Yeah yeah, I’m going to hell for this and this will most likely piss some people off – but I don’t care. For those who haven’t read The Hunger Games, you can find a good review of it here. These characters are, mostly, not of my creation and all credit there goes to Suzanne Collins. The following is my unofficial epilogue to the first book, and completely ignores the second and third book.
No. This can’t be happening. This has to be another nightmare.
“Katniss!” Peeta screams in my ear, shaking me from my shock. On my other side, I feel Gale’s grip clamp around my wrist and pull me roughly to my feet. Around us I see Haymitch staggering with the desperate aid of a trembling and babbling Effie. A babbling quickly silenced by the throwing bolt that materialized in her throat in a spray of red mist.
“I called that kill.” A masculine voice complained dryly, seemingly blaring from the dark sky above us. Gale tugged me away from the only source of a light, a torch standing tall and defiant against the darkness atop the hill. A sudden jerk nearly wrenched my shoulder from its socket and Peeta was trying to pull me toward it instead.
“Then you should have taken it, love.” A sultry voice thick with amusement replied, also amplified and projected from somewhere above.
“The catnip is mine, Aethon.” The first voice announced, the chilling confidence of his voice freezing my blood. I felt like my heart would burst from the sudden pressure of its pounding in response to the detached air he spoke of killing me. It seemed to have a similar effect on Gale and Peeta, both ceased their tug-of-war to stare at the two figures standing calmly on either side of the torch.
“I do what I want.” A third voice, also male, answered. This one was different; in addition to coming from the unseen speakers in the sky, it also emerged from the darkness behind…
“Gale!” The warning came too late, a darkly dressed figure seemed to stretch into the circle of dim light like a sinister shadow and his black blade slid up Gale’s ribs and into his heart in a clean thrust. Peeta threw himself in front of me as the attacker calmly removed his blade and turned to face us. A fiery orbed flared passed me, singeing hair and cloth as it surged by, and the blaze consumed Peeta before the attacker’s blade could taste his skin.
Peeta shoved me away with an agonized shout. I turned the stumbling recovery into a run without direction. I had to get away from the funeral pyre, had to get away with the darkly dressed assassin.
This wasn’t like the games; none of us had a chance. They dropped us on this hill to execute us. I knew this with the same icy certainty that I knew I had struck a nerve in the capitol. They couldn’t let such a display go unpunished, and they knew better than to give me a fighting chance this time.
I realized dimly, in some detached rational part of my panic stricken brain, that the only light source was now Peeta’s twitching corpse that I retreated from. One of the figures on the hill had somehow launched the flame from the torch at him.
“I had that kill.” The third voice complained from the pitch behind me at the same time as his voice thundered from the sky, and a moment later Haymitch let out an anguished groan that sounded oddly deflated.
“Boys, your complaints are killing me, but they don’t seem to be hurting the chillens here.” How sick did you have to be to sound so entertained at a time like this? These people were sick, clearly a product of Capitol conditioning. This was just a game to them, a hunt like the thousands I’d been on back at District 12. Except I never hunted people. Not until the games.
“Rani, I hope you sleep with a knife in your hand.” Aethon, the other one called him, replied, this time not near enough to be heard except for skyward broadcast.
“I do. Ara has a matching blade.” Rani, it must have been, answered with the same dry detachment. It took my brain a second to register the sudden difference in his tone. It was no longer magnified, and yet I heard it clearly. I had less than a second to put two and two together before a leather encased hand constricted around my throat and forced me off my feet. Rani slammed me on my back with another force to knock with wind from me. Judging by the crunching sound I barely registered through the red and black veil of agony, he had also broken several somethings.
The sky suddenly shirted to brilliance that dwarfed daylight, and I could see nothing past the white spots swarming my vision. When they cleared after an eternal moment of struggling and blinking, I could see the emerald clad figured kneeling beside me with his weight on the hand on my throat. Standing over me was President Snow, a gloating glare dominating his foul features. Behind the president Aethon, and one who had to have been a sapphire cloaked Ara, watched without movement.
“Wonderful job, well worth every penny for your services. Now finish her.” Just like that, the man sentenced me to death, with the same ease of he would have used ordering from a menu in some overpriced eatery in the Capitol. Or maybe with even more ease, as he might have had more reservations about his meal than about ending my life.
Rani made no reply, but instead reached around the side of his belt to draw a dark box about the size of my fist. He held up the device and pressed a button with casual disinterest. The top of the device, which I know saw were metallic spikes, erupted into a writhing serpent of electricity. Then, with the same casual ease, he reached out and pressed the crackling weapon against Snow’s leg. A moment later the president was nothing more than a steaming and bloody heap of violent post-mortem convulsions.
“I called that kill.” Ara complained, echoing Rani’s earlier words.
“Then you should have taken it, love.” Rani parroted back. He snapped my neck without turning to look at me, and blackness consumed me before I could ever feel the killing motion.