Marvel is awesome *o*
Mags is officialy casted - confirmed by Lionsgate: https://www.facebook.com/thehungergamesmovie/app_432927770063734
She’s beying portayed by the actress Lynn Cohen photos:
So has the morning finally awoke, breaking through the descent of darkness with it’s light. Weak sun beams fighting their way through branches, lightening up my face, gently caressing it with their pleasant warmth. A scent of fresh wrapping around trees, landing on the river’s surface, fusioning all those fragrances together, creating a divine smell. A soft breeze was blowing through the leafs just above my head, causing them to shiver. Some even fall off, landing in the depth so far under.
A friendly greeting from Nature, a song presented to us, an intro, leading us into the day. This day, which will swallow all the history that has been written till now. This day which will be the omen of sorrow and grief but love and dedication as well. Tears and blood will flow and the crowd will raise holding back their gasps, not believing their eyes. And finally then… Will they see our pain?
In the Morning dew I woke, wrapped into Cato’s tight grip. His head nested into the space between my neck and shoulder. His chest slowly rising and sinking to the beat of his deep breathing. His whole being pressed onto me. I felt safe. From time to time Cato murmured something, tightened his grip, but loosened after a while.
I don’t care the price I just wanted to stop the time no matter what. I was prepared to sacrifice all humankind for this moment to last. Many times have I seen this in my head, so clear, but always had to kill those thoughts off, telling myself I’m not enough, telling myself to fight and win. But now, finally.. Cato was mine and I was his.
It felt as if life has just started.
‘From now on, I’ll share everyday with Cato. He will be close, protecting me, sticking by my side. Things will finally be perfect and the world will turn just for the two of us. Together we are strong, nothing can defeat us. There’s no stopping.. not anymore. I was prepared to slaughter anyone who’d come in between.
I leaned my head on Cato’s arm, placing my hand gently into his and began sinking into his warm, soft skin. Cato smelled so well.
Swaying on his chest, I almost fall back asleep, but Cato’s fingers softly tangled between mine, his head then leaned in, followed by a kiss on my forehead.
”Good morning, sunshine.” Cato whispered, with barely any voice.
I looked up to catch his stare, friendly greeting me along with an innocent smile. I smiled back while cuddling deeper into his grip. Cato streached, then sat up, pulling me along.
”Just a little bit more..” I yawned, begging, rubbing my eyes. Cato just laughed sweetly.
”The sooner we get over with this, the sooner will be able to carry on.” He then said, patting my head. I blushed a little, then started to tie my hair back into a braid. In the meantime Cato took the remaining food from his backpack, sorting in over the mossy stone, making it look like a full breakfast table.
I joined him, sitting down right next to him.
”Here.” Cato said, pushing some meat and bread into my hand, ”eat this, we’ll need all the energy we can get.” He added. I thankfuly accepted the food, already digging my teeth into it.
”Any plan?” I asked, focusing on the meaty treat in front of me.
”I thought searching for Tresh or putting up a trap for him as good ideas.” Cato said with a serious voice, still in thought.
”Not bad. But we’ll need to split up for that.” I said, now looking directly at him.
”Mm.. You’re right but I think it would be for the best to stay close by, or at least give each other a sign if hurt or found something.” Cato said.
”Like a whistle?” I asked.
”Damn yeah!” Cato seemed excited over my idea. A moment of silence broke in before I finally dared to speak my mind; ”And then we win..” I said quietly, trying to decide how I feel. Should I be the happiest person on earth? A part of me was, but if just felt wrong. After all we’ve been through and all the things we done. I shouldn’t even be allowed to feel happy ever again. For a second I wished I were an avox. I wouldn’t be able to speak, to tell anyone about all these horrors I’ve seen, I’d just be there, drowning in my own silence.. maybe even for the best. But I had to think forwards now, I had to make sure we leave the arena.
I couldn’t help but to feel scared.
”People calling your name, praising you, looking upto you. ” Cato placed his hand on my chin, pulling it up saying : ”I want to be just like Clove, the girl who won the 74th hunger games. I want to be as strong as she was!’ Can you imagine people saying that?” Cato’s voice was stained with excitement and amusement.
”No.” I said quietly.
”Don’t let guilt get over you now! You haven’t done anything wrong. Kill or be killed is the rule. You didn’t design this sick game.. Those who have and those who amuse themselves on it are the true evil.” Cato said with now a serious voice.
”I guess you’re right.” I murmured.
”I’m sure you’ve always dreamt of living in a huge house in a wealthy area. We’ll be living in the victor’s village in a beautiful house. And then, one day, we’ll tell our children of their mother and father’s victory, tell them how we went through stone and blood and how we survived the hardest part; everything after the games, because we held together. And they’ll be proud of us, they’ll be proud to tell who their parents are. And we.. we will stand as victors.” Cato said, drifting into daydream.
”Cato..W-what are you saying?” My voice shook him back to reality.
”When we get home.. I need to ask you something important. Keep that in mind!” He said, standing up, pulling me along.
”Come now, let’s go get fresh.” Cato said hapily. Pulling me by my hand towards the river.
What was Cato onto? My breath was staying away and my heart pumping fastly. ‘Our children’…? Did Cato really imagine a future with me?
My grip in Cato’s hand tightened, I started to run, overtaking him. Now I was pulling him behind, but not for long. I turned my head, smiling at him childishly and got the exact same reply. We were chasing ourselves, hand in hand, down a hill, laughing like children who were playing their happy games.
I wrapped both of my hands around Cato’s arm, causing him to stop. The river rustled close by, above us a birch, a home of hundreds of birds which sang the song of victory. Cato turned to me, looking at me and slowly moving closer, until my neck was streached out and I was staring up at him.
His arms wrapped around my waist, mine around his neck.
Cato’s tender lips bashed on mine, pressing against them softly. All his love and passion combined into this kiss. Cato was holding me tightly, letting me know I was his. And in his embrace I found a home, a place where I could picture the future, where I could bare life and all that comes along.
I was scared no more.
Cato broke the kiss, pressing my head against his chest, burrying it deep into his protective grip. Seconds.. minutes.. moments passed until his grip loosened and he let go of me, gently kissing my forehead, cupping my face, causing me to blush. For a while I stared at his eyes, finding myself in another dimension, loosing ground beneath my feet. He then took my hand, letting his fingers softly tangle around mine. The next second he was already running towards the crystal clear river, pulling me behind.
My feet waded through the icy surface of the river. Shivers ran down my spine as Cato was pulling me deeper into the water. A moment later I felt a cold splatter in my face and saw Cato laughing like a happy child. A little smile appeared on my face as well, as I too cupped the water, throwing it at Cato, his whole shirt was wet.
”You didn’t..” Cato said threatfuly, making his way to me, closing his arms around me, tripping me, causing me to stumble and fall into the water, pulling him along.
We surely made the impression of two children, playing games, splattering,..
That’s when I was truly happy. Cato and me, fooling around, our hearts beating as one. We seemed unstoppable. I was alive for the first time
A voice from nowhere appeared. I recognised it.. it was Claudius’ machine controlled voice.
”What again..?” I hissed. Cato just confusedly turned his head around, then looked at the sky.
”A new announcement everyone! We have prepared a feast for the remaining tributes. Today at twelve, a half an hour from now, a table by the Cornucopia will be set. On it you will find the only thing you need to help you win. Every district has one bag with their number on it! I wish you good luck and may the odds be ever in your favor.” Those words were followed by a squealing sound. After that, nothing more, not even the wind dared to blow.
My body was shaking. I sharply turned my head at Cato, searching for comfort, but he was as shocked as I was.
”So this is it, huh!?” Cato said, hiding his worries behind a smile.
”They’re planning a finale? I don’t understand!” I said, keeping myself from panicking
”Do we need anything?” Cato asked.
”If it’s a present from our Sponsors, we might need it when we’ll face Tresh..” I said, telling myself that nothing will go wrong. I didn’t want to accept the fact that I was scared.. actually scared.
”I don’t like this.” Cato said and frowned.
”Neither do I..” I replied, trying to hide my shivering body.
”What are we going to do. We clearly need a plan.” Cato said.
”We’re a threat to Tresh, right? That means he’ll definitly come to The Feast. But he knows he might face us and he stands no chance fighting us both. He’s smart. But also.. if he doesn’t arrive he knows we’ll take his bag. Maybe he thinks arriving early is for the best.”
”I agree. But what if he doesn’t plan on showing up?”
”Then I’ll go to The Feast and you clear the woods?” I said, strictly and determindedly.
”I’m not letting you go alone!” Cato’s voice raised.
”I’ll just fastly run, grab the bag and run back. I can take care of myself. There was no one looking after me in the bloodbath ether.” I said, staring at Cato.
”Forget it. We’re going together.” Cato said, grabbing my shoulders. His face was so close to mine, I could feel his breath on my face. Cato’s presence still caused my heart to speed up, pumping my blood into my cheek causing them to turn red. I shook my head in sign of focusing.
”What if you stay in the bushes, having sight over everything, then you could see Tresh arriving. In the meantime you can clear the area around a bit as well?”
”If you promise to take the bag and run as fast as you can back to me.”
”I promise.” I said nodding. What I didn’t tell Cato is that I planed on using myself as a bait.
I had a strange feeling about all of it but I tried to stay as calm as possible so Cato wouldn’t notice my worries.
”Come.. let’s go find a perfect spot.” I said, pulling Cato by his arm. He followed me for sometime without saying anything but not much after, he pulled my arm in sign of stopping. He took my hand and placed it on his chest, making me feel his heartbeat.
”Little one.. I don’t think we should do it.” He said, with a low voice, pressing my hand against his chest even harder.
”It’s going to be alright! Don’t worry about it.” I faked a smile, hoping to calm him down. So he felt it too? There was something wrong. Meanwhile I was already scared to death. I would never forgive myself if anything happened to Cato.. EVER. He probably felt the same. I could understand his worries.
”This whole thing stinks.” Cato said
”It does.. but the sooner we’re through with it, the sooner we’ll be back in district 2, you said that yourself.” I said trying to change his thoughts.
”But if something happens.. I swear…” Cato’s voice got louder, I could also hear anger rising inside of it.
”Shh.. Nothing’s going to happen. And if it does we can still save each other!” I said, striking another smile.
Cato just sighed, looking at me with a hopeless stare.
”There’s no life for me without you.. so please.. take care of yourself.” Cato said with a voice almost broken. Without having controlle of my own body, my arms wrapped around Cato’s neck, squeezing tightly, as my heavy head crashed on his body. Secretly I wished I wouldn’t have to go to the Feast and that I could stay there with Cato. Safe, wrapped in his warm embrace. I couldn’t hide the out breaking sobs nor the tears that streamed down my cheeks. No.. I mustn’t get weak, I need to pull this through. For Cato and for me.
”Come now.. I promise I won’t get myself in trouble. You still need to ask me something, forgot? I can’t just leave without an answer.. that’d be rude.” I said, forcing myself to smile, even tho my face was stained with tears. Cato smiled a little as well, swallowing his sorrow down.
”Fine.” He then followed me towards the Cornucopia.
Not long and we’ve finally reached it.
”So far the area’s been clean.” Cato said, still checking around.
”This spot seems perfect, you can see everything from here.” I said as we kneeled on the ground hidden by trees and bushes in the direction of the mouth of the Cornucopia.
”Yeah, this spot is pretty good.” Cato said, still looking around
”Tresh’s bag is still there, he hasn’t came yet.” I said as Cato turned his hand back forwards, noticing it too.
”Do you think he might be hiding somewhere around as well?” He then asked.
”I’m sure he hasn’t seen us yet. Well.. there’s only one way to find out!” I said slowly stepping out of the shadow into the sun, blinded for a short moment.
”No! Clove! What are you doing!?” Cato whispered hecticly.
”I’ll get the beg and clear the area, you do the same around here! If you see him before I do, feel free to interrupt.” I said calmly, slowly walking to the center of the Cornucopia ‘battle field’.
I could clearly hear the screams of all the fallen tributes, their faces, before my weapon slashed through their bodies. The bloodbath came alive again, I could see tributes standing on their platforms, I saw myself, looking around, studying faces. They all seemed terrified and I seemed as I was concentrating really hard until I noticed I was actually staring at Cato most of the time. Seconds were running out till the big clash, but my eyes laid only on Cato as his browsed around, searching a weapon. A canon blew off and everyone threw themselves from their platforms. Cato hecticly ran into the middle, took a bag, emptied it and found a dagger. I saw Marvel’s shadow by my left ear, as I turned I could clearly see him slashing a blond girl to the ground, finishing her off. Glimmer chased behind some other tribute as she speared his heart. And I’ve finally reached a pack of knives. From time to time I could catch Cato’s stare, seemed as he was checking on me. A brief meeting with Katniss followed, but sadly she escaped. As we were done, the four of us were left alone by the Cornucopia, choosing our weapons, beneath our feet lied a graveyard, flooded with corpses.
For a second my head spinned wildly crashing me back to the actually ground. I was standing alone in the middle of the field, just on the spot where I stood in the bloodbath. I turned my head back to Cato, he was still there, nervously staring at me, just like he did in the bloodbath. He cared all along..
I heard a sound from the bushes and fastly turned around, pulling out one of my knives, prepared to throw. But nothing happened. It couldn’t have been the wind. It seemed to have caught Cato’s attention as well. For another moment I stood still, gripping my knife tightly. Again that sound! Just a little bit further now! I turned to Cato and nodded my head signig that he should check it out. Cato hesitated, then stood up and quietly sneaked towards it.
I cleared the area around me as well. Didn’t seem as if anyone was close by. Slowly and silently I made my way towards the table to grab our bag. I reached my hand out to grab it…
…A strong grip grabbed me around my neck, turning me in the opposite direction, crashing me against the Cornucopia’s cold skin with my back. The sun was blinding me, I couldn’t open my eyes, I tried.
I managed to, enough to recognise the figure in front of me. Damnit!! We fall for Tresh’s trap. I clenched my teeth together, staring at him. I was so confused, my body shivered and my heartbeat echoed in my ears.
