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A Haunted Inn
The tremendous ball of bright, yellow glowing light was approaching the horizon. A fluffy white bison flew through the air, seven people traveling on its back. Below the rapidly moving creature was a quiet village. As the sun began to disappear in the horizon, the bison began to descend.
An adolescent boy of sixteen years old looked down as the creature lowered itself to the group. He had dark brown hair, his eyes blue. He looked at a bald teen, who was atop the creature's head, steering the animal. "Aang, what's happening? Why are we landing?"
The bald kid shook the reins he was holding. "Come on, Appa, just a little farther," he spoke to the creature. The kid had a blue arrow on his head; he was an Air Nomad. But he was more than that. He was the Avatar.
The bald teenager turned to face the sixteen year old. "Appa's just tired. Just look at how far he's flown, Sokka. From Ba Sing Se all the way to the Fire Nation capital. And we haven't even reached the city." The boy turned to face the bison once more. "Come on, buddy. You can do it." The bison groaned.
"Maybe we should land, Aang," a girl suggested, her long brown hair blowing in the wind. "Appa seems to be really tired. He needs his rest. We all do." The fourteen year old looked at the Air Nomad, her comforting blue eyes looking into the gray colored ones. "We've been traveling all day, Aang. We should all rest." She smiled.
"I guess you're right, Katara. What do you guys think?" Aang asked, looking at the others seated around the bison's saddle.
They all agreed on the idea.
Aang nodded. He was about to tell Appa to land, but the bison had just crashed into the ground, his eyes shut.
"Well now what?" a girl of thirteen years old, wearing green clothes asked. She wore a headband on her black hair. Not only was she an Earthbender, but she was also blind. She used Earthbending to "see" with her feet.
"Lets find somewhere to stay," said Katara.
"Okay, but first, we need to find out where we are. Where is the place?" the thirteen year old, named Toph Bei Fong, questioned.
The gang, named Team Avatar, looked around.
"Something's familiar about this place. We've been here before," Aang told the others.
"I don't remember this place," said an Earth Kingdom girl, with blue green eyes. Her name was Suki.
"I think we took a detour here before we rescued you from the Boiling Rock," Sokka explained.
"Zuko, do you know what this place is?" Aang inquired a Fire Nation teen with a scar across his left eye. "You must have been studying maps of the Fire Nation, right? You know, you being Fire Lord and all. Maybe you have a map?"
The scarred teen spoke. "I left all my maps at the palace. Pretty dumb idea, now that I think about it." He took a look around. "I have no idea where this place is."
"Let's just go find somewhere to stay," said Katara.
"What about Appa?" asked Suki. "We can't just leave him."
"And we can't just wake him up," Aang said.
"Why don't some of you stay with Appa while the others go find a place to stay?" suggested Sokka.
"Why don't we just camp here?" asked Zuko.
"We left our camping stuff back at Ba Sing Se," explained Katara. "We thought we would've made it to the palace in one day."
"Lesson learned," said Aang
Silence fell among them. It seemed that silence had reached the village for it was noiseless. Fog swept across it, engulfing the village.
"Why don't we just stay on Appa's saddle?" questioned Zuko.
"I'm not staying out here," Suki answered. "No way. It's way too creepy."
"Suki," Sokka said. "It'll be okay."
"I'm still not staying," Suki told him.
"I'm not staying either," Katara said, shaking her head.
"Man up, Katara," Toph told her. "There's nothing scary about this place."
An eerie wind blew. It seemed to be speaking to them. Run. Run. Creaks and footsteps. The fog grew thicker.
A girl was sitting next to Zuko. She was his girlfriend. Her name was Mai. She had black hair, a bored expression on her face. She hadn't said much since they left Ba Sing Se.
"Guys, this place is creepy. We need to find somewhere to stay. Come on, quick," Katara said.
They all jumped off the saddle on Appa's back.
"But who's going to stay with Appa?" Zuko questioned.
"I'll do it. I'll stay," Aang volunteered.
"I'll stay too. This place is eerie. We need to stay in groups." Katara looked around.
"I'm not leaving Appa," said Suki. "I don't want to walk anywhere in this fog."
"You'll have to eventually," Zuko told her.
"I'm staying with Suki!" Sokka announced.
"Fine," Zuko talked."So, it's just Toph, Mai, and I, right?" A flying lemur flew out of Appa's saddle and onto Toph's shoulder. "And Momo," Zuko continued. "Okay, see you guys later."
"Good luck," the remaining members told the leaving party. They waved as Zuko, Mai, Toph, and Momo walked away into the distance, disappearing in the fog.
