Shards of the Elements @kelseyalicia
Let it blow

Let it blow

The starless sky was silent and shy

In my kingdom, all was still

Now whispering winds are waning

I need to silence all my will

The wind was howling like this swirling storm inside

And if I let it out, I know it will subside

Each of the four nations has a holiday that is considered the most spiritual day for them. For the Fire Nation and Water Tribe, the Solstices are their sacred holidays. For the Earth Kingdom and Air Nomads, its the Equinoxes.

It's said the patron spirits of their nation favor children born on these holy days, given exceptional capabilities that others could only imagine. Today was the autumn equinox. It also happened to be Aang's thirteenth birthday. Therefore, they wouldn't be just celebrating the equinox, but his birthday! He couldn't wait for this evening celebration. Galloping to Zephyr's turret, he couldn't stop beaming.

This nightfall, he'd carry out his commitment to liberate Zephyr from his prison. However, he might be delivering her from their prison. Zephyr only disclosed that they're genderfluid last month, as Zephyr described it, which isn't straightforward to do in sign language. He more often than not identified as male. However, he had his highly feminine days. Aang had progressively gotten more skilled at identifying what gender Zephyr presently.

He chiefly learned to observe Zephyr's body language, posture, gait, and how they spoke in their sign language. When Zephyr was female, her sign language was silver-tongued. However, when he was male? Completely free-and-easy.

But hold your breath and don't be swayed.

Don't think about her, you know you couldn't stay

I can't waver now, can't let it out

Well, now it's out!

Arriving before sunrise, Aang slipped the key into the lock to let himself in. Using his airbending to cause the wind chimes to flutter. Not that Zephyr could detect the bells, but the stain-glass did light up the tower to let him know Aang was there. Jumping down from his hammock, the deaf preteen greeted, "Happy Birthday, Aang! How does it feel to be a teenager?"

"I don't genuinely feel all that different. However, I am thrilled with the gift my mother and older sister sent me."

Zephyr glanced at him, perplexed. In their society, children were raised communally. Furthermore never knew who their biological parents were. They had done this since the inception of their culture. Therefore how did Aang even know his mother or the fact he had a sister? He asked him this question, and immediately his friend explained, "My mother, Akanke, condemned the concept that children are forcefully taken from their parents.

That parents play no part in raising their children. She revolted against tradition. She secretly kept track of both her children. She had to be discrete regarding it, though."

"I imagine going behind the elders' backs. Therefore where do she and your sister live? Plus, what your sister's name?"

"They reside at the Eastern Air Temple. My older sister's name is Arianna. However, she prefers to be called Ari. She takes after Mom as well. Rebelling against tradition.

They send me coded letters. Checking up on me to see if I'm happy and safe. Whenever I've been at their temple, we spend time together. Though again, we have to be discrete about it."

"That must be pleasant to acknowledge who your mother is. I'm jealous of the fact you've got an older sister. I, too, wish to distinguish who my blood family is. So what did they send you for your birthday?"

He reached into his shirt then showed him a typical Airbender medallion. Suddenly he revealed it, in reality, was a locket. Concealed inside were two locks of brunette hair. "Each sent a lock of hair, so they are forever with me. I'm extremely appreciative of this extraordinary gift."

"Then allow me to give you the same gift." As Zephyr used his airbending to slice a lock of his hair. Picking up a ribbon, he tied it up, then offered it to Aang.

Aang smiled with tears in his gray eyes. Unfastening the locket again, he placed Zephyr's lock in there. He instantly did a double-take. For a moment, he thought he perceived a jewel shard embedded into the locket. Though he blinked, and the shard dissolved. Shrugging it off, he concealed the necklace under his clothes once more. Suddenly another thought came to mind, and he eagerly signed to Zephyr.

"They're going to be a flying lemur show today. I can't wait to see it. I hope Monk Gyasto finally lets me have one. He's been unwilling to let me have my own."

"Why? You take sufficient care of Appa. Why is a lemur any different?"

"Because of something that occurred when I was four. It included a lemur, a cake, and some shaving cream. Don't ask what happened."

Zephyr raised a single eyebrow before replying, "Fine, I won't. However, you confident my master won't get irritated at me? Seeing how you promised this is the day I ultimately escaped this tower."

