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CATCHING FIRE. The Hunger Games If it were up to me, I would try to forget the Hunger Games entirely. .. districts for even a short time, the entire system would collapse.” He places his book on the corner of the desk and pats the center. Catching fire (The Second Book of the Hunger Games). Home · Catching Hunger Games 2 Catching Fire · Read more · Hunger Games 1 The Hunger Games. Catching fire (The Second Book of the Hunger Games) · Read more Hunger Games 1 The Hunger Games · Read more.

The Hunger Games Catching Fire Pdf Full Book

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The Second Book of THE HUNGER GAMES New York Times Bestsel ling Author SUZHNNE COLLINS PARTI "THE SPARK" 2 | P a g e Catching Fire. Catching fire / Suzanne Collins. — 1st ed. p. cm. Summary: By winning the annual Hunger Games, District 12 tributes Katniss. Everdeen and Book design by Elizabeth B. Parisi . even though the thing is supposed to be charged full- time. Catching Fire (The Hunger Games #2) Sparks are igniting. Flames are spreading . And the Capitol wants revenge. Against all odds, Katniss has won the Hunger.

Upon returning home, rebellion continues in District 8 so the President decides that extra measures must be taken to control the people. He enacts additional protocols to subdue the rebellious attitude that is becoming more prevalent in the districts. For this set of games, the special rule is that the contenders will be selected from the previous pool of winners. By default, Katniss is chosen as she has been the only female winner in her district.

As for the male tribute, initially Haymitch is selected, but Peeta offers himself as the tribute for District The group is immediately whisked away to the games and forced to train.

Haymitch advises them both to make alliances with the other contenders as soon as possible, as they are all strong opponents. During the interview before the games, all the contenders are trying their best to discourage the start of the games. Katniss is forced to wear a wedding dress for her interview, as mandated by the president, but her designer adds a feature that has her turn into a mocking jay, which has become the symbol of the rebellion.

Despite all attempts by the contenders to discourage the games , however, the President insists that they proceed regardless.

The games are far more eventful and suspenseful due to the rules enforced during the Quarter Quell. There are random events that occur during the games intended to spur more violence, and frequently we see other contenders working to save both Peeta and Katniss; leaving Katniss both confused and suspicious. Closer to the end of the novel, the allies come up with a plan to defeat the careers, but during this time Peeta disappears.

Despite the fact that the sun was setting and my family would be worried, I sat by a tree next tothe fence. I tried to decide how I felt about the kiss, if I had liked it or resented it, but all I reallyremembered was the pressure of Gales lips and the scent of the oranges that still lingered on hisskin.

It was pointless comparing it with the many kisses Id exchanged with Peeta. I still hadntfigured out if any of those counted. Finally I went home. That week I managed the snares and dropped off the meat with Hazelle.

But I didnt see Galeuntil Sunday. I had this whole speech worked out, about how I didnt want a boyfriend and neverplanned on marrying, but I didnt end up using it. Gale acted as if the kiss had never happened. Maybe he was waiting for me to say something. Or kiss him back. Instead I just pretended it hadnever happened, either. But it had. Gale had shattered some invisible barrier between us and, withit, any hope I had of resuming our old, uncomplicated friendship.

Whatever I pretended, I couldnever look at his lips in quite the same way. This all flashes through my head in an instant as President Snows eyes bore into me on the heels file: How stupid Ive been to think the Capitol would just ignore me once Idreturned home! Maybe I didnt know about the potential uprisings. But I knew they were angrywith me. Instead of acting with the extreme caution the situation called for, what have I done? From the presidents point of view, Ive ignored Peeta and flaunted my preference for Galescompany before the whole district.

And by doing so made it clear I was, in fact, mocking theCapitol. Now Ive endangered Gale and his family and my family and Peeta, too, by mycarelessness. Hes been my friend for years. Thats allthats between us.

