“There is no sadder sight than a young pessimist” - Mark Twain
“Sometimes I think it would be easier to avoid old age, to die young, but then you'd never complete your life, would you? You'd never wholly know you.” - Marilyn Monroe
Ezra was still recovering from the shock of waking up to Kendrick's death when Coale appeared in front of him. Coale tilted his head in curiosity as Ezra remained stoic and watched the stream flow by.
“Just kill me,” Ezra spoke softly. “I'm so tired of this. Just do it.”
Coale didn't say anything as he continued to study Ezra.
“I'm not killing someone who won't even put up a fight. Unlike others in here, I have standards.”
Ezra finally looked up at Coale, and Coale was slightly startled by the darkness in his eyes.
“I want you to do it,” Ezra growled.
“Which is why I won't,” Coale shrugged. “You don't deserve to die a pathetic death. You're not escaping this hell hole without a fight. Come on, let's go find some tributes who will actually fight back.”
Ezra had no plans to follow Coale, but Coale didn't plan on leaving him behind. Coale's superior strength pulled Ezra to his feet, and the empty boy obediently followed behind.
Jocelin had never spoken to Ahnette, and that made the kill easier than the others. Jocelin's mind hadn't calmed down. She still had horrible thoughts running through her mind, and she knew this must be what it felt like to go crazy. So far gone was Jocelin that she had given up all hope of being a decent person. Ahnette didn't fight back very hard, but even still, Jocelin was amazed at how easy it was for her to overpower the other girl. There was blood. More blood than any of Jocelin's other kills had resulted in. She couldn't separate herself from the act as she looked down at the blood covering her body.
Jocelin held her face in her hands, even as she could feel the blood smearing everywhere. She fumbled with her canteen for a moment before dropping it onto the ground. She didn't deserve to be clean. She couldn't rid herself of what she had done, so she shouldn't remove the evidence of it either.
Jocelin curled herself up into a ball as she fell asleep under the slight shade that the forest provided.
Coale didn't have to look far for a tribute willing to put up a fight. Gerald had ambushed the two other boys just a couple of hours after Coale and Ezra had made their alliance. The fact that he was outnumbered didn't seem to stop Gerald. He was past the point of caring what happened to him, but he had to do something. Fighting seemed like the obvious answer, even if it shortened his life.
Ezra wasn't much help, but what little the boy did to help Coale was enough to give Coale the advantage.
Regardless of his seemingly tough nature, Coale hadn't killed yet, and as good as he was a leader, he didn't like the idea of being a murderer. He didn't like the idea of dying so young either though, so he couldn't stop himself from plunging his knife into Gerald's chest when he finally found an opening. After all, it was Gerald's own stupidity for attacking not one but two tributes on his own. He was clearly asking for death.
It was an oddly calming act for Coale. The regret he expected to feel didn't come. Ezra, who had done relatively nothing in comparison, seemed far more shaken. He may not have delivered the final blow, but he had helped. The boy who had always tried to help every creature to the tiniest of birds to other humans had helped kill. He could hear Coale calling him, but Ezra ignored him as he sank to knees and cried.