Chapter 15 – Day 8 – 10 Tributes

In the morning, the birds awaken me once again. There are less of them this time, but their chirps are just as loud, it seems. Delly remains silent. I doubt she'll talk to me this whole day. However, I tell her to get up, and we walk around to find food and water as if nothing's wrong again.

I question where we are in my head. When the birds attacked, there was such confusion that I really cannot tell where we're walking towards and away from. The fact that the terrain of the forest changes constantly doesn't help the situation.

We continue walking, though, for an hour or two. The sun is bright and the weather is warm, warmer then it's been in a while. I look at Delly every so often. She's staring straight ahead, keeping her thoughts to herself. I want to help her get her mind off of Jack, but I have no way to do so. Do I talk to her? Do I cook a meal for her? The answer I do not know.

As we walk, the trees begin to stand more scattered, and the ground finally becomes flat. The trees are still bare, their brown leaves crunching beneath us in the grass. Then, the trees stop, and there's a fifty foot clearing in the trees and then nothing. The ground mysteriously ends. I find out that there's a cliff that just falls and falls and falls for hundreds of feet, a cliff that would kill you if you fell off it. This is the barrier of the arena. Looking ahead, there are lush green mountains and clouds but there's also no way of getting to them.

Delly picks up a rock from the ground and speaks for the first time in hours.

"I wonder if something happens down there."

"What do you mean?"

"You know, with the guy in the Second Quarter Quell."

I have no idea what she's talking about, so I giver her a blank stare.

"The one that threw the rock down to the barrier and it bounced back up to him?"

I keep giving her a blank stare.

"It's how he won." She drops the rock straight down. It falls and falls down the hundreds of feet but before it can even get close to reaching the bottom, it dissolves into a mist of sparks and makes a sharp zapping noise.

Delly and I stand there just looking at the bottom of the cliff. Wind blows my hair into my face and I realize how greasy and dirty it is. I tell Delly that we should find a place with water again. She agrees and we walk the opposite direction, keeping careful to know where the end of the arena is so we have a sense of location.

Eventually, we find a pond much like the one I used for a while but a bit larger. Delly scoops some water into her bottle and then we both scrub down our arms and then we wash our hair. By then it's almost dark, so we walk around separately and try to look for food. I come back with a rabbit and she comes back with berries.

"I tried using my bow," she says to me "but I'm still not so great at aiming."

"You'll get better." I reassure her. Our conversations have been small talk like this since the arena barrier. She's still upset about Jack, you can hear it in her voice and see it in her eyes.

We eat a good meal tonight. I'm somehow able to make a fire on my own without Delly's help, so we cook the rabbit and have most of the berries. We leave some left over meat and fruit for tomorrow, in case we run out of food. Delly stomps out the fire and I lay down with the smell of smoke in my nose.

The two of us lay side by side. It's not even late yet but we're both tired. Tired of walking, tired of being upset. The sky is almost black and the stars are finally visible. Tonight, I fall asleep before the anthem plays, but I know no one else has died.