Besides, everyone thinks were cousins now. I will. President Snow rises and dabs his puffy lips with a napkin. How can I aim higher? He drops the napkin and retrieves his book. I dont watch him as heheads for the door, so I flinch when he whispers in my ear. The smell of blood What does he do? I think. Drink it? I imagine him sipping it from a teacup. Dipping a cookie intothe stuff and pulling it out dripping red.

Outside the window, a car comes to life, soft and quiet like the purr of a cat, then fades away into file: It slips off as it arrived, unnoticed. The room seems to be spinning in slow, lopsided circles, and I wonder if I might black out. I leanforward and clutch the desk with one hand. The other still holds Peetas beautiful cookie.

I think ithad a tiger lily on it, but now its been reduced to crumbs in my fist. I didnt even know I wascrushing it, but I guess I had to hold on to something while my world veered out of control. A visit from President Snow. Districts on the verge of uprisings. A direct death threat to Gale,with others to follow. Everyone I love doomed. And who knows who else will pay for myactions?

Unless I turn things around on this tour. Quiet the discontent and put the presidentsmind at rest. And how? By proving to the country beyond any shadow of a doubt that I love PeetaMellark. I cant do it, I think. Im not that good. Peetas the good one, the likable one. He can make peoplebelieve anything.

Im the one who shuts up and sits back and lets him do as much of the talking aspossible. But it isnt Peeta who has to prove his devotion.

Its me. I hear my mothers light, quick tread in the hall. She cant know, I think. Not about any of this. Ireach my hands over the tray and quickly brush the bits of cookie from my palm and fingers. Itake a shaky sip of my tea. My mothers face floods with relief. I thought there was some kind of trouble. How I will always have to protect her.

Since Ive been home Ive been trying hard to mend my relationship with my mother. Asking herto do things for me instead of brushing aside any offer of help, as I did for years out of anger. Letting her handle all the money I won. Returning her hugs instead of tolerating them. My time inthe arena made me realize how I needed to stop punishing her for something she couldnt help,specifically the crushing depression she fell into after my fathers death.

Because sometimesthings happen to people and theyre not equipped to deal with them. Like me, for instance. Right now. Besides, theres one wonderful thing she did when I arrived back in the district. After our familiesand friends had greeted Peeta and me at the train station, there were a few questions allowed fromreporters. Someone asked my mother what she thought of my new boyfriend, and she replied that, file: She followed this with a pointed look at Peeta. That didnt last long—there was too much pressure to act otherwise—but it gave us an excuse to be a little more reserved than wed been in the Capitol.

And maybe itcan help account for how little Ive been seen in Peetas company since the cameras left. I go upstairs to the bathroom, where a steaming tub awaits. My mother has added a small bag ofdried flowers that perfumes the air. None of us are used to the luxury of turning on a tap andhaving a limitless supply of hot water at our fingertips.

We had only cold at our home in theSeam, and a bath meant boiling the rest over the fire. I undress and lower myself into the silkywater—my mother has poured in some kind of oil as well — and try to get a grip on things. The first question is who to tell, if anyone. Not my mother or Prim, obviously; theyd onlybecome sick with worry. Not Gale. Even if I could get word to him. What would he do with theinformation, anyway? If he were alone, I might try to persuade him to run away.

Certainly hecould survive in the woods. But hes not alone and hed never leave his family. Or me. When I gethome Ill have to tell him something about why our Sundays are a thing of the past, but I cantthink about that now. Only about my next move. Besides, Gales already so angry and frustratedwith the Capitol that I sometimes think hes going to arrange his own uprising.

The last thing heneeds is an incentive. No, I cant tell anyone Im leaving behind in District There are still three people I might confide in, starting with Cinna, my stylist. But my guess isCinna might already be at risk, and I dont want to pull him into any more trouble by closerassociation with me.

Then theres Peeta, who will be my partner in this deception, but how do Ibegin that conversation? Hey, Peeta, remember how I told you I was kind of faking being in lovewith you? Well, I really need you to forget about that now and act extra in love with me or thepresident might kill Gale. I cant do it. Besides, Peeta will perform well whether he knows whatsat stake or not.

