'RUN!' I scream, racing towards Prim and Finnick. Prim simply stares at me, not registering the words that I am saying. I grab her arm, dragging her behind me. It's too late though, I can hear the heckles of Cashmere and Gloss from behind us. Finnick suddenly stops running, standing in one place.
'Go on without me, I'll hold them off,' Finnick calls.
'Katniss we can't-' Prim cries. I don't have a chance to look Finnick in the eyes, to thank him for his sacrifice. I have to keep running, dragging Prim behind me. She finally begins to run with me so I let go of her wrist, as she'll run faster.
I run for about a minute and though I can hear my heavy breath, I can't hear Prim's. I look over my shoulder to see how she is coping but when I look I see I am alone. I feel my stomach plummet. My mouth goes dry. I want to scream Prim's name but I can't draw attention to myself. She must have gone back for Finnick. She must have. That's the only logical explanation. I begin running back to where I left Finnick, my feet pounding against the dry ground. I pull out another arrow from my shaft, positioning it in the bow. Ready, just in case.
I can hear the voices of Cashmere and Gloss, though I can't see them. I hide myself behind a tree. Nearing myself towards the voices.
'Oh Finnick, you always have to play the hero don't you?' I hear Cashmere say. I look around the tree to see Finnick hunched on the ground, blood dripping from his wounded face. They're torturing him. Gloss shoots Finnick's trident into his left arm. I shut my eyes before I see the impact, though I can't shut out the agonising scream which Finnick releases.
'You're pathetic. Just like that nut case, Annie, of yours,' Gloss sneers before spitting at him. I wish I could jump out from the trees, shoot Gloss dead. But I know I wouldn't have the chance. Gloss and Cashmere, they're Careers. They're Victors. They're famous for their brutality. The moment I would emerge from the trees I would be killed. Then Prim would be by herself.
Prim. She's not here. I feel a sigh of relief to know that she has not been captured either, but if she's not here, where is she? My attention gets drawn back to Finnick as I hear another scream. There isn't any opportunity to shoot either Cashmere or Gloss, not without revealing myself.
'Any last words?' Gloss asks before Cashmere cuts a slit down Finnick's cheek.
'You won't win,' Finnick replies, blood spluttering out of his mouth. I can't see Finnick properly, but I can hear the defiance in his voice. He is not just speaking to Cashmere and Gloss. He's speaking to the whole of Panem. He is speaking to Snow.
Cashmere releases a sinister laugh, wiping some of the blood off of Finnick's face.
'I could bottle this and sell it to all your heart ridden fans the moment I win these Games.'
'At least I have fans,' Finnick remarks. With one quick swipe, I watch as the body of Finnick Odair collapses to the ground. The cannon shot echoing around the arena. I look away, running my fingers through my hair.
'He's dead. He's dead.' I whisper under my breath hysterically. I can already hear the mourning of Panem over their beloved Finnick. I can feel the tears in my eyes, though I know he's in a better place. I take a deep breath before hearing another cannon shot. The second I hear the cannon I examine my body, certain that the Careers must have noticed me. But I see nothing. I am fine. I am 100% fine.
I look back around the tree to find two bodies collapsed on the floor. Finnick and Cashmere's. And that's when I notice the knife that I gave Prim lodged in Cashmere's skull. I don't know why but I begin running. Running away from Finnick and Cashmere. Hoping that my sister sees me, that she will follow me. I want to scream her name. But I can't. I need my sister here with me. As I run, hundreds of thoughts run through my head. But one thought dominates them all. There is only Gloss left. Kill him and Prim has won. She'll have actually won.
I watch as a trident glides past my shoulder, impacting the red tree in front of me. Red substance splutters out onto my face. The smell of strawberries fills my nostrils. I look over my shoulder to see Gloss running after me. Our eyes connect and I can feel the pure hate radiate from them.
'Hey Gloss, catch me if you can,' I shout back before increasing my speed. I'm changing my tactic. I don't want Prim to follow me. I want Gloss to. Keep him as far away as possible from Prim as I can.
I hear my feet hitting against the dry ground once again, I can also hear Gloss's. I feel my heart rate increasing, both from the lack of oxygen I am receiving and due to the vast amount of fear. I am literally running for my life.
'I'm catching you, Girl on Fire,' I hear Gloss shout at me. I begin swerving in and out of the trees, trying to slow down Gloss's speed. Trying to catch him off guard. Maybe I can lose him. I doubt it. But maybe.
I take my fifth right, hoping that I have finally lost him. I take a quick glance over my shoulder to see that Gloss is not there. I feel a sense of relief but as I turn my attention back to where I am running, I feel myself impact with the tree. For a second I am dazed. Confused. As I raise myself up from the ground I hear footsteps racing towards me. I look up to see Gloss running towards me, a sinister smile spread across his face.