”Let go of me!” I growled, struggling, trying to pull out my knife, to at least move my hand. No use. Tresh was too strong and as a result to my struggling his grip tightened, already suffocating me.
”You killed Rue!” Tresh’s deep voice stormed against me, making me shiver even harder. I couldn’t get any breath, I tried to squeeze out a ‘No’ but failed. I could barely move, I tried shaking my head as an answer but he only understood it as an attempt of freeing myself.
I could see raw hatred in his eyes, his teeth clenched together and his whole power and weight pressing into the grip on my neck. He wanted to avenge the little girl. Even if I said no.. he would have killed me anyway. Tresh pulled me closer to himself, then stormly pushed me back against the Cornucopia with his whole power, causing the metaly wall behind me to shake from the pressure of my body. I felt an enormoushurt inside me. The back of my head was aching badly, my vision blurring itself and spinning around. Something in my neck cracked and I could barely hold my head staight up. I knew another hit could be fatal. The pain paralyzed my body, leaving my head to hang from my shoulders but I found enough courageto look Tresh in the eye again as he repeated the assault.
Again my body crashed into the Cornucopia wall behind me, this time harder. I could already feel something in me breaking. I never felt so weak and scared before. My sight blackened but cleared once I regained breath. I was breathing through my mouth loudly, trying to focus on Tresh.
In my head, I could already hear my canon booming, spreading over the arena followed by my picture appearing in the air. Nothing. I didn’t hear my canon. I’m still alive. I felt a swing of Tresh’s hand, preparingto strike the final blow. Suddenly my mouth opened widely. I had no breath left but still I managed to call out. In a hopeless squeal, almost a deadly scream I called out Cato’s name. Not as much of a hope of rescue but as a final wish before I die. Seeing his blue eyes again, shining just for me. I had no more hope, telling myself that my path ends here. At least I hoped my final wish would come true. Cato.. I wanted him to know, he was always the only thing on my mind, my last thought and breath went to him.
My scream was echoing around the place, disturbing the peace. Even Tresh backed away a little. He was about to finish the job, I already felt the swing of his hand for the third time and all I could do was to offer a last innocent smile, vividly seeing Cato in front of me. Gazing in the eyes so pure and divine, feeling a warm grip around my ribs moving to my back. And the scent I knew so well that always caused me to drown in it as I sinked into Cato’s warm skin.
A weak breeze tangled into my hair then I lost the ground beneath. But I didn’t. My body gently pressed onto something soft. It has already seemed as I was too broken to gain controle over the upper part of my body. Something in my spine must have broke. I was still waiting for the sound on my canon, but instead I heard the desperatest voice I ever had, reflecting damage and grief.
”Clove! Clove!! Clove please!” Some kind of drops fall against my face, rolling down my cheeks.
”No, Clove please!!” The voice was getting louder, almost screaming.
”Wake up!” Shouting. It was Cato. My wish must have came true, or maybe just another illusion?
”You can’t be dead!! You can’t be!!” Cato’s voice suddenly broke, probably like himself aswell. My head was resting on his knees and my hand in his. From time to time a few drops landed on my face. Oh how I wanted to tell him I’m still here.
”Please..” Cato was begging and sobbing. His body was shaking. ”I was too late..”
With the last of strenght I had, I squeezed Cato’s hand. As he jumped up a little bit.
”Clove!? Clove!!” Cato grabbed my aching shoulders, pulling me up, shaking me a little as my fragile motionless body hung from his grip. He then pulled me closer, hugging me tightly, placing his hand on the back of my neck.
”Oh Clove.. Please.. Please stay with me!” Cato moaned. He then probably noticed the beg with the number 2 in my hand, taking it away from me. Not much after he pushed something into my mouth.
”Clove swallow please.. Try!” Cato begged, his voice so desperate. I tried so hard. I pushed myself to my limits. I really tried! Tears bawled from my shut eyes as soon as I noticed I just couldn’t do it. Flowing down my face like a wild river. Cato! I’m so sorry! I failed! It’s all my fault!
Suddenly Cato opened my mouth violently, pressing his water bottle against my lower lip, letting the water flow through my throat, flushing the pill down. I felt a pressure in my chest and felt like coughing. A few seconds later the pressure got stronger, it forced me up. I started coughing hardly, since probably the water went into my trachea. I regained my breath. Taking a few moments to breath deeply. Again the air filled my lungs and I could feel my body, taking control over it again. The pain was gone as if nothing happened. When I took time to look around and noticed Tresh’s bloody body resting on the ground, motionlessly. I didn’t hear his canon blow! Must have been unconscious..
A feeling of guilt and remorse flew over me. It was over. Everyone else was dead.
I turned to Cato only to see his teary eyes. He seemed demolished. He crashed onto me, holding me tighly, pulling me onto him, grabbing the back of my shirt. He buried his face into my neck, trying to hide his tears.
”Clove.. you’re alright.” He whispered. I couldn’t help but to throw my arms around him, sinking into his embrace and letting go of myself. Cato saved me. I should have been dead.
”Cato..” I sobbed into his chest.
”Clove I love you so much! Don’t scare me like that ever again!” Cato’s voice sounded desperet.
His words just encouraged the downpure of tears. I couldn’t say anything, a blockade in my throat.
For a while I hung from Cato’s grip, telling myself everything is over, telling myself we’ll go home, forget everything and live a happy life.
”I-is it over?” I asked, still shivering.
”Yes.” Cato said, smiled and placed his hand on my head.
”Dear tributes! We have to inform you that there has been a last change of rules..”
As soon as I heard Claudius’s voice, I knew, it was far from over.
”Only one tribute can win..”
My body froze. I didn’t hear what he said after. Everything came crashing down on me and the once stabile ground beneath my feet broke apart. Cato’s grip around me loosened, I slowly turned to him, with my mound open, staring at him lost and scared. Cato didn’t move, staring forwards, saying nothing but then he stood up, screaming: ”NO! You can’t do this! You promised!! We’re not doing this! We won’t do this!!” Cato’s shouting got quieter and his voice sounded torn.
”If you really refuse to, we’ve been ordered to send the Mutt’s in. I’m sorry, but these are the rules.”
Claudius’s voice sounded stiff.
”How can you be so cold!? Is this amusing you? Are you laughing your asses off right now?” I had enough, my voice raised, loud and clear.
Cato sneaked up behind me and wrapped his arms around my stomach, leaning his hand on my shoulder. A long moment passed, our breathing collided. I turned around and grasped Cato.
”This isn’t real.. right?” I asked, hoping Cato will tell me it’s a bad joke, or even wake me up.
”Clove.. I’m so sorry. I…I failed to protect you.” He spoke with a remorseful voice.
”What the hell are you saying!? I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for you.” I said, cupping Cato’s face, searching for his glare. ”Cato… every moment with you showed me that I’m actually alive. You gave me a home. You opened my eyes.. and my heart.”
”I should have been by your side more. I should have been protecting you from the start.”
”Cato, you did everything right.” I striked a smile which got floaded by tears shortly after, pressing my lips gently against Cato’s, feeling his arms wrap around my body as he lifted me in the air and turned around. Our lips locked together, our hearts beating as one. Cato was crying. I could taste his tears.
He put me down, looking at me.
”What happens now?” I whispered, still holding onto Cato.
”I don’t know. But I’m sure of one thing..” Cato left go of me, stepping a few steps back, facing the other direction. He pulled out his sword and threw it to the ground along with all the other weapons he owned.
”I can’t face life without you. When you’re not by me, every moment feels lonely. If winning means such a life.. then my path ends here.”
”No Cato! No!” I scream at him, tears bawling from my eyes. ”But you promised! You promised we’d go back, live together! Have a family! You and me…”My voice struggling with tears.
”I know.. I’m sorry. I believed it too.” Cato said weakly, staring at the floor.
”I don’t care about victory. I only care about you!” I scream with my heart opened. I realised I couldn’t fight for us anymore, but I made a promise to myself when all of this began. Somewhere deep in me I knew it was going to come to this, but I was foolish enough to live in a world of fantasy.
I made my decision long ago. It all ends here, doesn’t it?
A moment of silence followed, a tearing sound, a yelp…
With effort I dragged my feet towards Cato, wrapped my arms around his chest, leaning my head on his back. Drops fell down, staining the grass underneath us as well as Cato’s shirt. Cato turned to me, grasping me right before I collapsed.
A squirt of blood dropped down my lips, mixing itself with my tears.
A fatal dagger nested between my ribs, spilling a large amount of blood from the wound.
The pain was agonising, I could feel my torn flesh, my veins bleeding themselves empty.
”Oh Clove..” Cato said with a weak voice, grabbing my hand, tangling his fingers around mine. His head right above me, dropping tears on my cheek.
”Why…?” he said, clenching his teeth together. ”This can’t be. No! They can still save you!” Cato looked up, at the sky, shouting: ”Snow! Son of a bitch! Are you happy now!? Are you fucking happy? Enjoying the show? Fucking bastards everyone! How can you do this!?” Cato’s eyes were leaking and his voice was shaking, breaking down in sorrow.
I caught. Another squirt of blood came from my mouth. Cato turned back to me, placing his other hand on my wound, hoping he could stop the bleeding.
”You’ll just get your hand dirty.” I said, I was still able to speak and move a little.
”Clove…” Cato cupped my face with the clean hand. ”Why did you do it?”
”You know when your love towards someone is so real and true, that you’re even prepared to leave everything behind. Even your life.”
Cato whined under his breath then said; ”this shouldn’t have ended like this. I saw a bright future, I saw us! What did we do to deserve this?” Cato was desperet.
”We died a long time ago. We died as soon as we said those words. I volunteer.” Everything was so clear now as if I’ve finally opened my eyes.
”You know, Clove, I loved you from the first day.” Cato said quiatly.
”You’re bringing the audience to tears, Cato.” I said, smilling a little. My voice weak already.
I couldn’t bare knowing I won’t ever see Cato again, with every second I broke more. I was scared, but glad that Cato was by my side.
”Fuck the audience.” Cato said, returning the smile. I laughed along.
”We succeeded at least at one thing. We gave them all a great show.” I said, taking a pause, felling my body was turning to quite a burden. ”Cato..I want to thank you for everything. For sticking by my side, for your courage, bravery and pride. For always being there and the most.. for showing me that I too can love, for melting my icy heart and being the first and last thing on my mind. I never wanted more. Even a second with you is worth dying. I feel like I didn’t say it enough and I can keep saying it until my final second: I love you, Cato. I love you so much.”
Came the point where I couldn’t hold back anymore, curling up into his arm, bawling my eyes out. Cato leaned towards me, gently pulling my neck up into an embrace. Words weren’t needed.
A warmth passing from our bodies, creating another dimension where it was only Cato an me.
”Clove I love you too! You kept me going, for you I wanted to become someone. It was you who always encouraged me. And when got hard, it was you who crossed my mind and kept my hopes up. I thought if I return as a victor I’d be worthy enough to be with you!”
”In my eyes you were always a victor, without having to win this. Cato.. Plesa, win this. For us.. for me.”
”I have already won. I won your heart and that’s enough.” Cato leaned closer, kissing me, letting me feel his soft lips for one last time. Again a few drops landed on my face, mixing with mine, drying out.
”What happens after I die..?”
”I heard it’s a beautiful place somewhere out there.” Cato said smiling.
”Do you think I have a chance to go there.”
”Of course. I know you do.” Cato said, sofly smiling to me, causing me to smile too. I didn’t feel the pain anymore. My body was numb. I guess my blood must have drained out. It was just a matter of time until darkness runs me over. No more was I scared. I cupped Cato’s face with my hand.
”Please don’t cry. I want to keep a happy image of you in memories. Everything’s going to be fine.”
Cato smirked, wiping his tears away. ”I’m sure of that.” He then said. I didn’t fully understand what he meant, but when it finally got to me, it was too late.
”I said I wanted to ask you something, didn’t I?” Cato said, taking a deep breath, looking straightly at me. I nodded, as he took my hand, leaned towards me and whispered: ”Will you marry me?”
My heart started wildly pumping the blood that I didn’t even have, racing inside my already dead chest. My body shivered a little. His words caused me to giggle a little, making me feel like a love-driven teenager.
”Yes.” I replied, still holding onto a smile so pure.
”I’m glad.” Cato said, smiling back, griping my hand tightly.
”It’s getting darker..” I said, my voice barely there.
”Don’t be afraid. Everything will be fine. Wait for me, will you?”
My head nicked sideways, hanging from Cato’s arms. My blank stare still stuck in Cato’s eyes. So peaceful, warm and quiet. No more pain nor sorrow but still it felt numb and empty. I could clearly see it all. The cornucopia, the bloodbath field and Cato. Cato who was gripping my body tightly, clinging onto it, burring his face into my blood stained chest, still begging me to stay. My pale hand slipped from his grip, crashing onto the ground. Same time the canon blew. A strong wind blew through the trees, ripping off leafs and waving through the grass. Cato left go of my body, placing it gently back to the floor, closing my eyes and kissing my forehead. He kneeled by my side, then picked up his sword, sharply swinging it to the air, dugging it directly into his own chest, causing him to collapse to the ground. He was bleeding heavily, but he still dragged himself towards what was left of me. With his last breath, he streached his hand, grabbing onto mine, holding it tightly.
Another loud canon blasted through the sky, indicating on the two unfortunate lovers, who’s bodies now motionlessly lied on the ground, stained with blood and tears. Even if motionless and numb, they still held hands. They broke eternity for a moment of love.
Time stopped everywhere. People got drowned in silence, no one dared to speak a word. Silent gasps were the only noise surrounding. Some of them even cried heavily but all of them, after a while, stood up, clapping. Such a tragedy but to them it was all an amusement, a story that isn’t going to be forgotten, not for a long time.
The 74th Hunger games ended without a victor.
