Post-Mockingjay: The Capitol's Hunger Games
i made this a while ago when i was bored, as you can see. i don't update it much anymore but im editing what i already wrote in a word doc in my spare time, maybe i'll post it on a fanfic website (even though it's a bit cliche :P )
maybe i'll write another chapter eventually.
after i change the last one because it's depressingly rushed, from what i remember.
"It was your plan," Leo whispers. I roll my eyes.
"You approved of it," I counter.
"Whatever." Leo brushes the hair from his face. The face I thought to be so handsome before I knew Leo was a total jerk. Funny, how when you discover a person's true personality they seem less attractive. "Right now, that isn't the pressing issue."
He has a point there.
"Well, one of us could go to the other side of the lake before the table rises and distract Selina," I suggest.
"No, that's stupid. She'll know it's just a ruse to get you to the feast first."
"Well I haven't heard any better ideas. Now that I think about it, I haven't heard a single idea from you all day."
Leo scowls. "Fine," he grumbles. "I'll go. You wait here."
Slowly, he crawls back into the protective cover of the forest. Once he's out of hearing distance of the lake, he eases onto his feet and makes for the other end of the forest, leaving me alone.
Alone, at the edge of the woods, in front of who could be our biggest and most dangerous competitor yet.
The thought hits me like a punch in the gut, leaving a sinking feeling in my stomach that soon enough, she's going to hear me. Will she break my neck with her wrestling techniques, or slaughter me with her impressive collection of knives?
I spend the next hour panicking. Every time Selina looks up, I flinch. I shove my face into the dirt to stifle the sound of my breathing. I curl up into the fetal position and try to will myself out of the Games. None of this does me any good. I'm still in the arena, and the sound of my hyperventilation could probably be heard a mile away. Selina must think it's wind, or she would have come after me by now.
It's dusk now, and Leo still hasn't made an appearance. The table still hasn't risen from the ground. What if Leo was ambushed by one of the other four tributes? I disprove that thought immediately after I think it. I would have heard canonfire if that's the case. Could he be hurt? No, I would have heard a struggle in the forest. Even so, where is he?
Claudius Templesmith did say the feast was tonight, but he didn't specify exactly when. Did he mean sundown, or midnight? And how many tributes will come to this feast? Leo, Selina and I are here already. That makes three. Melanie is staying behind, I know that for sure. That leaves four other possible tributes that can come. The only one who I remember by name is Andrew. He wouldn't come, would he? Sure, he's a daredevil of a boy, but would he be foolish enough to come to a feast where he would be annihilated by older, stronger, more experienced tributes?
I am alerted by a rustling in the trees at the other end of the lake, next to the mountain. I inch forward so that I can peer out through the other end of the bush. I see Leo's chestnut-brown hair from here, sticking out between the leaves of a green tree in the distance. Soon enough, most of his body is visible as he leans out over a branch, one hand still gripping the trunk of the tree.
"You-who!" he shouts. Selina stands up, takes one startled look at Leo in the tree and slips into the water, soaking her shorts and the bottom of her shirt.
"Come and get me!" Leo taunts. Selina grabs a set of knives - clumsily slicing open the skin on the palm of her hand in the process - and runs in his direction.
As soon as she's halfway to him, Leo ducks back into the cover of the leaves.
I jump to my feet, dust myself off and step out of the forest. The sun is long gone, but the rising moon shines bright, reflecting off the lake and providing some light, but not enough for Selina to see me from this distance.
The ground opens by the edge of the lake and the table slowly rises. It's made of grey metal and only has one thing on top of it: a platter with a large, dome-shaped cover that reminds me of when my family would visit my grandfather for dinner and his servants would serve turkey on a similar plate.
I lightly run to the table, still afraid that Selina will hear me, and silently remove the lid, expecting to find all sorts of delicacies inside.
Instead, in the near darkness, I make out the figure of a small human.
"Hi," says Sam. "How've ya been?"
My fingers loosen around the handle of the lid and it falls to the ground with a clatter. My eyes widen to the point where I'm afraid they'll pop out of my sockets. My face flushes with colour; this time, not out of giddiness, as per usual when I'm around Sam. This time, out of anger, out of firey rage.
"What do you think you're doing here?!" I shout. Who cares if I'm heard now?
