Catching Fire in Peeta's Point of View
Ohwow guys! I didn't realise this was going to be the last chapter! Not until I actually started writing it, haha. But I guess that's what happens when each chapter is five pages long!
So, the last chapter of Catching Fire!
I have my Beta Readers ready! So they will be giving me feedback when I get the first chapter sorted. This may take me a little longer than with Catching Fire, because I have to piece together all the little things that are mentioned about Peeta's time in captivity. I'll try not to take too long!
Also, I will be looking for a new Beta Reader for my Mockingjay fanfic! You will have to be quick at replies, because my readers and I are impatient! So let me know if you'd be interested.
Whilst the rest of us stand guard, Beetee and Finnick wrap the wire around the trunk of the tree, over and over again. I wonder if the wire has to be wrapped around it in a particular way, but I'm not sure what a pattern might have to do with Beetee's trap. Then again, I know next to nothing about electricity. When they've finished this and the wave crashes down in the ten-to-eleven section, Beetee lets us know what the rest of the plan is. He wants Johanna and Katniss to take the coil down through the jungle, to unwind it and lay it across the ten o'clock beach, and drop it deep in the water. He wants them to go now, go quickly, in order for them to make it to safety.
"I want to go with them as a guard," I say straight away, not liking Katniss going off with Johanna alone. I don't trust her. I don't trust anyone. I need to keep her safe, but she is expecting to die. I cannot let that happen.
"You're too slow," Beetee points out." Besides, I'll need you on this end. Katniss will guard." But what if Johanna catches her off guard? "There's no time to debate this. I'm sorry. If the girls are the get out of there alive, they need to move now." Johanna takes the coil from him. I don't want to do it. I'm about to refuse, make Finnick go down there with Katniss, but she turns to me.
"It's okay," Katniss says. "We'll just drop the coil and come straight back up." She tries to reassure me.
"Not into the lightning zone," Beetee cuts in. "Head for the tree in the one-to-two o'clock sector. If you find you're running out of time, move over one more. Don't even think about going back on the beach, though, until I can assess the damage." Katniss takes my face in her hands, and I stare into those grey eyes.
"Don't worry. I'll see you at midnight." I can't leave her, let her leave me. We need to stick together. She kisses me, cutting off any objections I might think of. She's turning away, leaving with Johanna.
I don't speak to the others, and I don't even know what they're doing. I keep my eyes on the trees, where Johanna and Katniss had disappeared. They've gone, and I won't be able to stay here for much longer. The clicking starts in the next section, and I know that it's after eleven now.
After some time, I notice that the wire is not tight, like when Katniss and Johanna has set off, pulling it. It's swinging a little. "Beetee, should the wire be this loose?" I ask. He comes over to examine it, stopping and frowning for a long time.
"No." He finally decides. He looks up at Finnick, who looks worried now.
"Should we go down to see what happened?" I flick my gaze between the two of them. There hasn't been a canon, so I know that she is still alive, but that doesn't mean she isn't in danger. "Peeta, I need your knife." I frown.
"What for?" I ask, tightening my grip on it. Beetee tuts and shakes his head.
"Really, you think I'm going to use it to kill you? I'm old, Peeta, and weak. You would have the advantage. It would be foolish for me to try." He reasons, and I know he's right. I cannot help but be suspicious. Finally, I drop it into his open palm. He returns to the tree and picks up a second, smaller length of wire. I watch curiously. He wraps the end of the wire around the metal knife, and I don't understand.
"What are you doing? Why aren't we going after Katniss and Johanna?"
"Don't worry about it, Peeta." Finnick cuts in, and I frown, glancing between the two of them. Something isn't right. This wasn't part of the plan, there was no mention of this.
"I will worry about it. Tell me what the two of you are doing," I insist. They exchange a glance, and I step back, away from them. They're planning something else, not just the trap for Brutus and Enobaria. Who else is in on this plan? Johanna? A sinking feeling settles in my gut. Beetee insisted Johanna go off with Katniss. I turn and sprint into the trees, in the direction I think the two of them had gone. Johanna would have no problem with an order to kill Katniss, part of me thinks she would even enjoy it.
"Peeta! Wait, Peeta!" Finnick chases me for a little while, but Beetee's voice makes him go running back to the tree. I keep running, but after a few minutes I realise that I'm lost, I had got turned around somewhere. The clicking of the insects in the next section keeps me aware of where not to go, so I try heading back to the lightning tree. I collide into a body, and we both stumble back, but I catch my fake leg on something and fall backwards. This is it, the person will kill me. I have to hope Katniss can handle everybody else.
"Peeta! Oh, thank God." I frown up at Chaff, who is grinning down at me. He extends his hand and I take it hesitantly, not sure if I can trust him. "I've been searching for you and Katniss, but this jungle – there are terrible things in here." He looks beaten and bloody, with a few cuts in various places on his body. It looks like he's been using moss on the wounds, just like Katniss has been doing.
"Why are you looking for us? What's going on?" He glances around, looks up at the sky, and into the trees.
"Just because. Look, where is she? And the others? Do you have other allies?" He asks me urgently.
"Y-yes, I think. Well, we did. Beetee, Finnick and Johanna. But we were setting a trap up for Brutus and Enobaria, and Beetee is doing something else. I think something has happened to Katniss – I don't know. I don't know what's going on." I start to panic, tugging at my hair and stepping back and forth. What if I can't find her? Or if she's dying somewhere?
"Okay, okay. Calm down. We need to go find them all, it'll be okay."
"Brutus and Enobaria are around here somewhere, we need to be careful." I tell him.
