Peeta Mellark in the Hands of the Capitol

Image Credit: Tom M., Philadelphia, PA The author's comments: Just a short piece on Peeta's time as a Capitol prisoner after the force field blew up in the Quarter Quell arena. I did my best to convey the emotions he would have felt; both his own and the hijacked ones. I wake up every day not knowing the date, or the day of the week for that matter. My skin has become paler and the areas under my eyes are now purple with bruising and fatigue. Scars cover my body from whips and handcuffs. My voice is hoarse from screaming and every muscle I have screams with pain right down to the fibers they’re composed of. Being a prisoner of the Capitol is by far the worst thing anyone could experience. It’s designed to break you; to change your perception of life and your memories become altered into false truths. The thing is, it’s next to impossible to break me. My district was burned to the ground and I know my parents are dead. So there’s no going back to whatever life I had after the Games. Both of them. The woman I’ve been in love with since day one, that girl on fire, is my enemy now. My love for her has disappeared into oblivion along with my past. She let the Capitol have me. She gave me to them. Katniss…even her name sounds vile. Treacherous snake. I hate her! It’s frustrating to do nothing about it! Why am I even here? To be broken. So I reveal the rebels’ plans to overthrow President Snow. I don’t know anything. I’ve told them that before. The Capitol has a system; they only torture you so much and then they perform “experiments.” From what I’ve heard from other cellmates, the venom from tracker jackers is used to alter my reality and memories. It must have worked. I can’t find one good memory I had with Katniss. She was my enemy at the reaping, during the Games, and she still is. The woman in the cell next to mine…Johanna is it? Yes. She screams, too. That noise has become so familiar it’s practically engraved into my brain. She’s resilient, I’ll give her that. Even a tougher nut to crack than I am. But even she can’t withstand Capitol torture for that long. Her screams tell of heartbreak and pain of the worst kind. She’s built such a thick shell around herself so no emotion escapes. She’s a true hard a**. A rebel. A victor. I’m brutally woken up daily by Peacekeepers storming into my room and yanking me out of bed. I’m lucky if I even get a small portion of bread for breakfast. Bread…fire…what? The weirdest thing just happened. Deep within the recesses of my memory well I felt something tugging at me, something called hope. I know the truth. There is no hope for me or for the rebels. They’ll lose as the Capitol always wins. And when they win, I’ll be of no use. I’m at their disposal so what does it matter if I’m dead? I all ready am. I’m sorry, Cato. I finally understand what you were trying to say that day. Lost in this mind and lost in this building. I can’t tell up from down or left from right. Skin bruised and I’m caked with dry blood. The last thing I see is a dark bag being placed over my head as I’m dragged into a room. A needle is stuck into my arm which releases a liquid that leaves me paralyzed and completely drains any willpower I had left. Who…who am I? My name is Peeta Mellark. I am seventeen years old. My home is District 12. Home doesn’t exist. I was in the Hunger Games. Twice. The Capitol is out to break me. The Capitol is the only way of life now. I hate Katniss Everdeen. It is for the benefit of Panem that she is dead. I hope she is.

STORY OF THE MONTH: November 2019

The Story of the Month is chosen from the Story of the Week winners announced from the past month. The finalists for November were: Sundays by Una Nine Nine Rain Dance by Raymond Sloane Surrender by Eileen Hansen Shadows by Dmitri Christopher The winner of the November 2019 Story of the Month, and the $10 … Continue reading STORY OF THE MONTH: November 2019 →


The story of the week for December 2 to 6 is… Balloonman by Melody Leming-Wilson


The Balloonman presents the poodle, smiles and begins another. The child lifts it overhead; refracted color splashes his face. Autumn engulfs the horizon—the carnival sags. The Balloonman squints as summer burns itself out. The swan completed, he bows to one last girl, sighs, and turns toward evening and home. Melody Leming-Wilson lives and teaches in … Continue reading MELODY LEMING-WILSON: Balloonman →


When I saw him the other day, I felt the strangest urge to strike up a conversation. Most peculiar, seeing as we’ve hardly been close. But the moment passed and I saw it wasn’t him, remembered it couldn’t be so. A curiosity indeed that we’re always friendlier towards the dead. Gretchen wants to make being … Continue reading GRETCHEN IVERS: Hey →

KRISTA ROBEY: Birds of a Different Feather

Displayed in front of the Catholic school assembly, Lydia felt like an ostrich: swollen belly perched on teenaged stork-thin legs, dying to bury her head in the sand. Afterwards, the nuns expelled her. It was then she decided “pro-life” was a crow veiled in a habit, not an olive-branched dove. Krista Robey is an unapologetic … Continue reading KRISTA ROBEY: Birds of a Different Feather →