In the thirteenth chapter ofvoracious gamesSERIOUSLY THIS IS GETTING UNBEARABLE THAT THERE IS A MOMENT WHEN WE CAN REST AND SHIT. Intrigued? So it's time for Mark to readvoracious games.
NO. REALLY? A WALL OF FIRE? THIS IS ABSURD NOW. WHAT'S GOING ON.
The world turned into flames and smoke. Flaming branches break from the trees and rain sparks down at my feet. All I can do is follow the others, the rabbits and the deer, and I even see a pack of wild dogs shooting in the woods. I trust your sense of direction because your instincts are sharper than mine. But they're so much faster, flying through the brush with such grace as my boots snag on the roots and branches of fallen trees, that there's no way I can keep up with them.
When I read that there were steps before the fire, I assumed that other tributes were trying to burn Katniss alive. But... I guess that's not much better, is it? Again, WALL OF FIRE.
The heat is horrible, but worse than the heat is the smoke, which threatens to suffocate me at any moment. I pull the top of my shirt over my nose, grateful to find it drenched in sweat, and it offers me a thin veil of protection. And I run gasping, my bag hitting my back, my face cut by branches that materialize out of the gray mist without warning, because I know I must run.
Excellent. More disaster ahead. If the fire doesn't kill Katniss, the smoke inhalation will.
This wasn't some runaway tribute bonfire, it didn't happen accidentally. The flames that fall on me have an unnatural height, a uniformity that marks them as man-made, machine-made, Watchers. Things are very quiet today. No deaths, maybe no fights. The public in the Capitol will be bored, claiming that these Games are on the brink of boredom. This is the one thing the Games shouldn't do.
I should have thought of that. These games oppress and amuse at the same time. (And zealotry sells, right?) Katniss suspected the berries were poisonous (it was never confirmed if they were), but she forgot to consider the lethal weapons the Watchers could use against her.
I jump over a burning log. Not strong enough. The hem of my jacket catches fire and I have to stop to pull it off my body to put out the flames. But I dare not leave my coat, singed and smoking as it is, I risk stuffing it in my sleeping bag, hoping that the lack of air will erase what I haven't erased. That's all I have, what I carry on my back, and it's just enough to survive.
Well, there goes your jacket, butnot his dignity.
The discomfort turns to anguish until each breath sends a stabbing pain through my chest. I manage to hide under a rocky outcrop just as the vomiting begins, losing my meager dinner and whatever water is left in my stomach.
I'm glad Collins is including details like this, showing that gambling can negatively affect a person's health in this way. Wait…okay, I'm not too happy that I'm throwing up. I mean this kind of realism is often ignored in fiction and film/TV, but not here. BUT YES, I WAS NOT GLAD TO PUT UP. Thanks guys.
What's interesting about all of this is that whatever kind of expectations I had for the Games were met or exceeded in the first few chapters. I don't know what else Collins has to explore! Playmaker intervention, injury, mass death, dehydration, betrayal, terror... it's all here. EVERYTHING IS READY TO HAPPEN. What the hell could Collins do now? I mean, aside from the remaining Tributes being killed or dying in the wild, how the hell is this narrative going to move forward?
Katniss wonders where the Watchers are taking her and assumes it's a few things: back to where she came from, to a new unfamiliar area, or to the other players. Basically NOT GOOD PLACE.
The fireballs continue to shoot at Katniss and she knows that a direct hit is death. But even her quick wit and speed are no match for COLLINS, THE AUTHOR.
My muscles react, but not fast enough this time. The fireball lands on the ground next to me, but not before skidding down my right calf. Seeing my pant leg on fire sends me over the edge. I twist and run backwards on my hands and feet, screaming, trying to escape the horror. When I finally come to my senses, I roll my leg back and forth on the floor, which suffocates the worst. But then without thinking, I tear the remaining fabric with my bare hands.
I sit on the ground, a few meters from the fire caused by the fireball. My calf is screaming, my hands covered in red welts. I'm shaking too much to move. If the Rangers want to take me down, now is the time.
WHAT A FUCK TO FLY IN THE SKY. Well the first thing I thought of when I read this was that horrible moment whendeathly Hallowswhen Harry realizes that his wand is broken. He is meaningless and carries with him a pervasive hopelessness. When Katniss's leg and hands are burned, I don't think, "WELL, THAT'S EASY TO GET OUT." Instead, I think: “JESUS CHRISTBURNS ARE VERY PAINFULAND THEN IT LASTS A LONG, LONG TIME.â€ So what happened to him will affect his performance at the Games for Days after this. (Assuming they last that long and really now... 200 pages left. They won't be done anytime soon.)
