If Katniss Didn't Volunteer: Into the Arena

If Katniss Didn't Volunteer: Into the Arena

What if Katniss didn't volunteer for Prim at the Reaping? A sequel to "What if Katniss Didn't Volunteer?", the story "If Katniss Didn't Volunteer: Into the Arena" will leave you wondering what will come next.

Chapter 1

Cornucopia Bloodbath

"Good luck, Prim," Cinna says lovingly, watching me walk onto a metal plate. The glass seals around me at once, and I can't hear anything except my own heartbeat in my ears.

"Cinna?" I say, my voice quavering slightly. But by the expression on Cinna's face, he can't hear me. He also looks defeated. But proud. I can't tell which. I hope I haven't disappointed him.

Primrose Everdeen!

Effie Trinket's voice flashes into my mind.

Prim?

Katniss this time.

Prim! Prim! No! I--

A Peacekeeper silences her with a gun to her head. She backs away, not wanting to get shot, but wanting to help me.

Prim...

Now, once I close my eyes, I am reenacting the interviews.

I... don't think winning will help, in my case.

Why ever not?

Because... because her sister came here with me.

I open my eyes and feel the metal plate rising. After being plunged into complete darkness for a moment, I come up into a large arena. The bright sunlight burns my eyes, and the world is set off balance.

I teeter, but I don't fall. If I did, I would be blasted into the sky and die immediately.

I look around. The boy from District 2-- I think his name is Cato-- stands to my left, and the girl from District 11, Rue, stands to my right. Peeta stands two sections to my left.

I turn to him, positioning my feet towards the woods. But his eyes catch mine, and he nods to a bag very close to me-- only ten feet. I gulp, hesitate, then nod. He casts a grim smile my way, then turns his attention to a gleaming sword in the heart of the Cornucopia.

I feel my heart catch in my throat. If Peeta tries to get to that sword, he'll die, and I'll never forgive myself.

I turn around as best as I can, noting a lake. I also see woods on either side of me, and a cliff behind the Cornucopia.

I shudder as I hear the gong.

It rings in my ears, but I don't stop to cover them. I just snatch up the muted green bag and whip around to Rue. She hovers near the center-- between the woods and the middle of the Cornucopia.

"Get your slingshot!" I cry, throwing myself towards her. I can't stand the fact that I'm running past so many supplies, but time is scarce. A bit paralyzed, Rue sweeps down the row another five feet and comes back bearing a rather small slingshot.

"Rocks work well, too," she says, looking at the bag of silver balls that are meant to be loaded into the slingshot. But we'll use rocks, like she said. We don't have any more time.

We make to the edge of the woods when I turn briefly to see Cato slashing away at a kid about my age.

I grab Rue's arm to steady myself and begin to jog next to her, falling in step with her, and watching her back.

Ladies and gentlemen, let the Seventy-Fourth Annual Hunger Games begin.

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