Fallen from Grace (Hunger Games)

68th Hunger Games


12. Hunt


     Emily shot up and frantically looked around her. The noise of brick and concrete crumbling could be heard echoing throughout the arena. Liam sat up after her and listened carefully, the crashing had ceased and a cloud of dust levitated from a few miles from their hideout. Liam poked his head out of the doorway and watched the cloud from some blocks away grow closer to them.

     “Did one of the buildings get destroyed?” she quietly asked him.

     “I think so . . .” he answered. “These things don’t look stable to begin with . . .”

     Emily watched him carefully as she listened for a sound. She wondered if the boom she had heard was an explosion within that building. It was either that or the building was made to be so broken it would fall apart at any moment. She and Liam had been asleep so they couldn’t tell for sure if there was a scream before. It was probably unsafe to run off and find another place to hide, the Careers must have been out and about looking for runaway tributes that were spooked by the commotion. The Gamemakers must want something to happen early in the mornings, but it was too soon for something ‘exciting’ to happen when the bloodbath was just yesterday.

     Liam retreated back into their rabbit hole and laid against the wall beside Emily. They would have to move eventually. Nothing was safe after all. If their hole in the wall living space could collapse on them, then the worst hadn’t even come their way yet. The man took out the loaf of bread from one of the packs and ripped it in half before he handed one to the redhead. Her stomach growled uncomfortably seconds before she took it from his hands and took a tiny bite of from her half loaf. Liam took a large bite from his half and put it away in his pack then passed Emily’s pack to her.

     “Think there’s any animals around here?” he asked her in between chews.

     She shrugged. “I don’t know. Maybe.”

     “Did you learn how to make traps?”

     Emily nodded. “I only did a day of it though, along with making fires and identifying edible bugs and plants. It’ll be difficult to hide the traps, and it’ll be obvious for other tributes that we’re nearby.”

     “True . . .” Liam nodded and looked toward his quiver of arrows. He used quite a bit of them back at the Cornucopia, with only nine left.

     “Did you see another set back at the horn?” Emily asked.

     “No . . .” he sighed and leaned his head back against the wall. Then the sound of shuffling came from outside. Liam was alert once more and strapped on his quiver and took his bow before he slipped through the doorway and peeked through the large hole outside. Emily peeked through a crack in their fort and looked toward the ground and noticed a wolf sniffing around.

     “There’s wolves too!?” she hissed quietly.

     Liam raised his brows to her and readied an arrow. “Hope you don’t mind eating a feral dog,” he answered in a whisper and released. The arrow hit the wolf right in its head and whined in pain a second before it hit the ground. Liam watched the wolf to make sure it was dead and shot a second arrow just to make sure into its eye. A small smile curled upon his lips. “Do you remember seeing a half destroyed kitchen downstairs?” he asked.

     “Yeah,” she nodded.

     “How about you check if the appliances still work and I’ll bring in the carcass.”

     “Gross . . .” she hissed with a wrinkle nose and climbed out of their fort. The two of them went their separate ways for that time being to do their own thing. Emily played around with the stove, sink, and oven and all worked just fine. Just to make sure if the water was safe, Emily took a clear measuring cup and poured water inside, seeing how it was as clear as the sky outside. She washed her hands thoroughly to get all the dirt and grime off her when Liam came in with the wolf carcass on his shoulder. “Everything is working,” she told him as he slammed the body on the counter.

     “Alright,” he nodded and took out a knife. “I’m going to skin this then,” Liam said casually and began to cut into the fur.

     “Oh gross!” she squeaked and turned away.

     “Relax,” he laughed. “You’re going to be eating this thing.”

     “I knooooooow,” she muffled behind her hands. “But can I enjoy my meat without having to witness it being cut open?”

     “No,” the man chuckled and continued skinning the wolf.

     Liam gutted the wolf and cut some of the edible meat for the both of them and tossed Emily the good pieces for her to cook. While Liam did the gruesome part, Emily cleaned the wolf meat and tossed it into a frying pan over the stove. As it cooked on one side, she looked through the giant holes in the other room to find any other tributes wander by them, hoping that the smell of cooked meat couldn’t catch the others’ senses.

     Once he was done, Liam cleaned the meat and left it out in the sun to dry and kept watch as their meal cooked. The meat was tougher, so it took much longer to make, but it finally finished by the afternoon. Emily took out one of the knives from her bag and cut the large strip in half. Liam used his arrow as a fork and ate from it while Emily used a knife, since they lacked plates to eat off of.

     “This isn’t bad,” Emily commented.

     “Yeah. No rabies.” Emily choked on her wolf meat and laughed once she caught her breath. Liam chuckled and rubbed her back as she coughed for a minute. “On the plus side, we don’t have to worry about food,” he shrugged.

     Emily looked over at the large pile of meat drying in the sun and nodded. Yeah, that and water was off their list to worry about. Next stop, the obvious . . .

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