“Deep in the meadow, under the willow, a blade of grass, a soft green pillow…”
come away to the darkness, we are calling for you
I think of Madge’s mother. Mayor Undersee’s wife. Who spends half her life in bed immobilized with terrible pain, shutting out the world. I think of how I never realized that she and my mother shared this connection. Of Madge showing up in that snowstorm to bring the painkiller for Gale. Of my mockingjay pin and how it means something completely different now that I know that its former owner was Madge’s aunt, Maysilee Donner, a tribute who was murdered in the arena.
Before I am even aware of my actions, my bow is loaded with the arrow pointed straight at his heart. Peeta raises his eyebrows and I see the knife has already left his hand on its way to the lake where it splashes in the water. I drop my weapons and take a step back, my face burning in what can only be shame.
“No,” he says. “Do it.” Peeta limps toward me and thrusts the weapons back in my hands.
“I can’t,” I say. “I won’t.”
“Do it. Before they send those mutts back or something. I don’t want to die like Cato,” he says.