Disclaimer: I do not and probably never will own the Hunger Games

So close to the end...


I'm seventy-five years old now. My skin is wrinkled and my hair is grey. Surprisingly, I'm okay with those facts. My mind still seems to work as fast as it did sixty-four years ago, and my health is well. I'm the oldest tribute alive. Well, Mags is alive as well, but I won the Games before her, so they just refer to me as the oldest tribute. I'm the last Primary left; the one from eight died of an over dose.

Mags suffered a stroke a few years back, so her speech is a mixed babble, but knowing her for so long I still understood her perfectly. Well, I could make out her words, just not there meanings. She learned a while back that I couldn't interpret her ramble, and made a joke of it. She sometimes insulted me while I just nodded in false understanding.

Quill, his wife, and his son and his son's wife, are dead. They died of a plague of pneumonia that came through one winter. As me and Quill had moved apart, it seemed not to take so much of a blow on me.

Cedar had a sixteen-year-old daughter that lives with me. Her name is Mahogany. She hasn't been selected as a tribute. But just in case, she has been training, like the Careers, but she doesn't intend on joining them. She practices with knives in the back yard. She isn't insane as Allia was, but she is just as good with knives.

It's the seventy-forth Hunger Games. The tributes of nine didn't make it past the first hour. I could have gone home once they died. Taser, the male Victor of nine from twenty-five years ago, and also my partner in mentoring, has gone back to the district. I decided to stay in the dock and see the rest play out. I've been in the Twelve booth since the second day.

I had a feeling that something different would happen. Something that would change everything. Maybe something that would tell me what time I should go to District 13.

Only six tributes remain. Clove and Cato, Careers from two. Cato reminds me of Ethan, except for the fact that he hasn't been killed by snakes. Clove reminds me of Allia, she has knives, but isn't nearly as skilled with them as Allia was. Most think that they will be the Victors. I don't. Strength is often as much of a weakness as an advantage.

There is also Adria, the girl tribute from 5. I would put my money on her if I gambled, and if I wasn't by Haymitch the whole time. She is clever, but cleverness tends to get people killed. I think back to Mason. I shudder at the memory.

Then there is Thresh. The boy tribute from 11. He reminds me of Blake. He is strong, and he cared for the girl, Rue. She was my favorite; I wanted her to win at the beginning of the Games. Rue was able to jump through the forest like Glitch. She was killed by a spear through her. She wouldn't have been killed if she didn't team up. Katniss, a girl she paired with, covered her in flowers. It reminded me of when I was nine, when I was beaten by the Peacekeeper and the flowers were placed on me as I passed.

That brings me to the final tributes left. Katniss and Peeta. They are from 12. Haymitch, for one of the first times in years has managed to get his tributes past the first hour. They remind me of no one I have ever met. That is an accomplishment. I look over to Haymitch. He is watching at the screens with a look of urgency, one that I haven't seen on his face in years. He was drunk, as I often found he was, but not as much as normal.

I stand up from my seat in the corner and walk up to him. He regards me sitting down in the chair next to him, the flashing buttons in front of me. "Why are you even still here, Glynn?"

I stare at the screen while I answer. "I feel as if I'm still needed. And my friends are here." I remember to what Siliana had told me. "Looks like you finally have a reason to stay here past the first hour." Haymitch let out an exaggerated laugh. "You also have a chance to make history."

Haymitch grins, but it soon fades. He knows I'm talking of how they said two tributes of the same district could be both be victors if they are the last left. "They aren't being kind. They are trying to create entertainment, and this is as good as it gets. If only they would have done the same thing during your Games."

I shook my head. "In my Games the entertainment was in seeing which would triumph. The eighteen-year-old or the twelve-year-old. Because that is such an interesting battle." I looked as the screen was focused on the inside of the cave. The boy appeared even worse than before. The girl was telling him a story of how she got money for a goat. Wow, she was a terrible liar. "How do you think she really got the money?" I ask Haymitch.

"She sucks at lying, but she is pretty good at archery." I figure that she obtained the money by illegal purposes, hunting maybe. The head Gamemaker, Seneca Crane, walked into the room tentatively. I dislike Seneca. He has been in charge of the Games for the last forty years. He annoys me because he is a push over. Which is pretty sad considering that he organizes the murder of twenty-three children each year.

