I'm on a frosting sailboat, tossed around by blue-green waves, the deck shifting beneath my feet.
Slowly, with many lost days, I come back to life.
You can't miss your schedule. Every morning, you're supposed to stick your right arm in this contraption in the wall. It tattoos the smooth inside of your forearm with your schedule for the day in a sickly purple ink. 7:00-Breakfast. 7:30-Kitchen Duties. 8:30-Education Center, Room 17. And so on. The ink is indelible until 22:00-Bathing
Hope is the only thing stronger than fear.
It's old, very old I think. Made up long ago in our hills. What my music teacher calls a mountain air. But the words are easy and soothing, promising tomorrow will be more hopeful than this awful piece of time we call today.
She must have had bad dreams and climbed in with our mother. Of course, she did. This is the day of the reaping.
When I break into the clearing, she's on the ground, hopelessly entangled in a net. She just has the time to reach her hand through the mesh and say my name before the spear enters her body.
Great. Now I have to go back and tell Haymitch I want an eighty-year-old and Nuts and Volts for my allies. He'll love that.
Katniss, there is no District Twelve...
You could live a hundred lifetimes and not deserve him, you know
He never lets go of Annie's hand. Not when they walk, not when they eat. I doubt he ever plans to.
Knowing it and seeing it are two different things.
There's a chance that the old Peeta, the one who loves you, is still inside. Trying to get back to you. Don't give up on him.
Besides, it's the first gift that's always the hardest to pay back. I wouldn't even have been here to do it if you hadn't helped me then.
I reach out to touch his cheek and he catches my hand and presses it against his lips.
May the odds be ever in your favor!
That should have been my strategy! By the time I've worked through the emotions of surprise, admiration, anger, jealousy, and frustration, I'm watching that reddish mane of hair disappear into the trees well out of shooting range.
You're not going to die. I forbid it.
I had to do that. At least once.
Right before the explosions begin, I find a star.
As I descend the stairs, I can't help brushing my fingers along the unblemished white marble walls. So cold and beautiful. Even in the Capitol, there's nothing to match the magnificence of this old building. But there is no give to the surface - only my flesh yields, my warmth taken. Stone conquers people every time.
I swing my arms to loosen myself up. Place my fists on my hips. then drop them to my sides. Saliva's filling my mouth at a ridiculous rate and i feel vomit at the back of my throat. I swallow hard and open my lips so I can get the stupid line out and go hide in the woods and-that's when i start crying.
Never underestimate the power of a brillian stylist.
Underground. Which I hate. Like mines and tunnels and 13. Underground, where I dread dying, which is stupid because even if I die aboveground, the next thing they'll do is bury me underground anyway.
Each time I wake,I think, At last, this is over, but it isn't.
I'm in a shallow hole, not filled with the humming orange bubbles of my hallucination but with old, dead leaves.
Oh, and I suppose the apples ate the cheese.
There's no point in comforting words, in telling her she'll be all right. She's no fool. Her hand reaches out and I clutch it like a lifeline. As if it's me who's dying instead of Rue.
Because I'm selfish. I'm a coward. I'm the kind of girl who, when she might actually be of use, would run to stay alive and leave those who couldn't follow to suffer and die.
I'm not prepared for Rue's family. Her parents, whose faces are still fresh with sorrow. Her fiver younger siblings, who resemble her so closely. The slight builds, the luminous brown eyes. They form a flock of small dark birds.
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