Aang at the Pillory
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The Avatar of the Fire Temple



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Aang at the Pillory is the sixth chapter of The Avatar of the Fire Temple. It tells what happened after Haru was saved from hanging.


The next day, at the place of grieving, a huge crowd hag gathered. Word had it that a public flogging would take place, and there were few things the bloodthirsty people of the Fire Nation enjoyed more.

A cart rumbled into the square. On it, bound tightly with ropes and chains, was poor Aang. He did not struggle as he was led toward the central pillory.

Nor did he make a sound when soldiers stripped him to the waist and fastened him securely to the wheel in front of the crowd.

A man stepped up to the platform carrying a long whip of knotted leather. He rolled up his sleeves and flexed his muscles.

An hourglass filled with sand was turned over, indicating that the performamce would begin.

The wheel began to turn, but the Avatar did not yet understand. As the first lash cut into his back, Aang's eyes opened with pain.

The flogging got harder and harder until blood poured down the Avatar's sides. The crowd howled and laughed, taunting Aang. Stones and rotting food were thrown at him, too.

Aang struggled with his bonds but could not escape. The mob cheered to see him struggle and fail. Though he could not hear them, Aang saw the hate on their faces.

Suddenly he stopped struggling. Something had caught his eyes, and he stared across the heads of the jeering crowd.

It was Ozai, his adoptive father and master! He must have come to put an end to his son's terrible suffering. Aang was relieved to see him.

But, after looking on for a few moments, the Fire Lord walked on. Turning his back on Aang, he abandoned him to the crowd.

The light of hope in Aang's eyes disappeared. He cried out in pain, and begged the crowd for a drink of water. "Water! Please! Water!", begged Aang.

Katara stepped forward and held a flask to the Avatar's mouth. The crowd went silent. In gratitude, he tried to kiss the Gypsy's hand. But the girl pulled away, frightened.

Suddenly, from the barred window of a cell nearby, a terrible screech was heard. Curses aimed at the Gypsy pierced the silence. "Curses on you, daughter of the face stealer!"

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