I'll start of by saying that the beginning is horrible. I could never do justice to what Collins wrote, but I'll try to write something just as exciting for young Ruerose and Cinnick. We'll see some of Finnick and Annie's son, Annie, Johanna and possibly other survivors down the road. You can picture Ruerose as a young Daveigh Chase and Cinnick as Daniel Huttlestone ("Gavroche" in Les Miserables 2012)
I aim at President Snow and fire the arrow straight through his no-doubtedly frozen heart. The crowd erupts into cheers. I begin to feel a pit in my gut before I even turn back to President Coin. I fake a smile and cheer once.
No. I've done it wrong. In one swift motion, I drop the bow and force the nightlock tablets into my throat.
"Somebody stop her!"
I hear a shout as the world turns to black.
It's cold. It's dark. There's no air here.
It's almost peaceful.
I'm not dead yet. Why won't they just let me die?
They're trying to flush out the poison. They've opened up my stomach and are flushing it out. I feel everything. They didn't have time to freeze me. I felt the scalpel pierce my skin.
I've failed at the most human thing. I've failed to die.
My eyes snap open. Peeta's face is the first thing I see. It's tear-streaked. He begins to sob again.
"I'm alright, Peeta. Why are you crying?"
"I thought you were a goner."
I wish I was. I can only imagine what's to come if Coin is put into power.
***About 20 years later***
**Cinnick's point of view**
I run down the streets of the settlement, after the carriage, followed by a slew of neighbourhood children and Rose.
Apparently there were once these faster, safer things called "cars" at one point, though only President Coin can afford one anymore and prefers carriages, herself. She claims to find them more charming.
With a slight jump, I manage to grab a hold of one of the golden bars and climb up to the window. Only rich folk can afford a carriage, but the gold just makes it that much more obnoxious.
I look the shocked woman dead in the face. She's quite old and may be having a heart attack. She's shockingly familiar. Oh well. Not my problem. I've got bigger things to worry about.
"Hello ma'am. My name is Cinnick Mellark. My parents once led a rebellion to overthrow their tyrannical ruler, and now we've been reduced to nothing-"
She cuts me off with a glare.
"I know who you are. What's surprising is that you have no idea who I am."
"Anyway, all we're looking for is a spot of change. My mother is ill and my father passed away just a few months ago. We need money for-"
"I know who your parents are. I also know your sister, Ruerose. Leave before I call my guards on you."
"Yes ma'am. Sorry to bother you, ma'am."
And with that, I let go of the carriage and let myself fall onto the street in a final attempt to grab her attention.
She doesn't spare me a second glance.
Rose runs to help me up.
"I'm fine, Rose."
I look at her dirty brown hair and blue eyes, filled with worry. She reminds me so much of dad.
He's not dead, of course. But rich folk don't know much of my parents today. They all followed and supported them all those years ago, but when they became old news, they all but forgot about the Mockingjay and her mate.
I hate rich folk. They're good for nothing but begging off of. I look away from my older sister and put my hands in my pockets. Slow day. We barely collected enough to feed mother, let alone buy her medicine.
That part wasn't a lie. She's extremely ill with something not even grandmother can identify, nor can I, though that's to be expected; everything I've learned, I learned from grandma Everdeen.
"We have to get home, Cin."
"How much did we collect?"
"Not much. A couple hundred."
Back when my parents were growing up, that could set our family up for weeks. But now, money doesn't go nearly as far as it used to.
"Crap. What're we supposed to do?" she asks me
"…Well, there's always that place on the way home that mom told us about."
"But she says we can't go there until we're older!"
"Do we have another choice?"
Rose sticks to my side as if she's been glued there. We're at a place known as the hob. Apparently the prices here are extremely low, but we're both too nervous to ask any of the shopkeepers about what anything is. We notice a man staring at us from his meat stand. He has olive skin, black hair and, if I look closely, eyes as grey as my own. I work up the courage to walk over to him, but Rose tugs on my arm.
"What are you doing?!" she whispers urgently
"That man is staring at us; I'm seeing what he wants."
"You know what father said about strangers."
"I don't care what father said about strangers."
I pull my arm from her grasp and walk towards the man. She stays behind.
"Hello. I've never seen you guys around here. What are your names?"
He smiles slightly.
"My name is Gale." He pauses. "Hawthorne."
"I'm Cinnick Mellark. Gale's my middle name." I smile back.
"How old are you, Cinnick?"
"I'm 6. The little girl with brown hair's Ruerose, she's 10. That's my sister." I tell him before calling her over. She joins me hesitantly.
"Hello." She greeted Gale in a nearly-silent, nervous tone.
"Hi. I'm Gale." He smiled rather warmly at her.
"Is it your first time here, guys?"
"Well, here." He hands us a few dead squirrels.
"On the house." He smiles again. It's genuine, not just a friendly thing. He's truly happy to see us. I don't have time to wonder why. The sun is almost set. We should already be home.
"Thank you so much, Mr. Hawthorne."
"Mr. Hawthorne was my father. Please, call me Gale."
And with that, we exit the hob.
And not a second too soon, either. I soon find myself pulling a weeping Rose into a nearby forest as Officers enter the hob.
Everyone scatters. I see Gale brought to the ground and beaten to death. This counts as an illicit settlement. A pair of Officers comes towards us. We sneak away into the unknown trees. Rose squeaks slightly before clapping her hands over her own mouth. She stops dead in her tracks. I look to her, squinting in the darkness.
Her long, tangled hair has gotten caught in a nearby branch.
**Ruerose's point of view**
I don't dare to take another step. We need to be as quiet as possible or they'll find us. My hands are still covering my mouth as Cinnick creeps forward. We hear steps approaching behind us. We're poor folk; we shouldn't be anywhere near the rich settlement. The other kids have made it home by now. If they haven't, they're just as much of goners as we are. I close my eyes, almost sure that it's for the last time.
Then I feel a release. I fall into the leaves.
"Geez Rose, are you trying to get us caught?!"
I hear my brother's angry whisper and realize that I'm still alive. I look up at him. He has a sharp stone in his hand.
I reach to feel my hair and it's gone. He cut off a good amount, too. I don't have time to protest before I hear a man yell.
"Hey you! Freeze!"
Cinnick runs. They haven't noticed me yet. The Officers run right past me. I find myself frozen to the spot with fear. I wait until they're way off into the distance before I pick myself up off the ground. I allow more tears to fall and let out a small sob.
I then silence myself. I'll get caught if I make even the slightest sound. The Officers have vicious dogs with them. They'll attack me in an instant.
I then stop trying not to cry. What else am I to do? I'm scared. I'm alone. I'm in a forest. It's dark.
I don't know what to do.
Is this really the daughter of two revolutionaries?
I've gotta do something.
What would mom do?
I look to a nearby tree.
**Cinnick's point of view**
My feet hit the ground hard. I get a bigger headache with every step. I'm worried that I'll trip. What'll become of me then? I could be arrested, or beaten, or ripped to shreds by the dogs. None of these is truly an option. I suddenly feel strong, cold arms under my arms. I try to squirm from them, but I'm soon pulled off my feet. I close my eyes.
"God, Cin, it's just me!"
I hear a whisper. It's Rose.
I open my eyes and look down.
We're in a tree. We're not far from the ground. I look back to find that Rose is gone.
I begin to panic not even a second before she shushes me. She's climbing upwards. I begin to do the same.