The Return of the Shadow - Part 10--Bonds of fire
She held out her hand in greeting, hoping he would know what to do with it. He stopped in front of her and reached out his own hand. He grabbed her's tightly. As soon as their hands touched she saw a rope of fire shoot from his hand to her's. The fire shot up her arm into her chest. Something slammed against her chest, trying to get free. Her sight blacked and she had a vision of a great boulder of ice, a small flame burning within it. A column of fire struck it hard and the small flame inside struck it feebly from the inside. The two columns merged instantly and the ice block was shattered. The tiny flame burst into a pillar of fire, joined by the original rope of fire. They merged until there was no telling one from the other.
Fire raced under her skin, barely contained by her flesh. She felt a rope of fire stretch out of her chest to her left and at the end of it there was a miniature sun that shone brightly in her mind. She wanted to follow her rope but she was too weak. Her limbs felt like water and her skin was dry and stretched.
She was faintly aware of noise, voices, above her. A hand touched her arm, damaging the sensitive skin on it. It quickly withdrew, as if something had frightened it.
"Ow!" An elf shouted.
"Quiet, now." A male commanded.
"She's hot! Go on feel her yourself, it's not natural! Are you sure she's alive? With a heat like that in her body her brain is probably boiled." She heard footsteps come close to her.
"No, not dead, at least not yet. Look she's still breathing." Nenuesa tried to open her eyelids but she did not have the strength to do even that.
"Look here," the male said; "she's burned. Her skin is raw all over." She could feel someone's breath on her arm.
"How do you suppose that happened? There's no evidence of a fire."
"I've no idea. Can you rig up a stretcher? We can't move her without hurting her but it will be less painful for both of us if we can find one." Quick footsteps shuffled away. After a few minutes she heard something dragging something across the wood floor. Nenuesa felt something slide under her back, unfortunately her dress was made from very fine silk and did not provide much padding for her burned skin. She whimpered softly in pain.
"Stop Halentil. You'll hurt the lady." The pushing stopped.
"How are we to get her out of here?" Someone asked indignantly.
"We can't. We'll have to get a healer in here."
"I'll see to it." Again footsteps hurried away across the floor.
Nenuesa debated healing herself and decided against it. Her power was out of control; she could barely control her own, let alone the Shadow's. Her magic roared in her chest, trying to get free. She quickly forced it into submission but the exertion made her head spin and her vision black. Once again consciousness slipped her grasp.
She awoke feeling bulky and stifled. She could barely move her appendages. When she opened her eyes all she saw was black. Her skin was oddly slick but it felt much better than it had before. She made weak attempts to move her limbs and as she managed to move her left leg she heard an odd rustling sound.
She heard muffled footsteps approach her bed.
"Ah, she's awake. Come Laiden, help me with these bandages." Another set of footsteps approached quickly and a pair of hands lifted her up, though she could barely feel them. Another pair of hands tugged slowly at her face, peeling something from her eyes. She hissed at the sudden light entering through the many windows around the room.
"Stop that and hold still." A kind looking woman with pale blonde hair and gray eyes said softly. She stopped flinching and sat up blinking owlishly. While the woman and her assistant, a smaller woman with hair a shade darker than her companion's and blue eyes started to remove the cloth bandages wrapped up and down her entire body she studied her surroundings. The two women were wearing healer's robes so she guessed they were in the infirmary. The circular chamber had high windows on all sides except for the wall with the door. Most of the light in the room came through a large skylight in the domed ceiling. All of the windows were partway open, permitting a gentle breeze to waft through. The rest of the room was made of dark wood inlayed with other rare woods to create a flowing design that circled the whole circumference and even flowed to the ceiling and floor. There were about twenty other beds set against the walls covered in grays, browns, and greens, though she was the only occupant.
The healers had finished unwrapping her and left with orders to wear a robe at all times to protect her still sensitive skin from the sun. She looked down and saw she was clad only in her undergarments. There was a gray robe at the foot of the bed and a green dress in elvish fashion to accompany it. She dressed hurriedly; the dress still irritated her skin somewhat because the healers salve had not healed her completely. She donned the robe and stepped out of the bed onto her weak legs. Her knees felt like water and she had to steady herself on the wall to get to the door.
A maiden was standing in the corridor just outside the door. She walked over to Nenuesa and grabbed her arm to support her.
"Mae Govannen," she said pleasantly.
"Hello," Nenuesa countered warily.
"Do you not speak elvish?" She asked curiously, a strange look adorned her face wide, pale face as her blue eyes flicked over Nenuesa.
"I do not." Nenuesa said pointedly. The she-elf muttered something in the language of the elves and a shadow of worry crossed her face.
"Never mind that, we shall converse in the common tongue," she said, her voice cheery once more. Nenuesa doubted she would be in the company of this stranger long enough to converse at all.
"Who are you?" She said, suddenly remembering herself.
"The prince asked me to show you around for today so you can become comfortable with Mirkwood." She said just as cheerily but not answering the question.
"Your name, if you please," Nenuesa said, slightly annoyed.
"Lorielde of Laurelindorenan." The strange girl smiled.