Princess of the Sea
Chapter 19: The Caged Bird Calls
Disclaimer: I own nothing of the Hunger Games, the trilogy or any of the characters Suzanne Collins has created. I only take credit for the characters I have created and the plot I have made.
So much has happened over these days in the arena. It feels so different than my living back at home. The last time I counted, it's been about two weeks or so and the Careers or Jadalis's team has not made any moves yet and no one has died since the night I ambushed the Career camp.
I've become closer to these tributes, Coda, Bachus, Canon and Wren. I've done things I never imagined I would do to see them smile. I became stubborn to get Coda's smile. I pissed off Bachus to get his smile. I even got Canon's smile by dancing in front of him and I got Wren's smile when I made fun of Bachus.
These thoughts played over in my mind as I lay on the grass, staring in the starry sky. When you don't have a lot to do, you think constantly. Being in this clearing for days has got me to thinking about these things. Coda, Bachus, Canon and Wren have become my friends. It's weird that the only friends I make are from other districts and that we are forced to meet under the Capitol's circumstances.
Coda lays down next to me, followed by Bachus, then Wren and then Canon. We lay in a circle, just staring up at the stars.
"I like this." Coda says to break the silence.
"Pleasant." Bachus agreed with a sigh.
I look over to Wren, "The Careers have a name, what is Jadalis's Team?" I ask curiously, a question that I wondered for quite a bit.
Wren was silent for a moment, thinking for a while, "Omega, something simple." I nod in agreement.
"What are we then?" Bachus asks.
Wren is taken back for a moment and she can't think of one. But what were we? We were the train wrecks that this life in Panem has given us. We were something different in our homes. We were the diamonds in the rough. But I knew the word, "We're the Misfits." I say with a light sigh and smile.
Bachus chuckles—a first for me to hear—which is a sign he agreed. Wren, Canon and Coda all agree as well.
"Heh, we're the Misfits." Wren chuckles. I tilt my head back a bit to Canon and Wren. Canon's hand slowly creep towards Wren's hand. Just the touch of Canon's fingers had Wren's fingers interlocking with Canon's. They squeeze on each other's hand like they aren't going to see each other again, but at the same time it was like they want to be picked up by a hovercraft hand in hand. I just smile and bring my eyes back to the sky.
For the first time in a while, everyone is actually happy with their lives. We are the ones who are happy being in the arena, and that they were glad they were chosen. The odds were in our favor.
I thought I would be having a dream tonight, but my mind decided that having a nightmare would just be great. I'm sitting in the sitting room back in the Training Center, again. I'm still waiting for something, and yet I don't even know what. Suddenly Valentine enters the room with tears stained on her cheeks, sniffling nose and red eyes along with Wren. Then came President Snow who sits across from me. He says, "You must choose, Miss Marshall." The sitting room turns into a dark room with Valentine and Wren behind the couch. What does the choice mean? Who am I supposed to choose?
Before I could choose, I woke up and almost blinded by the sun. I cover my eyes as I sit up. There was a whistle of a nightingale behind me and I slowly uncover my eyes while turning around to see Wren standing over me with a smile, "Afternoon." She said as she tipped her beanie a bit.
I can't believe I slept through the morning. Not once in my life have I slept till the afternoon. I actually feel well rested. But I'm not saying I'm going to be doing it often.
I stand up and stretch as I do. As I bring my body to its original position, I notice that Coda, Canon and Bachus were gone. So that left just me and Wren to guard the camp.
"Yeah, the rest went out hunting. That and Bachus had a itching to kill some Mugaku." Wren said as she crosses her arms before rolling her eyes. I don't think she likes the idea of the three of them getting themselves hurt.
I really have nothing to do and I don't really believe that we would get ambushed now. Wren then pats my shoulder for me to sit down, so I did. She heads to the tall willow tree to retrieve her woven basket and brings it back to me.
"Help me organize some of these plants." She said as she sat down in front of me.
Wren taught me how she organized them. But I don't understand since she organizes them by uses, and I don't know what they do. So she just told me to organize them by color. I felt stupid when she told me to just sort them by color, but I guess it was better than organizing them by use to find they were just organized randomly.
