Without pausing to think I start to run. Over the snowy ground, pine needles crashing under my feet.
“Jazi! I’m coming, hold on!” I shout, desperate to help her. To save her. If she dies it is my fault. I told her to run instead of killing whatever was coming. I suggested going hunting. I won’t reach her in time.
I have that feeling in my gut as I find her arrow in a tree. I will be too late. I know that as I charge through a bush to see Jazi, up a tree as Kenji receives a knife in the back of the skull from me. I know as soon as his knife enters her chest. His last act. I am too late. I could not save her. I know as she topeles from the tree and falls into a patch of snow. Laying there as if an angel. Kenji’s cannon fires.
I run to her and lay her on my lap. I grasp her hand. She is leaving. I know that as she looks down at the knife protruding from her chest. I can tell as her chest is moving slower.
“Come on Jazi,” I say, tears flowing down my cheeks, “Smile for me. Please”
“Ok,” she gasps. She smiles sadly, her eyes closing.
“No,” I say, her chest moves slower.
“Willow…” She says “Look after Thren. One of you has to win…”
“Jazi…” I say. The breath from her mouth stops as a single tear rolls down her cheek and dissolves. Her cannon goes off. She lies there as pitiful as a baby animal. Unable to be harmed. The hovercraft picks up Kenji. I know it will be soon Jazi’s turn. I choose two big diamonds from my hair and place them on her cheeks. I lace snow and Ivy through her hair. I take the knife that ended her life and throw it as far as I can away. The knife I couldn’t stop. I take her pack, bow and arrows off her as someone crashes through the bush.
Shine. She stares at me, her bow positioned and the arrow ready. I point mine at her as well as the Mockingjays sing a warning of the hovercraft. I know it is for Jazi. She will be gone soon. Shine drops her bow. I draw the string back. Tonight there will be three faces in the sky. No. There won’t. Something stirs inside me as I look at Shine. I look back to Jazi and find that she is gone. Gone forever. Back to District 7. I stare deep into Shine’s eyes. She looks back at me with her brown eyes, they are full of something, an emotion. What is it? A thought climbs it’s way to the front of my brain. She is afraid. She is sad. I walk up to her and pull her upright.
“Go,” I say.
“What?” She responds.
“Go!” I shout, “Go! Leave! Run! Get out of here. I won’t kill you.” She jumps up and grabs her bow. Running away. Sprinting. I collapse and lay on the snowy ground. I stare into space, my grief beyond tears. I can’t go back. I can’t face Thren. I can’t tell him what happened. But I have to. I promised her. I can’t say her name. I will help him win. Or me. But I can’t, so Thren will. I will make sure of that. I will help him. I walk towards the cave, full of an empty feeling that won’t go away.
As I make my way to the cave I take my time, the Careers will be no big deal, and then there is only Sara, the girl from 11 and Dean left. When I get to the spot of the entrance, the sun has gone down. I hesitate, can I tell him? I decide I have to, he will find out soon anyway. As I slide down the path, I see him huddled in the corner. He looks up and his face breaks into a smile.
“Phew!” He says, “I thought you or Jazi were those cannons-” he breaks off, “Where’s Jazi?....No…”
“No!” He shouts, “NO! No, she can’t be dead. No! No…” He goes and lays in the corner and starts to sob, his golden hair falling across his face in waves. I start as I hear the anthem beginning. I watch as Kenji shines down, then Jazi. She really is gone. I will have to accept that. I also accept Thren’s choice to take watch and settle down to sleep.
I wake to Thren’s loud shouts,
“WILLOW! WE NEED TO MOVE! NOW!” I open my eyes hurriedly and see him, with his pack over by the opening, ready to run. I shove my sleeping bag in my pack and run over to him. I now know what he was talking about, in the darkness, it stands out like a parrot in a white room. It’s amazing, but terrifying, no wonder there have been no Gamemaker interferences, they have been saving for this.
For the lava sweeping down the mountain.