Greater Love

The young man ran, his eyes darting back and forth. His shield was behind him, cloven in two. His arm hung uselessly at his side. He gasped in breath, pausing at a tree.

"Why?" Fion thought to himself grasping a the trunk, "I am no..."

Suddenly he heard the sounds of orcs following, yelling and squealing. He pushed himself to go on, knowing he would rather die than get caught.

"There he goes!" Kauka, the head orc, yelled, "After him Lads!"
The orcs yelled and raced after Fion. There were also a few men running with them.

Fion risked a glance back and could see the orcs catching up. Suddenly a tree branch slashed across his face, and he fell back. His head struck against a stone, and he saw blackness.

Fion woke to find himself by a campfire, bound hand and foot. He glanced about, seeing only orcs. He strained at the cords that were bound cruelly. An orc noticed him and came over.

"Better save your strength," he jeered, "you'll need it."

Fion glared back at him. The orc spit on him and sauntered back to his comrades. The boy gazed about, trying to find a way to escape. Another person came up to him, a man.

"Well Lad," he said with a grin, "you got yourself into a mess."

The boy jerked back as he recognized the man as an advisor to his father. "You!" Fion hissed, "I knew you were slave to the Nameless One the moment I saw you!"

"Ah well," Narmo sneered, "Smart Lad. Pity your father wasn't as smart as you."

"What do you want me for?" Fion asked.

"Why you are our ticket to Mordor," Narmo laughed, grabbing the boy's hair cruelly, "Your father will have to let us get to Mordor without attacking us and then leave us alone forever if he wants to see you again. Also, he will have to pay us to keep us from your lands for the rest of his life."

"Snake!" Fion snarled, lunging at the man, "He will not do that!"

"Then I'm afraid he will have no son very soon." Narmo chuckled and walked away. Fion sat, shaking his head angrily, knowing that his father would not...could not do that.

"Sire," a soldier came up to the king, "this was found on your son's horse."

The king read the paper. He crumpled it in his fist, his face going white with anger. Then his shoulders lowered in resignation. He dropped himself onto his throne, his face deadly pale.

"Sire?" the soldier asked, "Are we going after them?"

"No," the king answered his voice quivering, "we are not going after them."

"Sire?" the soldier looked at him in amazement.

"We are not going after them." the king said forcefully, writing a reply, "find them and give this to them."

The soldier bowed and took the paper. He mounted his horse and rode off.

The next morning, a rider came up and threw something into the camp. Narmo picked it up and shouted in victory.

"Let's get going Boys!" he yelled, "We have free passage!"

The orcs yelled. Fion found himself in the midst of the crowd, running with them. He could hardly believe that his father had agreed. They ran for three days, barely resting. Whenever Fion stumbled, a hand would grab him and pull him along till he regained his feet. On the fourth night, they reached the outskirts of Mordor.

Fion collapsed on the ground, eyes taking in the bare land of Mordor. He shivered, feeling a chill run through his body as he looked at it. He heaved in breath, hoping he would be set free soon. Suddenly a man kicked him.

"Get up!" he snarled.

Fion trudged wearily over to Narmo.

"Well Boy," Narmo said, "we are here safely."

"So now will you let me go?" Fion asked, "My father kept his end of the bargain."

"Now that presents an interesting problem," Narmo answered eyes glittering maliciously, "If we let you go, you and your father will come and hunt us down. And he did not keep all of it! He has not paid us anything. No, I think we had better leave you as an example that we mean what we say." He turned to the orcs, "Kill `im!"

Fion stepped back in horror, eyes darting around. He ducked as an orc came at him. He rammed into it, slicing the cords. He grabbed the sword, fighting hard. The orcs finally subdued him.

"You have gotten me mad, Boy!" Narmo snarled, "I will kill you myself!" He raised his sword.

"If you kill me that will only ensure that my father will come after you!" Fion yelled at him, struggling against the hands that held him down.

"Well," Narmo said softly, "then we will risk it." He brought his sword down.

Suddenly an arrow whistled, knocking the sword out of his hand. They turned to see a cloaked figure on the outskirts of the forest.

"Wait," Narmo ordered, "Let's see what he wants before you kill him."

The cloaked man walked towards them. The orcs parted, but one raised his sword to slay the man. The man looked at him, and the orc lowered his sword.

"Well, Stranger," Narmo called out, "what do you want?"

"A trade," the man replied.

"Really?" Narmo raised an eyebrow, "What's your name?"

"I have many," he answered, "Mavar is one."

"Huh," Narmo snorted, "alright, I'm willing to hear your trade."

"Simple," Mavar told him, "my life for his."

"What?" Narmo gaped, "You want to die for this whelp?"

"Yes," Mavar looked steadily at him.

"Why?" Narmo almost spat.

Fion struggled, not believing what was going on. Mavar threw back his hood revealing shoulder-length, brown hair that curled at the ends. He looked straight at Fion. Fion was struck by the depths of his eyes. They seemed to draw him in and not let him go, almost as if they pierced his soul. Then Mavar smiled and turned back to Narmo.

"Because he's my friend," Mavar answered.

"You are willing to die for a friend?!" Narmo said in shock, "Very well...let the boy go!"

Fion was shoved forward by rough hands. He stumbled next to Mavar who helped him up. The boy glanced up at him. Mavar was a tall man, about six foot two and very strong. He smiled a broad and merry smile, gently pushing him away.

Fion turned and ran swiftly. On the outskirts of the forest, he paused and glanced back. He saw Narmo thrust his sword, and Mavar fall.

"I never saw him before!" the boy shook his head, wondering where Mavar had come from. He continued back towards his home.

On the third day, Fion knew he couldn't go much farther. He stumbled and fell. He lay on the ground, praying that Illuvitar would help him.

Suddenly a hand raised his head and gave him water. Fion looked into the sparkling eyes of Mavar.

"Mavar!" the boy cried, "But you're dead!"

Then Fion heard the most joyful laughter he had ever heard. It was like soft thunder and a waterfall throwing itself down a mountainside. And suddenly Mavar changed. He started to shine brightly and wore gold armor. On his head was a crown with jewels brighter than the Silmarils and a shining sword was in his hand. In his eyes shone the wisdom and knowledge of endless time.

"Death cannot hold me, Fion," Mavar said, his eyes twinkling, "I am the One, the Son."

Fion gazed at Him, too shocked for words. Mavar raised him up and gave him words of comfort.

"Why?" Fion shook his head in bewilderment, "Why did you die for me?"

Mavar gazed at him, eyes piercing his very soul, "Because I love you and you are mine." He answered.

Then Fion was alone. He shook his head, thinking that he had dreamt it, but then he found a single jewel in his hand. It was blue and had the form of a lamb inside of it. The lamb was white but had red stripes on it, and the whole stone glowed faintly. The boy closed his hand around the stone, his spirit refreshed and his legs unwearied. He hurried back home, thinking on the words that Mavar (Shepherd) had told him:

They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They will rise up on wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary, shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31)

***Author's Note***
hey everyone! this is a short story I wrote. I hope you enjoyed it...I roughly based it off of the verse: "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:13) And some other things, but I'll leave it up to you what you want to get out of it. God bless

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