Hope you enjoy! Again, this is a two-shot, so expect the next part to be up before next Wednesday (It has to be, because after that I'm leaving for HARRY POTTER WORLD! (A.K.A Universal Studios...hehe)
*"Come on Gale, hang out with me."
He is crouched over a long rope of knots, so long that it pools on the floor in coils, like a snake waiting to strike Gale if he doesn't talk to me. My lips curve into a small smile.
Gale puts down his knots and stands up, chair scraping across the dusty wooden floor of our kitchen. He sighs, looking annoyed. "I told you Rory, I can't. I'm too busy."
It's Sunday. Gale should be anything but busy. "Are you going to go off into the woods with that Katiss girl again?" I ask. That's all he'd been doing for the past year and a half. Going off into the forest doing God knows what with this girl that he barely knows.
"It's Katniss," he says, a little sharply. "And yes, I am. God, Rory, don't you have any friends to play with?"
Yeah, yeah. I wrinkle my nose. "I want to hang out with you. You know, like we used to. Now all you want to do is go hunt with your girlfriend." That is the most non-romantic thing I could think of, yet Gale did it every single Sunday, and sometimes on Saturday's too. Katiss was stealing him.
"She's not my girlfriend." His voice is now anything but friendly. "And for your information, I'm hunting to feed your gigantic appetite. Maybe if you didn't eat so much, me and "Katiss" wouldn't have to go out as much."
I glare and grab a bruised apple from the table, biting into it pointedly. "Go out? So you admit she's your girlfriend!" It was obvious, why wouldn't he just admit it? Gale was the attractive one in the family. Of course he had a girlfriend.
He rolls his eyes, snatching up his string of knots and stalking out the door. "See you at dinner. You know, the time I feed you." The door slams. From the window, I can see him stomping off into the streets. Katiss is waiting for him, her face expressionless. They meet at the middle, then walk off toward the woods together. Their hands bump together more than once on the way.
I sigh, then sit down in the chair Gale had been occupying less than a few minutes ago. Sure, I liked Gale okay. I would even consider him as pretty cool, on some days. But that was during the BK (Before Katiss, or Katniss, or whatever) Era. He was my friend.
Yes, I had other friends. I wasn't a loser. But I wasn't in the mood to hang out with them really. I wanted my brother back. My head slumps down into my hands, and before I know it, I'm asleep, drifting into a peaceful darkness where Katniss Everdeen doesn't exist.
Something clatters against the floor, the sound ringing in my ears, and I wake up with a start. My head snaps up to see a tin bucket clattering to the floor. I must have knocked it down in my sleep.
Shaking out one of my arms, which has gone numb from the weight of my head, I pick it up. It is the bucket that holds all of Gale's hunting supplies for when he goes out with Katniss. I wonder what would happen if it fell on Katniss' head…But that can never happen if I want to live.
Wait! Who says it can't? Or, at least, cause a little damage.
An evil smile creeps onto my face, and I clutch the bucket hard. Really, it wouldn't be doing much harm. Just fill the bucket with water, then put it onto the Everdeen's front door. It's just water. And no one would ever know who did it.
Despite myself, I laugh. Oh, this'll be good.
*Everthing is ready.
The little bucket, filled to the brim with water, is perched precariously on the top of the door. The door creaks a little under the weight.
The bucket is almost unnoticeable, blending in with the dank background of the Everdeen's house. Katniss will never know what hit her, metaphorically speaking.
From my spot behind the bushes, I can see a little bit of the street in front of the house. I'll know when Katniss is coming, which ought to be soon. They're usually back by three.
Sure enough, twenty minutes later, a pair of feet steps lightly onto the Everdeen's front porch, ragged shoes just visible from my hiding spot. I grin in anticipation. Oh, this'll be good. I crept up and peer over the tops of the bushes, ready to watch Katniss Everdeen get exactly what she deserves.
Except it's not Katniss.
Primrose Everdeen yanks open the door, as unsuspecting as a deer before it is caught in a snare.
Before I can call out a warning, before my mouth even opens, the bucket comes crashing down, sending a wave of water onto Prim's head. It clatters to the floor at her feet.
For a moment, she just stands there. She doesn't look angry at all. Just surprised. Her mouth forms a perfect "O," and her eyes stare blankly at the bucket. A mangy looking cat slinks out of the house and wraps itself around her legs, hissing when he realizes that she's soaking wet. I try to crouch back behind the bushes, and a twig snaps under my feet.
In a flash, Prim is off the porch, wringing out the hem of her skirt and running toward the bushes. I crouch down and squeeze my eyes shut. Maybe she won't see me. Maybe she'll just go away. Maybe -
"Rory?" Prim looks over the bushes, her eyes narrowing. Water drips down from her hair and onto my face. I stare up sheepishly. She looks sort of pretty, even when wet. Like a blue-eyed kitten who fell in a bathtub, or something sappy like that.
"Er, hey Prim," I say, standing up before she can drip any more water on me.
She says nothing in reply, but raises a thin eyebrow. A half smile is quirked up on her lip.
I was in trouble. I mean, what could I say? Prim, I wasn't planning for you to come through that door. It was actually meant for Katniss, since, you know, she stole my brother away from me? No.
My brain whirls at a mile a minute, and finally, without even thinking it over, I blurt, "Happy International Prank Day!" Wait, what?
