Author's Note: Hey. OK, so I know a bunch of you got a little confused about last chapter, when Darrien said "TributeS of District 11, Zac and Crystal Brennon." Read on, you will now understand! You're in for a great surprise. But it MIGHT not turn out the way you expect it too... Dedicated to 'sydpop', for begin awesome! Thanks for supporting and fanning me!

My heart stops. And I don't know why. I don't understand what is happening. Nothing makes sense.

I stare down at Cody, who is lying limp on the cobblestone floor. Blood gushes from his wound, where I reflected the knife right back at him. 

I fall to the ground, and I begin couching. I crouch on my knees and arms. I don't understand. Darrien, Darrien said....... He said Crystal won......

Crystal's alive? No, she can't be, I tell myself, shaking my head. That's impossible. I watched her die. I saw Cody slit her throat. I hear her cannon. I tucked her in bed. I painted her room. I told myself over and over there was no possible was for her to live..... 

I cough some more. I need to wrap my hand over everything. I still have trouble reflecting on what just happened. Did I really kill Cody? Did I really use my punishment to my advantage? Did Darrien really say Crystal was..... still alive?

I look up at the sun, shining down on my back. A cool breeze sends chills down my spine. I still see Crystal in her bed, her eyes closed forever. I had already released her. Let her go. That one tiny bit of a hope I threw away and burned. But now that Darrien is saying it, what am I supposed to believe.

I hear a hovercraft overhead. A mockingjay cries just as the clanking noise begins, signaling that the arm is dropping. I watch as the claw picks up Cody's body and drags him back up to the hovercraft, sealing him away from this arena forever.

I won. I won! Joy fills my body. I tear Crystal from my mind and just enjoy this moment. I look around at the square. The cobblestone burns my hands, so I stand up. The boarded up shops around the square remind me of home. I can picture people walking about, going to the orchards to work, and I can even smell the sweet smell of the bakery that overpowers even the orchards back at home. 

Everything feels like a puzzle. An impossible, 1,000 piece puzzle that I just don't understand, don't even know what the outcome is going to be. And I just don't understand not yet.

But still, I know that Brook's mysterious death has something to do with Crystal.

I know that my dream has something to do with Cody's note. 

I know that Darrien's announcement has something to do with the expression on Cody's face. 

And I know that all of this ties together, one way or another.  

The hovercraft zips across the sky, leaving me standing in the arena, all alone. A chill goes down my spine. I look at the ground. 12 days ago, 6 tributes died right where I'm standing. Blood must have flooded the ground like a river. And only the rain washed it away...

I look at my house in the background. I can just see the roof. I have to squint because of the sun overhead. Anticipation begins bubbling inside of me. I try to imagine Crystal still lying in bed, except her eyes are open. Maybe she's still alive. What if she's worried I'm dead?

No, if she's alive, she would've just heard the announcement. She would know that I'm alive, and we won. But she also must be weak, from her slit throat. If she is alive, if, she must be on the brink of death. It'd be a miracle if she was still alive.

But no! I hear her cannon. Her cannon. It blasted through the house. The cannon. I remember it vividly, breaking into sobs. Crystal is dead, I tell myself. I don't know why Darrien said that. I hear her cannon. It's impossible not to hear it. I would hear it if I was asleep. But that only begs the question, where was Brook's cannon?

The 25th Hunger Games (fanfic)Read this story for FREE!