"Be careful!" Katara called.
Silence fell over them. Breaking the silence, Suki said, "Let's get on Appa's saddle."
"Agreed." Katara nodded as the remaining quartet hopped onto Appa's saddle.
They sat and waited, waited for the foursome to return.
Katara walked over to Aang, who was sitting on Appa's head. "It's creepy, this place. But yet, it's familiar." Aang said nothing. Moments later, Katara resumed, "How are you?"
This time, Aang replied. "Good, just tired. You?"
"Just a bit creeped out. But, I'm good. Why, out of all places we could've landed, we had to land in this creepy ominous village?"
Aang chuckled, smiling at Katara.
"Maybe you should get some rest, Aang. Come on, you need it." Katara smiled.
"Thanks Katara, but I'm gonna wait until the others to return." Katara nodded. "What are we going to do about Appa when the others return? We can't wake him up. And we can't just leave him here. Maybe you can Airbend him to where we're going?" Katara chuckled.
"Maybe. Or maybe Toph can help me Earthbend him there, somehow?" Aang smiled.
They said nothing else. They waited, waited in the creepy fog, waiting for their four friends to return.
A while later, Katara spoke to Aang. "They've been gone a while, don't you think? Maybe we should go looking for them-"
"There they are!" Sokka said, pointing to four figures walking towards them in the fog.
"Well that's convenient," remarked Katara.
"Did you find a place to stay?" Suki questioned.
Zuko nodded. "Yep, there's an abandoned inn not far from here."
"Abandoned? Are you serious?" Suki asked.
"Yeah, it's abandoned," Mai said.
"Come on, let's go," Zuko told them. He began to walk back into the fog.
"Wait," Aang said. "So, we're just going to go to this random abandoned inn?"
"Yeah," Zuko replied. "Don't worry, there's no one in it. There's nothing wrong with it."
"How do you know?" asked Katara.
"Don't forget, Toph has seismic sense," explained Zuko. "She can sense if there's someone or something in the inn."
"And there isn't," Toph told them. "So, stop being scaredy cats and lets go. I'm exhausted."
"Okay," Aang agreed. "But what about Appa? What do we do with him?"
"Let's Earthbend him there," Toph answered.
"How?" Aang asked.
"Simple. Just create a smooth rectangular rock bed under him and carry him to the Inn." Toph did so. A giant rock bed appeared under the flying bison. "Come on, Twinkle Toes, help me out," she said to Aang.
"Where is this inn?" Aang questioned.
"Just north from here." Zuko pointed north.
"Come on, Toph," replied Aang. "Let's carry Appa there."
Aang and Toph put all their strength into carrying the rock bed and the bison on it. They began to walk towards the inn, the rock bed and bison in front of them.
Finally, they reached a small building, barely visible through the fog. They placed the rock bed next to the inn.
Gasping, Aang suggested that they go inside.
Agreeing, the others walking inside the tiny building made of wood.
The door creaked as they pushed it forward. The house was completely dark. Zuko and Aang Firebent a small fire onto their hands. They walked forward, lighting the room.
They were in a living room, covered in spider webs. Dust rolled around the walls and floor. The building was full of fog.
"Of course, the fog just had to follow us in here, didn't it?" Katara commented.
Aang asked, "Where are the rooms?"
"They're up stairs," Zuko explained. "Come on, follow me."
Zuko led them to a hallway that contained several doors.
Sokka, squinting his eyes, counted the doors. "Eight rooms," he announced. "There are eight rooms here. Everyone can have their own, even Momo."
Momo, who was siting on Toph's shoulder, shook his head. Sokka, not noticing Momo's gesture, began to walk towards a room. He opened the door.
Sokka yawned. "Let's get to sleep, guys," he spoke. "See ya in the morning."
Sokka walked into the room and then closed the door behind him.
"See ya," Zuko yawned.
"Wait," Aang said. "Isn't it a bit weird that we're staying in an abandoned inn? I have a feeling we shouldn't be here."
"Aang's right," Katara agreed. "We can't just break into someone's house."
"It's abandoned, Katara. No one lives here anymore," Toph reassured her.
"I know, but listen to me, Toph. Just look at this place," Katara began.
"Well, I would if I could see."
"You know what I mean. But anyway, just look at this place, guys. Fog roaming the house, creaking door, spider webs, dust. Come on, this has haunted house written all over it."
"No, this has old abandoned house written all over it. Get it through your head, Katara," Toph told her. Momo jumped off her shoulder and onto Aang's.
