My name is Katniss Everdeen.
I begin to fully understand the lengths to which people have gone to protect me. What I mean to the rebels. My ongoing struggle against the Capitol, which has so often felt like a solitary journey, has not been undertaken alone. I have had thousands upon thousands of people from the districts at my side. I was their M o c k i n g j a y long before I accepted the role.
There, all but obscured by its preserved cousins, is a fresh white rose. Perfect. Down to the last thorn and silken petal.
And I know immediately who’s sent it to me.
A sound escapes me. The same combination of a gasp and groan that comes from being submerged in water, deprived of oxygen to the point of pain. I push people aside until I am right in front of him, my hand resting on the screen. I search his eyes for any sign of hurt, any reflection of the agony and torture. There is nothing. Peeta looks healthy to the point of robustness. His skin is glowing, flawless, in that full-body-polish way. His manner’s composed, serious. I can’t reconcile this image with the battered, bleeding boy who haunts my dreams.
I just d o n ’ t want to be
another piece in
I see I am no longer the fox now, Kira. Y o u a r e.
You fought very hard in the Games, Ms. Everdeen. But they were games, would you like to be in a real war?
long before i accepted the role
I could never bring myself to continue the practice after he was gone. Still, there’s something comforting about the little bird.