The Second Quarter Quell

Haymitch Abernathy is an eighteen year old tribute from District 12 during the 2nd Quarter Quell of the Hunger Games. Alongside him are three other tributes, one of them posing more of a threat than an other enemy he might face in the arena. Who is this tribute? Find out now! (((Kree Stark belongs to me. Please do not steal her.)))

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7. Decreasing Numbers

Haymitch and the girls slept peacefully that night, their stomachs full of fresh water. Maysilee had also discovered that the juice of the Arena's fruit could be purified, giving the three tributes an extra treat. Haymitch had remained silent as the faces of the District 7 brothers shone in the sky. When Maysilee had asked him what had happened, he merely lay down and refused to talk. Kree had eventually coaxed the story out of him, leaving the girls horrified.

 

As the sun began to rise over the horizon, Kree opened her eyes. Haymitch lay beside her, his coat covering them both. Maysilee lay on his other side with both hers and Kree's coats. She smiled and gave his forehead a quick kiss, causing him to groan softly. Moving slowly, she arose to her feet and stretched. Her stomach grumbled, reminding her that it had been a few days since she had eaten last. Retrieving the purifier and one of the canteens, she went to one of the nearby fruit trees and began to pick their breakfast.

"Kree," she turned to see that Maysilee had followed her, "can I talk to you for a minute?"

"Sure, May. What's on your mind."

The blonde remained silent for a moment before cautiously continuing, "There are only eight of us left. I think we should split up."

Kree froze, turning to stare at her best friend with horrified eyes, "What?! How can you-"

"There can only be one victor, Kree," she finally exploded, "and what happens when there's only five of us left? Or even three? What then? If we split up now, there's a chance we won't have to...kill one another. Kree," tears had begun to pour from her eyes, "I can't kill you...or Haymitch...I just can't!"

The taller girl's eyes softened, trying to push the images of Garreth lying dead in his grave out of her mind.

"I don't want to take the chance of having to kill either of you," Maysilee hung her head, "You can stay if you want to, but I'm leaving."

"May," Kree placed a hand on her shoulder, "stay here. You won't survive on your own."

"Like you said, Kree," the blonde gave a fake smile, "we were never going to survive in the first place."

Kree couldn't find any words as Maysilee grabbed her blowgun and dart bag. Reaching in the backpack, she took the other canteen full of pure water. Kree made no attempts to stop her. Movement caused both girls to notice Haymitch standing up. From the look on his face, it was clear that he had overheard everything.

Maysilee trembled as he rushed her. Kree held her breath, but released it once she realized that Haymitch was merely giving her a hug goodbye. Maysilee gave a sigh of relief, returning the embrace. As soon as the blondes broke apart, the girls shared a hug as well as a few tears.

Not one word was said as Maysilee walked away from the campsite and disappeared behind the treeline.

"She's right, you know," Haymitch turned to look at Kree, "sooner or later, we'll have to turn on one another."

"May..."

Still dumbstruck, the raven hair returned to the camp and sat down, forgetting the fact that her stomach continued to roar in protest. She sat there, thinking. Maysilee was right, she knew that, but that didn't make her absence any easier. It felt like she was dead, never to hug Kree again or to tell her to shut her trap. A smile played at the tribute's lips when she recalled how the two girls met.

"You know," she said out loud, catching her companion's attention, "when May and I first met, we hated each other. I thought she was spoiled rotten. She later told me that she thought I was too. We had to sit next to each other in school, and I just tormented her to no end. Puling her hair, kicking dirt into her food at lunchtime."

Haymitch smiled and nodded, "I remember. The eventually separated the two of you. Then, one day, you two showed up and she was clinging on your arm. She'd been there ever since," he laughed, "I'm a little ashamed to say, but I was the one who started the whole tumor joke."

Kree smirked, "That was you?!"

The blonde held up his hands defensively, "Hey, you guys made it too easy! I mean, she was always attached to your arm!"

Kree laughed as well, "And all because I beat the shit out of some guys who were picking on her! I made sure they knew that nobody beat up May except for me!"

