Don't hate me for it being late my brother moved to Korea this week and in the last month we were preparing like a bunch of crazies... Here you are darling
It's like a hard shove, quick but powerful. One moment I'm sitting up right looking over my work. Suddenly I'm shoved forward so hard I break through the housing unit.
First I feel myself fall on my face, then I rebound to the ground. I feel small rocks push into my skin and scrape my skin from the ground, that I can notice is flying around me.
The next thing I feel is debris clatter on top of me. I'm in too much shock to move for quite some time. It takes me a few moments to move, I push up on my arms and feel planks of splintered wood slide off of me. All of this happens before I even have a moment to think.
When I turn around I see the entire camp disintegrated, small flames here and there. Something in the air fading in the distance. The Capitol must have bombed us. I feel my right side begin to soak with blood as I stare out at the ruins of our base.
My eyes scan the dark mounds of the camp. The only lights come from the flames scattered about and those die quickly leaving only the dim glow of burned wood.
I'm not sure how long I just sit half in ruble and half free. I don't even think as I sit there. I can't allow myself to think. When dawn arrives, and the dusky sky purples I finally stand. I take a deep breath, instantly regretting that decision. I smell burning flesh. The haunting lingering scent of death.
The skin on my side tugs in displeasure. I wince as I turn away from the scene. I begin to walk quickly into the forest. I desperately need to leave, for no other reason than just to get away from the ruins. Maybe I had been waiting for help. But no one ever contacted us at base. We were a testing yard why would they contact us first? It became more and more apparent to me that there were no other survivors to join me. I'd have to find help on my own.
I climb through the forest and question which way to turn. What should I do? Where should I go? I'm so out of my element here and I only realize this now. Was I always this lost? Was I always so helpless?
Eventually I can't take the pain of walking any longer and I sit against a tree. I heave to keep myself breathing, I have to think clearly in order to get myself anywhere. As of now I won't get anywhere. Not with a frazzled mind like mine.
I know that out here I kept a bow and quiver in a tree just like back in Twelve. I just can't think about where it is. I know there's a river somewhere close by, but again I can't remember where.
I sit and listen to the day crawl past me, trying to breathe enough, trying to formulate any plan at all.
At noon I pull myself together and find the tree where I'd kept my bow. Then I find the river and drink from it thirstily.
After I've drunk my fill I clean the gash on my side. Then I stand and again make my way through the woods, only this time aimlessly and praying for a miracle.
I listen to the eerie fuzz from my ear piece as I trudge through the forest. Maybe someone will contact me, maybe they'll find me.
I doubt this, but some times hopes are a bit ridiculous. I can't honestly tell you how many days pass with me wandering around trying to find another base. District two is not that big, it should not be as hard as it is.
I attempt to navigate my way through the dense forests but I feel like I'm taking every wrong turn possible.
It must have been days since the bombing. I'm lucky I can provide for myself out here. Lucky it's summer and I can't possibly freeze to death.
Around mid afternoon I slump against a tree and cup my face. "Where do I go now?" I ask myself out loud, "I can't keep wandering around like this."
I sigh and tune back into the fuzzing of my ear piece. I press down on it so it stops, "If anyone can hear me... I'm safe."
No response. After a few more moments I get up and continue making my way through the forest. I start thinking, I wonder if anyone in Thirteen knows about the bomb. If they know I'm wandering in the middle of no where.
What will mom do if she thinks I'm dead? What about Peeta or Gale? What will Prim think?
My thoughts are broken by a rustling in the bushes. I don't jump, I look over curiously. I walk slowly to it and hear what sounds like a low whine.
I pull back some of the branches to see a glob of white. It has leaves stuck to it leading me to believe it's a fabric of some sort.
I move more branches out of the way and pull it out. What the hell could it be? It's heavier than I expected. And it's moving. The hell?
I finally unwrap the white cloth and to my surprise, I find a tiny person. By that I mean I find a baby.
The child looks to be at least eight months old and stares at me with light brown eyes the color of tanned leather. It has a mess of dark curls piled on its head and what looks like dog tags around its neck, 'Flint'. That's what the name reads.
What is an eight month old doing out in the middle of no where? Does that mean that I'm close to a camp? Will it even be a rebel camp?
There's a note that is folded up tight in the cloth the child has been wrapped in.
"Um... Hi?... Little one." I say not knowing what to do. As if I didn't before. I move the child into my arms so I can pull out the note that'd fallen into my lap.
To whom it may concern,
I'm writing this note because I have no where else to turn. I had this baby too young for anyone to become a mother, and he deserves more than I can offer. I'm keeping him alive and away from the harsh place he would have otherwise called home. I'm keeping him alive for as long as I'm able, but soon there won't be anything I can do for him. If you're reading this please don't think I'm a cruel woman for abandoning my son out here, I'm not even old enough to be a woman. This boy was conceived so I could feed my family, I'm only fourteen now, and at his conception I was only thirteen years old. These are dangerous times, a war is coming we know there is. There's a Quell taking only mothers now, and so I'd told the world he was still born. There was no other way for me to protect my family, I'm their only provider. Please just take care of my little boy, that's all I ask. His name is Flint and he's a good quiet little boy. He's not sick and he's got good blood. Please take care of him. That's all a mother can ask for.