That leaves Haymitch. Drunken, cranky, confrontational Haymitch, who I justpoured a basin of ice water on. As my mentor in the Games it was his duty to keep me alive. Ionly hope hes still up for the job. I slide down into the water, letting it block out the sounds around me. I wish the tub wouldexpand so I could go swimming, like I used to on hot summer Sundays in the woods with myfather.

Those days were a special treat. We would leave early in the morning and hike farther intothe woods than usual to a small lake hed found while hunting. I dont even remember learning toswim, I was so young when he taught me. I just remember diving, turning somersaults, andpaddling around. The muddy bottom of the lake beneath my toes. The smell of blossoms andgreenery. Floating on my back, as I am now, staring at the blue sky while the chatter of the woodswas muted by the water.

Hed bag the waterfowl that nested around the shore, Id hunt for eggs inthe grasses, and wed both dig for katniss roots, the plant for which he named me, in the shallows. At night, when we got home, my mother would pretend not to recognize me because I was soclean. Then shed cook up an amazing dinner of roasted duck and baked katniss tubers with gravy. I could have. Its time-consuming to get there, but the waterfowl aresuch easy pickings you can make up for lost hunting time. Its a place Ive never really wanted toshare with anyone, though, a place that belonged only to my father and me.

Since the Games,when Ive had little to occupy my days, Ive gone there a couple of times. The swimming was stillnice, but mostly the visits depressed me.

Over the course of the last five years, the lakesremarkably unchanged and Im almost unrecognizable. Even underwater I can hear the sounds of commotion. Honking car horns, shouts of greeting,doors banging shut.

It can only mean my entourage has arrived. I just have time to towel off andslip into a robe before my prep team bursts into the bathroom. Theres no question of privacy.

When it comes to my body, we have no secrets, these three people and me. Her aqua hair has been styled so it sticks out in sharp points all overher head, and the gold tattoos that used to be confined above her brows have curled around underher eyes, all contributing to the impression that Ive literally shocked her.

Octavia comes up and pats Venias back soothingly, her curvy body looking plumper than usualnext to Venias thin, angular one. You can fix those in no time. But what am Igoing to do with these nails?

No, her skin isnt exactly pea green now. Its more of a light evergreen. The shift in shade is nodoubt an attempt to stay abreast of the capricious fashion trends of the Capitol. Its true. Ive bitten my nails to stubs in the past couple of months. I thought about trying to breakthe habit but couldnt think of a good reason I should. I hadnt really beenspending much time worrying about how it might affect my prep team.

Flavius lifts a few strands of my wet, tangled hair. He gives his head a disapproving shake,causing his orange corkscrew curls to bounce around.

I did remember that. Its more like the issue never came up. Since Ivebeen home, all Ive done is stick it in its usual old braid down my back. This seems to mollify them, and they all kiss me, set me on a chair in my bedroom, and, as usual,start talking nonstop without bothering to notice if Im listening.

While Venia reinvents myeyebrows and Octavia gives me fake nails and Flavius massages goo into my hair, I hear all aboutthe Capitol. What a hit the Games were, how dull things have been since, how no one can waituntil Peeta and I visit again at the end of the Victory Tour.

After that, it wont be long before theCapitol begins gearing up for the Quarter Quell. Its the best I can do. In a normal year, being a mentor to the tributes isthe stuff of nightmares.

I cant walk by the school now without wondering what kid Ill have tocoach. But to make things even worse, this is the year of the Seventy-fifth Hunger Games, andthat means its also a Quarter Quell. They occur every twenty-five years, marking the anniversaryof the districts defeat with over-the-top celebrations and, for extra fun, some miserable twist forthe tributes. Ive never been alive for one, of course. But in school I remember hearing that for thesecond Quarter Quell, the Capitol demanded that twice the number of tributes be provided for thearena.

