Swathed in silk, I feel like a caterpillar in a cocoon awaiting metamorphosis. I always supposed that to be a peaceful condition. At first it is. But as I journey into the night, I feel more and more trapped, suffocated by the slippery bindings, unable to emerge until I have transformed into something of beauty. I squirm, trying to shed my ruined body and unlock the secret to growing flawless wings. Despite enormous effort, I remain a hideous creature, fired into my current form by the blast from the bombs.
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I noticed the plants growing around me. Tall with leaves like arrowheads. Blossoms with three white petals. I knelt down in the water, my fingers digging into the soft mud, and I pulled up handfuls of the roots. Small, bluish tubers that don't look like much but boiled or baked are as good as any potato. "Katniss," I said aloud. It's the plant I was named for. And I heard my father's voice joking, "As long as you can find yourself, you'll never starve.
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The realization that I'd have nothing to take home had finally sunk in. My knees buckled and I slid down the tree trunk to its roots. It was too much. I was too sick and weak and tired, oh, so tired. Let them call the Peacekeepers and take us to the community home, I thought. Or better yet, let me die right here in the rain.
I'm relieved Peeta's alive. I tell myself again that if I get killed, his winnings will benefit my mother and Prim the most. This is what I tell myself to explain the conflicting emotions that arise when I think of Peeta. The gratitude that he game an edge by professing his love for me in the interview. The anger at his superiority on the roof. The dread that we may come face-to-face at any moment in this arena.
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What do I mean when I say I love Gale? I don't know. I did kiss him last night, in a moment when my emotions were running so high. But I'm sure he doesn't remember it. Does he? I hope not. If he does, everything will just get more complicated and I really can't think about kissing when I've got a rebellion to incite.
I'm not their slave," the man mutters. "I am," I say. "That's why I killed Cato... and he killed Thresh... and he killed Clove... and she tried to kill me. It just goes around and around, and who wins? Not us. Not the districts. Always the capitol. But I'm tired of being a piece in their games.
So, here's what you do. You win, you go home. She can't turn you down then, eh?" says Caesar encouragingly. "I don't think it's going to work out. Winning... won't help in my case," says Peeta. "Why ever not?" says Caesar, mystified. Peeta blushes beet red and stammers out. "Because... because... she came here with me.
The rules of the Hunger Games are simple. In punishment for the uprising, each of the twelve districts must provide one girl and one boy, called tributes, to participate. The twenty-four tributes will be imprisoned in a vast outdoor arena that could hold anything from a burning desert to a frozen wasteland. Over a period of several weeks, the competitors must fight to the death. The last tribute standing wins.
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I carefully lay out the provisions. One thin black sleeping bag that reflects body heat. A pack of crackers. A pack of dried beef strips. A bottle of iodine. A box of wooden matches. A small coil of wire. A pair of sunglasses. And a half-gallon plastic bottle with a cap for carrying water that's bone dry. No water. How hard would it have been for them to fill up the bottle?
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So at least half the victors have instructed their mentors to request you as an ally. I know it can't be your sunny personality." "They saw her shoot," says Peeta with a smile. "Actually, I saw her shoot, for real, for the first time. I'm about to put in a formal request myself." "You're that good?" Haymitch asks me.
Johanna glances over at Finnick, to be sure, then turns to me. "How'd you lose Mags?" "In the fog. Finnick had Peeta. I had Mags for a while. Then I couldn't lift her. Finnick said he couldn't take them both. She kissed him and walked right into the poison," I say. "She was Finnick's mentor, you know," Johanna says accusingly. "No, I didn't," I say. "She was half his family," she says a few moments later, but there's less venom behind it.
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Caesar Flickerman asks if the president has a date in mind. "Oh, before we set a date, we better clear it with Katniss's mother," says the president. The audience gives a big laugh and the president puts his arm around me. "Maybe if the whole country puts its mind to it, we can get you married before you're thirty." "You'll probably have to pass a new law," I say with a giggle. "If that's what it takes," says the president with conspiratorial good humor. Oh, the fun we two have together.
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Yes, everyone in the districts will be watching me to see how I handle this death sentence, this final act of President Snow's dominance. They will be looking for some sign that their battles have not been in vain. If I can make it clear that I'm still defying the Capitol right up to the end, the Capitol will have killed me... but not my spirit. What better way to give hope to the rebels?
