Forever and For Always - The Storm

-It has been seven months total since Morelen left her home in Minas Tirith-

Morelen sat dumb on her horse as he trotted through a giant meadow, the tall grass swirling and rustling like an endless, golden pool. The near unbearable heat was made worse by the moisture in the air, the humidity weighing heavily upon her shoulders as though it was something she could touch and hold. Dark circles surrounded her eyes and her usually neat, straight hair was disheveled from many sleepless nights on the ground. Her body swayed gently with the movements of the stallion and she looked as if she would fall off of him at any moment. Salty, crusted streaks were all that remained of her frequent tears, her expression now passive and numb. She had abandoned gowns long ago for riding apparel, her sword in its sheath and bow strung across her back.

She had been traveling towards Harad since she first left Minas Tirith, managing to survive off of wild vegetation and what little bit of money she had. She searched for the place of her ancestors, for she needed to find herself, to learn all that she could of the life she never lived.

Images of her childhood flooded her mind and tears sprang forth anew as she reminisced on her life with the King and Queen of Gondor. Eldarion, her little brother -- no, she choked, he is not my brother. They are not my family, and they never will be. Never. She swore silently, denouncing herself from the household that raised her.

Instead, she thought on the family she never knew.

My birth parents must have died in battle, whichever one it was. That's why I ended up with the Gondorians, she concluded. But how and why would a woman fight in the War of the Ring? I have never known the Haradrim to allow their mothers and wives to fight. She sighed, exhausted, realizing that all she could do was speculate.

While she thought on this, as she had done often since she ran away, she allowed the horse to lead her, taking them anywhere as long as it was far away from the White City.

"Elbereth, what am I doing?" She shouted to the grey sky, as if expecting a booming, wise voice to answer.

Make this pain go away...

The ominous clouds above her were heavy with water and a foreboding breeze rustled through the grass, the fragrant smell of rain on the wind. A sudden flash of blinding light obscured her vision and, seconds later, rumbling thunder shook the air. The sound was a deep, angry growl that jumped the horse. The rain came softly at first, merely tapping her with its gentle warmth but then the wind picked up speed and the drops began to sting her face and bare arms. Her hair whipped about as she struggled to find cover from the storm.

Another flash of lightning lit the clouded sky and Sûlroch sped up, heading straight towards the tall trees ahead of them. He raced faster and faster until Morelen screamed in his ear, "Sûlroch, daro! DARO!"

Once under the canopy of the trees, she was thrown from the horse and landed on the hard earth with a thud. Her thoughts became blurry and suddenly she knew no more as her horse whinnied, the darkness of the woods frightening the poor animal. The woods glowed with the intensity of the lightning and little animals scurried across the forest floor, trying desperately to find some form of refuge against the anger of nature...


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