'Looks like someone needs to put out the fire,' Gloss says, slowing his pace. He stops running. Certain that he has caught me. He takes a gentle stroll towards me. I look around me, hoping to see somewhere to run too. But there is no escape. This is where I die.
Gloss positions Finnick's trident, aiming it to go directly through my head.
'I want you to look at me when I throw it,' Gloss sneers.
'It'll give me great satisfaction,' Gloss laughs. I feel sick by his presence. I take a deep breath, to calm my nerves, before locking eyes with Gloss. It's the first time I have seen Gloss up close. His eyes are dark brown, though they look almost black. He's smiling, though I see no light in his eyes. No happiness. He is already dead. A scar runs across his forehead, hidden by the deep wrinkles that frame his face.
'Any last words?' I ask. Gloss looks at me in slight confusion before bursting into laughter.
'You would have made a great Career,' Gloss states. Just as Gloss is about to release the trident I suddenly begin to tremble violently. I am unable to control myself. I try to grip onto the ground to stable myself, but the ground seems to be moving too. I look back to Gloss to find him shaking, the trident falling from his grasp. And that's when I realise it. I'm not trembling. It's an earthquake.
I watch as the trees begin to shake violently, birds flying out of the sky. Their screeches echoing around the arena. Gloss falls to the ground, unable to steady himself, and that's when I see my moment. I pull myself up from the ground and begin to run. My eyes are unable to focus on one area and I am unable to keep my balance. I stumble multiple times but I pull myself back up each time. I look over my shoulder and see no Gloss. I feel a sense of relief.
After five minutes the earthquake finally stops and I am able to regain my sense of stability. I begin running, running back to the Cornucopia. I know that it is located in the centre of the arena so I begin running south. The ground is no longer a dusty beige colour because of the dry ground. It is splattered with vibrant colours from the leaves of the trees. As I run I can hear the leaves crunching underneath my feet. One of my most favourite sounds.
After five minutes of running I can see glimpses of the Cornucopia shinning through the space where the trees fail to cover. I don't know what I will do once at the Cornucopia, but for now it is my goal.
'Katniss!' I hear Prim scream.
'Prim?' I shout. My heart rate intensifies. 'Prim?!' My voice physically breaks.
'Help me Katniss!' Prim screams once again. I run to the source of my sister's voice. It's almost like instinct. Whenever a loved one is in danger, your senses are able to perform better. Maybe, though, it's also because I am a natural hunter. So perhaps my senses are more in tune than other peoples.
'Katniss!' I hear Prim exclaim. As I push myself through the leaves I find my sister on the ground, a large branch crushing her leg, 'I can't move it!'
'Prim, what happened?' I cry whilst kneeling down next to my sister. I examine the branch; it's practically a tree trunk.
'I was hiding in the trees but then there was an earthquake and I fell,' Prim explains. Of course. The earthquake didn't happen to save me from Gloss. It happened to try kill Prim. I feel sick. The rules are forever changing in these Games.
'You're going to be okay Prim,' I say, 'I'm going to have to roll it off you.'
'That'll crush my leg!'
'It's better than being a sitting duck, Prim!' I exclaim. I look at my sister, tears filling her eyes. She is a sitting a duck. A little duck. 'Trust me', I whisper.
'Okay,' Prim replies, her voice barely above a whisper. I notice her holding the blade that she had thrown at Cashmere earlier in her hand.
I roll the branch slowly down Prim's leg, I don't look at my sister, but I can hear her cry out in pain. It kills me.
'Just a little bit more,' I comment. I hear Prim crying in the background, though she tries to cover the sound. My brave sister. When Prim's leg is finally free I turn to my sister, embracing her in a tight hug.
'Can you move your leg?' I ask.
'Kind of,' Prim replies.
I try to lift Prim off the ground, though I can see she is weak on her leg. I turn to face my sister,
'Remember when I broke my ankle? I was able to go on, though the pain was excruciating. If you want to scream out in pain just squeeze my hand, okay?'
'Okay,' Prim replies. I kiss her gently on top of the head.
'KATNISS!' I hear Prim scream, her eyes widening in pure distress. Her voice piercing through my ears.
I turn around to see that Gloss has emerged. I don't think. I just react. I release an arrow directly into Gloss's chest. He smiles at me, pulling the arrow out and snapping it over his leg. I snatch the blade out of Prim's hand, feeling it piercing into my skin. I watch as Gloss's trident is released from his hand, I release the blade from mine. I watch as the two weapons pass each other mid air. I watch as the knife impacts with Gloss's chest, hitting him directly in the heart. He looks at me in shock, before collapsing to the ground. A cannon is shot.