The teachers didnt go into much more detail, which is surprising, because that was theyear District 12s very own Haymitch Abernathy won the crown. Haymitch has never mentioned his personal experience in the arena to me. I would never ask. And if I ever saw his Games televised in reruns, I mustve been too young to remember it.

But theCapitol wont let him forget it this year. In a way, its a good thing Peeta and I will both beavailable as mentors during the Quell, because its a sure bet that Haymitch will be wasted. After theyve exhausted the topic of the Quarter Quell, my prep team, launches into a whole lot ofstuff about their incomprehensibly silly lives.

Who said what about someone Ive never heard ofand what sort of shoes they just bought and a long story from Octavia about what a mistake it wasto have everyone wear feathers to her birthday party. Soon my brows are stinging, my hairs smooth and silky, and my nails are ready to be painted.

Apparently theyve been given instruction to prepare only my hands and face, probably becauseeverything else will be covered in the cold weather.

During the Victory Tour, the paintings that Peeta shows to Katniss illustrate what?

Flavius badly wants to use his own trademarkpurple lipstick on me but resigns himself to a pink as they begin to color my face and nails. I cansee by the palette Cinna has assigned that were going for girlish, not sexy.

Ill never convince anyone of anything if Im trying to be provocative. Haymitch made thatvery clear when he was coaching me for my interview for the Games. My mother comes in, somewhat shyly, and says that Cinna has asked her to show the preps howshe did my hair the day of the reaping. They respond with enthusiasm and then watch, thoroughlyengrossed, as she breaks down the process of the elaborate braided hairdo.

In the mirror, I can seetheir earnest faces following her every move, their eagerness when it is their turn to try a step.

Infact, all three are so readily respectful and nice to my mother that I feel bad about how I goaround feeling so superior to them. Who knows who I would be or what I would talk about if Idbeen raised in the Capitol? Maybe my biggest regret would be having feathered costumes at mybirthday party, too. He looks the same as always, simple clothes, short brown hair, just a hintof gold eyeliner.

We embrace, and I can barely keep from spilling out the entire episode withPresident Snow. But no, Ive decided to tell Haymitch first. Hell know best who to burden withit.

Its so easy to talk to Cinna, though. Lately weve been speaking a lot on the telephone thatcame with the house. Its sort of a joke, because almost no one else we know owns one. TheresPeeta, but obviously I dont call him. Haymitch tore his out of the wall years ago. My friendMadge, the mayors daughter, has a telephone in her house, but if we want to talk, we do it inperson. At first, the thing barely ever got used. Then Cinna started to call to work on my talent. Every victor is supposed to have one.

Your talent is the activity you take up since you dont haveto work either in school or your districts industry. It can be anything, really, anything that theycan interview you about.

Peeta, it turns out, actually has a talent, which is painting.

Hes beenfrosting those cakes and cookies for years in his familys bakery. But now that hes rich, he canafford to smear real paint on canvases. I dont have a talent, unless you count hunting illegally,which they dont.

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Or maybe singing, which I wouldnt do for the Capitol in a million years. Mymother tried to interest me in a variety of suitable alternatives from a list Effie Trinket sent her. Cooking, flower arranging, playing the flute. None of them took, although Prim had a knack forall three. Finally Cinna stepped in and offered to help me develop my passion for designingclothes, which really required development since it was nonexistent.

But I said yes because itmeant getting to talk to Cinna, and he promised hed do all the work. Now hes arranging things around my living room: I pick up one of the sketchbooks and examine a dress I supposedly created. I may have no interest in designing clothes but I do love the ones Cinna makes for me. Flowing black pants made of a thick, warm material. A comfortable white shirt. A sweaterwoven from green and blue and gray strands of kitten-soft wool. Laced leather boots that dontpinch my toes.

He handsme a small stack of cards. Try tosound like you care. Effies the only reason we got anywhere on time in the Capitol, so I try to accommodateher. Prim got out early from school for the event.