"I'm going to bed." Walking towards a nearby room, Toph opened the door, and slammed it shut behind her.
"See ya, guys," Suki said, moving towards to a door.
Mai and Zuko walked to their room as well, leaving Aang, Katara, and Momo.
"Well, I guess we better get to sleep." Aang told Katara. When she didn't respond, Aang reassured her. "It'll be okay, Katara. Trust me."
Katara, nodding and smiling, bade Aang a good night and then went into an unoccupied room.
Aang looked at Momo, perched on the formers shoulder. "Are you staying with me, Momo?"
Momo made his regular chirping noises.
"I thought so." Aang walked to one of the remaining doors. It was painted red, the painted peeling off just like the walls. Aang pushed the door opened. It creaked.
The duo walked in. Dust covered the room, from the walls to the floor. There was a large window across the door. It too was covered in dust.
"Watch out, Momo," Aang told the lemur.
Momo flew behind Aang's back.
Aang, moving his hands forward, Airbending the dust into the hallway.
"That's better. The dust should clear out in the hallway in a while."
Aang trekked to the bed. Reaching the bed, Aang let himself fall onto it.
Yawning, he spoke to the lemur. "Good night, Momo."
Aang fell asleep seconds later.
Momo flew to the bed and tried to fall asleep.
Boom! The lemur shrieked.
Aang woke up and sat up. "What is it, Momo?"
Another boom and a flash of light. Aang looked to the window.
The sky was thundering. Rumble after rumble. Rain pounded on the windows in Aang's room. Suddenly, a blinding flash of light struck the ground.
"It was just lightning, Momo," Aang gasped. "Everything's okay. Just a thunderstorm. Let's go back to sleep."
Aang, lying back, looked up at the ceiling, trying to sleep.
The rumbling continued. Closed his the eyes, the Avatar tried to fall into a nice, long sleep. Seconds away from sleeping, Aang woke up once more after another loud rumble was heard.
Aang groaned. "Where did this lightning even come from? It was a beautiful day when were flying." The Air Nomad groaned once more and continued in his attempts to sleep.
Aang's eyes flew open. He looked at the door. It was half open. Aang's eyes searched the room, looking for what had opened the door.
It was nothing. Nothing at all. Just the wind? Yeah, that's it. The wind.
Aang closed his eyes once more, but a voice inside him kept bothering him, repeating the same thing over and over again.
Wind in an inn? Wind can't enter here. All the outside doors and windows are closed.
Aang ignored this voice and tried to drift away into a sleep.
Footsteps. He could hear them. In here. In this very room. Aang couldn't bear to open his eyes. He closed them even harder.
Momo. He'll keep my company.
Aang turned his head sideways to face the lemur. He barely opened his eyes. They were less than half a centimeter.
But then they flew open.
The lemur. He wasn't there.
Aang opened his mouth to speak. He could barely say anything. "M-m-..." His mouth was dry. Fear filled his lungs.
Aang turned his head slowly, facing the door.
There was nothing in the doorway.
For a split second, he thought he had seen something. A woman. An old hag. Her hair hanging over her head.
I'm just imagining this. It's because I'm tired.....But what about Momo? Where is he?
An eerie, high voice called his name. "Aang...."
Aang was seconds away from screaming until...
A piercing shriek came from the room next to Aang's.
It sounded like....
"Katara!" Aang called.
He wasn't just going to li here while something happened to Katara, no matter how scary he thought the place was.
Aang jumped out of bed and ran to the half opened door. He lit a fire and walked to the room next to his.
The Air Nomad put his hand on the door knob and twisted it.
But it wouldn't open.
"Katara!!" Aang yelled.
What am I doing here, waiting for the door to open!? I'm a bender!
Aang, using Airbending, knocked the door down.
He ran inside.
"Katara, are you okay?" the Air Nomad asked.
Katara was standing on the bed, holding a pillow.
"Aang!" Katara ran to him, hugging the Avatar. "I'm so glad you're here."
"What happened?" Sokka came running in, followed by the others.
"There's something here. Someone is in the inn. And it's not us," Katara told them. "I don't know what happened. But I know that there's someone here."
"It was probably just a dream," Zuko said.
"No, it wasn't. I think I saw someone too." Aang gasped. "Momo! Where is he?"
"Wasn't he with you?" Sokka asked.
"He was, but he's not in the room anymore."
An eerie voice spoke to them, the same one Aang had heard earlier. "Welcome..."
"Ahhhh!!" They yelled.
"There's someone else in here!" shouted Toph.
"RUN!!!!" screamed Sokka.
