I've been wanting to do this story for sometime, but never really got around to it - that is until I saw the "Prompt" contest for the "first line dilemma." When I saw it, i really wanted to enter (I'm going to barely make the deadline). So this is me, killing two birds with one stone: Finally writing my story, and entering my first competition. I promise you, this story will have a surprise ending, which you hopefully won't see coming.

Disclaimer: The Hunger Games are not mine, and if they were, Mockingjay would have been better. The ideas in this story, however, are mine.

Summary: Gale feels his social standing threatened by the baker boy. He finally decides to confront Peeta about it, and try to force him to back down. What Gale doesn't realize about his choice, is that he might lose a lot more than just his place on the food chain.

A Nightmare to Remember

"If it were legal, I would kill you," I spit without abandon. "Not only would I murder you, I would make you suffer tremendously. Better yet, I'd tear your upper and lower extremities right off your body, and use them for bait in the woods. I just want to kick your teeth out of your stupid, never-ending smile!" I then proceed to indignantly huff at the blond boy.

The dumbass gives me a quizzical, innocent look, but I know better. I may be the only one that's able to see it, but something is off about this kid.

"Gale, I'm confused," Give me a break. "Did I do something to offend you? If I did, please tell me. Allow me the chance to make amends."

What he says urks me. He knows very well what he does… I mean, he can't be that oblivious. Can he?

Peeta freaking Mellark is all the girls can talk about. I never had a problem with this kid, because he used to be home schooled. Rumors have it that his mother didn't want her son to associate with "trash." But the little jerk somehow convinced her to let him go, and now has the majority of District Twelve High's girls swooning over him. I don't understand! Sure he's nice, "considerate," "caring," "selfless," "gentle," and just has the "most gorgeous value eyes, ever."

I'm eighteen! I'm Gale Hawthorne! I am… was the biggest heart throb in school. Peeta… Well Peeta is sixteen, and he still can get most of the senior girls. I don't understand. The Mellark kid basically acts like a girl. He cooks, bakes, paints flowers, and willingly listens to girls vent about each other. I don't understand.

Aside from my heart breaker status being at risk, there is one thing that Peeta did that angers me.

He captivated Katniss.

Since she's met him, all she can talk about is how he is nice to prim, how he bakes bread for Mrs. Everdeen, and (to my horror) how he is amazing with his hands. It is beyond torturous for a guy, who is madly in love with a girl, to have to be the best friend, and listen to her blab about Peeta's abilities with his hands. I know for a fact, that I am not the only guy that feels this way. I've been told several stories from my boys, about how their girlfriends had dumped them in hopes of winning Peeta's heart.

"If you want to make amends, then go screw yourself. I'm sick of seeing you around," I say harshly.

I cannot help but feel slightly satisfied when his face loses a little bit of color. This whole situation must have been a surprise for him, seeing as I ambushed him in the locker room. Marshmallow takes a long deep breath, it must be an attempt to keep under control.

"Look, Gale. I really don't want any problems, ok?" he all but begs.

Watching him act all blameless makes me sick. I should give him good thrashing, all the other guys will praise me.

"You don't want problems? Huh? Well maybe next time," I say this as I punch my fist into a locker, that's next to his face - unsuspectingly, he is unfazed. "Next time, don't steal everyone's girls!"

"Girls?" The little shit looks almost amused, "This is all about girls? Ok. Don't worry, then. I'm not trying to 'steal' anyone's girl."

Great, he's making this into a joke now.

"So what? Are you just stringing them around cause you feel like it? That's messed up," I chide at him.

"I'm not leading anyone on. I have no intentions on being in a serious relationship with them… Well… I guess there is this one girl," he glances at me cautiously. "She's actually your best friend."

I smirk at him. I know Katniss better than anyone in District Twelve. The chances of her dating anyone, much less a boy from the town, are very slim.

"Yeah? Good luck with that, dough ball. There is no way she would even consider you," I harshly, but truthfully tell him.

"Huh, that's not what she said when we planned our date for tonight."


Is this kid purposefully trying to piss me off?

"You're bluffing," I say confidently.

