In the seventeenth chapter of The Hunger Games, Katniss discovers the painful and traumatic consequences of destroying the Careersâ€™ supplies. Intrigued? Then itâ€™s time for Mark to read The Hunger Games.
Shit is fucked up.
The impact with the hard-packed earth of the plain knocks the wind out of me. My backpack does little to soften the blow. Fortunately my quiver has caught in the crook of my elbow, sparing both itself and my shoulder, and my bow is locked in my grasp. The ground still shakes with explosions. I canâ€™t hear them. I canâ€™t hear anything at the moment.
Was anyone else confused by the logistics at first? I thought Katniss wasnâ€™t anywhere near the mines. Why did she feel the blast so heavily? Wasnâ€™t she near the edge of the forest?
Just thinking out loud.
After about a minute, the ground stops vibrating. I roll on my side and allow myself a moment of satisfaction at the sight of the smoldering wreckage that was recently the pyramid. The Careers arenâ€™t likely to salvage anything out of that.
u mad careers
Panic begins to set in. I canâ€™t stay here. Flight is essential. But I can neither walk nor hear. I place a hand to my left ear, the one that was turned toward the blast, and it comes away bloody. Have I gone deaf from the explosion? The idea frightens me. I rely as much on my ears as my eyes as a hunter, maybe more at times.
Oh christ, really??? I expected the detonation to go smoothly. How on earth is Katniss going to heal a ruptured ear drum? (Assuming thatâ€™s what caused the bleeding.)
But I canâ€™t let my fear show. Absolutely, positively, I am live on every screen in Panem.
OH RIGHT. I keep forgetting this is televised in the whole country. Has she said where the cameras are? I donâ€™t believe thereâ€™s been a single mention of a camera at all. Are they hidden throughout the Games? Are they controlled remotely? WHY HASNâ€™T THIS DETAIL BEEN REVEALED?
To say I make it in the nick of time is an understatement. I have literally just dragged myself into the tangle of bushes at the base of the trees when thereâ€™s Cato, barreling onto the plain, soon followed by his companions. His rage is so extreme it might be comicalâ€”so people really do tear out their hair and beat the ground with their fistsâ€”if I didnâ€™t know that it was aimed at me, at what I have done to him.
Oh, I canâ€™t wait until Katniss kills you. That probably makes me a horrible person, BUT WHATEVER.
The boy from District 3 has done his job too well. This idea must occur to Cato, too, because he turns on the boy and appears to be shouting at him. The boy from District 3 only has time to turn and run before Cato catches him in a headlock from behind. I can see the muscles ripple in Catoâ€™s arms as he sharply jerks the boyâ€™s head to the side.
Itâ€™s that quick. The death of the boy from District 3.
WHAT THE FUCK. WHAT THE FUCK!!!! Oh hell, I did not see that coming. I wonder if Katniss will feel any guilt because she inadvertently got him killed? Most likely not. She doesnâ€™t seem to be remorseful for killing the other two girls and Iâ€™m not even sure she should feel bad.
The waiting game begins after this. The Careers donâ€™t move for hours and neither does Katniss. Â The Careers, unsure if a person set off the mines, wait for the anthem to play to see who died. I donâ€™t know what Rueâ€™s supposed to do at this point; is she supposed to light the third fire? The anthem plays and we learn the boys from Districts 3 and 10 have been killed, which forces the Careers to realize that their trap did not kill anyone at all.
Unwilling to risk being seen, Katniss continues to hide until the Careers are long gone. And she thinks the dumbest thing:
Let the Seventy-fourth Hunger Games begin, Cato, I think. Let them begin for real.
Because shit hasnâ€™t been real so far? Iâ€™m sorry, this just made me laugh and laugh and laugh.
Ok, enough of my whining. Letâ€™s move on with the story.
Katniss manages to sleep while the Careers are off searching for their culprit. Foxface is actually perusing the remains of the supplies and making off with what she can. Now THAT is going to be an interesting scene, when her and Katniss meet. (If they do.) I meanâ€¦Katniss doesnâ€™t hate her, does she? So will she kill her on sight or what? LOOK I DONâ€™T KNOW THESE THINGS AT ALL.
Thereâ€™s something about that sly grin that makes me sure that befriending Foxface would ultimately get me a knife in the back. With that in mind, this might be an excellent time to shoot her.
Oh, wellâ€¦thanks for answering my question, Collins. MAYBE I SHOULD JUST READ INSTEAD OF BEING SO SHOUTY.
What follows this is another one of those passages that feels veryâ€¦listy? Not much happens, but Collins has to get Katniss from Point A in the story to Point B. Along the way, she cleans herself, eats, kills a few fish, and laments that the hearing in left ear is not returning, which is a pretty scary revelation.
(Sorry I donâ€™t have much to say. Iâ€™m usually pretty verbose, but weâ€™re at a part of the story where there really isnâ€™t that much variation, so Iâ€™m trying to pull out what I can.)
Thereâ€™s no sign of Rue, though, and Katniss begins to worry about her. I canâ€™t ignore the parallel to Prim. (Nor can I ignore how much Peeta represents Gale, either.) Here, in the Games, Katnissâ€™s love does feel a bit more mothering than what she has for Prim. She even decides itâ€™s time for her to stop waiting and go seek her out herself, somewhere near where the third campfire was supposed to be set. But, to her dismay, the third fire was never set. Rue is gone. Something happened between the second and third fires.
Katniss assumes the worst. Or at least she thinks she does.
Iâ€™ve stopped for just a moment when I hear it. I have to cock my head around to the side to be sure, but there it is again. Rueâ€™s four-note tune coming out of a mockingjayâ€™s mouth. The one that means sheâ€™s all right.
Itâ€™s a sign of hope for Katniss, and one that Collins is quick to completely destroy.
Itâ€™s a childâ€™s scream, a young girlâ€™s scream, thereâ€™s no one in the arena capable of making that sound except Rue. And now Iâ€™m running, knowing this may be a trap, knowing the Careers may be poised to attack me, but I canâ€™t help myself. Thereâ€™s another high-pitched cry, this time my name. â€œKatniss! Katniss!â€
Ok, I know I called it, but could this not happen right now? Justâ€¦fuck, I like Rue.
When I break into the clearing, sheâ€™s on the ground, hopelessly entangled in a net. She just has time to reach her hand through the mesh and say my name before the spear enters her body.
WHAT. THE. FUCK. Collins, you are so very, very evil.