Wednesday, March 11, 2015

New feature... fanfic Friday

I've put a lot of thought into this, and I've decided that for all my talk about writing on this blog, I would like to start posting some actual writing. I've also made the decision that the actual writing I post will be fanfiction.

I've written a couple posts about fanfic on this blog before. I realize it is not everyone's thing, and I respect that. I also understand that even people who enjoy fanfic might not enjoy (or be familiar with) the fandoms I write in. But I am hopeful that people who visit this blog will still find other things to enjoy.

I'm starting with a fanfic that I began a few years ago and decided I would like to pick up once again. It will take me a few weeks to catch up, but once I have, the schedule will be as follows:

Every Friday, a new chapter will go up on this blog. The week after that, said chapter will go up on DeviantArt and, while the next new one is posted here.

The fandom in question for this piece will be Avatar: The Last Airbender. The series has a special place in my heart, as my Clarion West classmates and I spent many hours watching the series when we needed a mental break from all the reading, writing, and critiquing that was going on. (At one point, I got in an argument about whether Appa was a buffalo or a bison. This led to threats that unless I admitted to Appa's bison-ness, I would not be informed when the marathons took place. Naturally, I admitted my wrongdoing right away.) I also love the way the series has evolved with the creation of Korra and I would eventually like to explain some of my stories into that universe as well.

So, without further ado, here's a quick prologue/preview of my fanfic, Power Shift:

Zuko had done a lot of stupid things in his life. He would admit that to anyone. His father and uncle both chalked it up to his compulsive nature whenever he got too emotional. His father called it weakness, while Uncle Iroh called it strength. But whichever it was, Zuko knew one thing. In the middle of an agni kai with Azula was the worst time to get emotional.

He'd kept focused throughout most of the battle. He'd even goaded Azula to prepare a lightning strike against him, despite the fact that he was clearly in a defensive position, ready to direct it back at her. A picture of calm. Then, her gaze shifted. The fear surged through him as he realized that Azula no longer aimed at him. His body had already started to react even before he turned to confirm it was Katara in danger.

The best solution would've been to try to push her out of the way. But she was so far behind him, and his hand was right there. If he reached out and touched the lightning, maybe he could move it away from her. Sure his position wasn't the best, but if he didn't try-

"No!" Zuko cried out. His fingers reached out and touched the white light headed straight for her. He wasn't ready. His stance was completely wrong. The lightning was supposed to feel like a stream of energy, flowing from one hand to the other. The second Azula's attack hit him, however, he felt the heat of it scatter into his body, breaking it like a fragile glass ball. Desperately, he moved his other hand, willing away whatever energy he could. A small amount seemed to obey him. But his arms didn't seem to listen the way he wanted, and rest of the energy wracked his body as he fell to the ground.

What frightened Zuko wasn't the fall, though. It was the fact that he could barely feel it. He rolled over purely from the momentum, and his arms fell uselessly to his sides.

Katara's still in danger, a voice screamed in his head. I have to get up to help her. But no matter how he struggled, he could only lift his head and flex his fingers. The rest of his body refused to obey. Then the fear overpowered him again. This wasn't right. He should've been in terrible pain all over. But though his hands burned and his head felt like it could split it two, he felt nothing else. He should've been able to struggle to his feet, yet couldn't move. The lightning had done something to him. Not killed him. But broken him nonetheless. Zuko heard the clash of Katara and Azula's battle, but struggled to follow it completely. The two warriors kept ducking in and out of sight. Katara had lured Azula over to a storm drain. A source of water. Maybe she could win after all. Please let her do it, Zuko begged. I can't defend her like this. He winced, the fear spreading like a disease through his mind. So help me, what's wrong with my body? I can't do anything! In his moment of panic, he was barely conscious of a voice calling out to him. "Zuko! Zuko, are you okay?"

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