Now she stands in the kitchen, being interviewed byanother crew. She looks lovely in a sky blue frock that brings out her eyes, her blond hair pulledback in a matching ribbon. Shes leaning a bit forward on the toes of her shiny white boots likeshes about to take flight, like—Bam!

Its like someone actually hits me in the chest. No one has, of course, but the pain is so realI take a step back. I squeeze my eyes shut and I dont see Prim—I see Rue, the twelve-year-oldgirl from District 11 who was my ally in the arena. She could fly, birdlike, from tree to tree,catching on to the slenderest branches.

Rue, who I didnt save. Who I let die. I picture her lyingon the ground with the spear still wedged in her stomach Who else will I fail to save from the Capitols vengeance? Who else will be dead if I dont satisfyPresident Snow?

I realize Cinnas trying to put a coat on me, so I raise my arms. I feel fur, inside and out, encasingme. Its from no animal Ive ever seen.

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A bright red scarf. Something furry covers my ears. They make it hard to hear, and since I was blasted deaf in one ear in thearena, I dislike them even more. After I won, the Capitol repaired my ear, but I still find myselftesting it. My mother hurries up with something cupped in her hand. Its the pin Madge gave me before I left for the Games. A mockingjay flying in a circle of gold. Itried to give it to Rue but she wouldnt take it.

She said the pin was the reason shed decided totrust me. Cinna fixes it on the knot in the scarf. Effie Trinkets nearby, clapping her hands.

Were about to do the firstoutdoor shot, where the victors greet each other at the beginning of their marvelous trip. All right,Katniss, big smile, youre very excited, right? For a moment I cant quite see right because of the snow, which is now coming down in earnest. Then I make out Peeta coming through his front door. My face breaks into a huge smile and I start walking in Peetas direction. Then, as if I cant standit another second, I start running.

He catches me and spins me around and then he slips — he stillisnt entirely in command of his artificial leg—and we fall into the snow, me on top of him, andthats where we have our first kiss in months.

Its full of fur and snowflakes and lipstick, butunderneath all that, I can feel the steadiness that Peeta brings to everything. And I know Im notalone. As badly as I have hurt him, he wont expose me in front of the cameras. Wont condemn file: Hes still looking out for me. Just as he did in the arena. Somehow thethought makes me want to cry. Instead I pull him to his feet, tuck my glove through the crook ofhis arm, and merrily pull him on our way. The rest of the day is a blur of getting to the station, bidding everyone good-bye, the train pullingout, the old team — Peeta and me, Effie and Haymitch, Cinna and Portia, Peetas stylist—diningon an indescribably delicious meal I dont remember.

And then Im swathed in pajamas and avoluminous robe, sitting in my plush compartment, waiting for the others to go to sleep. I knowHaymitch will be up for hours.

He doesnt like to sleep when its dark out. When the train seems quiet, I put on my slippers and pad down to his door. I have to knockseveral times before he answers, scowling, as if hes certain Ive brought bad news. I nod. The train starts to brake and for a second I think President Snow is watching me and doesntapprove of my confiding in Haymitch and has decided to go ahead and kill me now.

But werejust stopping for fuel. Its a harmless phrase, but I see Haymitchs eyes narrow in understanding. When he wrestles it open, a blastof snow hits us. He trips out onto the ground. A Capitol attendant rushes to help, but Haymitch waves her away good-naturedly as he staggersoff. Only be a minute. Then he turns on me.

About the presidents visit, about Gale, about how were all going to die if Ifail. His face sobers, grows older in the glow of the red tail-lights.

Youand Peeta, youll be mentors now, every year from here on out. And every year theyll revisit the file: I will never have a life with Gale, even if I want to. Iwill never be allowed to live alone. I will have to be forever in love with Peeta. The Capitol willinsist on it. Ill have a few years maybe, because Im still only sixteen, to stay with my mother andPrim.

And then He means theres only one future, if I want to keep those I love alive and stay alive myself.

