Chapter 24 Summary
Katniss runs as fast as she can into the jungle in search of Prim, whom she hears screaming. However, when she tracks down the voice, she finds a jabberjay. Katniss shoots the jay and throws its body away. Finnick has caught up to her, but then he hears a voice and rushes off. He says it is Annie’s voice. Katniss catches up to him, calms him, and then hears Gale’s voice. She rushes off, but this time Finnick is able to drag her away until she regains control over her senses. They attempt to return to the others, but when they get to the beach, they find a transparent barrier that blocks them from the others. They are trapped. The jays return and each is forced to endure the sound of their loved ones screaming in pain.
It is a traumatizing experience. Jabberjays copy what they hear; does that mean that Prim and the others were tortured? Peeta argues that the Capitol will have to interview her family soon, so they would not dare to hurt anyone. Beetee explains that it is easy to manipulate sound to produce the screams. Finally, Johanna suggests that if the Capitol killed off someone like Prim, they might have an uprising on their hands. Katniss is shocked by the rebellious comment, but she finds herself feeling a grudging respect for the District 7 victor. Johanna returns to the jungle to find water and explains that the jabberjays cannot hurt her because there is no one left alive whom she loves.
That night, they take stock of their situation. Two-thirds of the victors have been killed off in less than two days’ time. It seems like a record number of deaths for such a short period. Katniss and Peeta take the first watch while the others sleep. Peeta tells Katniss that he knows she is trying to keep him alive, but he points out that Haymitch could have made a double deal with him. Furthermore, Peeta argues, Katniss has a family that needs her. She needs to stop trying to protect him so she can return to take care of Prim and Gale. There is a life that awaits her after the Games end, but there is not one for him if she dies.
Although they have kissed many times, Katniss has only ever once felt like she wanted to kiss Peeta. Now she feels it again. Their watch ends when the lightning bolt strikes at midnight. Finnick takes the next watch. Katniss goes to sleep thinking about a world that does not have any Hunger Games—one in which Peeta’s children could be safe.