Prisons - Chapter 3
That morning I woke up wrapped in Theodred's big strong arms.
"Good. Come on, time to get up."
"What time is it?"
"A little while past dawn."
We got out of bed and Theodred grabbed some clothes took me by the hand and yawning lazily we walked down the hall to my room.
We opened the door to my room. I went into my personal quarters to change and Theodred changed in my outer room. Each room had a sort of living room area and your personal area is my bedroom. Once we were done we went back to Theodred's room to drop off his clothes and then went to get breakfast in the kitchens cause Theodred said he wanted to talk to me and the kitchens are always more private.
When they opened the door Eowyn's face lit up with eyes shining. She let out a big sigh of relief. Eomer stood in front of the cupboard in the middle of a large yawn. He turned at the sound of the door and smiled down at his little sister who bounded over to him and was then swept up into his arms in a big bear hug.
"When did you get home?"
"Late last night, or early this morning. I came to check on you but you weren't in your room which made me a bit nervous but I figured you had gone into Theodred's room and sure enough there you were snuggled up safely in bed."
"She had a bad dream and got scared so she came into my room which I actually what I wanted to talk to you about."
Eomer's brow furrowed a bit.
"Oh, what was it about?"
Theodred lifted an eyebrow and looked at Eomer.
"She's a good story teller, isn't she little cousin."
"Ah, we will see about that."
"Really I just got a little spooked, that's all." Eowyn was starting to get somewhat annoyed and little worried.
"Wyn when you came into my room last night you were lathered in sweat shaking like crazy and if I hadn't known any better you I would have thought you had decided to so running through the halls cause you were breathing so hard."
"That sounds like more than just a spoke Wyn."
"Unfortunately I think we'll be lucky if we get anything out of that little mouth."
Eomer had let go of me by then and was now staring at me with his `face'. He would always have medium wide eyes meaning he was worried, his mouth that went into a straight line when he was very serious and the left eyebrow that he always raised as his way of saying `you had better spill any secrets.
I started to panic, how was I going to get out of this one? They were both very determined to figure out what was bothering me and I knew once they were set on something they almost always pushed until they were satisfied, and in this case I could count on Théodred to be pushier because he was the one who saw me last night.
Eomer seeing my panic almost went straight to pleading which wasn't something he did very often.
"Eowyn just tell us please, you know we only want to help you."
Grima's slimy words rang in my head as clear as if it had been yesterday. `Tell anyone and I'll have their heads on a platter.'
Theodred's words cut through my thoughts.
"Eowyn if you dream like that something must have happened to cause it."
"It's ok Wyn you can tell us."
No, no I can't tell you, try and understand that. If I could I would, but I cannot. So what do I tell you?
"It.....it was mom and dad."
The thought of what could happen to them if they figured out was unbearable. Millions of tears came to my eyes. It was all I could do to choke back a sob. Theodred took my hand and squeezed it tight and Eomer pulled me close in his arms.
No one said anything more. I vowed to myself then and there that as long as I lived and that threat still existed they would never find out, at least not through me. No one would. And if some of the servants already did they would be silent just as me. Nothing would ever leave my mouth.
Eomer and Theodred had been gone now for a couple of weeks. I awaited their return but was not sure I would be happy they were home, although I was happy they would be out of harm.....as long as my secret remains a secret.
It had been just a few days after they had left when Grima found me walking through one of the halls. Just as he grabbed my arm and had his knife to my throat Hama and Gambling rounded the corner. Their swords were immediately unsheathed as they made their way to us Grima dropped his knife from my throat and released me. As he went to leave Hama came and pushed him against the wall.
"Keep your hands to yourself Grima!"
"Do remember I am the kings right hand man sir. Watch yourself or perhaps I won't be so kind next time."
Gambling had come to stand in front of me sword in hand.
"He's nothing but a traitor." Gambling spat out.
"Are you alright Lady?"
"Yes I am fine. You must speak of this to know one."
"Eowyn you can't jus-"
"You both helped raise me and Eomer and even Theodred and so have become very close friends who are more like my protective uncles. I know you well enough to know neither of you would ever let any harm come to any of us especially since it is part of your duty and if you intend to continue to do your duty you must be silent."
"How does keeping silent about that worm keep any of you safe?" Gambling seemed quiet intent on figuring that out since it did not seem to make sense at the time, so I decided to ignore his question.
