A/N: I'm sorry if this chapter ends out being really long….
A very painful stabbing feeling started filling my entire body. I squinted my eyes because of the brightness of the warm sun coming through the open windows.
"awe crap this is painful!" I yelled. I guess someone heard that because the echoing sound of footsteps started filling the room. I tried to shift my position but I quickly failed because I was in pain.
"hey Ray Ray." the sound of Gales voice brought tears to my eyes. I remembered the dream that I had just moments ago. I slowly moved my hand and rested it on my bruised up neck. the cold chain of Rowan's dog tag made me weakly smile.
"please don't call me that." I said. the nickname reminded me too much of Rowan.
"Alright, but are you feeling alright? you seem pretty beaten up."
"yeah I'm fine just a bit cut up that's all, anyway, your the main problem here, what's up with you?" I asked. I really didn't want to talk right now since my face was numb from the painkiller I didn't know I took.
"Really?!? what's up with me? look at yourself, your so beaten up, you're so selfless it's crazy." Gale remarked with a concerned look on his face.
"ok, fine, you win, I'm in pain. alright? do you think I can walk?" I asked. I needed to go hunting and be home to watch the twist to this years quarter quell. Katniss and Peeta are gonna be mentors this year so Haymich and I have helpers for giving advice for tributes.
"yeah you can probably walk, you just need to wrap gauze around some parts of your body and put some of this weird gel stuff on your face" Gale replied holding up the small jar of the yellow gel.
"How do you know all of this?" I asked. I mean, I'm not calling Gale dumb, but he has absolutely no knowledge of first aid at all.
"your mom told me… you'll be fine" ok, good. I can't stand the fact of being idle for a long period of time.
"give me the supplies so I can do stuff!" I snapped at Gale. Gale smiled at me and handed me a small paper bag full of the materials.
I pulled the items out of the bag. Gauze, pain killer, and the thick yellow gel. I unscrewed the silver lid to reveal the thick, cold medicine. I set my fingers inside the jar and scooped some out. I rubbed some of the substance on my bloody skin.
"Oh shit, I forgot to remind you, you have to clean your wounds first…" Gale said trying to contain his laughter.
"really?? wow, I would've never guessed…" I said motioning to my arm which was now both bloody and that was mixed in with gel. Gale handed me a towel with this cold liquid on it. I rubbed all over my arms and legs and face.
"uh…" I started. "can you clean up my back?" I finished awkwardly.
"uh yeah sure"I handed Gale the towel And he rubbed the stuff all over my back.
When Gale finished cleaning my back and when I finished spreading gel and wrapped the gauss all over my body I asked, "Uh Gale? Have you, uh… seen him… since the games?"
"Wh- oh you mean Rowan?" he laughed. "Haden he's dead, I already got over that." Gale replied with teary eyes. "well I better go." With that, Gale left the house.
2 mins later I repeated my father's last words over and over again.
I slid off the table that I was laying on and slowly limped out of Katniss's, Prim's, and my mom's house. The sunlight of a new day no longer burned my wounded body but instead it warmed it. Maybe I have to look on the positive side for now on.
"Stay gold" I repeated my father's last words over and over again. Maybe that's what he meant by it. To stay young and to look on the positive side and to not let the Capitol's threat's get to me. I smiled. At this point I hadn't of cared if the bandaged on my face fell of I just kept repeating the short phrase out loud.
"stay gold, stay gold, stay gold, stay gold" I could be the brightest person in the world right now because I was happy.
I was now at the front door of my victors house and I opened the front door and I ran and yes, I ran because of my sudden burst of energy. I was laughing, smiling, and almost jumping.
I put my hand on the cold doorknob and turned it. I went inside of my room and opened one of my drawers and got dressed to go hunting.
I finished my usual braid and I ran out the door. I tried to remain quiet because no one is allowed to wonder out of the district. I looked behind myself and noticed Katniss jogging behind me in a hunting outfit that she has never worn before. I quickly looked forward again and I finally reached the electric fence. I crawled through it and jogged into the woods.
