What's up, dewdrops? Sorry for the wait! School started last week and I am up to my head in homework. But don't worry! The story will continue as planned. So finally, here's chapter twelve!
Chapter Twelve: Hooked
It was hard to tell what time it was. Probably midnight. I had first watch, so I hadn't gotten a single minute of sleep since the night before. Not that I cared. Someone had to look for straying tributes. Of course, nobody would dare touch the Careers, because they would be dead before they could even lift their weapon. It kinda made things simpler on us. But I wouldn't be able to sleep anyways.
There had been so much on my mind lately that I just can't handle. Perhaps it was my alliance with Katniss, or the fact that I was being effected by the pressure of the Games. After all, it had been at least two weeks and there were still four other tributes out there, aside from the Career pack. After they were finished off, it would be time to turn on my allies. Though I'm still not sure about it.
If there was one thing I would never be able to do is kill Clove. She's my best friend, I guess you could say, and my training partner. So hopefully she will be able to either kill me or maybe even die herself before she gets the chance. Of course, I don't want her to die. I'm not wishing death upon her. But I want to win too. It's not something I will give up so easily.
If I had to chose between life or death, I would pick life. Even if the world was messed up at the moment.
Adding wood to the fire, I let the heat lap at my chilled skin to warm up. It was a pretty cold night, and so it was necessary to have something warm to heat you up. I was a little colder than I should be, mainly because I wasn't wearing my jacket or using my sleeping bag.
About an hour ago I noticed Katniss shivering like no tomorrow. It was kind of depressing, to be honest. So I decided what any gentleman, in the Hunger Games, would do, and give her some warmth. Okay... well maybe I'm taking this alliance a bit to far, but I just want to be nice. I guess. I'm not that cold. I mean, I have the fire, and loads of muscle mass to keep me warm. I'll be fine.
A small groan came from the sleeping girl opposite of me, and I could faintly make out the flickering of her eyelids from the light of the fire. Katniss stretched out a little bit, yawning lightly. She wasn't entirely awake, but it was obvious that she was not in such a deep sleep anymore.
"Cato...?" She whispered, opening one eye slightly to glance up at me with an expression filled with fatigue. A grin spreads across my features, and honestly I have no idea why. Running my fingers through my tousled blonde hair, I let out a brief sigh.
"You're up. It's only been a few hours."
She nods, pushing herself into a sitting position. Her hair had fallen out of it's braid and now draped over her shoulder in waves. It framed her face in a way that gave her sleepy face more life. "Yeah... I was having a pretty good dream too."
In a place like this, good dreams aren't really something you want to lose. It's meant to be held onto. Because for the most part, the kids you kill come back to haunt you in nightmares that feel so real. Yeah, okay. I do regret killing people. It's not the best job in the world. But come on. How else am I supposed to get out of here?
"Really? What about?" It was a snoopy question to ask, but I couldn't help but wonder. I don't get dream that often.
"Prim." Katniss smiles softly, glancing at the ground.
Nodding, she looks back at me beneath her lashes, "We were in the meadow, playing with her goat, Lady, and cat, Buttercup. It was spring, so the flowers were blooming and the birds were singing again. There was a picnic, with a loaf of bread that Gale had traded for and sunflower seeds I found in the far corner of the District. It may seem like so little to you, but in Twelve, that was a whole Thanksgiving dinner. My dad was there..."
Her face dropped as she began to talk about her father, and I suddenly felt a pang of sorrow, even though I had never heard a peep about him. Though from her expression and tone of voice, I could tell it wasn't pretty.
"He was singing to us, harmonizing with the mockingjays. Just like he always did. It was wonderful."
I sigh, showing the sympathy a Career wasn't supposed to have. But how could I not feel sorry for the girl? It wasn't too hard to figure out that she didn't have a father anymore. And to be frank, I didn't feel like asking. It wasn't a topic to bring up in the middle of the Games.
Before I could even reply, two consecutive cannons went off, followed by a furious yell. It was deep and manly, so there was no doubt it was Thresh, from Eleven. Katniss gasped as she looked to the darkened sky, two faces appearing beside each other. The little one... and Marvel.
I automatically assumed she was upset about Marvel, so I snatched up my new sword and stood up. "You up for a late night hunt?"
"Clove, where are we going?" I rush to catch up with the superior Career, clutching my spear tightly. We had been walking for hours, and she was the only one with the night vision glasses, so I had no idea where we were. It was kind of annoying too, if you ask me.
