"Um, Prim? What was that?" I can hear the fear in Rue's voice. I'm just as afraid as she sounds.
"Rue! Prim! Take cover!" Thresh commands. "Peeta and I will go help her." Without another word, the two of them take off towards the woods. Rue grabs my arm and pulls me over to a large maple tree. "Climb this."
"But what about Mateo! We can't just leave him out in the open!"
"We can't move him right now, Prim. We just have to pray that no one finds him. Now come on." Rue starts climbing the tree as fast as a monkey, and I reluctantly follow.
Rue and I sit in silence for what feels like hours, fearing that an enemy will come crashing into the campsite at any moment. But everything remains silent. Juliana isn't screaming anymore. The only thing I can hear is birds chirping. That is, until I hear the cannon. It's so unexpected that I almost fall out of the tree. "Rue?" I whisper fearfully. "Who was that for?"
"I don't know, Prim. We'll just have to wait until the boys and Juliana get back." She doesn't say what we're both thinking- that the three of them might not all be returning.
We don't have to wait long. A few minutes later, Peeta comes through the trees back into the campsite. He's carrying Juliana. Rue and I quickly descend to meet him.
"Oh my goodness! Is she ok? Are you ok? Wait-where's Thresh?" Rue stretches her neck to look behind Peeta.
"Yes, Juliana's fine, just unconscious. I'm ok, too. But Thresh- I'm so sorry, Rue. He didn't make it." Peeta's deep brown eyes look troubled. "He died protecting Juliana."
Rue shakes her head slowly. "No. Not Thresh. He's the strongest tribute in the Games! How could he die?"
"Cato and Marvel caught Juliana in a trap. She managed to scream once before they gagged her. When Thresh and I got there, they were torturing her. I untied Juliana while Thresh fought them. But they overpowered him. Cato got him with a sword. After that, they fled. I don't really know why."
Rue stands perfectly still, with a mixture of sadness, disbelief, and anger on her face. "Are you sure?" she whispers, as if Peeta was wrong. He nods. Rue bursts into tears and runs back over to the maple tree. She climbs back up it, going higher and higher until she is lost in the leaves. I turn back to face Peeta and notice that he's crying too.
"Peeta...I'm so sorry," I begin, unsure of what to say. I didn't know Thresh well, but I know that him and Peeta were good friends. Other than my father and Mr. Hawthorne, no one I know has ever died. When patients of my mother pass away, I'm not the one who comforts the family. My mother does that. Now, I wish I had, because Peeta needs comfort and I don't know what to do.
"Thanks, Prim. Thresh...wow. Honestly, I thought he was going to win this whole thing. After all, he was so strong, and had so many survival skills. I didn't expect him to die, especially not so soon in the Games." Peeta hangs his head. "And Thresh was the strongest one in our group. I knew he'd take care of the rest of us. And now...I'm no expert on survival. How am I supposed to take care of you all? We'll all die, and it'll be my fault." By now, Peeta is sobbing.
"Peeta, look at me. You don't have to take care of us all by yourself. We'll help." Peeta wipes his nose on his sleeve and looks at me. "You're strong, just like Thresh was. I'm a healer. Rue knows how to survive outside. Juliana is clever. And Mateo is smart. We have something the other tributes don't- variety. God gave each of us a different talent, and we're putting them together to win these Games. The other tributes don't trust each other- even if they're in an alliance, they'd kill each other in a heartbeat. They don't think like we do."
"Ok," Peeta says, "but we can't all win the Games. What happens if it gets down to just two of us?"
"Then we refuse to kill the other person," I say firmly, without hesitating. I would never want to kill anyone, especially a friend. "They can't make us kill the people we love." Peeta opens his mouth to say something in response, but just then, Foxface stirs.
"Um, Prim? What should I do with Juliana?" Peeta asks.
"She won't fit in the tent with Mateo. Put her on that patch of grass over by the tent." Peeta does, and I go over to check her for injuries. "No broken bones," I report a few minutes later. "She might have a mild concussion, though. I think she was hit in the head, probably with a rock. She should wake up in a half hour or so. Unfortunately, there's nothing else I can do for her right now."
Peeta nods. "Alright. Why don't you stay here with her and Mateo, and I'll go keep watch." He heads to the edge of our campsite. I walk over to the maple tree. "Rue?" I call softly. "Do you want to come down for a little bit?"
"Prim, I just want to be alone for now." I can barely hear Rue's soft response. I don't want to pressure her. "Alright, just let me know if you need anything." I head back over to Mateo and Juliana. Quietly, I unzip the tent and poke my head in. Mateo is fast asleep. Juliana is still asleep, too, although she's pretty restless. I settle down on the grass in front of the tent to keep an eye on my patients. It's going to be a long night.
Hi guys! Ok, I'm really sorry. I haven't updated since February! I promise, I'm going to start updating more regularly.
I know there have been quite a few spelling errors on previous chapters, and I'm sorry about that. I know how annoying it is to read a misspelled story. On this chapter, I made sure to go through and check my spelling. Sorry that this chapter is so short, by the way. I'll make the next one longer.
Comment with your feedback! I love to know what you guys think!