Chapter 1:First night home
I am lying in my bed, in the bottom bunk, staring at the wooden boards that hold up the top bunk. I do not move, I do not even close my eyes; I simply listen to the breathing of various people in the temporary field barracks. The tent is strong enough to keep the wind out, and it is insulated that I am not cold, yet I was so exhausted from the train ride I did climbed onto the bed without undressing or even taking off my weapons.
The personal chests were loaded onto one of the trains, so I have no where to place my sword. I kept it on when I climbed into the bed, and now I just lie here like the others and try to get over the bad news that greeted us here. A rebel army from District 13 took District 1, most of Panem has fallen, rebel atrocities are rampant, there is fighting along the District 2 border, and Marcus was among those who did not catch the train.
I am saddened by the last part, because I know I will never see him again. Those barbaric traitors do not give fair play, and they will surly slaughter every non-rebel to a man. Still, I do not cry. I guess I have no tears left in me.
We are currently encamped in a District 2 village near our district border, we are here because this is one of the villages the train stopped at. Some of the loyal soldiers got out, some more will get out at other villages along the railroad leading to the districts central city. There are no civilians in this village as they were evacuated deeper into the district long ago. They will be safe from the rebel menace there, they will be safe from the war.
I do not want to fall asleep, not because I will have to wake up in five hours. I do not want to face the battles of my dreams just yet. I know I will, sooner or later, have to face one of the personal torture chambers my mind decides to place me in on random nights. I do not want to face those just yet, so I lie awake and listen to the various sounds of the day. Whether it is Crispin snoring lightly in the bunk above me, Montgomery trying not to move his bandage wrapped leg, Harod mumbling something in his sleep, or Aric playing a card game with Jacobine, I listen to these noises as a distraction to keep myself from falling victim to bad dreams.
I try to think of comforting thoughts, anything to keep me calm. I think of my mother and Annona back home, probably relieved when they got the letter in the mail telling them I successfully escaped District 4. I think of my grandfather, not on his deathbed but when he was alive; his stories of bravery and valor are stories I understand a little better after living through something similar. I get comfort knowing I am following his footsteps, treading the path he tread long ago. I just hope I will live to see the end of this cruel war.
Slowly, quietly, I allow myself to drift off to sleep. I have no dreams, neither good nor bad ones fill my head. It is just peace, and probably the only peace left to find.