The Girl on Fire

Rue is the daughter of the famous Katniss Everdeen, when the Quarter Quell comes around what tricks will young Rue face? And who will her mentor(s) be.

NOTE: The name may be changed again soon as Rue is more of a water lover than a fire lover any name suggestions would be lovely and gratefully accepted- please keep it like the Girl on Fire but to do with water?

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8. The Hunger Games.

I wake early, though I barely slept. I pull on any old clothes knowing Cinna will change them anyway. I head to the dining room and grab a plate of most food. My last proper meal. My brother already has hundreds of Capitol sponsors. At least if I die, I know my brother stands a chance, he is a good hunter. No one speaks during breakfast. Effie doesn’t even say our plan for the day.

I arrive on a roof. I see a Capitol hovercraft. I walk over to it and notice Effie and Haymitch are standing outside.

‘Go in and do what they say. Oh and good luck!’ Effie says.

‘Good luck kiddo, I’ll find you a sponsor, don’t worry.’ I smile. I step onto the hovercraft and sit between my mother and a woman from district eleven. A woman comes over to me, grabs my arm and injects something into my arm.

‘Ouch!’ I say to my mother.

‘That’s your tracker, so the game makers know where you are.’ I nod. The flight takes about five or ten minutes before we land. I walk with my mother to separate rooms and I wait for Cinna. I notice some clothes are lying on the metal slab. I change into them and pull on a jacket. Cinna finally walks in.

‘Sorry about that, your mother was quite emotional.’

‘But she’s done this three times now.’

‘Not with her own children.’ He sees I am upset. ‘You look good in that.’ He walks over to me and gives me a hug. I try not to cry. ‘You’ll win this. I know it.’ I force a smile. A countdown starts.

60 seconds to launch. Cinna is smiling and he nods towards a glass tube in the corner of the room. I walk over to it and step in. The door closes.

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I stare at Cinna as I am lifted through a maze of tubes from the basement to the surface.

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I can’t help thinking about the arena. What will it be like? Will I die straight away?

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I look up and see a light. It’s like when the dead are seen to “walk into the light.”

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I am standing on a pedestal. I see the other tributes. 47 other people. 48 people will fight to the death. I see the Cornucopia. It’s gold and shining brightly. I look around, barely noticing the countdown. I see my father. He shakes his head at the Cornucopia, telling me not to risk it.

The arena is beautiful, if you can call hell beautiful. It has lush green grass, surrounded by a thick green forest. It’s like layers. The Cornucopia is on a layer of sand, then there’s water, we are in the water, then there is the grass, then forest, then I cannot see.

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Everyone steps off the pedestals. Most run to the Cornucopia. Some run to the forest. I run to the Cornucopia. Right to the middle. I grab a backpack. And a bag of weapons. I run. As I run I see a load of caves, I make my way towards the furthest away ones.

I slow to a walk and look inside one of the caves. Empty, perfect, I walk inside. There’s a load of ledges then a platform, quite high up, but not too high. I balance my rucksack and weapons and start climbing. I grip my foot into one of the gaps. I feel something move on my foot. I instantly pull my foot out. I climb to the ledge and pull myself up. I can see everything the goes on for a mile or two, but no one can see me if I stay away from the edge. Maybe I won’t need to fight. Maybe I’ll just win. I think. I know it won’t work, they’ll push us together.

I open my backpack, I empty it onto the ledge. Some bread, a canteen, some tablet things and a knife. Not bad. Must be water purifying tablets. My thoughts are interrupted. I count the cannon fire. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve. A quarter of us are dead. I hear footsteps, I back away from the edge with my supplies. I peek over the edge. It’s my mother. And father.

‘We’ll camp here for the night, maybe we will run into Rue? Or Wade somewhere.’ My father says. They head to the wall and start to climb. I sit and wait. My father gets to the top and as he his helping my mother he says ‘It appears we weren’t the first to think of this idea, Katniss.’ He turns to me.

‘Rue!’ I’m ambushed by my mother. ‘Are you hurt?’ I shake my head.

‘Nice collection you have here.’ Says my father rummaging through my weapon sack. ‘Have you seen Wade ?’

‘Not since the bloodbath at the Cornucopia.’ I reply. I pack my things away again and move to a corner on the ledge. More footsteps approach. We move to the back and stay silent.

‘Did you hear what District Eleven said?’ Asks a career boy. They must’ve said no because he carries on. ‘She said: Please don’t kill me! I have children back home. So I said: Don’t make a fool of yourself whilst they watch. Then I chopped her head off and blood spurted everywhere.’ I mouth Yuk to my parents. The careers pass. But not before I see Wade’s shoe. He’s at the back of the pack, by himself.

‘Wade!’ I shout. He stops dead in his tracks. He turns and walks into the cave.

‘Rue? Rue? Is that you?’ He sounds confused.

‘Yes! Wade up here!’ He looks up to the ledge where I am waving.

‘Have you seen mother or father yet?’ For an answer they pull themselves to the edge of the ledge. He instantly starts climbing the wall. But we hear shouts. ‘Hide!’ He shouts. He jumps back down to the ground.

‘There you are Wade! Cato’s been looking for you.’ I look to my parents. Cato died in their first Hunger Games.