They all ran out of the door and into the hall.
"Let's get out of here!" shrieked Katara.
They bolted down the hallway and into the living room. They were out of the door when Aang stopped.
"Wait, Momo!" Aang yelled. He ran back into the inn.
"Aang!" Katara called.
"Come on!" Sokka told the others as he ran back into the inn.
They followed Aang back up the stairs.
"Momo! Momo!! Where are you!?" the Avatar called. "MOMO!"
"Welcome back, Aang..." the eerie voice said.
"Get away!" Aang yelled at it. "Leave us alone."
"Aang, come on, we have to get outside!" Zuko spoke.
"I'm not leaving without Momo! You guys get outside! Quickly!" Aang dashed into a nearby room.
"Aang!" Sokka called.
Aang hurried out of the room.
"Aang, wait!" Katara said to him.
The Avatar stopped, waiting impatiently.
"Let's go! Come on! Sokka, let's go!" Suki told the warrior.
"I'm not leaving Aang!" Sokka said.
"We can't just stay here!" Zuko added.
"Let's split up," Katara said. "Some of us can stay with Aang and help him find Momo. Others can go outside. I'm staying with Aang."
"Me too," Sokka stated. "Suki, you go!"
"GO!" Sokka told her.
"I see you like the inn..." the voice said. "Why don't you stay... Forever!"
"GO!" Sokka repeated.
Toph, Suki, Zuko, and Mai bustled out of the inn while Aang, Katara, and Sokka hurried off to find Momo.
They checked in every room, but there was no lemur in sight.
"Stay. The inn always welcomes guests..." the high voice said.
"MOMO!! WHERE ARE YOU!?" Sokka yelled.
"What's taking so long?" Suki asked.
She and the others were waiting next to the sleeping Appa, the sky still thundering.
"Where could Momo be?" Suki continued.
A familiar chirping noise was heard. It came from Appa's saddle.
There on the bison's saddle was the lemur.
The four members gasped. "Momo!"
"Stay. STAY!" the voice told the running gang. The thunderstorm outside intensified. A fire was no longer required; the lightning lighted the room perfectly.
"Momo!? Where are you!?" Aang called.
"Aang! AANG!" two voices yelled.
The Air Nomad turned around. It was Toph and Zuko.
"Momo," panted Zuko. "He's outside."
"What?" Aang asked.
"Momo's outside!" Zuko repeated.
"Let's go!" Toph said.
They began to race off into the hallway when Toph fell to the ground.
"Something's got me!" Toph shrieked. "Help! I can't Earthbend anything!"
"Toph!" Sokka yelled. He ran to grab her hand, but she was pulled away before he had the chance.
"Toph!!" they screamed.
Evil laughter rang in their ears.
"We have to get outside!" Zuko yelled.
"But Toph?!" Katara questioned.
"We'll come back later," answered Zuko. "First we need a plan!"
"But-" Aang broke off when footsteps were heard, coming closer by the second. He turned around.
There it was. The old hag, her gray hair hanging over her head.
"Stay," she said, in her high eerie voice.
The gang darted down the hall and out of the inn, slamming the door behind them.
"Where's Toph?" asked Mai.
Panting, Aang explained. "She was taken by the weird thing that lives in that house."
"I told you we shouldn't have stayed in here," Katara said.
"Katara, yes, you were right, but that's not the problem right now. Toph is missing," Zuko reminded her. "How are we going to get her back?"
"Why are we running away from the woman? We're a mighty team," Sokka said. "We have the Avatar! Come on, let's fight her!"
They all stared at Sokka.
"Come on, guys!" Sokka told them.
They all agreed. Sokka walked to the door and turned it.
"Locked!" he said, snapping his fingers. "You know what we have to do?"
Everyone seemed to understand what he meant, for they all nodded.
"For Toph!" said Aang.
"For Toph!" they all repeated.
"Come on," Sokka spoke. "........CHARGE!"
They pushed on the door until it hit the ground. They tore off up the stairs, searching for Toph and the woman.
"You're back..." the voice spoke.
"Show yourself!" Sokka demanded, holding his space sword in his hand.
A blinding flash of light and the hag appeared in the hall the gang was in.
"Back for your friend?" she said.
"ATTACK!" commanded Sokka.
The gang charged at the eerie hag.
The woman didn't put up a fight at all. She was knocked down on the ground.
The giant ball of yellow light rose, revealing who the woman was.
"It's a dummy?" asked Suki.
"What did you do to her?" a short old man, with gray hair, asked, walking towards them.
"Old Man Ding?" Aang questioned.
