|As the Fire Spread
Author: tokkas PM
The rebels lose the war, and Katniss is executed. Note: some characters have been kept alive for the purpose of the story. Mockingjay spoilers.Rated: Fiction T - English - Katniss E. - Words: 1,970 - Reviews: 2 - Published: 06-12-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8210466
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
((NOTE: Cinna has been kept alive for the purpose of the ending.))
Say goodbye to you my friend,
As the fire spread
All that's left are your bones,
That will soon sink like stones.
The mutts are gaining on us, but we've managed to outrun them for the most part. Still, I feel my energy lessening and it's becoming harder and harder for me to run. I grip onto my bow, making sure I don't lose my only weapon, and shoot into the darkness, hearing the hiss of the mutts in my ears.
"Katniss," they whisper, the sound echoing underground and sending shivers to my bones. The overwhelming stench of roses surrounds me, and for a second, I gag on the disgusting smell that evokes the horrible memories of President Snow, sitting across from me in the study, his snake eyes fixed on me, the girl who had desperately tried to kill herself with a handful of poisoned berries and rebelling against the Capitol. That memory still haunts me to this day.
I run faster now, shooting with whatever arrow I can grab in my quiver and releasing, the loud shriek of mutts reverberating, bouncing off the walls; the collection of screams are like a dissonant orchestra playing in the background.
I want to rest.
I want all of this to be over.
But this is impossible, and I must move on.
I sense more shooting around me, bullets firing from every direction at the mutts, who are steadily gaining on us. But we can't keep up forever. Unless some miracle occurs, the Capitol will most likely win and the precious Mockingjay will fall, Panem going back to the Hunger Games and years of punishment.
We will have lost.
But still, I refuse to give up hope, so I carry on and fight for my life and the future that winning this rebellion would bring Panem, trying to ignore the smell of roses that pains me with terrible flashbacks.
"Katniss." The hiss grows louder, stronger, closer.
There are too many of them and not enough of us. The realization truly dawns on me when something bites my leg, pain erupting in my right calf. As the mutt releases, I bolt, despite the excruciating pain in my leg and the blood dripping down my body. I try to run faster, but I can't. My energy is dwindling with each and every step I take, and I grow wearier and lightheaded because of the amount of blood I am losing. We all try to shoot, but the force of the mutts is too much. With each that is shot down, more come, circling around our group of sharpshooters.
And then they pounce.
They do not pounce for Finnick. They do not attack Gale. They do not lay their sights on Peeta.
They go only for me.
Before my very eyes, I see my father flash by. He is singing to me, murmuring the final stanza of "The Hanging Tree." I see myself, volunteering for Prim. A flower then falls onto Rue as I sing her lullaby, and my lips can barely form the final words when I am suddenly jarred to the moment where I almost ate those nightlock berries. I am then in Peeta's arms, my hand clutching onto the pearl that he gave me. I am standing in the ashes of District 12, trapped in a land of the past and reality.
But I do not fall.
I do not die.
I feel nothing but burning as I am dragged by the leg, up a ladder and into the sunlight that stings my eyes. One of the lizard mutts, probably the pack leader, has its mouth that is stained with bright red blood of rebels, wrapped around my leg and leading his pack across the city. The gravel of the streets cuts through my skin, along with the hard, unyielding grip of the mutt that is taking me through the Capitol. Even if I resist, it just pulls more, threatening to rip my leg off.
As we draw closer to President Snow's mansion, the destination that I had wanted to reach so badly before, more mutts start to attack me.
They claw at my skin, ripping parts of me as if I am nothing but a present being opened. Some bite into my arms and legs, and the combined pain is unbearable. I want for one mutt just to give the death blog, to bite me into the afterlife where I will fall into eternity and never look back at the nightmare that is my life.
Unfortunately, I don't have that privilege.
They keep me alive, but just barely. I feel like Cato, sentenced to a death by unhuman monsters, torturing him until the very last minutes of his life. I want to close my eyes and face death in the eye, but instead, President Snow shows up, coming out of the front doors, his puffed up lips curled into a bright red smirk.
"Look at the Mockingjay, the symbol of the rebellion. Bloody. Beat up. On the verge of death." He laughs that terrible, chilling laugh, and I can do nothing but lie there as blood drips from all the parts of my body, my life literally fading away right before my very eyes.
"You'll never win," I choke out, trying to think that maybe, just maybe, there is some hope left for the future of Panem. As I say these words, blood drips out of my mouth and I cough on the metallic taste. Even if I die, who's to say that we still can't fight for our freedom?
"Oh, Miss Everdeen," he chuckles softly. "I thought we agreed not to lie to each other."
And suddenly, everything goes black.
