When I wake the next morning, I'm sore and exhausted and hungry. Well, more than usual than I would be in District 12, that is. I prop myself up on one elbow, checking my surroundings. The sun is peeking out above the horizon to the east, so it must be close to 6AM, I assume. Eight still sleeps on the ground parallel to me, his hand tangled in his already messy curls. After the careers passed last night, we moved to the ground (NOT LIKE THAT!). I reach into the backpack and pull out the almost finished sleeve of saltine crackers, eating one as quietly as possible. The small noise is just enough to make Eight stir, but not wake.
I hear a twig snap from behind me, and I whip my head around to see a large blonde girl (from District 7, I think) standing with an ax held high above her head. I move just in time to miss her first swing at me. The ax's blade embeds itself into the dirt, and the girl uses little effort to pull it free. She swings again, this time I'm not fast enough and the blade slices open my right arm, just above the elbow. I don't have time to examine the cut, though I know it must be at least an inch deep. Blood gushes out the wound and splatters the ground with drops of crimson. The ax comes barreling towards me for the third time and I duck. It barely misses my head and instead just chops off some of my hair.
"Goddamn," I curse under my breath. Before the girl can attack again, I pry the ax handle from her grip and send it into her thigh with Telekinesis. I clutch my bloody arm as I cover the short distance between me and the girl, who is now moaning on the ground, the ax still in her leg. With my mind, I rip it out, sending more droplets of dark red blood on the ground, and send the ax's blade deep into her skull. A canon sounds. Her light blue eyes roll back into her head, a small dribble of blood pours from her open mouth, and her head as split in two at the top, more red blood gushing out. I'm breathing heavily, my teeth tightly clenched, my hands balled up into fists by my sides. The blood continues to pour from the gash on my arm, forming what looks like the letter s on my forearm. I fall to my knees, suddenly weak from using my Legacies. My vision blackens around the edges, and my whole body falls limply to the ground, face first. I hear my name, hear the sound of a single bird singing loudly one note, then a woosh of air above me. Then nothing.
Eight's blurry face clears within a minute, an hour later. His eyes are closed, shoulders slumped, and leaning against a tree. I realize my head is in his lap, and I shake myself fully awake. "Marina," He says, clearly worried, his green eyes snapping open. "I'm okay," I say, placing a palm down to get myself in a sitting position. Eight's careful hands help me sit up. He gives me a small, nervous smile before saying, "You killed the girl from 7. Congratulations, I guess." "Um, thanks?" I say. "It's okay, you don't have to be psyched about brutally murdering a person by bloodily splitting their skull," Eight half jokes. "I'm not, but thanks for putting it that way anyway," I say. Then examining my shorter hair style that now falls just above the shoulders, mumble "Bitch cut my hair." "It doesn't look bad; I like it," Eight says. I smile back at him. There was only the one death of that one girl yesterday night, and so far as I know, only one more today, meaning 10 dead, 14 left.
But I ask Eight anyway. "Were there anymore deaths while I was out?" "The girl from 7 was allied with the boy from her District. He came charging in after you passed out. I killed him." He says it so calmly, like killing is something totally normal, like he didn't just take a Loric life. I just nod, to let him know I acknowledge what he said. But I don't understand how he can just say it so easily "I killed him." I try to get myself to think it so calmly, and I can't; "I killed her. I killed the girl from Seven." Kinda ironic. But not funny. I don't like knowing that I am responsibly for another Loric death. And I know that we have to kill to survive, but I don't want to do it anymore, not unless I absolutely have to.
Eight gently places both hands on either of my shoulders. "You know, you don't have to kill if you don't want to anymore, Marina. Don't let them try to turn you into something you're not." Them. The Mogadorians. They think that because they place me here in this arena that I'm going to turn murderous. But they can't control me. And I won't. I nod, not saying anything. After a minute or two more, Eight feigns a shiver and rubs his arms saying, "Is it just me, or did it get really cold?" "Not cold, but definately cooler," I answer. "Would it be a bad idea to start a fire?" Eight asks, moving closer to me. "Probably not, most tributes would think it's a trap, so they might stay away." I tell him. He stands, once again making me feel small at his tall height, which isn't much more then maybe 6 inches more than me, but from the ground he seems like a giant. "I'll go get some wood or something, okay?" He says. I agree to this, and he walks off, deeper into the woods, while I curl up closer to the base to the tree, which I now realize is different from earlier. Did Eight carry me here to a new location?
A half hour or so passes and Eight still hasn't returned. I begin to worry, but try to get calm again by busying myself with the task of healing my arm. The wound has scabbed over and long since stopped bleeding. I place one hand over the deep cut and concentrate on my Legacy that will only bring me more pain. My stomach jumps as the wound slowly shrinks until there is nothing left of it. I am left, though, with a pounding headache from using my Healing Legacy. "Okay, Marina," I whisper to myself, "That's enough Legacy use for one day." My worry begins to grow again, but then turns into a dead panic the instant I hear voices. They grow louder, like they are headed towards me, and in my light-headed state of mind, the only way I know I could escape is to climb a tree. Getting to my feet is hard, I have to hug the tree. And then scaling the tall, wooden thing isn't much easier. I wobble the whole way up, until I finally make it to a branch I feel comfortably high enough at.
Looking back down, I realize I have forgotten the backpack, which would be a dead giveaway that someone was here, or still is. "Shit!" I curse my stupidity. I know I don't have the strength nor the time to climb back down to get it and then climb up again. So I have to use my Telekinesis. I focus as hard as I can, my state of mind making it difficult to use any Legacy. But after about 10 seconds of trying, I see the bag slowly float off the ground. It takes quite longer than I would like it to, but slowly, the backpack lifts off the ground and levitates closer and closer to me with each passing second. The voices grow louder and louder too, and soon, the career 'gang' comes into view. The bag is only halfway up to me though, so I bring it in as close to the tree as I can, to keep it out of sight. I try to listen to the conversation the Careers have, but it's hard to hear.
While trying to do this, I lose concentration on the floating bag, the pain I was trying to ignore becoming too great to bare. A light gasp escapes my mouth, and I quickly cover my mouth with both hands. The backpack goes sailing back down to the ground, hitting with a loud noise that causes the group to quiet. They look around for the source of the noise, and, finding the backpack, begin searching the trees with their eyes for who dropped it. Cato, the boy from Two, looks around with mad, bloodthirsty eyes, and they soon land on me. Our gaze meets and I see a hint of recognition in his eyes. Then a small smile spreads across his face.
Okay, per request, I wrote this one quickly and have updated pretty quick. :) Less Navrina this time, more action, and also definatly more action to follow in the next chapter...
And also a shout out to all the people who are always reviewing my story; I don't need to name names because you know who you are :) So THANKYOU so much for your words of encouragement that keep me writing and updating this story!
So, please, like always, REVIEW! That means you, random person who never reviews, whoever you may be, because even though I don't know who you are, YOU know who you are, so REVIEW. You're opinion matters too! In fact, I NEED to hear what you think! So please do REVIEW! XD