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Chapter 1: Artist's Pride
War, war is an art form, an art form that only the destroyers of life know, that only the faithless truly see, that only the hopeless can actually feel. As it eats its way through the third decade, the art of war rages on, raining down the petals of hate like the Cherry blossoms of Summer. It gives me great comfort in the knowledge that long after I'm gone it will continue, my art will still be seen and felt by many in years to come. Unfortunately, I'm not deluded like the rest of those fools who believe and hang onto every word that spews out of the madman Fire Lord. They will become the architects of their own demise, so we must enjoy this art before the cowardly critic returns from his hiding place - can an Avatar burn us to ash like we have beautifully done to this forsaken world? That would be the finest piece ever forged, but breath is thin and I can not afford to waste it on dreams and wishes.
Perhaps I should introduce myself before I continue these ramble writings on which you read, I'm Aya, Aya Toshiaki. Sometimes I'm referred to as prisoner or more preferred, murderer. I think you can guess why that would be...maybe, you might enjoy the story, the reason for me being here, cooped-up in this lovely little Water Tribe Prison, yes, I believe you may enjoy that...?
Like all stories, they have a beginning before the essential middle, then end. My birthplace: born in the small fishing village of Hono, a peaceful place, where fishing was the ultimate and only form of excitement, and where I was strangely a normal little aged girl. Enjoying the stiff competition between the men of my brother and his counterparts. For us women, we cooked or we hid from the darkness which awaited us at home... Most kind-hearted fathers welcomed their daughters with a hug, a smile or some kind of recognition, making them feel welcomed as they returned home, but I was only greeted by a palm, a fist or an empty bottle. Becoming such a recurring theme of our "hellos", that I began to believe it as the type of greeting you gave to 'thy fellow man'. However, through the tears and blood of another boy-child, I understood that wasn't initially the case. It was not normal or acceptable. I believe that was the moment, when I knew what my first art piece was going to be.
Pain is a funny thing, it scares us, it numbs us, but yet it let's us know and understand something. That we are alive; breathing, blinking, eating, sleeping - even in a cage, an animal can bleed. Let that animal out, however, and they will give you back that pain you once gave to them. I was thirteen when I killed for the first time and it felt invigorating, like an explosion of pure adrenalin and rage - the rush of an artist at work. Blood and tears dripped from my cheek. The fear finally lifted, I was cleansed by the purest and most natural form of art, the kill. Now I was free.
Once the metaphorical dust had settled on the corpse of my bastard farther, I moved in with my brother who found it strange that I flew in happiness around the village as his depression dragged at his feet. I think he saw my monster, we had much more than our family name in common. Life after that was as dull as the dead fish which droop down from that lay on top of the fireplace, no matter if it were lit of not. I always saw meat as superfluous, why eat something you killed? It seems ever so cruel, you wouldn't take a prized piece of art from its plinth.
A year passed before I decided to join the army. Even after a year had passed from my first kill, I still urged for that adrenaline, that rush of artistry that flooded my veins - I needed this! As a firebender, nothing came close to the sensation of that knife, making it's way into the thick stomach, ripping and slicing through the warm flesh and now I would learn new ways to kill, with my bare hands or, perhaps adding more forms of fire to my arsenal, evolving me into a cultural phenomenon - an master of her craft.
There's always a question I ask before I relinquish the life from 'thy fellow man'; "What do you see, right now?" The answer is continuous, ending with the last breath being taken and expelled. Yet I still wonder, what is the last thing you see? Is it light or only darkness? It is a mystery which I must discover before my fine work of art... Apologies, I keep rattling around my mind, writing down these vacuous thoughts.
I continued my training, it took a while to let my body memorize these strange and unnatural movements. That was the point where I met Satoshi, a very handsome yet menacing man, who stood dominantly over me, yelling in my face and demanding actions from me. I liked that, very much, and to say I had a great fascination with him is a massive understatement. A man that broken is almost a crime to exist to not be open to the public and I'm glad the Fire Nation Army understood fine art the same way that I did. I picked up many useful skills from the beautiful art work of Satoshi, which many seemed to be incredibly squeamish against - skinning an animal is perfectly normal, but these people are that, people, not artists of death just scared little girls who hide under the table, before screaming for help with no-one coming to their aid!
In my years of living, I thought the flames of death were the only things which could ever understand what I was, but he knew me, he saw me, and I think he liked it. Beauty is the hardest evil to resist for all men, that is why I'm glad to be a woman. As one like me, I never thought myself the perverted type, to fantasize over the art, born and molded by the events in the world. The lighter feeling did grow over me, I quite liked it, but as they say, like all good things they must come to an end - my birthed curse I suppose? Death! No one likes death, they're not in love with this delicate art form, and perhaps in my own deluded belief, I was unpreventable to and seemed false. I thought we were made for each other, correct in every way to serve as the Artists of Death to this childish world! Oh, but no, he was normal... NORMAL! People like that deserve no mercy in life, they should see black and breathe nothing! Hence forth his death - at least his screaming where nice and gentle songs.
After my time through the roughed camp, I finally welded my new position and power while the others basked in their depressing patriotism and ill pride. In becoming a private, I discovered the real definition of words like pride and hope. Hope: it is a poison given by the liars of the world, using their disgusting political poems which infect the people they've never represented. The poor, the weak, the needy, these are the losers to hope - death meets them! Pride: it is a disease which lies in all men, even women, taking control of their minds and making them think and believe they are doing something right, but are only wrong and not even by the ideas to create art, but by the ideas to create an abstracted form of art which only the ugly by it would wish to please... I'm rambling again... Yet, these kinds of things need to be preached, because the "normals" of this world don't see the truth, they only hear it, blinded by petty and pretentious words of idiocy.
From the point of passing into war it became an easier and nicer environment for me, as most became the worriers of their own lives. Their selfishness became a slice of peace and quiet, a selfishness which split the survivors from the victims. All sculpted to make these filled personalities become an empty husk, war is beautiful. My only complaint is the losing song of the screaming voices to the ether of the open battlefield...and what a field indeed. Some have made poems which showed the world the misery of this war. Never seeing the actual art right there, the world sections this ugly poem as the art, but no, no it isn't! The field of war is, a canvas of time, death and lost hope. People transforming into the killers which their nation requires them to be - personally I enjoy it, it should mean that all people, no matter how normal, have some darkness within them, a point of being... an artist!
The evolution of people's darkness continues through into my seventh year with the Army of Fire. Finally reaching the lands of ice in the North, the home of the Northern Water Tribe, and what pathetic sacks of dirt they are. Give themselves up for the sickening sake of their children, I suppose that's why I enjoyed torturing this one mother, who asked my commander for mercy on her female child... she should have fought him, even killing him...but the sight of that little face gives me warmth! Forcing her tune of screaming songs, painting her pale body with its lovely warm crimson red blood. She sadly stopped her screaming after that and I suppose that's why I'm here, for those "crimes of war" that I committed against these, people. Isn't this war? Where death and destruction reside? I suppose they don't agree with my methods of interrogation, or appreciate my art here in the cold wastes, but I know I do!
Ah, the keys rattle for my demise and I shall die in my final work of art, and as a note to you dear reader, if you want to know where I buried your precious chief? Look to my dead corpse, and you'll have your answer... hope you have a pleasant life, I will make sure to enjoy my last breath of laughter!
For the collective works of the author, go here.