"We are going to call a feast." I look at him puzzled. Half of the tributes didn't even need food, and why was he even telling us?

"It is going to be different than a normal feast. We are going to fill backpacks with supplies that each need. For your tributes, we are going to put medicine for the boy. I need to ask if that is what you think would work." Seneca wasn't good with words. He always hesitated, and was looking around him, as if someone were trying to kill him.

"Yeah. Sure." Says Haymitch.

"The feast needed a twist. The others will have food or blankets. All your tributes will have is the medicine." Seneca said, as if he wanted Haymitch to vouch for more supplies added. He didn't.

Instead Haymitch nods in understanding. Seneca then leaves us, walking away with a disappointed look of defeat, silently closing the door behind him. A few minutes later we see the feast called on the screen. Clove and Cato, who had been fighting about what to do about food and shelter, stop instantly. Adria stops pacing outside her cave and looks to the sky, a grin etched on her emaciated face. Thresh simply grunts in acknowledgement.

The boy says the girl can't go. That he would follow her and scream at the top of his lungs or something. The girl looks annoyed and makes a proposition that the boy agrees to. It involves not going to the feast. The girl knows that the backpack will hold the medicine. What a dramatic production the Games have become.

"That idiot!" Yells Haymitch in a really ticked off tone. I wasn't sure if he was talking to the girl for saying she wasn't going, or the boy for telling her not to go. Maybe that comment was meant for both. He gets up from his chair and starts to pace in front of me. Looking back and forth, from the screen to the floor.

I hold my hand up to my hair and feel the mockingjay clip that still holds my thinning hair. The girl has a token much like it. A golden mocking jay on a pin. They started letting tributes carry tokens into the arena around the thirty-seventh Games. I rather liked hers.

I watch Haymitch pace and get an idea. I call over an Avox. A red-headed girl comes over to my attendance. "Can you get me some sleep syrup? I'm awfully tired, but I am old and my bones hurt, keeping me up all night." I say in my most sickly, innocent, old-lady voice. The girl looks at me kind of funny, but nods and leaves to fulfill my orders. Poor girl, it makes me sad to see those so young without tongues.

The girl returns several minutes later, a small vile of sleep syrup on a silver platter. She gives it to me, and I place it in my lap. I look up to say thank you, and she raises an eyebrow, asking what I really want it for. She knows I don't want the syrup for myself. "Thank you. You'll see soon enough." She grins, nods, then leaves to stand back in attention in the den.

The girl is leaving the cave now to collect her poorly-made soup. Haymitch is still pacing. "Haymitch." He looks my way, his face mixed with annoyance. Not towards me, but to the Games. I hold up the valve, unsure if Haymitch would realize what I did. I didn't do it so much for the girl, but more for Haymitch. He had never had a victory, and it has taken a toll on him.

"What? What is that?" He looked confused. For a smart boy, he sure was being stupid. Probably all the alcohol in him; it's clouding up his brain. So sad to see my friends fall into such unsavory means of escaping memories of the Games.

"I had trouble getting to sleep last night, so I just asked for sleep syrup. Then I realized that it was last night that I couldn't sleep. My mind can't keep up with itself. So slow, it makes me depressed at points. So I don't need this. Do you need it? Maybe the girl needs the boy to sleep, so he feels none of his pain, and she can accomplish her tasks easier." I looked to Haymitch. He understood what I was trying to do.

"Yes. I do believe she might need this. Thank you to the courtesy of the Capitol for providing this gift." I grinned. The Capitol had provided a free gift; no one even had to pay for it. He dropped it through a slot, and minutes later, it appeared floating down to the girl in a silver parachute. She almost missed it floating by the side of her head.

She then grabbed for it. She opened it and a smile spread over her face as she realized what it was. Then the smile faded. My eyebrows scrunch together as I try to figure what she is doing. She starts to examine the contents. I realized she thought that the valve was the actual medicine to heal the boy's leg! She sniffed it, then stuck her finger in it and brought a little drop to her lips. Her face scrunched up in an almost comical manner. Anger seeped onto her face.

