Last of a Race - Chapter 1: Escape
Just to make clear that, as much as I'd love to own the LotR characters, I don't... only the girl (for now at least!! ) Enjoy the read, and please review (but be nice!! I'll only take constructive criticism!!)!!
"Split up lads, find the little brat!!"
The small girl shrank farther back into the thorny scrub at the sound of the harsh voice, the barbs scratching her hollow, dirty face and bony arms; had she not been so thin, the scarce shrubbery would have done nothing to help her visibility and she would have been caught in a matter of moments. Tears welled in her wide, frightened eyes as she heard the familiar pounding of footsteps near her crude hiding place, and suddenly, a pair of heavy, ugly looking feet stopped a few inches away from her.
"What?" barked a voice that made the child catch her breath and tremble in fear, "Why'd you stop?"
"I've got a feeling" the owner of the feet growled in reply.
"A feeling, you say!" the first voice sneered, "Look here, we don't have time to waste on your fine instincts, we've got orders to follow!! "
"That's exactly what I'm doing if you'll shut your trap a minute; that little monster's around here somewhere, I know it!!"
"Well then if she is, you'd best stop using your gut and start using your eyes! Move!!"
The girl squeezed her eyes shut, waiting in terror for them to move on. There was a low growl of annoyance from the figure near her, and then footsteps as the two pursued their search. She gave a shaky sigh and began to emerge from the tiny alcove, crying in pain as she leaned on a bruised and slight wrist to drag herself out. She stood stiffly and stumbled as silently as her small and beaten body would allow across the dry scrubland, keeping in the little shadow that there was. Shivering, she looked up at the bright moon fearfully, for it bathed the valley in light, making it close to impossible to hide from view. She pulled a small, tattered piece of cloth from under her threadbare shirt and clutched it in her fingers, rubbing her face against the dirty material before stuffing it back in her top and faltering forward, reaching the border of dense woodland near the camp...
Suddenly, she tripped and fell, and a huge orc in the distance turned at the noise. It gave a roar as it spotted the girl's thin form.
"I've found her!!" he bellowed, heading towards her, "She's by the woods, the little beast!"
The child scrambled to her feet, crying, and ran into the safety of the trees. She sped through the dense foliage in a blind panic, ignoring the branches cutting at her arms and legs and tearing at her clothes, and it was clear that she knew all too well the consequences if they caught her.
She stopped as she heard them chasing her and scrambled frantically up the nearest tree, hugging the sturdy branches as the pursuing orcs raced past below. Trembling and sobbing violently, the child waited for their footsteps to fade, and was just going to jump to the ground when she was a flicker of light further on in the forest. The girl climbed shakily to the forest floor and headed towards it eagerly, giving a whimper of relief when she reached the source of the glow. A fire burned brightly in the centre of a small clearing, its radiating warmth a salvation to the thin, shaking little form. She staggered towards it in a daze, and collapsed next to it, exhausted. Pulling out her tattered possession again, she held it tightly against her, curled up near the flames, and, feeling the terror and hunger that gnawed at her empty insides fade slightly, fell instantly asleep.