Deep in the Meadow

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Chapter 19

I crash down and put my face in my hands, sobbing. In one night, this day has gone from a relatively good one, to one of the worst in my life, which is saying something. The whole thing, from the moment I woke to now canโ€™t have taken more than ten minutes. My senses fog over and I lay on my back with twigs tickling my cheeks and the mud dirtying my back, no more tears to shed. I look up through the leaves and watch as the day slowly turns to stars. Dean hasnโ€™t come back. As common sense returns I become more and more aware that I cannot stay here. Number one: I am right out in the open, two: Iโ€™m where someone might come back to, and three: Iโ€™m dangerously low on weapons. All I have are the two small knives that I have in my hands. Shine was holding the belt when she died so thatโ€™s gone up with her. With no chance of getting it back. The anthem plays and Shine, well, shines. Shine from District 1. One of my allies. I donโ€™t know why her death is affecting me so much. Actually, I do know why. I hated her, only because of Dean and she sacrificed her life for me. That is a debt I will never be able to pay back. Now I wish I had gotten to know her when I had the chance. Dean. I know I love him so why not admit it? I donโ€™t know but I canโ€™t seem to choose. Dean or Finnick? I donโ€™t know how to choose. I love them both and that is the truth of it. My vision blurs and I just make out Venia from two. Then Abbot.

So it wasnโ€™t Thren. Abbot was the cannon I heard earlier, not him. For some reason this doesnโ€™t make me happy. It makes the pain worse. I promised three people I would make it back home to District 12. Back then, I never thought I could keep that promise. But now, with only six left. Itโ€™s beginning to look more promising. However, this only adds to my misery. For me to win, Sara, Izack, Coral, Thren and Dean must all die. I donโ€™t know who will go first but I know if anyone came into this clearing, Izack, Thren or even Dean, I would kill on sight.

I lay there as strange thoughts flow through my head. For some reason I canโ€™t seem to shake off the vision of Finnick throwing the trident which impaled Shine. I donโ€™t know why but this hurts me more than anything else that has happened tonight. I start as horns trumpet around the arena.

โ€œLadies and gentleman,โ€ says the legendary voice of Cludias Templesmith, โ€œCongratulations to the six of you that remain,โ€ he goes on a bit about how well weโ€™ve done and how they have been very exciting games but I drone out, I know whatโ€™s coming, he is going to invite us to a feast, sometimes itโ€™s a real feast but sometimes itโ€™s only a single grain of rice. As I predicted, his next words are clear, โ€œThere will be a complete re-supply to the cornucopia tomorrow at dawn!โ€ A re-supply! Thatโ€™s exactly what I need! And my base happens to be quite close to the cornucopia! Perfect! I have the skills to get weapons but I canโ€™t fight off both Izack and Coral at once. I will need to enlist Dean and Thren as allies. Dean is well skilled and Thren is too, just in a different way. The only problem is that I have absolutely no idea where either of them are. Dean will be somewhere on the island but if I go wandering off, couldnโ€™t I be wandering to the sharp points of the careersโ€™ weapons?

I donโ€™t know if I can risk that. Thren however, he will surely be hiding somewhere. In the mountains or on this very island. Iโ€™m guessing the last one. The mountain would be too painful for him but I didnโ€™t see him entering the island. But he could have swum to it after we ran off. I decide, even if Iโ€™m risking my life, to try to find Dean. Though I wonโ€™t be going by ground. Iโ€™ll be going by tree.

However, after an hour, Iโ€™m so frustrated that Iโ€™m yelling out Threnโ€™s name in an attempt to find him. Heโ€™s nowhere! Vanished! Iโ€™m seriously considering looking in the mountains when I see a footprint in the mud. Itโ€™s too small for any of the other tributes left. It must be from Thren! From years of hunting I can see that the print is recent and, judging on itโ€™s direction, he was heading away from me at a slow hunterโ€™s pace. One I use for tracking something like a deer or a rabbit that might sprint away at any second. The only reason Thren would be walking at this slow pace is because heโ€™s hunting something. This means he has weapons, which is good. This means he can help me hunt as well. I gasp as I come across a pair of footprints, off in a bush about five metres away from Threnโ€™s. Whatever heโ€™s hunting, Izack and Coral are too.

I stop and consider my options. Run after Thren, which is terrifying but the fastest way. I could also just turn around and walk away, abandoning him. But I wonโ€™t. Jazi and Thren found me and healed my injuries. Jazi died because of me and thatโ€™s when I knew who had to make it home. Not me, Thren. Then I know. I walk over to the nearest tree and quickly scale itโ€™s rubbery limbs. Then, regaining my balance on a slim limb, I jump. It gets easier over time, lunging from tree to tree. Sometimes, just to make sure, I climb down to a lower branch to make sure Iโ€™m going in the right direction. Finally, I notice a difference in his tracks. He was only here a few minutes ago! I swing with new energy and arrive in a small clearing just to see Thren backed up against a tree with Coral and Izack approaching like a pack of wild dogs.

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