Part 1 - In the Beginning

"ARRRH!" I screamed in frustration as I kicked out in the snow as I stormed out of the seal skin tepee, leaving the shocked expression of some, while others just shook there heads disapprovingly. I stalked away from the tent, the people in it, there views, opinions and mostly their stupid traditions. I walked out and carried on walking, not caring as to where I was heading in the slightest as I pounded the powdery snow crushing it down with my booted feet.

After a while of walking aimlessly I reached the edge of the snow cleft. I looked down it watching the snowflakes falling down onto the unstamped on snow and filling in the footprints of people previously been. I watched enchanted by their beautiful grace as they twirled through the air like the most elegant dancer in a show. I sighed heavily and watched as my breath came out my mouth like a great stream of smoke from one of the dragons of old that ruled the sky above. Pulling my fur-lined coat closer around my neck to keep the chill of the icy cold wind that whipped my long, tangled, blond hair that kept irritatingly scratching against my pale face. I sat down in the snow and looked out to sea finding my heart heavy and angry at the news I had only just discovered.

I didn't know what to think, I knew I had to do it, for the tribes sake but just didn't want to do it. I felt trapped, as I always did being stuck on this godforsaken icy wasteland I reluctantly called home.

As a child my father told me stories of the different kingdoms of the 4 nations and the grand battles he had fought. I always found myself transfixed by the thrilling tales of the battles and wanted to be just like him. I remember when my dear father left to go and fight the fire nation with the earth kingdom me and Soka had begged to go with them and fight for our tribe but to my dismay I was turned away in ridicule by the other warriors and told by my father to 'be a good girl and look after the tribe'

I hated my womanly duties the cooking, cleaning and looking after the younger children in the village and resented the other elderly women in the tribe telling me 'its your duty to your tribe' I hated it. From that moment on I swore to myself I would get away and live my life as I wanted to no matter what the consequences, but nothing prepared me for how it would come about and the journey that would change my life forever.

"Anya!"

I didn't realise just how long I had sat there for pondering about things.

"How do you do that?" my friend Katara asked her cheeks rosy in excitement her bright blue eyes enlarged and glistened as she gaped at my hands moving two balls of ice around in a circle.

"do what?" I asked not concentrating my mind still far away in my own thoughts.

"That" she said pointedly "Your bending"

I looked down to see what I had been doing since I got here.

"oh" I said as I dropped the balls into the snow "I have no idea" I paused looking at the solidly formed perfectly round balls of ice now lying deep in the snow. "I didn't know I was doing it" I said truthfully but still shocked at myself. I liked to water-bend a gift inherited by my father and was proud of the little amount of bending that I could do, when I concentrated, although it is always at its strongest when I am otherwise not so.

"Oh right" said Katara a little put out she loved to see me bending and would often ask me to teach her a few moves. I tried to teach her the basics but she never got the hang of them and then went in a mood with me.

"Are you alright?" she asked sitting down next to me.

"Yeah I'm fine" I said trying to stand up but after a long time sitting cross legged in the cold snow it was proving difficult to do.

Katara stood up with ease and pulled me to my feet I grimaced as the cold wet bottom of my coat stuck to my legs 'how long had I been sitting there' I thought to myself.

"Me and Soka are about to go hunting you want to come?" she asked with one of her warm sympathetic smiles. "It might take your mind off things" she said with a small pause realising she had just said something she shouldn't have.

'Great everyone been talking about it' I thought, a frown appearing on my forehead.

Katara laughed at my face.

"Well of-course everyone's been talking about it" she said reading my mind as she seemed to have a habit of doing, she threw up her arms in exasperation at the obviousness of it all. "It'll be the first one in 16 years, I'm really looking forward to it" Katara squealed not being able to contain her excitement but stopped short when she saw my glowering expression.

"you just laugh, you'll get your turn soon" I threatened with an evil grin.

Katara laughed again but said no more on the subject.

They walked in comfortable silence for a while, I liked Katara she was the closest girl to my age even though we were a few years apart, she is a good friend to me almost like the sister I never had. We got to the waters edge in no time at all Katara ran ahead to help Sokka. I found myself grinning as I watched as Sokka packed the boat ready with the hunting equipment we would need, mainly spears and nets for blubbery seals.

"Sokka are we ready?" Katara shouted over to him as he finished putting in the last items.

"Yep nearly" he said turning towards her after checking the boat was fully ready. "Decided to show did you?" he said to me with a wicked grin spreading across his face. "doubt you will after tomorrow" he laughed aloud.

"thought you would have made a run for it" I liked Sokka he was the closest person to my age and my closest friend so I didn't mind him making jokes I knew it wasn't malicious, It was just who he is and I liked that, he was the only person who knew how we both feel but we never talked about it.

I scowled at him in mock anger as I threw a snowball at him aiming for his big mouth, missing but not by far. Sokka ducked out the way while laughing he ran over to me and practically dragged me towards the open boat floating on the waters edge.

"come on we got to get going to catch the light" Sokka complained as me and Katara deliberately took our time getting into the boat.

Once Sokka had practically pushed us into the boat we were on our way to catching some blubbery seal to make some delicious jerky that Sokka kept on reminding us of making us unbelievably hungry.