen hoping that her abuse would stop.

'There will be a time to crack another smile, maybe not today or for a while, but we're holding on to laugh again someday' - When Gen realises that it may take some time for her situation to end, but at the end of it everyone can be happy again.

'All that matters is the time we had, doesn't matter how it all went bad.' - Trying to see that the happier memories are more important than the grim ones.

'Shut the door, say goodbye.' - Gen if she were to actually go through with commiting suicide.

'When faced with tragedy, we come alive or come undone.' - When going through some harsh events in life, you'll either get through them eventually or it will break you down until you can't take it anymore.

'So don't hold back, let it shape you like an ocean.' - Gen trying to be flexible with her emotions.

'Even the deepest scars in time will fade' - At some point the negativity will end.

'And sometimes you have to go back to know just where you were then' - Gen reflecting upon to past to learn from it.

'But we're old enough to know that what has been will be again.' - Gen, despite hoping that her father would stop with the alcohol and abuse, knows that deep down it will happen again at some point in the future.

'And the bravest of faces are the ones where we fake it.' - Could refer to Gen keeping her past hidden so as not to appear weak.

'Nothing matters when the pain is all but gone.' - Again, self-explanatory.

'Despite the overwhelming odds, tomorrow came.' - When Gen has been able to live on by doing everything for herself even though she should technically have died.

'We are tragedy, we are sympathy' - Gen and Sierra exchanging their encounters with self-harm and being able to relate with each other.

'We are misery, a distant memory' - When Gen begins to lose the suicidal thoughts she's had to put up with.

Trivia

  • Lantbruk translates to Agriculture in Swedish
  • She was originally made for Kekai's Trial of Oblivion, until the games got cancelled.
  • Unknown to them both, Gen is actually the half-sister or Sierra Lysée. They share the same mother.

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