Sorry! D: I haven't updated in a long, looong time!~
I have many excuses which you probably don't want to hear, but included my internet breaking for a few thousand decades, (Exaggeration, of course) and me starting to like K-POP!
I have gotten many reviews, thank you everyone! :D I hope that this chapter will fulfil all you have asked and corrected me for and I hope you enjoy ^^
The next chapter will be quicker than this one I promise ^^
Also, on the subject of K-pop, I have written a fan fiction on a fiction K-pop band (It's not really fan fiction, I don't think…) If you have time, or like K-pop even, please check it out! :D
Thankyou very much for reading! .Wings.x
Haymitch tripped down the stairs of the train. He fell flat on his face on the dusty pavement.
"Haymitch!" Katniss yelped and jumped down to help him up. So the drink did get to him in the end.
"'m okay," He slurred smiling vacantly, "Hehe, I see birdies."
"Birdies?" Katniss looked up. There was not a single bird in view. "Right; so where are we?"
"District 15," Haymitch grinned, struggling to stay upright, "District of Recreation."
"Oh." She looked around the barren land. The view stretched as far as the eye could see, and it seemed empty. There was hardly any grass, and what plant life there was, was yellow and fading. It's not much of a District. She thought biting her bottom lip. Is Peeta really here?
"He's here." Whispered Haymitch, as if reading her thoughts, "Wasn't so sure at first, but I'm definite now."
"Follow me." Katniss was thrown off balance as Haymitch suddenly let go of her arm. He started striding towards a tall row of overgrown bushes to the side of the District, obscured by a few dying willow trees.
Once again, she noticed, the drunkenness seemed to leave him as he found a purpose.
"Haymitch!" Katniss jogged after him to keep up, "You didn't answer my question on the train!"
"Okay." He said grimly, "We'll talk on the way."
"The way to where?"
"The last project the people of District 15 left." He muttered speeding on ahead.
"Haymitch! Slow down!"
He sighed impatiently, but slowed to a pace that Katniss could keep up to.
"What was the story about?"
"Everything," He closed his eyes and took on a concentrated expression, "It changes. It's always changing." He sighed, "It's the story you'd never expect to happen."
Katniss felt cold. She remembered one of the last lines in Peeta's letter. "Haymich, remember Peeta's letter? 'I didn't expect this to happen.' Is that why you thought he was here?"
"And the other line," Whispered Haymitch, "Always, 'its weird how everything you don't believe will happen, happens in some way' Word for word. And they all disappear, seemingly happy, sounding so carefree." He turned to Katniss, his eyes wide, boring into hers, "If we are going to go after Peeta, I want you to promise me that you will try to fight against the spell, whatever story you end up into, no matter the consequences. I will do the same. Nothing is ever what it seems. Swear!"
"Ah!" Katniss stepped back, nervously, surprised by the sudden outburst, "Okay, I swear!"
"Good." He breathed out. "It's a strong, captivating story this time. It'd have to be. I didn't expect Peeta to just leave you like that."He glanced at Katniss, his eyes boring into her. "He would have done anything for you. Having him leaving you willingly is just…" He pursed his lips, "Absurd. It's completely out of character. He likes you too much." Katniss blushed and Haymitch looked away, sighing.
They walk in silence for a while. Katniss looked around and took in her surroundings.
It was a forest; a dense, overgrown forest. Everywhere above her, long, long trunks stretched up into the sky, the branches weaving a lacy pattern. The sky had turned into an inky blue-grey and thick clouds obscured the sun.
She thought she could make out the moon.
"It looks like night." She whispered and Haymitch strolled on ahead, this longer legs making easy work of the distance. "Hey wait up!"
Haymitch hardly glanced back, "Hurry up." He stopped, allowing her to catch up beside him.
They walked along in silence, hardly stopping after that. The wilderness, although overgrown, wasn't wild enough to force them into cutting their way through, they could just pick their way around particularly tight spots of vegetation.
After what seemed like hours of walking, and a sense of heavy dread in making her stomach turn, Katniss finally decided to make conversation. She simply could not go on without talking anymore!
"It sounds a bit far fetched." She managed finally, "Just because of that, you're sure that he somehow managed to get himself to District 15 and into some big… living story?"
Haymitch stared at her for a while, "Living story?" he blinked, thinking for a while, "Yeah, it's a bit like a living story. But more like a living nightmare sometimes. Nightmare… That's what it should have been called."
Katniss blinked, sending shudders down her spine, "But why…" she whispered haltingly, "Why-"
"Do you want me to tell you about the history of District 15?"