I wake up in a white room with nothing but a bed, a sink, and a toilet. There are no windows, and there is only a single locked door. I feel like I am back in District 13, but I have not been given the luxury of roaming around— I am trapped, like the many miners who have died over the years in District 12.
I try to process what is going on, but I can't seem to separate the lies from reality, so I try to hold on to simple truths, just as I always do.
My name is Katniss Everdeen.
I am the Mockingjay.
Am I dead?
I cannot tell if I am dead.
Is it better if I am dead?
My mind and memories are blurred together, as if someone has tried to write new ones over what I thought to be true. I look down at the simple white pants and shirt I am wearing, down at the scars and stitches that cover my body, leaving red on my olive skin. Memories start to come back to me with the images of my wounds, like the mutts trying to claw me apart.
But where am I? I think, lost in utter confusion and hopelessness.
Out of nowhere, the memory of President Snow staring down at my mangled body appears, hitting me with such a brute force that I begin to yell with fear and panic.
"Let me out," I croak, speaking for the first time for what, days? Weeks? Months? I cannot tell.
"Let me out!" I shout a second time, my voice clearer now. Tears start to fall out of my eyes as I cry for anyone to release me of my confusion and the fate that awaits me. I do not know why I want to come out, but I just know that I cannot stay. President Snow has me in his clutches, so what now?
"No!" I shriek. "No, no, NO!" I go at this for hours, as if it has changed Snow's mind. As time goes on, my shouts diminish, until I am finally able to cry myself to sleep, letting my sleep take ahold of me and drag me into my own world.
And for the first time in what seems like forever, I dream. I dream of the past, where everything was simpler, where I would hunt with Gale and he would be my best friend through good and bad. I dream of Peeta, and how he is and always will be the anchor that pulls me back to reality, of his strong words and ability to captivate an audience with his speaking. I dream of Prim, the little girl who was forced to grow up against her will, the one whom I did this all for.
But like all dreams, they must end, and I am jarred back into reality by President Snow whispering into my ear.
"Wake up, little mockingjay. It's going to be a big, big day."
I stare into his black eyes and immediately grab his neck, trying to strangle the man who has been my enemy for so long. The words that had been written in shaky handwriting come back to me- I KILL SNOW.
But the Peacekeepers stop me, marching in and dragging me away from the room, into the white hallway. I kick, I scream, I punch, but they do not let go and I am forced let them pull me away.
"You never stood a chance, Katniss," Snow says calmly and softly, and with every word that comes out of his mouth, the dread starts to set in.
I am going to die.
The Peacekeepers have brought me to the courtyard, where a large crowd of Capitol citizens awaits, and at the front, Prim, my mother, Gale, Cinna, Peeta, Effie, Finnick, Haymitch, my prep team, and Johanna are there. The people who have been there with me throughout all this have been forced to their knees and must watch me die.
"No!" I scream, struggling against the Peacekeepers that are restraining me. They make no sound, but drag me back to a wooden stake that is surrounded by kindling. Despite my efforts to run, they somehow end up chaining me.
"Look at your Mockingjay!" Snow booms, laughing loudly at the sight of my face that is filled with the realization of what is to come. "The rebellion is over! You cannot win!"
With that, he retrieves a torch from the hands of another Peacekeeper.
And he throws it onto the wood, his thunderous laughter haunting me forever.
Quickly, the wood catches fire, the flickering red, orange, yellow, and blue flames eating away at the wood beneath me.
Everything that has been done, all the lives lost, were all for nothing, if the rebellion really was over. The spark has been extinguished, and now, there is nothing but a dying ember.
Tears start to well up in my eyes- who cares about maintaining a strong aura for the audience? There is nothing left for me, nothing that the Mockingjay can do now. Once more, my life flashes before my very eyes, but this time, it is for real. I am about to die. The war has been lost, and my life is one more casualty.
"Katniss!" Peeta cries out, tears also falling freely out of his eyes. His voice is nothing but pain as he sees my dying body, and he sounds exactly like the Peeta I used to know- one who didn't care about how terrible I was, the one who loved me unconditionally. It was too bad that it took me this long to realize how much I loved him, too.
With his final words, the Peacekeepers all shoot their guns and my friends fall to the ground with dull thuds, left with the fact that I have died for a lost cost, and nothing else.
The fire burns and dances on my skin, the pain so excruciating that I start to scream. I don't know how much time passes before I finally let go.
I am the Mockingjay, the symbol of this dying rebellion.
I am the girl on fire, the star-crossed lover who escaped two Hunger Games, the rebel girl who refused to listen to the capitol.
In my vision, I see nothing but fire, so I let myself fall into the flames.