"Does anyone else in this hall know or suspect anything?"
"There may be a few. I recall some saying things about this or that and a few confronted us about a fear for you and didn't know what to do about it."
"Gather all of them up and meet me in the kitchens later today."
Gambling turned and walked down the hall while Hama placed a hand on my shoulder.
"Eowyn, Grima has a dangerous amount of power right now-"
"He may have power because he is the kings councilor but I am still his niece and lady of this hall."
"Very well." He placed a light kiss on my cheek and then turned to do as I bid.
Since then I had been completely silent as had everyone else though sometimes I would get a rather unhappy face from Gambling or Hama. Everyone in the palace had seemed to be monitoring me though and when grima tried to follow they would come down the hall with some sort of excuse and I was always more than thankful for their help and effort. Though sometimes I worry that grima will carry out his threat because of it, but I could not ask them to stop because I did not want them to and because they were so set on helping and would probably not stop even if I ordered them to.
The weeks while Eomer and Théodred were gone were so stressful. I was so worried for them. Grima could send a raid after them when they were gone or he could have them killed at home because of this or that. I did not know weather I wanted them as faraway from orcs as possible or from Edoras.
I finally decided to go to the stables to distract myself because I had turned into a worrywart and all the stress was eating away at me.
I was not allowed to take Windfola out of the city because I was not allowed to leave, but I went to see her anyway. Just because I could not ride her out on the fields didn't mean I didn't need to take care of her, and besides it's been a little while since I've seen her. Windfola is my best friend. I always went to see her when I was upset. She takes care of me and I take care of her. When I am really upset I even sleep with her though I have to sneak out. "It wasn't lady like to sleep in the stables," although I got the habit from mother.
I entered the barn and felt myself ease from the familiar smell of horses and leather. As I walked down to Windfola's stall she popped her cream-colored head out into isle, nickered at me, and tossed her silky, light cream-colored mane. She was a Palomino and I thought she was the most beautiful horse in the world. Uncle had always said that we were exactly the same and that if she were not a horse he would never be able to tell us apart. When she was about 2 or 3 weeks old she was already trying to tag along with all the older colts and so uncle had given her to me he had said that we had the same spirit and personality because when I was a little girl I always tagged along with Eomer and his friends.
I stepped into her stall, she nuzzled me and I kissed her head.
"Hi Girl. How have you been?" she tossed her head up and down enthusiastically.
"Good. I missed you. It's been so hard to get out. Uncle is so ill I'm afraid to leave him alone with that worm."
"How would you like to go for a little ride around the city." She nickered delighted and tossed her head up and down and pranced on her toes. I just giggled.
When we came back I un tacked her and then groomed her. She had such a glow about her that she looked like if you touched her she would shatter into a million pieces. Suddenly the horns sounded signaling someone's arrival.
"Hold on girl I'll be right back I just have to see who this is." I ran to the stable doors to see who it was. `Perhaps,' I thought, `if I am lucky it will be Theodred and Eomer at the same time.' Though I was sure it wouldn't be. The sight I was met with made me catch my breath and filled me with dread. I was watching one of my worst nightmares come true. It was both of them but I was in no way lucky. Eomer rode up on Firefoot with Théodred slumped in front of him. I rushed back and fed Windfola and then rushed out of the stables and up the steps of Meduseld and on to Theodred's room. I only prayed that Théodred was not wounded badly. I didn't know what I'd do if I lost him.
I rushed into his room and sat on the bed . Eomer sat on the floor dabbing his head with a cloth.
"Théodred." I tried calling to him. He moved a little but didn't answer. As I pulled up his shirt where he had been wounded my breath caught. Eomer looked at me and then back down without one word. I went and got the water basin and a cloth and brought it over to his bed and then called for Cynthia and her maids. After looking him over and cleaning him up a bit I left to tell Théoden though I wasn't sure what he'd do in his current state.
"Your son is badly wounded my lord."
"He was ambushed, by orcs."
I turned to see Eomer had come as well.
"If we don't defend our lands saruman will take it by force."
"That is a lie. Saruman the White has ever been our friend and ally." Every time I heard his voice it sent a shiver down my back.
