Ampere Henry, 14 and Austin Hexson, 18

~District 5 Tributes

daydreamer626 & MCPBN

...

—Austin—

The next morning, there's no pain...well, not exactly none, but I feel about 89.9 percent normal; the other 10.1 percent is from the cold, mostly dreariness and congestion.

I crawl out of the snowbank, deciding to try and walk. I am amazed to find that I can, only with a small limp.

I make it to Ampere's watch point, and see her sitting on the ground with snow on her face, which is almost drained of color while her lips have a bluish tint. She's basically sleeping with her eyes open. A wave of guilt rushes through me as I realize that she probably hasn't slept since before the Games.

I shake her shoulder, causing her to start. I bring a hand across her mouth, and she struggles till she recognizes me.

"What the hell were you thinking, grabbing me like that? I thought you were the enemy!"

I don't take it to heart, though. Humans react with rage when they're chronically sleep–deprived. "I'm sorry, I should have woken you a different way," I reply. "I'm feeling a lot better. Why don't you let me handle things?" I motion to the sleeping bag behind me.

"No, you need the rest," Ampere argues, but follows me to it.

"Look." I open my coat, grab her knife, and cut the bandages off my side. There's just a small red spot instead of the red, black, and blue burnt patch it used to have.

Ampere nods. "Fine. But you have to take another dose of medicine."

I pour a spoonful. Imagine the taste of gizzards and you have it. I gag more than once as it slides down my throat, and then smile at Ampere. She simply collapses in front of the snowbank, then rolls in.

I fix the sleeping bag around her, before walking over to the pack, which is hanging from a tree branch. My wire and gloves are inside, and at the bottom I find my battery. I hope all the power hasn't gone out of it yet. I set it in the sun to charge, then sit at Ampere's watch point.

I hastily begin making my whip.

First, I cut the wire into about ten three–foot pieces. Then I cut one of them into twelve three–inch pieces.

I slit the lining of a rubber glove, and poke five of the three–inch wires into each finger hole. I do the same with the other glove in case I lose or accidentally destroy one.

I bend and twist the nine three–foot wires until they're flexible enough to wind around someone. I roll them up, and put all but one in the pack—the last I wrap around my belt loop; it holds at my side.

I look into the distance. It took me about an hour and a half to complete that, so it's around noon. It's snowing, but not too hard.

A perfect time to build a trap.

—Ampere—

Someone blasts a cannon right next to my ears. At least, that's what it sounds like. "Whaaa...?" I sit up quickly, and most of my body heat evaporates as the sleeping bag falls off, exposing me to the icy air.

Austin is guarding; I only know this because his blond hair clashes with the bush he's hidden behind. It's early evening, and only now do I realize someone else has died. That makes nine...

I push myself to my feet, and lay the sleeping bag neatly in the trench.

"Had a nice nap?"

I jump and turn to see Austin looking at me with a small smirk.

"Is it that obvious?" I ask sarcastically, and his smirk gets bigger. "Who do you think died just now?"

"With luck, one of the Careers," he replies, turning his attention back to the area in front of him.

I see that he built some kind of electric whip. So that's what his supplies are for.

"Austin?" I call after a few minutes.

"Hmm?"

"We should move somewhere else tomorrow. We need to find a water source and the Careers might find us soon."

"What's to say we won't be closer to them if we move?" I see his concern. Careers aren't known for their mercy. If we run into them, the girl from 2 would no doubt want to torture me for making her look stupid on national television.

"There's no guarantee we'll miss them altogether," I explain after a minute, trying to banish the possibility of a slow, agonizing death. "Besides, only nine people have died so far. That seems a little low for the Capitol. If we move, we might run into someone else. But we also might find a river or lake or something."

Austin considers this. We've been melting snow in our mouths for water since the Games started, and it's been just enough to keep us from dying of dehydration. But it won't last forever. And we might find plants or fish to eat with the rabbit.

Hearing the anthem, we look up to confirm Trevon from 11 as today's cannon.

"So...we'll leave in the morning?" I ask, then continue without waiting for an answer, "Great, now I think it's my turn to keep watch, so you can just—"

"Nice try, but no," Austin says, gripping my shoulders and steering me to the trench. "You have to get more sleep."

"Who said I was tired?" I reply, trying to stifle a yawn. Sleep sounds nice.

"You just did."

"No, I had to say that or you'd be wondering what it was I was trying to say."

"Huh?"

"Forget it," I say, twisting out of Austin's grip and stepping away from him. "Point is, I can help you."

"You can help me by getting sleep."

"I can help you by watching your back."

"Says the girl who hasn't slept in three days."

As if to further prove his point, I yawn for an abnormally long period of time. Defeated, I walk over and watch him zip up the sleeping bag. He gives it to me and I step into it, then lay my head on the pillow and almost immediately fall asleep.