Ill have to marry Peeta. We slog back to the train in silence. In my room, I remove my sodden slippers, my wet robe and pajamas. There are more in thedrawers but I just crawl between the covers of my bed in my underclothes.

I stare into thedarkness, thinking about my conversation with Haymitch. Everything he said was true about theCapitols expectations, my future with Peeta, even his last comment. Of course, I could do a lotworse than Peeta. That isnt really the point, though, is it? One of the few freedoms we have inDistrict 12 is the right to marry who we want or not marry at all. And now even that has beentaken away from me. I wonder if President Snow will insist we have children.

If we do, theyllhave to face the reaping each year. And wouldnt it be something to see the child of not one buttwo victors chosen for the arena? Victors children have been in the ring before. It always causesa lot of excitement and generates talk about how the odds are not in that familys favor. But ithappens too frequently to just be about odds. Gales convinced the Capitol does it on purpose,rigs the drawings to add extra drama.

Given all the trouble Ive caused, Ive probably guaranteedany child of mine a spot in the Games. I think of Haymitch, unmarried, no family, blotting out the world with drink. He could have hadhis choice of any woman in the district.

And he chose solitude. Not solitude— that sounds toopeaceful. More like solitary confinement. Was it because, having been in the arena, he knew itwas better than risking the alternative? I had a taste of that alternative when they called Primsname on reaping day and I watched her walk to the stage to her death.

But as her sister I could file: My mind searches frantically for a way out. I cant let President Snow condemn me to this. Evenif it means taking my own life. Before that, though, Id try to run away.

What would they do if Isimply vanished? Disappeared into the woods and never came out? Could I even manage to takeeveryone I love with me, start a new life deep in the wild? Highly unlikely but not impossible. I shake my head to clear it. This is not the time to be making wild escape plans. I must focus onthe Victory Tour. Too many peoples fates depend on my giving a good show.

Dawn comes before sleep does, and theres Effie rapping on my door. I pull on whatever clothesare at the top of the drawer and drag myself down to the dining car. I dont see what difference itmakes when I get up, since this is a travel day, but then it turns out that yesterdays makeover wasjust to get me to the train station.

Today Ill get the works from my prep team. District Our first stop. Id rather start in any other district, since this was Rues home. Butthats not how the Victory Tour works. Usually it kicks off in 12 and then goes in descendingdistrict order to 1, followed by the Capitol. The victors district is skipped and saved for very last. Since 12 puts on the least fabulous celebration — usually just a dinner for the tributes and avictory rally in the square, where nobody looks like theyre having any fun — its probably best toget us out of the way as soon as possible.

This year, for the first time since Haymitch won, thefinal stop on the tour will be 12, and the Capitol will spring for the festivities. I try to enjoy the food like Hazelle said. The kitchen staff clearly wants to please me. Theyveprepared my favorite, lamb stew with dried plums, among other delicacies. Orange juice and apot of steaming hot chocolate wait at my place at the table.

So I eat a lot, and the meal is beyondreproach, but I cant say Im enjoying it. Im also annoyed that no one but Effie and I has shownup.

I didnt really expect Haymitch, because hesprobably just getting to bed. Hemust have over a hundred outfits for you. Your evening clothes are exquisite. And Peetas team isprobably still asleep. What does this mean? It means I get to spend the morning having the hair ripped off my bodywhile Peeta sleeps in. I hadnt thought about it much, but in the arena at least some of the boysgot to keep their body hair whereas none of the girls did.

I can remember Peetas now, as I bathed file: Very blond in the sunlight, once the mud and blood had been washed away. Only his face remained completely smooth. Not one of the boys grew a beard, and many were oldenough to. I wonder what they did to them. If I feel ragged, my prep team seems in worse condition, knocking back coffee and sharingbrightly colored little pills. As far as I can tell, they never get up before noon unless theres somesort of national emergency, like my leg hair. I was so happy when it grew back in, too.