"Orcs are roaming freely across our lands unchecked, unchallenged, killing at will......orcs bearing the white hand of saruman." There was a loud clank. I looked down and realized it was a orc helmet with a white hand that Eomer had brought as proof.
"Why do you lay these troubles on an already troubled mind. Can you not see your uncle is wearied by your malcontent,...your warmongering."
As much as I would have loved to see Eomer tell Grima off I decided against it, I needed to see to Théodred. It was not always the smartest of things to loose your temper at Grima the way Eomer did sometimes. He was a dangerous person because of all the power he held. It would not surprise me if someone thought Grima was king and Theoden was just his servant who issued his orders.
As I went back to Theodred's room I turned back to Eomer because I did worry that finally he would loose his temper and something would happen to him. I wasn't to reassured when I saw grima shoved up against a pillar though I did envy Eomer's gut to do it, not many would. I was no weakling and was just as capable as Eomer or any other man for that matter but when it came to grima I became a frightened little girl. My mind would be shouting at me to run but my legs simply would not move. I always felt so helpless around him.
I gazed at him sternly and then turned and left.
The rest of the day me and Cynthia spent with Théodred doing everything we could think of. It was late and Cynthia had bags under her eyes. We had both been going non-stop and we were both about to fall asleep on our feet. It took some time to convince her she could go to bed. I knew it would. She had been like a mother to all me Eomer and Théodred. Theodred's mother had died giving birth, he had never known her and so Cynthia had taken up that calling and then twice more when me and Eomer came. She was at the same time head lady of Meduseld kind of like my lady in waiting even though I was only 6 or 7. That was when I had learned to become the lady and Head mistress of Meduseld. She had done her job and now it was my turn.
I sat with him all night and when I could not hold my eyes open anymore I drifted off into a deep sleep.
When I awoke, I found I had only been asleep for a few hours. As I was standing up Théodred opened his eyes and grabbed my hand, he was so cold it sent a shiver through my body. Relief flooded through me that he had awoken. I smiled at him. He didn't have much strength but he gave me a small smile in return.
"When did you wake up?"
"About a half-hour maybe. I didn't want to wake you." His voice was horse and quiet.
"You should have anyway."
"Well, you looked so peaceful and you don't seem to get that much sleep anymore. You needed it."
I looked down at my hands a little upset with myself for letting him see that.
"How are you feeling?" I asked changing the subject.
"We need to change these." I said as I reached to change the bloodied bandages.
"Don't worry about it."
"Théodred, if we don't change this you could get an infection and get really sick-"
"Eowyn, there's no point anymore, it doesn't matter."
"What are you talking about? How can you say that? Of course it matters Théodred-"
"Wyn!" It took a bit of energy for him to get her attention and once he had it, he was sent into a fit of coughing. Eowyn settled down, worried a bit.
"Théodred you can't mean.....no!" Eowyn flung herself from the bed. "You're going to be fine, it doesn't matter what you say. I don't believe you."
"Eowyn," Theodred's tone softened a bit when he saw how upset Eowyn was getting. "We both know that's not true. I know it's not easy for you to accept but your going to have to sooner or later. You have to let me go. You can't hold onto me forever Eowyn."
Eowyn was kneeling by the bed now holding his hand with her head bowed.
"Because I will always be with you."
Eowyn looked up a little and Théodred saw the silent tears sliding down her cheeks.
I didn't understand. I had tried so hard to save him, to stop this from happening. I almost felt that the harder I tried to save him and Eomer the more I lost them. Nothing I did ever helped. There was nothing I could do to help uncle get better from this illness, this poison of Grima's. Maybe it would be better if I weren't even here. How I wished I could die instead of Théodred and break out of this cage I am stuck in.
"I tried so hard to save you." Her voice was small and quiet. Théodred could hear her but couldn't understand her.
"Do not despair and die like your mother Eowyn. Have hope for I shall always be here watching over you.
"I love you little Wyn...."
His ragged breathing stopped and his beautiful blue eyes closed to her forever seeing no more.
"Théodred. NOOOO! You can't leave me." Eowyn was sobbing now, the tears coming freely.
"No! She grabbed his shirt and was shaking his lifeless body as if it would bring him back to her.
"You have to come back! I won't let you go! Théodred." Eowyn now sat there shaking her last word a whisper.
"I need you." With that she fell to the bed beside Theodred's body sobbing until she fell asleep.