"Well, I haven't seen you in a while," he starts, "and I decided I would -"
"Are you out of your mind?!" I interrupt. "Do you have any idea how dangerous this is? What if someone else found you? What if - what if Selina lifted the lid off? She could have killed you! How did you even get here?!"
"Well, as the President's son, I have some access to the catacombs under the arena," he starts, standing up and jumping off the platter. "I found the room where the table would rise, cleared all the food, hopped on the platter and here I am!"
I look at him in disbelief. "And why would any of that be a good idea?"
"I dunno..." Sam glances down at the ground nervously. "I just... wanted to see you..."
"You snuck into a death trap full of Capitol teenagers trying to kill each other to see me. Really."
"I saved you a brownie!" He reaches over and opens a secret compartment in the table, revealing a little chocolate brownie with elaborate patterns iced onto the top. He lifts it up and hands it to me proudly.
I'm about to spew anger all over him when I hear a large thud in the distance. I whip my head over to the other end of the lake to see Leo at the base of a large tree, bleeding. Selina steps out from the forest and removes the knife from his back.
A canon fires.
"Leo!" I scream, taking off in a run towards the scene. Sam grabs my arm and stops me.
"You can't help him now, Autumn," he says. I feel tears slide down my cheeks. I look back over to Leo's corpse, guilty and hurt. I should have been there to help him. I should have been there. It should be me on the ground. After all, if I live, I'll only make life worse for me and my family. I won't be able to get a job when I'm older once people see the last name 'Snow' on my resume they'll automatically decline, for the hatred of my family is stronger than ever in Panem right now.
"Autumn, looks like you've got a situation." Sam points to Selina, who seems to have spotted me and is heading in my direction. She's stopped in her tracks by the sound of static coming from the sky. Another announcement?
"SAMUEL RYAN PAYLOR!" The voice of President Paylor echoes around the arena. "GET BACK HERE THIS INSTANT, YOUNG MAN! YOU ARE IN BIG TROUBLE!"
"I think you've got a situation, too," I say, my voice trembling. "Sam, you need to leave. Now. This is no place for you."
"I'm not the only one who should get out of here now," he says. "Run, Autumn!"
Selina has started running across the shoreline again, the determined look on her face illuminated by the moonlight.
"Go!" he pushes me towards the forest, but I need no more reminders. Selina is getting dangerously close, and her long legs could outrun me any day. I stumble towards the forest, running for my life, but Selina is now within throwing distance. She hurls a knife in my direction and I feel searing pain as it makes contact with the skin on my left hip. I reach to press my hand on the wound in an attempt to staunch the flow of blood pouring from it, but realize that it would slow me down.
As I enter the woods, I sprint faster than ever in what I can only hope is the right direction. The pain in my hip worsens from the exertion it takes me to run at top speed. On top of that, my feet are causing me extreme pain. Running without shoes is a challenge for me. Running without shoes over uneven terrain with rocks and burrs and other sharp things of the ground is excrutiating.
I'm almost positive that I've lost Selina, but that doesn't mean I can stop running. The forest must be filled with all kinds of nocturnal predators at this time of night. Wild dogs, wolves, bears... all kinds of horrors could await me here.
The forest gradually thins and I find myself in a clearing... unfortunately, it's not the clearing where we made our camp. It's the exact place where Rachel died - except to my right, sitting on a big rock, are a boy and a girl - I recognize the girl as Celeste, but I don't know who the boy is - kissing. I must have made quite a bit of noise while thrashing about through the woods because they look up, surprised, and fall backwards off of the rock.
They appear to have made camp here and have a ready supply of weapons. I have no weapons myself, so I do not hesitate to book it in the direction of my clearing.
I arrive back at our camp, still in shock from the events of the feast, to find Melanie sitting on the ground infront of the shelter, weeping.
"Melanie?" I step tentatively in her direction. "What's wrong?"
Melanie looks up in surprise and her muffled sobs turn into tears of joy. She runs towards me at full speed and hugs me.
"Oh, Autumn," she cries. "I'm so s-sorry... I - I heard canonfire and - and I j-just h-had to g-go..."
"You went to the feast?" I honestly didn't see her there.
"Y-yes," she admits. "I c-couldn't stay... I h-had t-to make sure y-you were ok..."
"It's ok, Melanie," I tell her. "I forgive you.
She cries for quite some time before she says, "Leo's dead, isn't he?"
I allow one tear to slide down my dirt-covered cheek. "Yes. Yes he is."