"Am I?" He questions with even more confidence.

"You little shit!" This sets me off. As I scream I send another punch, and this time it's aimed for his belly.

My fist connects with him, but not where I had intended. Peeta's right hand is firmly grasping my left fist. As far as I can tell, he has sustained zero damage.


"Listen carefully, Gale," his voice is brimming with danger, "I wouldn't want to mess with me, if I were you. You're lucky. Today, I'm just going to leave you with a warning."

With that, he punches me in the stomach where I was going to punch him, and casually strolls out of the locker room while whistling. I buckle over, stupefied by the force that he used. I had no idea that he was capable of being that strong. Once thing is certain, though, I have just seen a side of Peeta Mellark that no one else knows about. It scares me.

I can't tell my boys about what happened yesterday. They would only laugh at me. Admitting to anyone that you got you tale handed to you by the baker, is like asking to become an instant social outcast. It is quite obvious that no one will believe me, when I tell them about Peeta acting violently… Although it was in self-defense. But still, that is so out of character of him. I need to find a way to bring him down.

Since today is a Saturday, we have no school. My plan is to spy on Peeta at his house, and hopefully get more proof about his personality disorder. I have got to learn what makes him tick.

I'm a born hunter, so following him without alerting him to my presence is child's play.

Too early in the morning, Peeta had a shift at his family's bakery. I waited. And waited. And did a little bit more waiting. At last, at 1:25 in the afternoon, he left the bakery. Normally, I would only be this patient with my prey if I intended on eating it, but for this kid, I'll make an exception. I don't know if I'm crazy or perfectly sane, but something about him creeps me out.

I stalk Peeta through the town's convenience store, into the home and garden store, and then inside a chef store. I honestly am not sure what to make of all the things he bought - it all seems like random garbage to me. I want to hiss out in exasperation, when all the female employees fawn around him and play with his hair.

Ok, so he's a pretty popular guy outside of school too. That's probably why he seems completely oblivious to all the attention he gets from the girl students. But now, I don't care about that anymore. There is something off about him, but I can't quite put my finger on it. I am going to find out.

Now that bakery boy has purchased all of his merchandise, he begins to walk away from the town square. He, currently, continues to walk further and further away from the town, and I am shocked when I find myself in the Seam.

What's the little shit doing in the Seam? He can't be here to visit… Katniss…? Can he?

The answer is no, to my relief, for he trudges past her street entirely. He keeps on walking, further and further into the Seam. By now, we have long passed my house, and we are now walking into the grungier areas of the Seam.

Where is he going? We're almost at the end of the Seam.

It's kinda humorous, I would have never imagined this blond haired, blue eyed, pale skin, townie frolicking around in the Seam, especially this part of it. The poorest of the poor live here, and that says a lot. The houses make my house look like a town house, and in return, makes the town houses look like capital houses.

Ultimately, he stops at a house that is alone and distant from the other houses. This house is small in size, it has battered walls, and it's windows are covered in trash bags. This perks up my curiosity. Could this be the lady killer's secret sex house? Most unlikely. The chances of Peeta abusing the dignity of girls is, well, zero. That's probably why girls like him so much, I don't think I've ever seen him make a lewd comment about anyone.

He walks into the house, and after several minutes, I can hear a strange clanging and shuffling noise. When the noises discontinue, he walks back outside with a trashcan and a shovel in his hand. He's whistling and singing something around the lines of, "gotta go throw copost on my garden."

What a strange kid. I guess I can add gardening to the list of feminine things Mellark does.

As soon as I'm absolutely sure he's out of eye/ear shot, I rush into his house. I am instantly taken back by the horrible stench. It smells like when I neglect a snare and check to late, only to find a rotten animal in it. Except this smell is being emitted throughout the entire house. I look around and I can see bottles of bleach, sharp knives, dozens of used and unused trash bags, and a chest.

I shakily make my way to the ominous chest. When I'm standing in front of it, I bend down and place my hands on the latch.

This is it. What ever is in this chest… Will be the proof I need about Peeta. I just know it.

