Hey hey hey!
I'm back with another chapter.
Just to warn you, things are going to get
personal, and sad in a few chapters...
anyway! Thanks so much for reading,
and as always, please review.
Arena day eight: A day of hunting.
The next morning, I wake up to find Luna curled up close to me with her head on my shoulder.
I hear her gentle breathing, meaning that she's still asleep.
I carefully ease her head off my shoulder, and onto the blanket.
Then I quietly get up, and look for some breakfast.
In the pile of sponsor parachutes. I find some biscuits and a container filled with some jam.
Grabbing these and some dried beef, I walk back over to the blanket, and nudge Luna.
"Luna, time to get up."
She moans and rolls over.
I grin and tickle her nose with a lock of her hair. She swats at me.
"I'm serious! Let me sleep!"
I laugh and sit down next to her.
"Well, seeing how you're not asleep, why don't you have some breakfast?"
She hesitates, then sits up and glares at me.
"Good morning sunshine!"
I say in a outrageously peppy voice.
"Shut up and give me some food."
I hand her several biscuits and some meat.
"What's the matter? You not a morning person?"
She begins eating, ignoring the question.
"Well I guess that answers that. Well, what's on the agenda for today?"
She looks up at me surprised.
"What do you mean?"
I wipe some jam off of her cheek.
"You know, what do you want to do. What is our plan of action and all that."
"Shouldn't you be the one to decide what to do?"
I pretend to be aghast.
"What are you implying? That just because I am older, taller, better looking, and a boy. You automatically assume that I should be the leader? Are you saying that I judge things based on gender? Or do you think that your job ended after saving my life...twice."
"No, that's not what I meant and you know it. I was just thinking since I'm only twelve, and not a fighter, that you should probably decide what to do. You can fight, and you're older and wiser than I am."
This last sentence she says with an exaggerated voice.
I look thoughtful.
"Yes I suppose you're right. Why don't we go see what the other tributes are up to? I for one would like to see the careers camp, and I'd like to find Weasel and finish what she started."
Luna nods, and finishes her food.
"Alright, I can take you to the careers camp, but finding Weasel is going to be hard. She's clever, and sneaky."
After cleaning up the campsite a bit. We disguise it, and start.
I removed the sleeves from my shirt, making it a vest. And I am carrying my knife, and the backpack, filled with food and water. Luna is carrying a small pouch that once held dried fruit, but now holds another canteen of water, and some medical supplies.
After a few hours of walking, we reach the edge of the woods, and I can see the tip of the cornucopia above a rock barricade surrounding it.
to the left of the stone fort, I can see the entrance. Standing just outside the opening, is Xavier. Holding a large bow, and quiver full of arrows. He stands perfectly still at his post, head moving slowly back and forth. Watching for anything suspicious.
I look over my shoulder for Luna, but she's nowhere to be seen.
"Luna."I whisper angrily.
I look down, and there she is again, right by my right shoulder.
"Quit doing that! It kinda freaks me out."
"It looks like they're planning to go hunting."
I look back at the rock fort.
"What makes you say that?"
She points out that Xavier is the one watching.
"He only goes on watch if they're planning something. I think It's because Vicktor doesn't trust him. Anyway, it's in the afternoon that they do most of their hunting."
We watch for a little while, and sure enough, in a minute the rest of the careers appear.
Vicktor is wielding an evil-looking weapon I think is called a flail.
Glorry is armed with her throwing knives, and Alexia is sporting a long sword.
I see Annita walk over to Xavier and give him a kiss, I guess he likes her too.
She is armed with a bow slightly smaller than Xavier's.
They all talk for a minute, then head off in the direction of the meadow.
After they disappear over a hill, I look down at Luna.
"What do you think we should do?"
She watches the fort with narrowed eyes.
"I don't think they would leave their camp unprotected. Unless they really don't think any of us are a threat. But I don't think they're that stupid. We could go take a look around, or we could set up a trap..."
I can tell she's thinking.
"Like what kind of trap?"
She thinks for a few moments, then smiles.
"What if, we weaken the wall? Not a lot, just enough for it to topple at any minute?"
I look at the structure, it looks like it was hastily piled together, it wouldn't take much to crumble.
"That could work. Keep a watch out for me will you? Whistle like a bird if you see them coming."
She nods, and disappears.
I warily make my way over to the wall, and start loosening some rocks. After a while, I can tell which rocks are supportive, and which ones aren't. After an hour, I've weakened the wall enough to where, if someone were to lean against it, it would topple. But the damage wasn't noticable.
I make my way back to the trees, covering my tracks as I go.
Luna is waiting for me, with a smile on her face.
"I followed them!"
I stare at her shocked.
"You what?! I told you to keep watch, not to go after them! You could have been killed!"
"Well I didn't. And guess what? I heard them talking and...did you know they call you pretty boy? Anyway, apparently they don't think you're much of a threat. In fact, they said they can't believe you survived this long. By the sound of it, they are going to keep hunting down tributes, starting with the weakest, and work their way up to the more imposing ones. Like Weasel and Harrold. I don't know why they haven't come after you yet."
