By Zoë Amber
We stay like that for five minutes. I cry into her shoulder, while she strokes my hair. The action reminds me of Josef, but my eyes are dry now. I have no more tears left to shed. Callie soothes me in a way I thought wasn’t possible any more.
I pull away, and attempt a smile.
“Get some rest Willow. I’ve had enough sleep.” So I move over to the branch Callie was sleeping on, get out the sleeping bag, get in it, and tie myself to the branch. Before I try to get to sleep, I say to Callie, “You should tie yourself in too, incase you fall asleep.” She gets out the second rope, and does as I suggest. Before I fall asleep, I make a promise to myself. I will win. Because that’s what Josef would have wanted.
I awake to birdsong and the sound of the winds rustling through the leaves and boughs of the trees. It’s so peaceful here, that I lie still with my eyes closed. Because if I open them, I’ll be back in the arena, and not in a beautiful forest.
A rustling in above me causes me to sit up abruptly. But it’s only Callie.
“I’ve got food Willow.”
“Let me see.”
She waits till I’ve gotten out of my sleeping bag before passing the contents of her hand to me. There are some berries. I look at them closely, trying to see if they were safe to eat.
“We can have them with some of the bread.”
“Oh I forgot to say, my district sent me bread.”
Callie smiles. I get out my rucksack and pull out the basket of bread, which I had wrapped in the parachute. I take out two of the small loaves, make a small hole, then tip some of the berries inside.
“Breakfast.” I say, handing one of the loaves over to Callie. She smiles.
It is only when I bite into the seedy, hearty bread that I realise how hungry I’d been. I hadn’t eaten for two days at least, and I also realise that I am parched. My mouth is dry and I’ve got a raging headache which I’d associated with my collision with the branch, but now I realise it is a cause of thirst.
One we finish the bread and berries, I suggest looking for water, so we climb down the tree steadily, and start our search.
After about half an hour, I hit my head.
“The snow! We could melt the snow!”
Callie looks at me sceptically.
“Alright, I admit it’s not going to be the cleanest, but we can always use it as a last resort.” I sigh. “Let’s keep looking shall we?”
It is another hour till we stumble, half shaking and weak from dehydration, upon a small stream. It isn’t very big, but I think it is running fast enough to be clean. Cleaner that the snow at any rate. I unscrew the lid of my bottle, and dip it into the stream. I wait till it’s full, then take long, large gulps of the fresh, icy cold water. It sharp on my teeth, almost painful, but the feeling afterwards is worth it. I look over to Callie, who is doing the same.
We don’t bother to head back to our tree, as we both knew that we couldn’t find it again. Instead we search for another tree.
We stop for a break after about two fruitless hours. The Gamemakers appear to be sending the temperature plummeting more and more the further we get into the Hunger Games. I divide up a couple more loaves of bread, then pick up a shard of the now frozen snow. At home, Josef and I would chuck them at each other. Kind of like a really hard snowball. It begins to melt from the small amount of warmth my hand contains, and I drop it in surprise and pain. I look down at my hand, and see the palm of it red. The snow burnt my hand! Snow shouldn’t do that! Then I have an idea.
“Callie, do you think you could put your remaining water into my water bottle?”
She looks puzzled, and ignores me. I keep insisting however, and she eventually pours her water into my bottle. Then, using her now empty one, I drop a few shards of the ices, careful not to touch it for too long, into the container. By now my hand has stopped throbbing, but that is mainly due to the fact that they are numb from the cold. come to think of it, I can barely feel any part of my body.
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