I walked over to the hollow log to choose which weapon I would use today since I have a large variety. I grabbed my belt with knives attached to it.
I reached for the leathery handle of the knife in my back pocket. I gripped the worn out leather while looking for animals.
I heard a soft rustling sound from about 30 feet away from me. Since I had great vision, I immediately knew that the smallish animal was a rabbit
I clutched the knife a bit harder just to make sure that I didn't drop it. My fingers inched up the handle of the knife to feel the cold metal of the base of the blade. With my knees slightly bent, I swiftly through the knife and I watched it glide through the warm air. I watched the rabbit drop signaling that I had killed it.
I ran over to the rabbit that i had just killed and picked it up. Then I stuffed the animal in my game bag. then I continued that same routine with other small animals until I heard Gale's voice behind me near Katniss.
"Hey, Glatniss! (gale and katniss)" I said smiling. Katniss just glared at me while Gale started laughing. I had about 2 rabbits and 1 bird and 2 squirrels in my game bag. just enough but giving a healthy dinner for Haymich will give me something to do tonight. So, I trotted back to the hollow log hid my knives inside the log and grabbed my spear and ran back over to where Katniss was.
"what ya got so far?" After I said that, she just glared at me. "Aww c'mon Katty, smile!" I tickled her sides a bit. well too much for trying to make her smile. (Haden writes many songs so that will explain the next part)
I wanted to see her smile. I haven't seen her smile in a while so I decided to name some of my song lyrics to make her figure out what I'm trying to get at. "Hey Katty, remember this, I know water is sweet, but blood is thicker… oh yeah, and if the sky is falling down, for you, there's nothing in this world I wouldn't do." I told her. and with that, I walked over to another area in the woods.
"wait up Rainbow!" I heard Gale say. Rane is my middle name, that's how Rowan came up with my nickname of Ray Ray.
"Rainbow, I want to show you something, but I have to cover your eyes with my hands." I nodded showing that I wanted to do whatever Gale was thinking of. Gale attempted to reach my eyes with his hands but failed because I'm like 10 years older than him.
"Gale, I'm 10 years older than you, also much taller, so can you do me a favor an ask me to just close my eyes?" Gale laughed at my remark and said that it was okay and that I just needed to bend over.
Gale was giving me instructions like "duck" or "step over the log that's in front of you." In no time at all, Gale asked me to open my eyes. I couldn't really see at first, but I let my eyes adjust and I saw what I thought was in terrible shape. Rowan's meadow
It looked more lush than it usually did because it was winter. It was Rowan and my place. our secret place. I didn't even know that Gale knew that we went here.
"How do you know about this?" I said in astonishment.
"Haden, Rowan was my brother, how could I not know? But I would never even dare to go near this place because It was yours." With that I just stared down at him. How could he be so small?
Well… I thought, I guess small people have it easier in this world… If you take the risk of being too big there’d be consequences.
Ten years ago I really started acting “big” you know, rebelling against the capitol, being different was all I was really doing… But I don’t regret a thing.
That's when I spoke up. "Yeah… I tell Prim about this place all the time, but I say it's not real so she won't make the mistake of wandering out here."
Katniss then looked at me and said, "why don't you tell me about this place?" I stiffed a laugh.
"Katniss, you hate it when I talk to you, shit, you don't even let me look at you." I spat. It was true though.. I'm defiantly not lying. Then I saw something pretty strange.
The white "fur" and the small hooves including the rough baaa sound told me that the thing I saw was a sheep. I never see sheep. Heck, I didn't even know that sheep existed in district 12.
I quickly clutched the wooden grip of my spear and let my arm launch it as it glided through the air. Gale would've said that I hit the sheep, but that's not what I saw...
What I saw was a completely different story. Right then and there, I saw what many would call my boyfriend (They were dating before and during the games) Rowan, fall to the ground, dead. But… for the second time. Even though I didn't actually kill him, it was so real. Then, that’s when I started screaming.
