Shards of the Elements @kelseyalicia
Blue Moon Ball

Blue Moon Ball

What I love most about rivers is You can't step in the same river twice. The water's always changing, always flowing But people, I guess, can't live like that We all must pay the price To be safe, we lose our chance of ever knowing What's around the river bend Waiting just around the river bend.

Peering across the Arctic scenery, you'd witness the on the face of it an unending tundra of rugged splendor. Ultimately, your gaze would settle upon what at first glance resembled to be a fairytale kingdom of ice and snow.

The Southern Water Tribe had grown exceedingly more monumental in the last century. Exquisite structures of glittering ice and embellishing wood. Dozens of ice sculptures, including eye-catching, fascinating water fountains. Sincerely an awe-inspiring domain of ice and snow. Over a dozen of the loveliest domiciles for the enormous households that had lived here for generations.

There were a few noteworthy locations of interest within this frost-bound sovereignty. For example? The celebrated roundhouse where the villagers met for crucial conferences headed by the chief and his second. The various healer huts plus waterbending training arenas. Far more then a century before. The seaport was quite impressive itself.

One of the most captivating neighborhoods was the enchanting icy estate where the chief and his family resided. Nearby were smaller yet as awe-inspiring dwellings for those of critical positions in the tribe.

I look once more just around the river bend Beyond the shore where the gulls fly free Don't know what for what I dream the day might send Just around the river bend for me, coming for me I feel it there beyond those trees Or right behind these waterfalls Can I ignore that sound of distant drumming?

Currently, the tribe's princess, Katara, was in the midst of training with Hama. Hama remained a senior waterbender in the tribe. She'd been personally selected to instructed Chief Hakoda's daughter in the art of waterbending.

Katara remained without a doubt a prodigy when it came to waterbending. Given how rapidly she mastered the art. From a young age, she'd been determined to become the most distinguished waterbender in the world.

"Okay, Katara, are you ready to test out the innovative technique we've been working on? " Hama questioned her student. Currently, she'd her hands tied behind her back and was blindfolded.

"Yes, I am. Let's do it!" she answered with gusto causing her supervisor to smile. "Okay then. Now, attempt to bend the water with your mind. Let's see how well you can do that."

Katara blocked out the rest of the world. Taking deep breaths, allowing her other senses to stretch out and feel the liquid around her. She perceived a pool of water to her right.

Concentrating on bending the body of water to her will. The fluid responded to her will and started to become a wave. Gradually it transformed into a typhoon then she attacked her prey.

Suddenly the sound of clapping filled the air. Her teacher untied her arms then removed the blindfold. Smiling with pride, Hama pointed to the predetermined target. Katara swelled with pride. She nailed the target dead on.

"Congratulations, Katara. Not many waterbenders could only use their minds to control their element. We never know when we might be at a physical disadvantage.

Consequently, its essential to learn how to overcome these limitations. Now I believe that's sufficient. You should get going and help your mother get ready for the Northern Tribes' arrival at the end of the week."

"Of course, it's not every year we're given the honor of hosting the Blue Moon Ball. See you later, Master Hama," as Katara headed out of the training arena.

For a handsome, sturdy husband who builds handsome sturdy walls And never dreams that something might be coming? Just around the river bend, just around the river bend.

As soon as she got outdoors, she noticed her elder brother, Sokka. It looked like he'd just completed his warrior practice for the day. Katara almost called out to him however paused. A young man stood next to her brother, causing her to grimace.

The young man was as masculine as you could get. Tall, fine-looking features plus the physique of a god. Unfortunately, the young man in question, Sitka's ego, was bigger then the icecaps bobbing throughout the sea.

In Katara's mind? She'd describe him as an overbearing, obnoxious, superficial, lecherous ass. Not that all the tribe's younger generation agreed. However, what made him the most dangerous is he believed he was entitled to her.

Sitka behaved as if the two of them were engaged. Treating her like property and that they would have this happy marriage one day. Even though Sokka remained the legitimate heir to become the succeeding chief, Sitka felt otherwise.

He didn't desire to become second as his father, Bato, was. He aspired to be chief. Furthermore, he desired, as he said, "the most lascivious babe." to be his wife. It didn't matter Katara was thoroughly repulsed by him or rebuffed him. He remained determined to marry her.

I look once more just around the river bend Beyond the shore, Somewhere past the sea. I don't know why all my dreams extend Just around the river bend.

