Hello everyone! This is my latest project that I've been working months on.
I want to thank my lovely friend, Shelby, for all her support, editing skills, and encouragement to write this fic. I would also like to thank HGRomance for the inspiration on writing this. You both are just fabulous people!
I hope you enjoy, and please tell me what you think!
Come and take a walk on the wild side
Let me kiss you hard in the pouring rain
You like your girls insane
Choose your last words
This is the last time
Cause you and I, we were born to die
-"Born to Die", Lana Del Rey
A fly buzzes through the small window that is perched above my cot and my eyes follow it around the tiny cell I have reluctantly declared my home for the past month. The morning heat is scorching already, drops of sweat dripping down my face, my neck, my thighs. I scoot down the cot, hoping my prison garb will roll up to release some body heat, but all it does is cling tightly to my body, giving me no hope of comfort.
I suppose this is what I deserve for all my crimes, for all I've done.
God, it's so damn hot.
The buzzing irritates me, grating at my nerves like nails to a chalkboard. With nothing else to do, my eyes continue to follow the insect as it buzzes around until at last, it lands on my knee cap, its small legs tickling me, and I shoo it away, annoyed now that this stupid fly is flaunting its freedom at me. Go away, I tell it. Go away and let me be, to let me mourn my losses, my guilt. It does leave, leaving my cage to places I am far too big explore.
The air is stagnant, rancid of mildew and vomit. The rising heat only increases the smell and all I want to do is sink into the cool cement ground, or better yet, all I want is to see him at least one more time.
Where were they?
Where was he?
I sit up, cracking my back, and look around the shadowed cell. My cell only gets sunlight in the morning, another punishment added on for my crimes, I suppose. I sigh, bored already, and pick at my jagged nails until my pinkie starts to bleed.
Another day in this hellhole and still no sign.
Wasn't a month long enough to repent my sins?
I close my eyes, trying to remember the taste of his mouth, the feel of his hands as they would grab my waist and pull me in… I force the thoughts out, not wanting to give these guards anything to use against me.
The urge to pee arrives and my legs feel like jelly, the heat making me lazy, as I stumble to the far right corner to take a piss. The sounds of life start to fill the jailhouse; girls waking up, asking when they would be let out into the courtyard for good behavior, for paper to write home, and I snort, knowing full well if I asked for anything the only answer I'd get is a flat no. I finish and count the small markings I've created on the wall to tally how long I've been here. Forty-three days and counting.
Where was he?
Whistling echoes down the hall and I push myself up, brushing my skirt down before the annoying redhead pops his head into view. I stand there, skinny legged and awkward, as his grubby eyes search me up and down. His eyes zero in on my unbuttoned top, showing a bit more skin than a lady my mother raised me to be should.
If I had my shot gun…
I don't trust him, not after hearing all the noises he makes girls around my cell make. He needs to rot in hell. He asks me what a beautifully hot morning it is. I force my face to not react, knowing that's what he wants, and climb back onto my cot, wrapping my arms around my legs, emotionless.
"Crime ain't worth it," he teases, his voice higher than an average man's voice. He runs his chubby hand along the rusted bars and grins a crooked grin. "Is it, Miss Everdeen?" He's not worth my time. All my time and effort needs to be focused on breaking out of here, because surely the gang is coming for me soon. Something must have happened to make them stay low for awhile. "I know you talk," he argues, getting annoyed with my silent treatment. "I've heard ya!"
Sweaty pig, I judge, watching him wipe at his forehead with a yellowing hankie. I may not know the exact time, but I do know it's not that hot to be sweating so much yet.
The guard gets fed up and leaves, muttering profanities under his breath. A smile plays at my lips; messing with the guards always giving me a small thrill in my now monotonous life. Was this how boring my life had been before life on the run, how dull and boring? It's worse than death, I decide. I hear the guard telling someone else about how "stubborn" and "uncooperative" I am, and I think, good, let them be frustrated. It's not my fault men have the patience of a small child. They're just mad that even though I'm imprisoned, a convict, I still hold power over them. It pisses them off, really.
The fly returns, and I watch it from my cot again, my eyes following its every twist and turn. What would it feel like to be able to fly anywhere I wanted, as something everyone despised, sickened by its very presence? I can relate to that. The fly continues to buzz until it finds the freedom of my window.
Not wanting to let it go just yet, I push myself up to the window, my weight crushing my toes as I stretch as far as my height will take me, and reach to catch the thing. Just an inch. That's how much it's out of my reach. My toes start to scream to take the weight off, but I can't seem to be able to give up on this fly. So close to freedom. So close. If only I could shrink myself like in the comics Finnick would sometimes bring back to our hideouts. If only I could fly away like all the other insects that visit me.