She looked like she was about to throw it into the river, when a look of realization came across her face. She moved to the bushes and started to add different things to taint the syrups distinct taste. Haymitch was grinning. He knew that the girl was finally up to speed.

"Haymitch." He looked at me, his drunken grin was present. "I think it is time to join my father. I think I'll ask Mahogany to follow as I do so." Haymitch's face became more serious. He nodded. To most, what I said was meaningless. Only Haymitch knew that I meant that I was going to go to District 13. He also knew that he did not have to find some mean of watching over Mahogany. I held Haymitch in a quick embrace, his alcoholic smell ever present, and headed for the door.

In the dock I saw Mags talking to what seemed to be herself. "Mags." I call, not so loud, but not unreasonably soft easily. She looks my way, but doesn't stand. I walk over to her.

Mags' tributes died within the first week, and she, like me, could have gone home them. But she didn't. She stayed for the same reasons that I did. She knew my stories. She looks up at me with her old eyes, asking me what I was doing without speaking a word. "I'm going to join my father." I say, six words explaining everything.

Mags gives me a toothless grin and asks where the tributes got the vile from. I return her grin. "Complete courtesy of the Capitol." Mags' grins widens, and I match it. Mags has been a loyal friend, at first, she seemed egocentric, but once I got to know her, she is the nicest person I know. I know that I'm not lying when I say, "Goodbye, Mags. I'll miss you."

"'ye Gwn. Mys oh do." I give one last smile, part for the babble, part for the fact she is my friend. Then I head for the door, sad to leave all of my friends, but grateful in a way.

As I left, I saw the Avox girl trying to suppress a grin. For a second I fear that they will blame her for my trick, but I find reason they wouldn't. I doubt she would be blamed for my trick to the Capitol.

---------

I stepped off the train and rushed to my home. Mahogany was there waiting. Her black hair was braided down her back, and her blue eyes were gazing into the distance, unaware of her surroundings, but ready to jump back into consciousness at any moment. Beside her were two suitcases and a box. One suitcase contained clothes, the other food. The box held my pictures, Mahogany had added the other pictures, of Hayven, Glitch, Mason, Tannor, Quill, my father and Blake. I buried the key, but Mahogany could pick a lock, where she learned that skill I would never know. I had called her and asked her to prepare them in advance.

District 9 was on the edge of Panem, well not the exact edge, but closer than One or Two. All we had to do was jump the fence, which was easy enough, and we could travel to 13, the only District we would absolutely have to pass is 12. Mahogany smiled when she saw me. I walked up to the porch and she hugged me. I picked up one of the bags, while she carried the box and the other bag. Once a safe distance from the house, Mahogany started to say what was on her mind. "Why are we leaving?"

She didn't need to ask where. She already knew all of the stories. "Because I finished all that I needed to accomplish. And there are three other Victors to train future tributes. And people think I'm about to die anyway. Things might change soon."

She nodded and took a deep breath. "What happens if we can't find them?"

I looked to the ground, then to the sky. "Then we will search. Don't worry, we will find them."

"And if we run out of food?"

"We are smart. We know plants. We have six months till winter, and I think that we will make it there in time." She nodded. She never doubted what I had to say. She was one of the many people that treated me with the upmost respect, the ones who regarded me as a hero.

We went into the forest that the wood was harvested from. When we came to the fence, Mahogany threw the bags and the box over the fence. She climbed over it easily, and started to look for a weak spot. Once she found one, she took out one of her knives, and cut a hole in it. She held it open as I climbed though. We then picked up the bags and continued to walk. We continued to walk to the mountains, to District 13, and to the future. We had no idea what was in store for us, but anything was better than that which we left.


THE END!!! Haha, finally get to say that. Sorry I didn't update on Sunday, but things happened. So tired... Anyway, I hope you enjoyed my story! I worked semi-sort-of-kind-of-hard on it! I hope the ending wasn't too terrible. Review and tell what you think! Thank you to all who have reviewed! Seriously, they make my day. Haha, still want to be Katniss. I need to think of another story...