I search his eyes for the slightest sign of anything, fear, remorse, anger. But there's only the same look of amusement that ended our last conversation. It's as if he's speaking the words again. "Oh, my dear Miss Everdeen. I thought we had agreed not to lie to each other." He's right. We did. The point of my arrow shifts upward. I release the string. And President Coin collapses over the side of the balcony and plunges to the ground. Dead.
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In one horrible moment the last piece of the prophecy became clear. So bid him take care, bid him look where he leaps, As life may be death and death life again reaps. He had to leap, and by his death, the others would live. That was it. That was what Sandwich had been trying to say all along, and by now he believed in Sandwich. He put on a final burst of speed, just like the coach taught him in track. He gave everything he had. In the last few steps before the canyon he felt a sharp pain in the back of his leg, and then the ground gave way under his feet. Gregor the Overlander leaped.
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It's impossible to be the Mockingjay. Impossible to complete even this one sentence. Because now I know that everything I say will be directly taken out on Peeta. Result in his torture. But not his death, no nothing so merciful as that. Snow will ensure that his life is much worse than death.
Vikus looked at Luxa and opened his arms. She stood, still frozen, staring at him as if he were a complete stranger. "Luxa, it's your grandpa," said Gregor. It seemed like the best and most important thing to say at the moment. "It's your grandpa." Luxa blinked. A tiny tear formed at the corner of her eye. A battle took place on her face as she tried to stop the feelings rising up inside her. The feelings won, and to Gregor's great relief, she ran into Vikus's arms.
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If Under fell, if Over leaped, If death was life and Death life reaped, Something rises from the gloom, To make the Underland a tomb Hear it scratching down below, Rat of long forgotten snow, Evil cloaked in coat of White, Will the Warrior drain your light? What could turn the Warrior week? What do burning Gnawers seek? Just a barely speaking pup That holds the Land of Under up Die the baby, die his heart Die his most essential part Die the peace that rules the hour, Gnawers have their key to power
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She needs to wake up, " said Boots. "Hazard is crying. When does she wake up?" Gregor could not find it within him to give his standard reply. To pretend that in a short time Thalia would be back with them, laughing and happy. And somehow it seemed wrong to try. Boots was getting older. Very soon, she would begin to realize the truth on her own, anyway. "She's not going wake up, " he told her. "She's dead." "She doesn't wake up?" said Boots. "No, not this time, " said Gregor. "This time, she had to go away." Boots looked around at all their faces, at Hazard crying. "Where did she go?" No one had an answer. "Where is Thalia when she doesn't wake up?" The question hung in the air for an eternity. Finally, it was Howard who spoke up. "Why, she's in your heart, Boots." "My heart?" said Boots, putting both hands on her chest. "Yes. That's where she lives now, " said Howard. "She can fly away?" asked Boots, pressing her palms tightly against her heart as if to keep Thalia from escaping. "Oh, no, she will stay there forever, " said Howard.
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People of Panem, we fight, we dare, we end our hunger for justice!' There's dead silence on the set. It goes on. And on. Finally, the intercom crackles and Haymitch's acerbic laugh fills the studio. He contains himself just long enough to say, 'And that, my friends, is how a revolution dies.
That what I need to survive is not Gale's fire, kindled with rage and hatred. I have plenty of fire myself. What I need is the dandelion in the spring. The bright yellow that means rebirth instead of destruction. The promise that life can go on, no matter how bad our losses. That it can be good again. And only Peeta can give me that.
I roll my eyes. "So when did I become so special? When they carted me off to the Capitol?" "No, about six months before that. Right after New Year's. We were in the Hob, eating some slop of Greasy Sae's. And Darius was teasing you about trading a rabbit for one of his kisses. And I realized... I minded.
All right, so give me some idea of what you can do, " says Haymitch. I can't do anything, " says Peeta, "unless you count baking bread." Sorry, I don't. Katniss. I already know you're handy with a knife, ' says Haymitch. Not really. But I can hunt, ' I say. 'With a bow and arrow.' And you're good?' asks Haymitch. I have to think about it. I've been putting food on the table for four years. That's no small task. I'm not as good as my father was, but he'd had more practice. I've better aim than Gale, but I've had more practice. He's a genius with traps and snares. 'I'm all right, ' I say.
