|Someone Worth Remembering
Author: ladyxmockingxbird PM
Ira Manning had failed at everything she had vowed to do in the arena that is until she stumbles upon a career tribute...half dead and in the middle of nowhere. Cato/OC plus all the fav tributes.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Drama - Cato & Other tributes - Chapters: 30 - Words: 66,899 - Reviews: 90 - Favs: 52 - Follows: 66 - Updated: 12-02-12 - Published: 05-20-12 - id: 8132725
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Chapter 8: Wolves and the Fox
"Would you stop pacing, you're making me queasy"
Her voice never stops. She never stops. If I have to be stuck in this room any longer with this woman the Hunger Games are going to be down one tribute.
"I'm sorry Petunia. Would you like me to get you a glass of water?" I reply sarcastically. I hope that she'll understand that she's making the situation a lot worse. Ever since I was unloaded off the hovercraft and forced into this launch room I haven't been able to keep her to be quiet. Does this woman have an off switch?
"There is no need for that Ira. I can't do my job if I'm not a hundred per cent focused" She states this as if it was obvious and then begins to inspect her manicure.
I wonder how Dany is doing. He has to be a lot calmer than I am at the moment. He doesn't have some pink, preened capitol woman breathing down his neck. I thought that I was supposed to be keeping calm. Everything Haymitch had said in slowly being wiped from my mind.
"What exactly is your job?"
"I'm here to provide a friendly face" I don't bother holding back a snigger, "Oh, and I'm supposed to give you this" She holds out a tiny black capsule wrapped in string, letting it fall into my open palm. "Not sentimental are we?"
I grab my token out of her hand and quickly fasten it around my neck. The small black marker slipping under my collar. We may not be allowed weapons but there is no rule about the usefulness of a token. I assume the marker may come in handy.
Petunia ultimately becomes uninterested, turning her attention back to her newly pink nails. I turn mine to the glass cylinder sitting before me. Almost immediately I wish my stylist would have kept talking. Anything to distract me from that tiny metal circle. I'm not sure how long we've been down here but I can assume it won't be long until I'm ordered onto it. I want to be anywhere but this room. Then problem is the waiting. I keep thinking about the tiniest of things I've forgotten to do. I never got to ask Haymitch about his games. I never went through what type of weapons my fellow tributes use. And in my confusion I never said a proper goodbye to Dany. I sit down against the cold grey floor, reminding myself that I didn't need to. He'll be fine. I'll find him.
"One minute" A low robotic voice fills the small space and I'm instantly on my feet. The pacing has begun again but this time I'm not entirely sure I can stop. I walk back and forth from wall to wall of the miniscule space. I swear the room is getting smaller.
'Find Dany. Find Water. Find Shelter. Stay hidden. Dany, water, shelter'
I'm beginning to chant the words in my head when two hands grasp my shoulders, the nails slightly digging into my skin but I welcome the feeling.
"Take a breath. You'll only work yourself into a state" I don't listen to her. How could she be so cruel, so immune to what's about to happen? I know she isn't to blame but right now she might as well be the person who put here. She is the capitol.
I shrug away from her grip and let out a shuddered breath. The chant starts as it did before.
"Thirty seconds" The voice begins counting down each number and before I realise it Petunia is leading me up onto my launch pad.
The first steps are automatic as I place my feet on the platform and I turn slowly to face her again. She doesn't say anything comforting. The platform shakes slightly as it begins to lift. I quickly readjust my stance. My feet are firmly planted, ready to duck down if by some chance this morning's nightmare becomes a reality. Forgetting my chant, confusion falls over me. It turns into panic and the panic turns into a feeling of dread. What did Haymitch want me to do? Do I find food or shelter first? The platform keeps ascending and without another thought I look up at what was once the ceiling of the launch room.
"Ladies and Gentleman, let the seventy-fourth Hunger Games begin"
The sudden sunlight blinds me. I quickly try to blink away the spots in my vision as the plate comes to a stop. When my vision clears, the first thing I see is the golden cornucopia, lying directly in front of me, surrounded by a large clearing of grass. I whip my head around.
Behind me is forest, it's the only way I can describe it. A lake lies to my left but behind the cornucopia is more forest. It looks slightly less dense than the stuff behind. I glance up at the countdown timer. Thirty-five seconds left. Weapons are scattered across the clearing but I can't see my daggers anywhere. At least there's no temptation to get them. However I do notice a small leatherback pack sitting a few metres from my plate. Now that is a temptation.
A loud voice echoes through the arena as the final ten seconds count down.
'Dany, water, shelter'
I remember the words just in time and I glance up at the other tributes. Foxface is to my left. Murray on my right. Cato stands another five platforms over but my eyes quickly flick away to the little boy next to him. Dany nods in the direction of the forest and I nod back as the voice hits three seconds. Three. I look at the leather bag. Two. I think of Dany. One. What am I doing?