A white blinding light surrounding me. I could barely see anything but it felt so pleasant. My chest felt so light, no more worries. I could finally breath again. As I walked on, I crossed an area of stars floating everywhere. Glowing lights all around me. An aurora above my head, lighting the place. And even further away, up in the highest part, shined the moon in a light blue colour, embracing my presence. I walked towards it, holding out my hand, trying to reach it. My bare feet gazed into snow. It wasn’t cold.
Suddenly I saw a silhouette in front of me, walking towards me. Even beautifuler than the scenery are the eyes I suddenly saw before myself. A single gaze in the icyness tells me it’s over, welcomes me into a garden of endless bliss. A streched hand pulles me in for an embrace. As I looked up, a smile pure and innocent erased the last drops of tears in me.
”Cato!” I gasped, as I threw myself into his loving grip. He spinned me around, my hair was floating in the air then he put me back on the ground, leaned in, saying: ”I told you everything will be fine.” And pressed his lips onto mine, causing the softest and warmest feeling I’ve ever felt.
Well known faces surrounding us. A familiar voice spoke: ”It’s over. You’re safe now.”
Reunited with everyone, we came home.
forbidden and forlorn, the star-crossed lovers, would have walked the face of the earth, but now, eternity unites them.
Walking further away from the bloodbath that we left behind, towards the Cornucopia. A soft breeze was blowing, causing the grass to shiver. The beams of the great summer sun was piercing through the air which was fresh and calm. Peace always comes after a storm, but the ruins stay – repaired, but never fully hidden.
‘No need to say that something was missing. So numb and empty, traveling through memories just to find a vivid memory of your smile, that seemed so unbreakable. Reality was still so far away, gripping to the ideal thought of you appearing beneath one of those majestic trees. Passing me a peaceful and kind stare, smiling while breaking apart the reality and creating a perfect world with no pain. Sharing your company with me, offering me your shoulder so I could let my emotions flow freely. Every time the world was about to crash and break down on me, you pulled me away. Always shaking me out of the daze I put myself into, being there for me, holding my dreams and hopes up when even I already gave up on them. A simple light that brightened the whole place.. but this light began to weaken. A war inside, caused by the darkness that started taking over. As you needed help the most, no one noticed, everyone turned you their backs, letting the darkness to prevail. But you still fought. You said you found friends, you said you started to fall for a girl. But this girl was blind, she was an egoist. But you didn’t care, you even helped her to reach her dreams, not mattering the burning pain that you must have felt inside.
Now she suffers, knowing she could have changed things. Now she’s broken, buried in guilt and self- accusement, stained with nothing but grief.
‘In deadly silence, he whispered her name, just before his body crashed against the ground’. She can remember so clearly; the reflection of her in your eyes, your blood stained cheek, your heartbeat so loud and clear but in a few, it was heard no more. Your gray eyes, clinging to hers, clinging to life, trying to tell her so many things now that she finally listened. But it was too late. Under your last breath you whispered her name, the word so close to your heart. Having her just for yourself this one time, seeing her shed tears just for you.’
The heavy breathing stopped, so has the pain. Body heavy and cold as stone, still fighting for his life, a splatter of blood squirted from his mouth. Lids closing themselves. A great amount of warmth crashed against his cold body. A voice so pure but stained with sorrow, screaming for his name, followed by tears falling and crashing against his skin. He wished he could tell her everything will be alright, and tell her, he wanted her to win.. and how much he loved her, but he already began to slip away.
A little boys face, so innocent his blue eyes, his sandy blonde hair falling over his pale face, reaching his hands towards his older brother, welcoming him to place with no pain, no sorrow. Closing his brother tightly in his arms, knowing it’s over.
He’ll be watching over her from now on.
Marvel.. I miss you so much.
My tears have dried out, I had none more to shed. My mind had turned itself into my own tomb. I hardly had any thoughts left. Victory was so close, I couldn’t let everything die out just now. I couldn’t let Cato down. I need to protect him, I need to get us out of here. There will be enough time for mourning as soon as we get back home, if not, then I’ll be joining Marvel anyway. It was all clear in my head now. I need to win. For me, for Cato.. and for Marvel.
I could already see the silver horn. Already got used to it’s sight, it used to amaze me, it’s glory, stretching through the place where all this horror started.
”Can you still remember the bloodbath?” I asked, trying to remember as well.
”Yeah I guess. I wish I’d knew how long has it been?” Cato answered. His arm was wrapped around my shoulders, holding me tightly, pressing me to his own body.
”I lost my count after 2 weeks.” I answered.
”I’m guessing people out there are having a time of their lives watching us.” Cato said, humor in his voice.
”It’s going to get even more interesting.” I replied, getting myself ready for the finale. It was only 3 of us left. Us and Tresh. So close..
”We should get something to eat and then find a safe place to stay. We’ll need to make a plan, Tresh is a strong tribute” Cato said, looking around and clearing the area. As soon as he made sure we were alone at the Cornucopia he made his was towards the supplies.
”There’s not much left.” I said while unpacking bags and looking for useful things.
”Here’s a bunch of bandages. We’ll need it for sure. Oh.. And some herbal medicine.” Cato said while packing everything he found into his backpack and I was searching for food. I found some left overs, some full water bottles.. enough for the day.
”I say we should get full tonight, we’ll need all the energy we can get.” I said, sorting the food into my backpack. Cato just nodded.
”Why didn’t you tell me?” I asked. ”Why didn’t you tell me about the two winner rule?” I continued, running Cato over with my question.
”Insecurity. I didn’t know what could happen. Things got pretty dangerous back there.” He took a little break, than continued; ”And if I died? The meaning of the Two Winner rule would mean nothing to you.” He said somewhat unsurely.
”I wouldn’t let you die.” I answered determindedly, ”with or without the rule.” I added.
Silence entered the place. Both of us were unsure of what to say or how to feel.
”How would things end if there was no two winner rule?” Cato then asked.
”With one winner.” I answered. I didn’t plan on letting Cato know that I’m prepared doing anything to get him out of here. Not yet, at least.
”I think we got everything. Let’s go find somewhere to stay.” Cato said, his voice sounding protective.
I nodded, picked up my backpack and made my way towards Cato.
In a heartbeat my breath was taken away, I felt icy cold knives in my back, tearing up my skin. I fell on the ground from the enormous amount of pressure on me. A heavy feeling on my back. I clenched my teeth together, hoping the pain is going to weaken a little, no use. I managed to turn my head enough to see the beast standing on top of me. A mutt!? A giant beast, with snout big enough to fit my whole head in. Drool was spilling from it, landing on the back of my head. I shook with disgust. It’s eyes glaring directly at me. The beast was growling loudly. A repulsive stench coming from it’s snout. I tried to free myself, but the beast was so heavy and my back was hurting badly. It’s claws were still piercing my flesh, probably my bone already. I turned my head forwards again, trying to think clear.
‘This can’t be it. Think! Think fast!’ I opened my eyes, seeing Cato struggling with another Mutt. The beast stood on it’s back paws.. it was even bigger than Cato.
After a while, I could clearly see. The Mutt, it had golden fur. I recognised the sparkle in the emerald green eyes of it’s. It was Glimmer! The Mutt was Glimmer.
Cato’s right foot was bleeding badly, the wound was probably caused by a bite. He had hardly any balance left. I struggled even harder, trying to get loose but that angered the creature even more. Before I was about to turn, to face the beast I could see Cato slash his sword into the Mutt’s stomach, slashing it opened. The Mutt yelped and collapsed. A black liquid started spreading from it’s body, I presumed it was blood.
Cato than turned his head my way, recognising my condition. He started running towards me, but as soon as he layed his weight on his wounded foot, he almost tripped over, trying to hide it, he fully pressed on it, as if nothing happened. As he reached me, he pushed the Mutt down from me, fighting it off. I cleared my mind very quickly, knowing Cato needed help. With trembling hands I helped myself up, shivering from the pain in my back. Blood was dripping from the wounds caused by the Mutt. Slowly my body was turning numb, but I didn’t allow myself to get weak. I wasn’t planning to loose another person I love.
Ignoring everything, I made my way towards Cato, who pushed the Mutt towards the Cornucopia. Almost at the reach of my hand, suddenly Cato got bitten in the shoulder. As the creature pulled his teeth out of Cato’s torn skin, Cato just numbly stared at it, his face told a story of surprise and shock at the same time. ”It can’t be..” he murmured. Not much later I noticed what he was onto. The Mutt.. it was Marvel!
I grabbed Cato, pushing him aside, pulling out two of my knives. As the beast opened it’s snout, revealing all of it’s sharp fangs, I stuck one of the knives in between, piercing the upper and lower part of the Mutts’s snout, so he was unable to close it. Then struck the other one into it’s skull, noticing the beast was still moving, preparing it’s claws to slash them in my skin for the second time. I pulled out another knife, it was the knife that killed the boy from 3. I stuck it into the beasts neck, pulling it through the fur, causing blood to spill through the wound. The creature still struggled for a while, but later motionlessly crashed against the ground. Again those images hounted my head so vividly. Again I could clearly hear Marvel whispering my name, collapsing. I could feel his cold skin. I saw my reflection in the eyes of this Mutt, just like I did in Marvel’s. Both had that helpless look hidden in a soft gray colour.
I had no time thinking about Marvel! Cato was wounded. I pulled myself up, and limped towards the collapsed Cato. He was sitting not too far from me, with the wounded leg outstretched and the other one pulled to himself tightly. His right arm was placed over the huge wound on his left shoulder. His head was hanging down. I threw myself right next to him, afraid to touch him, I didn’t want to cause him more pain. I grabbed his healthy shoulder, moving it back enough for it to pull his head a little bit higher. He was bleeding badly, still he greeted me with a weak smile.
”Cato!” I tried to wrap myself around him, but I knew it could be fatal. I took my jacket off, cutting it apart with a dagger, tying it around Cato’s bleeding leg tightly.
”This will stop the bleeding.” I said weakly, fighting off the tears. I pulled the knot even harder just to make sure it’s tight enough. Cato clenched his teeth from the pain, a little moan escaped his mouth. But then he opened his eyes, placing his hand on top of my head, streaming down my hair, removing the few of my hair, which escaped from the braid, from my face and captured them behind my ear, then cupped my face with his healthy hand.
”I don’t think I ever told you how beautiful you are.” He said and smiled the sweetest smile I’ve ever seen.
”Cato…” I whispered, my voice embodying confusement, worry and dedication all at once in just a simple word. I shook my head, trying to focus on saving Cato. But it was hard. I just wanted to wrap myself in his arms, tell him about the gap inside me, tell him how much all of this hurts and especialy tell him how much I love him. I was afraid I won’t have the chance to. But to me, saving him was more important now.
”We need to get away from here before more Mutts arrive!” I said hecticly.
”I agree. Did you.. Did you see them?” Cato asked carefully.
”Marvel and Glimmer, hm?” I answered, trying to hide the pain behind my words.
”You killed the Marvel Mutt..” Cato said, trying to convince himself of it really happening.
”This wasn’t Marvel.” I kept telling this myself all the time. I kept asking myself if I had killed Marvel all over again. If the Mutt had Marvel’s memories. And I kept asking if it was Marvel who was trying to kill me. But I had no time to search for answers. ”Besides, I need to save what still can be saved.”
Cato’s face brightened up a little. I hated myself for not being able to tell him how much he means to me. I kept getting wasted in his eyes, I could have throw everything aside just for a moment with him, my life didn’t matter anymore, but I would never want to threaten his.
”Can you walk?” I asked gently.
”I’ll try.” He answered insicurely. Slowly he pulled himself up, I wrapped my arm around his, so I could help him. But as soon as he put weight on the wounded foot it gave away under the pressure and Cato almost collapsed again, but I threw my whole being in between. Now Cato’s whole body was hanging from my shoulder. I heard him moan underneath his breath, trying to hide his pain from me.
All of his weight was pressuring against my tiny body. I am much smaller and lighter than he is. But I accepted the weight and pulled him back up.
”Clove, I’m sorry.” Cato begun apologising himself remorsfuly.
”It’s okey. Just make sure the wounded foot doesn’t touch the ground.” I said, swallowing the burning pain in my back and the pressure, heavying my body for the double.
”Clove what are you up to!?” Cato said loudly
”I’m trying to get us out of here.” I stepped forwards, causing him to follow, jumping on his healthy leg, making him limp behind me. He tried hard to be less of a burden but couldn’t stand on his own.
”I won’t let you do this!” he said dermindedly.
”What, do you want me to just leave you here to the rest of the Mutts?” I asked with a hint of sarcasm.
”Why not.” Cato tried to fake a laugh.
”Never…” I murmured, biting my lip. ”Come now.” I said much more determindedly and stricter.
After a minute or two of our walking attempt, Cato broke the silence, saying; ”Thank you, Clove.”
I could sense the warmth in his voice. There were so many reasons why I’d never leave him behind, but the main one was.. Because I love him. I can finally say that to myself, I can accept it and be proud of it. It’s the main reason that keeps me fighting, standing and breathing. I’ve finally realised.. thanks to Marvel.
Cato’s elbow was sometimes crushing against the wound on my back, causing a wave of pain to travel through my body leaving me to shiver. Every time that happened I bit my tongue, forgetting the pain away, imagining mine and Cato’s future. I have no idea how many blood I lost, but my body was weak, I felt drained. It took so many effort stupping Cato, but it was worth. My legs already barely held myself, along with Cato’s. My feet were anchoring themselves into the wet soil, with difficulty I was dragging my feet behind me. We were walking for some time already. I found a perfect hiding spot, hidden and unreachable for the Mutts. I looked at Cato, he was barely awake and terribly pale. He must have lost a great amount of blood as well.
”Hold on, we’re almost there.” I said symphatcly. My voice woke him from the trans he fell into and looked around himself.
”How long have we been walking?” He asked with barely any voice left.
”I’m not sure, but the sun has passed on the other side already, it was in the middle when we left the Cornucopia.” I answer, noticing we’ve been going on for a long time.
”Clove? Are you okey?” Cato asked, sounding worried.
”Better then ever.” I said, adding a smile to my lie. I felt my body breaking underneath Cato’s weight. My back was hurting as hell and my wound started to bleed again. I was only glad I managed to got us so far away from the danger zone.
