Beyond the Mists - Chapter Seven
Just as suddenly as it had come, the vision disappeared and Nessa was jerked forwards still frantically trying to breath, though this time, cold clean air filled her burning lungs. Eyes wide and bulging, she swayed uneasily, her surroundings slipping in and out of focus. A strong arm came around her waist and pulled her back, giving her support.
"Whoa there, what's wrong? What's happened? Are you alright?" Boromir asked worriedly, face full of concern.
It took Nessa a few minutes to realize that all the Fellowship were stood around her, all looking just as concerned as Boromir. For a while she couldn't answer - she just kept filling her lungs with that wonderful, life-giving air, leaning on Boromir's chest as he held her steady. Soon her mind began to clear, her eyes became focused and she was breathing normally.
"What just happened to you?" questioned Gandalf seriously.
"I...don't...know." she replied slowly, still trying to take it in. What had happened? What was that thing she had seen? And why? More questions than she had answers whirled around her head.
"I...I saw the Lake,"- she pointed feebly at it- ",and there was something...something in it - like a giant monster, with hundreds of arms...and it took,"- Nessa stopped herself telling them the last bit of the vision - Frodo was looking at her intently. Yet as she looked at the lake now, it was still and quite, unmoving save for a few ripples farther out, like a huge black mirror.
"Well, just sit still until you feel better," advised Gandalf, giving her a strange glance, "Come on Gimli, we need to open this door!" so the Wizard and the Dwarf went back to solving the riddle.
Nessa continued to lean on Boromir, her head now resting on his shoulder as she took deep breaths, trying to think. He must have sensed her confusion, for though he said no words, he placed a comforting arm around her. Nessa at once felt incredibly safe and warm in his grasp. His chest rose and fell gently with hers and she closed her eyes...The last time she had been held like this was far beyond her memory. It had been when her grandmother was alive. When Nessa was a small child she would sit her upon her knee and tell her wonderful stories and she had always felt secure with her.
"Aha! Of course! How could I have been so blind?!" cried Gandalf, jumping up suddenly, shattering the silence. Nessa and Boromir quickly broke apart and stood up.
"Speak, friend and enter! It's a riddle!" explained Gandalf excitedly, "Mellon." he added and at once the huge doors swung open to reveal a darkness blacker than black, an eerie nothingness before them.
"The password was the Elvish word for 'friend'," smiled Legolas, "It seems you Dwarves can get something right once in a while." he added, shooting a sarcastic look at Gimli, who ignored him.
Quickly the Fellowship began gathering their packs, while Aragorn and Sam set Bill the pony free. Sam watched sadly as he disappeared from sight.
"What about Elformen?" asked Nessa, "We cant just leave her behind - she must come with us."
Aragorn frowned. "The Mines of Moria are no place for any beast - if you take my advice, you will let her go." he said wisely. Nessa however stood her ground and finally it was decided that Elformen should go in with them.
They had only just passed the thresh-hold of the doors when from behind them there came a great roar and suddenly all the lake seemed to be alive. The water frothed and soared high into the air as a huge creature reared its ugly head to the surface.
"Into the Mines!" cried Gandalf, but it was too late. One of the writhering tentacles of the monster had wrapped itself tightly around Frodo and had hoisted him helplessly up in the air.
Nessa gasped in shock - she had seen this! This is what she had seen, only a few minutes ago! Temporarily frozen, she was knocked back as Aragorn, Legolas and Boromir flew past her to save the hobbit. While the men hacked mercilessly at the creature, Legolas shot with great skill at the monsters eyes. Suddenly Aragorn sliced through the arm holding Frodo who came toppling down and was caught safely by Boromir.
"In, in, come on!" shouted Legolas and they had barely made it through the doors when the thing pulled them to. As the company hurried stumbling forwards in the dark, they heard the sounds of the monster ripping out the trees and hurling boulders against the doors. Gasping for breath, the waited, listening for any sign of danger within...