The Life of Aralorn-Daughter of Gondor - Chapter 4
Evelird was very weary, for throughout the whole journey she and Strider had ridden hard. It was a surprise to her that the big, bay colored horse had the stamina for such a distance at great speed, but he always seemed eager to cover more ground after a rest. This stallion was given the name Thalion.
Wondering if she would truly be welcome in Rivendell tugged at her mind. They were all elves. Surely they would not treat her the same way. She could not possibly be as fair or as wise as they. And how could Elrond find out her past by the single ring on her finger?
Her head still hurt. Although it was only a dull ache for most of the day, and dizziness occurred at times also. But it was true that it had healed some.
"You are fortunate to know your past and your real family." Evelird said, plucking a single blade of grass from the ground, and examining it, with her blue eyes. It had been the fifth day of their journey, and the three of them had stopped to take a short rest. Strider and Evelird were sitting on the grass talking, and Thalion grazed contentedly.
"Is it always a comfort to know where you belong in life?" Strider asked cocking his head. He seemed to state this question, instead of ask it.
"Why would it not?" Evelird began, dropping the blade of grass and turning her attention to Strider. "I have longed to know those things for as long as I can remember. I do not understand how you could not be satisfied that you do know?"
"What if your place in life was a place you did not want to be?" Strider said, "What if you were destined to be a person you did not want to be? What if one of your forefathers-one of the people that you desperately want to know-made a great mistake because he was to weak to resist?" His voice stayed gentle, but there was worry, and maybe pain hidden behind his eyes. Evelird frowned slightly at him in confusion. There was something that Strider was not telling her. She did not understand, but she knew that he would tell her nothing more.
The sun had just set, and Evelird was sitting behind Strider, with her hands wrapped around his waist. It seemed that the whole week containing little sleep had finally caught up with her, and she slowly slipped into a light sleep. But she was still aware of the sounds around her. From the wind, to the whispers of Thalion's feet below her walking slowly over the tall grass. When Strider heard Evelird's breathing grow slow, and felt her grip about his waist loosen, he stopped and dismounted. They should rest for the night. He should take advantage of this time that Evelird was asleep. He thoughtfully lifted her off of Thalion's back, and carried her toward a spot where the grass was thick and dry. He had not realized how frail she was, how delicate her body felt in his arms. She had a sad expression painted on her face that held much pain. He laid her down, and watched her. She stirred, and opened her eyes slightly. They seemed to focus on him, but then they closed. The painful lines on her face grew soft, and her brow rose, releasing stiff wrinkles about her eyes.
Evelird relaxed, now. Something about Strider's strong, yet gentle arms wrapped about her, gave her such peace. A deep sigh escaped from her lungs, and she relaxed...letting her dreams swallow her mind up.
She felt a firm hand placed on her shoulder. Evelird tensed at the sudden touch, but then relaxed. Then she heard someone quietly say her name. She did not want to leave her sleep, and go back to the pain of reality. Finally Evelird slowly opened her eyes to see a blurry Strider looking down at her. She blinked, trying to distinguish the lines of his face.
"We must leave now if we are to reach Rivendell by evening." He said before rising. Evelird slowly filled her lungs with the fresh morning air, and sat up. The usual pain in her head came, but it was lighter now. With that encouragement, she stood, and was grateful that it was almost healed completely. Strider was just finishing loading their few supplies atop Thalion's back. She strode up to him, and stroked his nose. He nickered his thanks, as she moved one hand down his neck, to his broad shoulder, giving it a pat. Then she wrapped her arms around his neck, and squeezed her cheek against his neck.
After having a small breakfast, the two of them mounted and set off at a canter.
"We should arrive in Rivendell by nightfall." Strider informed her once again. She could only wonder what this place of the Elves was like. The feeling of actually reaching their destination gave her excitement, and dread. She looked down at her dark green, dirty dress, and thought of what the Elves would wear. Probably white, long, shining dresses, she thought with a sigh.
They reached a small river when the sun was setting, making everything look fiery orange. Droplets of water flew through the air, and looked like diamonds as Thalion pranced through. Nightfall would come soon. They were almost there. Strider gave the signal for Thalion to gallop, and he lunged out of the river-causing Evelird to jolt backward-and gladly gave all of the speed he had. The wind pulled her hair back, and Thalion snorted his pleasure.
Nightfall had come. Evelird held her breath as Strider announced that they had made their destination. The moon was only a hazy figure of dull light, and the stars hid themselves behind the clouds, making sure that she couldn't see much of anything. She heard the sound of Thalion's hooves trotting over stone, and she thought she could make out a narrow bridge beneath them.
As they kept advancing forward, Evelird thought she saw figures of tall people, but they were more like shadows: motionless, and mysterious. Soon they dismounted and someone took their horse. She followed Strider, and by how quickly he moved in such a dark place, she could tell he really had lived here at one time. She trembled with anticipation, and insecurity of this eerie place. Even without sight, she knew that this place was indeed very different. It smelled of fresh flowers, and other growing things, but she could not decide what. The sound of distant waterfalls whispered in her ear, and the birds were quieting down. Even the air carried the feeling of long age, and beauty.
They made their way to a room where a tall elf gracefully walked up to them.
"Why have you come?" He asked, in a musical tone, so unfamiliar to her.
"I will tell you." Strider said, "But first, find this maiden a room." The tall figure looked from one to the other, then nodded, and walked in the opposite direction Strider and Evelird had come. She was shown to a room, which soon had two other elves preparing it for her. Feeling a hand placed gently on her shoulder, she looked back and saw Strider and the elf walk away, leaving her to stand alone in the darkness. Then slowly, as if the floor were about to crumble beneath her, she walked inside the room. She saw that it had a bed, wardrobe, and a small night table where a candle was perched.
The elves faced her, and one asked, "Is there anything else you may need?"
"No." Evelird said quietly, but as kindly as she could. They bowed slightly and left the room.
Evelird looked around once more, not knowing what to think. She sat on the soft bed and realized how sickly tired she was. Meekly, she pulled her worn shoes off, and brushed some dirt off of her arm. Then she lay down, and pulled the sheets over her cool body.
Thanks for reading! I hope you liked it. This cliffhanger, wasn't all that bad was it? Anyway, please tell me what you think.