”Clove.. don’t lie.” Cato said, trying to stand on his own.
”Don’t hesitate now, see that? It’s right up there.” I said, trying to convince him.
”How do you think I’ll get up there?” Cato said scepticaly
”We’ll manage it somehow.. together. Just please trust me.” I begged him. We were so close.
”But Clove.. I see you’re in pain.” Cato said trying to pull me back.
”I’m not giving up. Not now.” I said, carrying on walking, leaving Cato no choice but to limp behind me. He caught on. Side by side we were climbing a rocky hill. It wasn’t too big, but enough to level up the suffering. I could see it already! A place covered by rocks, shaped as the letter U, high from the ground. It was easy to hide in it. It was covered by old branches, moss, fern and some bushes. I found it when we were passing for the first time and tried to remember the spot, since it seemed great for a hiding spot.
”Clove! You’re brilliant!” Cato said, excitement and pride staining his voice. As soon as I brought Cato there, I made him sit and made absolutly sure he was safe. I took a bandage out of the bag, also pulled out some medicine and a healing cream, saying: ”Put this on your wounds. First the cream, spread it all over the bruised and scared skin, even around the bigger wounds. After that pour this medicine over the wound, it’s going to burn, but it’s going to help a lot. After you’ve done both, wrap those bandages over the wounds. Don’t strain yourself and just relax.” I said while catching air. My body came to the state where I haven’t felt the pain anymore. I knew I was about to pass out, I just wanted to make sure Cato gets better.
”And where are you going?” Cato asked confusedly.
Before I could answer, I felt lighter than ever before. My head was spinning and my view got all blurry. I collapsed.
It smelled so good. Like home. Like Arnica. Back at home, in district 2 there was a meadow full of herbals. It always smelled so good. Arnica’s smell has reached the furthest and had the greatest smell that I believe I know. I remember when I fell and skinned my knee. Cato was trying to teach me to ride a bike. I was 5 and Cato 8. A rock had sneaked under my wheels and it threw me in front of my bike. I started crying and screaming.. and since Cato didn’t want my parents to see I was hurt, he didn’t want them to think it was his fault, he took me to the meadow and picked a flower. It was Arnica, it smelled so good. I stopped crying. When I brought it back home my mother told me it heals wounds, she used it to my knee and praised Cato for bringing it along.
Healing wounds!? It must be the cream I took with me from the Cornucopia! A moment later I felt a burning pain in my back. Something spilling over my wound. As I regained consciousness, I realised I’m lying on my stomach. I turned my head so I could see what’s going on behind me.
A shirtless Cato, wrapped in bandages was kneeling by my side, carefuly studying my wound.
”Clove you’re awake!” he said while his face brightened. I replied with a smile.
”I hope that didn’t hurt too much.” He continued.
”No, felt worse.” I replied, smiling.
”I’ll need you to sit up so I can wrap this around you.” Cato pointed at the wrap. I looked down at myself, feeling kind of ashamed, sitting there in my bra. ”Oh.. ok.” I said, hesitating.
”Sorry about that.” He noticed my worries, ”I tried taking care of your wound without removing your shirt, but it was impossible. You lost a large amount of blood and the wound was pretty bad.” Cato said worried.
I slowly sat up, turning my back towards Cato. He’s arms traveled right beneath mine, wrapping me in the bandage. Traveling from my chest to my back. Again and again and again. They stopped right before my bellybutton, tying the bandage into a knot.
”Now you look like a mummy.” He said, laughing.
”Why thank you.” I replied turning my head towards him. I haven’t noticed before how close he was.
Cato’s mouth was slightly opened, passing gasps. My glare got stuck on his lips for a moment, subconsciously trying to catch every single breath that left his mouth. The warmth of it softly pressing against my face. My look passed on, until it landed on his eyes. Shivers ran down my spine. So pure and clear and icy cold. They were reflecting the perfect image of the brightest star I’ve ever seen. The star he once compared me with.
”Thank you Cato..” I murmured, gasping, letting myself get lost in his stare. A slight rouge appeared on his cheeks, while mine must have been blood coloured.
”Clove..” Cato whispered, cupping my face with his hands. ”I meant everything I ever said to you.” He added. I pushed my face closer, enough to lean my forehead against his, enough to catch his breath and feel his warm, soft skin. Cato leaned forwards, pressing his upper lip softly against mine, breathing through his mouth, rubbing it. I tried to lock my lips on his, but he kept moving his head, pulling mine along, teasing. Then he grabbed me by my shoulders, turning the situation and pushing me against the stony wall behind us. Causing a lot of pressure on my wound. But I didn’t feel it. I didn’t feel any pain. All I focused on was Cato. His hands landed on my head, pressing his face tenderly onto mine, locking our lips, rubbing our noses. I felt his hair on my forehead, his tongue playing around with mine, wrapping itself around mine, sucking on my lower lip. The tempo started growing, his kisses were more and more passionate. I had already hardly caught any air, but I couldn’t care less. I left out a silent moan, wrapping my arms around Cato’s neck, as he pulled me closer to himself, wrapping his around my waist, pressing his chest strongly onto mine. I struck my nails in his neck, letting my hand flow down his back, my nails piercing his skin, leaving pink scars as a result. Cato’s body shivered and he left out a loud moan, while still not beaking the kiss. Cato lied down, pulling me with him. Lying on a sheet of moss, carefully I rested my head on his chest until he pulled it up by placing his hand on my chin, making me look directly at him. Passing me another kiss, this one gentle and soft. I knew what I had to do. I wanted to say it before he does.
”Cato..” I whispered with a voice weak and silent. Almost sounded as a shy school-girl, blind from love.
”Clove..?” Cato said, his voice mockingly sweet.
”I LOVE YOU.” There.. I said it. And I said it loud, loud enough for the cameras to hear, for all Panem to know, and most important, loud enough for it to echo in the ears of the only one I ever truly loved.
Cato placed his hand on my head, dragging it down to my cheek, then rolled over causing me slip to his side. First his reaction was surprised and I believe he was astonished for a second, but then his face softened, a warm sweet smile came along with a tired stare. His forehead leaning on mine and his arm slipping underneath my head, forming a pillow, I pulled myself up and leaned my head on his chest, listening to his heartbeat, slowing itself down. His chest, rising and sinking, swaying my head. The arm beneath my neck wrapped over my shoulders, pressing me against his warm body.
”I love you too Clove. I loved you from the first moment I saw you.” Cato then said. A pleasant tremble revolved in my stomach. I leaned my head against his chest as tight as I could and wrapped my arm around him. I don’t ever want to let go again.
I hardly noticed, the sun went down. It was already pitch black and one by one stars began appearing all over the sky, blinking above us.
”Remember the hill in the middle of the meadow back home?” Cato asked.
”I do.” I whispered in reply.
”Once we get home, I promise you, I’ll take you there, and we’ll watch the stars together.” Cato said, revealing the sweetest voice he had. I blushed.
”Promise me we’ll stay together when we return home!” I said desperatly.
”I promise. I’ll love you forever and beyond. No matter how long forever takes, I’ll be always there, waiting for you.” Cato said, patting my head.
In the sweet softness of Cato’s body and it’s warmth I felt safe. Cato’s hands were tightly wrapped around me, giving me shelter and a loving embrace.
I had no one and no where to return to, but with Cato by my side, I finally had a home. Cato’s breathing got deeper and slower. He fall asleep. I nested myself tightly to him, pressing my ear to his chest, to not miss any of his heartbeats.
For the last time, before I too sink into slumber, I whispered;
”..I love you..Cato.”
Marvel was walking right in front of me and I was silently following him, stepping in his footsteps, which compared to mine were huge. I kept turning back, to the direction where I saw Cato last, hoping he will be there. But he wasn’t.
The forest was so quiet, almost peaceful. No sound, no noise, no presence. There was no one close by.
Not much of us were left, Twelve, Marvel, Cato, me.. oh and both tributes from Eleven. That was about it. Everyone else was already dead.
Twelve.. I wonder if she already knows about Peeta. Does she plan on avenging him?
”This seems like a great place to stay!” Marvel said, stopping in the middle of the road, causing me to bump into his back.
”Sorry.” I murmured.
”Don’t worry.” He replied kindly. ”This place is not too far from the previous one and the river’s near. Cato won’t have too much trouble finding us.” Marvel smiled, his voice had a soft touch in it. He took of his jacket, placing it on a dry log, creating a place to sit. ”Come.” He waved at me.
I didn’t needed to be told twice, my body was exhausted and my energy was drained. My feet were burning, if we got attacked right now, it could turn out badly for me. I’m glad Marvel’s with me, I felt safer with him by my side.
We were sitting in the middle of a glade. Grass here was light green, healthy. Trees around tall and old, their braches touching each other, providing shelter. The only sound around us was the rustling of the leaves and the river. The atmosphere was nice.. if only this wasn’t the Arena.
The sun has already began to go under.
”I’m sorry about before.” I said, revealing my remorse.
”It’s fine. I can somehow relate. I still wonder how I managed not to loose my mind yet. All of this is just..”
”Insane.” I added to his sentence.
”Trying to think too much means an instant mental suicide.” Marvel spoke quieter as if he tried to provide someone from hearing us.
”For a second I thought I lost if for sure.” I Replied to his thought. Every time I closed my eyes I could feel everything what’s good in me being pulled out, leaving behind an empty shall. I was only lucky I had Cato by my side.
”Anyone, who has something to loose, would act that way. Especially if it’s something this vulnerable.”
”Is it that obvious..?” For a second I allowed myself to smile. ”All though Cato’s been holding on pretty well.”
”You have no idea. He tries to hide his worries while you’re awake but every time you fall asleep, Cato breaks a little inside. He’s truly scared.”
”I.. I didn’t know..” I said worried.
”There’s another thing you don’t know.” Marvel’s voice was now, deeper, more serious, ”Cato wanted to wait a little before he tells you.. but I think you should know.”
”Know what?” I asked carefully, not knowing what would hit me.
”Two tributes can win. IF they’re from the same district.” Marvel said than closed his eyes leaning back.
”What!? Really!? But that’s.. That’s great!!” My voice raised, my skin shuddered, I jumped up from joy. I was so happy, couldn’t believed my ears. Cato was right, everything will turn out great after all! Life returned to my eyes, regaining light in them. World didn’t seem all so gray anymore.
”They announced it while you were sleeping, after the tracker jacker attack.” Mervel said, his voice sounding happier, he really seemed happy at that moment.. did he actually want me and Cato to win? But.. if me and Cato were to leave the arena, Marvel would have to die. No! I couldn’t handle such a thought. I need Marvel just as much as I need Cato. For me, he’s a breath of fresh air from all of this horror. The way he laughs in all the inappropriate moments, all the jokes he cracks, the way he listens to me when even I can’t handle myself.. I couldn’t bare leaving Marvel behind. I felt bad, guilty and broken as well.
”What about you..?” I spoke calmer.
”What about me?” He’s voice sounding naive.
”Your district partner is dead.” I said somehow sadder.
”That’s fine. I told you already. And besides.. you and Cato have so much more worth fighting for.”
I couldn’t help but to blush. ”Not even in a dream could I have believed this would happen.”
”That means you must be living a dream.” Marvel said kindly, poking me into the ribs, winking.
I laughed loudly trying to fight off his hands which were tickling me, but the mood didn’t last long.
I freed myself from Marvel’s grip and looked down.
”The two winners rule.. Katniss and Peeta were meant to win.”
”But Katniss lost her district partner. The only full teams are two and eleven. You’re so close to winning this. Don’t start hesitating now!” Marvel was right.. but something was still haunting my mind.
”He really loved her.” I murmured under my breath. ”He just stood there. He didn’t say anything. As if he wouldn’t care if I kill him.” I took a break. ”He joined us to save her. He gave his life for hers. Their story wasn’t a lie after all. I was so stupid, so blind and just couldn’t see it.” I felt shallow. I was egoist enough to erase such a fragile thing just because of my jealousy. I’ve done unforgivable. My words, the torture.. No one deserves such a treatment, especially not if they stood up for someone. I’m so.. so sorry.
”If we hadn’t killed him, he’d sooner or later kill us.” Marvel said, trying to cheer me up by convincing me with his theory.
”I’m sure Cato would do the same for you.” Marvel said, placing his hand on my head, streaming it down through my hair, smiling softly. I couldn’t hide my blush. Cato…
I turned the topic against Marvel; ”What about you? Do you love anyone?” asking, trying not to sound too cliche.
”Uh.. I-I guess.” He answered confusedly. I noticed his cheeks turning read, making me giggle.
How is she like!?” I asked, glomping him with my words, trying to kill of the tenssion.
”Oh.. Em.. She’s really smart and strong. And she likes to help, she’s always there when anyone needs her. She’s really headstrong and determined, but sometimes a little too much. She hid her true self behind a large wall, larger than her tiny body, but inside she’s just as sensitive and feminine girl with high hopes and dreams. And once the right one for her arrives, she’ll dedicate him her whole life, leaving behind everything just to let her heart beat with his.” Marvel was looking down at his hands, smiling innocently, if it wasn’t for the words I just heard, I would believe he actually was happy.
”She must be special. I’m sure you can be the one for her, when you return home!” I said, trying to keep his hopes up, speaking with a light, bouncy voice almost sounding like Glimmer.
”She has already found him. I have never seen a bond this strong. I never believed in true love before. Seeing them almost made me jealous. I’m just glad I met her. Met them.” He striked another smile, this one much more bitter.
”No one won yet! You still have the chance to return home! You can do it! I know you can.”
”Thanks, but I rather not leave and join my brother. He’s waiting for me already..”
”Huh.. W-what are you saying?” I asked confusedly, telling myself I didn’t hear right.
”Last night.. I received a note from the sponsors. My brother passed away.” Marvel’s smile began to fade and I could see desperation gathering in his eyes, taking a form of water. His hands pressing tight together, his foot tapping against the ground fastly. Marvel lowered his head, hiding his face.