"I can handle it. This evening everyone supposes to be attending the festivity. And by everyone, that includes you. I'll take responsibility if something goes wrong. Yet, I extremely doubt it will. Trust me."

Zephyr thought about it for a moment before signing apprehensively, "I hope you know what you're doing, Aang. I don't desire to be grounded another day of my existence."

"It will all work out, I promise."

"Okay, see you an hour before the party then."

"Okay!" as they both embraced each other tightly before Aang left. Zephyr sighed dejectedly before heading over to his art table to do some origami. Yes, he longed to be free as an Airbender should be.

Let it blow, let it blow.

The air will never rest.

Let it blow, let it blow.

I refuse to be repressed.

Give it up and just be swept away

Let the storm rage on

The wind never bothered me anyway

Yet, he didn't desire his instructor to lecture or lock him up again. Twelve years is a long time to be restricted. Furthermore, he'd been going haywire from isolation. Consequently, he prayed that Aang was correct when he said it be alright this evening.

I thought I had to hide it

Contained within a box

All grounded, suffocated

But I'm breaking from those locks

The colossal temple had gotten an influential makeover for the autumn equinox. The Southern Air Temple had undergone across-the-board cleaning. The glorious temple was covered from floor to ceiling in vast decorations with floating lanterns everywhere.

Beautiful woodwind instrument's melodies resonated through the heavens. Children were flying kites or doing airbending exploits gliding in the sky. Overall the social occasion was in full swing. Aang prearranged for Zephyr to join them during his performance. That way, he'd have a dramatic entrance. Hopefully, it blow everyone's minds. Making it easier to break the ice.

It's finally time to carry on.

To spread my wings and soar into the dawn

Alone, at last, I now can breathe. I'm free!

Let it blow, let it blow

My heart has taken flight

Let it blow, let it blow

My soul is new and light; I'm alive

And I won't change

Let the storm rage on

At the moment of twilight, Zephyr prepared to join the party for the first time in his young life. Anticipating Aang's signal, he leaped from the prohibited tower to join Aang in the routine they'd been planning for weeks.

Everyone gasped, witnessing an unnamed individual joining Aang. The two Airbenders were in absolute synchronization. There didn't even seem to be using airbending! Solely flying as if they're actually the wind! The roaring applause they got made Aang grin widely. Which in turn made Zephyr grin. The duo landed, taking a bow. Basking in their moment of glory.

Then Zephyr, for the first time, had the undivided attention of everyone gazing at him. The half-grown boys were stunned, incapable of speaking. The adults seemed to be having a soundless disputation which Gyasto seemed to be saying. "Let them be. Its time for Zephyr to be free."

Aang promptly introduced Zephyr to the rest of the children signing as he spoke. "Hello, everyone! I hope you're digging the party. As it's my birthday, I wanted a special guest to join us." Zephyr step forward, anxious, "This is my best friend, Zephyr. Currently, the pronouns are he and him. He hopes you'll give him a chance tonight."

The other boys were also taken aback by the boy's unorthodox appearance as Aang had been. Though also in reverence beholding the boy's master tattoos. A four-year-old boy stepped away from the assemblage. Looking Zephyr straight in the eye before asking. "Where did you pick up all those neat tricks?"

Zephyr knew how to read lips. Consequently, he signed while Aang translated. "I witness them in my dreams. Therefore I tried to transform my dreams into reality."

Another lad stepped forward then asked, "Why are you wearing pink and green?" Again Aang translated, "I like to wear both a gender-neutral color. Plus a feminine color. They're also my favorite colors. Moreover, I want to stand out."

The next half hour went quite swimmingly. None of the boys did anything barbarous. They only verbalized their curiosity. They requested to be taught sign language to communicate with their brand-new friend.

Only one person glared daggers at Zephyr and Aang. Anil continued seething with unrestrained fury. Seeing how the two were stealing the limelight. He also didn't understand what people found so captivating regarding the little monstrosity.

A mischievous grin lit up his face as a wicked idea formed in his head. Strolling over, he challenged Aang to a game of Air Scooter tag. Also, Zephyr should play on the orange team. Zephyr quickly responded no. He wanted to play on Aang's team, but Anil's master overrides them. Neither Aang nor Zephyr felt any good would come from this. Yet, they couldn't argue with the elders of the temple. Plus, Aang wanted to help Zephyr fit in.

