Haymitch decides to take the first watch, and Mags, Finnick and I go to sleep under the woven shelter. He wakes me up a few hours later and he goes to bed. I sit, leaning against a tree, one hand resting on my bump. An hour or so later, I see a blurry greyness out of the corner of my eye. I turn to find a fog rising and travelling at a oddly fast pace towards us. Curiously, I reach out and touch it. A searing pain shoots up my arm, as if I had put my hand in the fire.
"Wake up!" I yell, not caring who else hears at that moment, "The fog is poisonous, don't touch it!"
Finnick is alert within seconds and hoists Mags up on his shoulders, while Haymitch breaks into a sprint. I remember the spile and reach back for our only source of water. The whole right side of my body breaks out in blisters and I scream in agony. I somehow find the spile and try to run from the impending wall of poison, but my leg is jerking around uncontrollably, as is my arm.
Haymitch seems to have got the worst of the fog as he went to retrieve Finnick's trident. He tries to pick me up, but his arm won't work right. He shakes his head and turns to Finnick. Mags hops down from Finnick's shoulders, kisses him on the cheek and walks straight into the fog. Dumbstruck, Finnick picks me up and drags Haymitch along with his other arm. We run and run, even after the fog disappears and the pain is still so intense, that I barely notice that I am waist-deep in the salt-water.
The water seems to intensify the pain, but then, I see a white liquid come out of my skin and the pain disappears.
"Get in the water!" I call out.
They do so and cries of pain fill the air, then sighs of relief. I look up at the sky to see that it is early morning. I walk up the beach to rest, but I sense the presence of someone, or something else. The trees are packed with large monkeys. One opens its mouth slightly and I see its teeth, no, fangs. They are long and
sharper than a knife. Haymitch follows me, looking confused and concerned by the evident fear on my face. "Katniss?" he calls out.
That's when he senses them. He freezes and his eyes dart up for a split second, but it's as if he's triggered a bomb. A shrieking mass of fur and fangs surround us. They slide down the vines as if the things are greased.
"Mutts," I spit at Finnick and he nods, holding out his trident in anticipation.
They attack. I make every arrow count, aiming for hearts or necks, but it wouldn't be enough without Finnick stabbing them and throwing them aside like fish and Haymitch slashing away at them with his knives. The scent of blood fills the air. I let my last arrow fly and reach for the knife tucked neatly into my belt. Out of nowhere, someone leaps in front of me. The mutt I hadn't seen sinks its fangs into the insane woman from district six, instead of me.
I free my knife and reach over, stabbing the thing again and again, until it releases its jaw. Kicking the mutt away, I pick up Haymitch's spare sheath and load my bow, waiting for more. Finnick is standing behind me, breathing hard but not actively engaged. The monkeys retreat, back up the trees, as if called by some unheard voice.
"Get her," I say to Finnick, "We'll cover you."
He lifts her up and carries her back to us. We have our weapons at the ready, but not a single, mutt remains, except for the orange carcasses littering the floor. He lays the morphling down on the sand. Her breathing is ragged and shallow. I bend down and cut away the fabric of her jumpsuit to reveal four puncture wounds. From the position of them, I know she doesn't have much time left. I take her twitching hand in mine and sit down. "Thank you," I whisper. She manages a small smile, then she becomes still.
Finnick carries her body out to the water, then returns, with a fist full of my arrows, still wet with the monkeys' blood.
"I thought you might want them," he says.
"Thanks," I reply. I walk down to the water and wade in to wash them off. By the time I return to the jungle, the bodies have vanished. "Where did they go?" I ask, confused.
"I'm not sure," says Haymitch, "the vines shifted, then they were gone."
As we sit there, I notice my scabs from the fog droplets have begun to itch. At least they are healing. We get some water, then set up camp.
"I'll take the first watch," I say.
"No Katniss, I'd rather," Finnick says. It is then that I realise that he is barely holding back tears.
"Thanks," I say and lie down on the ground.