For the first time I saw Marvel broken, torn from all the pain he hid within himself. I kneeled next to him, placing my hand on top of his. ”I’m sorry.” I whispered. I couldn’t say more. Those words were not enough to say how sorry I felt. I could clearly see Marvel’s suffering, it was ripping out his heart.
”Let your feelings free. There’s no use in hiding them, it just brings more pain.”
Marvel’s head crashed on his hands, his fingers tangling in his hair, grabbing tightly. I knew I couldn’t say anything to stop his grief. I placed my hand on his back, moving it up and down.
”I must seem as a wuss to you right now..” Marvel said, trying to sound funny. It was his way of fighting his emotions off.
”Not at all.” I replied softly.
We both were short on words, long breaks came after simple sentences.
”It’s okey for you to feel like this. It’s okey for you to cry.. it doesn’t make you weak at all! It makes you strong for being able to cope with so much torment! And I respect you for it.. I wish I was as strong as you are.” I said, searching for his stare.
Marvel raised his head, his face less than an inch away from mine. I could see my reflection in his gray eyes.. it felt almost as if I were staring into his head. The pureness in them reflected his soul as well as all the sorrow and grief he carried within.
I never took time to properly look at Marvel, maybe I could have noticed his pain earlier.
His warm breath was patting my face. Marvel’s eyes were focusing on mine, creating a daze. I could almost hear his heartbeat. Marvel shook his head a bit and moved his look away.
”I think we could stay the night here. This place seems safe enough.” He took his backpack, taking his jacket off of the log, putting it on the ground, than pulled out a blanket he found lying around and placed it next to the jacket. His sleeping place for the night was ready. Marvel’s voice still had prints of mourning in it, even if he was trying hard to hide it. I just wished I could do more, I hated myself for not being able to help him.
I remeind sitting on the log, closing my eyes for a moment. Damnit! All of it! Nothing of this should be happening. No one deserves to suffer this much. How much sicker can people get!? Amusing themselves while we’re struggling with our lives. Every single one of us had a past and would have a future if it wasn’t for this. Winning or loosing.. you die anyways. There’s no way you can return home being the same person as you were when you left.
I still can’t help but to feel as a monster for all I’ve done. I don’t deserve going home, but there’s no way I’d ever give up on Cato. But if we do manage and leave the arena, will things be as they were before? Are we going to find a way to each other.. or is the path just going to take us apart. A little part in me wished this place would be my grave, I can’t continue living with such guilt, with all this regret.
”Clove..” Marvel murmured ”Thank you.” I replied with a simple smile to his desperate glance. He looked away, taking a twig, playing with it, pulling it apart, peeling it.
The leaves behind me rustled even thought there was no more wind. Someone was making their way towards us. I stood up, gripping my knife, hiding it behind my back, getting ready to throw it as soon as I see who it is. But instead of facing an enemy, I met a pair of blue eyes, which I knew so well. They greeted me in the kindest way possible. In front of me stood Cato, holding three backpacks, filled with food to the top.
The sun was diving into the ground, leaving some of it’s beams behind, enough to provide us with light. We were sitting around a camp fire we had built to cook the food Cato brought.
”The hovercraft removed our traps along with the bodies caught inside.” Cato said, while tearing the meat with his teeth.
”They didn’t take all of them. I noticed a few of Marvel’s traps still hanging where we left them.” I added. Marvel didn’t say anything, only carried on eating in silence.
”Is he okey?” Cato whispered.
”He’s having a hard time. His younger brother passed away.” I said quietly.
Cato stared at Marvel for a while. I could see pity in his eyes. ”I’m sorry to hear that. He’s a strong lad. He’ll be fine.”
”Yea.” I nodded, and took another bite.
Suddenly we heard screams, not too far from us. All of us jumped on our feet.
”What’s going on?”
”Sounds like a female tribute!!”
”It could be Twelve!”
”Wait! Listen! The noise is coming south from here.. didn’t we place your trap there, Marvel?”
”Yeah. And the screams.. they are calling for.. Katniss!” Marvel grabbed ahold of his spear, having a strange smile on his face.
”It must be that little girl from Eleven! Let’s go get her!” Cato screamed.
”You guys stay here! I’ll go.” Marvel ran of, clenching his spear tightly. It was too dangerous for him to go alone. Twelve might have been close by. Not even looking at Cato, I ran off to the woods as fast as my feet could carry me. I clearly heard Cato’s footsteps from behind, but I didn’t turn back to asure. I had a bad feeling about all of this. Oh please, let me not come too late. I was running as fast as my feet could carry me. It was getting darker, and the wind was carrying around my hair, forcing it into my face. I could barely see where I was going. The screams were getting louder.
”Katniiiss, help!! Katniss!!” It was definitely the young girl from Eleven. I could hear another scream, this one was further away, a voice more mature. ”Rue!? Rue, where are you!?” I didn’t have to think long. It was Katniss. She was coming to save Rue. I needed to speed up.
Finally I caught sight of Marvel. He’s hand stooping to a tree. I didn’t see Cato anymore, I must have left him behind.
As I came closer, I could clearly see the little girl tangled in Marvel’s nest, kicking, trying to free herself screaming for Katniss. Marvel was about to step out of his hiding place, holding his spear above his head, I caught sight of her.. Twelve.
She freed Rue and helped her to stand up. Marvel was aiming directly at her, but Rue saw him, screaming Katnisses name, making her aware of Marvel’s presence. She dodged it and the spear flew over her head and penetrated Rue’s stomach. Katniss hecticly turned towards Marvel, pulling out an arrow, straining her bow.
Histericly I shouted Marvel’s name. My call was echoing in my ears, over and over and over. It was all I could hear. His eyes caught sight of me.
”Clove..” In deadly silence Marvel whispered my name before his body crashed against the ground.
”Noo… NO!” I scream. In panic I grabbed two random knives, spinning them through the air towards Katniss, not even focusing nor paying attention of where they’ll end up. I threw myself to the knees, next to Marvel and grabbed his hand.
He seemed so peaceful, as if he was observing the clouds, eyes and mouth slightly opened. If only there wasn’t for the arrow piercing his neck.
”No… Marvel, no! Please. Please stay with me.” I was begging and squealing, crying out his name. My vision turned blurry from the amount of tears gathering in my eyes. My chest felt so heavy.
Not much away from me Katnisses lifeless body fall to the ground with one knife in her chest and the other broke through her forehead, piercing her skull. Blood was pouring out of her wounds…
”Marvel..” I whispered with a trembling voice, swallowing the mixture of my pain and hate and a downpour of my tears. I closed his eyes and pulled the arrow from his neck. His eyes.. they’ve lost it’s light. The life in them was gone. Holding his hand tightly. I knew my begging wouldn’t bring him back.. nothing could anymore.. I leaned my head on his chest. So silent and cold it was. A tiny part of me still held onto a though of hearing his heartbeat, Marvel waking up, once again seeing his wide, friendly, loving smile. But my waiting would be for granted.
His hand turned cold as well. I started rubbing it with the hope of warming him up. It was no use. I sobbed so loudly. Tears were streaming from my cheeks down to my neck. A few found their way onto Marvel’s face. I clenched my teeth together. I wasn’t able to accept it..
Marvel was dead.
”Clove!” Cato’s loud scream from behind, followed by a strong grip around my waist, pulling me away from Marvel’s body.
”I failed.. I couldn’t save him..” I spoke repeatedly, whining and sobbing. I turned around, glomping Cato, wrapping my arms around his neck, nesting in his arms. My whole body was shaking.
Cato’s hand found it’s way to the back of my head, patting, streaming down my hair. I felt Cato’s chest sinking and raising heavily. He sighed and placed his head on my shoulder, took a deep breath and pulled me closer to himself, almost smothering me. Cato seemed desperate, his eyes heavy and gray, his expression so grim. He than loosened the grip and looked around.
” This reminds me of the bloodbath all over again.” He spoke with a soft, weakened voice. Tree canon sounds boomed and echoed around the arena. One of them was Marvels.
”He’s with his brother now..” I whispered quetly.
I ran so fast, I could almost caught my breath. Head was spinning as if I were drunk, but I needed to stop them. Slowly trees revealed two figures, Marvel and Cato, leaned on Peeta, getting ready to finish him off.
”Wait!” I scream again, from the lowest part of my lungs. It worked, they turned my way, surprised, wondering what bothered them in their act.
”Clove! I told you to wait there.” I tried to ignore Cato’s worried words.
”Don’t kill him!” I dragged myself to Peeta, clenching my teeth, ”you..” I hissed at him.
”What do you think you’re doing!?” I was mad, but could control myself enough to keep my head clear, even if it was hard holding onto a sane thought. I leaned closer to Peeta, holding my knife to his stomach, in fright he strained his muscles.
Cato and Marvel were standing by his shoulders, pushing him back onto the tree. He was surrounded, no way he could escape this time.
”Clove what’s going on!?” Cato said, this time louder.
”You were a lie! A mere scheme! You might have fooled everyone, but I saw through your game! Every one of your filthy sleazy words, all of them – hollow! Everyone out there fed on your words, the whole Panem fall for it! You disgust me!” My voice was raising with every word, so was the anger. My teeth pressing harder together, but left enough space for the little of breath I still had escaping through, crashing against Peeta’s face with it’s warmth. My body, shaking from the tension, hardly holding back the sadistic, bloodlust driven, ruthless killer in me.
My knife penetrated through Peeta’s skin, slowly, I pushed it deeper and deeper, making him squeal in pain.
”Does it hurt?” I asked mockingly. Peeta closed his eyes, pressing them hard together, trying to think the pain away. He really did try to seem strong. I wanted to see him suffer, I pushed my knife even deeper. Peeta whined loudly, his body curled up. ”Just kill me already!” He scream out.
”Do you really think I’d do you such a pleasure. Besides it pleases me too much.” I replied to his begs with a slight smile covering my face.
”Clove, what are you doing?” Cato said, disturbing the atmosphere.
”Let’s just kill him..” Marvel added. Both their voices were serious. Cato placed his hand on my shoulder, trying to calm me down. I just shook it off as if it was just a bug or something similar.
”I’m not letting you go until you admit everything.” I said , angered.
”I have nothing to admit!” Peeta’s words had a shattered sound in them.
”Why you son of a… -” I growled through my teeth, roughly moving my knife inside his wound.
”Clove! Stop it!” Cato was still trying to stop me.
My sanity.. it was slowly drifting away. My head was booming, my body shaking, hurting, turning numb. I hardly felt Cato’s hand on my arm, I couldn’t feel his touch, even though I wanted to. Instantly blaming Peeta and Twelve for it. I blamed them for everything. My left hand formed into a fist, gripping tightly, already feeling my nails sharply pressing into my palm. Most of my effort was spent on holding back my emotions. There was no other way, I had to choose between slaughtering Loverboy, or loosing it, letting the whole world see my tears, which I already struggled with. It was already clear in my head.
I pulled my knife out. ”See that camera in that tree over there!? Tell everyone the truth, let them know what a great actor you are. Than, I might let you go.” I knew that was a lie. I couldn’t never forgive him, my grudge could never allow him to just walk away.
” My conscious is clean.” He spoke headstrongly, almost making me believe. Sharply and hecticly my knife pierced his skin again, this time a bit higher than before. ”Stop lying!” I scream at him. My voice sounded almost desperate, my words, stained with anger and madness pouring like an acid rain.
”Doesn’t it hurt? Don’t you want to join Twelve? Don’t you want to save her?” As I said that, his numb body relaxed, his head raised, looking me directly in the eye.
”If it makes you feel better, go ahead, stroke again. You won’t hear those words from me. Kill me, if that’s going to make you happy.”
”So brave.. All the things one does to survive.” The moral part of me got caged inside my head, left to helplessly watch how I repeatedly dug my knife into Peeta’s skin. Opening new wounds, causing him to bleed.
”You fool! You’re dying.. Just admit it already!” I shout at him, stumbling on my words, causing my voice to break. In the weakest way possible tears were shrading down my cheeks. Why!? Why didn’t he say anything!? He had already turn pale. Instead he just replied with a weak smile. I backed off a little bit. Peeta’s stomach was covered by several, hevily bleeding wounds. I had his blood all over me.
I was still telling myself that it was just a show, that he never meant nothing he said. Believing myself was harder than I expected. I whipped my tears away.
” You.. Your little game..” Again, I could feel a huge amount of rage gathering inside me, ”Shading away what actually was there!! You weren’t the only lovers in here!!” That was when my mind fully broke, I was broken and empty, the emptiness in me started to fill itself with anger and pure raw hatred, making my blood run faster, my heart pump harder, heating my body, feeding me with adrenaline.
My feet raised from the ground, my hands ready to scratch Loverboy’s eyes out. I was ready to skin him barehandedly. Almost felt him, but then.. something blocked my way. I ran directly against Cato’s chest, who stopped me from the wicked deed I was about to commit. My hands placed on Cato’s chest, pressing hard against it, same as my head. My heaten body crashed onto his freezing cold skin, starting a war of fire and ice. The fire burnt to the ground. My body gave into his. With every heartbeat of his, I got calmer.
But still my thoughts were restless, my heartbeat wild and my body was twitching a little. I managed to lean my head aside enough to see Peeta’s face. His eyes almost shut, his mouth opened releasing drops of blood from it, dripping from his chin. He broke to the floor, gasping for air. His arms stupping him up, but gave away under his weight, causing him to collapse. Unmovable he lied on the ground, his face buried in the blood stained soil. One side of me wanted to strangle away from Cato, breaking Peeta’s skull just with my feet. But than suddenly Cato’s hands wrapped around me, pushing me into his chest, for a second it seemed as if he knew what I wanted to do. I couldn’t move anymore, Cato’s grip was so tight. I buried my head into his chest, crying uncontrollably.
”Ssh.. it’s alright.” Cato whispered, his voice soft and loving. What have I done!? Now I could clearly see, I could see how stupid I was! Being in my skin was just too unbearable now. Cato still had the patience to cope with me..and all I did, was causing him trouble. My vision got all blurry from my tears, I hardly had any left but I kept on crying. A heavy, cold feeling covered my lungs. My chest got heavy. It got hard to breath. I began choking myself on my own tears. My body was shivering from the pressure.
