She looked odd all in white. Like a bride, but a bride to some forsaken thing, something she hated, for the scowl on her face spoke of it. Katrina drew herself from the mirror and hugged Mithita. ‘He loves you,’ she whispered.
Mithita pulled away, ?I know, and I love Him. Long have I spoken with Iluvatar. We are friends, Him and I. My faith in Him has never wavered, even here, Katrina, God can speak, and He has spoken to my aching heart, the others have chosen to ignore the soothing touch of His love. But I will not, I will live with Him forever.? Her eyes glinted and a fire was there. A fire of faith, the same thing Katrina had seen in her father and her families eyes, in her eyes. His fire in this hurting girl.
The heavy footfalls of soldiers entered the caves. ‘Nenuial, Lord Aradae has demanded your presence.’ She was rudely interupted.
Drawing a deep breath, she looked at Mithita, who threw her a reasuring look. Nodding, she turned to the soldiers. ‘And I will go.’ Katrina walked with measured steps to the Dark Minions. Mordae clasped her forearm in his hand and led her out of the cave, the others following. Slowly, the White Ladies also followed, then the Daughters.
Katrina walked with her head held high, ignoring Mordae?s tight grip. As they entered the main cavern, she saw Aradae. He sat upon his throne of evil, his eyes angry. About his shoulders was cast a dark cloak that shrouded him in blackness. Rising he held out his hand. ‘Nenuial, we have much to speak of.’
‘I am hear to listen,’ she coldly replied.
‘Mordae, bring her here.’ The crowd of Dark Minions fell back to line the right side of the chamber, the White Ladies the left and the Daughters lined the entrance. Mordae shoved her before himself and muttered something about not angering him, but Katrina did not listen.
Lord, give me strength. I am sorry for forgetting You. You are greater than anything I have ever trusted in. She closed her eyes, lifting her silent prayer to her God. She felt Mordae shove her the last few feet to the master of these gathered.
Aradae caught her hand in his, and she could feel his lips burn into the back of it. She saw his eyes come to rest on her rings, eyeing each one. Her stomach rose into her throat. He was going to take them from her. A snarl passed his lips, and his burning fingers pulled them from her hands, leaving them bare. ‘You will be my wife,’ he finally growled.
‘I will not.’ She replied with a horse voice, but he didn’t hear her.
‘We will now negotiate what will take place at the ceremony, I will allow you to have it your way, as long as it is acceptable.’ He pulled her up the stairs to his throne. Aradae seated himself and pulled her to stand beside him. ‘The others will help us decide.’ His fingers curled about the rings before shoving them into an inner pocket of his robes.
‘I will not treat with evil.’ Her vioce was stronger now. ‘Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. Not so with the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgement, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.’ [Psalms 1] Katrina looked down at him, her eyes displaying an emotion that was hidden.
Aradae was taken aback for a moment, then let out a loud snarl. ‘You will be one of my wives, and the mother of many of my sons!’
‘No, I will not.’ Her vioce was firm. ‘I will ever be a child of God, forever among the righteous, He will watch over me, in all I do.’
‘You dare deny me again, child!’ He rose and hit her across the face with the back of his hand. How could she still have a blind faith in this God of hers? Even after she had suffered so much pain. She still was not broken, she still stood in counsel of the righteous.
‘I will deny you forever, you withered old man.’ She straightened herself, she had fallen back a step when he hit her.’You deciever, you mocker, you…. you… You child of a fallen angel! I will not sway to your command. I will stand in my God, my Deliverer, my Redeemer. And you can do nothing to stop me.’
‘Can’t I? Where was your God when the whips bit your flesh? Where was God when Valeth captured you? Where is your God? He sits high in His cloud, forgetting you, child. He will not save you from me. He does not suffer your pain. He watches, with laughter.’ Aradae let out his own mangled laugh, hideous and echoing in the chamber.
Katrina closed her eyes and said, ‘You are mistaken.’ Then, with a glowing contenance and eyes glaring at him, ‘He is here, among us, in my heart. He has not forgotten me. He will save me. He does suffer my pain. And He does not laugh at my hurt and your evil. He looks upon all of this with anger. Anger at you, Aradae, not me. Your reign will not last long.’
‘I do not believe what you speak of.’ Aradea beckoned for Mordae. ‘Take her back to the cave. I do not want to argue today. Today Earenen died, many years ago. Now go, leave me. Nenuial, for my first borns sake, you will go without punishment, I am weary…’ He slumped back down into his throne and rested his head in his hand, his eyes closed.
Katrina walked herself down the stairs to meet Mordae, who took her by the arm. ‘Come, Nenuial.’ He pushed her towards the entrance. The Daughters all left to their cavern, their feet carrying them swiftly. White cloaked women followed them, then the Dark Minions. They were all that remained in the cave, but for Valeth, who was slowly aproaching the throne. Mordea looked at his mother’s slow steps, and the pain he saw in her eyes. Then, he pushed Katrina out into the dusk of night.
Valeth closed her eyes for a second. She could hear her husbands quiet sobs, for they were also on her lips, only hers were silent. Many nights she had cried, and now, the tears were gone, she had none left to weep. ‘Kalenen?’ She trudged up the steps to her husband.
‘Leave me,’ he muttered. Aradae did not look up, he just burried his head into his arms.
‘No, I feel the same pain as you. Too long have we ignored each other’s hurt. Let us face it head on.’ Valeth gently touched his arm, trailing her hot fingers over him to his shoulder, finally to his cheek. He looked up at her, his eyes pleading for something lost.
