Chapter Seventeen

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Grace can't be dead.

She can't.

That innocent, fun girl cannot be dead.

How could she be?

How could anyone kill her?



She can't be.

She can't.


She is.


As soon as I realise the truth, that Grace is really gone, I stand up, both my mind and body shaking. I run. I run away, away from Grace's dead body.

I keep running. I run all the way through District 12, emerging into a slightly richer district, with small houses. I keep running through them. My mind goes blank. Keep running. Keep running.


"Celestia! Cee! Come back!" I yell after Celestia's back. But she doesn't listen, just keeps running. I chase after her, but she was always the more sporty one, and slowly her figure gets smaller. At last, she turns a corner and is gone from sight.

I don't know what to do. Being separated from your ally is one of the worst things you can do in the Hunger Games - didn't Rue prove that?

I don't chase after her again. I know she will come back, however stubborn she might seem. I'm sure she is just as scared at being alone as I am.

Instead, I go back to Grace. I look at her body, drenched in blood and Celestia's tears. She looks happy. Like she is glad the burden of living is gone. I hope she is, wherever she is now.

Slowly, I reach down and close her eyelids. "Rest in peace, Grace. The innocent girl that didn't deserve to die."

I can see now why the rebels wanted to fight back. The Hunger Games are so cruel, and watching the Capitol laughing and enjoying watching them, treating them as entertainment, has got to just be rubbing salt into an already very, very deep wound. I just hope they are enjoying watching this, now.

I sit down next to Grace. I trust Celestia, and I trust that she will be able to find her way back here. After all, I have known her my whole life.


At some point, a cannon sounds. It puts me on edge until Celestia returns. I can't help thinking, What if it was her?

I lose track of the hours, but it is beginning to get dark when she finally comes back.

As soon as I see her bedraggled body, I leap up. "Celestia! I'm so glad you are safe!"

"Me too." She cracks a weak smile.

"Are you ok?" I ask. Her face looks pale and fragile, like paper. That isn't the face of someone that is tired out from running all day. That's the face of someone that has seen bad things.

"The the district I went to, I think it was four, there was a big lake. Or sea, because I couldn't see the other side. And, as I was running towards it, I saw a tribute, a boy, the one in our alliance, that didn't turn up. He was drinking some of the water from it, and then he starts choking, and his face turned purple, and then-" She takes a big breath, like she needs all the strength she can get to say the next part. "And then he died, and the cannon went off. It scared me so much, I ran all the way back here."

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