Cato leaned his head on mine, loosening the grip and gently placing his hands on my back.
”We don’t need to prove anything to anyone.” He said silently, leaving me numb. ”I couldn’t care less for a lovers bonus or the sponsor gifts. Because, you see, if it’s you by my side, we can defeat everything in our way.” His voice broke and weakend at some point. Cato suffered just as much as I did. I hecticly threw my arms around his back, pressing my nails in it, still sobbing. My jelously drained my sanity and broke apart my morality, but Cato was always by my side.. and now.. he even had to witness me loosing my mind.
Cato’s right hand left go of my back, taking his sword, giving it to Marvel. Cato nodded slightly and Marvel sighed. Not much after, a fast swing, slashing through the air, followed by a loud yelp. Blood splattered all over Cato’s back, the sound of the canon booming in my ears, causing my skin to shudder. Peeta was dead. I broke to my knees, I couldn’t handle it anymore. Cato’s hands followed me to the ground, catching me before I collapsed.
”We should find a place to stay over night. The hovercraft is about to come for the body as well.” Cato said to Marvel, trying to speak as calmly as he could.
I clenched around Cato’s arm refusing to let go.
Again he saved me. It seemed as if Cato was the only one who could heal my inner wounds, who could fill the emptiness in me. It was finally clear, Cato was the only thing that kept my heart beating, giving me the strength to go on. No matter how broken I got, he always managed to make me whole again. Cato truly was my hero..
”You’re right.” Marvel said quietly.
”I’ll go back to the Cornucopia to get some food. You two move on, find a safe place to stay, I’ll be right back.” Cato added.
”But how will you find us?”
”I’ll find you. Don’t worry about that. Take care of her, will you?”
I grabbed Cato’s hand tighter. ”Please stay.” Whining silently, begging Cato not to leave. Cato leaned in, whispering: ”I’ll be right back.” Trying to comfort me with a smile, than kissed my forehead, adding; ”I love you.” With a desperate glare, my eyes followed him as he walked away.
I heard desperate high pitch squealing, followed by a burning pain all over my neck and arms. It felt like small dagger cuts, spreading poison under my skin. I could hear someone calling out for help, screaming, crying, begging. It was a female voice. My body was hurting like crazy, my limbs slowly went numb. I was petrified. I couldn’t open my eyes, I couldn’t tell what was going on. I was afraid Someone was fighting for their life not too far from me. Could it be Twelve? Or perhaps Glimmer? My body got heavier, I couldn’t move myself. I tried to stand up, I tried to run.. nothing. The screams got louder and louder. Than I realised.. I needed to be saved aswell. The daggers piercing me have doubled, so did the pain. My skin was burning.
TRACKER JACKERS! My mind was screaming! Damn it! We got attacked by Tracker Jackers. A stung after another, their poison can be deadly and causes hallucinations.. Was I going to die like this? Killed by buggs?I violently opened my eyes, I couldn’t let it happen. I rolled over to my knees, even tho my limbs were numb, I could control them enough to start crawling. Dragging myself in the mud, away from our camp. I managed to get away from the ‘angry mob’ of Tracker Jackers. As soon as I noticed I wasn’t in danger anymore, I threw myself against a tree, leaning back on it. I didn’t have enough power in my body to carry on. My vision was all blurry. I tried to open my eyes wider, I managed enough to see Glimmer rolling around on the ground, screaming and squealing. She was crying and hitting around with her limbs. She even tried to kill of the Tracker Jackers with her bow. I tried to move my hand, but failed.. I couldn’t help her, I was left there to watch Glimmer struggling with her life. Of course I hated her, but to die in such a way is just.. gruesome. ”No –oh – oo.. Noo..!” Glimmer was whining, still trying to free herself. All of the Trackers targeted her. She was being attacked by more than thousands at once.I leaned back, sighing, trying to overhear Glimmers screams. I wonder if Cato and Marvel had already taken off, saving themselves. I can’t hear them, means they must be long gone. So I see.. Glimmer and I were left behind, deserted.I pressed myself even harder against the tree, relaxing my body. So this is it, huh? I’ve been training my whole life for this? Even tho Cato stabbed me in the back, I hopped he would win, if I couldn’t. Of all these people here, Cato deserves it the most. I don’t know why I’m even feeling disappointed, I knew Cato would save himself no matter what. What about Marvel? He told me I was his friend. He too just ran off. I was on my own. I could cry, I could cry a river, an ocean but I didn’t ,instead I found it all hilarious. I wondered what went through Glimmers mind. She too got deserted by her lover. I wish I could have asked her how it feels. ..Even tho deep down I did know.
I heard loud footsteps, getting closer and closer fastly.’ Here come the hallucinations’ – I thought to myself. The footsteps stopped, right next to me. The figure lowered itself and placed it’s hand on my face, cupping my cheek, gently shaking it. ”Clove.. Clove.” Soft sounds and warm breath surrounded me. At least the hallucinations are going to be good.. ”Clove..!” The voice got louder and louder, already screaming my name. The figure started shaking me after awhile. I still didn’t respond. I didn’t want to make a fool of myself. I didn’t want people to see me talking to thin air before I die, that was not my style to leave. The figure stopped for a while, probably listening to Glimmers screams. That poor girl was still alive. Bearly moving, screaming with a mutated voice, but the person didn’t care all too much. ”CLOVE!” I got a strong slap to the face. I huge hand pressed violently against my face, causing me to open my eyes fastly. My vision was still blurry.
The person next to me was now pressing their chest against mine, holding me tightly. Their arms wrapped around my back and their head against my shoulder. ’I know that smell’ – I thought to myself. My inner could have just bursted in tears. I wouldn’t mind getting slaughtered.. but this!? This is just too painful to handle. My head was spinning and hurting in the same time. The poison got to my veines. Please! Please let these hallucinations stop! I couldn’t handle anymore. I lost control over myself and fastly, as tight as I could, I wrapped my arms around what I thought was a hallucinations of Cato. It took me much effort to move my arms, but it seemed to me as if it was a matter of life and death.
” Oh thank god, you’re okey ” Cato Gasped. The weakness in me was gathering itself for a long time. As if one would open a pipe, a stream of tears was released from my eyes. Running down my cheeks, dripping on Cato’s shoulder.
”Come on.. We need to go.” He than said, pulling me up. As he realised I couldn’t stand, he pulled me off the ground, gently placing me over one of his shoulders. I smiled; for a hallucinations, this sure seemed real.
”What about her?” I murmured. Cato didn’t reply, he continued walking. Again I could feel the pain from the stings, starting to flow through my body. My inside was burning and my energy was fully drained. I didn’t have enough power to fight the darkness of. It took over me, lifelesly my limbs hung, crashing against Cato’s body. So weakened I fully sunk back into the nothing. I was only glad I could share my last moments with Cato. Maybe not the real one, but still, I could see him for one last time. The shine in his eyes, shining just for me. His face expresion stained by worry. His eyes near to tearing and his embrace.. all that.. just for.. me..
” You should go cool yourself down now. The water’s great. ”
” I’m fine.. ”
” Your eye is swollen, man.. You should really take care of it. ”
” I said I’m fine! ”
” I’ll look after her if that’s what bothers you.”
”… fine. ”
I started moving my head towards the voices I heard.
” Hm? Clove? Clove! Are you awake?”
I nodded weakly, opening my eyes a bit. ”Ugh.” I moaned in pain. My body was still weak and the stings were hurting, less than they did before tho. Fastly I realised the situation and harshly pulled myself up to the sitting pose. I was using up a lot of strength, but I didn’t care. I could see Marvel, who’s face was stained by worry.
”Where is he!? Where’s Cato!?” I sobbed loudly.
”Ssh.. you need to rest.” Marvel replied. ”Cato’s fine, he’s in the river, treating his stings.”
” Yes. Twelve threw the whole Tracker Jacker beehive on us. Cato’s been sitting by your side ever since he brought you here.”
” Cato brought me here? ”
” Yeah, he ran back for you as soon as he noticed you weren’t there. ”
” Cato saved me.” I muted to myself. So the hallucinations weren’t hallucinations after all.. and all that happened was real!?
” Glimmer didn’t manage it..? ”I asked. Marvel lowered his head a bit, sticking his finger into the soil, drawing in it.
”No .. she didn’t. ”
” But she was still alive when Cato came for me!”
” I know. ” Marvel said quietly . ” Cato decided to save you instead.”
I looked at Cato who had his back turned at us, cupping the water in his hands, throwing it against his face, spilling it over his hair. Drops held onto his hair, reflecting the sunlight.
The sun was rising behind him, darkening his figure, painting a glorious picture. The clouds painted red, welcoming the sun among them, spreading their colour through the sky. A blood stained sunrise was majesticly spreading before my eyes and Cato was a part of it. The beauty of what I saw took my breath, making me forget everything. Even Cato stopped moving for a moment, staring at the beautiful scenery.
Marvel than whistled, causing Cato to turn to us. Marvel waved, pointing at me. Cato’s mouth opened. He started walking out of the water, speeding up his walk almost into a run. He reached the stony coast. Dragging his feet in the sand and stone. Slowly he kneeled next to me, lowering his head a bit.
” I’ll go clear the area a bit. Maybe I can find Loverboy and Twelve. ” Marvel said and left.
” Loverboy escaped? ” I asked surprised.
” Yes.. but it doesn’t matter.” Cato gasped. ” I’m only glad your fine.” He placed his hand on top of mine, covering it fully. His hand.. it was so big compared to mine. His fingers tangled around mine. Trying to hide my blush, I lowered my head, letting my hair fall over my face, staring at the ground. Cato grasped my hand tighter.
” C- Cato..” my eyes met his. So pure and icy blue. Once they seemed so cold, now again they started to shine. I noticedthe swollen sting underneath Cato’s right eye. ”Cato! Your eye!”
”It’s fine.. it doesn’t hurt anymore!”
” I still have some of the oil. I had it in my backpack.. ” I realised our supplies might have been left behind at our camping place.
” Don’t worry, I took all of your belongings. ” He stretched his hand and grabbed my back pack. ”Here.” I thankfully accepted it, digging inside for the oil.
” Don’t waste the medice on my eye, it’s doing better. You need some as well.” He pointed at my arms. They were pierced by multiple stings, some pretty deep, the other shallow and some have already started to turn to scars.
” I have enough for the both of us. ” I said smiling. I lied. There wasn’t nearly enough. I opened the flask inside my bag, so Cato didn’t see it, spilling it on my hand, applying underneath Cato’s eye.
” Close your eyes. ”
He did as I said. The swelling was red.. it wasn’t too bad, but if not treated, Cato could have gone blind.
” How’s your back? ”
” You were right. It helped.. a lot. ”
” I’m glad. ” I smiled to him. Cato tried to return it, but it ended up more bitter than happy.
” If I didn’t have your jacket, you’d have less of those. ” Again he pointed at my arms.
” Oh.. don’t worry about it. It’s not as bad as it looks. ” Who was I kidding, my arms were burning, hurting badly. But I didn’t want Cato to notice. I didn’t want to make him worry even more. Quietly Cato stared at me. I couldn’t tell what went on in his head. He somewhatly seemed torn , tormented on the inside as well as calmed and bitterly happy.
” Why did you choose to save me? ” I asked in a darker tone.
” I wasn’t choosing. ”
” But Glimmer.. she was there too!” I raised my voice. ” Why didn’t you save here? ”
” Should I have? ”
” But you loved her!” I was close to the border of shouting but Cato remained calm, mentioning Glimmer’s name, he lost all of the emotion in his voice and face.
” Foolish. ” he simply replied.
” But she was – ”
” Who are you to tell me whom I’m supposed to love!? ” He said roughly.
” I- I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to..”
Cato covered his face with his hands and sighed. ” I never cared about Glimmer. To me, she didn’t mean anything at all. For me it wasn’t a choice to make whom to save, there was only this one and only way. Glimmer kept hindering me, a pesk who needed to be cleared out of the way. She kept jumping in between of me and you..” Cato took a break. ”But I couldn’t help noticing you and Marvel became friends.. it didn’t bother me tho, but the next time I looked you were hanging from his neck.” I didn’t expect a downpour of emotions from Cato. He spoke strictly and coldly.
” I doubt Marvel’s story would leave you cold.. I hugged him in pity nothing else!”
” Marvel is not the only one with a sad story to tell!”
” You never said anything. I was waiting for it.. but it didn’t happen. Marvel at least asked for an open shoulder. ”Cato was left cold, unconvinced. He just sat there staring at me without even blinking.
” You too had so much to tell, but never did. I watched you.. I know the way you tick. ”
” I might have stepped forwards if there wasn’t Glimmer by your side 24/7!”
” She’s gone now! ”
I felt anger rising. Why was Cato provoking me. The moment wich started so great, was about to fall apart, shattering both of our hearts. I didn’t want to risk losing Cato. We didn’t have much time, and we shouldn’t be wasting it by pointless fighting.
” Still.. I was always there.. having your back.” I said silently and calmly.
Cato’s defence fall apart. His expresion softened. I hardly noticed, but his hand was still lying on top of mine. He held onto it, searching for the right words.
” Thank you for saving me. ” I said, trying to sound as convincingly as I could. Cato’s hands suddenly wrapped around me, pressing me against his chest, holding me in his tight grasp, building a loving embrace. I closed my eyes, so I could hear his heartbeat clearer. From a hectic speed, it slowed down to bearly beating. Cato’s body was so warm and soft. He pressed his head against mine, kissed it than leaned back on it. A simplest hug speaking more words than anything else in the world can. I freed myself from his tight grip a bit, enough to look up, getting stuck in Cato’s eyes, slowly drowning. Cato leaned his forehead on mine, pressing tightly. I felt heat gathering inside my cheecks, causing me to blush, but so did Cato, bearly seeable, but enough for me to see.