"No, first tell me about the thing with the nightmare, what are you implying-"
"They were good folk. Honest people, lived on their word, but I guess that just because they were brought up that way. If I was brought up right, I would even have been like them, don't you think?"
"Katniss, think about District 12. I'm not implying anything exactly, but the Capitol sure hates us, don't you think?" he gave a smile.
Without thinking she smiled back, then stopped herself, "Haymitch, listen, I really-"
"Shut up." He glared at her, "You want to know? Then you bloody listen."
Katniss snarled at him, but silenced herself. Alright, she'll listen.
"Do you know what happened?"
She frowned. She'd never even heard of District 15 before then. Never knew that District 15 existed. "No."
"Not an inkling?"
"I don't know. I've never even heard of District 14."
Haymitch smirked, "No sweetheart, neither have I." He glanced around and motioned for her to stop. He walked up to a long wall of vines nearly obscuring the only visible thing: a tall thin black pole infront of them. The black pole was entwined with vines and with a sudden jolt; she realized that it was a metal railing.
Then she realized that the vines where shrinking and a huge corner of a stone wall – or even a square was underneath all of the plant.
She stepped back, eyes wide, "It's changing…"
Haymitch laughed somewhere beside her, "Ha! What do they teach you in school nowadays? Never heard of District 15? Well… I guess they like to keep it secret now. But never heard of this? Do they want all their kids to grow up stupid, oblivious to the world?"
She didn't reply, as she watched cracks grow in the stone until it came to an extent where it seemed to be about to break, and then the vines grew back up, and all that was visible was the pole once more.
"Haymitch, seriously, what-?"
"You know what District 15 was for?"
Katniss looked at him, frowning, "You said already. It was the District of Recreation…"
"Ah." Haymitch smiled Darkly, "Ah, that's just it. It is the District of Recreation. But, back when I was little, when I was a kid, before I was a tribute before the games, do you know what they called it?"
Katniss shook her head, her mouth dry, knowing the answer wasn't going to be a pretty one.
"They gave it a name more closely related to what they really did. They sent criminals here, Katniss. People who did bad things, those kind of people all got sent here. They disrupted the self reserved citizens of District 15's peace, and maybe that another reason why they left. All the buildings they had here, nearly all of them were for the criminals. Sure, some were for teaching and etcetera, but District 15 was basically like a Prison. But not quite. It was much, much worse than that. Only the baddest of the bad came here. Recreation, true, but do you know what they recreated most?"
Katniss slowly shook her head, eyes wide, "Tor-"
"Torture. Katniss, sweetheart; welcome to District 15: the District of Real Life Nightmares."
"They used to have a big building, here. It was a recreation of torture weapons. You go it, it's a different torture method everything. Thumb screws? Stretching? Any horrible method you want, name it, chances are, they've got it."
Katniss stared at him, "If I want it?"
He stared for a bit, thinking, "Nah, you're going to have to get it anyway. Only if you disobey the capitol, that is." He stared down at the ground, just in front of the pole before them, as a strange swirling mass began to appear."Only then." He added softly.
"Is that the entrance, Haymitch?"
"Yeah. It's sensed us. It's sensed you."
"A loved one of yours is down there."
Katniss looked away, a heat reddening her face. "Yeah, and-"
She was interrupted. "I will give you a chance to decide, now. Do you want to go in and save Peeta? But remember, everything down there is against you. They're probably trying to earn your trust in forms of people you know and care for and then kill you." He shrugged, "No biggie, eh, sweetheart?"
"Yes!" He rolled his eyes, "Otherwise how're you going to get him out?"
"Okay." She looked down, determined, "I'll go."
But then she looked up, "How will I get out again with Peeta?"
They stared at each other, for what seemed like a decade. Haymitch finally smiled darkly.
"I don't know."
And then Katniss was falling, falling, falling down into a dark hole the ground seemed to have disappeared beneath her, and cold dread filled her stomach. How would she get out?
Why would Haymitch… Why would he….?
And then, she felt nothing.
"Oops…" He said looking down the hole. It was starting to close up again. Vines were overlapping each other, becoming solid rock. It looked like an over extravagant stone carving.
The hole had opened up so big that it had gotten under her without their noticing. Well, without her noticing.
He sighed, looking down at the hole, wondering what story was happening this time. He guessed he should have felt sad, but all he could feel was a cold dread at the pit of his stomach. He hoped Peeta was worth it.
What had brought them to this mess?
If only he hadn't fallen for it.
Peeta better be worth it.
He better be worth Katniss's life.