FINAL CHAPTER- Chapter 12: Execution
Katara was sitting on the couch, fumbling with her wedding ring. She was still consuming the information that her family and friends had told her two and a half months ago. Haru had asked her to marry him, he was a murderer, a ruthless and definitely not innocent, man. She found that out the hard way. She knew everything now.
Jet came over to Katara and sat down next to her. He took her hand and squeezed it. Then he asked her, "Are you sure you want to go?"
Katara nodded and answered. "Yes. As much as it surprises you or anyone else, I do want to go."
Toph, Aang, Sokka, and Hakuda piled in the room. They were all going to go. Not because they wanted to, but to support Katara. Sokka came over to Katara and put his hand on her shoulder. She looked up at him and smiled faintly. It was Haru's execution day. He was going to be hung.
They all departed the house and went on Appa.
Aang got hold of Appa's reins. "Yip-yip." he said, and they soared off into the sky.
When they stopped a few minutes later, it was close to a giant arena looking place. There was a fence around the whole property. But the entrance was open for the public to observe the hanging.
They all walked inside the entrance, Jet holding Katara's hand the whole time. When the roar of a crowd was heard, they knew they were at the right place. People pushed aside to make way for the avatar. Katara and her group got the best view. She didn't needed it.
A mini staging was set up for the hanging. On the staging was a long wooden pole, with a piece of rope hanging from it. At the end of the rope, it was tied tightly into a circular position, for the neck to be slipped into.
Katara shivered at the sight. It was all horrible. The news about Haru's murder went around pretty fast. The whole town had joined in to watch.
A line of soldiers finally arrived. They marched through the dirt and made a circle around the staging. Finally, the last officer held Haru tightly by his two hands. Haru's hands were tied. His face looked tired and worn out. He looked like he had accepted defeat. His eyes focused on the ground and it still had that vengeful look. Even if he was decided to be set free at that moment, his goal would still be to win over Katara.
The crowd threw rocks at Haru. Saying insults as they went along. Some said things like, "You shameful beast! How would someone even try to kill his own father?" or "You deserve to be hanged! This world doesn't need anyone like you!"
Katara shut her eyes for a second. A group of people were holding down a woman who was trying to stop the officers from killing Haru. It was Haru's mother.
She cried uncontrollably and defiantly. "Please! I beg of you! My son! No!" Her eyes flowed a river of tears. The grief in her eyes proved her sadness. She let her body hang in the arms of the people holding her back. She had felt that her life was over. Nobody was left. "Don't do this! I-I beg of you! He's my r-reason to live! I have nobody! N-nobody!" She hung there like a doll, watching someone lose his life. Watching her son perish and die. Her life was over. Forever.
The soldier walked Haru up on the staging. Katara opened her eyes. The cries of a mother were all a blur. It was like an angry rage. His mother was torn into pieces. Haru's arms were still tied. He didn't even try to earth bend. It was strange. The officer attached the rope around Haru's neck. His mother fell to the ground. Katara put her hand up to her mouth. The officer took out a long, sharp sword. Haru closed his eyes. The officer used all of his strength and slashed a piece of the rope. It all went so fast. Haru went flying up to the top of the pole and lay there, like a toy. He was suspended from the above with the lower part dangling free. He was dead.
Katara was standing there, shocked from the whole scene. Haru's mother ran to Haru, while the soldiers were taking down his body. She got hold of his body and sat on the ground, her legs under her. Tears blurred his mother's vision. She cradled his head while the soldiers watched. Tears fell on Haru's face. "Why" she softly said to herself. The sadness was scarred there forever. Haru's mother was uncontrollable. She wasn't ready for this at all.
Katara and the others silently exited the place. Some villagers took away Haru's mother. She was all broken up and shattered into pieces.
The trip home was left unspoken. Everyone was silent. After experiencing a scene that had been shocking and disturbing. It was best to be hushed.
People say whatever happens, that's where you belong. That is where destiny leads you. Haru in this case, did not belong with Katara. Aang did not belong with Katara. Fate decides your course, your relationship, your future. Aang and his friends have received their outcomes. Now it's your turn to experience what lies ahead. They are your terrors.