She pulled down her hood and sought to walk away without being noticed by him. No such luck. As if he had the nose of a polar bear dog, he hunted her down. "Katara! How spectacular it is to see you today!" he called as he invaded her personal space.

Katara attempted to be civil. "Good afternoon, Sitka. How did you and Sokka do today in training?" she asked while keeping her gaze at her feet. Completely disregarding her body language, Sitka gave a cocky smirk before answering her.

"I don't know why they don't make me the instructor. I'm miles ahead of these wannabes. Heck, Master Denai is way overdue for retirement. That old fart couldn't be more incompetent," he ridiculed tactlessly while eyeing her buttock.

"That is quite a disrespectful way to speak regarding your grandfather, Sitka. He's a wise and accomplished veteran. You could do with listening to him more frequently. Take a lesson in humility," she replied as she strived to get away from him.

Flippantly waving his hand, he replied, "Please, if anyone should be well-thought-of, it ought to be me," glancing at his reflection in a nearby fountain.

Checking to make sure his teeth were still perfect, he continued, "No one gives me the special treatment I deserve. Or you, for that matter. After all, why does your brother get the spotlight at this ludicrous dance?

He's nowhere near as of the essence as you. The most ravishing and quick-witted waterbender ever! You ought to be next in line to lead. With the correct man, of course," as his hand slide onto her butt, making her turn red with ire. Two seconds away from waterbending his ass, someone else did it for her. Sitka found himself up to his waist in ice with his little sister Nita scowling at him.

Should I choose the smoothest course, Steady as the beating drum? Should I marry Kocoum? Is all my dreaming at an end? Or do you still wait for me, dream giver, Just around the river bend?

"Hands off, my best friend, brother. If I told Dad you're sexually harassing Katara? Well, it is not pretty. C'mon, Katara, our mothers, are waiting for us," as the eye-catching girl dragged her best friend away.

Katara was beyond appreciative of Nita rescuing her from her older brother. Next to Katara, Nita remained the second most captivating young lady in the tribe. Nita was curvy with immaculate skin. Her sleek chocolate-brown locks were in braided pigtails down to her waist. She'd utilized some cerulean dye to highlight her hair. It accented her lavender headband considerably. Her headband had an identical stone to Katara's necklace. Both were prized heirlooms passed down in their bloodlines from mother-to-daughter.

Their mothers Kya and Kameko, were best friends, the same as their fathers. The girls tended to act more like sisters then best friends themselves. Some things stay the same with each generation. Either way, Katara remained thankful that Nita had rescued her. "Thanks for the save from your brother. Honestly, can't he ever leave me alone?" to which Nita snorted.

"Doubt it, girlfriend. That nitwit assumes he a god or something. Sheesh, at least your brother more bearable then my own. My parents are beyond exasperated. Not that either know how to fix it," as she fiddle with her polar bear dog accessory.

"Your brother is seriously disrespectful regarding your grandfather. Even if he's the most seasoned warrior in the entire Southern Tribe."

"If our mother heard him speak that way? Well, she immediately washes his mouth out with soap.

Grandfather? He'd make him go into the choppy sea all day. Refusing to let him go back to land. At least not until he'd learned his lesson."

"Sokka, maybe a tad irritating. I know most teenage boys are idiots, but my brother's foolishness is average. Your brother is on another level."

"True enough. Hey, you worried about the Northern Tribe? I know they can be a bit snooty."

"At least, they've finally permitted women to learn combat waterbending, not just healing. Though I presume what Sokka is looking forward to the most is Princess Yue."

"Ah, his dream girl. He's been smitten with her forever. Do you remember last year when we went up north for the winter solstice gathering?"

"Of course, Sokka got dared to collect seal turtle eggs. Only to find out it wasn't nesting time. Instead, he found a rotten egg then smashed it into the guy who dared him face."

"Yes, that was genuinely comical. I know Chief Arnook didn't care for it. However, Dad and Chief Hakoda couldn't stop laughing. Neither could Yue," Nita recalled wistfully.

"At least, we get to hold the Blue Moon Ball. Considering its to honor Ti and La and the gift of waterbending. Since its two full moons in one month."

"Yes, quite an extraordinary opportunity for us, given we get two power-ups in one month."

"True enough. It looks like we've arrived. Let's go see how our moms are doing, shall we?"

Entering the dance hall, they perceived their mothers chatting with each other. Katara may've resembled more her grandmother Kanna. Nita, on the other hand? She the spitting image of her mother, Kameko.

