Catching Fire

For the Catching Fire fan fiction competition - the ending of Catching Fire and a little bit of Mockingjay from Peeta's point of view, when he is being tortured and hijacked at the Capitol. Hope you enjoy, thanks for reading! PS: fellow movellians, I'll appreciate any constructive criticism as I'm here to improve my writing, thank you! (I had written a longer story but somehow after I clicked the ''save'' button, it didn't work and I lost my story, which resulted in a poorer version of the one I had first written, and I apologize for that)

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1. Catching Fire / Mockingjay - Peeta's P.O.V.

     I don’t know exactly for how long I’ve been here. It feels like months have gone by. And I’ve spent all this time thinking about her. I think of the last thing we said to each other back in the arena before splitting up for Beetee’s plan.  All that’s left was the promise to be back to each other by midnight so we could flee from the other tributes. The promise we, I, didn't manage to keep.

    Instead, the arena burst into flames and it fell apart piece by piece. I was knocked out while I was looking for her, wondering if she’d still be alive. And I woke up here, tied to a bed in this small room and without any information on whether Katniss is alive or not. I woke up at the Capitol.

     Johanna is here, too, and so is Enobaria. Johanna lies on the bed next to mine. Her eyes are red and puffy, she rarely blinks while she stares at the ceiling for who knows how many hours since she woke up today. It’s easy to lose track of time here.

     Masked people come here to beat us up from time to time, asking us many questions. Most of those questions involve Katniss, a rebellion against the Capitol, and District 13. Questions to which I have no answer and have been playing guess myself.  They beat me so much after all that I’m unconscious most of the time. And I’m thankful for it, because the more hours I am awake, the more time I have to think about her.

     And it’s not that I don’t want to think about her, it’s just that it hurts more than being tortured by the Capitol. It hurts because I didn't get to save her, as I was supposed to. But I know one thing for sure, Katniss is alive. I know that because if she was dead, they would have killed me right away when they first laid their hands on me and the other tributes. They wouldn't bother to torture and to ask us so many questions that involve her, either.

     Back in the arena, when she slept into my arms, I couldn't help but to think that maybe, there was one small chance that the both of us could get out alive once more. That hopefully one day she would love me just as much as I love her. But that is not possible. And not because she would never love me, but because we’re miles away from each other with very few chances of ever being back together. That is, if I make it out of here alive, which according to myself, is not going to happen.

     And I don't mind. I wanted to die in her place so she would have a future with her family, and I hate to say it, Gale. I wanted it because I have nothing and no one to live for if she dies. But then she said she needs me. And that leaves me to the possibility mixed with wonder that she might already love me. The thought that it wasn't just an act for the cameras, that it was real, is the very thought that keeps me sane.

     That is what I hold on to when they torture me. They injected tracker jacker venom in me so many times that now it’s hard to tell reality and hallucination apart. It gets harder to do so each time the venom runs through my body, it confuses memories with fear.  And that one memory I hold on to, it reminds me of what's real. It reminds me that I love her. Because just as it is easy to lose track of the time here, it is also easy to forget who we are. And I don’t know how much longer I can keep myself sane. Holding on isn't enough anymore.

     “Why can’t you tell me the things you know? What’s happening exactly in 13?” I ask Johanna.

     “Peeta, for the umpteenth time I tell you, I don’t know.” She spits the words without taking her eyes of the ceiling. “And I would appreciate if you kept your mouth shut.”

     “I wonder if she’s ok.” I say.

     After a long pause, she looks at me, and say. “She’s alive.”

    She focuses on the ceiling again. “Now shut up. Will you?”

    “Alive.” I say to myself.

***

      A burning sensation runs rapidly through my body. Tracker jacker venom.

     I think about our last kiss in the arena. It was real.

     My vision is blurred and unfocused, black dots blind me. Images flash fast in my head, memories. One of those images materialize into a girl. She has braided dark hair, olive skin, and grey eyes. I know her name, but her name only. Katniss.

     I recognize her. She is the girl who tried countless times to kill me in the arena. And she killed my family, too. These memories of her creep on me like nightmares do, haunting and persistent. And it's been happening very often. I will never forget her eyes. Hungry, furious. Not human.

     The Katniss girl surges towards me, running, a knife in hand. I try to run, but my prosthetic leg falters, and I fall to the ground. She reaches me, and I give her a pleading look. She grits her teeth in a wicked smiled, and drives her knife into my stomach. It's just a memory, I tell myself.

     I can hear my own screams loud and clear. I can't tell if it's part of the memory or if it's actually happening at the moment. 

    The memory plays on and on, repetitive. Each time Katniss does different things to me, terrible things. It doesn't seem to stop.

     Everything goes black. I open my eyes but they are still blinded, unfocused. I wake from the memory with a furious feeling rising inside of my chest, so strong I can't deny it the power to control me. A feeling of anger, rage, power, vengeance. 

     The will to hurt Katniss.

     To kill her.

     

 

 

 

 

 

 

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