Prologue (76th Hunger Games):
A bead of sweat drips down my forehead. Three of us left, and I didn't know how long I could last for. My backpack hangs off my arm. It was completely empty; my quick escape hadn't allowed me to take much.
The shade of the surrounding trees protects me for a while, but soon I break through them. In front of me, is a large clearing with a beckoning pond in the centre, surrounded by large rocks. My eyes survey the area, looking for immediate threats.
At the far end, I detect a small movement. A figure darts out from amongst the bushes.
Immediately I recognise her; Katniss Everdeen.
The Mockingjay symbol. Her single defiant action meant the deaths of thousands upon thousands of innocent people. Many were my own friends. Always being assisted by her puppy-dog-like 'lover' Peeta. Too bad he wasn't here to protect her now.
I force myself to walk towards her, the backpack banging against my shin. As I approach her, I can see that she's injured- the blood covering her pale face alone would have told me that- and she's completely defenseless. My lips form a sly smirk that I turn into a sign of friendship as we near each other, both headed for the crystal clear pond.
"Katniss... You look terrible!" I pretend to be shocked, appalled even. My green eyes open wide and I reach into the pack to retrieve my empty bottle.
"I feel it too," she admits, the strain in her voice ringing clear in my head. If she was in this bad a position, it wouldn't take much to kill her, to be one step closer to the title 'Victor'.
I reach the pool first and take seat on a smaller rock only inches from the water. I prop the bottle up against a rock to fill it, and pull out the small vial of iodine from the front pocket of the tattered backpack. Just as Katniss reaches me, I remove the bottle from the pond before adding seven drops of iodine.
"I don't want to have to kill you," I whisper. It's a lie; I want to kill her, I need to kill her, of course I do.
"You could always wait for Caleb to come and hunt you down. There's no way you'll win anyway," she gives a weak smile. Her comment was meant to intimidate me, something that failed greatly.
"I'm not that stupid. I want to go home," I whine, using a phrase I remember the very same girl saying not two years ago. She remembers it too, judging by the way she tenses.
"So do I. Not that I have anyone or anything to go home to. I just don't want to die here, I'm dying in District Twelve," she scowls.
I decide that the time had come. I fiddle with the ring on my left index finger, spinning the jewel backwards and forwards. Her hand lies palm down on the rock next to mine and I lift it and plunge the spike that protrudes the jewel into her hand.
"What... was that?" she asks, pain and surprise showing in her grey eyes. She starts to tremble, falling to her knees and clutching her hand. I watch and twist the jewel again.
"That," I snarl, "was from my aunt. Glimmer will meet you in Hell, Katniss Everdeen. And you'll get everything you deserve."
Scowling one last time, Katniss collapses from the Ricin poison in her blood. A few moments later, she's lying in a pathetic heap on the ground. In the distance a cannon booms.
I begin to walk away, to allow the hovercraft to dispose of her lifeless body. As I do, I think of two things and immediately spin round. I flip her body over and remove the brown backpack from her back. In her left hand, the one that I couldn't see before, was a knife. We'd obviously both had the same idea.
I stand up and smirk, "I'm nothing like your dead sister, Katniss. Prim would be dead in mere hours."
The hovercraft appears just as I dart back into the trees. "Watch out Caleb... I'm coming for you..." I smile.