AN: In honor of the upcoming tale, The Hunger Games, a series that has, literally, changed my perception. Thank you Suzanne Collins! I can't wait to see your vision come to life.

Because I remember, I despair. Because I remember, I have the duty to reject despair. - Elie Wiesel

The Caged Bird Sings


I'm laying on my back, looking up into the sky, the fake blue that hides the true expanse. I want so badly to fly away into something familiar but I can't. And then the shadow is blocking my view, and I want to see even the lie that I'm trapped in—it's better than seeing his face: a murderer of children, of Peeta.

But in the end, I know I'm no better…

I'm looking at nothing now, I've closed my eyes and when I open them he's looming so close to me, I smell the sweat and blood. The sky looking into mine is different—it's colder than life, and I meet his gaze calmly, despite the vapidity of my heart.

I don't trust myself to goad him on. My voice may crack. I hate him; hate him so much I can taste it.

He's rising now, glowering over me, a spear poised above my chest.

He turns around in the open space, leaving my confused and addresses all of Panem, "I will be your victor!"

There are shouts of assent, I hear them pounding into my aching bones and weary mind. He's gloating…! Fine, let him, if it'll mean I'll have a few moments of peace before joining my father. I wonder if I'll finally hear him sing…

"Victors are allowed many things," he continues, hoarse from no water, drunk on power, "But I am making a request. My district will have food. I want the Girl on Fire."

My body is ignited by rage as my blood chills, immobile and lost.

"Cato, this is not usually allowed." rings the voice of President Snow.

"I understand that," says Peeta's killer, "But I'm only asking for her."

There's silence that stretches to eternity.

President Snow agrees.

And I see the malicious grin that says this will be far worse than any death.