"NO! NO! THIS CAN'T BE REAL! IT CAN'T!" I yelled then started sobbing. "I KILLED HIM! WITH MY SPEAR! IT'S ALL MY FAULT, I KILLED ROWAN!" By now I couldn't tell if I was dreaming or not, but to make sure I repeatedly pinched myself in the upper arm.
I couldn't talk , I could barley breathe. All I could really do was cry. I was now on my knees with my hands over my ears shaking, and there were also silent tears running down my cheeks. Gale and to my surprise Katniss were both rubbing my back saying that I was hallucinating.
"The same thing happened to me actually, but I actually killed Marvel." Katniss spoke softly. Right when she said that I smiled. But Katty returned it with a hard glare. I'm not surprised.
I sat criss cross on top of my bed looking out the window. I had a nice view of the victors village because you could see some really pretty parts of district 12 from here. I then saw Haden. She was running with her long, skinny legs to who knows where. I wasn't sure if she was actually going somewhere or if she just wanted to show off her long skinny legs. I couldn't tell you. She had this calm look on her face like she had no care in this world. But sadly, this isn't true for any person living in district 12, even someone like Haden.
When you look into her eyes, no, I mean REALLY look into them you see more than happiness, but you see scars. brutal scars from memories and terrifying untold experiences. And behind that too, you see a sparkle of lots of hope. But that piece of beauty my friend, is sadly long gone.
My fingers fiddled with the hem of my light brown sweater. I pulled up my sleeve to reveal that cut I got by training for anything at Haden's basement. There was nothing but a wimpy scar there to replace what had been a wimpy wound. I seemed like a weak toddler compared to her. Haden has been through so much it's shocking actually. But Haden was more than just tough, but she always had fun and loved the world even though it seems that the world hates her. That's just the way it is. I hope she stays like that forever, so at least there'll be one more good mind in this cruel lifetime. But even wishing upon a star couldn't make one of Haden's wishes come true.
I pulled my sleeve down and laid my head on my soft pillow. I closed my eyes and listened to the soft, sweet whistling of the bluejays that were perched just outside my window sill. I knew that soon the Capitol would be announcing the Quarter Quell information so that meant I couldn't fall asleep. I tried to think about happy moments and block out all my worries I had about possibly going into the arena. I thought about the people I loved. Katniss, Haden, Mother…Father. I haven't seen my beloved father in such a long time. Even though I don't enjoy the fact that his features are slowly fading away from my mind I know that there is nothing I can possibly do to bring him back to life. I noticed that my eyes started getting misty. I shifted my thoughts to something else but I didn't have the time to do that because Katniss was leaning against my white doorframe.
Katniss had changed out of her hunting clothes and looked beautiful even though what she was wearing is quite causal.
"Prim, we have to watch the Quarter Quell thing…C'mon" Katniss made a gesture with her hand signaling for me to come with her.
I quickly jumped up the stairs to get changed in more comfortable clothes. I walked over to my mirror and looked into my hazel/green eyes. I stared into them and knew that I was definitely not the girl that volunteered over ten years ago. I'm now braver, stronger, and tougher. Nothing can get in my way now. I walked down my creaky staircase as I thought about Prim. She must be terrified. These games are gonna be different and as much as I hate to admit it, she does have a chance of being reaped. Again.
I was taken out of my trance due to the raspy sound of president Snow's voice. I leaped onto the couch and played with the tips of my tangled hair. I listened to the speech that would most likely make my life change.
Welcome, welcome. I am here today to remind you that this event which happens every 25 years we will forever know as the 3rd Quarter Quell! I am also here to announce as a reminder, that even the strongest of the strong, cannot overpower that Capitol. This being said, I have to say that this years tributes will be reaped out of our existing pool of victors. The reaping shall be held at 3:00 pm tomorrow. I wish you all the best of luck.
I knew what this meant. I am going to go into that arena weather Katniss likes it or not.
I'm going to volunteer...