‘We are very different now, my love,’ he whispered. His hand snaked up to clasp hers. ‘Very different.’
‘Yes, it is so, and you are not who I married, but we both have the same pain. The same loss. Earenen would not want to see his father like this. Hurting, and turned to evil ways. It was your kind that killed him, Aradae.’ Valeth spueezed his hand in hers. ‘Much has changed.’
‘No, only I have. You, my love, are only growing younger, more beautiful in your immortallity. I have changed into a bitter old man. You would still be in the Queen’s service in Eryn Lasgalen, if it were not for me. I have forced you into your change.’ He looked away from her, not wanting to look at the woman he had brought into his own mess.
‘I followed you, hoping you would become who you were, but it was foolish hope. I should have known you wouldn’t return to the goodly man I married. Now look at you. A husband to many unwilling women. A father, to so many hurting children.’ Valeth pulled her hand away from his. ‘Neither of us are who we used to be. We have both changed.’
‘But Ivorwen, can we not return to our old lives?’
‘No, for no longer are you Kalenen, Aradea, and I am not Ivorwen. I long to return to that old name, but now, now I am Valeth. And this cursed fire is within us both, a fire you put there. I have not forgotten.’ She turned and quickly descended the stairs. ‘I pray that you draw away from your misery.’
‘Ivorwen!’ Aradae rose to his feet, his pace quick as he followed her. ‘Wait, I-‘
‘What is it, Aradae? What do you want from me?’ Her vioce was cold, anger rising in her heart.
‘We attack Gondor in one weeks time. All go, but for the little ones. Even the Grey Daughters will go. I assume you have taught them in the way of the sword?’ Aradea, now angered by his wife’s arrogance, was determined to take his anger out on someone.
‘Yes, they are just as formidable as the Dark Minions.’ Valeth kept walking as she spoke. ‘They will be ready to attack. Is it Minas Tirith we aim for?’
‘Yes, we will swipe their precious capital from them, killing their king and his family. Aragorn, son of Arathorn, will not live long,’ he grinned as his honey like vioce sentanced Gondor to its doom.
Valeth stepped outside and cringed. He was a malicious man, one she should have rid the world of long ago….
Arwen watched her daughter as she spun about in a circle, holding a flower to her chest. A bright melody played out from between Elenloth’s lips, but there were no words, just blissfull noise. Slowly that lovely music fell into a bitter harmony, writ with sadness and pain. Her hands dropped the flower and it fell onto the ground, wilted and mangled.
‘Come now, why the tears?’ A light masculine vioce asked, causing Arwen to duck farther into the shadow.
The girl jumped, spinning to see who was speaking. Then she relaxed when she identified the one who spoke. ‘Oh, Ada, I miss her.’ Elenloth was wrapped in strong arms, her own reaching around a broad chest. ‘She was so kind to me and she acted like she understood. Well, like she wanted to understand.’
‘Ai, child, it is so. Katrina struck me as a caring person as well. She loved you, like a younger sister. But stay these tears! Eldarion and your father will have her back soon. I believe your brother is rather fond of her, he will see to it she returns.’ Celeborn kissed the top of her head. He had seen Arwen watching and looked right at her. ‘Other’s care too, like your parents, and myself.’
‘Oh, but you don’t understand, Ada. You have seen too much, you know to much…’ Elenloth took in the scent of him. The day would come when he would leave Middle Earth, just as his wife had, leaving her and her family to death. ‘Death…’ she whispered in a gasp.
‘What was that, child?’ Celeborn drew in a staggering breath, his eyes still penetrating Arwen, his granddaughter.
A gasp caught in her throat. It felt as if the wind was knocked out of her as her daughter continued. Arwen slumped to sit at the base of tree, her face ashen.
‘That’s what you will leave us to. Death. You leave this place in your pretty Elvish boats, leaving us here to death, saving yourself and none other.’ Elenloth looked up, pulling away from her great-grandfather. ‘Ada, why must you leave? Why must my mother stay? She is of your kind.’
‘Oh, my dear dear daughter… Arwen chose her pathway. She chose your father for her husband, forsaking the immortal life. She loves him very much, child… Why should we be made to stay and watch the earth die around us? Can we not have peace?’ He answered her question with statement and then a query. Celeborn had not thought that this little girl was capable of such comprehenson.
‘Why should we be made to die? Why do you get peace when we have none?’ She looked at him with a shrewd eye.
‘Why is the earth as it is? Why is there peace at all?’
‘Why are some meant to suffer while others are healthy? Why can peace not be evenly spread?’
‘Why are you so wise, my little daughter?’ Celeborn smiled. ‘Iluvatar made the earth. It is as He made it, it is as it is. Who are we to question His judgement?’
‘Ai, you make much sense, Ada.’ Elenloth smiled, her eyes alight. ‘I think I nearly gave my mother a heartattach!’
Arwen shakily stood and drew from the shadows. ‘You knew I was here?’
‘Yes, mother, I knew.’ Elenloth wrapped her mother in a hug. ‘I’m glad you chose father,’ she whispered.
‘So am I… So am I…? ‘ Arwen looked up at Celeborn and knew he understood. The love in his eyes made her want to cry. She missed them… Her father and mother and Galadriel. At least she still had this man here, for a time. But, Elenloth was right, he was only here for a short while longer….
Hey, what do you all think? I thought throwing in a bit with Arwen and Elenloth would assure they were still in existance… I’ve neglected them! : (