"I'm right here," a voice makes us both spin around. Brutus is grinning at us maliciously, with a hungry glint in his eyes. Chaff steps in front of me, squaring up to Brutus with an axe in his hand. I barely have time to take a breath before Brutus is charging, and Chaff jumps forward to meet him.
I watch them fighting, wondering what I can do to help Chaff. I have no weapon to speak of, if I jump in now I'm likely to get wounded by either one of them. Chaff is at an obvious disadvantage; he's already wounded and it has left him slow and unsteady. He does well to fend off Brutus' blows, but each one sends him back a little more, and he's wincing in pain. The fight doesn't last long. One good swing from Brutus, a slight stumble from Chaff, and the blade of Brutus' spear goes straight into Chaff's neck. A noise escapes me involuntarily, some kind of shock.
The canon fires, and Chaff falls to the ground, spear still in him. I shout a cry of rage and charge forward, picking Chaff's axe from the ground. Brutus is trying to pull his spear from Chaff, but he is too slow, and he looks up in shock, just as the blade of the axe hits him in the stomach. He takes a couple steps back, and coughs. I should finish him off, ease his suffering. Instead, I leave him and turn to run in search of Katniss.
"Katniss!" I shout, making my way back towards the lightning section. She's likely to be over there somewhere if things had gone wrong. Perhaps she's looking for me. "Katniss!" I shout again. The others might be able to hear me, but at least it will draw them away from Katniss. If I keep shouting, then they'll come looking for me, to finish me off. If I can take down a few of them, then Katniss has a better chance of fighting her way out.
"Peeta!" She screams back, and her voice comes from near the lightning tree. She's ruining my plan. If they had a choice between the two of us, the others are likely to head for Katniss. She's the important kill. "I'm here! Peeta!" she continues screaming, and I run in her direction. I run straight and as fast as I can, being careful of the vines that pattern the ground, or the bushes that try to trip me up. I'm still too far away, I won't make it to her quick enough. Everyone else will find her before I do. She screams again, still from the same place. She's not running, so I know that she's trying to draw the others to her. I keep running, and a canon booms.
"Katniss!" I scream this time, my heart pounding against my chest. I know that it is a canon for Brutus, who has finally died. I regret leaving him to suffer for so long, but I can only think of one person's survival. I continue running and she still doesn't answer. A branch whips me in the face, I stumble over a tree root but manage to catch my balance.
There's suddenly a burst of blue, dazzling light across the domed sky of the arena. It's so unusual, that I stop in my tracks and stare up at it. There's something raining down on us, although I can't tell what it is. An explosion knocks me off my feet. I hit my head on something, and the world goes dark.
I open my eyes, having to squint against the white light above me. It smells sterile, and there are wires tracing along my arms, running into the white wall behind me. I know where I am in an instant. I have been here before. A hospital room in the Capitol. This means that the Games have finished. But if I am here, then what does that mean for the others? My stomach drops at the ideas running through my head. Dead? No. they can't be. I refuse to believe that she is dead. I will never believe this without seeing it with my own eyes.
I try to think back to the last thing I remember, the last night of the arena. Things had got confusing. Beetee and Finnick with a plan of their own. Running off to find Katniss. Finding Chaff instead. Brutus. I stop, my mind lingering on Brutus. I had killed him, taken his life with the swing of an axe. It makes me feel … numb, drained. I remember Katniss shouting for me, telling me where she was. Running, running … A blue light had flashed across the arena. What on earth had that been? After that, an explosion. I must have been knocked unconscious.
The door behind me slides open, so quietly I almost don't hear it. I turn my head to look at the girl who walks in with a tray of food and a conserved, straight face. She sweeps into the room and places the tray of food on a table that I hadn't noticed.
"Am I in the Capitol?" I croak, and she nods subtly and quickly, not looking at me.
"Where's Katniss? Is she alive?" No response, and she still refuses to look at me. "Please, is she alive?" I ask again, but still nothing. My heart hammers against my chest, and the thoughts race through my head before I can stop them.
The woman picks up a bowl of beef stew and holds it out to me. I stare at it in confusion, because shouldn't they be feeding me unappetising slop? I stare at it, thinking only of Katniss, and how she had loved that stew. My frustration of not knowing or getting an answer, my fears for Katniss' life boil over into anger and suddenly, my hand shoots out, sending the bowl across the room. Stew stains the white walls. I grip the woman's arm tighter than I had planned. She looks at me in fear.
"Where is Katniss?" I shout at her. "Tell me! Tell me where she is!" the woman is shaking her head, staring at me wide-eyed. The term Avox manages to break through my fears for Katniss. I open my mouth to apologise to her, but it is too late. She is being ushered through the door, and someone else stands in her place.
President Snow glares down at me, and I find myself filled with rage. Why is he here? Where is Katniss? I reach out to grab President Snow, but he steps back. Two other men come into the room and each of them grab an arm, yanking me back down onto the lightly padded bed. The shock and confusion of this intrusion has me thrashing against their grip, trying to pull my arms from their strong hands. They're strapping my arms down to the bed, and then a large strap crushes down on my chest.
"Where is she?" I yell at President Snow. "Tell me where she is!" Tears spring to my eyes, and I'm not sure if they are from rage or fear. She isn't dead. She can't be dead. "Please," my voice breaks, but Snow's expression doesn't change. Something cold seeps into my veins from one of the tubes. A sedative. They are keeping me alive for some reason. The darkness begins to close around my mind, but not before I hear one last thing from President Snow.
"Katniss isn't here, Peeta. She left you behind."
And that's the end of Catching Fire! Only sixteen chapters, wow. Should be getting Mockingjay up and running in the next few days.
So look out for The View of A Hijacked Boy!