As if itwere a sign that things might be returning to normal. I run my fingers along the soft, curly downon my legs and give myself over to the team. None of them are up to their usual chatter, so I canhear every strand being yanked from its follicle.

I have to soak in a tub full of a thick, unpleasant-smelling solution, while my face and hair are plastered with creams. Two more baths follow inother, less offensive, concoctions. Im plucked and scoured and massaged and anointed until Imraw. Flavius tilts up my chin and sighs. Blow my lips up like President Snows? Tattoo my breasts? Dye my skin magenta andimplant gems in it? Cut decorative patterns in my face? Give me curved talons? Or catswhiskers? I saw all these things and more on the people in the Capitol.

Do they really have noidea how freakish they look to the rest of us? The thought of being left to my prep teams fashion whims only adds to the miseries competingfor my attention— my abused body, my lack of sleep, my mandatory marriage, and the terror ofbeing unable to satisfy President Snows demands.

Theyreraving about the food and how well they sleep on trains. Everyones all full of excitement aboutthe tour. Well, everyone but Haymitch. Hes nursing a hangover and picking at a muffin. Im notreally hungry, either, maybe because I loaded up on too much rich stuff this morning or maybebecause Im so unhappy. I play around with a bowl of broth, eating only a spoonful or two. I canteven look at Peeta—my designated future husband—although I know none of this is his fault.

People notice, try to bring me into the conversation, but I just brush them off. At some point, thetrain stops. Our server reports it will not just be for a fuel stop — some part has malfunctionedand must be replaced. It will require at least an hour. This sends Effie into a state. She pulls outher schedule and begins to work out how the delay will impact every event for the rest of ourlives.

Finally I just cant stand to listen to her anymore. Everyone at the table stares at me, even Haymitch, who youd thinkwould be on my side in this matter since Effie drives him nuts.

Im immediately put on thedefensive. I find the exit door, force it open— triggering some sort of alarm, which I ignore — and jump to the ground, expecting to land insnow. But the airs warm and balmy against my skin. The trees still wear green leaves. How farsouth have we come in a day? I walk along the track, squinting against the bright sunlight,already regretting my words to Effie. Shes hardly to blame for my current predicament.

I shouldgo back and apologize. My outburst was the height of bad manners, and manners matter deeply toher. But my feet continue on along the track, past the end of the train, leaving it behind. An hoursdelay. I can walk at least twenty minutes in one direction and make it back with plenty of time tospare. Instead, after a couple hundred yards, I sink to the ground and sit there, looking into thedistance.

If I had a bow and arrows, would I just keep going? After a while I hear footsteps behind me. Itll be Haymitch, coming to chew me out. Its not like Idont deserve it, but I still dont want to hear it.

He takes a deep breath. I mean, the last train. The one that brought us home. I knew you had something withGale.

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I was jealous of him before I even officially met you. And it wasnt fair to hold you toanything that happened in the Games.

Im sorry. Its true that Peeta froze me out after I confessed that my lovefor him during the Games was something of an act. But I dont hold that against him. In the arena,Id played that romance angle for all it was worth. There had been times when I didnt honestlyknow how I felt about him.

I still dont, really. Im not sure for what exactly. Maybe because theres a real chance Imabout to destroy him. You were just keeping us alive. But I dont want us togo on like this, ignoring each other in real life and falling into the snow every time theres acamera around. All my friends are probably going to end up dead, but refusing Peeta wouldnt keep him safe.

His offer does make me feel better. Less duplicitous somehow. It would be nice ifhed come to me with this earlier, before I knew that President Snow had other plans and justbeing friends was not an option for us anymore.

But either way, Im glad were speaking again. I cant tell him. I pick at the clump of weeds. Isnt it strange that I know youd risk your life to savemine A smile creeps onto my lips. Whats yours? Like Effies hair? I can see it immediately, the rim of the descending sun, the sky streaked with soft shadesof orange.

I remember the tiger lily cookie and, now that Peeta is talking to me again,its all I can do not to recount the whole story about President Snow. But I know Haymitchwouldnt want me to.

