Zuko finds two very odd fish.


          The pond makes him jumpy like lightning in his veins. The area in general makes him feel jumpy. The place is so warm, and the overabundance of life energy is making him feel drunk.  He can easily sense ten different life veins, concentrated in a single pool. The pool holds one white fish and one black fish, each with a dot of the opposite color on the tops of their heads.

            The fingers of his right hand brush the top of the water and he feels a pull too strong to resist. He is suddenly the fish, the water rushing over and through him. He feels an awareness of each individual water drop; the rivers and lakes are his to command, and he quakes with power. He knows that somewhere in the vast seas a fish is laying eggs, ready to begin a new cycle of life, a polar bear-dog snatches a artic seal in its massive jaw, the water turning a sickening crimson-pink, all that and more. He knows so much, he could be so much.

            This is wrong, this is so wrong. It’s too much, he can’t stand it. Get out, has too get out. He feels another presence inside his mind; a watery voice speaking in a language he doesn’t understand.

             A feeling of terror feels him and he screams. It’s his voice that tells him he’s back in his body. His voice is faint and squeaky, and it hurts like he’s rubbed sand over it. He backs away from the pool, terrified that whatever had happened to him would happen again. He turns and flees, not stopping till he’s back on his ship.

            Uncle tries to get him to talk. He doesn’t speak a word. He has no answers to uncle’s questions; he just wants to forget everything that happened.  In his dreams he drowns; sometimes he’s in his own body, begging for the taste of air. In other dreams he’s the fish, choking of the terrible nothingness of air. When he wakes; his voice raw and tight and he does not cry. He refuses to cry.

Next Chapter:

Chapter 10: Sacred