Racing for Rohan - Chapter Two
Racing for Rohan
Outside the main stable block, she found a small crowd of about ten boys, all gathered excitedly around a sign on the door. Curious, she tried to look over their heads at it without being seen - that would just make their day that would, the Rces and then making fun of her. Above the babble of talk and laughter, she heard one boy at the front read it out.
"Annual Summertime Race Across Rohan will be held on June 21st of this year. Each area can enter no more than one team, consisting of four contestants. Each rider MUST own their own horse and MUST be over the age of 16." At this line most of the boys, including her brothers, looked incredibly distraught and made an ennormous commotion about it, with shouts such as "But I'm 16 in July!" and "Who thought up these stupid rules anyway?" being quite popular.
Alarion slipped past them quietly, her dark hair blending in with the shadows, and she entered the stables without being spotted, much to her relief.
She sighed - she would give anything in the world to ride in the races. Every year she had watched them, since she was a little girl. Since the first time she felt the excitement, the danger, the daring and adventure of it, a strong yearning had woken in her heart. To feel the wind in her her, the sun on her back, the horse beneath her...
But who was she kidding? It would never happen, and no amount of dreaming would change that. Not to any girl, her least of all. Who would dream of it? An orphan, who was half-foreign anyway, taking part in the Races? It was ridiculous and plain laughable!
Then there was the fact she had no horse - always a slight drawback, she thought bitterly. She shook herself mentally - there was no point dwelling on what would never be.
Looking around, she saw Éothlyn had not yet returned from whatever she was busy doing. Making herself comfortable on a bale of straw, she played with the ringlets of her black hair, her brow furrowed, dark eyes seeing the hopes of a dreamer. That was the thing that annoyed her foster mother most about her - her day-dreaming. "You're wasting your life away!" she would moan, but she could have said that until she was blue in the face, it would of made little difference. In her heart, Éothlyn would often compare her to her mother, yet never voiced her opinions. She may have been old, but she still could be tactful when need be.
A shuffling noise brought Alarion back into the stables, to find Éothlyn glaring at her.
"Took you long enough, I was about to send a search party out!"she remarked, and sat down beside Alarion, who smiled weakly.
"Well chop chop, we've got a lot to do this afternoon you know! Thos stables still need mucking out, the Captain's tack need cleaning, the King wants his saddle mended by tomorrow, we need to prepare for the return..." but beyond this point Alarion stopped listening. She back back at in the world she perferred. The world where she wasn't an outcast, just because of - she stopped herself even thinking it, and pushed the thought to the back of her mind. No doubt the other boys would taunt and remind her anyway.
She bit her lip, and closed her eyes, willing her life to change, there and then, as she had done so many times. To wake up from the dream, and to be in the real world, where she was accepted for who she was, not what she was, and that her mother - stop it, *** it! She scolded herself.
Éothlyn had been chatting away happily while eating their small but filling lunch of bread, cheese and dried fruits. Seeing Alarion with her eyes closed, she stopped the endless string of babble and frowned at her. Her foster daughter didn't seem to notice the silence. Finally, after a period o staring, Éothlyn had had enough.
"Alright Alarion, what is it this time?" she asked, settling herself down for another long chat. Alarion snapped at once to attention with the use of hr name. She stared blankly at Éothlyn.
"Sorry I didn't catch that, could you -"
"What's the matter?" the old woman interrupted.
"Nothing - nothing is the matter." she lied. Éothlyn cocked an eyebrow at her.
"Right...and I'm the Elf Queen of Mirkwood." she replied. Alarion sighed. Once again, she was cornered with no means of escape. For a while she remained silent. Éothlyn waited patiently - she wasn't going anywhere until Alarion got it out of her system. A problem shared is a problem halved after all, she thought to herself, and as soon as this was over with, she'd be as right as rain again.
Alarion knew what Éothlyn was thinking - she knew her well, and they'd been through this 100 times already. Get it out of her and she would be fine. The old woman never seemed to understand - she wouldn't ever be alright, not truely, it would mean changing the way the world worked for that to happen. Ok, lets get this over with...
"Alarion! Over here! We need your help with something!" Alarion spun round to see her brother Thengeld with his head popped around the door. Once again, sighed in immense relief - she couldn't remember the last time she'd been so happy to see her brother.
"Coming!" she called back, and was gone like the wind, leaving Éothlyn alone and speechless.