They called it mercy, like it was being kind, but I didn't see it that way; I took his life, I took a life. I stole the very being, essence of a person, and they call it mercy. Their logic is gruesome, morbid, and yet still comforting.

"You did the best thing for him."

"It was the least painful way for him to go."

"You were being kind."

The responses I get when I tell them what's wrong. I wished they didn't sound so disgusting to me, I wished I didn't feel like a murderer when they consoled me.

But he wasn't the only one, oh no. I killed her also. The woman I shot through the heart. All it took was one glance, just one glance, to confirm that she was Capitol before I took her out. I could've waited, could've talked to her, could've made her be silent…but I didn't. I went with my first instinct, kill.

I didn't kill Finnick, but I still felt as though I had. I didn't help him; I didn't rush to help him. I wasted my chance by looking at him, and then I didn't put him out of his misery, I didn't make it faster, less painful. Instead I sat by the mouth of the tunnel – just out of reach – and listened to his screams and then I ran.

And Cinna, I killed Cinna. However inadvertently, it was still me. I wasn't there to his last, but I was there for his worst. And every cut, every drop of sweat, every ounce of blood, every scream, they were all me – all because of me.

Prim. I killed her too. I was the face of the rebellion, I was the reason there was a war. She wouldn't have been there if it weren't for me. And the pain I feel for her is suffocating. It resonates in my soul, slowly creeping up to choke me. I can't cry for her anymore, instead I don't breath for her.

Sometimes I ask myself if my guilt persists because of the nightmares, or because I simply did unforgivable things. Is it because of the constant reminders of what I did, or because I know that every eye fears me just as much as they praise me.

Was it an accomplishment to win? Did I lose myself? I know I did, and even now, as hard as I try to suppress them, I still have the instincts of the Arena; I still listen to every little sound, I still look behind me.

Every night is a sore throat of reliving my wrongs. Every day is a hoarse voice that gives testament to my state of mind, to the admission and acceptance of things I did. And every time I tell them they reassure me the same way.

"You did the best thing for him."

"It was the least painful way for him to go."

"You were being kind."

The mutts may have been mauling him to death, but the question still remains, was it the right thing to do?

I don't tell them about the others, about Cinna, Finnick, and Prim, just about him. I fear the responses I would get from them. Would they tell me it was all right, that there was nothing I could've done? That I did as much as I could've?

It was death, and I caused it; I delivered the final blow, I did it. Sometimes it's relieving to admit it, sometimes it's agonizing, and yet the truth remains, I did it.

They call it mercy, like I was being kind, but what sort of kindness is it when you make a choice to ignore the pleas for help and instead end it all?


Disclaimer: I don not own THG

A/N: This is a concept I've been thinking about for awhile now, and I finally got to write it! People write about the nightmares that Katniss experiences, but just writing "i woke up screaming from the nightmare" doesn't impact me very much. Hey, I'm a Thoreau and Kierkegaard reading kind of girl, look for the symbolism and tell me where I display a nightmare. If you get it right you can have a cookie.

R&R as always please!

-Jaimie