The Hanging Tree

This is an extend of The Hunger Games, and the story behind the song 'The Hanging Tree' that Katniss Everdeen sings in 'Mockingjay'. Please note that this is MY interpretation of this story, and others may have different opinions. Thank you.

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4. Hunted

She and Carver paced through the woods, in uncomfortable silence, glancing from side to side, refusing to meet each others eyes. He wore a scratchy cotton shirt, cotton pants, and leather boots, moulded to his feet. His game bag was slung over his shoulder, as well as a leather jacket. His ashy blonde hair, his grey eyes even his skin, was bleached a pale glimmering silver in the moonlight. Heathers' hair became a dark, honey grey, and her eyes became a vibrant golden chrome. They reached the lake they rested at earlier and made an unspoken descision to stop. They headed inside the newly built hut, assembled by Carvers late father, out of slabs of concrete rubble, supported and nailed through the joins by large, rusty, but sturdy iron rods. They sat on hand carved stools, facing each other but refusing to look at each other. It was Carver who got the ball rolling, as per usual.

"So... Why am I here?" he asked, staring into Heathers downcast eyes.

"We need to talk."

"About what?"

"Everything." Another long moment of almost awkward silence.

"But what in particular."

"Nothing. And everything. My parents, your mum, us, Joe-"

"Joe?" His voice was calm, even and cold. Uh oh. "When did Joe come into this?"  She shuffled her feet, and refused to look at him. His hand lashed out, making her wince, and squeal in fright, but he only exhaled sharply at her squeal, gripped her chin, and pulled her head towards him. He stared into her eyes. "Answer me." His powerful voice, and spicy scent made her head swim. Her bottom lip trembled and his hard steel eyes bored into her golden hazel ones.

"Joe came into this as soon as I realised he liked me..." She could not look at him as his hand tensed, gripping her chin almost painfully tightly. He took several deep breaths and looked away from her. She gently pulled away from his iron grasp, and sat there, looking at her clasped hands in her lap. "How long have you known?" he glared back into her face, determined every query of his be answered.

"About two months..."

"What has he been doing, stalking you?" he joked. She looked down. "Come off it!" he yelled. "Why can't you tell this Joe to butt out!?"

"Because he's my neighbour, and according to my parents, my whole future."

"And according to you?" he growled. She looked down, not able to answer. He leant forward, cradled her head in his hands, and fused his lips with hers. He moved her lips in unfamiliar ways, which made her heart pound, her breath catch, and her head swim. He fused them together, physically, emotionally, and mentally. They stayed locked in a tight embrace for several minutes. He pulled back, resting his forehead to hers, their breath mingling in short pants. "Him, or me?" he snarled, glaring at her. She merely tilted her chin forwards and gave him a sweet, lingering kiss. She stood up, and left the hut, him following, and strode to the other side of the grove. They stopped, and turned to each other. "I have to go now," he explained, "I have to hunt to trade for breakfast. I'll see you tommorrow, six hours. You have the morning free for the Reaping, right?" She nodded." I asked my mother to have two days off of my duties, and she has to comply. I might be gone in the next 36 hours, headed for the Capitol and for certain death. I'll probably come to you later with some food, so don't worry about hunting for dinner tonight. I'll be at your house at 5:30." He leant down to kiss her one more time, and she smiled. "Don't worry Carver, I won't desert you anytime soon." She waved as he backed off, smiling, and melting into the wood. She sighed, and headed home, already contemplating how to get through the next 18 hours without him. As soon as she got to the edge of the forest she heard it. The crackle of electricity in the District fence. The shouts of people further off in the market. The dissaproving murmurs, and someone, a teen boy, giving directions to a large group. The clomp of boots coming closer, as well as the male voice. And if anything could get more terrifying than the thought of meeting a large crowd when you should be at home, fast asleep, it did. The revving of the ignition tore through the still night air, and she heard the motor barelling across the Meadow. Peacekeepers. Hunting her! The vehicle was making a beeline straight for her. So she did the only thing a hunted animal could do to survive. She ran.

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