The insect leaves me, much like everything else in my life, and I'm left staring out at the barren surroundings around the jailhouse. The sun makes my eyes start to water, but I can't seem to take my attention away from the dull, brown grass, dead from too much sunlight and not enough rain. Dirt blows in the wind, blowing at the dead plants in the far distance. It's depressing, upsetting seeing all this death in front of me, but it's hypnotizing seeing nature dwindling to nothing. My heart clenches at seeing all this death, sadly used to it by now, but it is so much better than staring at my 6 by 8 feet cage I am forced to see every time I open my eyes for another dull, hot day.
Did they abandon me?
Will I be imprisoned forever, only to be moved to the state prison until I die?
"No point tryin' ta escape," a guard grunts, causing me to drop to my cot in surprise. My greasy black hair curtains my face, guarding my scowl from him. This guard disgusts me as much as the redheaded one, but at least the redhead is scared of me. This man, the old guard with his beer gut and snow white mustache, isn't. He lurked around at night more than the redhead. Disgusting. All of them.
"No point," he continues proudly, sticking his gut out. Unlike so many I've met during the Depression, this man doesn't even look like he even knows what the feeling of starving to near death, of having to deny his own body the nutrients it needs to survive feels like. None of them probably do, if I was being honest. That's why they don't understand what us inmates go through. These guards don't know what desperation can make one do.
Drops of blood drips down my palms as my fists clench together, biting back a remark. I wish he would just leave me the hell alone. "We have you on high security, little missy." I hate when they call me that, like I'm some naive child. "Ain't no gettin' outta here," he hoots, his stomach shaking like jello.
That's laughable. "Maybe I'm not here," I smile sweetly, brushing my hair back to show him I wasn't afraid, even though my stomach kept doing unsettling turns as he continued to stare at me. "Maybe I escaped last night and you just don't know it."
I've surprised him and he doesn't know what to say for second. My smile grows more sickeningly sweet, knowing easy prey when I see it. "That stuff ain't real." His wrinkled face reddens.
"Maybe you're going insane," I taunt, getting up from my cot and stepping closer to him, trailing my hand against the wall. "There's places for that, you know. For people like you." He tells me to stay right where I am, threatening his gun on me, but I know he won't do anything. My lock-up has a bigger meaning than many of the inmates in this building. "Try shooting me," I challenge, holding both arms up in defeat. "Right eye, if you please."
I'm fooling around with him, knowing how much my taunting irks the man.
"I'm glad I'm your guard," he stutters, wrapping his pudgy hand around his pistol. "No one's goin' past me!"
"I got past you loads of times. What makes this time any different?" My smirk widens, patronizing him. "Don't you remember? We humiliated you pretty badly last time, if I recall."
"I can't wait to say I brought the infamous Katniss Everdeen to the chair," he sneers. "It's criminals like you that makes this job fulfilling!" His life must be dull if I bring excitement to it. "Just knowing I'm taking the likes of you out of here is a reward in itself."
"I'm flattered," I deadpan, bored of the conversation now.
I fall back onto the lumpy cot that smells of rancid milk and urine, massaging my oncoming headache. It's not even noon yet, or maybe it is and my ability to tell time from the sun is dwindling to nothing.
Where is he?
My senses are consumed once more of thoughts of him and my heart craves for his arms to hold me once more as we traveled across the state lines. I turn on my side, facing the wall, and ignore the guard's presence, my mind turning to his mocking tone and the way he sneered my name. The infamous Katniss Everdeen, he said. That's what everyone in the media has tokened to calling me. Not very creative, I snort, but many people aren't these days. All the stories, the lies they told about me, making me seem more important than I actually am. It's all so surreal.
Me, a wanted and captured criminal.
My life wasn't always worthy of the papers, though. No, I used to be a straight A student in Miners' Hill, Pennsylvania, happy, with my sweet little sister and doting parents. My childhood wasn't a harsh one compared to some, but it had it's ups and downs. It wasn't perfect. My family was far from perfect, but like every story, there has to be a starting point to it all, doesn't there?
Peeta Mellark, I decide, pulling the image of his blond curls and strong, muscular arms to the front of my mind. Before him my life was simple, my family getting by after the accident that changed us all, but we were getting by. We weren't happy, but whoever is these days?
Yes, it all started when Peeta Mellark shot into my life