“Anyway, no drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we're looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn't test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and love of power.” - P.J. O'Rourke
“Alcohol is the anesthesia by which we endure the operation of life.” - George Bernard Shaw
The blizzard's end was more than welcome to Jocelin, but such a horrible cold had set in that she still struggled to warm herself. Even as the arena warmed and melted the snow, she was forced to drudge through the cold slush that soaked her shoes and socks with ice cold water. Jocelin was forced to stop several times and remove her shoes completely. She could only hope that rubbing them would warm them enough to ward off frostbite. After a long internal debate about whether wet, cold socks were better or worse than no socks at all, Jocelin finally found the stream, which was now overflowing with the melted snow.
It hadn't been hard to find her. With her footprints laid out for the world to see, Coale had tracked Jocelin until he had her cornered at the stream. The rushing water would prevent her from crossing, and he knew she wouldn't stand a chance of running in this snow anyway. She cried when she saw him in anticipation for her coming death.
“Please end it,” she whispered as he stood over her.
The blood-soaked snow was left as evidence of what had taken place, even after the body was removed, and Coale knew he needed to get away from this spot. He needed to end it. Now.
Tiara smiled widely as she heard the cannon blast. One other tribute was now all that stood between her and victory. She wondered briefly who had made it through. She knew that Jocelin and Coale had been the only two left standing because Tiara herself had made all of the other kills since last night's projection of the dead. She expected to find Coale, but if a weakling such as Jocelin had gotten through, then she wasn't going to complain about the easy win. She just needed to find the other tribute and end this for good.
Neither of the remaining tributes paid any thoughts to those watching around Panem. Citizens across the country watched in anticipation. Some were horrified as they inched closer to the screens in their rundown houses. Some conversed joyfully with the crowd around them as they partied drunkenly in celebration of the coming conclusion to this year's games. Everyone in Panem would be affected by the coming events, but no one would be as wrecked as the two tributes about to fight to the death.