The Caged Bird Sings



I'm scrubbed and patched up against my will. I had attempted to claw my fingers into the faces of whoever came at me, but he used my stylists against me in the end—because of their idiotic naïveté, I couldn't hurt them. My skin feels raw and new, pink and regaining color. The sun that is peeking through the blinds is so beautiful and ironic I want to cry. Walking towards the window, I look out upon the Capitol, seeing its opulence and majesty makes me sick because its grandeur is a lie like everything else.

I hear the door opening and I turn around, a few more maids coming into my room to tidy the space that is already immaculate. I have no appetite. I'm desperate to see Cinna, even Haymitch would be welcoming but there's been no sign of them. Aside from the primped up dolls that enter my room, I'm the only living thing here. But I don't feel like I'm alive.

The night falls, the sun saying goodbye and I'm told to come to dinner. I refuse, despite the protesting of my body. Nourishment would be smart, but I've thought about all the possibilities of escape and it doesn't seem as though it'll happen any time soon.

So I sit in the darkness.

I'm not expecting him to enter, tall and menacing in the gloom. At the same time, however, I did. He reminds me of predators back home—the kind that play with their food before eating them. The way Buttercup taunts rats before ending it all. I don't know if the cringe is from comparing Buttercup to him, or him to my sister's pet. My nerves are on end, the hair on the back of my neck rising. I can't make sense of anything so I put all the rampant thoughts aside, blaming everything. He stares at me, I'm tempted to stare at him back but the cold stone settled within the pit of my stomach is cramping too tightly.

"You're the Girl on Fire." he states, disdain coating his words.

I say nothing, not trusting my voice. I hate him—he killed Peeta, murdered him ruthlessly. The blood in me is cold, I can barely breathe. Staring up into this cold calculating face… it's almost too much. Eyes that are too blue, too hardened, glaciers that pierce my very being are continuing to look right into me.

"Not much to look at," he says very calmly, "But you'll do."

It doesn't take long to figure out what this means—so many things rush through my head as his mouth covers mine: cries, screams, blood and berries, and gentle kisses and rough bruises; trust and family, deception and defeat, everything is wrong, it's been wrong since my father died and it's only gotten worse. I wonder why no one hears me—but no one has ever heard me.

By the end, naked and vulnerable and hollow, I'm no longer anything—not Katniss Everdeen, sister, friend and daughter; not the Girl on Fire, a spectacle meant to impress and save; not even a human being, filled with worth and belonging, loved and meant to love.

I'm just something dark and broken; I'm glass shards that embed into themselves. For even the laughter around me, silent and sharpened, are nothing compared to the damage I can inflict onto myself.

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