Chapter One

Okay, this is basically the last few moments (or in some cases, hours) of the tributes' lives, starting with District 1 and moving onwards to District 11. The girl/boy order will change sometimes because it's hard making up all the creativity stuff, plus I've got like four other fanfictions going.

I do not own the Hunger Games. Everything that you recognize belongs to Suzanne Collins.

P.S. Listen, I know I changed the time that Marvel died a little bit, but it makes for a good ending.

My Last Song: Marvel's Tale

Cato gave me a very important task. I normally don't do what he tells me to, but this time, I take it seriously.

I need to kill the Girl on Fire, and the little tree-hopper, too, if I can find her. The little one from 11.

She reminds me a lot of the little tree-hopper from back in my district, the one that called me "Mars" and made little diamond necklaces for us. My sister. I've got two back home, but one's twenty. Her name is Opal, the older one; she's our most recent victor, winning at the age of seventeen. My little one, Glitter, is twelve, already training for her time to volunteer.

At first, I was really happy for her. I couldn't wait until she volunteered. But now that I've got a taste of what it's like... I don't think I'll ever let her in that Academy ever again. If I can get back home.

Which brings me to today. I grab my spear, the one thing besides my meager pack that I had with me when a tribute blew up our pyramid of supplies. Cato thinks it's Fire Girl. That's why I have to kill her, plus, he's got a grudge against her because she outscored him in training. Clove doesn't like her because she's got this insufferable "defender of the helpless" act, which isn't an act, which only makes Clove want her dead even more. I want Fire Girl dead, too, because she killed my best friend.

Not Glimmer. Marina, the girl from District 4, who perished alongside Glimmer when Katniss (is that District 12's name?) dropped a nest of tracker jackers on us. Lover Boy survived, and I think that he might not be crushing on her as hard anymore. Dropping killer insects on one's admirer does have a negative effect on said admirer.

In the woods, I calm myself, then set off to where I know that my little net trap is waiting for some pretty tribute to stumble into. Maybe Fire Girl will fall for it, or Lover Boy. If he ever recovers from the wound Cato gave him after the tracker jacker incident.

Hours later, I arrive in the clearing to see the tree-hopper in the net, curled up like a baby animal. She must've spent part of the night, because she's exhausted, poor thing. I can tell she's on the verge of sleep, but she jolts right awake when she sees me. She starts screaming when she sees my spear.

"Katniss! Katniss!" she shrieks. So, I was right. That's the name of Mrs. Lover Boy.

"I'm sorry, little bird," I say softly. She hears me and quiets down for a minute.

"You've got family, I'm sure," she says, "but I've got five sisters back home, and not enough to feed them."

The sight of this tiny twelve-year-old, the same age as my little Glitter, this one with her big chocolate eyes and her satin skin, almost brings me to tears. Her huge, innocent-looking lips are parted ever so slightly, pleading for help. This does bring tears to my eyes.

But Cato said so. Cato said so, so I have to do it, or he'll find out, and then he'll kill me. Opal and Glitter need their Mars to come back to them. So does my girlfriend, Citrine – we've been together for two years. She needs me, and I need her. My beautiful Citrine. I will come back to you.

Fire Girl is just crashing through the trees, shouting, "Rue! Rue!" when I throw the spear straight into the little one's stomach.

For a moment, it's not Rue I see, it's Glitter, staring at me with her rosy-cheeked, pale face. Then the arrow plunges into my throat and Rue replaces my sister.

I struggle to hear what's going on, but I think I hear Katniss shouting, "Are there more? Are there more?" Then whispers, which are much harder to hear, but after a few beats I get the hang of it.

"Sing," I hear Rue murmur.

Katniss hesitates, then starts to sing, a lovely mountain air I recognize from back in District 1. My lips move along silently to her words, dulling the pain for a moment.

Deep in the meadow, under the willow

A bed of grass, a soft green pillow

Lay down your head, and close your sleepy eyes

And when again they open, the sun will rise.

The arrow is on the ground. Did I yank it out? I can't breathe. Too much blood in my throat, but I want to hear the rest of the song. I will myself to hold on, just a little longer. Just for my last song.

Here it's safe, here it's warm

Here the daisies guard you from every harm

Here your dreams are sweet, and tomorrow brings them true.

Here is the place where I love you.

The world is going dark, but I struggle to keep the image of the dying girl and her would-be savior alive. Guilt streaks through me, but I want to see what I've done. I need to punish myself. There's no harm in it, now. Now that I'm dying.

Deep in the meadow, hidden far away

A cloak of leaves, a moonbeam ray

Forget all your woes, and let your troubles lay

And when again it's morning, they'll wash away.

The dark closes in on Rue and Katniss. The tiny mockingjay and the bigger one. Both sweet girls. Both singers. I heard Rue singing in the Training Center one time, and it was beautiful. So is this.

The blackness is waiting for me to protest, yet slipping its greedy little fingers into my last image, taking the sound with it, too. A moment ago, I would've fought for the picture, would've fought for the music. Now, I can make my own.

The last chorus goes through my head as I hear the dull roar of a cannon.

Here it's safe, here it's warm

Here the daisies guard you from every harm

Here your dreams are sweet, and tomorrow brings them true.

Here is the place where I love you.