” Finally you’re mine.” He whispered, rubbing his nose against mine, opening his mouth slightly, gasping. I tried to catch his every gasp, every breath. In a bliss of a second, Cato’s lips pressed tightly onto mine, softly rubbed against them, causing Cato’s grasp to tighten. He shortly pulled away.
” Never again will I let go. ” He’s words sounded determindedly, but his look sweetly clinged onto mine, His eyes closed and he leaned in for another kiss.
”Fast guys!” We heard a call from the forest, pulling back from eachother. ” I found them! I found Twelve and Loverboy!” Marvel called out to us. Cato stood up.
”Slowly pack your things! I’ll be back!” He rushed into the forest. I gathered all our things, making my way behind them. Since I still haven’t recovered fully, I was tripping a lot. I saw Twelve running away
not too far from me, but she ran off through the woods, I lost sight of her.
” Quick! He’s here!”
” He let her escape!!”
I made my way towards the voices, walking as fast as I could. I pulled out a knife from my jacket. I finally saw Cato who’s hand was wrapped around Loverboy’s neck.
”Wait!” I called out. ”Don’t kill him just yet!”
”We’ve been running for hours!!” Glimmer whined.
”She’s near! Really!” Loverboy tried to defend himself
”Where is she!?” Cato growled threatfully back at him. The woods were awfully quiet. There was only a few more tributes out there, and most will die tonight.
”We’ve already been here.” Marvel added somehow annoyed. I looked around. He was right, this place, we’ve been here a while ago. I knew it. Loverboy was fooling around with us.
”Let’s just kill him. NOW!” I said impatiently. I hated him, he disgusted me. Playing his love game. The whole Panem fell for their scheme. How could someone fool around with something so true and fragile as this. I imagined grabbing Loverboy, pushing him into the nearest camera and making him confess before slicing him to pieces. By the end of the day, I’ll have to admit I was just jealous. I couldn’t help but to wonder how Cato and I would work out as ‘star-crossed’ lovers. It angered me, I wasn’t fast enough to sell our story. I didn’t care about the sponsors as much as I cared for Cato. My look slipped to Glimmer. But than again, I’m probably not good enough.
”Clove’s right. Any last words Loverboy?”Cato said, turning to me, staring at me for some time. His voice was calmer and he’s look has softened. Did he finally realise that I was right?
”Give me another hour.. I promise.. –” Peeta still went on begging. I sighned and turned to Marvel who shushed me.
”Can you hear that?” He said quietly
”Someone’s here!” I replied .He than quickly turned around to the river and raised his spear.
”I found her! She’s here!” he screamed with excitement in his voice. I looked down. It was Twelve! She was wounded. As soon as she saw us, she panicked.
”Loverboy… look who joined us.” I said winking to him. He gulped loudly, making me laugh as a result.
” Get her!” Cato screamed, sprinting towards her. I pulled out my sharpest knife. She was a goner. All of us ran behind. The dust underneath our feet was raising, the wind blew through our hair and the adrenalin in our blood pumped wildly!
Twelve was running as fast as she could. She was in pain. She had some pretty bad wounds all over her body. Gasping for air, she made her way into the forest. Cato just behind her. We followed close behind. It has already seemed as Cato caught her, but we found him standing beneath a tree, looking up.
”Don’t tell me she escaped!?” I snarled at him, returning him his own attitude. Cato just looked at me saying nothing. Marvel came closer looking up, saying: ”Glimmer, can you shoot her with your bow?” Glimmer stood behind us quietly, than stepped closer. ”Ofcourse I can!” She said proudly. The arrow flew and fairly missed our target. Glimmer just giggled and said; ”Wow, that was bad.” She prepaired her bow for another shot.
” Useless piece of –” I murmured, than noticed Cato’s stare on me, confused I stared back at him. He than shook his head pulling the bow from Glimmers hand. ”Give me that!” He growled at her. He shot at Katniss but missed, ripping off some of her hair. ”Goddamn it!”He threw the bow on the floor.
”I’m going up..” he said. I fastly threw myself inbetween of Cato and the tree.
”Are you stupid?” I said harshly. ”The tree is wet and the brunches are weak.. You’re too heavy!” He didn’t listen to me. ”The tree is old and fragile.. You’ll just end up falling down and probably even breaking your spine!” Cato grabbed me around my ribs, pushing me away, saying nothing. Cato grabbed the first branch after that another and another. He was already in the middle of the tree. Glimmer was cheering for Cato, Marvel was quietly studying the situation than mumbled;.”Oh no..” The branch where his left foot was placed began to break. ”Cato watch out!!” I screamed uncontrolably loud. Cato turned his head in my direction, catching my stare. Our eyes met for a second. His mouth sligtly opened, he muted something but I couldn’t tell what it was. The next moment Cato’s body crashed hardly against the ground. Motionlesly he lied there, so peacefully as if he was asleep.
I fought my way through and kneeled by his side, placing my hands on his chest, shaking, pushing, pressuring it. ”Cato! Cato wake up! Come on!! Cato!” I was screaming repeatedly. Never before was I so scared. ”Cato.. please..” I said in a weaker voice. I could feel Cato’s breath again, feeling a huge relief. Cato’s head twitched a little than he opened his eyes. ”You fool!” I shouted ”I told you what will happen. Why don’t you just listen to me!?” I kept shouting at him. Cato just quietly stared at me with a confused look. ”Clove..” he whispered, calmly looking at me. My anger wanished, my body froze. ”Are you okey?” I aksed quietly. ”I am.” He nodded, pulling himself up. Briefly he gave me a glance, saying; ”thank you.” And walked back to the tree. I still remained kneeling on the ground next to the print of Cato’s body, caused by the crash. I placed my hand on it, closing my eyes.
My thoughts and words were gone. I was numb.”W-We should wait her out. She will have to come down aventualy.” Peeta said. Cato looked at him, pressing his hand on his back, which must have been hurting badly. It seemes he was too wounded to act differently. ”Fine, we’ll settle down here for the night.” He said calmly ”Marvel and Glimmer, you both will go find some good branches and wood for a fire.” He took a short break, catching his breath. The fall must have worked him out pretty badly.. ”Me and Loverboy will guard the area. And Clove, you’ll go back to the Cornucopia to get some supplies.. food, water, medicine.. anything useful you can find,” he dragged himself to me. ”Here,” he streached out his backpack ”take mine too, you’ll be able to take more this way.” I placed my hand on his backpack, touching his hand. Fastly I pulled my hand away, grabing the back pack. Cato lowered his head, searching my look. ”Be safe.” He whispered. No matter how hard I tried that moment, I couldn’t have hid my blush. I nodded in reply and swung his backpack around my shoulder. ”I’ll be back soon.” I called out and ran off.
What a fool I must have made of myself. Staring at Cato numbly. My body froze leaving me speechless. My eyes and mouth, both slightly opened. I was rushing through the forest as fast as I could. The way wasn’t long. The sun has already started to go down slowly. I couldn’t tell what day it was anymore nor could I tell the hour, we oriented ourselves by the movement of the sun. Early, when it was still weak, it was the time to wake up, as it begun to get stronger, it was time to find water. And when it’s beams started to burn on our skin, we looked for shelter in the forest, searching for food and tributes. Before it died out, we had to found a place where we’d spend the night. I reached the Cornucopia, hiding myself in the nearest bush, first I needed to clear the area for any tributes. I noticed someone, it was the girl from 5. She too was hiding, checking the area. She thought it was clear and made a run for the supplies. I caught upto her quickly, throwing myself on her, causing her to crash. I could see fear in her eyes, she was shaking hardly. I smiled and stroke my knife directly in the middle of her face, pulling it out and stroking it against her face again. She was still trying to free herself, moving her arms and legs. It was just a matter of time till she dies. There was a wide hole in the middle of her face, with blood squirting out of it. Some blood landed on my face and my clothes, staining them but it didn’t bother me. The girl stopped moving. She was dead. I looked around if there were any other tributes. I saw none. Fastly I made my way towards the supplies. I found so much food it could keep as alive for a whole week. I took the backpack and stuffed in as much as I could. I left a little space for other things. I picked up a rope and two more bottles, taking both with me. I also found a flask of medicine and picked it up fastly. Cato is going to need it now. On my way back I also found some herbals. Since I learned a little about medicine back in my district I took them with me as well. From all the medicine I got, Cato will be able to walk normaly tomorow already.
While walking back I noticed the male tribute from 3. That fool, he didn’t even see me. My knife flew directly at the back of his head. I made my way towards his corpse, retrieving my knife. ”Too easy.” I sighned. As I was walking back to the rest of the pack, I suddenly remembered Cato’s fall. So vividly it sneaked back into my mind. Again I could feel the chills the same I felt that moment. Why was I so afraid as he fell? Almost forgetting to breath I crashed over the unconscious Cato, begging him to wake up. A moment of weakness. I can’t allow myself more of these.I could already hear them talking, everyone was there already. As soon as they saw me they stopped speaking.
”Clove! You’re back.” Marvel said happily. They were sitting around a little campfire they had made. Cato was leaned on a tree, tiredly looking back at me. The fall has really weakened him. I looked up the tree, Katniss was still there, slowly falling asleep. She was tied onto the branch.
”Anything new?” I asked.
” Nothing much here.. Oh wait! The boy from 3 and girl from 5 died.” Marvel said.
” I know,” I replied smiling ” I killed them.” I said victoriously.
Marvel raised his brow, gave me a nod and a smile. ”Well done.”
I packed out the food that I brought with me, placing in in front of Marvel, Glimmer and Loverboy, than made my way to Cato. ”Here,” I said giving him the medicine and herbals. ” You’ll need to smire this over your back, than put a bandage over it. Tomorow you’ll be like new.”
Cato looked at me and smilled. ”Thank you so much, Clove.” I was about to stand up and joined the others for supper, but Cato grabbed my hand.
”Didn’t you forget a little something?” He said a bit playfuly.
”Like what?” I muted, confusedly.
”I can’t reach my own back.”
”Oh right. I’ll go get Glimmer.” Again I was about to stand up as he hecticly grabbed my hand.
”No I don’t wan –” he sighned ”I mean.. you do it.” Cato said quietly.
I couldn’t help but to stare at him for some time. ”Fine.” I said causing Cato to smile. He seemed amused. ”Come on.. what are you waiting for? Spreading it over your shirt won’t help much, you know?” I said, mocking him. ”Oh..” He said stiffly, laughed while stripped his shirt of. I held tight to my breath. I had to kill of many thoughts to focus only on Cato’s wound. But wow.. just wow. His back was red and burning.
”How did you manage not to go insane from the pain?” I asked as I realised how serious his condition actually was.”I almost did to be honest.” Cato’s voice was relaxed, it seemed as if the old Cato was back, but I didn’t let it fool me, it could be just for this moment, the next moment he could just turn to me and slaughter me. But I enjoyed his presence all too much to let anything disturb it.. I had Cato to myself.
I poured the medicine oil onto my hands, rubbed them together and pressed against Cato’s back. Cato clenched his teeth together, he was hurting. I tried to be as gentle is I could, but it still caused him pain.
” Does it hurt bad? ” I asked worried” It’s fine, carry on.. ” He muted exhaustedly.” It’ll be over soon.. hold on.”
A final press against Cato’s back. I could feel his body raising by the beat of his breathing. He’s skin didn’t burn anymore, it started to calm down. I took some of the herbals from the backpack and placed it on Cato’s back, than took the bandages and wrapped them around Cato’s torso. ”You should be fine now.” I said and looked at him and smiled kindly. He nodded and returned the smile. ”Clove.. thank you.” I stood up and took the rest of the food, bringing it to Cato. ”Here.. eat.” He thankfuly accepted my offer and didn’t need to be told twice. I could tell.. he was starving. I took some bread and water for myself, leaving the whole meat to Cato. He was the one who needed it more. It was funny watching him as he dug into the food, swallowing without chewing.
” Slow it down! You’ll choke!” I said laughing. Cato took a break. ”Oh wow, I even forgot to breath.”
I had to laugh. ”You must have really been starving.” My heart was beating faster everytime I laid eyes on him. I didn’t strugle as the moment started to overwhelm me, freeing my body from all the worries and tension, dedicating my words and thoughts just to Cato. I turned back to Marvel and Glimmer, they were sleeping, so were Katniss and Loverboy.” Now I’m full!” Cato said than yawned.
”You need to get some sleep now.” I told him kindly” Are you kidding? Someone needs to look over the group.” He said determindedly.
” Your body needs resting, how do you expect your wound to heal? It’s fine, I’ll take the first look out.”
”No but’s!” Cato lowered his head smiling and saying; ”Fine mother.” I had to smile.
” Than can you stay here? Next to me? ” He said quietly, putting his hand on the empty space next to him, tapping it. I looked at him surprisedly and confused. What was Cato on to? I stood up and moved to the place he asked me to. Placing my backpack on the ground and taking my jacket off. Leaning my head back on the tree’s trunk.” The sky’s so bright ” Cato mumbled. I looked up, it trully was. So many stars decoraiting it.
” That star..” I pointed up in the sky ”it shines brighter than all the other ones.” I said
”Just like you..” Cato answered, leaning his head on my shoulder ”compared to the other tributes.”
I blushed hardly. My mind spinned and got flooded by hundreds of images of Cato. I felt so confused but on the other hand, something grew over my chest and grabbed it tight, keeping my breath away, smothering me. But it felt so warm and so right as if it was a dream.. Cato was breathing deeply. He was asleep. I gently moved my shoulder and placed him on the ground, using my backpack as his pillow. As I made sure he didn’t wake up, I covered him with my jacket. My hand ran through his hair, my fingers tangling in his hair. I dragged myself a bit further from him and leaned back. I had the perfect view over everything, nothing could happen. After a while I got tired, my lids were heavy, closing themselves. I stood up, waking Glimmer. ”It’s your turn to take the guard.” She sighned unhappily. ”Fine.” We changed places. ”But don’t fall asleep!” I whispered to her. ”Ofcourse I won’t! I’m a professional!”
”Psh..yeah right” I muted to myself.
It didn’t take long till slumber started to overcome me. The world around me spinned and I raised from the ground, leaving for the world where I was free.
