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There may be a dead, mangled corpse laying at her feet, but she had won. She was a victor. She had hacked the last breath out of the final tribute, a girl from District 2 with blonde hair and dark, grey eyes who was deadly with a bow. Johanna looked down at the girl’s body, spread out in front of her in severed pieces. The axe she had been gripping slipped from her hands, landing with a thud on the blood stained grass beside the mutilated girl.

She hadn’t expected it to be so easy. To kill. During her weeks of hiding in trees and silently avoiding the other tributes who had easily forgotten about her, she’d had plenty of time to think. About what she was capable of. What it would feel like to swing that axe and hit something other than the trunk of a tree. 

But it’d been easy, like chopping at rotted wood that crumbled when it met the blade. It hadn’t been hard to lodge the axe into the head of the boy from ten, to stare into his eyes while he gasped and spat blood onto his chin. She’d always remember those amber gold eyes, the way that the blonde girl’s braid had swung against her neck when she fell. It had only been a few minutes, but she had killed four tributes, each bigger than herself, with one axe. Her entire body was fire. 

And now the flames were starting to fade out. She looked up at the cheerily blue sky, waiting to be crowned the victor. To be told that she could finally, finally go home. 

The trumpets blared. Johanna saw the cabin back home, a woman holding a man’s calloused, overworked fingers and holding her breath.

Ladies and gentlemen, may I present the winner of the Sixty-seventh Hunger Games - Johanna Mason!”