‘Must be his sibling?’ My father suggests. I peer over the edge. The careers and my brother are round the corner of the entrance. My parents jump down from the ledge quietly. The sneak out round the other corner. I’ve lost them. The careers step into the cave.

‘We’ll camp here, it’s getting dark out.’  They set up camp. A real working fire. I’m terrified of fire. I back away to a corner.

I wake up. It must be the middle of the night, it’s still dark out. I hear a buzzing noise. I look across from me. Hanging just below the ledge. A trackerjacker nest. Panic rushes through my body. Then I realise. I have a knife. I start sawing the branch holding it up. I see a pair of eyes staring at me. I pull back.

‘I’m going out to hunt.’ My brother says to Cato. There is no response so my brother collects all his things and stands at the cave entrance. He nods to me and gestures to the forest. I nod back. I saw the branch. It breaks off, I have seconds, I grab my bags and speed out of the cave, cutting my leg from the jump. I run to the forest.

A Jabberjay appears before me. Wait no. I look closer at it. A Mockingjay. They were destroyed in the rebellion! I sing part of my mother’s song to it. It seems to know I want my brother to hear it and it flies off. I walk for what feels like miles before I hear another Mockinjay. Wait, that’s not a Mockingjay. I look up one of the trees. Wade is up there. He jumps down and helps me up to a branch opposite the one he sat on. I open my backpack and rip the small bread loaf in half.

‘You just made enemies you know.’ I say to Wade.

‘I know. But at least I know my family is still alive.’ I hand him one half of the bread. ‘I can’t take your food from you.’

‘I’m your sister, of course you can.’  I force it into his hand. He smiles gratefully and takes a bite out of it.

‘I didn’t manage to get any supplies. All I got was this knife blade from a District 3 guy. I fixed it onto a sturdy branch and hey, I got a homemade spear.’ I laugh as he is being his usually silly self, this is good.

‘So, hanging out with the careers. Using father’s plan?’

‘Something like that. I was running after you when Cato’s kid, Cato jr, chased me down. I fought him really well and said we could be allies.’ I nod. Only one canon fire that night.  I pull out a plastic sheet from the back pack. It’s far too big for just me. I use my knife and cut it so I have a good size part of it. My brother looks confused. I hand him the bigger part. ‘Thank you.’ I smile. We tie ourselves to our branches and I fall asleep. When I wake up I notice my brother is gone from his branch. The plastic sheet is in my backpack. I fold everything up and stuff it in my bag. I see two of my knives are gone.

‘Where is that useless sister of yours?’ Cato shouts. I look down and see my brother pinned to a tree and Cato has healing stings on his body.

‘I killed her.’ He lies.

‘I didn’t hear a canon. Is she still alive?’ Cato is literally screaming at Wade now. I grab my knife, I’m about to chuck it at one of the careers when District four shouts.

‘Cato! She’s up here!’ District four is on the branch below me. She grabs my leg and yanks. I fall from the tree hitting branches on the way down. I am sure I have broken my leg. I smash into the ground, bones cracking but I look up at Cato.

‘So you killed her then? She looks pretty alive to me.’ He says sarcastically to Wade. The knife I was holding is now stabbed into my hand. Cato pulls it out. He walks to my brother. He braces himself for whatever Cato will do. But instead of killing him he stuffs the knife into Wade’s hand. ‘Kill her then.’ Wade staggers over to me. District Four pulls me up so I’m standing.

‘Do it Wade.’ District Four says. He drops the knife. A canon is heard in the distance. Cato picks up the knife. He shoves my brother to the ground. He comes over to me. He grabs my shoulder. He stabs the knife through my shoulder, then my leg.

‘Let go of her, Myrtle.’ The district four girl let’s go. Suddenly Aloe, the other District Four, is hit with an arrow. Then what looks like hundreds of arrows start raining down everywhere. Cato and the other Careers run off. My mum steps forward. Then my dad. I am lying on the floor bleeding. My brother staggers over. My mother looks up to where she thinks a camera is hiding and says

‘Look at what you have done. You have sent a family into the games to kill each other. Surely you should feel something. You obviously don’t.’ She looks to dad, he nods. ‘The Mockingjay rose, then fell. But I will tell you something. The Mockingjay will rise once more.’ Four silver parachutes fell to the ground next to each of us. Mine contains medicine. One bread. Another clean water. And the final a single message.

Run Katniss. The President is getting involved with the games. I may not see you all again. Goodbye Katniss, Peeta, Wade and goodbye Rue.

P.s Rue take care of my son.

I read it. I look up to where my mother was looking. ‘My mother is right. The Mockingjay will rise again. And this time she won’t have a derelict District. She will have her family. Her District. Her friends helping her.’ I raise my left hand to my lips then the three middle fingers to the camera. My mother does it, so does my brother and father. Then it happens.

All hell breaks loose. A massive forest fire starts. We grab our things. My father carries me in a piggy-back. We get to the water. The fire stops. The other tributes are standing at the edge of the water too. I rub more ointment on my shoulder and leg. I dive into the water. I burns through my skin and clothes. I run to the Cornucopia, my family following behind. I know what will happen next. A flood. Then a bloodbath of the survivors.

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