We were organizing plants until midway into the afternoon. I had two piles, ones that were green and ones that were other colors. I had some difficulty due to plants both acquiring green and other colors.
I don't know if the silence is bothering Wren, she seems alright so I just stay quiet. Wren stops what she was doing and grabs onto my arm and pulls me up with her, "I'll teach you how to climb a tree." She said excitingly. Before I can say anything, Wren just drags me with her towards the large willow tree. While she ran towards there, she stumbled a bit but I pulled her back with the arm she was gripping onto.
I look up the tall tree, and let my eyes stick there. It was rather high to climb. I never had chance in my life to learn how to climb a tree. If I did, then I could be pro at climbing trees. But that's what I get for living in District 4, hardly any trees to climb.
Wren props herself up against the tree and wraps her arms around the trunk, "Look up and see anything to grab onto, because a tree has gnarls, bark holes and even small branches you can grab onto." Wren says as she looks up the tree for anything.
"See any?" Wren asks as she addresses the question towards me. I keep my eyes up the tree, but I find the strength to scan down the trunk. I see a few bark holes close by her and a few small branches. I nod to her.
Wren lets go of the trunk and nods at it, "Try it."
I gulp before walking towards the tree. I keep my eyes on the trunk and don't dare to look back up. I wrap my arms around the trunk and stare at the bark that was almost touching the tip of my nose. I sigh, close my eyes and raised my arms for the bark holes and let my legs follow. I continued this for a bit until I opened my eyes. I felt like I was high up the tree already. If I were to let go, I would meet my demise. I had conflicting feelings if I should look down only because I was curious.
I take a deep breath and look down. I'm barely two feet off the ground. Wren was looking at me with one of her eye brows raised. I look over to Wren, "Can I come down?" I plead, my voice squeaking a bit.
Wren giggles while nodding her head. I slowly make my way down the horrifying tree, sneaking a few deep breaths to hold me until my feet had reached the ground. It feels good to be back on land again while I pat my hands on my pants for any splinters remaining on my hand.
"If you're afraid of heights, just tell me." Wren said tenderly as she places her hand on my shoulder.
I didn't know that was a real condition. I spent all my life basically by sea and land, but never up in a tree or on top of a high building. But I didn't want to let any of my fears slip from my own mind.
"I'm not afraid of heights." I scoff as I laugh a bit off. Wren then joins in the laughter as she faces the tree and puts her arms around the tree and began to climb. She made it up higher than I did and quicker.
A few feet off the ground, Wren stopped, or as I thought. I take a closer look to notice the little details she was giving off. Her legs were stiff as stone and her arm that was reaching for the branch was shaking. Soon she lost her grip on the tree and fell off. I dash towards her landing point, but I didn't anticipate the shock. So when I did catch her, I fell on my back and she fell down beside me.
I feel the pain spread through my body briefly before I slowly sit up. I rub the back of my head a bit and look over to Wren as she stands up brushing the dirt from her pants.
"It's been a while." Wren smiled as she laughs the entire thing off. I look up at Wren, mainly into her eyes. I knew she was pained that she couldn't do the things she used to because of her disease. It was burdening her, but she didn't want to burden others with her own.
I slowly stand up, cringing from the pain in my back before I was standing up straight.
"Want to tell?" I say casually while pouting my lips.
Wren didn't avoid my eyes, and decides it's time I hear her story.
District 7 is a district that works around the clock, even when you're a toddler. Wren was an orphan. She never knew her parents and she never bothered to know. Since she had no parents to support her, Wren had to support herself.
But at one point, Wren was sent home one day after being run over by a few kids when she wouldn't move on the side of the road. Everyone in the District kind of worried for her, but Wren convinced everyone she was fine. After a lot of similar accidents, Wren was checked by the Doctor to find out she had her terrifying disease. Wren couldn't go back to work, and she had nothing to live on. This was a wake-up call to her that people were willing to push her aside even she wasn't physically able to do anything. She felt alone.