For all those years,

I thought the pain would never end

But twisted terrors of my past won't chain me down again

If I'm the natural disaster whom they fear...

I'll grant them one decree.

And I always will stay here!

The game started innocence enough with everyone having fun. Zephyr was a natural at this game. Everyone kept laughing and smiling. Suddenly Zephyr was thrown off his Air Scooter hitting the wall.

Everyone immediately ended the game to check to see if he was alright. When Aang witnessed the blood from the gash on his best friend's head, a wave of anger he'd never felt before coursed through him.

He twisted violently, staring at Anil. For a split second, it looked like Aang's eyes glowed. However, Anil assumed it was a trick of the light, given it only lasted half a second.

Aang then summoned the most influential air blast he'd ever produced. He then sent Anil flying into the opposite wall. Still seething in a fury. Before the conflict could escalate even further, the elders intervened.

The two boys' masters scolded each of them thoroughly before sending them to their rooms for the rest of the night. Before Aang left for his bedroom, he asked if Zephyr would be okay. The elders assured him they take care of his friend. He should be fine in a week. Satisfied with the answer, Aang obediently returned to his bedroom.

However, when Anil got to his quarters, he threw a tantrum. Ranting and raving about Aang and that freak. Finally, he said, "I wish I had the power to get rid of both of them! I won't be in Aang's shadow anymore! I do anything to get my vengeance!"

A menacing cackle permeated the room before an even more ominous voice said, "So you do anything to take care of your rival? Furthermore, deal with that freak of nature? My, my, aren't you the little devil. I perceive exceptional potential within in you, Anil!"

"Who there?! Show yourself!" he demanded. The disembodied voice sigh as a peculiar portal opened up. Stepping out of the gateway was a juvenile fire nation girl. Standing next to her was a bald gentleman with bone-white skin and catlike eyes dressed all in black.

"Who are you two? How did you get here?!"

"My name is Princess Azula, and this is my friend Anto, the Black Spirit of Death. A pleasure to meet you, Anil!" Azula greeted him holding her hand out. Anil didn't take it. Yet he looked over the pair carefully. "So what do you two want with me?"

"Not so much what we want as much as you want. You desire the power to be the most renowned Airbender of all time, right? To stop living in this Aang's shadow? " Azula repeated the boy's wish.

"Yes, I desire that, yet how can you help me achieve that?"

"Simple. We work together to gain power even more substantial then the Avatar! Anto revealed to him. "Eons ago, the original benders concentrated their essence into four shards. Each shard contains the avatar-level power of its element. Yet, more importantly, if all four shards fused?

Not only would they've got the capability to rival the Avatar, but they could also enslave the Avatar. With the Avatar as your thrall, you could have anything your heart desires."

"Hmm, why would you share this kind of power with me?"

"It's simple, honestly. The shards are both hidden and have potent protection. Only humans can find them. If you help us locate them, we will bestow the air shard's power to you.

All we ask in return is you swear allegiance to us. Furthermore, help me rescue my father, Ozai, from Soto Island. Once my father has all the shards, he will become the Phoenix King. As King, he can grant his associates a fraction of the power. Again with him in charge, and you have a fraction of the avatar's power? Well, what more could you dream of?"

Licking his lips, the Airbender nodded then shook the diabolical duo's hands. "I see we are surprisingly alike. I'll happily join you in the hunt for the shards. Anything to get out of Aang's shadow!"

"Then shall we return to my palace in the Spirit World? We need to plan and secure more allies if we wish to make our dreams come true!" Anto chuckled. They all laughed as the portal reopened, evaporating into thin air.

Let it blow, let it blow.

I'm through with living lies

Let it blow, let it blow

From ruins, I arise

On new wings, I'll fly just as I say

Let the storm rage ON!

The wind never bothered me anyway.

Anto the Black Spirit of Death-Keith Silverstein- Hawkmoth- Ladybug

The "Let it Go" Nim Aranel did a parody on YouTube.

Back Home

You went left instead of right, your world shifted, and you lost touch with yourself.

That's okay. You can always find your back to the path of your heart by first accepting that you've gone astray.

Patiently, graciously, and with all the love you gather, gently realign your actions with your heart to find your way back home.

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