I don't own the hunger games. Everything belongs to Suzanne Collins.
"You have to win"
" I'm going to."
"Promise me you will."
These are the words that ricochet off the inside of my skull, like a fly bouncing off a window, over and over, because it believes that the glass will vanish if it hits it hard enough. The words that my little sister spoke to me when she came to say goodbye after the reaping. She is watching me run. Just like the rest of Panem.
My heart pounds, threatening to burst from my chest. My lungs ache. My leg muscles feel like there on fire. But I don't stop running. I can hear the footsteps behind me. My arm is bleeding, leaving a path of red in my wake. I remember a story my mother once told me, about a brother and sister. There father left them in the woods, but the boy left a trail of bread crumbs so they could find their way back.
The footsteps behind me grow louder. I stumble and fall. My pursuer slows down. He pulls out a knife and comes toward me. I cannot escape this. I have no weapon. As I look into the eyes of the tribute that has been chasing me for days, I am surprised at what I see. Sorrow, pain, regret. I watch him come closer, closer. I begin to count down the seconds to when he will reach me.
10… 9… 8…
He grips the knife more tightly.
7… 6… 5…
He raises his hand two deliver the final cut.
4… 3… 2…
Time slows down as I watch the knife come towards me in a deadly arch.
I whisper a silent apology to my little sister. "I'm so sorry. I failed you."
The knife makes contact with my throat and I scream. The boy leans down and whispers, "I'm sorry." The world becomes blurry around the edges. Strangely, I am not afraid. In fact, I feel at peace. I can finally stop running. I close my eyes and drift into an endless oblivion.
She haunts my dreams. The girl I chased for what seemed like forever. I hear her scream. I see her face. I cannot escape her.
I relive her death. But she is never the pursuer. No, she is the runner.
Running, running, always running…