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Haymitch isn't thinking of arenas, but something else. "Johanna's back in the hospital." I assumed Johanna was fine, had passed her exam, but simply wasn't assigned to a sharp shooters' unit. She's wicked with a throwing axe but about average with a gun. "Is she hurt? What happened?" "It was while she was on the Block. They try to ferret out a soldier's potential weakness. So they flooded the street, " says Haymitch. This doesn't help. Johanna can swim. At least, I seem to remember her swimming around some in the Quarter Quell. Not like Finnick, of course, but none of us are like Finnick. "So?" "That's how they tortured her in the Capitol. Soaked her then used electric shocks, " says Haymitch. "In the Block, she had some kind of flashback. Panicked, didn't know where she was. She's back under sedation." Finnick and I just stand there as if we've lost the ability to respond. I think of the way Johanna never showers. How she forced herself into the rain like it was acid that day. I had attributed her misery to morphling withdrawal. "You two should go see her. You're as close to friends as she's got, " says Haymitch. That makes the whole thing worse. I don't really know what's between Johanna and Finnick, but I hardly know her. No family. No friends.Not so much as a token from District 7 to set beside her regulation clothes in her anonymous drawer. Nothing.
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Deep in the meadow, under the willow a bed of grass, a soft green pillow lay down your head, and close your sleepy eyes and when again they open, the sun will rise. Hear it's safe, here it's warm hear the daisies guard you from every harm hear your dreams are sweet and tomorrow brings them true hear is the place where i love you. Deep in the meadow, hidden far away a clock of leaves, a moonbeam ray forget your woes and let your troubles lay and when again it's morning, they'll wash away. Hear it's safe, hears its' warm hear the daises guard you from every harm Hear your dreams are sweet and tomorrow bring them true hear is the place where i love you.
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I noticed the plants growing around me. Tall with leaves like arrowheads. Blossoms with three white petals. I knelt down in the water, my fingers digging into the soft mud, and I pulled up handfuls of the roots. Small, bluish tubers that don't look like much but boiled or baked are as good as any potato. 'Katniss, ' I said aloud. It's the plant I was named for. And I heard my father's voice joking, 'As long as you can find yourself, you'll never starve.
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So, here's what you do. You win, you go home. She can't turn you down then, eh?' says Caesar encouragingly. 'I don't think it's going to work out. Winning... won't help in my case, ' says Peeta. 'Why ever not?' says Caesar, mystified. Peeta blushes beet red and stammers out. 'Because... because... she came here with me.
Peeta opens his mouth for the first bite without hesitation. He swallows, then frowns slightly. "They're very sweet." "Yes they're sugar berries. My mother makes jam from them. Haven't you've ever had them before?" I say, poking the next spoonful in his mouth. "No, " he says, almost puzzled. "But they taste familiar. Sugar berries?" "Well, you can't get them in the market much, they only grow wild, " I say. Another mouthful goes down. Just one more to go. "They're sweet as syrup, " he says, taking the last spoonful. "Syrup." His eyes widen as he realizes the truth. I clamp my hand over his mouth and nose hard, forcing him to swallow instead of spit. He tries to make himself vomit the stuff up, but it's too late, he's already losing consciousness. Even as he fades away, I can see in his eyes what I've done is unforgiveable. I sit back on my heels and look at him with a mixture of sadness and satisfaction. A stray berry stains his chin and I wipe it away. "Who can't lie, Peeta?" I say, even though he can't hear me.
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I've been down by the stream collecting berries. Would you care for some?" I would, actually, but I don't want to relent too soon. I do walk over and look at them. I've never seen this type before. No, I have. But not in the arena. These aren't Rue's berries, although they resemble them. Nor do they match any I learned about in training. I lean down and scoop up a few, rolling them between my fingers. My father's voice comes back to me. "Not these, Katniss. Never these. They're nightlock. You'll be dead before they reach your stomach." Just then the cannon fires. I whip around, expecting Peeta to collapseto the ground, but he only raises his eyebrows. The hoovercraft appears a hundred metres or so away.What's left of Foxface's emaciated body is lifted into the air.
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Deep in the meadow, hidden far away A cloak of leaves, a moonbeam ray Forget your woes and let your troubles lay And when it's morning again, they'll wash away Here it's safe, here it's warm Here the daisies guard you from every harm Here your dreams are sweet and tomorrow brings them true Here is the place where I love you.
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