Caleb, Merry and Pippin sat expectantly in a tall oak tree waiting for the next victim of their new practical joke to come along. They had a bucket of ice water mixed with grape Jell-O powder.
They had wasted the first bucket on Legolas. That darn elf was just to fast on his feet for that kind of joke.
They had decided to wait for a dwarf, as they usually produced the most satisfying results. Caleb had decided to wait for a chance to dye Legolase’s hair while he was sleeping, maybe green would be a good color for a wood-elf…
There was the unmistakable sound of a dwarf crunching along the path under the tree, Caleb signaled to his new friends and they both nodded and got the bucket ready. It was Gimli. The dwarf paused as if he suspected something and looked up.
Caleb whistled and Pippin tipped the bucket, the dwarf saw a purple mass of liquid falling at him and closed his eyes and ducked his head just in time. Lucky for him he was wearing dark clothes.
Colleen sat on top of the Gate talking to her new brother, Aldamir. They spoke in Sindarin elvish, apparently Quenya had been outlawed by an angry Thingol. It was a good thing she had chosen to learn, or start to learn the more common form of elvish, and after spending three weeks with these people, she was, if not fluent, at least she could speak it passably.
“Is it not beautiful Aldulya?” He grinned at using the name his father had given her. She had no idea why, but she couldn’t honestly say she minded, it had a rather nice sound to it.
“Of course it is, how many mortals get to see the Sun rise over Gondolin?” It was just starting to creep over the horizon, warming the dark blue sky with gold, rose and orange.
Something disturbing tugged at her memory, and she felt a deep sickening feeling that something was watching, waiting to strike.
She pushed the thought away and concentrated on her birth father, John, wondering what he would think of this new development. And for a fleeting moment she wondered if she had betrayed her real family by accepting Glorfindel’s adoption into his.
Aldamir gazed at her with affection. “What are you thinking about?”
“My birth family, I was just wondering what they would think of this.”
“Of the Sun rising over our city? I think if they are anything like you they would love it.”
“You know what I meant.”
” Is there not enough love in your heart for two families, two races?”
Colleen thought for a moment before nodding. “Then they have no reason to resent it. Where are they? Are they alive?”
“Yes they are alive, as far as I know. ” Then she thought of Caleb in Rivendell, an wondered how she had come to be here in the first place, this dream, if that’s what it was, had gone on longer than and dream had a right to. She wondered as she listened to cheerful sound of conversation, mingling with song and laughter, why the heck she was in Middle Earth at all.
Suddenly all of the pleasant sounds died away and Colleen heard a sound that filled her soul with dread, the harsh below of an orc horn. Aldamir gasped in horror as the gates shook with a second blast. All movement ceased.
Aldamir came to his sense first. “Get to your homes, arm yourselves, we have been found by the enemy!”
He climbed down from the wall and motioned for Colleen to do the same. She bit her lip and climbed down, one good thing about these elven clothes, they were loose and didn’t impair her climbing much.
She tripped on the hem of the gown near the bottom and had to jump the last four feet or so. Aldamir was waiting at the bottom and as soon as she landed he ran for Glorfindel’s house. Colleen followed hitching up the dress so that she could run and keep pace with him. All around them the other people of Gondolin were doing the same, she couldn’t see Isilya and Glorifindel, but she knew they were nearby.
When she got to the house Aldamir was waiting for her. ” Change into something you can fight in, your skill with the sword will be very useful today, I fear.”
Colleen nodded and ran to her room, she quickly found a pair of green breeches, a white shirt, a sleeveless green tunic and a cloak. she pulled them on with a pair of high leather boots and ran out to meet Aldamir.
He nodded in approval and noticed that while she had removed the wreath and other jewelry she had not taken off the pendant that bore the symbol of his house. He handed her a well sharpened broad sword in a leather sheath and strapped one around his waist while slinging still another over a shoulder for his father. Colleen noticed that he too had shed his finery for more functional clothing. Ready for the battle ahead they ran from the house to find Glorfindel and Isilya.
Colleen swallowed the lump in her throat and tried not to think about the horrors ahead. There was a reason she was here, maybe to save Glorfindel, though what she could do against a balrog she did not know. The city walls were shaking with the force of a battering ram that the orcs and trolls were slamming against the Gate. Tears filled her eyes as the Sun made its way over the world to bring a horrific day. A hopeless dawn.
Then she remembered what Aragorn had said to the orcs in the Battle of Helms Deep, he had said, ‘dawn is the hope of Man.’ Colleen swallowed, there was only one other member of humanity in the city, but maybe between the two of them they could raise sufficient hope to at least save these people.
They found Glorfindel and his wife waiting for them by the gate and Aladamir handed his father his sword without a word. Then he turned to is mother and gave her a dagger. Both of them took the weapons in silence. Words were not needed, they all knew they were in for the battle of their lives. Correction, they were in a battle for their lives.
The gates shook and groaned. The ram hit again, and the wood that made up the Gates of Summer for all those years began to splinter. Colleen bit her lip and loosened her sword, knowing that the next hit would break down the gates. The ram slammed into the Gates of Summer and they broke. In the same moment Colleen, Gorfindel, Aldamir and Isilya all drew their weapons.
Orcs poured in, not as many as she had expected, but enough. One orc in Colleen’s book was one too many after getting her first look at them. They were a bit more human than they had been in the movie, but not much. Their very homiod appearance made them all the more terrible. There were at least eight trolls and Many of the orcs (apparently the leaders) were riding on wargs. There were many riderless wargs as well.
One leapt at her and she slew it with a stroke of her sword on it’s hairy neck. It was every bit as deformed as she had imagined it. Dark red blood poured from its neck and Colleen almost threw up. She kept her stomach in line somehow and ran an orc through that had been about to attack Isilya.
The blood flowed and the day blurred into a long on going struggle. She remembered nothing except the smell of hot blood and the sound of death cries until she saw Tuogon fighting his way towards them, slaying orcs, wounding trolls and beheading wargs as he came.
It was then that she felt the bood flowing from a wound in her shoulder. Strange, but that ws the exact place the Witch King had stabbed her, she felt sure of it.
Tuorgon called out.” Glorfindel, get out of here, we are leaving the city, Gondolin is lost ! Meaglin is holding Idril in the Citadel, Tuor and I are going to try and resucue her. Leave, go to-”
His words were cut off as to her horror she saw a black curving blade protruding from Tuorgon’s chest.