I think about this.
"Maybe they think I will just starve to death or something."
Luna bursts out laughing at this, and then covers her mouth quickly.
"Sorry, we should probably be more quiet. Man, if they knew how much sponsors you had, they would have hunted you down long ago."
She looks around my waist, behind me.
"Because, you are going to be full, and comfortable, and you're getting medicine which means you wont be sick. Truthfully, if they want to win, they should have killed you by now, they could always pick off the weak ones later. Where as you are just getting stronger everyday."
We decide to go looking for Weasel's camp, and I think about what she said as we walk.
Me? The greatest threat in the arena? Sure I'm strong and fast enough. But I don't know if I could beat Xavier or Vicktor in a fight, I don't even know if I could take on Glorry or Alexia. But Luna is right, I will be getting stronger, while their food supplies diminish, I will have a full belly. I think of how my odds have grown since I got in the arena, and then I look at little Luna in front of me, what are her odds? I feel like I am responsible for her, and I owe her my life. I'm going to protect her at all costs, even if that means me not making it out alive. After all that's happened to her, it wouldn't be right if she didn't make it. Then I think of Annie. She's my best friend, and I told her I would come back home, and I promised Robbert that I would bring back the cure for his sickness. What will happen to them if I die? Will Annie be okay? She was awfully upset when I volunteered, almost on the point of hysteria. Will she go off the deep end if I die? What if Robbert dies as well? I have to win for them. But I can't, Luna has to live, She's to young...
My mind is torn in pieces, so I just stop thinking, and follow Luna as she scans the woods for signs.
But the decision still tugs at the back of my mind.
In about an hour, we hear a cannon fire, and decide that the careers found whoever they were hunting.
After that we scour the woods for hours, but find no sign of Weasel.
It's starting to get dark, so we head back to camp.
Halfway there, we hear another cannon.
"Do you think the trap worked?"
Luna asks quietly.
I shrug, and start walking again.
"We'll just have to wait and see tonight."
We make it back to camp, and eat some dinner.
Then we settle down and wait to see who died today.
I work on my almost finished net, and Luna watches the stars.
"In your interview, you said that your mother abandoned you when you were a baby. Was that true?"
I tie a knot slowly.
"Yeah. I never knew her, or my father. I grew up in the districts community home."
We sit in silent for a few minutes, then she breaks the silence again.
"I have...had a family. Two older brothers and my parents. My father and mother would talk about a revolution, something that would bring justice and peace to the districts. They said that it was only a matter of time before something small would happen, that would be the breaking point for a new rebellion. Well, somehow the head peacekeeper heard about what they were talking about. And one night peacekeepers came to the house. They dragged away my parents to be executed, and when my brothers tried to stop them..."
I glance down and see that she's crying.
"They just shot them, and left them lying on the floor. I woke up when I heard the screams and shots. The last thing I ever heard my mother say was: 'go to your aunt's house now! I love you.' Then they were gone forever. I've lived at my aunt's house ever since."
I fiddle with a loose rope end for a moment.
She sighs and clears her throat.
"What's she like? Your best friend back in district four."
I think of her as I work on the net.
"Annie Cresta, she is the best friend anyone could ever have. She always seems to be smiling, and finds the bright side to everything. She is like a sister to me, and I will always look after her."
I can picture Annie watching this at home, curled up next to Robbert on their big couch. I smile and continue.
"She always gets annoyed when other girls talk about boys and clothes and that kind of thing, and she denies that she's pretty, but all the boys her age think otherwise. I bet she's watching us now thinking, 'Finnick Odair, how dare you talk about me when all of Panem could be watching.'"
Luna laughs, and I keep going.
"The first time I met Annie, was when we started going to school. We sat next together, and when I told her she was cute, she punched me in the nose. We've been best friends ever since. A lot of people think that we are a couple, but we just tell them we are more like siblings. She will always be my best friend, no matter what happens."
Luna sits up and scoots closer to me.
I grab the blanket and wrap it around her shoulders.
She leans up against me and closes her eyes.
"I think you should win for her."
I put my arm around her as I reply.
She starts giggling.
"Because she would be majorly ticked off if you died."
I start chuckling.
"You're probably right. I bet she wouldn't even go to my funeral."
Luna starts laughing now, gasping out the words.
"No she would probably go and beat your body with a stick."
I laugh too. Picturing sweet, skinny little Annie beating my dead body with a big stick.
Our laughter is silenced as the anthem starts playing, and we look to the sky.
The first tribute to appear is Luna's district partner, the boy from five.
Then we are both surprised when Weasel's picture shows up next.
The anthem ends, and the sky returns to normal.
Ten left alive.
"Did you know him? Your district partner?"
Luna shakes her head.
"I'd never met him before. How do you think Weasel died?"
"Who knows? You should get some sleep."
She spreads the blanket out, and lies down.
"What about you?"
I pick up my net.
"I'm going to stay up and work on this for a little while."
She quickly falls asleep, and I work on the net in silence.
Thinking about the Cresta's. And hoping Annie will be okay if I don't make it.