"Here is the place where I love you..."
I gasp and convulse with sobs. Why Rue? Why a sweet, innocent 12-year-old girl? The only thing left to hold on to is her dying plea: 'You have to win.' "I will," I whisper. "I will." Win.
If only to triumph over the Capitol in some small way. Then more. They will pay for forcing their children to slaughter each other for their pleasure. For Rue. For the boy from district 8.
Even for Marvel.
Slipping the last rue flowers onto Rue's closed eyes, I rise, slowly, and take a last look at her dark, peaceful face. At least there's no more fighting for her. Only rest.
For a moment I'm tempted. Death sounds so appealing. And wouldn't it help Peeta win?
No. I must win, for Rue, and I have a duty to protect Peeta. As much as I can, if I am to win.
Why does everything have to be so complicated?
Whispering a last goodbye to Rue, I brush away my tears and turn blindly back towards the Cornucopia.
That was my mistake.
The second I face the East, a spear comes hurtling out of the woods and embeds itself in my gut with a sickening punch.
I double over in shock, the 3-foot wooden shaft still sticking out of my stomach.
Through a red haze of pain, I can just make out Cato sneering down at me with a satisfied expression on his face.
A powerful wave of agony waves over me again, pounding on my ears, forcing me to vomit blood. As I retch, I hear Cato growl, "Not so high-flying now, eh, Firebird?" I'm sorry, Rue.
I tried- I think, and then, Peeta... Two seconds later, Cato jams his sword into my neck, effectively finishing me off.
I know only dark, dark and cool, peace, yes, in a cloudy, unconscious way... At last. No more fighting. Gale will take care of my mother and Prim. Peeta will win the games. I can