Special Thanks: When I started writing Inferno it was the first time I ever tried writing fanfiction of any kind. And with stories that are this long it gets harder and harder to catch every grammar mistake, so I would like to take a moment and thank those who had helped me back when I was first starting out. These are the brave souls who volunteered as tribute and took the time to help me review the first few chapters of Part I.
Thanks to the 12 Betas of Panem Mockingjay Wolf, Katnissinme, Orange Ninja Attack, The Slytherin From District 4, Team Clove, Total Zaya Girl 14, Storm Winds 21, District 5 and Real-Always-Erised, KK St Jimmy, THGFAN101 and Guitar Guy 8181.
This is not real. I do not own the Hunger Games Universe or any of Suzanne Collins' characters. This is strictly just for fun, and what I thought could be a good start for continuing Suzanne Collins' trilogy. I was a huge fan of the first two, but felt the finale of the series was a bit anticlimactic, which is why I came up with a way to continue it. Inferno is my attempt at writing a fourth installment in the Hunger Games series. In total the story consists of 22 chapters and is divided into 3 parts, much like the books in the original series. Each of these parts is captured under a separate fic (The Awakening, The Mockingjays and The Mountain.)
P.S. This is my first fanfic. I have never written fan fiction before, or much of any fiction for that matter, so constructive criticism is encouraged. ** If you have not read the first 3 books, then there will be spoilers so please take that into consideration. **
Part I: The Awakening
Breathing in the crisp autumn air, I anticipate the scent of pine, the fragrance of freshly fallen leaves along with the sweetness from what few remaining flowers bloom by the meadow. Instead there is nothing. The air is clean and pure, yet somehow feels artificial. I raise my bow; taking aim at a nearby squirrel, which then vanishes into thin air. Something isn't right. Is my mind playing games with me?
"There are much worse games to play." I hear my voice utter the phrase, but do not feel the words leave my lips.
Further into the woods, I stumble over a large tree root. Falling forward into a bed of sharp stones and twigs, I know I must have sliced my hands open. But again my senses deceive me. No pain. No blood. Not even a scratch.
Nothing is as it should be. All day long I've had this terrible feeling. Earlier I even thought I heard voices calling my name. There is this unusual awareness of someone, or something following me. Almost as though a strange presence has tethered itself to me, and is constantly lingering over my shoulder. I can't see it, but I know it's come for me. I'm within its grasp and yet I can't break free. I'm not sure why. It seems pointless to try and get away. Not that I haven't tried. This morning, I ran through the woods for hours, diving under branches and ducking behind trees. Still I was unable to escape its reach.
Pushing these thoughts from my mind, I convince myself that it's nothing. I finish my morning hunt. I trade my game at the Hob in the afternoon. Then at last I come home to a loving husband and two beautiful children. Everything should be perfect. At home I sit and watch Peeta's attempts at teaching the kids how to bake a raspberry cake. They make a mess of the kitchen, but together their laughter fills the house with so much joy. Still, I can't shake this uneasy feeling that it's all about to be stolen away.
By nightfall I feel sick. The scent of roses fills the air. Not the primroses we planted for my sister. White roses… His roses.
Nauseated, I lift myself from the bed. That's when I see it. Smoke. The house is on fire. Throwing the sheets away from myself, I shake Peeta awake and yell for him to get the kids. A look of panic crosses his face, and he rushes into the other room.
I try to stand, but my legs refuse to budge. I don't know why, but I can't feel my legs at all. Paralyzed, it's as if they've frozen to the bed. I know it's not out of shock. I've faced fire before, but this is different. The fire moves with purpose. The flames climb across the room, straight for me, and now the bed is on fire. I scream for Peeta, but there is no response. As I continue to scream, my lungs fill with the smoke. A smoke that smells of white roses, and tastes of blood. A chill rushes up my spine when I hear the voice. A voice I know all too well. A voice that, rightfully, should be dead. Snow.
"You've created a spark that left unattended may grow to an inferno. It's time to get up now, girl on fire."
I must be dreaming. I have to be. I don't know why, but it feels more real than my usual nightmares. The room has transformed to the point where the bed looks like it's afloat on a sea of flames. Finally the fire consumes the bed and I wake.
It was just a dream.
End of Prologue
M. Cooper Jinks