A Daughter of the King - Chapter One

Mandy woke to the sound of her alarm. "Uhg...."she groaned as she shut it off, "Oh, yeah. Today's the day I run. Gotta get up." She swung her legs out of bed and stretched. She pulled on her shorts and warm-up pants. She slipped on a shirt and sweatshirt. Running a brush through her hair, she pulled a beanie on, tied her shoes and went outside. She lived in the mountains and ran on a well worn trail in her backyard. She had to be back before 7 because that's when the bus came to pick up the mountain kids for school. It was early fall, not yet cold enough for snow, but still quite nippy in early morning. She was a petite girl, only about 5'2". She was slim and fit. On average, she usually ran about five miles in the morning. She had red hair about to her shoulder blades, and dark green eyes. This particular morning, she decided to run down to the town. After stretching, she got started. She really enjoyed the morning runs because it allowed her quiet time to enjoy the scenery and talk to God.
Mandy was in the middle of the woods when suddenly she tripped over a thick root. She fell forward with a thud. For a minute, her breath was knocked out of her, and she saw stars. Then her vision cleared. Shaking her head, she got up, gingerly leaning her weight on her legs. "Oh, good. No broken....aih!" she took in a swift breath, "I messed up my ankle. Great. Now I get to hobble all the way into town, call my mom, let her know why I didn't bring my cell....What was that?!" She heard a snarl and growl close by. She limped as quietly as she could over to peer through the bushes. She gasped, "What in the world! Orcs? Here?" She took a double take. Yes, those were definitely orcs. "What the heck!?" she leaned against a tree, trying to sort through her thoughts, "What's happened? Did I knock my head too hard?" Slowly, she backed away. Then she stepped on a twig. It sounded like a gun in the silence. All the orcs turned. They caught sight of Mandy. She turned and ran. Her ankle felt as if it was on fire, her lungs were gasping for breath. "C'mon Mandy. Run." she encouraged herself, and took a glance back, "Oh no! They're gaining!" Mandy was a fast runner, but with a broken ankle, she had no hope of outrunning the orcs. "Lord, help me!" she screamed in terror. Suddenly, she saw a low hanging branch. She flung at it and pulled herself up. She hung there, and then reached for the next branch. Hand over hand, she climbed higher into the tree. Just then, the orcs caught up. They snarled up at her, knowing the branches wouldn't hold their weight. Mandy heard the twang of a bow, then a searing pain in her side. She almost fell, but hung on. She let out a piercing scream as she saw one of the smaller orcs climbing up towards her.
Deeper in the woods, King Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli were tracking Uruk Hai. This was soon after the last battle, and he had men roaming all over the countryside fighting the remaining orcs, goblins, ect. They also went out to fight the Uruk Hai... Legolas heard the first scream, "Aragorn!" "I heard it, Legolas. Let's go see." Aragorn answered and headed in the direction of Mandy. Suddenly, they heard her again. "That is a woman screaming!" Legolas raced ahead of the dwarf and man. He saw and heard the orcs still several yards back. He grabbed an arrow and notched it. He saw the orc climbing the tree and let the arrow fly. The orc fell with a shriek. All the orcs turned.
Mandy had been kicking at the orc and gave a shrill gasp when she saw the arrow protruding. She looked down to see two men and a dwarf come into the midst of the orcs fighting strongly. They soon killed or scared off the remaining orcs. She didn't know if they were good, but at least they weren't friends with the orcs. She heard someone beneath her. Looking down, she saw the blond man. "M'lady? Can you come down?" Legolas called up, putting away his bow. Aragorn saw her eyes glaze over. "Legolas!" he called in warning. She pitched forward, thinking, "Great. I'm passing out..." She fell out of the tree. Legolas had looked up at Aragorn's call and saw her falling down. He caught her, though the force of her fall made him fall backwards. "Who is she?"Gimli, the dwarf, asked, leaning against his ax. "I don't know. She