The Undying Lands - (chapter 67)
Over the next few weeks, Elen healed rapidly, and as she grew in strength, so did Ariengil. Her heart was healing, and she was coming to terms with Harma's death. She was less sad, and more alive- as she had been when she had first reached the Undying Lands.
Elen could soon walk and speak again, and she spent a lot of her time with Ariengil, though she did not speak of their family at all. The two girls made dresses, drew pictures and cooked in the kitchens of Lorien. They spent time together as they had done as children.
Soon, Ariengil wished to know of what had happened to Elen and the rest of their family. She hinted and probed, she implied and suggested, then finally asked her sister directly.
`Elen, why were you attacked? And why did our family die?' she asked, though she almost whispered it for fear that her sister might cry. Elen looked up at Ariengil slowly, for she had been dreading this conversation for weeks now.
`I suppose I must tell you sometime, though you will not want to know by the end, my sister,' replied Elen sadly. Ariengil said nothing, but took her sister's hand and held it tightly. Comforted, Elen began the tale. `A few months ago, Elure became betrothed to Ungwe. They loved each other very much, and it was the perfect betrothal, I was very happy to welcome Ungwe into our family when she married our brother. However, Nahald disagreed. She watched on enviously, and then began to turn people against our family because of her jealousy.
`Nahald lived not far from here and had always admired Elure and wanted to marry him. She then lied about us to everyone, and said that our father was a betrayer. She said that you were a traitor and had run off and left us. Everyone believed her that mother was from a bad family and deserved punishment. The worst thing was that Ungwe believed all of these lies, and the ones about Elure.
`Elure tried to make Ungwe ignore the lies, but she believed her friend and called off the marriage. The lies still surrounded our family, but Nahald stopped making them up as she had achieved what she wanted. She then tried to make Elure marry her. Elure saw what had happened and ran to find Ungwe.
`Ungwe was sitting alone, near her house, when Elure found her. He ran up to her and embraced her, but she pushed him away violently. They had a heated argument, and lots of people were watching. Elure stepped towards Ungwe and took her arm, to take her away from the crowds, but someone pushed Elure backwards and hit him.
`We decided it was time to leave, but Elure wanted Ungwe to come too. He tried to make her go with us in the middle of the night, but she stayed and caused a commotion. We ran away from Lorien, but were stopped by Nahald. It was then that we realised she used black magic. She made a storm and black things attacked us. I thought them to be bats. They surrounded our family, but by that time, all of our friends had followed us and realised what had happened.
`Elrohir and Elladan grabbed Nahald and pushed her to the ground. The storm stopped, but the black things were still attacking us. Our servants died first, then the creatures attacked mother.' Elen breathed in deeply, and let out a ragged sigh. She squeezed Ariengil's hand tightly, and continued.
`We managed to escape them, but the only way out was away from Lorien. So we left quickly, and our friends were left to tackle the flying beasts. We thought we were safe, but as soon as we left the wood, we were attacked by monsters. I call them monsters, for they were similar to elves, but dressed as orcs. Their skin was dark and grey, and they spoke in a rasping tongue. They were horrible, and brutal. Father killed a few, and so did Elure, but then father fell.' Elen shook as she brought back the memory.
`I could not fight for I was frozen on the spot. I did not know how to fight- I could only guess. Mother fell next and left Elure and myself alone. The beasts made a circle around him and attacked him one by one. There were about ten then, and three once Elure had fallen. They almost didn't notice me, but I screamed as Elure fell.
`The creatures seemed to come towards me so slowly, and the whole time I was backing away. Soon I was against a tree, with nowhere to run to. The first thing that the creatures did was to cut my dress. They shredded the sleeves, and cut my arms too, then slashed the dress across my stomach and pulled the dress off me. I screamed and collapsed to the floor, willing them to kill me quickly.
`One of the brutes took his dagger and slowly, and so painfully, cut my stomach three times. I spat at him because I wanted to provoke him to kill me quickly, but he just slapped my face and cut my cheek instead. He tried to kiss me, but I kicked him. Immediately he broke my arm and cut my legs.
