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|The Ice Queen|
The Three Benders
July 21, 2014
In the North Pole, the weather is almost always cold. During the summer months the weather can be pretty hospitable, with temperatures getting up into the 50F. When the sun is out, it can actually be very pleasant. It is during this time that many of the tribe members are out in there short sleeves working on their houses and walls. However this warm time is short lived. For almost 9 months out of the year, the weather rarely gets above 20F. When the winds come in October, they create a standstill in the tribe for the next 4 weeks before they let up in mid December. The joy of the winds ending becomes very short lived. This is the time of year when the freeze begins. During the freeze, the temperatures average -10F but can get as low -40F. The freeze is said to have begun by the spirits in an effort to punish the humans for living on their land. Thankfully the freeze is over by the end of February. This is the time of great celebration in the tribe. Feasts, firework displays, and waterbender displays are common during this most joyous time.
Not this time though. This time, there was war.
Senna crawled out of her blazing room. Her entire house was in flames. The fireball crashed into her foyer. The explosion came out of Nora. Of course Senna knew the tribe was under attack from a large armada of Fire Nation ships. But her house was high in the city, a mere 45 steps from the plaice. One moment she was preparing her father to fight, the next she was in a crater Where's mom? Where's Dad? She thought. The worst thoughts crept into her head. Stop it. She forced herself to say. They're going to be alright. She was in an immense amount of pain. Her right leg was burnt. Senna put that behind and forced herself to continue her search.
"Mom?!?!" No answer. "Dad!?!?" No answer. "Anyone?? Please!" She began to cry. The was a tough girl, she hadn't cried since she was a baby, but this situation looked desperate. After about 5 minutes, she saw a figure move in the bedroom. It was an arm. "MOM!" She ran over to the figure and was relieved to find her mother alright. However this temporary moment of relief quickly subsided when she looked at her seeing her crying.
The next sight of the charred, mangled body haunted her for the rest of her life.
"Keep you feet steady, focus on the movement in your arms." Pakku yelled, in his customized bitter tone. "If you don't keep your fret moving you'll lose them." Pakku shot the water at her ankles, tripping her up and busting her lip.
"Ugh, what the hell was that for? You could've given me a concussion!"
"If you are worried about concussions you'll never be a good waterbender!"
"I'll never be a good waterbender if you keep holding back. I'm a freaking joke around here! Do you have any idea how to even teach girls? You're a terrible teacher."
"Stop it Senna! How dare you talk to me like that!" Pakku yelled. "I am your master. I am in charge here. How dare you treat me like this!! Get out of my sight!"
Senna stormed off. How dare he embarrass me in front of the other students. She ran back into her hut. Her mother was there, she was worried. It had been three years since her father died, and she had never quite gotten over it. She had always been so bitter. So angry. And no one person in general. At one nation. She hated them. Even after the reconstruction period, she still blamed Lord Zuko. These combat classes were taking a lot of her time and energy. She would come home, bitter, tired and annoyed. She had no friends, no job, she never dated, she hasn't done anything a normal 22 year old has done. But she never lost her will to continue.
"How was training?" She said, hopeful to illicit an actual response from her.
"Terrible. I got kicked out. Again." Senna bitterly replied.
"Senna... You can't keep doing this."
"I'll do whatever I damn well please. You can't control me!"
"Senna... This has to stop. It's been three years! You keep doing this. You have to stop acting out. You're father is gone. It's no ones fault..."
"It's THEIR fault!!" Senna screamed.
"Who?? Whose fault? The Fire Nation? Anyone who had anything to do with it is either dead of in prison."
"I hate them! I will always hate them!!" Senna took a vase from the living room and smashed it against the wall. The crash created a hole in the ice of their wall. Her mother became fed up with her and her anger. She had had enough.
"Get out!! Get the hell of my house. I am sick of your attitude. Until you fix your attitude problem I want you out of this house."
"Mom..." Senna said, socked. She couldn't believe what she had her. The freeze was coming. She can't be homeless, she had nothing. "You can't do this!"
"Yes I can, now pack your bags and get out. I want out you by night."
The next thing Senna did has haunted Senna her entire life. A flash. Blood. Screaming. Her mother grabbed her arm in severe pain, it was gushing blood. An ice pick was sticking in the wall with part of her shirt stuck in it. "Oh my God, Mom!" Senna screamed in shock. "I...I didn't mean to do it. My anger... It got the best of me. I'm sorry! Mom!"
"What's going on?" Pakku yelled. "I heard screaming."
Senna freaked out. She didn't know what to do. In a panic, she grabbed a small bag of gold in her moms treasure box, and ran. She ran out the back door just as Pakku was running in the front. She knew she had to leave, not just house but the tribe. She couldn't stay here, she would be caught and sent to prison, or worse, forced to look her mother in the eyes. She knew she couldn't do that. She had to get out of here.
She ran to the docks. There was no way else out of the tribe. She knew the only way to get away was to bribe a captain to take her wherever they were going. She had to act fast, Pakku and the others would be here shortly. She found a ship that was preparing to leave. She walked up to the fist man she saw, a heavy-set man with a large beard. He had to have been at least 7 feet tall and at least 300 pounds. He was a giant. He was incredibility intimidating. If she wasn't desperate, this was the type of person that she was told by family to avoid. Her father had a saying "If he looked like he could kill you with your bare hands, its best to avoid him, just in case he actually wanted to."
But she was desperate.
"Hello, I need to speak to the captain of this ship!" She boomed in confidence. It was all fake though.
"You're looking at him. I'm the captain of this fine ship." He spoke with a distinct accent. All of the men down by the docks spoke with this accent. Many in the tribe had come to call it the water accent. It was a mix of Fire Nation and Earth Kingdom accents. They were known for slurring their words. They were more known for yelling.
"I need a ride out of here." Senna croaked, her confidence shaken by his booming voice.
"Why do you need to get out of here? This place is much better than some of the Hell holes they have in the rest of the world."
"Uh..." She couldn't come up with a good enough lie. "I've enough here. I, uh... wanna go see the world."
"Sure..." He replied, unconvinced.
"How much for passage out of here?"
"Well, standard smuggling in 100 pieces of gold. But... you're a looker. So I will lower the price. 50 pieces of gold."
Senna took out her bag of gold. 10 pieces of gold. Damn. "I'll I have is 10 pieces."
"Sorry no deal." The man began to the boat.
"Wait! Is there anything you can do? Please! I'll do anything."
"Well here, I'll make you a deal. My first mate just quit the other day to follow his life long dream of becoming a Lion-bear tamer. So here's what I'll do for you. If you be my first mate for one year, I'll drop you off anywhere in the world. Free of charge."
Senna thought about it for a long time. A year was a long time, but she really need to get out of here, and its not like she really had anywhere to be, the world was her oyster!.
"You got yourself a deal!"
"Wait, one more thing."
"Yes..." Senna replied nervously.
"When we get to wherever you want to go, you have to go on a date with me."
"Wait really?" She replied grossly. She was at least half his age. "Aren't I little young for you?"
"That's my offer, take it or leave it."
Senna thought about it, then realized she really didn't have a choice. "I'll do it."
Senna boarded the ship followed by the captain. The last thing that Senna saw in her homeland was the name of the ship, written in black paint on the lower hull of the ship. The Ice Queen, Senna thought. Nice.
Senna reached the bridge and saw him preparing to launch the ship. "Do you have a name? What should I call you?"
"I do. But you don't need to know that. For now, you can just call me The Captain."
And with that, they set sail toward the mighty mountain city.
For the collective works of the author, go here.