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|More from Azulazulazula||Adventure, Drama||PG-13||Highly Positive|
He gazed into the eyes of the youthful man. The kid stood, blankly, not willing to turn his back.
Not willing to break eye contact with him.
Not even willing to blink.
The boy finally spoke, his large, flowing robe blowing in the gentle breeze of the night. "Why are you here?" he asked, still refusing to turn away.
"I'm traveling the world. I'm from Ba Sing Se. And I hate it. I'm looking for somewhere to live. Alone."
Those words were music to his ears as the dust brushed against his face. The boy's face became less and less visible as the light faded. The stars began to fill the skies, and the blanket of blue became black. The young man was still not convinced, but dared to blink, dust pouring out of his eyes.
"You're not gonna find it here. This area has Sandbender Tribes all over," he offered, slowly backing out of his fighting stance.
He nodded, and pushed the offending sand out of the way. The burn of sand in the eyes was unpleasant even to him. But he thanked the young man with a bow. "By the way, I'm Ghashiun," he said, a small smile entering his face. And Jong moved on. "Hey, you should probably wait to move on until daybreak. Buzzard Wasps like to hunt at this hour. And they hunt in packs. No way one person can take them alone," Ghashiun explained.
Without words, Jong followed Ghashiun to his home. Only for tonight. Then I'm back to traveling.
Ghashiun introduced him to the tribe, who eyed Jong suspiciously. "Why have you come?" demanded the powerful leader. Screaming erupted in the small hut, and Ghashiun ignored the hostility.
"This is Sha-Mo, my father. Chief of our tribe." Jong extended a hand, but was instead greeted by sand in his face. Ghashiun rushed to his aide, but to no avail, as a wall of sand shot up. Sha-Mo spoke.
"The last time an outsider visited, we were attacked by some crazy blue fire maniac. We no longer welcome outsiders," he declared. Typical. Rules. He mused. "Leave. Never return," shunned Sha-Mo.
"Why would I stay? So I can be mocked by civilization? Your tribe is a perfect example of why I'm running," he explained, hostile. And he turned away.
Shunned from society.
Banned from civilization.
He walked alone, like the wolf-spider. He squints, his eyebrows lowering. I'm not going down that road again. He promised himself. They imprisoned me. Never again.
He propels himself, blowing the sand backwards with ease. I'll find somewhere. But for now, Ghashiun's right. I need to rest.
As the sand covered his trail, Jong scurried to the nearest place to sleep.
His eyes drooped. His cheekbones were decorated with dark circles. And suddenly, perking his head up, he laid his eyes on a massive rock.
And 100 yards right sat an oasis.
He hurried to the pond and the green. He laid down. And slept.
So simple. For the first time in two years, he slept beyond bars. Without gray walls enclosing him. But he heard a buzzing sound. Close. No more than 200 yards away.
- This chapter takes place between "The Drill" and "City of Walls and Secrets".
- The "crazy blue fire maniac," if you haven't guessed, is Azula.
- Azula's attacking the Sandbenders was never shown in A:TLA. I found it to be fitting that Azula track the gaang, and interrogate them before she entered the drill an episode later.
- This chapter is written less like a poem, and more like a narrative than the others.
For the collective works of the author, go here.