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9th of April, 2014
Isabella is a one-shot created for the Fanontastic writing contest, Round One. The prompt was to introduce an original character. It is also a loose companion piece to . Hope you like it!
On a misty night in the Fire Nation Capital, a young man wondered through the streets; avoiding the buzz of the crowd in the main street and shifting into an alleyway, making sure no one saw him; he always liked to have his own privacy after a chase. There he sits waiting quietly, pondering on his thoughts in complete calmness. No worries in the world can harm him; no worries of everything he suffers in his life. The memories of lost days in exile can no longer hurt him. Here, he can remember only the good days, the days gone by which may never come again. These are the days he longs for but knows that if such days ever returned, the world would never recover. The man sat there for a while, a long while. He loved just sitting there. He didn't know why. It was almost comfort. He loved misty nights; they reminded him of the nights he was lost only to find his way after many struggles, some with his extremely unfortunate victims.
"How long shall I sit here tonight?" he pondered, raising his head slightly to find the moon rising above him.
The moon reminded him of many things too but such things he didn't like to remember. He quickly lowered his head again. When he did, he noticed to his astonishment that someone was staring at him at the end of the alley. He turned his eyes only at the person. In the mist he noticed it was a woman, not very tall wearing a red gown that was far too big for her. This was all he could take in before he turned his head back to the hard cobblestone floor, wanting her not to notice him.
Small footsteps could suddenly be heard by his ears. He didn't move. They came closer and closer, the woman was moving towards him. He breathed a small puff of fire from his breath, not much but just enough to give off a small stroke of fear into the woman, who stopped moving. He dared another glance. He noticed now that she wasn't that far from him, only a few feet. She had her face hidden in the hood on her gown, only allowing her nose under to be visible.
He turned back towards the floor again which had a new dark shade to it. The man shuffled slightly away to his right where the floor was still lit by the moonlight. He didn't want to run yet, the woman didn't appear a threat and running would attract undesired attention. Before he could do anything else, the woman spoke in a soft tone "Is it you?"
The man dared not move. His brain began to buzz with thoughts as he usually did when someone nearby actually talked to him. Does she recognize me? How? Who is she?
"It is isn't it?" She began "You come every time something bad happens at the palace."
The man stayed quiet. The woman continued "Do you need something?"
"Peace," the man finally said through his hooded overcoat.
"Then you are unlucky. Chaos is all that exists because of you."
"I cannot fix it but that's okay. At least people can live in their peace. I won't get mine, at least not for a while."
"People no longer have peace with you wandering in the night," the woman sternly said crossing her arms. She reminded him of his mother the first day he learned he could firebend. She had crossed her arms after raging in fury at him for testing his firebending on the new cotton bed. What a stupid woman he recalled thinking of her after that incident.
Silence filled the air, the man was surprised no lights were in the alleyway tonight from the lamps of passersby, but of course no one would be on market day. The mist grew thicker as the women drew ever so nearer. The man dared to stand up now, rising very quickly, as he should for a man of his stature. He turned to face the woman who was still not in the light of night, leaving her face still covered by darkness. He kept his head out of the moon's light also. Neither of them could see the other's eyes. Her hands looked old, as though she was older than her posture made her seem. She seemed normal enough, but she had a different air about her; as though she was something that he had never experienced or seen...in a while anyway. She was very fixated on him, just by her posture she appeared as though she wanted to grab him in a second but the next as though she merely wanted to stand there and admire him. She could be anyone in the whole world, the cloaked man thought. She could be a mother, an assassin, a nanny, a mad thing, a bender, a friend, a foe. She appeared none of these things. She was just there. The man let his curiosity get the better of him and deeply asked, "What is your name?"
After a slight pause, as though she was thinking, she replied, "Isabella."
"Isabella," the man said quietly "Nice name," he said with a smile, careful to not let his face be shown.
"Thank you, would you grace me with the honor of hearing you say your name?"
"You don't need to know my name. Everyone knows my name."
"Ah, but not everyone has heard you say it."
He smiled again at this, saying with a slight twitch in his arms, "Well...you got me there."
She smiled. "So will you?"
