Authors Note: I've been so bummed about Cinna's death over the past couple of days. And then I thought of his character and how he wouldn't give in, not even under interrogation. I don't know that I really captured his character in this, but I tried. I always thought he sort of saw Katniss as a daughter in the end, in some strange way... so anywho. It's sort of meant to contradict itself in places, since he's barely clinging to reality... any reviews are greatly appreciated. :)
My world is devoid of color. There are no flames to light my way, nothing to guide my steps. I know the concrete floor, every crack and nook, and the smooth walls which once were white—now splattered red and cast into eerie shadow by flickering lights.
Oh, Katniss. I am so proud of you.
That—the thought that you live still—is as much a light to me as anything I might once have seen. Now my eyes are bruised and sight eludes me. Blood rings like a sour bell against my tongue and covers my lips. I can't move. I haven't tried in a long time.
But you—you might run, still. Might evade the clutches of the president. Oh, Katniss, I am so proud of you. Please, for my sake, run . . .
The world tilts and I reach in the darkness for a hand to hold. Is it yours? Once, perhaps, was yours, while we waited for the Games to begin. No odds were in your favor—or mine. And now the memory of you rises from the depths of my mind and I cling to it as desperately and silently as once we found comfort in entwined fingers. On that day, so long ago it seems, I was so worried for you. I couldn't say a word, of course, but I feared for your life.
More than I ever feared for mine, I'll admit. When you spun on the stage and that damned wedding dress—a mockery of something once sacred—burst into flame, and there you were, there was the Mockingjay I always knew you to be . . . yes, I was more frightened for you than myself.
I channeled everything into my work, you know. I told you that. So I didn't hurt anyone but myself.
And here I am, a mess of shattered bones and blood and a mind that somehow clings to reality. They've tried to take you from me, the memory of you, and twist it into fear, but I won't let them. No. If there is one thing I cannot and will not lose, it is you.
Because if I lose you, Katniss, my girl on fire, then I will die in vain.
They've been saying that—that I'll die here. I've known that since they beat me and dragged me here. Oh, Katniss, I'm so sorry—so sorry you saw that. Please be alive. You must be. I'd know if you were dead . . . I'd know . . .
They've told me you're dead. I don't believe them—won't, can't. Can't. And I see you, Katniss, as more than a symbol—you could die and be a martyr. You know this. I hope it doesn't scare you, that knowledge of martyrdom, and don't let it incite you to lose your life for some cause. You are more than cause, Katniss. More than martyr. More than Mockingjay.
I'm dragged to a table and drenched in water. Sharp things are driven into me and I don't want to think of what they are. Do I care now? Not really. Searing pain bursts through me and a scream echoes around me. I realize it is me who has cried out.
Again there is pain. Light flashes against unseeing eyes—bright and white and somehow more blinding than the darkness. And then the light changes into a silver mist, and from the mist there is a silhouette. Somehow, in the untouched eyes of mind and memory, I see, still.
The silhouette is at first glance a bird—and then a person. But there are wings, and grey eyes, and a worried face. Dear Katniss!
Your hair is braided back and I reach out, yearning to run my hands through the silken strands and smooth them from your brow as I used to, as if you were my daughter.
But what are you doing here, in this place of mists? . . .
From somewhere else another rush of pain cavorts through my body. Another scream. A sickening smell and the feeling of being warm and slightly sticky.
Katniss, Katniss! Please—please, take me with you. Let me come along. I regret nothing, I give my life for a cause greater than you and I both—but oh, let this end . . . let us both stop running. From that other place comes a ragged voice, a desperate cry: "Please!"
I saw a painting of Peeta's once, of you enshrouded in silver mists. From the first Games, when you nursed him to health from a fever. That's how you looked to him—how you look to me now. Am I feverish? Delusional. Probably. But I am dying, and there is no escaping this fact.
I reach out again. How can you be here? You can't be dead. Can't be. Aren't.
No. You shake your head and relief sweeps through me. You aren't dead. Very much alive, somewhere, in some other time than this. But you have come to give me one last thought of peace when I would otherwise see darkness and insanity.
There is pain again. I am too weak to cry out this time, and clench my teeth over tiny animal whimpers. I will die with dignity, with silence. Let them try to wrest that last comfort from me.
Oh Katniss—girl on fire—more than mockingjay—dear Katniss. I will miss you. I will always love you. Know that, know that . . . Don't stop running. Don't be afraid. Let all of this not be in vain.
My love—always. Carry it with you. Don't let them—any of them—win. They'll turn you into something gaudy, if they can—as the others have already done. Don't. Never. Never relinquish yourself to the consuming fire which was once so much yours.
And I? I'm not long for this world. But I will see you, someday. I hope not soon.