Standing in the Rain, Caught in the Crossfire

“Lucy Gray, where are you going?” Snow's standing in the hallway, watching me. He takes up all the space in the doorway, his arms over one another, biceps buldging. He flashes a crooked smirk and tilts his head slightly. "It's raining."

I can't believe that I was this close to freedom. I turn to face Snow, smiling. "Bitta rain ain't killed nobody." I say, as upbeat as I possibly can. I try to maintain eye contact as long as possible. Snow always told me that looking away is a weakness.

The rain is lashing against the window at this point, filling the silent seconds between us that feels like hours to me. The rain seems to distract Snow as his eyes flicker from side to side, studying my face. I become excruciatingly aware of the space that I am taking up in the hallway. Snow could reach up and touch the roof, I couldn’t even if I stood on my toes.

After a couple of beats, he unfolds his arms one by one. They fall to his side, and for somebody with arms longer than his torso, he makes a good effort to never look awkward. He takes a step forward. "I thought you hated being wet." He speaks in a questioning tone, licking his bottom lip. His hands had entered his pockets as he shrugs, looking taller. "I mean you did, last time it rained, remember?"

Its my turn to study his face. He looks intently into my eyes, the light from the main room reflecting off the side of his face, making me feel a pang of uneasiness at his appearance. Is this what his victims seen last? I can feel his stare bore into me, and I feel like he is able to read my mind. I avert my eyes before he can get too much information.

I can hear the TV in the background, I hadn’t noticed it before as it was so quiet. "I wasn't wearing a coat back then." I say quickly, almost stuttering but not letting my smile waiver. I try to be exactly what Snow wants me to be, and he seems to relax slightly in this moment.

"You aren't wearing a coat now." He throws me a conceited smile. I look around the hallway, hoping that a coat is close to me. But as with everything in this house, it is impeccably clean. Not a thing out of place, no coat to be found. I waited too long to make my move, and Snows voice echoes through the hallway once more. "Come back in, sit with me."

I start walking towards him, walking past the window when I suddenly catch a whiff of the rain from outside. I had almost forgotten what that smelled like. I stop in my tracks, looking out longingly. The sky was pitch black, no star in sight. The wind was blowing the trees aggressively, the trees trying their best to stay rooted in the ground. I envy their dedication.

I wipe a tear away from my cheek, noticing but not recognizing the girl reflected in the window. I feel Snow’s eyes on my face, and I force a smile and quickly speak so to distract him from seeing me emotional. Emotionality is weakness. "Windows open, no wonder why the rain had been so loud." I say in a distant, far off tone.

I put my hand out the window, feeling the rain on my bare skin. It feels refreshing, and I welcome the moisture. This house is bone dry a lot of the time, as though the smell of old damp wood sucks the water out of the air. The rain falls on my hand lightly, rolling down my arms to the crease of my elbow.

I hear the footsteps approaching me, I feel his presence behind me, then I see his reflection in the window. He is at least a head taller, looking down at me. His reflection completely envelopes mine, he is taller, wider and bigger than me. He pauses and stares at me for a minute. I feel myself tighten up. If this had been a few days ago, I would have said he looked at me with love. Things have changed since then.

"I'll get that for you Lucy Gray." He reaches towards the handle, the sudden movement making me jump in fear. Then I see his knuckles. They’re caked in blood, swollen and fresh. He had attacked somebody while I had been at work.

"What happened to your hand?" I ask innocently. He doesn't pause for a second, following through with closing the window. My chest feels tight, my breath catching in my throat as he slams the window shut, making me jump slightly.

Leaving a long moment of silence, he finally responds. "Grazed them against the brick wall at work." He looks down at his knuckle, smiling to himself. He shrugs and sets his arm to the side, walking towards the light in the main room, not looking back to see if I'm following him. He always knows I am.

I stare longingly at the door for a second. My heartbeat is in my ear. The rain has gotten heavier and the wind is howling in the distance. I take a step towards the door. I'm so close to freedom. I can practically feel the air wrapping round me, anticipation tingling through my body. I can smell flowers in the distance that is carried by the wind.

A warmth spreads over me as I start thinking about my mum, I need to find a phone. I haven’t seen her in such a long time that I start to feel tears well in my eyes for the second time tonight. This is it. I take a step forward.

"Lucy Gray." His voice is loud and booming, demanding my attention. He is standing in the door way again, waiting on me returning to him. I take a last look at the door before joining him.


Just a disclaimer I do not own these characters! These characters belong to Suzanne Collins from The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes - I am only using these characters as a way to practice my writing skills :)

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