****I recomend reading Chapter 19 before reading this chapter [url=/articles/19908,1.html]here[/url] ****
All she could see was darkness. No, that wasn’t all… There were stars also. Glorious stars twinkled in and out of her vision. But she felt lonely. There was nothing she could touch. Nothing she could feel. A void of emotion, of love, of hate, there was none of that. There was no one beside her. Just the blackness, just the stars, just the void.
A gentle hand reached out to her suddenly, and there was a faint melody she could hear. Katrina could feel God next to her, could see His hand touching her, loving her.
My daughter, it is not your time. You must go back, it is not your time… Go, you are needed…
My God! Do not do this! Do not tear me from You! She reached out to Him with small hands.
I will not. I am always with you, O child of Mine. Be brave, be strong. I sang to you when you were in the pit of despair. I love you more than the sun and the stars that I taught how to shine. You are Mine, and you shine for Me. I love you more than you can imagine…. More than you can fathom…
God… I love You!
Katrina woke to find herself on her side. A pain tore at her back. She couldn’t see clearly, her eyes were swollen. Cool, steady hands touched her back, they did not burn as many others did. They were wet, she realized, and then she felt the darkness over come her again as a hand passed over her eyes…
"She is still alive…?" Malla whispered to the girl tending her back.
Mithita looked up from her work. "Are you sure? I was sure she passed soon after I started."
"She opened her eyes…" Malla gently brushed a blood soaked strand of hair from the still maiden’s face. "I feel bad for her…"
The girl nodded and pressed a cold wet cloth to a thick red slash that was bleeding profusely. "She is strong…"
"Yes." Helkamîr sat on a bed facing the young woman. "No wonder she passed the first test, and the second…" She looked at the maiden and felt pity rise in her. "I’m sorry dear, but your father is treacherous!"
Mithita nodded "I know… I hate him…" She had seen too many women come back burnt of bruised, or like this one, cut so very deep. He hurt her mother the most, but only because his having other wives was eating away at her heart. It was a cruel fate the Valar had given her and everyone else here….
Valeth scowled as she entered the cave that held the throne. ?I saw what they did to her, Aradae. How could you??
"She disobeyed," his answer came easily. He had not been seated on his stone chair, instead he had been waiting for her. "I wish to make amends to you, my power."
"I don’t want you to," she hissed. "I burnt Mithita, and it is your fault."
Mordae bobbed his head and turned to leave.
"No you don’t." Valeth placed a searing hand on his arm.
He looked at her with a pleading gaze. His anger had faded, only hurt remained. All of the men felt this way underneath their show of strength and wisdom. They had craved attention as little boys, but now, now they sought vengeance, but none could have it. He had seen brothers get struck down, seen sisters smacked, this was not as a family should be…
"I want you here, dear," her quiet plea was heard and a sob caught in his throat.
"Valeth!" Aradae strode forward, his arms open. Wrapping them around her, he felt her cringe.
Mordae saw the flinch and fought the urge to plunge his sword into his father. His gaze fell, and he saw something that his father had missed. As his mother’s foot stepped back, the hem of her skirt came above her foot that had once been booted. A dagger was strapped to her ankle. It glinted silver in the dim light. Her sword had been removed from her hip, and normally all weapons would be disposed of after she returned, so that she could not revolt.
He saw her foot come up, and her hand reach out towards it. Fear wracked him, if she even came close, she would be struck dead. That couldn’t happen, not to the mother he loved, even though he often showed contempt to her. She had cared for him when he was small, she had held him in her arms. No one knew but her children that she could control the fire in her, much like Aradae, but she could not extinguish it entirely, and when she was hurting it was impossible for her to control it. She had held him, guarded him with her life, and hid him in her white cloak when his father became enraged at him. This was the woman that loved him with her life! If something befell her he would be lost!
Mordae sucked in a breath and when his father?s eyes had closed while he kissed Valeth he reached out towards her. Her hand was inches from her ankle. She was looking at it out of the corner of her eye, struggling to pull it free. His hand intercepted hers, he snatched it away.