The note ends there, how was anyone supposed to just happen upon a baby? Well, I guess I have just now. But how would you just expect someone to find your baby?
I feel sympathy for the mother of this child, as I think about what the note entailed. She'd become a prostitue so she could feed her family. Something I would have done had I not already known how to hunt.
I know what it's like to be the sole provider for your family. I know what it feels like to have no other options. And even to think about a thirteen year old sleeping around for money is a horrible thing. To conceive at thirteen is downright unthinkable.
"I guess I found a new ally huh?" Flint looks at me curiously. I wrap him back up in the cloth and tuck the note back in with him.
I perch him on the side of me that isn't cut up, before I start walking.
As I walk with this little boy... I just start talking and you know what I don't even know what about. Words just fall out of my face and I don't mean to say them. They just happen to come out of my mouth.
As I realize I've just been talking until sunset I sigh, "I need to get a grip." Then Flint leans his head on my shoulder and snuggles closer to me.
I look down at his tired little figure. He's probably scared right now. He's probably scared, and tired, and maybe even hungry.
I have a little bit of food from before I found him, so I find myself sitting at the base of a tree and pulling it out. Rabbit meat may be a bit tough but I don't have anything else. I wipe off the head of one of my arrows and cut it up into tiny pieces. I put a very little bit into his tiny hand.
He looks at me expectantly so I put my hand over my mouth. He puts it in his mouth and swishes it around before swallowing. I do this a few times until he's eaten all I had left.
I find a tree with low hanging branches and tie two ends of his blanket to make a little cradle. I'll be sleeping below him for the night. I pick him up and put him in it as the makeshift cradle swings back and forth.
I can't think of anything else to do so I lull him to sleep, "Hush-a-bye baby, night is falling fast. Hush-a-bye baby, the day could never last. Hush-a-bye baby, lay down your sleepy head. Hush-a-bye baby let sleep lay in your bed.
"Hush-a-bye baby the morn will come again. Hush-a-bye baby the night will always en'. Hush-a-bye baby you're safe right here with me. Hush-a-bye baby drift to dreams full of glee.
"Hush-a-bye baby your dreams will soon be true as long as you remember that I love you." He's asleep just as my song finishes I can lay down and breathe for a moment. What the hell did I get myself into? What am I going to do now? I have a kid to protect...
As I slump against the tree and my side wound pulls I'm suddenly very afraid that I'll never make it home. I close my eyes and slowly lift my hand to my fuzzing ear piece, " If anyone is there. I'm still alive." No response comes so the fuzz of soundless airwaves lull me to sleep.
I wake up to a small wailing of a baby. I temporarily forget that I'd picked up Flint the other day. I pick him up out of the make shift cradle and rock him gently as I used to when Prim was small.
The moment his eyes open and they lay on me he stops crying. I crack a smile in return for his golden silence. I bounce him a bit more before packing us up and walking farther into the woods.
I put him down a couple of times so I can hunt. Each time I manage to snag something he starts trying to crawl off. Each time I have to pick him and then collect my kills.
I only get two squirrels but that's not as bad as it could be.
We soon develop a system of sorts. I leave him in a makeshift cradle while I hunt. I'll pull him down and feed him while we walk through the woods. At night I set up his bed and lull him to sleep with the same lullaby.
During one afternoon I stumble upon a river. It's an opportune time to take a break. I settle down and begin to cook the game when Flint tries crawling into the river. I have a mini heart attack as I see water run over his head.
I sprint into the river and grab him. Once I've pulled him to my chest he starts laughing. He claps his little hands as he giggles, flicking water into my eyes. I can't help but laugh with him.
"You little stinker." I laugh. "Ugh!" I walk back to the bank of the river and set him down in the shallow area. I watch him carefully as he splashes around in the water. I have a smile on my face as he plays.
Innocence can exist even in a world like this. Even in a war torn world there are still children who can play away the day.
It seems to be an endless cycle of just looking for what feels like nothing at all. Walking aimlessly to find the rebels. Time has escaped me. But every night I lean against a tree with Flint above me in his bed and I press on my ear piece. I say the same thing each time.
"If anyone is there. I'm still alive." Each time I'm met with the fuzz of a dropped signal. Everyday Flint remains calm and happy. He keeps me sane in a twisted way.
Like any normal night I lull him till he's asleep . I slide down the tree I'd picked for resting against and I press on my ear piece.
"If anyone is there. I'm still alive."
Only this time I hear something, "Where are you?"