Life as I Know It
I had my fortune told with Pakku at Ember Island because I realized I was a bender.
General information




Original run




Premise for the story

I had my fortune told with Pakku on Ember Island because I realized I was a bender.

This short story was written for TAD's Fanon Writing Challenge.


I love the warm weather. I love the beach. I love swimming. I love riding on boats powered by majestic seal lions. I've also always loved kuai ball. In prep school, my team won the championship. We were said to have the fastest feet in the Fire Nation. After each victory, the firebenders on our team would set the net ablaze to celebrate! I find all this at my home on Ember Island. This is life as I know it.

Most of all, I love the taste of a cool, refreshing smoothie right after some swell fun in the hot sun. After an invigorating game of kuai ball, I waltzed over to the Ember Island Smoothie Stand and purchased myself an ash banana with extra sugar – my favorite flavor! As I slowly sipped my new beverage and sat myself in one of the beach chairs down by the boardwalk, my two best friends Sung and Dung came over to greet me.

"Yo man, what's up?" asked Dung in his usual laid-back voice.

"Not much," I replied. "Just having myself a little refreshment."

"Are you gonna lounge around all day or are you gonna come surfing?" asked Sung. "It's almost mid-day and the waves are getting really big."

I placed my half-drunk smoothie on the armrest and rose to my feet. "Well – what are we waiting for then? Let's go!"

Sung, Dung and I grabbed our surfboards, ran down the sandy beach, plunged into the high-tide water and made our way out not much less than a hundred yards. Dung and I – having practiced for years – quickly rode our way to the top of the first waves we came across. Sung, on the other hand, decided to take his time a little longer. He was a few seconds too late in getting into his stance on his board and was about to be engulfed by the dangerous wave which was coming his way. Sung was not the best of swimmers and was sure to drown. I knew that something had to be done, but I had no idea what. Without thinking about it, I pushed forward as hard as I could with my arms outstretched. The ginormous wave yielded to my motion and fell back, sparing Sung. Somehow...I had made the water move.

After we returned to shore, Sung, Dung and I dried ourselves off with our towels. I was just in the middle of telling Sung he had to be more careful in the future, when we were approached by a tall, elderly man with a wad of gray hair behind his mostly-balding scalp and wore a stringy mustache and small, pointy goatee beard. What made him stand out the most on Ember Island was his outfit – a thick blue coat and trousers lined with white fur.

"You," the man said, pointing to me. "I saw what you did with the water out there."

"Yes," I said back. "What about it?"

"You have been summoned to Aunt Wu's private hut to have your fortune told. Come with me – I will escort you there."

And so I walked with this strange old man around to the other side of the island. Like all famous people, Aunt Wu owned a lavish Ember Island vacation home. I walked through the front door – which consisted of lines of beads from the Earth Kingdom – and entered into her state-of-the-art fortune-telling facility.

"I see your destiny, my young friend," Aunt Wu gave her reading for me. "You are to be a great waterbending master. You must go with Pakku here. He will be your teacher."

I nearly leaped out of my seat. "Awesome! I always wanted to be a bender. I'll be the greatest waterbending fighter on this island – and I get to control the waves. That will make surfing a million times funner. So, are you training me right here on the beach, Pakku?"

"That's Sifu Pakku to you," said Pakku sternly. "And no, I will not be training you here. My waterbending teaching takes place at the North Pole."

"The North Pole?" I say, confused. "I've never been to the North Pole. What's it like? Is it nice and sunny there like it is on Ember Island?"

"Not at all," answered Pakku. "It's cold, it snows year-round and we live in houses made out of ice."

I was having second thoughts about this fortune. "But...I like my weather to be nice and warm. Isn't there anywhere like that you can teach me?"

Pakku shook his head. "The only part of the North Pole that isn't freezing cold is the Spirit Oasis, but you won't be allowed in there – it's a very sacred place. I'm afraid that life as you know it is over."

"Don't I get a say in this?"

"No. Pack your things – we leave immediately!"

"Aww, daang..."

Author's Note

And the moral of the story is don't try to save your friend's life or it may very well backfire. Wait, that's...not such a good moral, is it? Well then, forget I said anything. Merry Christmas everyone!

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