Id better stick to small talk. Wewalk back to the train hand in hand. At the door, I remember. So when we go back to the dining car, where the others are still at lunch, I give Effie an apologythat I think is overkill but in her mind probably just manages to compensate for my breach ofetiquette.

To her credit, Effie accepts graciously. She says its clear Im under a lot of pressure. And her comments about the necessity of someone attending to the schedule only last about fiveminutes. Really, Ive gotten off easily. When Effie finishes, Peeta leads me down a few cars to see his paintings.

I dont know what Iexpected. Larger versions of the flower cookies maybe. But this is something entirely different. Peeta has painted the Games. Some you wouldnt get right away, if you hadnt been with him in the arena yourself. Waterdripping through the cracks in our cave. The dry pond bed. A pair of hands, his own, digging forroots.

Others any viewer would recognize. The golden horn called the Cornucopia. Clovearranging the knives inside her jacket. One of the mutts, unmistakably the blond, green-eyed onemeant to be Glimmer, snarling as it makes its way toward us. And me. I am everywhere. High upin a tree. Beating a shirt against the stones in the stream. Lying unconscious in a pool of blood. And one I cant place — perhaps this is how I looked when his fever was high—emerging from asilver gray mist that matches my eyes exactly.

I can almost smell the blood, the dirt, the unnatural breath of the mutt. How do you file: I know what he means. Nightmares — which I was no stranger to before the Games — nowplague me whenever I sleep. But the old standby, the one of my father being blown to bits in themines, is rare.

Instead I relive versions of what happened in the arena. My worthless attempt tosave Rue. Peeta bleeding to death.

Glimmers bloated body disintegrating in my hands. Catoshorrific end with the muttations. These are the most frequent visitors. Does it help? Topaint them out? But theyre extraordinary. And they are. But I dont want to look at themanymore. Cinna did a great job on it. Lets go take a look at it. There are chairs and couches to sit on, but whatswonderful is that the back windows retract into the ceiling so youre riding outside, in the freshair, and you can see a wide sweep of the landscape.

Huge open fields with herds of dairy cattlegrazing in them. So unlike our own heavily wooded home. We slow slightly and I think we might be coming in for another stop, when a fence rises upbefore us. Towering at least thirty-five feet in the air and topped with wicked coils of barbedwire, it makes ours back in District 12 look childish. My eyes quickly inspect the base, which islined with enormous metal plates.

There would be no burrowing under those, no escaping to hunt. Then I see the watchtowers, placed evenly apart, manned with armed guards, so out of placeamong the fields of wildflowers around them. Rue did give me the impression that the rules in District 11 were more harshly enforced.

But Inever imagined something like this. Now the crops begin, stretched out as far as the eye can see. Men, women, and children wearingstraw hats to keep off the sun straighten up, turn our way, take a moment to stretch their backs asthey watch our train go by. I can see orchards in the distance, and I wonder if thats where Ruewould have worked, collecting the fruit from the slimmest branches at the tops of the trees.

Small file: Every hand must be needed for the harvest. On and on it goes. I cant believe the size of District I shake my head.

In school they refer to it as a large district, thats all. Noactual figures on the population.Adding to the prevailing cast. She tells Haymitch that whatever they do, she wants Haymitch to make sure Peeta comes back alive. While drawing up the map of the clock, Katniss realizes that Wiress has stopped singing, and turns with an arrow ready and hits Gloss. The fog then disappears.

The District 12 survivors find shelter with them. Her main classical source of inspiration is the Greek myth of Theseus and the Minotaur , in which, as a punishment for past crimes, Minos forces Athens to sacrifice seven youths and seven maidens to the Minotaur, which kills them in a vast labyrinth. The book continues the story of Katniss Everdeen and the fictional, futuristic nation of Panem. In the interview, Sinna changed her wedding dress to Mockingjay, which was a symbol of revolt.

REANNA from Montana
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