The pair laughed for many minutes afterwards. Suddenly, a cannon sounded in the distance. Kree shot to her feet, eyes wild and searching. Haymitch's look of horror scanned the area for any signs of life. Then, another cannon shot caused them both to jump. A third one sounded not long after that. The pair listened, but the world had fell silent.

Four. There were only four tributes left. Kree had to assume that Shimmer was one of them. That bitch wouldn't die until she had taken her life. Rage arose in Kree as she thought of the blonde. She wouldn't die at the hands of some slut, and she would be damned if the District 1 Career got a hold of Haymitch.

"May," Hamitch's voice startled her, "she'll be okay. I'm sure of it. I bet'cha those cannons were for those District 9 tributes."

Kree nodded and sat down beside him, listening to a flock of neon pink birds as they...circled overhead?!

"Haymitch," she cautiously reached for her baseball bat, "no sudden movements."

He caught sight of the flock, giving a small intake of breath before grabbing his knife. The birds were about the size of a woodpecker with long legs and a needle-sharp nose. He could make out a pair of black eyes on each of their faces. Moving slowly, Kree grabbed their backpack with the water purifier and canteen and began to stuff their coats into it, along with a few pieces of fruit.

"Okay, Haymitch," she whispered, "we are going to start walking very slowly."

He nodded and took her hand in his. The pair began inching towards the treeline, the flock following up above their heads. Kree felt Haymitch's grip increase, leaving her to guess that his heart was pounding just as badly as hers.

Five minutes had passed before they reached the trees. Kree let out a sigh of relief. they were going to make it. Suddenly, Haymitch gave a cry of surprise and fell forward, dragging Kree with him. The birds gave out warbled cries and began to frenzy about. Looking down, Kree saw that Haymitch's legs were entangled in a noose. The thick twine was attached to a large rock, which had begun to pull Haymitch upwards like a counterweight. She figured it was probably a trap left behind by another tribute. By now, Haymitch hung completely upside down. He groaned in discomfort, giving a startled cry as something cut into the skin on his forearm. It wasn't deep, but the cut was clean and delivered with such speed. Suddenly, another cut appeared on his leg, then on his back. He began to scream in pain as he realized that the birds had begun to slice him with their beaks. Kree picked up her bat and stood in front of Haymitch, who had begun to saw at the thick twine with his knife. As a bird came close, Kree gave a mighty swing and chased it off. Haymitch was about halfway through the ropes when her bat finally sent one crashing into a tree. The bird's chest broke open, revealing lime green bones and blood. The other birds, seeing one of their own dead, gave warbles of fear and took to the air. Within seconds, they were gone.

"Kree," Haymitch called, "pull the rock upwards! Get me down!"

Nodding, she discarded her bat and attempted to pick up the large rock. Little by little, she was able to rise it until Haymitch's head lay flat on the ground.

"Hand me your knife."

He obeyed and she sawed through the twine until it gave a sharp snap. THUD! Haymitch groaned in surprise when he landed flat on his back. Dropping the rock, Kree helped him to his feet and gave him back his weapon. Grabbing her bat, the two returned to the campsite and sat down.

 

"Kree," she turned to stare at him, "what's your family like?"

She smiled, "They're incredible. I wouldn't trade any of them for the world. My older sister got married a while back," she smirked, "she's one month pregnant right now. I hope she has a boy. I'm telling her that all the time."

"Why do you want it to be a boy?"

"Because my sister was terrible as a child! She was such a troublemaker. At least if it's a boy, it will be understandable."

The pair laughed long and hard.

"If you could name the baby," Haymitch suddenly asked, "what would it be?"

"Well," she thought for a moment, "if it's a girl, I'd call her Hope. And if it's a boy, I'd name him Peeta after my dad. My dad was always a brave, noble man. He died in the mines four years ago. They said he was trying to save another worker, but neither of them made it out," she smiled again, "Peeta James Mellark. Then he'd have his grandfather's name and his father's."

Haymitch couldn't stop the smile from spreading onto his face. Suddenly, the Dedication began to play. Both tributes looked the sky, fear on each of their faces. Shimmer still did not show, but both girls and a boy from District 9 did. Kree gave a sigh of relief. Maysilee was alive and safe.

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