"I don't have anything else to tell you." I state firmly. Snow sighs, almost tired looking. His red lips are cracked, and his expression is haggard. I smile, knowing he isn't perfect after all. But then he licks his lips, and the crack dissapears. Such a small thing, to give me so much hope. But if Snow can be affected by something so... so human as thirst, and tiredness, perhaps I can resist him. Perhaps I can escape him.
I have no way of knowing how long I've been in this stupid excuse for a room. The dirty flaking walls, the grey featureless concrete floor, all tools designed to get me to give up hope. Much like Snow himself, I suppose. My own personal hell.
"We had an agreement, Mr. Mellark. Don't forget that." He's referring to the conversation we had before he started asking me questions to which I had no answers, when he said he would tell me where my Katniss was if I did, in fact, answer.
"I didn't. I'm telling you that I don't know where the other victors are." He considers this, and nods to Onyx, who has been standing beside for the most part of our so-called interrogation.
"Alright. I think I have a way of refreshing your memory." His easy smile returns. It's curve of hatred and evil all too familiar to me.
Snow stands, and smoothing down his coat, he points to a screen in the upper corner of the room. I had not noticed it before, due to it's emptiness of exposure in this seemingly dank room.
The image is of me, sitting in a chair in a concrete wasteland, with chains holding me to the floor. I realize after few seconds of confusion, that it's me.
My looks, the way I'm slouched, uncomfortable, my face twisted in anger, makes me feel that I'm a different person all together.
"And how is that?" I ask nonchalantly, tilting my head to twist apart the last nerve inside of him. His face contorts, as if he himself were about to slap me like Onyx has done so many times since they captured me. But, instead of doing so, he stops, laughs, and licks his lips in triumph. This does surprise me, to the point where I bring my head back to it's natural position. His smile sends a breath of sickly air into my nose. Blood and roses. Two things, so different. The rose, with it's sweet and refreshing sent. Then the blood, marking death and terror. Two things, that make the worst possible match, are inside Snow.
"My dear boy, you are no longer in the slums of your pathetic District. Here, we have better means than threatening starvation." His words scare me more than his stature. Better means than threatening starvation. There is only one means of pain I know, apart from starvation. Not just the wait. Not the fear of no food, the deep aching rumble of a starving stomach. Worse. A lot worse. Physical and mental pain, all in one tightly wrapped package. Knives, guns, weapons. Manipulation, fear, and exploitation. The worst act, at least for someone like me, who has never done anything wrong...
"T... Torture." I have to whisper it to myself to be clear of it's existence. Of course I should have seen this coming....but why? What do they want from me?
"Mr. Mellark," Snow breaths as his discussing partner flicks on a machine with a circular tube full of clear liquid. My arms tense as he pulls out yet another needle. Fear bangs at the door to my brain, for it has already reached my heart. "you might want to hold on to something."
His smile grows wider as the machine carrying the needle approaches me. Onyx looks bored and tiresome, where as he is pure excitement. What kind of torture is this? What could they possibly do with some liquid and a needle that would keep me alive so they could ask more unmeaning questions?
I don't notice when the sharp metal enters my skin but I feel the cold liquid enter my bloodstream, leaving an icy path of fear as it travels throughout my broken body. Onyx presses a simple button on the machine, which compresses and forces the liquid inside me.
Katniss stands on the other side of the force field, her hands pressed so hard to her head I think her skull might crack. I quickly remember being in the arena, not being able to reach Katniss while the blood curdling screams of her family surrounded her. And now I'm here, reliving it all over again.
I bend down, leaning against the clear wall between me and my only love. She doesn't hear me, and I can't hear all that she is, all I know is that it's hurting her, and she is terrified.
I can't get to here for the longest time, and she continues to cry. Johanna is just screaming at me to leave her alone, that nothing I can do is going to help her. I block the complaints from entering my mind. I could never even think of leaving Katniss alone to fight off whatever is happening. Finnick seems perfectly calm, but his bulging muscles say otherwise. I beat the field of separation, breaking it mentally but never physically. I can't reach her, and I'm loathing every second of it.
But no, it is Snow standing in front of me, Snow is staring over me, smiling at me, my body contorting, and I'm in such terrible pain and-
Finally my hands fall forward, releasing the pressure of the force field. Katniss cries, head in between her legs. I crawl as fast as possible and caress her body, but before I can softly whisper to her that the incredible cause of pain is gone, she whips out from under me.
Standing, she wields her true self. Strong, independent, and brave. I have always admired her many personalities, but now, all I want is to know that they are sound.
"Oh, Peeta. I never cared about them. Especially you." Her words reach my heart before my brain. She can't, no, she couldn't. Not after everything. Not after all the lonely days I spent adoring her every breath. Not after I've seen her go through what no being should.
"What?" I swallow, astound. My heart drops to my feet, leaving an empty space where it should be. The space aches with such intensity that I think I might explode.
Her bow comes from behind her back as she draws an arrow behind it. She never cared, she never cared. How could it be? No, it can't be. She lead me on too long, why is she doing this?
"Why?" I stay on the ground, doubting I'd have the strength to get up. I remember something we learned in school, probably the only thing that didn't have to do with mining. Your heart controls everything, hence the blood carrying the oxygen to your body's cells. It is now that I have that revelation, without a heart, or even a damaged one, you cannot survive. It is in charge of all vitals. She was the one to replace my oxygen with something better to carry through my body, and she has taken it away. Therefor, I cannot survive.
Snow stands over me, watching my every movement. I am again faced with one question: Why is he here? Invading my memories doesn't sound like a point of torture. Maybe him being there is a little uncomfortable and erie, but nothing to drive me insane. Then it hits me like a slap to the face: He's showing me the truth. How else would he have this? He's showing me footage of what happened on this day. The sinking is still aware in y stomach.
"Why?" She laughs a harsh laugh, almost as menacing as Snow's. She pulls the string back carefully, aiming it at my head.
"Because life comes before love." She lets the arrow fly, and I do nothing to dodge it. If she doesn't love me, I cannot survive.
I watch Snow's face transform to many expressions; excited, giddy, fascination. The one thing I do not see, the one thing that I am sure is never on Snow's face, is remorse. Snow is a very sure man, and I doubt that he often regrets his actions. And right now is no exception. My pain, my hatred, all in a days work for him. The tyrant that stands in front of me, the dictator, is no more consious of my emotions than those of an ant. There are no more memories for me. There is only the sheer, unadulterated, dread. The hatred. And most of all. The Fear. I try to bring back the old memory, of Katniss and I cuddled on the beach as she trembled in fear. All of that is gone, and replaced with pure dread.