At Kameko's feet were several puppies. Kameko's occupation within the tribe was serving the game wardens. Her specialty was polar bear dogs. In fact, she remained the sole female member of the gamekeepers. Furthermore, no one else possessed her capability to train the untrainable.

"Mom? Is this a good time?" Nita called out to her mother. The women looked up from their chitchat before fondly embracing their beautiful daughters.

"It's so good to see you both! How did training go today?" Kya questioned her extraordinary daughter, who enthusiastically answered.

"I'm increasingly mastering psych waterbending. Which only a rare few are talented enough to do. However, I'm up for the challenge. Master Hama has never been more satisfied of any other pupil," she replied with a hint of pride in her voice.

Her mother glowed with pride, "That's delightful to hear, Katara. How about you, Nita? How are you doing?" Kya questioned the attractive adolescent whom she thought of as her niece.

"I'm at best the intermediate level when it comes to bending. I'm not unskilled anymore. Yet, I've not reached the master level. Hence, I'm at the intermediate level.

Though, according to Master Hama? She's told me she's never seen a more capable waterbending artist. She's sincerely fascinated by my skill with ice sculptures."

"Well, on that note? I'm extremely proud of you, Nita." her mother said as she squeezed her again.

"Thank you, Mom. So what do you need me and Katara to do to prepare for the Ball Moon Ball?"

"Well, Nita, we could use your specialty right now if you and Katara couldn't do some waterbending artwork, that be delightful. We'll hang up the traditional decorations."

"Will Gran-Gran be here shortly to assist you? Or anyone else?" Katara wanted to know.

"Your Gran-Gran still at the schoolhouse. Your Gran-Gran and Nita's are the most exceptional educators the Southern Tribe ever had," answered her mother with pride.

"Indeed, Kya. My mother-in-law, Kanda, and yours are first-class educators. They've unbelievable patience. They're equally excellent listeners, nurturing moreover wise. Overall, they're well suited to be teachers."

"Yes, they are. Either way, girls, they won't be free for another two hours. Therefore if you could get started with the ice sculptures, that be wonderful."

The girls nodded and set to work. Pushing each other to better themselves while being imaginative as possible. Eventually, they had over a dozen unique sculptures and seemed satisfied with their work.

One week later, the Northern Tribe showed up. First to disembark were, of course, the chief and his family. Princess Yue remained a vision of beauty with her snow-white hair and calm demeanor.

Next off were the chief's second. Katara frowned as there weren't the same second she'd seen last time. In fact, one appeared to be Fire Nation. Even the rest of her family was perplexed.

This was cleared up when the two families greeted each other. Apparently, some misfortune occurred, leaving Chief Arnook's second dead. His second hadn't been married. Therefore had no heirs to inherited. This made his wife Kasi's cousin Keziah and her husband the next second. However, interracial marriages were still greatly frowned upon by the most traditional Water Tribe.

Apparently, Keziah preferred love over tradition as she'd married a Fire Nation navy man named Anka. The union had produced a son they named Kenai. Yet anyone could see he was biracial. His hairstyle and clothing were Water Tribe. Yet, his pale skin and golden eyes showed his Fire Nation heritage. None of this bothered Katara's family or Bato's family other then that douche bag Sitka.

Either way, the party got away. Both tribes mingling and enjoying other company. The chiefs spent some time discussing political relations before their wives made them join the party. Plenty of music, dancing, plus an overflowing buffet table. Admiring the decorations. The best part in the evening would be the waterbending display when the moon was at its peak.

Katara found herself savoring Kenai's company. He was down-to-earth, thoughtful, and spoke eloquently. He possessed a philosophical side and was incredibly charitable. The whole scene made Sitka jealous. One way or another, he'd have Katara and become chief of both tribes. He just needed to figure out how. Unaware of the troubling brewing Katara merely enjoyed the moment she had with Kenai.

Nita- Britt Robertson-Vex- Rapunzel's Tangled Adventures

Kameko- Carmen Ejogo- Madam President Seraphina Picquery- Fantastic Beast and Where to find them

Sitka- D.B. Sweeny- Sitka from Brother Bear.

An Exercise in "What If?"

What if you stopped looking for others to be benchmarks for your own happiness?

What if you considered yourself a visionary, dreamer, a hero? What if, just for today, you knew you were worthy of all that you wanted?

What would happen if you stopped comparing yourself to others and became your own measure for success? Who would you be in the world if you believed that to be true?

Perhaps, just for today, become that person.

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