The man stood up straight and said, "Antinomy."
"You're very welcome."
The woman couldn't help but twirl her middle fingers around each other, as though she was nervous. She asked much more hesitantly "Would I...be able to...See your face?"
Antinomy almost instinctively turned and ran, but something about the woman's voice just made him feel calm, calmer than sitting in the alley remembering the days of the summer with those he cared for. It felt as though he knew Isabella, and she understood him. He noticed her moving closer towards him, everything but her face was in the light.
Antinomy felt nervous, a dozen and one things were buzzing in him to just run and flee, but something made him stay and approach the light. Once his body was filled with the coolness of the light except his face he decided to ask her a request.
"Would you enter the light also?"
"Yes," she said.
"Okay," he said.
They both simultaneously walked into the light. The first thing he saw was the woman's eyes, they shined almond with a glint of magic in them. She pulled down her hood, prompting him to do the same. As he did, he saw her jet black hair fall over her face, only for her to quickly brush it to the side. She reminded him of someone, but that someone he couldn't quite remember. If she was wearing better clothes, she would have appeared beautiful. She had a strange curve in her body that reminded him of a lost friend; this one different to the hair. She was eye level with his neck, forcing him to bend his neck to look at her face. Her eyes appeared almost crystal blue when the moon shined on them though they stood out in the light with a soft face. He couldn't ignore her hands though, this women was certainly of the working class. He almost took pity on her as her eyes made her look helpless and needy beneath her skin.
The two stood there just staring at each other. Antinomy noticed Isabella was no longer smiling. She suddenly stepped out of the light and back into the shadows pulling her hood back over herself. Antinomy strode this time. Isabella turned to leave only to be grabbed almost gracefully by Antinomy.
"Why do you flee?"
The women appeared saddened by the fact that Antinomy had touched her. Isabella was truly intriguing him, something he tried to brush off. She looked into his face again, focusing on a scar going across his chin up to his right eye in rigid pattern. "I don't know what to do," she muttered.
"I have planned this night for so long, but I find myself unable to do what I have desired to do ever since I heard what you had done all those years ago."
"What do you mean?" he let her go, as she had made it blatantly obvious she didn't want to flee now, she was now standing up straight, her eyes fixated on the ground, Antinomy noticed a tear drop onto the damp floor, penetrating the mist as it fell.
"Isabella, are you okay?" questioned Antinomy, delicately.
"It's fine," she said wiping her eyes with her aged and chapped hands. She looked up to Antinomy's face again but quickly put her head down again.
"It's just that you killed him."
"I've killed lots of people," Antinomy said, going quieter as he did so as he had begun to say it quite joyously.
"You killed my husband," she said quite blankly, her sadness dissipating.
"Oh really; who was he of the thirteen I've killed?"
"Do you have to say everything like that?" Isabella sobbed, sadness returning to her voice. He had said it joyously again.
"Sorry," Antinomy quizzed, unable to let his short temper intrude the tone of his voice, darkening it.
"I'm sorry," she whispered leading to her quickly turning and running away leaving Antinomy to stand in the misty night alone.
"How dare she!" Antinomy mouthed, flapping his hands into the air then back down constantly as he paced hastily after her only to do the exact same in the opposite direction, something he had never been able to stop doing whenever he was angry; even as a child.
"No one runs away from ME when I'm taking time to think" he angrily breathed through gritted teeth.
He pulled his hood back over his head and turned to go himself. He was now very annoyed now because he had to find a new place were no memories could occur to him. He walked back into the now quiet street. He saw a small flame in a deserted candle on a box. He picked it up and stared as it flickered.
"Isabella..." he muttered to himself. "It is a nice name. Maybe she would like me to pay her a little visit one night," he said, a malevolent smile creeping around his face like his own shadow in front of him.
With that, Antinomy paced off into the mist with the candle lighting the way back down the alley.
"Let's pay Isabella a visit shall we?" he asked his hand, his usual routine before a chase. He drew a machete from beneath his hooded robe from its scabbard and conjured fire from his hand, burning away the wax form the candle as he picked up speed after Isabella into the dark misty night.
For the collective works of the author, go here.