The gong sounds and the silence begins. It only takes few steps till I can reach the bag. I swivel around, taking off in the direction of the forest. I pass Murray, who's slower than the rest but thankfully he pays me no attention, running straight into the bloodbath. I sprint out of the clearing.
The first scream sends a chill down my spine. A girl by the sound of it. I keep running. However taking my first step into denser foliage, I immediately slip over on some type of moss, sending my legs in different directions. My back hits the ground hard. Whatever is in the leather bag digs into my side as I struggle to collect myself. But it's not the fall that scares me. Out of nowhere something warm surrounds my wrist. I pull against it and surprising the hand lets go in an instant.
"Come on Ira! We have to go!" I look up to see Dany standing over me with pleading eyes. One look at that face and I'm reminded of what I have to do.
Launching myself off the ground, I grab his arm and tug him further into the undergrowth. The forest isn't what I was expecting. Looking in, nothing had seemed unusual about it but the more we sprint into its surrounds the more abnormal it becomes. We haven't gone far when it begins to slope upwards. The same moss that I slipped on, lines almost ever surface making the slightest movement a hazard. Dany is constantly losing his footing and I end up half carrying, half dragging him up the hill. It's all I can do not to turn around but the screams are still echoing in my ears. The cannons don't sound which mean the bloodbath isn't over. It won't be long though till the careers can regather. The thought only pushes me on.
"Ira?" I hear Dany whisper but we must keep going. He'll thank me for this later.
"Ira!" This time I stop at the urgency of his voice. I quickly turn around, expecting another tribute. Instead there's only green. Nothing but the slope we've spent the last few minutes climbing. This only infuriates me.
"We have to keep going" I tug back harshly on his collar. How can he not understand that were not safe here? "We can't stop"
"No. Ira, look." Dany points at the forest on our right. My eyes follow the length of his arm and connect with strangest thing I have ever seen in my life.
Thresh barely pauses as he barrels down the hill, hurling himself over a moss ridden log. Not even stopping when his knees connect with the ground and sending him rolling down a short decline. In seconds he's up and running again. The trees snap as he barges through them and out of our sight. Why on earth is he heading back towards the cornucopia? Back towards the careers? The questions just cross my mind when the second strangest thing races back down the hill. This time however, Foxface is smart enough to jump over the log and is in and out of my vision before I can blink. She couldn't take on the careers. Why would she… I never finish the thought.
An eerily long howl resonates down the hill side. Dany gently pulls back on my t-shirt but I keep all of my focus on the hilltop. His begins to pull harder.
"Go. Go now" The words barely break from my lips as the first wolf leaps onto the top of hillside. It tilts head back in another long howl, baring razor sharp teeth. And with only the thought to distance ourselves from the wolves, I grab Dany and dash back towards the cornucopia.
Dany is a good metre or two in front of me when we burst into the clearing. He has the brains to keep running despite the image we encounter. It's been mere minutes since we stepped off our platforms and already the cornucopia is surrounded by bodies. I can't make out their faces as we run across the field but I can make out their lifeless forms slumped in their own blood. That's before I notice the careers. Cato, Glimmer, Clove and Marvel stand at the mouth of the cornucopia, tightly gripping their weapons. They seem confused more than anything else as they watch Thresh fly into the cover of the opposite forest. Marvel attempts to go after him but stops when Cato harshly grabs his upper arm. Their heads turn towards us. Our sudden appearance definitely has them confused now and they stop dead. We keep running. If we can just reach the forest we might stand a chance but were not going fast enough. Dany is slowing at a rapid pace and in a few more steps I pass him. The trees are getting closer. We might just make it. I'm already picking my path through the foliage when there's a scream behind me. I stop dead in my tracks, spinning around to the source of the sound. I've let Dany down already. We haven't even been here a day and I've already failed. My thoughts are interrupted though when something crashes into me. I lose my footing and I'm sent flying into the dirt. The impact winds me. I gasp for breath when the same something that knocked me over seizes my upper arm.
"What are you doing! Get up!" Dany screeches in my ear as he tries desperately to lift me up.
If I could I definitely would have let out a sigh of relief. I shake my head in attempt to focus as I get to my feet. Dany begins to run again. I don't follow. No, my eyes are drawn to the tree line that we've just come from. A flash of red catches my eye and just as quickly a tribute breaks free of the forest. Foxface. Somehow Dany and I have out run her but she's small and fast. Foxface springs over another log with ease. She lands on her knees, a metre into the clearing. A mistake is made though as spares a second to glance over her shoulder. It's the briefest of movements but it's enough. Her head begins to turn around again when the first one leaps from the bushes. A wolf latches onto her ankle, biting down into her flesh. She screams and I know it was her before. The wolf has a tight hold on her ankle and despite her efforts she can't break free. It's trying to drag her back into the forest, growling and tugging harshly on its victim. I barely see her half-hearted attempts to scratch at the dog's face when, in a blur of black, the pack of wolves descend upon her. Her screams stop as they horde around her and begin to drag her back into the forest. I know it's over when a cannon finally goes off.