'Katniss-' I hear Prim cry. I don't dare look at my sister. I feel the breath escape my lungs. I've let my sister down at the final hurdle. Flashes of Rue fill my mind. How it was my fault that she died. If I hadn't of moved out the way then the spear wouldn't have hit Rue. 'Katniss, look at me,' I hear Prim cry. I take a deep breath. Turning to face my sister. Ready to trident piercing through her body.
As I turn to face her, I am met by the blue tear filled eyes of my baby sister. My eyes trail down her body to where the trident should have impacted with her. But I see nothing. Prim's trembling hands rise to her mouth as she looks at me. Releasing a gasp. And that's when I realise.
I look down to see the trident has, in fact, impacted me. I begin to laugh at the sight of it. Uncontrollable laughter. I must look like I have lost my mind. My legs collapse from under me, forcing me to fall to the ground.
'Katniss,' Prim exclaims.
'I'm fine Prim,' I reply, trying to lift myself up, though I'm unable too.
'You can't go Katniss, you can't. You can't,' Prim whispers to me, her voice pleading. As I look at my sister, I see myself. The times when I begged Gale and Peeta to stay. The desperation. The feeling that your whole world is being torn away.
'Remember when I first started calling you Little Duck?' I say.
'Dad had taken us to that pond in the woods, remember?' Prim nods her head slightly, tears running down her face, 'and you wouldn't go in the water because you were scared. So you sat on the bank and just watched us. Then Dad finally put you in the water and you were kicking about, not able to keep a float. But within five minutes you were swimming like a pro. Like a-'
'-A little duck,' Prim whispers.
'I am so proud of you, Prim. You're no longer a little duck. You've grown into a beautiful swan.'
Prim releases a high pitch scream that makes me break down into tears. I can feel the little energy which I have fading. The trident still remains in me, though I am so tired that I do not even notice it.
'I love you so much Prim.'
'I love you Katniss,' Prim whispers. She rests her forehead against mine, her tears dropping onto my face.
'Tell Buttercup I say hi,' I say. Prim wraps her arms around me, hugging me tightly. She lowers me slowly to the ground.
'I love you,' Prim mouths at me. I cannot hear her voice.
'I love you,' I reply. I take one last deep breath before shutting my eyes. The cannon shot being the last noise I hear.
When I next open my eyes the blinding sunlight forces me to shut them again. I look down to find myself dressed in my normal clothes from the District. I take a deep breath, inhaling the smell of forest trees. I run my hand through the long grass that I am lying on before noticing my left hand holding something. I turn to the left of me to see Peeta lying on the ground next to me, holding my hand tightly.
'I told you I'd wait for you,' Peeta smiles before kissing me gently on the lips.
'Where are we?' I ask.
'The meadows but we can go wherever you want.'
'I don't understand… I'm dead. I just died Peeta.'
'Your body may have but your soul hasn't.'
'What about Prim? Has she won? Is she safe?'
'Yes. She's won. The moment she came out of that arena the rebels took her, Snow wont be able to hurt her.'
'I'll explain later. All you need to know is that Prim is safe.' I feel tears of happiness fill my eyes. I wrap my arms around Peeta tightly, knowing that he will never leave me again. That he is here forever.
I hear familiar voices call my name so I raise myself up off the ground, turning my head to the direction of the noise. And that's when I see them. Finnick. Apple. Sam. Johanna. Gale. Jade. Cloward. Mags. I even see Rue. I feel myself running towards them, my feet gliding across the soft ground. Happiness swelling from inside of me.
I run into Gale's open arms, submerging myself into a hug that I never want to end. We look each other in the eyes and all the words that need to be said are spoken.
'You put on quite a show, Catnip,' Gale smiles.
'I didn't want to go down without a fight,' I reply. I give everyone a hug, thanking each of them for the sacrifices that they have given. When I reach Rue though, I feel myself choke.
'I'm sorry,' I whisper to her.
'Don't be,' Rue replies. Her brown eyes looking at me with such intensity, 'Here is better than my District. I don't starve here and I can climb around in the trees.' I laugh at Rue's comment, kissing her gently on top of her head, like I did with Prim…
'Katniss,' I hear one final voice call. Gale and everyone else move out the way, revealing the final person to greet me to my eternal bliss. And that's when I see him. Standing there. Exactly how I remember him. His signature smile spread across his face. Whistling a faint tune underneath his breath. Standing there in his hunting gear, his leather jacket on. I stare at him in utter disbelief. Tears filling my eyes. His name escaping my lips,
A/N- Waaahh it's all over! Thank you so much for reading this story from start to finish. I've really enjoyed writing it and am so sad it's all over. Sorry if you didn't enjoy the ending :( If any of you have any ideas what my next story could be, i'd love to know! I don't know what to do with myself since this is finished. Hahaa! Please could you leave me a review telling me what you thought of the whole story overall? Thank you so much for reading xox