N/A-This is the Finale! Omg! I wanted to get this written as soon as possible. It's a little short, but I think you guys will enjoy it! Keep on reviewing please! Love you all. xoxo
Chapter 21- The Finale
2 Days Later
The blood is still there, on my hands. I don't remember if it's mine or not, but its blood. I haven't slept. I haven't eaten. All I do is sit up in this tree, my mind drifting from nightmare to nightmare. I can't control the nightmares. I can't control what I think or see or hear. It comes and goes, but more frequently as I sit and wait.
It takes me a while to remember that I'm insane. It takes me a while to remember that what I'm seeing isn't real. But even when I do remember, my heart still beats and the blood on my hands still grows thicker. There's no relief. There's no end. So, I wait.
I can't remember what I'm waiting for, exactly. I can't really remember where I am either. Every time I'm close to figuring out what I'm doing here, another hallucination. Then another…then another. The hallucinations at least have a consistent variable: a boy. I know him, I love him, but how do I know that? I know his name, but what is it? His face, his voice, his smile brings me happiness, but then he is ripped to shreds by a massive beast. Or maybe beheaded by a bloody axe with nobody holding it. Once, I remember this one very distinctly, an old man with snow-white hair and red eyes grabbed the boy. The old man grew fangs and sunk them into the beautiful boy's neck. He screamed and cried my name as the life drained out of him. I didn't move. When his lifeless body dropped to the mud beneath him, the old man turned to me, his lips dripping in blood. He walked towards me slowly, smelling of roses, bleach, and blood, and bit me as well. I snapped out of it then and realized that I had stuck two branches into my neck, right where the old man bit me.
Who is the boy? I know, but I don't know. Who is the old man? Someone I hate, but can't put a name to. It drives me mad; knowing that I have the answer in my head, but whatever is giving me the hallucinations is blocking me from my answer.
So I sit on a branch high from the ground, and wait. I snap in and out, scream at the top of my lungs, and wait.
A slight beeping brings me back to my senses. It's probably my own madness. As soon as I dismiss the sound, a little parachute-type thing lands in my lap…another one. I don't know what these things are, but they're so annoying. I drop it down to the ground; with the other thirty or so that I have received. And I wait.
Something tells me my waiting is over. And as a deafening crack, like the sound of pottery being dropped on the floor, makes its way to my senses, I smile. My waiting is over.
I stand on my branch as the world starts shaking. Is this madness or reality? I don't know the difference anymore. The world is shaking. The ground shifts from side to side. The tree I stand on sways, threatening my balance, but I stay still. I hear a blood-curdling scream to my left. Is it mine? Probably.
What if it isn't? What if I'm not alone?
My tree is about to give out as the world maintains shaking. I drop down to the ground, and as soon as I do the trunk cracks and the entire tree crashes down behind me. Somehow, I walk straight as the ground beneath me trembles. I walk towards the scream I heard. Something tells me I shouldn't, something tells me I should be panicking that the ground is quaking, but I keep walking, completely calm. Trees crash to the mud all around me. More cracking sounds are heard in the distance. I keep walking towards the screaming.
I hit a clearing and see the source of the screams. A girl with fire red hair is crumbled under a fallen oak. She's still living. How is she still living? She strains to crawl out from under the tree, but to no avail. She's trapped. I can only see her shoulders and up, the rest is crushed.
She sees me. As our eyes make contact, a name shouts out from my memory:
And then another word:
Why is she my enemy? Why do I hate her? She screams out of anger when she sees me, her hair plastered to her face in mud.
"Annie!" She yells, "You have to help me!"
I tilt my head, the world still shaking, and look at her. I can see the panic in her eyes. Slowly, I walk towards her.
"Come on, Annie! Faster!"
I don't walk faster.
"The water will be here any second! Come on!"
I stop when she says that, and look at her.
"You know… the water! From the dam! It just broke and everything is coming out of it. I'm going to drown under here! You have to help me!"
Dam? There was a dam? How does she know me? Why would I help an enemy?
A single question slips out of me: "Where are we?"
She stops squirming and stares at me, a smile coming across her face. "You're mad, aren't you?"
I stare at her.
She laughs and continues, "Wow! I knew the Games drew people crazy, but to actually see a victim of it!" She reaches a bloody hand towards me, "We're friends, remember? We're best friends! If you save me, I'll help you get out of here. I promise."
I scream, "You lie!"