is not from here. She is no elf either." Legolas, an elf, answered, looking down at her. "We don't have time for that. We must get going. The orcs will be swarming here by dark." Aragorn came up. Mandy groaned softly when Legolas moved her. "Aragorn. She has been hurt." Legolas noticed the arrow for the first time protruding from Mandy's side. The Ranger examined the wound. "I'll have to pull it out before it gets any more poison in her. Legolas. Gimli. Hold her still." Aragorn gently cut away her sweatshirt, "It's deep." He grasped the arrow firmly, looking at Gimli and Legolas. They gently held her still. Aragorn yanked, Mandy screamed in pain. She tried to thrash around, but they held her down. "Gimli. Go get some king'sfoil." Aragorn gently washed out the wound. He took the plant and placed it on top of the wound. He bound her side. "Let's go. I'll carry her first." Aragorn picked up Mandy. He held her firmly and started back the way they had come. "How did she manage to get into Fanghorn forest?" Gimli growled tiredly. "I don't know." Legolas walked beside his friend, "We'll find out when she wakens."
"But..." she moaned in her sleep and all she could remember was the smell of new wood, "Eru." "She calls for Eru." Gimli looked down at her. Aragorn walked over, "Her wound is deep. If the poison sets in, she will need more skilled hands than mine to heal her." Mandy was waking up. She heard the mumbled sound of voices, fading in and out. She shifted, and then gasped in pain. Her eyes flew wide. She saw a man leaning over her. She drew back her hand, but someone caught it. "Sh...it's alright, M'lady. He is just dressing your wound." Legolas held her wrist. Aragorn took no notice, but finished cleaning it. "M'lady, could you sit up?" he asked, gently helping her to. She nearly fell back down as her vision blurred and everything whirled around. Suddenly, arms grasped her shoulders gently. Legolas supported her as Aragorn wrapped a bandage around her. She balled up a fist, till her knuckles were white and let out a loud breath when he finished. Legolas leaned her up against a tree so that she could sit upright. "What is your name, M'lady?" Gimli asked. "Wha...oh. Mandy." Mandy answered, looking around in fearful curiosity. "Mandy..."Aragorn mused, glancing down at the young girl, "Do you know why the orcs were attacking you?" "No...I guess I startled them. Though not half as bad as they startled me." Mandy gave a short laugh, "Ooo...that hurts." "I wouldn't move around. You might open the wound again." Aragorn bent down till he could look her in the eyes, "Where is your home?" "My home...? I'm not... sure. I'm not sure of anything anymore." Mandy closed her eyes, trying to remember, "What is your name?" "Aragorn" "I've heard that before...I think. My home is far from here. Of that I am sure. I don't know how to get back." Tears of weariness, pain, and homesickness flowed down her cheeks. "Now, now, M'lady. Just rest." Gimli awkwardly comforted her, "Obviously she can't or won't remember. Leave her be, Lad." Aragorn walked over to the fire. Later that night, Mandy slept deeply, thanks to a tea that he gave her. The Ranger was sitting by the fire smoking when Legolas called to him. "Aragorn! Tulyasinome."* Legolas had been watching over Mandy. He caught sight of a necklace that she always wore. It was a plain, silver Star of David. "Manta?"* Aragorn asked. "Yeeta."* Legolas gently lifted it up, "Elaniac." * "Elaniac? Where would she have gotten that?" Aragorn mused, "This becomes more and more intricate." "An Elaniac? What is that?" Gimli trudged over. "It is the symbol of a very ancient race. Most say they died out centuries ago." Legolas answered, turning it over in his palm, "They were said to have been the race of men that Eru Himself loved the most." Mandy gently rolled over, taking the necklace with her. "You don't think she's...?" Gimli looked from one face to the other, "It's not possible. If the race died out centuries ago..." "That is just it, Gimli. No one, not even the elves know for sure if the Erusen died out completely. Only Eru knows." Legolas gazed down at Mandy, "She could be Erusen."

* translations
Tulyasinome~ Come here.
Manta~ What is it?
Yeeta~ Look
Elaniac~ Name I made up

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