19

3.1K 165 28

I run into the cave and Triton immediately stands, his spear ready to attack. He lowers it as soon as he realizes it's only me. I drop the birds and hug him tightly.

"I was terrified it was you," I mumble, breathing heavily.

"Do you know who the first cannon was?" he asks and I pull back, nodding.

"The girl from Three. I killed her," I say and pull the knife from my belt. "Got this from her, though. Doesn't look like it's ever been used."

Triton and I venture just a bit from the cave to dispose of the head and neck of the grooslings and gather some sticks and lichen for a fire. That doesn't take very long and soon, we're back in the cave. One groosling is plucked and cooking over a fire, along with the chestnuts.

The food is finished cooking quickly and Triton and I split the nuts and each take as much groosling as we want. I bite into the meat and the grease coats my lips. I groan in pleasure and quickly finish the leg before getting more of the delicious meat. I peel several chestnuts and happily eat them, my stomach finally being completely full.

"Do you have anyone back home besides your sister? To win for?" he asks me, several hours later.

"My brothers," I say immediately.

"You don't have a boyfriend?"

I let out a laugh, laced with a bit of pain.

"Never have, probably never will. All the boys in Twelve are afraid of me," I tell him.

"Finn said you're beautiful," Triton says, grinning widely.

"He was just being nice," I say, brushing the compliment off. Suddenly, the anthem begins to play and we both look outside.

District Three female and District Ten male. Only two deaths.

We climb back in and I make myself comfortable.

"I'll take first watch," I tell him.

He looks as if he wants to say something, but he eventually falls asleep. I look at my nails, still painted with a flame design.

I am the Girl on Fire.

I can do anything.

"I need a real bow," I mutter. "But for now, I have my axe. And if it comes down to it, the knife."

After several hours, I wake Triton and quickly fall asleep.

-----

Triton wakes me up around noon, just as I wanted him to.

"Well, we survived Day One and Two," I point out over our breakfast of groosling and orange wedges.

We eat rather quick because we're both eager for fresh water. After we finish, we zip our coats on and pull the hoods up.

"Ready?" I ask Triton and he grips his spear. My pants fit fine without the belt, so I take it off and put it through the belt loops of my coat inside. I tuck my axe and knife into place and look toward Triton. He nods and we begin our journey.

We hike up the mountain, staying hidden at all times. Triton stays close to me at all times. That's when I realize that the Gamemakers have been going way too easy on me. They always target Twelve about this time.

We reach the peak of the mountain, where the snow is, and I immediately pull Triton down behind a boulder.

"This is all too easy. Don't eat the snow, Triton. We'll wait here until another tribute comes. If they drink some and it's safe, then we can get as much as we want," I whisper and his eyes widen in realization as he nods his agreement.

It doesn't take long. Soon enough, two tributes trek within thirty feet of us and Triton and I are absolutely silent. We watch through cracks in the rock. One's armed with a sickle, one isn't. It's the girl from Eight and the boy from Nine. Nine holds his sickle in defense as Eight puts a large handful of snow in her mouth.

She instantly goes pale and her eyes glaze over as she falls back. Her cannon booms and my eyes widen. The snow is poisonous.

"Barley?" Nine gasps and I look at Triton.

"Be ready," I whisper and move so that rather than in front of Nine, I'm behind.

"Well, hello there, Nine," I smirk, my axe in my hand.

"Clove Mellark," he gasps, terror lacing through his voice and he turns around quickly.

"Aw, I'm famous," I say sarcastically, smiling evilly. "Well, let's get this over with."

I charge at him, aiming my axe for his heart. He deflects my axe, which I was smart enough not to throw. I notice he's pretty good with his sickle, but I'm better with my axe. I'm able to get a good blow in on the arm he's holding his weapon with and while he's distracted for a fraction of a second, Triton takes this opportunity to come up behind him and throw his spear. I move out of the way just in time to see Nine look down and see the spear skewering him. As his body falls, I bury my axe blade in his chest and his cannon booms.

"The snow's poisoned," Triton says, ripping his bloody weapon out of Nine's torso.

"So all the water in the arena is, too," I say, wiping the blood from my axe on the boy's pant leg.

"Why do you think that?"

"Think about it. There's a big stream leading down the mountain, right?"

"Yeah?"

"Well, that obviously feeds ponds and maybe a lake or two. And since the water is runoff from the poisonous snow, the water is also poison," I explain. "That's why Finn and Mom sent us the coats. They wanted us to know not to drink the water. Mom knew I'd figure it out because, well-" I stop and shake my head, deciding that my next words would probably get Triton and I both killed. "Never mind. Let's go find the Careers."

"Why?"

"Everybody has a weakness. We just need to find theirs."

The Hunger Games: A New Girl On FireRead this story for FREE!