Shock slaps her expression, "How could your best friend lie?"
Maybe she's telling the truth. I can't trust my own mind anymore, so how do I know that I'm right?
Devi, the one that can't feel pain.
Can't feel pain? Right. It's coming back. A boy told me. Hektor. I trusted him, so this must be true. She's the one that can't feel pain. She's the one that betrayed me. She killed my friend. Argo. My ally. We're in the Hunger Games. My name is Annie Cresta. Demere is dead. Finnick Odair is alive. I am in the final two.
I bend down, my knees sinking into the mud next to her, and look at her.
"You can't feel pain," I whisper.
"Damn Annie! Come on you got to help me!"
"Does it hurt?" I ask.
"Of course it does, you idiot!"
"But you can't feel pain," I say.
"How do you know that?" She asks.
"Life must be so easy for you, not knowing what pain feels like."
She glares at me. "I know what pain is. I know what hurt is. I've seen people I love die. I have hurt before. Don't you dare tell me my life is easy."
"But physically, you've never hurt."
"The most tragic kind of pain is not physical. You should know that."
A smell of sea water comes through. It smells like home. It comforts me. The world stops shaking, and the ground halts. I look up through the trees and see what Devi was talking about. At a distance, a thirty foot wave crashes through the greenery.
I remain calm.
Devi, panicked, grabs my arm, "Get this thing off of me or I won't let go. We'll both drown."
Her grip is tight. Out of the corner of my eye, I see her supply pack. A sword crusted in blood pokes out, and I grab it.
"You give me no other choice," I say as I strike the sword through her flesh. Her arm, being disconnected, loosens the grip. She screams, but not out of pain, out of anger.
"With my own sword? How dare you!" She yells.
I stand and run towards the nearest tree. She still yells at me as I run. The wave is closer, I can hear it crashing through. I'm going to need to get high up so the pressure of it doesn't crush me.
I leave Devi under the tree. Something tells me elimination of your enemies is the only way to win this.
"Come back here! You're nothing out there! You can't even think! You're half a life!"
I hear only a mumble of what she's saying as I climb up the tree. I keep the sword in my hand as I make my way up.
Suddenly, the wave crashes. My tree sways, and even cracks a little. It tilts to the side, but doesn't fall. I look down and see the water underneath me, but it hasn't touched me yet. I'm too high up. No more screams from Devi. She's underneath both the water and tree. I keep climbing. I can't look down.
I'm still not panicked. I don't know why, but when it comes to water I feel like I can survive anything.
The water crawls higher and higher, absorbing the tree I sit on top of. I can't climb anymore.
Only seconds tick by and the water is up to my chin. I breathe, letting my lungs take full advantage of what's left of the atmosphere.
My tree stands still, the water now up to my nose. In and out, in and out.
Did I win? Can I go? Why isn't anything happening?
Suddenly, a hand grabs my ankle from under the water and yanks me down under. Choking, I open my eyes and see an armless Devi, her body bent into ways that should not be possible. She can't feel pain.
The blood flows out from her stump, making the water a crimson red…like my nightmares. Shocked and disoriented, I can't fight back. She grabs my neck with her one hand and shoves it against the tree behind me. White spots blink in the corner of my eyes but I blink them away. I'm losing my air. She continues shoving my skull against the hard wood, and finally, I feel warm blood coming from where she is striking. My body numbs. A deep voice, a voice I remember, a voice I love, makes its way through my foggy mind: Don't give up, my love. Don't give up. I'm waiting for you.
I don't know how, but strength fuels me yet again. She keeps on forcing my cracked skull into the tree, making the water around us a deep, deep red. Our blood mixes together. We are literally drowning in our own blood. Another one of my nightmares.
My sword. I still have my sword. Even though I can't feel my hand, I demand for it to grip the sword anyway. Even though I can't feel my arm, I demand for it to drive the sword through Devi's rib cage. Her hand stops. Her eyes glaze over. Her body sinks. A loud BOOM ripples through the water. Somewhere on the surface, I hear trumpets and loud cheers.
I'm not relieved. I'm not happy. I know I should be, I've won, but I can't. I can't celebrate.
Things will never be the same again. I'll never be okay. I will never win.
A metal claw submerges into the water and entraps me, bringing me up. The light on the surface beckons me, calls to me. I surrender to it, letting the innocent white light take me away from the darkness that surrounds me. The beautiful boy I remember that I love is there, in the whiteness, waiting for me.