`Then he was about to kill me, but he fell to the ground. Elure was not dead, and had shot the creature with an arrow. He did the same for the second one, but Elrohir killed the third- he appeared from nowhere. He then helped me to lie by Elure. In his last breath, he told me to find you. He told me how much he loved us. Oh Ariengil, I miss him so much,' she cried. They both clung to each other and cried for their family.
After a long while, they both leant backwards and looked at each other through tear filled eyes. Ariengil sniffed gently. `Do you remember-' she began, but coughed gently. She drew in a ragged breath and continued. `Do you remember the time we left home for five days? Just the three of us. We camped out in a field in the middle of nowhere, with a fire and some food. In the morning we found the lake and spent the day there.'
`Oh, yes,' smiled Elen. It was good to see her smile again. `Elure fell in with all of his clothes on, then had to dry them out by the fire.'
`And then some people came upon us unexpectedly and he had to hide in the bushes,' cried Ariengil. They both laughed for a little while, but their happiness ebbed away and they fell silent again, gazing into space and reliving their own memories.
Ariengil was thinking of the time she had found out she was adopted.
*Ariengil ran away from the family's home in tears. She felt excluded from the family as though she was an unwanted creature who just occupied space in their home. She had always wondered why her eyes were blue when her siblings' eyes were green, and she was never as tall as either of them, or as agile. It all made sense now.
The distraught maiden collided with someone, and she looked up into her brother's emerald eyes. He held her tightly and did not let her run away, although she tried.
`Let me go, Elure,' she shouted.
`No, sister, I will not. I wish to talk to you,' he replied calmly, and let her away gently, but strongly, to a bench. They sat, and he started to talk, with his hand holding her arm tightly. `Does it really matter that you are not my blood sister?' he asked. Not waiting for an answer, he continued. `We are so alike in many ways, and get on so well that there is no reason that you are not my sister. Elen and I love you as a sister, and Ada [father] and Naneth [mother] love you as a daughter. Can you not see that?'
Ariengil defiantly shook her head, though she could see what her brother was saying.
`Do not blame our parents for your blood parents deserting you. Ada and Naneth showed their love for you by adopting you and giving you a good life. Love them for this, not hate them.'
Ariengil looked up at her brother and nodded numbly. She trusted Elure so much and would give everything to him if she had to. She grabbed him into a hug and as she put her head against his chest, she felt safer than she ever had done before.*
Elen thought of her brother's eighteenth birthday. They were so young, yet he still loved her and treated her so well.
*`Happy birthday, brother,' cried a very young Elen. Her blonde hair flew everywhere as she jumped onto Elure's bed and woke him. Ariengil flew in after her and pounced on Elure too. They both giggled as Elure peeked up from under his covers.
`Good morning, sisters. How are you this morning?' he replied in a sleepy tone.
`Fine,' they chorused. Their parents walked in and pulled up chairs beside the bed. Kiemen, their father, held a parcel in his hands. He presented this now to his son.
`Father,' gasped Elure before he had opened the present. `Thank you so much,' he cried happily.
`It is from all four of us,' replied his father gracefully. Elure ripped the paper around the present and brought out a fine bow, complete with a quiver and arrows with red feathers. Kiemen laughed in delight at his son's happy smile.
`It is amazing, thank you mother, father and my dear sister's,' he cried joyously. `Come Elen and Arri, let us go and practise immediately.' The girls jumped up and ran out to get some warmer clothes on, while their brother dressed.
That morning, Elure taught his sister's to shoot arrows from his bow, and was patient the whole morning. He did not have a go himself, but was persistent with his sisters, making sure that they were well instructed. He did not use his present at all, but was happy enough to watch his sisters.
Elure was always like that- thinking of others before himself, even on his own special day.*
Sorry it's been so long! My computer had no internet, and now dad connected it again yay thanx dad! so i'll be posting more now
xxx Elgalad xxx