"Why does everyone call me that. I'm not that old," Ding said, for what seemed to be the hundredth time.
"You own this dummy?" asked Katara.
"Yes, it's mine."
"Why?" Sokka inquired.
"Because, I use her to scare people."
"Huh?" Aang said.
"Okay, wait. Who is this guy?" asked Suki.
"Guys, this is Old Man Ding," ("I'm not that old.") "We met him when we visited this village a couple days before the invasion," explained Sokka.
"Anyway, why did you want to scare us?" Zuko asked.
"Brings back memories of when I used to be a teenager, always scaring people. This makes me feel young again. People, mainly teenagers, always visit this inn to find out more about it after hearing rumors that I spread. So many memories...."
"Okay, so let me get this straight. You went through all that trouble just to feel young again," said Sokka.
"Yep, pretty much," Ding spoke.
"Okay." Sokka shrugged.
"What about Toph?" asked Katara.
"Oh yeah." Ding walked to an unoccupied room and out came Toph.
"Toph, what happened?" Sokka spoke.
"Nothing. I just pulled her away with some rope," explained Ding.
"But wait, how did Momo get outside?" Aang questioned.
"He was probably just scared of the inn," assumed Toph. "He just wanted to get out as soon as possible."
"But why didn't Toph sense that you were here?" Katara asked.
"I was watching from the ceiling," said Ding. "I don't know if she could sense me up there." Toph shook her head.
"But what about when you made the footstep noises? She should've sensed you then," Sokka questioned.
"Actually, I thought that Ding was the old hag," explained Toph. "Since Ding was in the same spot the hag was in, I mistook him as being the hag. Ding was breathing and I thought that it was coming from the hag. Since the woman wasn't moving, I thought she was just an object, like a desk or something."
"Okay, but what about the thunderstorm?" inquired Aang. "It was a perfect day when we were flying."
"Well, that I don't know. Probably just a coincidence, Aang," Ding told him.
"Wait, how do you know our names?" asked Zuko.
"I overheard you guys talking to one another here in the hall earlier," explained Ding. "I also followed you guys, made the footstep noises, and spoke in a creepy high pitched voice to make you believe that woman was real " He gestured to the dummy. "Fooled ya, didn't I?"
They all muttered 'yes'.
"Ready to go, buddy?" Aang asked Appa. The fluffy animal had woken up a few minutes before.
Appa groaned. Aang took that as a 'yes'.
The gang jumped on Appa's saddle and bade a goodbye to Ding.
"Good luck with scaring people!" spoke Suki.
"You're doing an amazing job," Katara complimented.
Ding smiled and waved good bye as the flying bison took off.
"So, did you guys learn your lesson?" Katara asked.
"What lesson?" spoke Sokka.
"That you shouldn't go barging into random abandoned houses," explained Katara.
"Who knows what could be in them?"
"But it wasn't haunted," said Sokka.
"So. It still wasn't right to stay at someone else's house," added Suki.
Sokka didn't say anything.
Silence feel among them. Breaking the silence, Aang spoke, "And to think, we went through all this just to go to a meeting at the palace."
They all said, "Yeah..."
"Next time, we're having it at Ba Sing Se," Sokka told them.
The gang laughed as the bison flew off into the distance.
- Ding saying "Why does everyone call me that? I'm not that old" is a reference to what he said in The Puppetmaster.
This is the first one-shot I've ever written and I think it came out pretty good. First of all, I'd like to thank's ! Originally, I felt that the writing for the first half of the story was pretty weak, but, after finally continuing to read the mentioned fanon, I decided to re-write a couple things. It definitely came out better than it originally was.
Another thing, the inn that the gang stays at is obviously Hama's Inn. However, I didn't want to state that anywhere for some reason, but I gave several clues as to who the inn belonged to. I also didn't state Hama anywhere. I'm not sure why, but I didn't want to. Also, I want to say that it's pretty hard to write chapter that have so many characters in them. There are seven (Nine counting Appa and Momo) members of Team Avatar so it's hard to give everyone dialogue. For future chapters, I'm going to try to split them up more often.
And finally I want to say: Happy Halloween to everyone!! The reason I wrote this chapter was to honor Halloween. So, I hope you all have a great Halloween. Don't forget to be safe. Whether you're going trick or treating, having/going to a party, or just watching scary movies with friends, remember to have fun!
P.S. Sorry for posting this chapter so late into October. I didn't want to rush it that much. Rushing it would have made it pretty bad.
I hope you all enjoyed the chapter and, again, Happy Halloween! :D
For the collective works of the author, go here.