All characters belong to the amazing Suzanne Collins. I am merely a fan and an avid role-player who wishes to continue the story a bit farther. Please be respectful and keep in mind that I am not a professional writer…Positive critiques are welcome.

Chapter 1 – Day by Day

"NO! Leave me alone!" I cry into the blackness that surrounds me. The screams of the dead wail in my ears as I try to desperately flee the phantoms of the past. I dare to look behind me as their cries grow louder, closer with each step. Eyes wide in horror I instantly wish I hadn't looked as I spot the walking corpses of not only my enemies, but of my friends, and even Prim. Months have passed since their deaths; the time has already begun to strip the flesh from their bones. Their faces, contorted in agony, cry out, seeking me. "Please! Leave me alone!" I scream as I rip my gaze away from them and continue to run. My legs ache with exertion, my feet blistered, and my lungs on fire as they try to take in my frantic breaths. But with each step I take, the phantoms gain two and soon they are converging around me, circling. I cry out, my head twisting to look at them all as they move around me, determined to trap me. I know what they have come for. They've come to take my life. To repay the debt I owe each of them. But I only have one soul to give, and there are so many.

The darkened void that lies ahead seems endless, with no light to guide me to freedom and with the phantoms of the dead circling; I have no hope of escape. As my pace slows, the wails around me only heighten in anticipation. They know that soon they will have me, that soon I will give into their will. That soon they will own my soul, which seems so tarnished by all of my past deeds. With my gaze turned towards the ground, I feel the familiar sting of tears as I begin to cry. My tears are not for myself. No, they are for those around me, those I have killed or who were killed in my place. Rue, Cato, Finnick, Mags, Cinna, and so many more. But there is one death, one soul that I would have given my life to save if only I could have…As I raise my head, my gaze moves up the body of the one person I feel most indebted to…Her golden braid lies over one shoulder, her blue eyes are narrowed and locked upon mine. Even in her decomposing state, with her skin greyed and falling away, she still maintains her youthful look, her innocence. Her accusing look, her hate for me emanates off of her in waves that beat against my heart. I can feel my throat tighten with each heartbeat as I try and find the words to apologize for not protecting her, for not keeping her safe.

"Prim…" It's the only word I can force from my throat as my tears continue to flow down my cheeks. She says nothing and this hurts most of all. In life she had always spoken her mind, had always known what to say, but in this moment, her silence says enough. But as we stand there, my gaze of sorrow locked with her gaze of hate, I do not notice the knife in her hand, nor do I acknowledge the fact that she is slowly creeping forward. As she opens her arms, as if to embrace me, a sob escapes my lips as I open my arms to receive her. But as I move to hold her, the gleam of the knife catches my eye. I move to shove her away but the others have come forward to restrain me, to help her finish the task. I scream and struggle to pull them off of me, but their boney fingers dig into my flesh, bruising, cutting, and pulling. I struggle, fight for my life, all the while screaming, but their deadened expressions show no sympathy. They lower me to the ground, their hands holding me there as I watch Prim move over me, the knife clutched tightly in her palm. My wails mix this those around me as I realize that my death will be not at the hand of a Tribute, a Peacemaker or some beast from the wild, but from my own beloved sister. The one I couldn't save.

"Prim…" My whisper is soft, but as she hears it, she merely tilts her head to the side, as if studying an insect that's pinned to the table. As she crouches over me she holds my gaze. "I have no sympathy for you…You stole my future. Our futures." She states evenly, her gaze deadened. "If you had done as you were told we would all be alive…It's your fault." She whispers, as she slowly begins to raise her hand over her head, the knife poised and ready to strike me through the heart. "IT'S YOUR FAULT!" She screams as the knife comes down upon my chest.

"NO!" I scream as I sit up in bed, my heart racing as I look frantically around myself, only to see the walls and furnishings of my bedroom. Panting, drenched in a cold sweat, I clutch the sheets that have become tangled around my legs from my thrashing. My dreams have only gotten worse since returning home, alone. My screams echo through the empty house nightly as I try to retain some form of sanity and get what little sleep I can. But each night, I see their faces and run from them as the dead try and seek their revenge.

As my breathing calms, I tell myself over and over that they are only dreams, but in my heart I know that they hold weight over me. The weight of guilt is always on my shoulders, never ebbing, never waning. Throwing the sheets aside I slip from the bed and walk a direct path to the shower. Turning the nozzles I let the water pour out; not caring if it's hot or cold I step under the flow fully clothed. Bracing my hands against the tile I close my eyes and repeat over and over, "It was only a dream." But even with the pouring of water down my back, the solid tile beneath my hands, I'm never sure if it's really true. My dreams always seem so real…

I take my time, letting the water flow over me, washing away the sweat of my nightmares. I remove my clothes and toss them in the corner of the shower in a slopping mess, hardly caring if they stay there or not. It isn't until the hot water runs cold that I exit the shower and towel dry. Looking towards my bed I shudder involuntarily, the images of the phantoms faces too fresh in my mind to even contemplate sleep. Looking to the window I see the faint outline of Peeta's house across the street. There are still a few hours before dawn, and yet I can see a faint glow through the drapes of Peeta's bedroom window. It seems that I'm not the only one having a restless night…

I trade my towel for a shirt and pajama pants before moving to my window box. Grabbing a few pillows from the bed I make a small nest for myself before I settle in to watch the sunrise, which won't make its appearance for some time. In the meantime I watch Peeta's window and think of him. He returned from the Capital a few weeks ago, having completed Dr. Aurelius' therapy, or as much as was needed in person. Like me I'm sure he's speaking to the good doctor over the phone on occasion.

Clutching a pillow to my chest I sigh deeply, thinking of the times when Peeta would hold me through the night, preventing the nightmares from consuming me. Even when they would reach me, Peeta would banish my unease with his soft, warm kisses and put me eat ease with his words, his touch, his presence. But those times are long past, and I find myself missing them, longing for them…It's not hard to guess why he's awake at this hour. We both have more money than we know what to do with, so there's no need for him to keep a baker's hours as he might be used to, having grown up in the bakery. I know him to enjoy painting during the daylight hours, the light giving the best illumination and inspiration for his works…No, he's not baking or painting…Like me, he's likely afraid to go back to sleep.

As I continue to watch the window I catch a glimpse of him moving about his room, the outline of his form blocking out the light. "Peeta…" I whisper his name unconsciously as I feel a deep emptiness in my chest. The lack of his presence is felt more than I would like to admit…We're not as close as we were and I find myself missing him and the way he used to act around me. He's guarded, but he has every reason to be…But that doesn't stop me from resenting him, just a little, for keeping a slight distance from me…

I continue to watch his window until the light illuminated within is extinguished and his form is lost from my sight. With a sigh I turn my gaze to the horizon where the sun will soon rise, bathing the land in its warm and golden rays. As I sit and watch I know that I have a lot to be thankful for. The games have come to an end and the war is finally over. Life goes on at its steady pace, the sun comes up and the goes back down as it always has. With all of the traumas and horrors that I have witnessed in my short eighteen years, the day to day routine that I find myself in is comforting, if not a bit mundane. But it's all that I have to hold onto. The routine grounds me and keeps me from slipping into the dark void that haunts me, just like my dreams…

We all take things day by day…It's all we can do to go on with our lives after so many things have changed, after so many of our loved ones have been lost. With the sun shining on my face, I sigh and move away from the window. It's Sunday, and old habits die hard…

END Chapter 1 – Day by Day

Story continues in Chapter 2