I've been pretty hard on Collins so far, but I have to give him a high five on the astral plane. This is a great moment in this book because while Katniss obviously makes it out alive, Collins made us realize that he can still experience a lot of loss beyond his lifetime.
Correct. We have a name for this moment:SHIT GOT REAL.
I hear Cinna's voice, carrying images of rich fabrics and sparkling precious stones. â€œKatniss, the girl who was on fire. What a laugh the Watchers must have about that. Perhaps Cinna's beautiful garments were brought to this particular torture for me.
SEMEN. How terrible. I didn't even think about it. I think Gamemakers appreciate violent irony. So they're the worst hipsters ever or something.
Guys, YOUR HANDS ARE BURNED. How will you use the weapons? Climb trees? Get food? It pretty much ruins everything. Good God.
I don't quite understand how she gets there, but Katniss makes it to the pool of water she was in before. Actually... is it the same pool or is it different? It's not quite clear, but it takes her a while to recover and check her leg.
I nearly fainted at the sight of my calf. The flesh is bright red covered with blisters. I force myself to take slow, deep breaths, sure the cameras are in my face.
GREAT. GREAT. JUST GREAT. It hurts just thinking about it. I've had a few minor burns over the years (THE BIGGEST KITCHEN EVER), but nothing like this. It's a sign of how tough Katniss is, because right now she would be a mess.
Although, admittedly, Katniss is not her normal self. She immediately doesn't move and chooses to stay in the area, consumed by sleep and hunger, to rest and eat something. She even falls asleep briefly, but is awakened by the sound of approaching tributes.
I grab a tall tree and start climbing. If running hurts, climbing is agonizing because it requires not only effort, but direct contact of my hands on the bark of the tree.
AU OW OW OW OW OW. NO. NO, THANKS. But I believe that fear can motivate people to overcome pain in order to survive.
Up in the tree, he sees the six tributes, including Peeta, and realizes that there is a very slim chance that any of them will make it to a tree. Then he says hello to them.
Now I smile. â€œHow are you doing? I ask happily.
It surprises them, but I know the audience will love it.
â€œVery good,â€ says the boy from District 2. â€œYourself?â€
â€œItâ€™s a little hot for my liking,â€ I say. I can almost hear the laughter from the Capitol. â€œThe air is better here. Why don't you go up?
BLESS YOUR HEART, KATNISS. This is fantastic! But…oh man, that must be so weird for Peeta.
We learn two more tribute names: Cato and Glimmer.
The girl with the arrows, Glimmer, I heard someone call her - ugh, the names people from District 1 give their children are so ridiculous - anyway, Glimmer climbs the tree until the branches start to break under her. feet and then has the good sense to stop.
I love the content of this sentence because that nameit isRidiculous, but did the diction in this piece strike anyone else as odd? It's much more conversational than anything we've seen so far. Just a thought.
Katniss, certain that she is safe from the tributes below, prepares to sleep in the tree after Peeta convinces the others that she is not going anywhere.
I look at the foliage trying to force myself to rest, but the burns stop me. The birds prepare for the night, singing lullabies to their chicks. Nocturnal creatures appear. A hooting owl. The faint smell of skunk wafts through the smoke. The eyes of some animal peer at me from a nearby tree, perhaps a skunk, catching the firelight of the Careers' torches.
I'm pointing this out because it's another passage from Collins that I think works very well in the first person present tense. Like I said before, I was really hard on her and I want to make sure I include what I'm enjoying here, and this is one of those moments. It has a good rhythm.
Suddenly, I'm propped up on one elbow. They are not skunk eyes, I know the glassy reflection of her very well. In fact, these are not animal eyes. In the last fading rays of light, I make out her, silently looking at me through her branches.
ARE YOU CHEATING ME???? What the hell is she doing up there? OMG WHAT A SHIT SHER.
How long have you been here? All the time probably. Standing motionless and unnoticed as the action unfolded below her. Maybe she climbed her tree just before I did, hearing that the herd was so close.
For a while, we keep our eyes on each other. Then, without so much as moving a blade, his tiny hand slips up and points to something above my head.
YOU HAVE TO STOP FINISHING CHAPTERS LIKE THIS🇧🇷 Jesus, God in heaven, I don't want to stop now. DAMN.