She huffs, turning around so sharply her pony tail smacks me in the face. I grunt, rubbing my forehead and giving her an angered look. "For the last time, you idiot. We're going back to the base. Cato and what's her face will most likely be there."
I roll my eyes, walking passed her while mumbling incoherent curses. What a horrible day. And not just because I am stuck in the middle of an arena, filled the the brim with kids who want to kill me. I have been drenched to the bone, witnessed Caterina get impales by a rock, gotten attacked by a squirrel (I think), and am getting lipped off by miss better-than-you. All I want to do is get out of here.
Please and thank you.
I was made to win this thing. I can do it. It should be a piece of cake, honestly. All I have to do is murder everyone. How hard could it be? I have learned to fight since I was ten. Of course I dropped a year or two, but I got right back into it. I'm sure I didn't miss anything important.
"You better watch where you're going." I come to a halt as the words escape Clove's mouth, she herself coming to stand beside me. Giving her an odd look, I watch whilst she breaks off a limb from a tree and throws it on the ground. It seemed like a joke, and I almost broke out in laughter and kept moving, but then the limb sunk down, slowly but surely, and didn't return to the surface.
She gives me a satisfied smirk. "Quicksand."
Okay, so now I owe her big time. I don't understand Clove. She's so bipolar. One moment she hates me, and the next she's saving my life. I mean, I know Two is big on alliances and trust and stuff, but I'm not a big part of the Career pack. I'm just here. So why save me?
"Thanks, I gu-" My sentence is cut short by the rustling of tree leaves only a few meters from us. I get into a defensive position, prowling around the quicksand and towards the area where the sound came from. As usual, Clove and I split up. Apparently this way of hunting is more effective... for her. Whatever.
The air falls still, my breaths the only thing heard. Stalking forwards, my eyes darting from tree to tree. There was something, or someone, out there. I could feel it's presence like the wispy wind on the back of my neck. My grip on my spear tightens, ready for a split second reaction. Ready to defend myself or else destroy a life.
Snap. A branch falls to the ground about two yards away from me. Gotcha. I run quickly to where it fell, my cold eyes searching the branches. It seemed like hours, the two of us, me and whoever was trying so hard to blend in, just staring each other down. Well, I wasn't technically staring at them, but it felt like it.
Another rustle was heard, and a dark figure leaped quickly from the tree and into another. But before they could even land, I hand already loosed my spear, and it was sailing towards the small person. A thud came from that direction, and then it was followed by another when the kid hit the ground.
"Bulls eye." Chuckling, I strut proudly over to the dying tribute. It was a small girl, maybe about eleven or twelve years old. I think I had seen her before in training, her name was Rue. I didn't think she'd actually make it this far. After all, she was just a little kid.
Rue whimpered, her eyes filled with tears as she looked up at my with deep brown irises. The poor girl didn't have a chance. Just another tribute to fall victim to the Careers. Unlucky her.
Just for kicks and possibly more sponsors, I cruelly yank the spear out of her back, earning me a piercing shriek of pain from the little one. Man, I love my job. Although I am not as brutal as Cato and Clove, I can have my moments.
A growl comes from behind me, low and filled with anger. "You. You killed the girl."
I swivel around, readying my blood covered spear for an attack. Behind me, the dying girl whispered something to the big one, but I was too busy worrying to listen in on it. I was dead meat. Clove, this would be a great time to show up with that perfect aim of yours.
There was no reaction time. One second I was alive and healthy, the next I was in a pool of quicksand with a gash in my chest. My breath hitched, pain burning away at the nerves in my body. My head was screaming, and I couldn't feel my legs anymore. The sand had reached my neck, and I was pretty sure I wasn't getting out of this one.
I can't really say I've had a good life. It was full of anger, blood, and hatred. So no, I'm afraid I won't miss life. Even in Hell, which I am pretty sure isn't a good place. But at least I'll be out of these Games. Not in the way that I would have liked, but hey, out is out, right?
The last thing I heard before the sand swallowed me whole wasn't exactly something you would want to hear on your death bed. Clove, standing on the edge of the pit, laughed maniacally as she watched me disappear into the earth.
"It's about time."
Sorry it was so short. I'll make it up to you. Hope you're having a great Labor Day!
~ Charlotte :)