I take a long breath in, I calm my nerves, and then I unhook the latch. Ignoring my screaming instinct, I throw the top of the chest open.

Fright. Dispare. Confusion. Panic. Alarm. Petrified. Every one of these feelings crash down upon me, as I stare at the dead bodies in the chest.

What the f-fuck?

When I collect what's left of my nerves, I notice that the bodies belong to men. Men that were wanted, but escaped. Men that were accused, but didn't have the evidence to lock them away. These men were criminals.

Am I to believe that Peeta Mellark killed these men? If I were asked about this two days ago, I'd laugh in the person's face. But… But now, I don't even know what to think. All I know is I have to get out of here, and fast.

I slam the chest closed, and swerve around to make my escape. I swerve my face right into an oncoming, metal shovel. The last thing I notice before I lose consciousness, is Peeta's almost regretful face.

"You awake yet?"

When I hear someone's calm voice, I try to sit up and scream; unfortunately, I'm held back by leather straps, and my mouth has tape covering it. All I release, is a smothered squeal.

"Glad to see you functioning. You've been out for several hours," I can now tell that it's Peeta talking to me.

I am strapped down to a table, and Peeta is to my left, sitting on a chair.

"It's too bad you had to see what was in that chest," he says while motioning his hand in it's direction. "I guess I have quite a bit of explaining to do, huh?"

I try to keep the fear out of my eyes when Peeta stands up. I can now see that he has a bakers apron on.

"I'm a dreamer, Gale," he snaps my attention back to his voice. "I dream of a world, a world without villains that terrorize people. I just can't stand it when someone gets away with a horrid crime."

He walks over to an area that's next to my face.

"When criminals get off to easily, well, I like to take matters into my own hands," he says this while teasingly waving his hands above my face.

"The two bodies that you saw in the chest, they were both accused of home invasion and murder. One of them got away, because the witness mysteriously disappeared. The other, he ran away, and was never brought in. You see, I find them. And when I find them, I bring them to justice. Just a few hours earlier, I buried the body parts of a serial rapists. He had threatened his victims with death if they were to turn him in," he explains.

All I can do is wiggle, and make some "mmh, mmm!" noises. He chuckles at my efforts.

"You got to understand, I'm not a bad person. I am actually saving many possible victims, by taking them out myself," he takes in a frustrated breath. "Under normal circumstances, I would never kill someone without a record of some serious felonies… But for you," he tilts his head, calmly, towards me. This causes me to squirm more. "I can't have you tattle tailing on me, now can I? You can promise me that you won't tell a soul, but I'm not naive." He sighs, "In order to protect what I do, I'm going to have to silence you. For that I am truly sorry."

"Mmrmf! Mmph!" I sound while shaking savagely.

Is this truly how I'm going to die? Is this how I go?

"Oh and in case if you were wondering," Peeta quips in. "My date with Katniss, the other day, went fabulous. It went well enough to have a second one with her tomorrow. She really is a sweet girl."

I completely forgot about Katniss! He better not be planning on killing her.

"Don't worry," he says. "I have no intentions on hurting her. If you get to know me, I'm probably the nicest guy you'll ever meet."

I can hardly believe what is going on around me. I keep closing my eyes and the opening them again, in hopes that this is all some sick nightmare.

"Alright, lets get down to business," he says. "Do you know what I'm going to do to you?"

I shake my head, terrified. He walks over to a desk and grabs one of the many knives. He comes back over to me, and begins to trace patterns, with the knife, just slightly over my body.

"Well… It's not legal, but I'm going to kill you. Not only will I murder you, I'll let you suffer for a bit. Actually, I think I'm going to cut your arms and legs off, and feed them to my pigs. But besides all that, I just want to smash your teeth out of your relentless scowling face."

The end! Did you expect that Peeta was going to turn into a self-righteous serial killer? Me either. Well… I guess I did. So I originally intended for this story to have multiple chapters, but since I'm entering late for the prompt it had to be a one shot.

If enough people are interested, I would love to write a multi-chaptered sequel for this. It will be more Peeta/Katniss centered.

Thanks for reading, and please review!