Fury filled her eyes when she realized this.
No, he mouthed, sorrow in his gaze. Her only response was that she closed her eyes and slightly nodded her head.
When she opened her eyes again, he could see the rage boiling in her, not at him, but Aradae.
She shoved her husband away. "Get away from me, son of Morgoth!" Her fist rose and made to strike his nose. But his hand caught it and twisted it around.
"Very well." His honey sweet voice was under toned with hatred. "You have chosen pain!" Another burning hand reached up and seared into her face.
"Father!" Mordae reached a gloved hand out.
"Do not harm her, she is only a weakling. If you harm her, she will only die." A wicked smile spread across his face.
"I suppose you are right… Return her to her cave." Aradae released her from his hold and turned to saunter to his throne.
"If it be your wish, father." Mordae crushed her arm in his hand as he led her from the throne room. Then his hold slackened as he led her to the cavern belonging to the White Ladies.
"Why did you do that? I thought you wanted me dead…" Her words cut into his heart.
"No, mother, you are the only parent I have ever had. I love you, mother, I just don’t understand why you stay with him…." His voice was full of sorrow.
"I see… Come into my home…" Valeth let her fire die for an instant and led him into the ‘home’. When the two of them were behind the stone turn that hid her bed from the others, she wrapped her arms around his neck, and his arms slipped around her waist.
"Mother, I love you…" He wept into her golden hair. The pain in his heart had not eased, he knew that she wanted Aradae dead, just as he did. "Do not attempt to kill him again. Please? I could not stand to lose the only parent I have…"
"No, I will not…" She cried to, and he saw her tears leave bitter marks.
So this is were her white scars come from. He thought to himself. The scars would disappear after a day, but they were clear upon her face. She endured so much…
Eldarion could feel the wind at his back, pushing his mount farther forward. His father beside him had a determined look on his face. Legolas rode on the other side of Aragorn, Gimli seated behind him.
"I thought that I would never ride one of these confounded things again!" the Dwarf guawfed. "These feet were meant to be firmly planted on the ground, not so far from it!"
"Arod makes us swifter, my friend." Legolas called back. ?You knew you would have to ride him back to Eryn Lasgalen, and Rohan, and Fangorn. We have yet to discover all of the mysteries that we promised each other!?
"Ai, but I could walk some of that distance! Now you will not let me leave his back!"
"Gimli, Legolas, we must ride swiftly!" Aragorn smiled over at his friends who were lagging behind. "You are confusing Arod!"
"Ai!" The Elf dug his heels into his horse’s flank. "Noro lim!"
"No!" The Dwarf cried as Arod charged forward. "Slow down!"
Eldarion laughed and also urged his mount on in the tongue of the Elves. He could hear his father do the same, and Brego instantly responded. He could not remember the name of his own steed, it slipped his mind. All he could think about was her. Her soft voice singing to him, talking lightheartedly, she was in his head all the time, invading all of his thoughts. A pain tore at his heart. Something had gone terribly wrong.
Eldarion! Her voice drove him from his thoughts, and he looked to see if any of the others had heard her. They hadn’t, so he searched deep inside of himself.
I’m coming, Katrina. He thought. He turned to see his father watching him, a strange look in his eyes.
"You can hear her?" he whispered.
Eldarion nodded, "As clearly as if she were beside me…"
Aragorn gave no reply. His memory trailed to his own conversations with Arwen before they were married. Clearly, Eldarion loved this girl very much…
Noro lim ~ Ride fast
It’s been a very long time, far longer than I would have liked. I was having computer problems and also have a very tough load at school this year…
Okay, so isn’t Mordae a little wishy-washy? Yeah, that’s what I thought. Okay, so to prevent themselves from being killed, all of the Dark Minions act as though they hate their mothers, and quite believably too. While, in their hearts their mothers are the only ones who care about them, so they really love them. Mordae was a good example of that, so I included it in the story.