The Cry of the Gull (Chapter 1) - A story of Elvenhome
As Legolas did follow the desire, he wrestled with himself. In his heart he could feel it, the cry, the pain of leaving his world, his adventures, his few and unrelated friends forever. A voice in his mind spoke to him over and over.
"It's gone," the voice said. "Mirkwood is lost to you forever."
A tear coursed down his cheek as he thought on his younger years.
"Of course," he realized. "The Lady's warning."
Dusty old memories worked their way to the surface of his immortal mind. He recited words, known by heart to him, and they seemed to symbolize the clanging of a gate, and the click of a lock that had no key.
"Legolas Greenleaf long under tree
In joy thou hast lived. Beware of the Sea!
If thou hearest the cry of the gull on the shore,
Thy heart shall then rest in the forest no more."
He had heard a gull before in his long life. He had gazed up into the air, as, wheeling and soaring they climbed higher. At their cries Legolas's spirit had stirred. The waves, the shore, the very Sea-air itself had seemed to whisper his name.
"Legolas, Legolas," the soft voice had spoken into his ear. He sighed a great, sad sigh.
He stared at the floor of his small, grey ship. Reaching into his collar he pulled out a small pendant, in the shape of a rowan tree. The symbol of his race and his house. Wrought of gold, hanging on a chain of bronze the tree stood straight.
Tears fell on it as he remembered Frodo, the hobbit he had helped on his great quest to destroy Sauron, and the Ring of Power. He remembered his friend Gimli, who's first words to him had been a challenge. He closed his fingers around the pendant and held it against his breast, uttering breif phrases in his naitive tongue.
"I vedui lain, i vedui lok le, Ened-Arma"
Which translated into the common tongue means:
"The last thread, the last loop to thee, Middle-earth."
He looked again at the pendant, fingering the inscription at the tree's roots.
"Legolas, Elf-Prince of Mirkwood"
His last tie with those who had loved him, hobbits, men, a wizard, and a dwarf. He held the link to the hurts he had known there, the pain of never knowing the love of elves, but with it, he also held every joy he had ever known there. He jolted himself out of his lament. "No," he thought. "I am leaving my land to get away from war; my people have no place there any longer, and a friend of my own race is hard to find. I go to find peace in the havens." He gave a cry, and cast it into the Sea.
Throwing himself into the bottom of the boat he allowed himself to break. Great sobs shook his body, his tears became like rivers on his face. His last tie with Middle-Earth severed, he could let every care he had ever known there go. His body shuddered, and with a last outbreath he fell into a deep, elvish dream of a forest, a bow, and a king.
He woke to cold drops on his face. The sky had grown dark, and a swift breeze, rising to a wind, blew rain into his eyes. He jumped up and began loosing the sail. When he had finished, he sat in the bottom of the little ship to weather out the storm.
It went on for hours. The rain fell in torrents; the bottom of the ship held two inches of water. Legolas turned his keen glance out into the storm, trying to see anything. Lightning chased cloud above him. Thunder followed, roaring at the angry Sea. He grabbed his bow and his quiver of arrows, and stood up, believing he saw land not far off.
Lightning hit the mast, throwing Legolas off his feet. He sprawled into the bottom of the boat. The little ship rocked.
Suddenly, all else seemed to hush as a roar that was not thunder came into hearing. Struggling upright, Legolas looked behind him. An enormous wave welled up behind him. It lifted the little boat as if it was a feather. The elf clung to the mast searching what he knew were rocks below him, wondering if he could jump without breaking every bone in his body. Then the wave broke.
The boat splintered on the rocks below, Legolas was thrown off his hold. He was cast against a huge rock; the wave crashed over him, and lifted him up, mercilessly lifting him and driving him again and again against the jagged rocks.
He was finally lifted off of a last rock; and a more gentle wave laid his body on the shore of a great island. And there, but for a tiny whisper of breath, he lay still.