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|" I'm sorry I was born... Before I knew it, that was my catchphrase."|
|— Haku in "Bystander".|
|Birds of a Feather|
October 9, 2012
"Airbend! Come on- airbend!"
Haku stood alone in the forest. Every now and then, she struck a pose like she had seen the others do. Nothing happened. She tried again, and again, to no avail. She knew, in her heart of hearts, that if she was supposed to be an airbender, she would know by now. But part of her refused to give up. All Air Nomads were benders weren't they? There must be something wrong with her, to be unable to create the tiniest breath of wind.
She sighed, and tried again. Still nothing. She gave a cry of frustration, and hit a nearby tree with all the force she could muster. A flock of birds whistled angrily from the branches. But there was another sound. A sound Haku dreaded more than any other. Footsteps.
They were getting closer, and she could hear them clearly now. It was Kelshi and her boyfriend Ei Lin. Kelshi was a master airbender, who everyone looked up to. She had invented shadowbending; she described it as bending between shapes rather than what was there or could be- a style based on the opposite of firebending. She was also ridiculously beautiful, and was able to charm almost anyone with a single look. She was better than everyone at everything. Except for one thing. For some reason, Haku, poor, pathetic, non-bender Haku, posed a serious threat to Kelshi. Ei Lin was in love with her, although he didn't quite know it yet. Kelshi did, and wanted it to stay that way.
"W...What do you want?"
Kelshi grinned, and took a few steps forward.
"Is there something wrong with wanting to see how my best friend is doing with her airbending training? Oops- I'm sorry. Wrong person."
Haku swallowed, and tried to summon up the courage to tell her to get lost. Ei Lin just stood there, torn and unsure of what to do. His eyes met Haku's, and all of a sudden, she was able to take courage.
"Y... you always say such horrible things to me and... I don't think I can take it anymore! I might not be a bender, but that doesn't mean I can't be a... productive member of... society..."
She faltered. Kelshi took a few more steps forward, her smile now decidedly dangerous.
"You think you're so great. 'Oh poor me, I can't bend.' You think you can act the victim and get everyone to melt. Well I'll tell you something- it isn't going to work with me."
Frantic thoughts were fluttering in Haku's mind- she was now genuinely afraid. Kelshi spat on the ground, as Ei Lin turned away. Haku wondered if she could run. Impossible. They both knew Kelshi was faster. Haku began to tremble.
"Oh, so you're scared now, are you? Very convincing. I..."
Kelshi never finished that sentence. All of a sudden, an enormous teal and orange humming robin came soaring through the air towards her. She screamed and fled, Ei Lin following closely in her wake. Haku stood staring at the sky where the bird had been, gobsmacked, unable to comprehend what had happened. Surely- this had been the work of spirits? Her eyes overflowed with tears of gratitude.
"Whoever you are, thank you."
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