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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6. Snared

Heather had been sitting there by Carvers' side for hours now, hoping he would wake up. He didn't. She was getting drowsy now, and really hungry too. She knew it was early in the morning, but she couldn't guess what time it was. Three? Four? Five? She sighed, as her tummy growled, her back twinged from being in the same position for ages, and Carver groaned in his sleep. She couldn't dare go back to the District. All that was waiting for her there was scolding, unhappiness, and possibly death. It was the Reaping tomorrow, and if she didn't turn up for that she would be dead anyway. Carver started to mumble in his sleep, as he began to come around. "Carver?" she whispered, trying to encourage him to wake up. "Carver, are you okay?" His eyes flashed open, and he slid away from her obviously startled. "It's okay Carver, it's just me." she soothed him. He focused on her, and shot forwards, his arms wrapping around her.

"I'm glad you're safe," he mumbled into her neck.

"Me too, Carver, me too." she sighed, happy that he was okay. Then the shadow of their current predicament fell upon her mind again like a thick smog. "But what do we do now?!" she asked, beginning to shake. He felt this and pulled back.

"What are you on about?"

"What do we do now? The Peacekeepers know it was us in the woods, and if we go back, we die. If we stay out here they will come looking for us, so we die. If we stay in between, we die. If we go back, and miraculously don't have a date with the firing squad, they'll hijack the Reaping so our names are drawn, we compete in the Hunger Games, and we die!" She was crying by this point, unable to accept the fact that her life was over.

"Well, we have to go back some time, what with the Reaping and all, so..." Carver paused, unsure, and looking around the cave as if some answer would pop out of the gloom. "We just go home, we say that you were out collecting berries, and I was escorting you!" He looked truly pleased with this idea, but she was heavily cynical.

"At one o'clock in the morning?"

"You couldn't sleep?" She sighed, and pushed away from him, standing up, and walking over to her abandoned rucksack. She pulled out the now dry loaf of bread, and the goats' cheese, and lobbed them at Carver. He caught them with ease, and pulled out some blackberries he had collected while walking in the woods. He split the loaf in half, then tore it into rough slices, layering it with the fatty goat cheese, and burying the berries into the hearty bread. Heather came to sit down beside him, picking up several slices, and cramming as much food into her mouth as possible. Oh, how she had longed for food!

"Manners, young lady!" Carver mocked, in an exaggerated impression of her mothers' voice. In reply, she picked up a whole slice, and fit it into her mouth in one, grinning widely. Carver poked her, and she snuggled into his side, enjoying the crunch of the oats and seeds in the bread, the tartness of the berries, the strong flavour of the cheese, and the smell of spice, soil, and greenery emanating from his skin.

'If only life could be this way forever,' she found herself thinking. 'Of course it won't, but a girl can dream...'

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