The Current (A Hunger Games Fanfiction)

Ren Watercress is just another girl in District 4, living through every year in her life worrying about the Hunger Games, and whether she will be picked..or her loved ones.

In a struggle with Panem and her own district, Ren tries to fight for what is worth. But when you don't know what your most treasured possesion is, how can you protect it?

Chapter 29

Death

Mano moved at the same time, as fast as a snake as he knocked her over without any mercy. Ren managed to tear the dagger out of the dead boy while lying on the ground, but Mano moved away quickly before she could stab him, his eyes calculative and cold.

The two former friends and lovers looked each other in the eyes, hate, desperation and determination clearly visible in them. Mano's bloodied hands tightened around his dagger and he lunged forward. Ren darted out of his reach, fighting to ignore the feeling of her back being ripped in two. She needed to win. She'd promised Jonah, hadn't she? She'd promised her little brother.

Another promise filled her mind, the promise she'd given to Mano. As she held her dagger poised for defense, memories rushed through her.

Mano, helping her untangle fish from a net. His warm and happy smile, his hands gentle against hers, laughing and telling her tales of District 4 in his heavy voice.

Mano, bringing her food, making sure she ate every last bit, the hunger clearly visible in his eyes. The way his gaze would linger on her hollow cheeks, knowing it would never be enough.

Mano, his face ashamed as he realized she was ready to sacrifice herself for him, cross-legged on the floor as she shut the door behind her.

Mano, kissing her, his mouth moving against hers roughly.

Mano, shouting her name in the middle of the night, his sweat-covered forehead as he noticed her, the disbelief in his eyes.

Mano, brushing his lips against hers in the Games. His hunched shoulders as he retreated.

Mano, his face cold and murderous as he told her to run, yet his eyes frantic with urgency.

Her hand that was holding the dagger shook and she felt her heartbeat increase drastically. Right there and then, though she hated him beyond anything, though she wanted to live -to fight- she knew she couldn't.

Even though her life depended on it, she couldn't kill Mano.

Just as she was about to drop the dagger, resignation and regret trickling through her at her untimely death, Mano's face crumpled and he lowered his weapon slowly. His eyes said more than any words could tell her.

"You have to," Ren mouthed, showing her bloodied hands, trying not to sway on her feet. "I'm a goner either way."

He took a step back, revulsion in his eyes at the deed she wanted him to commit. Ren knew there was only one solution and took a deep breath, casting her eyes towards the innocent blue sky a last time, noticing a white bird fly around. Somehow that soothed her and her heart slowed. The girl let her gaze circle the forest that surrounded her and knew that though she wasn't ready, she had to do this. She turned her eyes back to Mano, who looked confused at her thoughtful composure, his fingers relinquishing the dagger slowly.

The girl suddenly darted forward and hurled herself into Mano, grabbing his hand that carried the dagger and driving it into her own chest before he knew what was happening, the screech of pain escaping her cracked lips before she could even attempt to hold it back.

Mano screamed in horror and tried to hold her up, while Ren experienced the worst pain she'd felt yet. It was like someone was tearing her open slowly, poking around here and there inside her body, inserting poisen into her veins. She fell to the ground despite Mano's arms, unable to move as he knelt down next to her, not knowing what to do. His face was a mix of terror, helplessness and shame, knowing that he could never have done what she did as he stroked her hair out of her face, trying to take the dagger out of her clenched fist. Ren refused to relinquish it and he gave up, his mouth starting to quiver uncontrollably. The girl saw the moisture cloud his eyes, though his jaw was clenched and his posture stiff. The windows of his soul seemed to be trying to tell her he was sorry, that he hadn't meant for it to come this far, that he'd wanted to protect her, not cause her early death. Ren lifted her eyes to the silent sky. "Hold my hand," she whispered, her voice a mere tremor.

He took it rather harshly, squeezing it tightly, his rough, warm hands a small comfort to the girl. "What am I going to tell your family?"

Ren didn't answer, but closed her eyes before it became too much for her too. She wished she'd had a last chance to tell him how much she hated him, how much she hated and just hated him, but her mouth was dry and her mind too lost to utter those words. She took a deep breath, but to her own horror it became a gurgle, and tangy blood filled her mouth.

Then the cannon boomed and her spirit seemed to sway. She felt confused and frightened. Did it always sound before the tributes were dead? Or was it a mistake?

Mano's grip on her hand tightened even more and he shook her wildly, clearly panicked. His rough hands pushed against her sore ribs and Ren wanted to tell him to stop, to stop, to stop, to STOP !

He didn't stop, not even when she heard the sound of the hovercraft above them and they announced Mano as victor of the Seventy-third Hunger Games, all the while leaving Ren to wonder why they thought she was dead, because she could hear her own heart beat in her ears, could feel the blood trickling out of her wounds, knew that she was still alive. A hook lifted her up, and Ren disappeard from the world- dead in Panem's eyes.

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