Chapter 1

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It was beautiful. The blinding rays of the sun were just beginning to wake up from their slumber. They painted the sky a soft, baby pink, that was enveloped in an embrace from the remaining darkness of the night before. The stars had already fled the sky from the light, just as the sun kissed the tops of the evergreen trees good morning.

Seeing the exquisite colors through my bedroom window reminded me of how I would watch my father paint for hours when I was younger. How I used to oversee him transform simple dyes into magnificent pictures of his past life. My father's painting were like vaults that hid away the secrets of his youthful memories. He always said that he found it easier to express what he felt through painting than he did through discussing it. I never truly understood until I decided to explore the cellar of our family house one day. My mother had already warned my younger brother and I to never go down there, but when you forbid a curious young child from doing something, they'll usually end up doing it.

While my parents and my younger brother were outside in the yard, I grabbed a flashlight and began my search in the cold, dark room. I didn't know what I'd expected to find down there, things from my parents' past, or treasure of mystery? Instead I found things like tools, animal traps, buckets, and shovels, as well as some of my mother's bow and arrows. At first, I was somewhat disappointed over my failed attempt to discover anything of value. But that was before I knew what I was going to find next. I had only taken a few steps into the dark room until I heard a mouse scamper across the floor.

The sound made me whip around, and that's when I saw it. In the brightness, my flashlight was enlightening a gigantic blonde wolf with fiery green eyes. Its muzzle was bloody and curled into a snarl, bearing its sharp teeth at me. The flashlight slipped out of my frozen fingers and clattered to the floor, with my arms  out to protect myself from the frightening beast that was ready to attack. When they heard my scream from outside, they came rushing in to find me; my mother jumped from the stairs with a knife ready in hand, while my father came in just moments after her.

Upon finding their eight-year-old daughter shaking with fear on the cold cement floor, they abandoned their defensive insticts and collected me in their arms, trying to calm my hysteria. My father brought me up the stairs and into the living room, letting me sob into his shoulder. Instead of joining us, my mother leaned against the cellar's doorframe with her hand covering her mouth as she tried to fight back tears of her own. When she came to my room that night to tuck me into bed, I asked her nervously what the wolf was. She said that it was just one of my father's nightmares when he and my mother were much younger. As she turned off the light in my room, I finally made sense of my father's words:

"I always find it easier to express how I feel by painting rather than discussing it."

Who could ever talk about such horrible memories and not scare either someone else or yourself? That night I finally knew why my mother woke up screaming. After several nightmares of being mauled by a ferocious blonde wolf, I had never set foot in the cellar ever since. Looking back on it now, I remember my mother screaming out "Prim!" when she found me. I'm not sure what it means, but it sounds familiar. And eight years later, I heard it again. That's what woke me up tonight, my mother's tortured cries forming that one word. Prim. That one word transported me back to that day when I was just an innocent eight-year-old girl sobbing and shivering on the cellar floor with fear.

Now here I was, eight years later, being awaken by my mother screaming out like she does almost every night, but this time it wasn't just howls of pain and suffering. It was a cry of loss, of wanting. I suddenly had a feeling, that Prim wasn't a thing but a name. But who? Who was Prim, and why was my mother calling out for her rather than her family? Rather than my father, my brother, or even me? I know it was stupid that I was jealous over someone who may or not still be alive, but I was. 

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