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|A Reason To Live|
August 8, 2012
Prologue: A Reason to Live
The smell of burning cotton overwhelms me. My head throbs with every breath I take. I taste salty blood on my lips. Peering through the haze to no avail, a thick wall of smoke blots all vision. I feel weaker with each passing second. I try my best to ignore the piercing pain sending shots through my left leg. A deep, charred burn seared into my skin. I look away. The ash sticks to my body; I can feel every little cut my sweat rolls over. This air scooter can only carry me so far.
"AAGH!!" The ground makes perfect contact with my back. The firebenders turn the corner and stop.
"There's the girl! Get her!"
The stone floor feels cool and soothing. It almost seems logical to just lay here. The toxic fumes blur my vision; I can't tell the ceiling from the floor. I need to create some diversion.
"What are you men standing there for? Kill her!"
"NO!" A blast of air sends them flying through the open arches, and off the cliff.
"Gaaah!" I can barely stand, and the blood still drips. I feel lightheaded. Another firebender rounds the corner and spots me.
"You're not getting away!"
With what will power I have left, I make one last air scooter and speed down the hall. The wooden doors to the sanctuary stand broad and tall. The only way to open them is through airbending.
"That's it!" I force the wind to open each tuner, and finally the door cracks. I make a mad dash inside and slam the doors as hard as I can. The echo reverberates through the chambers. The noise will attract those monsters, but at least I'll be safe.
The mats are placed perfectly side by side, and the statue of Avatar Yangchen meditates peacefully: her eyes closed. It's a good thing they're closed too.
"No one, not even a statue, should have to witness the chaos outside these walls."
I drag a mat and sit underneath one of the tables.
"For now, I'm safe," I take a deep breath, "but not for long."
There's no point in trying to run anymore. They outnumber us ten to one, and most of the airbenders are too pacifistic to fight back. I rip off pieces of my clothing and tie them crudely around my wounded leg to stop the bleeding. It's not pretty, but it will have to do.
Why am I still trying to survive? I have no idea. But now I'm trapped and alone. And if those doors were to open...
"I will be killed." Cool tears stream down my neck.
Body worn, mind exhausted, I've lost everything. In reality, the only reason I'm still alive is my sheer willpower to remember.
Remember those I've lost. Those I've hurt. Those I've loved. Remember the sun shining on my skin, the flowing creeks, rustling leaves. The wind in my hair, and the smell of fresh fruit cakes. Remembering the sight of an autumn sunset and the feeling of a bison's fur. Useless memories can be some of the most beautiful in times of despair; they create a place to find solace and escape from reality. Eventually you wake up, and you realize the chilling truth. I regret taking the little things for granted. It isn't the Nomad way to overlook such valuable moments, but I never was like the rest. I was never the bender Sister Iio wanted me to be. And I am sorry.
I know this is the end, but it's hard to accept the fact that my people will disappear. I reach out and everyone I knew or loved drifts away, like leaves in the wind. But, I remember one Airbender who was like me. He was the Avatar. I remember a time when the four nations lived in peace and harmony. I remember when the Avatar was supposed to keep balance in the world, and I believe he will. And if I am to die, I want to pass with the hope that someone else can remember too...
|Secrets of the Wind Chapters|
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