Her face goes from confusion in a blink of an eye. Her eyebrows crease. "International Prank Day?" she says slowly, as if testing the words on her tongue.
She believes me? Maybe I can get away with this after all! "Oh, yeah," I say, my face feeling a little too flushed, my voice too animated. "You've never heard of it?"
She still looks confused, but I carry on.
"Every year, people get to prank each other nonstop all day. It's really fun." I raise my eyes from my shoes. "You can help me, if you want."
She smiles, seeming to show every pearly white tooth in her mouth. "Sure!" she says. "I just need to change."
And she's off and running toward her house before she can see me blush.
Because, really, I'm spending the day with Prim. She was the one that the boys all running after her, and here I was, with her all to myself. Cute, kind, generous…I was lucky, and going to make the most of it.
* "Stop wiggling!"
"I'm not trying to, you're taking up all the space!"
"Shh! We can't get caught! And stop giggling."
Prim stifles another laugh, wobbling a bit on the tree branch. I put a hand on her shoulder to steady her, giving her a look that I hoped said "Shut up." But then again, you could never really make girls be quiet. I didn't get it. They were always giggling about something or the other, usually in whispers behind their hands. The worst was when they did it when you walked by them. They were impossible.
Prim's eyes widen, and she points in front of her, through the branches in the tree on which we are crouching, hidden from the rest of the world. I am a bit afraid. I have never gone in the forest before, despite what I told Prim. What if we are caught?
But it is too late. Katniss Everdeen can be seen about five feet away. With a heavy sigh, she wipes sweat off her brow and sets her quiver of arrows down on a tree stump, landing heavily next to them. Farther back, I can see Gale wandering around in some bushes, fiddling with ropes. He calls out to her, and she smiles, but waves a hand. "I'll be there in a second, Gale."
We hold are breath until she walks back toward him. He places a hand around her shoulder, pointing to something. It lingers on her back only a second too long. . .
I look over at Prim, who is watching intently. "Do you ever wonder if they're really only just hunting in here?" I whisper, grinning. Maybe she'll think I'm funny.
She whips her head around and looks at me with disbelief, mouth hanging open. "Rory!" she squeals. Katniss looks over in our direction, but only for a moment. I give her a look.
"Sorry," she says, much quieter. Her eyes are still as round as marbles. "I just can't believe you actually said that."
I try to shrug without falling off the branch. "Just wondering." Maybe I shouldn't have said that. Prim always seems so innocent, but I'd have never thought she'd get all screamy like that. I didn't want to make a bad impression on her.
Gale and Katniss are starting to wander away from us now, and I know it's time to put our plan into action. I shoot Prim a meaningful look, and she nods.
Softly, she rustles the branches a bit.
Katniss looks over at us once more, her eyes lingering on our spot. I know that we are too well covered for her to see us, but it's still pretty creepy the way her eyes look as if she's staring right at me. I lower myself flat against the tree branch. The silver bucket is shining in my hands, though this time it isn't filled with water.
Prim shakes the branches again, this time making soft cooing noises. Now both Katniss and Gale are looking. Slowly, like animals of prey, they stalk forward. Katniss' arrows are only a few feet away from us, and she slowly walks under the tree, reaching for them…
A cascade of brownish-green mud falls from the bucket, hitting Katniss right on her head and the back of her neck. I watch with more than a little satisfaction as it dribbles down her back and into her shirt. She looks up, grey eyes bewildered, but shrewd. Unlike Prim, she's angry. Mud drips into her face.
And suddenly Prim is laughing so loud that it hurts my ears, leaning against the tree branch behind her for support. Below us, Katniss blinks, her eyes narrowing even more. Gale saunters up behind her, his face full of sheer disbelief. Sludge drips across Katniss' taut mouth.
Prim's laughter is infectious, and in the next second, I'm breathless with laughter. The little tin bucket lands on the forest floor.
"Prim!" Katniss roars, standing up and wiping mud off her face.
"Rory?" Gale looks almost entirely confused. He picks up his bucket and stares at it blankly. They both step closer to the tree.
I manage to gasp, "Go!" to Prim before jumping out of the tree and taking off full-speed for the fence. A thud behind me notifies me that Prim is following closely. She's still laughing. I can't help but grin when I hear it.
I steal a glance behind my shoulder to see Katniss and Gale still standing motionless, though they seem to be recovering. Katniss wipes mud out of her eyes and takes off after us.
I scale the fence in one fluid movement, hoping that Prim will be able to do the same. She struggles for a second to climb, her long skirt getting stuck in the tangle of wire, but then manages to land on the other side. Katniss and Gale have not made it to the fence yet.
"Follow me!" I yell to Prim, then turn sharply away from the town, toward the less populated part of town. If I can just make it…
Prim catches up to me, running along side. "Where are we going?" she pants, breathless. Her cheeks are the color of roses.
"The Hob," I answer, picking up speed. "I know where we can hide."
Prim is silent for a moment, then looks at me with worry. "Won't they expect us to go there?" she asks. After all, they had seen us turn this direction. The only place of interest this way that I know of is the Hob.
But I'm not worried. "Yes, but we'll be well-hidden." Another thought springs into my mind. "And we can play another joke. Better then the last one."
Prim's face splits into a smile. "Well, if that's the case…" She starts running as fast as she can, legs pumping her ahead of me. "Race ya there!"
How have I never really noticed Primrose Everdeen? It is a mystery.