In the twelfth chapter of The Hunger Games, WHAT IS PEETA DOING JESUS CHRIST and then OH MY GOD MASSIVE DEHYDRATION and then WHY IS THERE FIRE. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read The Hunger Games.
WHAT THE SHIT IS GOING ON AND WHY IS THIS ALL LIKE THIS. Oh, that’s right, because the people of the Capitol are THE VERY WORST BIGOTS OF EVERYTHING EVER.
“Go on, then, Lover Boy,” says the boy from District 2. “See for yourself.”
I just get a glimpse of Peeta lit by a torch, heading back to the girl by the fire. His face is swollen with bruises, there’s a bloody bandage on one arm, and from the sound of his gait he’s limping somewhat. I remember him shaking his head, telling me not to go into into the fight for the supplies, when all along, all along he’d planned to throw himself into the thick of things. Just the opposite of what Haymitch had told him to do.
Maybe so, but there’s still a part of me that thinks this might be some sort of ploy to protect Katniss. Though, I must admit, I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THAT PLOY COULD POSSIBLY BE. I mean…yeah, I can’t think of one scenario where this helps Katniss at all.
The Career tributes are silent until he gets out of earshot, then use hushed voices.
“Why don’t we just kill him now and get it over with?”
“Let him tag along. What’s the harm? And he’s handy with that knife.”
SERIOUSLY??? Ok, nevermind, PEETA IS GOING TO DIE. I’m calling it. I imagine it won’t happen until the end of the book, but Peeta is with dangerous company. And look, I didn’t expect this to be so messed up so quickly, so now I believe that Collins isn’t going to “save” characters just to appease people. UGH.
“Besides, he’s our best chance of finding her.”
JESUS. FUCKING. CHRIST. Well, Peeta, if you decided to shack up with these brutes in order to save Katniss, YOU ARE MAKING A POOR DECISION.
“Was she dead?” asks the boy from District 2
“No. But she is now,” says Peeta. Just then, the cannon fires. “Ready to move on.”
PEETA KILLED THAT GIRL. What the flying fuck, this is not what I expected.
Suddenly, the birds fall silent. Then one gives a high-pitched warning call. A single note. Just like the one Gale and I heard when the redheaded Avox girl was caught. High above the dying campfire a hovercraft materializes. A set of large metal teeth drops down. Slowly, gently, the dead tribute girl is lifted into the hovercraft. Then it vanishes. The birds resume their song.
Just allow me to let you into my head for a second: I read this passage and thought, THE HOVERCRAFT GOES NOM NOM NOM. Why am I allowed to release words to the general public.
The audience will have been beside themselves, knowing I was in the tree, that I overheard the Careers talking, that I discovered Peeta was with them. Until I work out exactly how I want to play that, I’d better at least act on top of things. Not perplexed. Certainly not confused or frightened.
OH THAT’S RIGHT. All of this is televised. Nearly every moment. I completely forgot about that. How much more worse does this make the Games? JESUS, this is absurd.
Katniss is still in a good zone for the competition though, managing to catch a rabbit in the snare. She guts it and cleans it, cooks it in the dead tribute’s fire, and eats half as she heads in the opposite direction as the Careers in search of water.
The next section is surprisingly long, considering that Collins’s style rarely allows her to linger in prolonged moments. The narration of this book is planted so firmly in the present that sometimes it feels a bit list-like in its descriptions. But Katniss’s quest to find water actually works well as a longer moment because the desperation she feels to stay hydrated becomes nearly unbearable. Her mouth is drying up. The headache is setting in. Everything feels hotter than it actually is. Her urine is dark brown. (And as someone who hikes a lot and still does long distance running, I love that this detail is included. I learned a long time ago that urine color is a great indicator of hydration. Dark brown is REALLY, REALLY BAD.)
She doesn’t find water that entire day. THE ENTIRE DAY. She goes to sleep in a tree again, dying of thirst, watching the Capitol updates in the sky: only the tribute that Peeta killed died that day.
She awakes in a worse condition than before, as the fatigue sets in, slurring her thoughts and actions, putting her at risk for being killed. I honestly thought we’d see this further along in the games; so much has already happened that I’m now wondering where Collins is going to go in the next 200 pages.
We do find out how the sponsors work: When the tribute needs something, they speak it aloud. If they’ve obtained sponsors, it will descend on a silver parachute in minutes. If not? Well, then either they don’t have sponsors OR the mentor has refused to give their tribute their request.
The water Katniss asks for never comes.
Her thought process races out of control and for once, her hatred and her accusatory nature no longer seems so foreign. She’s going to die, and soon, and people are watching her all over the country as this happens, doing nothing.
There’s only one good reason Haymitch could be withholding water from me. Because he knows I’ve almost found it.
The realization gives Katniss a momentary feeling of hope; to her, it’s the only reason that could possibly exist. Despite that she is completely vulnerable to attack, she presses on. Water is all that matters at this moment because even if she manages to hide or fend off an attack, she’s going to die anyway.
But by afternoon, I know the end is coming. My legs are shaking and my heart is too quick. I keep forgetting exactly what I’m doing. I’ve stumbled repeatedly and managed to regain my feet, but when the stick slides out from under me, I finally tumble to the ground unable to get up. I let my eyes close.
I have misjudged Haymitch. He has no intention of helping me at all.
Fuck. Just…fuck. I don’t know what to say. I guess now I finally feel angry at these Games and how they dehumanize people for entertainment. Everything before this that we had learned about the Hunger Games was anecdotal and distant and now it’s personal and happening right before our eyes.
Just god damn it.
But Katniss realizes that she is laying on mud. MUD!!! And she crawls to a GODDAMN POND. SHIT YEAH. WATER. WATER. SHIT YEAH.
She stays near the pond, exhausted by the exertion of the past two days, and the next day ends. No one has died. She mentally makes plans about what she’ll do the next day and nods off.
A few hours later, the stampede of feet shakes me from slumber. I look around in bewilderment. It’s not yet dawn, but my stinging eyes can see it.
It would be hard to miss the wall of fire descending on me.
REALLY, COLLINS. Like…WHERE DOES THIS EVEN COME FROM and DOES EVERY CHAPTER END WITH A RIDICULOUS CLIFFHANGER and WHY DON’T PEOPLE WRITE BOOKS THAT ARE EASY TO REVIEW A CHAPTER AT A TIME.