|More from Azulazulazula||Adventure, Drama||PG-13||Highly Positive|
Jong encounters a group of Buzzard Wasps in the oasis, and for the first time realizes the troubles and hardship of the outside world, leading him to be greatly fearful.
No more than a few hundred yards away. They fly in circular patterns, mocking each other. Their high pitched buzzes are nearly impossible to hear, and yet he can't hear himself think. Two of them attack each other. Or maybe they crashed. One chases a giant messenger hawk. Another falls to the ground. Starved. Suddenly, two of the fighting killers crash into a tree, no more than ten feet away from him. Their buzzes screech. His ear drums pound, and his head aches. And yet they still fly there, attacking each other. Mocking him. Suddenly, they turn their heads. And their beady eyes burn past his skin. They gaze into his soul.
He doesn't wait to run. He darts away, and his Earthbending prowess is his only saving grace. The wasps behind him gain speed. But they don't get far. Sand splashes in their faces, and they topple to the ground. Their lives end, as the mushroom cloud of dust suffocates them.
And he runs.
The oversized bees chase him, as their buzzes reached higher and higher volumes. The rock as his only weapon, he crashes rocks into them. But they're agile. They're fast. And the rocks fall harmlessly to the ground. But they dust they kick up fogs up the air. Nothing is visible. As if it's all gone. As if there's nothing there. But their screeches still mock him. They still beckon him. But he can hear them less and less, as his consciousness fades in the thin air. With an exhale, he falls.
One by one, down go the bees, until eventually, the screams are gone. Vanished. The dust clears, and he coughs. Surrounding him are hundreds of bees. Lying there. Lifeless. And he realizes he's nearly been killed three times since he left Ba Sing Se.
Since two hours ago. When his old life as a prisoner, as a slave, ended. When his new life as a free spirit, a nomad, began. And for the first time, he fears the outside world. The life of being...alone.
But he can't go back. Not yet. I'd rather die out here. Life in that prison...I might as well be dead. But I can't do this alone.
And he runs.
From the desert, from those wasps, from his past.
He doesn't know where he's running. He doesn't know why he's running. He doesn't know if he'll ever stop running. But he has to get away from it. He doesn't know what it is. He doesn't know why he has to get away from it. He doesn't know if it will ever catch him. But he has to run.
- This chapter's name is inspired by the repetition of the word for which it is named (run).
- This chapter is the shortest so far, and may be the shortest in the series (with only 445 words).
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