Prisons - Ch.4




Waking up and coming back to the real world was a lot harder then I had anticipated. It hit me with such a shock that any feeling I thought I had ever felt (which was hardly anything) went numb. As soon as I looked up, I flinched and wished I hadn't, it was definitely to soon. I stood up from the bed with my head so I wouldn't have to look at Theodred's body. I left the room and headed for mine to change for the miserable day ahead of me. I opened my closet and pulled out my white dress, it was my favorite. Sometimes I wore it when I felt ignored or invisible because it was obviously bright and it made me feel somewhat noticed. I wasn't to sure about being noticed today but sometimes it just made me feel good so I put it on.
As I headed back down the hall I saw Cynthia opening Theodred's door. She stopped when she noticed me walking towards her and looked at me with questioning eyes. My eyes dropped to the floor and lowered my head a bit. This slight gesture gave her the answer she was seeking though it was not the one she wanted. Her hand dropped from the door handle and her eyes filled with tears.
It was tradition that when a member of the royal family died the women of the family with the help of the maids readied the body for burial as the men stood and watched in silence commemorating that person. Understanding Cynthia left to gather the maids, leaving me to gather the men. It was then I realized I had yet to even tell Eomer, and that I had in fact not even seen him since yesterday afternoon. I walked down to his room to find that it had not been touched since he was home 3 weeks ago. I left and made my way to the kitchens since that seemed to be a favorite place of his. On my way there I ran into Hama.
"My lady."
"Hama have you seen Eomer?" he hesitated a bit but still answered me.
"He was banished."
The words left his mouth and flowed through my ears but hadn't reached my brain yet. I just stared at him trying to register what he had said. Everything was happening to fast for me to catch it all.
"What?"
"Just yesterday. There was nothing I could do to stop it. I'm sorry."
I nodded my head finally understanding him.
"Did any of Theodred's company return?"
"Yes."
"How many?"
"Two or three. May I ask why?"
I had only just come to terms with myself about Theodred. I couldn't even look at his body yet. And just thinking about it made me dizzy. I hardly thought I could say it to anyone. I hadn't the strength of the courage. It was simply too much for me so I ignored the question.
"Come you must take me to them."
Hama looked upset but did as I requested anyway.
"Aye my lady, this way."



*****


Halfarad, Taran, and Hethar were there names. They were all that was left of Theodred's company. I had never had the pleasure of meeting them and the fact that I was only meeting them because of what has happened didn't bring the feeling that I would have normally felt. The joy and excitement was just an empty feeling that was replaced with remorse and sadness, but also with the fact that they were all she had left of Théodred that she could hold onto like a keepsake and she would hold onto them until she died or she would die trying. She had a duty to do and needed something or someone to keep her going, to keep her occupied and stop her from going crazy in all her loneliness and despair.
I had two more people to round up before heading back to Theodred's room.
"Hama do you know if Marshall Elfhelm is still in the city?"
"Yes my lady I believe he is. Would you like me to send for him?"
"Please. Thank you Captain. Meet me back by my room."
"Aye my lady." He bowed and left in search of Elfhelm.
I turned back to Halfarad, Taran, and Hethar.
"If you could follow me please."
I led them up to Meduseld to get Gambling. Once done I led them all back to my room into my first suit of rooms, and then left to find Cynthia and her maids.



*****

"All is ready my lady."
"Thank you Cynthia. Come the men are waiting in my rooms."
"Do they know yet my lady?"
"No. I didn't quite know how to tell them."
"Perhaps we should just let them find out themselves. They will understand when we reach his rooms Eowyn."
I nodded my head.
"Ok. Thank you Cynthia."

*****



I opened the door to my room to see that Hama and Elfhelm had come.
"I would like to thank you all for being here today. You do me a great honor. If you would follow me."
We walked down the hall to Theodred's room. Everyone was silent. I stopped in front of the door. Everyone looked confused and uncomfortable.
"All has been readied. All I ask now is your presence." Tears stung my eyes but I pushed them back. The look on there faces was a mixture of emotions as slow realization came unwanted to the faces of those in front of me.
I opened the door and slowly entered. Avoiding the sight in front of my eyes. Cynthia and the rest of the woman entered with bowed heads. Then the rest of the men entered though somewhat hesitantly. Once we were all in and ready I picked up a wet cloth and began cleaning his wounds.


*****


It seemed like it had been forever when I finally got to changing Théodred into his burial cloths. During the process, I could not stop the tears I had held from falling down my face. When I glanced up, I noticed everyone else was crying as well.
When everything was done me and Cynthia stood with the rest of the woman as the men said there farewells. Once we had all said our farewells we left the room and I went to make the arrangements for his funeral. I needed to have the burial mound dug, have a bier made, assemble the men that would bear Theodred's body out of the city, choose the day of the funeral and have it done in as little time as possible. So with all this to do I set out not wanting to waste time. However I glad to have something to keep me busy although it was the worst distraction I could have ever asked for, but it was something I had to do and I would do it with my head held high, not sulking around crying like some little child. I was no child and would not behave like one. Especially around Grima. If this was his doing, which I'm sure it was, he would not gain satisfaction from my pain. I simply would not allow it.
"No more. No more." From that moment on, I swore to myself that Grima wormtoung would get nothing else from me. Nothing. If it meant I simply did not show any small bit of emotion I had left, then so be it.

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