A cold breeze blew through my hair, forcing it onto my face. I regained conscious. I could hear voices, it was Cato and Marvel talking. My head was heavy and it took some time for me to realise where I was and what was going on. I must have passed out yesterday, I was really tired.
I was still hasitating to open my eyes, cause when I do, I’m just gonna glance back at the arena and the day will be the exact same copy of everyday before: Find food, kill, find water, kill, find a place to sleep, kill.
I took my backpack and briefly sorted my knifes back to my jacket, took other belongings and joined the others. Cato walked fastly ahead, making us loosing sight of him from time to time. Glimmer was running just behind him. She remeinded me of a puppy clinging to his owner. She was always giggling and playfuly jumping behing Cato. While disgusting plans, she never said anything nor has she ever helped us out with any idea. Neather her bow skills were too brilliant. Becouse of her carelessness, she keept tripping herself on pretty much all the roots in her way. That’s supposed to be a Career? You must be kidding me..
Behind them was Marvel, walking fastly. Turning back to me as often as he could, making sure I still haven’t strayed.
”We should speed up a little, I’ve already lost sight of Glimmer.” He said while catching his breath.
I was tired.. tired of all of this shit! I wanted to go on my own, fight my own battles, decide for my own! I even wouldn’t have to see this unbearable stuff I’m forced to watch now. I wouldn’t mind a break of all this tension. No matter how much I care for Cato.. I needed a break.
”Marvel.. I think I want to go on my own.” I told him quietly.
” You’re still tired, here drink some water to clear your mind. ” he gave me his bottle
” No.. you don’t – ” I tried to force my words out
” Look, as soon as you’re out of the pack, you’re an enemy,” he said, looking to the place where Cato should be standing. ” I bet neither of you would want to face each other in the last battle?” Marvel was kindly looking at me while gently placing his head on my shoulder, continuing; ” come now, we’ll get in trouble for wasting time.”
I couldn’t say much. I knew Marvel was right. I realised how egoistic I must have sound, dissapearing and just leaving Marvel behind with those two. He was too kind to me and how did I repay him? With my moodiness. Marvel started running, stepping into Cato’s footsteps. I ran behind him. I felt guilty.
We eventually cought upto Cato and Glimmer, they were already waiting impatiently. Cato gave me an angry stare that caused my body to shiver. I wondered what was going on in his mind. I could feel his tension, he was annoyed and very close to bumping his border of anger. I knew if he reaches it, I’ll be the one on whom he will let it all out.
” We need to make a plan. ” he said coldly. He began speaking, talking mainly to Marvel, not breaking their eye conection . Did he do this to not get distracted? Or becouse he thought Marvel was the only person he could talk to? But he knew me too well, he knew our thoughts shared a bond. We usualy made plans together and with team work we always made them real.. but now.. Could Cato be mad at me for some reason!?
My thoughs got disturbed by the sounds of rustling behind us in the bush. I carefuly listened again.
Yes! I was right! There was someone spying on us. As quiet as I could, I turned my back to everyone and walked towards the bush. The rest of the pack stopped talking, laying their eyes on me, I could feel their glares. Slowly I pulled a knife from my jacket, gripping it tightly. I could hear someone breathing, they must have tried really hard not to breath too loud, without any use, their adrenalin pumped their heartbeat and clearly I could smell their fear. Fastly I pushed my hand into the bush and violently grabed the first thing I could get my hands on. By his hair, I pulled Loverboy out of the bush, streaking my knife against his neck.
”Feeling suicidal, are we?” I said while Loverboy strangled, trying to free himself from my grip.
”No! Please don’t.” ”Give me one good reason why I shouldn’t?” I laughed arogantly, letting my bloodlust grow. The end of my knife has already pierced Loverboys neck, alltho a little hole, blood dripped down his neck. The grip in my hand tightened, it began to tear out Loverboys hair. I could tell he’s in pain. ”I’ve been looking for you! I can help you!” he said with a higher voice and a hint of desperation. What lame excuses people make when they’re about to die.
Cato stepped forwards and laughed ”How exactly can someone like YOU help US?”
”I can lead you to her! I can lead you to Katniss!” Loverboy was begging for his life, but is he really this selfish to betray someone he loves?
”I don’t believe him.” I said ”Let’s just kill him, we’ll find her anyway.”
”She has a hiding place, it’s really hard finding her! I’m probably the only person who knows where she is!” Loverboy still strangeled for his life. I just smirked. ”Pathetic.”
”So you want us to keep you alive and you’ll show us where Twelve is?” Cato repeated, thoughtfully.
Ofcourse I hated Twelve as much as Cato did, but this was too risky. Besides, he hasn’t even trained before the games, he’s just a pesk. I wanted to kill him so badly that moment.
”Yes. Yes! That’s what I’m saying. Please let me go!”
My grip tightened. ”Shut it!” I growled at him. ”One more move and I’ll slaughter you instantly.”
To me, he was just a prey, an easy catch, no challenge at all. But he was increasing my bloodlust, my wish to spill his blood all over the arena. It was funny watching him beg for his life.
”Fine. Clove realise him!” ”WHAT!?” I sharply turned my head to Cato, meeting his freezing blue eyes. With a motionless glare he stared directly at me, it felt like he pierced my sould just with his look. Shivers ran down my spine.
”I said; Release him.” He said harshly. I didn’t dare questioning him, so I realised my grip from his hair, causing Loverboy to crash to the floor. I still held my knife towards him.
”Thank you!” He started thanking hecticly.
”But know, any mistake, even a little one.. will be fatal!” Cato turned, making us face his back. What’s with the arrogance? And what was with the stare and the rude way of speach. We used to be friends, Cato and I used to be inseparable. What happened to him? Did the games fully took over his head?
”Come on, let’s get going.” He than said in a calmer tone. He moved forwards and Glimmer ran behind, just after both ran Loverboy. I stood still. I could feel my anger rising, my cheeks were hot and my body shivered. Now, I could strike Cato down, with no regrets at all. I could bearly notice Marvel, who stood right next to me. ”Are you okey, Clove?” I took a deep breath. ”Yeah, I guess.” I replied calmer.
”Nice job you did catching him!” Marvel said somewhatly excited.
”But it’s no use. He’s still alive.” I said disapointedly.
”Doesn’t matter, we’ll still get the chance killing him.”
Marvel always found a way to cheer me up. The anger wanished, my body slowly calmed down.
”Has Cato always been like that?” Marvel than asked. Suprised, I looked at him , he seemed to have been gathering up his courage to ask that. He did deserve an answer. ”No. He hasn’t. At least not to me.” I said taking a short pause ”He always acted as he wanted, but never so cruely. Must be the games.” I said, lowering my head in disappointment. I felt helpless. ”I see,” Marvel replied quietly ”The Capitol is most pleased with a brainwashed victor.”He added. My eyes opened widely. But than.. that must mean the Cato I knew, has already died as he volunteered for the games. What’s left is just this emotionless, ruthless, brutal robot who craves fame and glory. An empty shell. I couldn’t accept it! This isn’t going to be the way I loose Cato.
I needed someone to tell me where his last bit of humanity is, so I could restore it. But what I didn’t know.. it’s closer than I think it is
Peacefully his body was resting on the cold ground. Seemed like he already sunk in deep slumber. Breathing deeply and slowly.That same moment, she realised she could take advantage of it. It was the perfect time for her to nest so closely to him, cuddling upto his arm. She too got taken over by sleep soon after.
I couldn’t help but to ask myself; would he have aproved of this situation if he was awake? Or could it be, could he actually care for her?
I found myself staring at them, so peacefully resting, as if we weren’t stuck in this mess. So vunerebal they seemed, so far from reality. I could so easily kill her now. Kill them both. Funny as it seems, they wouldn’t even know what struck them. But no matter how hard I’d try, I couldn’t harm Cato.
All the anger and rage I felt before dissapeared as my stare got stuck on his face. His lips a little opened, I could see the warm breath escaping from them. His eyes shut close, twitching a little. Never before I noticed how long his eyelashes actually are. Silently and softly he murmured something, causing a bearly seeable blush covering his cheeks.
I couldn’t take my eyes off of him. How the hell did we end up like this? After all the days back home.. if only I.. -.
Carried away by my thoughts and my hidden obsession, I haven’t even noticed how bizzare my staring must have seemed.
”Clove?” Marvel’s voice shook me out of the trans I’ve fallen into ”Are you okey?”
”Yeah I’m fine.” I replied, still not moving my glare of off Cato and Glimmer. ”I think you too should get some sleep. I’ll take the first guard.” Marvel spoke quietly so he wouldn’t wake our team mates. I was thankful to Marvel for the good cause, but I just couldn’t sleep. There was too much on my mind.
”It’s okey, I can take the first guard, you had it yesterday already.” I replied instead.
”Can’t you sleep?” Marvel asked, with a hint of worry in his voice.
”No. Not really.” I answered briefly.
Marvel walked upto me and sat down right next to me. ”To be honest, I too had trouble sleeping lately.” He said with a smile. I always admired him, no matter how tough the situation was, he didn’t take it personaly, he kept a smile and a clear head all the time. Come to think of it, I doubt I ever saw Marvel frown.
My look kept escaping back to Cato. A bliss of hope apeared in my mind, but I fastly killed it off.
”Did you both know eachother before the games?” Marvel asked, interrupting the silence. But to me words seemed like a distant thing. I couldn’t find the right words to build an answer. My thoughts strayed and I couldn’t think clearly.
”Yeah we did,” I didn’t want to speak about me and Cato ”What about you and Glimmer?”
”We did. She was in the same school as me. The popularest girl on the whole school. Apart from that I didn’t know much about her. We haven’t spoke before the games.” ”Oh..” I even had a hard time hearing her name.
”But behind her flirty wall dwells a normal girl thrown into this horror. All tho she doesn’t seem to impress me like she does everyone else.” Marvel’s words surprised me. I guess I’m not the only one who’s not too fond of Glimmer in our pack. That cheered me up.
”What about you? You volunteered right?”
” I did, but compared to Cato, I’m not such a fan of these games”
” Why than did you decided to be a Career?”
”I do come from a quite luxurious family, we had enough of everything. My parents wanted to have a peackeeper in our family. They have already decided to let my younger brother train as a Career. Not to volunteer but to become a peackeeper. My brother was all up for it, it seemed as a dream of his aswell. By the end of the same year my brother got diagnosed with a life threatening illness. His body became a burden to him, he can’t do much more than sit or lay around. That’s when I decided I’ll take that place. I got good in what I did and it has already grew into an obsession.”
Marvel’s story somewhat broke through my shell and got to the soft part of me. I couldn’t find the suiting words. ”That’s horrible! I-I’m sorry!”
”That’s alright. It’s not your fault!”
”Can’t they do anything to heal him?”
”I’m afraid It’s a rather rare illness.” Marvel replied quietly.” But my family begun to cope with the fact of loosing both of their children.” Marvel’s words were soft but I could hear his voicetrembling by the weight of his thoughts.
”Why would you say that? You came here to win.” My voice raised.
”I did, but I saw the reality in the eye. There’s no way I stand a chance against Cato or you. I couldn’t harm my friends.” A weak smile apeared on his face. Has Marvel gone insane!? This isn’t exactly the right place to make friends, it’s a game of life and death! But come to think of it, most of the tributes are bonding and allying with eachother. Could I be missing some point in all of this?
”But you do want to see your brother again, don’t you?” I say after a short break.
”Ofcourse I do, he’s the reason I’m doing all of this” I could feel all the pain Marvel felt in that moment.
”How old is he?” I asked
”Next year he’ll be ready for the reaping.”
”What!? But doesn’t his condition – ”
”Yes, but those are the rules.. all the kinds from 12 to 18.”
I couldn’t believe my ears, an ill child, who’s brother is fighting for the both of their lives must still enter the arena if reaped. Can the Capitol get any crueler? Once again I could feel anger rushing through my veins, heathing up my body. We allowed them to play and command over our lives, but torturing the helpless.. it’s a torture enough watching a person you love strugling, not able doing anything. Those thoughts.. they summoned a picture of Cato in my mind. I could have been back at home in district 2, I could have been watching him suffer, sitting back helplessly, drowning in my own misery. I couldn’t handle it. For once I was glad I’m here with him. I might even succeed to change his destiny and the outgoing of the game. No! What I’m a thinking of!? I came to win! Get a grip, Clove! Marvel was sitting calmly with a lowered head and a broken smile which was fading slowly as well. The humanity in me didn’t allow me to not respond. I pushed myself closer to him and gently wrapped my arms around his neck, whispering; ”I’m so sorry.” My voice was broken and it shaked heavily. Shortly after Marvel crossed his hands on my back and leaned his head on my shoulder.
I could tell how troubled he was. Hiding all of this pain so well, uptill now. It was a question of time when he’s going to break.
I could finaly realise how, compared to Marvel’s problems, mine were nothing at all. Ofcourse it did hurt but in the end it must have only been my fantasy messing with me. In the end nothing was real and I was in love with an ideal image I created as an escape. I begged someone would prove me wrong, but it seems like I’ve already fully lost Cato.
Marvel pulled his head away from my shoulder. ”Thank you Clove.” He whispered. He seemed to recovered his smile back again.
I somehow felt glad I could help him, at least someone. Still I was suprised of how fast he pulled himself together, tho he couldn’t fully hide his pain. I just replied with a broken smile, the best one I could do.
”Clove.. every blind man can see you’re bothered by something.” Marvel continued.
”So it’s that obvious,huh?” a little sarcastic smile saved me from the tension. Marvel noded. ”You know it’s easier getting it of off your mind. And since our time is limited..”
I determinedly decided to win, I surely won’t allow my time to run out! . ..But.. who am I kidding, I can’t even stand straight infront of Cato, I can’t even handle Glimmer’s head pressing against his arm.
How foolish was I to think that I actually stand a chance. Marvel was right. But one thing I do know for sure.. I’m going to fight! I’m going to fight till the very end. I might not return home, but I will prove myself as a worthy oponent.