Air and Water
Author's note: I love Avatar: The Last Airbender. I like The Last Airbender: Legend of Korra. I'm waiting for... Show full author's note »
The Birth of My BrotherThe baby smiled at me, his huge grey eyes flecked with a few strands of blue, evidence of his Water Tribe mother. Just like mine, only in a boy’s face.
“ Joseph,” I whispered the name, trying it out. The baby giggled and grabbed the hair strands that had slipped past my ear into the crib and into Joseph’s grabby hands.
I managed to snatch them away before he got his hands on my hair. I’d learned from Melanie’s accident. He’d grabbed her hair and I could hear her throwing a fit upstairs in her room.
Me and Melanie were identical twins. We both had long blonde hair, big grey eyes and pale skin. The only differences was that I had a few noticeable blue flicks and curly hair. But dressed alike, with my hair straightened and seen from a distance, no one could tell us apart.
I felt some arms hug me and lift me up onto a high shoulder.
“ Daddy!” I giggled.
“ How do you like your little brother, Arianna?” he asked. His grey eyes were sparkling with humor and his blonde hair was curly and mussed. He had dark circles under his eyes from stress.
“ He’s so cute and Melanie was screaming so loud!” I said, giggling. He laughed. I loved his loud, booming laugh that made the ground seem to shake. I jumped off his shoulder and landed lightly on my toes.
Me and Melanie were both Benders, Airbenders. Mom was a Waterbender, the daughter of the Water Tribe King. I’d met our grandfather a few years ago. He’d stared at me with a wild-looking curiosity.
My other grandfather, Dad’s Dad, was King of the Air Kingdom. Dad was his heir and Joseph was the heir after him. Since Melanie was born before me, she was the second-in-line. But my grandfather, the Water Tribe one, had only one daughter so most likely, Melanie would become his heir and move to the Northern Water Tribe when she was older. I doubted it would be me. Melanie came in, bouncing off the walls.
“ Mom wants to see you, Ari,” said Melanie, taking my hand.
“ You better go, Ari. I need to do something anyway,” Dad said, waving us out. I waved bye to him and ran after Melanie.
I had always loved Mom’s room. It was full of Water Tribe things that Mom had brought from the Northern Water Tribe. A warm, plush carpet was on the ground and the curtains were light blue. I walked over to Mom who was lying in bed, looking pale.
“ Hi, Mommy. Melanie said you wanted to talk to me,” I said, sitting on the blue covering.
“ Come here. I want you to have this so you can always remember me,” said Mom, holding out something in her hand. I took it and examined it. It was Mom’s necklace, the one she always wore. A silver chain surrounded a blue stone that had the Water Tribe symbol scratched onto it.
“ Your necklace? Why are you giving it to me? Are you going to...” My throat closed before I could say the final word: Die.
“ I don’t plan to die anytime soon, sweetie. Your grandfather has just announced his heir and he chose you, Ari,” she said, closing my hand over the necklace.
“ Me?! But what about Melanie?” I asked.
“ She’ll be fine. She’s happy that she won’t be the heir to the Water Tribe throne. You’ll go to the Northern Water Tribe when you’re fifteen. Your grandfather will arrange a marriage for you when you’re older,” she said.
“ But, Mommy, I don’t want to marry anyone!” I protested.
“ You’ll feel different when you’re older. Maybe you’ll be likely and fall in love with them like I did. Arranged marriages can turn out fine. Mine did,” she said. I nodded, not completely convinced.
Dad came running in, completely out of breath. His tunic was wrinkled and his circlet that marked him as king was slipping off his head. He was carrying his staff and was already in defense position.
“ Ari, go to your room and stay there. If you hear noises, hide!” he said, looking at me.
“ But....” I said.
“ Arianna!” he interrupted me. I nodded and ran out of the room but heard the words come after me: “ Your father has demanded Ari now, not when she’s fifteen. He wants her to grow up in the Northern Water Tribe...”
Grow up in the Northern Water Tribe! Never see my family again except maybe once or twice a year! I ran faster then stopped in front of a big window. The temple was being attacked. Waterbenders attacked Airbenders, coming closer and closer to the palace.... to me.
I ran and felt the wind help me, push me to safety. Down the hallway, third door on the right. I ran in and barred the door with a chair. Melanie was nowhere to be seen. I closed the window and drew the curtains and opened the wardrobe where my and Melanie’s clothes were hanging side-by-side.
I crawled through them and pushed the wardrobe doors closed. Crawling blindly in the dark, I groped around until my hand hit wood in the air. I’d found the back of the wardrobe. I leaned against it and closed my eyes. I heard sounds of battle coming outside and a twist of the doorknob. I opened my eyes in fright as I heard a loud THUD!
I heard a loud crash and heard heavy footsteps come into the room.
“ This is obviously a kid’s room! Search it! Since the door was barred, a kid must be in it,” said a loud voice. I heard something hit the ground and smash. My hand tightened around the necklace. I stuffed it into the pocket of my purple and gray tunic.
The wardrobe was flooded with light and I saw a glimpse of a man’s face through my clothes and Melanie’s clothes. The clothes were pushed aside and I saw a man with long, brown tangled hair and dark blue eyes smile in triumph.
His hand shot out and grabbed my leg, pulling me out. I kicked desperately, trying to get free. What had Dad told me to do in this kind of situation? Scream for help!
Like he knew what I was going to do, his hand shot over my mouth and he lifted me up like I was a cloth dummy. My arms were pinned under his arm so the little Bending I knew wouldn’t work.
They carried me, running through the palace and out a back door. I felt sleep grip me and I closed my eyes and let go.