Mercy (A Hunger Games fanfic)

Avea Thatcher isn't like most careers from District 4, she has no interest in the games or the fame and glory that come with being Victor. But after her twin sister, Lyra, is executed, her older sister, Xanthe, decides to volunteer for the 56th Hunger Games as a form of suicide. Avea knows she has to be the one to fight in the games if she is to save her sister and keep her family together. Seen as a traitor by the careers, Avea struggles to stay alive in the arena while keeping a vow she made to Lyra and herself to not let anyone suffer before they die.

"Before I black out I make a vow to myself: 'I will never let anyone suffer like she did. I will never let anyone suffer like my sister did.' And then I'm pulled into the blackness."

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15. Chapter 14

Today I'm the first up besides Harrison, who took the second watch. We only have a squirrel left so I decide to go hunting again. The sun is bright in the sky, but the temperature still hasn't gone over 60 degrees and it has only gotten more humid. With a tomahawk in each hand I make my way into the forest.

A breeze rustles the branches above my head and the birds sing in the trees, the only noise in the early morning. I pull out a role of wire from my pack and set a few snares around camp, then I continue on looking for signs of prey.The forest is peaceful this early in the morning and for a moment I forget that I could die at any moment.

A rustle in the bush to my left alerts me of rabbit; I duck down behind a nearby tree and wait for it to come into the open. The rabbit sniffs nervously at the ground before hopping into the open. My tomahawk slams into it the second I have a good shot and I now have breakfast.

I hear another rustle behind me and I slowly turn around hoping for another rabbit, but when I turn around there is no rabbit or any prey for that matter just what I've feared since the reaping. Zale. He stands a mere 2 feet in front of me with a long silver sword in his hand.

"Lion, I've been looking everywhere for you," he says with that same smug grin I still want to smack off his face.

"And I've been doing my best to avoid you," I answer cautiously.

He opens his arms like he wants a hug, "What, no District 4 reunion?"

I swing my tomahawk at his head, but he was expecting this and easily ducks out of the way. His sword comes racing at me, but I flip out of the way landing four feet away.

"That's a nice little trick," he says smugly.

I still have one tomahawk, but the other one lays on the ground next to the rabbit a few feet away. I pull out one of my knifes and throw it at his heart; the knife flies towards him, but he move just enough for it to miss his heart and go into his left arm. He yanks out the knife with a growl of frustration; he recovers quickly and runs at me with his sword. I cartwheel out of the way and run at him. He's expecting me to aim high, so at the last second I duck low and my tomahawk slams into his leg. He crumples to his knees. I grab him by the hair and press a knife into his throat.

I'm about to slit his throat when he speaks up, "We could have made a great team you know, but instead you betrayed your own district and allied with those weaklings from 6 and 9. You disgust me!"

"They're not the ones about to get their throats slit," I say doing my best to ignore the comment about me betraying my district.

"You think your little allies are safe? " he laughs, "Well, they're not. My allies are out hunting for them right now. They're going to rip them apart! When you get back they'll be dead, that pretty girl from 6, the little kid, and your boyfriend. All dead."

I press my knife further into his throat, but he's caught me off guard. Before I can even blink he's thrown me to the ground and pulled out a wicked looking knife. I scramble to my feet and reach for another knife, since the other was knocked out of my hand. Before I can reach my belt he's slammed me against a tree and pinned my arms to my sides.

"This is what you get for being a traitor," his breath is hot in my face. His knife digs deep into my right arm and I try not to scream. I won't give him that satisfaction.

Blood trickles down my arm in a hot stream. The knife rips into my arm again making a T with the other one. I want to whimper, to curl up in a corner and hide, but I can't. I imagine Xanthe at home watching me and I stay strong, I remember my drive. I will make it home, I will make it home, I will not die here.

"Everyone will know exactly what you are. It will be carved into you when you die," he hisses.

He digs the knife into my arm again and gives it a sharp twist. I breath in sharply, my eyes watering; Zale enjoys my reaction and once again digs the knife into my arm, this time pulling it so that it creates and arc. I can feel my body shaking, I'm losing a lot of blood. Zale's breath is hot in my face as he cuts away at my arm and my sanity. Through my watery eyes I can just make out the shape of a knife in his belt, I can't reach my own knife, but I can reach his. Zale continues to rip into my arm, each strike forming part of his message, but I instead focus on the knife. If I can reach it I can get away.

"It didn't have to be like this. Its such a waste to kill a pretty girl like you," Zale stops cutting into my arm for a moment to run the tip of the blood splattered blade along my jaw, "If you hadn't betrayed me we could have had so much fun," I don't want to know what Zale's idea of fun is, it can't be good if he's enjoying torturing me this much, "but you did, so now I'm going to make you pay." the brief reprieve from the torture ends and my flesh once again is mangled. Every part of me screams and I begin to feel like reality is slipping away.

Zale is to focused on my right arm to see me grab the knife. I yank it out of his belt and plunge it into his side. He stumbles backwards and I run while at the same time grabbing my weapons off the ground. I've almost made it away when Zale picks up his sword and slashes it across my back. I stumble forward, the cut is deep and it hurts like hell, but I keep running.

I crash through the forest kicking dirt and leaves up as I go. The animals skimper away as I make my way through the forest. The loss of blood is making me dizzy and I know if I don't stop it soon I'll bleed out. Between the injury to his leg and side I know Zale won't follow me, he needs help too. When the trees start to spin I know I need to stop.

My pack is back at camp so all I have to work with are weapons and my shirt; I pull my shirt over my head and cut it into long strips. I wrap the first two around my forearm which now has TRAITOR carved into it, a reminder of what I am. I wrap the cloth tightly around my arm, but within seconds it begins to bleed through, I do my best to wrap the remainder of my shirt around the long, deep cut on my back, but there isn't much I can do. With my bandages in place I force myself to find camp. When I finally stumble into camp I only get a quick look at my allies faces before I collapse. Ronan catches me and lays me on the ground so that they can look at my wounds.

"Avea, what happened?" Eris asks with a look of horror on her face.

"I ran into Zale while I was hunting and he attacked me. He said... he said that the Careers were looking for you guys and that they were going to kill you," I garble the loss of blood preventing me from speaking properly.

"They haven't been here, but if they had I can assure you that we would have kicked their asses," Eris says as she rummages through the first aid kit trying to find something to stop the bleeding. The kit includes only the most basic first aid supplies, nothing even close to what I need. I'm going to die.

My vision starts getting black at the edges and I drift in and out of consciousness. Ronan shakes me everytime I drift of and yells at me to stay awake, but it's hard to, it would be so much easier to give up. Out of the corner of my eye I see something silver fall to the ground. I feel like I should know what it is, but I don't, I just know that whatever it is it's good. Eris grabs the silver thing and comes back with a box of what looks like sewing supplies and to bottles. She hands one of the bottles to Ronan who opens it up and forces me to drink it, the liquid makes me sleepy. Eris rubs the liquid in the second bottle on my wounds and on her hands, this liquid burns. Eris threads a curved needle and some part of me understands that she's saving me, but for the most part I'm completely disoriented.

"You're going to be ok," Ronan whispers to me. His hands hold my good hand in both of his as I black out.

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