"Was that when you received Canon's letter?" I interrupt with a light smile. I have to think a bit to realize that was something I shouldn't have said, but then what does Wren care if I mention Canon?
Wren just chuckles. At first I thought she was going to yell at me or something to deny it. But the way Wren chuckled was like a, "oh yes" chuckle and not like a, "you're crazy" chuckle.
"You could say it happened at that moment." She said with a smile. Through Wren's side, the letter Canon had sent out was a saving grace for her. If she didn't find that letter, Wren wouldn't be with us. As the years progressed, the two were open about their feelings. The day of the Reaping, she didn't know if she would get picked and she didn't expect it.
The moment she was chosen, Wren's life was over. She was positive that she was going to die. But Johanna's encouragement boosted Wren's determination to win. Wren was so set on winning but everything changed when on the day of the interviews. When she heard Canon's name called for District 12, she felt her heart skip a beat when she first saw him in person. At that moment, she thought he was the most beautiful person she had seen in her entire life. Apparently Canon had felt the same way when he met Wren on the interview day. But instead of Canon's heart skipping a beat, he felt like his heart completely stopped. I don't recall during the Interviews of one of the Tributes collapsing. But that was what Canon had told Wren.
When we stumbled upon Canon, Wren didn't just save him because he would be a worthy asset. She saved him because she didn't want to have him die right in front of her.
Overtime Wren wanted to push Canon away. She didn't want him to be hurt when she dies or what the games will make them do to win. But no matter what Canon did or said, Wren found herself closer to him. Calling Canon a moron was something out of affection and not out of spite.
"I feel so useless to you all. I might as well cut my limbs off and I would probably still be as useless as I am now." Wren mentioned as her face became stern.
"I don't know what I feel right now. In fact I don't even know what to do." Wren sighed as she leaned herself against the trunk of the tree.
I never experienced love the same way Canon and Wren feel. I have liked someone before, Metheus Epis. He was a very well-known guy around school. He was one of the friends that Esther hanged around with. Sometimes if he would walk down the hall, I would sneak a glance to see him smile. He was probably one of the only guys in the school who would talk to me. By the way he talked to me I had a deep feeling inside of me that he liked me too. But this stopped after he was beat up by another student at school and he never talked to me ever again. I never knew why, but I just dealt with it and moved on with my life. But the difference between being in love with someone and liking someone is different.
I sigh as I sit back down and lay my body across the ground, "I don't think it matters how you should feel about the future." I say looking away from the sun that was blinding my eyes towards Wren, "As long as you two make each other happy, then you should accept your fates together."
I noticed in the shade Wren's lips curled into a smile, "Your right Pandora." She agreed before she pries her eyes off me to look in the distance.
We don't speak the rest of the day after that. Coda, Canon and Bachus return around dusk with fox game and some berries. That night we were able to go to sleep on a full stomach for once.
Morning came and we proceed on our regular duties. Bachus was guarding the camp while Canon followed Wren around at the camp or searching for herbs and Coda and I were just hanging around the camp with Bachus.
"I'm going out for a walk." I say to Coda as I get up. But as I begin to walk away, Coda doesn't follow me for once. I shake it off and leave the camp. I don't know how long I was walking but I walk until I hit the stream. For the first time in my life, I just sit by the stream and just do nothing. I don't even contemplate on feelings or any thoughts. My mind was a complete shell.
Twilight comes and I decide to head back to the camp before anyone gets worried. That's even strange to think these tributes are my friends and that they worry for me. I feel very close to them. I don't want to think about the time when we must turn against each other. Everything is just perfect the way it is.
I hop over the bush to enter the camp as I whistle our safety call. But as I enter the camp, I notice that they were in the center of the clearing. My presence has interrupted their conversation, and their eyes fall towards me. I have no idea what's going on, and I'm worried.
"What's this?" I ask curiously as I approach their circle.
Each one of them looks at the other then looks back towards me. I feel like I'm the center of attention, or it's about me.
Wren looks at me straight into my eyes, "We're going after the Careers."