Awaking sometime late the next morning, Jessina took a moment to assess her wounds. There were several large lumps on her head, as she soon found; as well as a broken leg and many deep gashes. She frowned- and on finding this painful too, she felt her mouth and realized that there was a wide cut on her lower lip.
“That was some storm you lived through,” a voice from beside the bed said. It was Gandalf, whom she hadn’t noticed was sitting there.
“I suppose it was.”
“Do you remember it?”
“Not in the least.” He pulled out a pipe, lit it, and puffed on it thoughtfully for a moment before sending a large smoke ring across the room.
“You were found on the shore near the wreckage of what seemed to be a small boat. So it can be assumed you were sailing. It can also be assumed that the storm overturned your craft, and thus you were injured. But that does not explain why you were out sailing in a storm, or from where, or why you where alone.” He looked to her as if waiting for an answer.
“Honestly, I remember nothing.” She sighed tiredly. “No matter how hard I think, the farthest back I can remember is to the last wave taking my boat.”
“You don’t remember where you come from or why you were on the ocean during a storm?” She shook her head.
“None of it,” she answered. He puffed on his pipe again in silence for a few minutes, which was presently interrupted by a loud growling noise. Jessina blushed and looked at her stomach. Gandalf smiled.
“It would seem you’ve gotten your appetite back. That’s the first sign of recovery.” His broad grin reached to his eyes, making them sparkle. “I’ll call for some lunch.”
It seemed to Jessina that as soon as he said this, a person appeared carrying a tray laden with fruit, fresh bread, water, and two bowls of steaming soup. Gandalf took his food and the tray was set across Jessina’s lap so she might sit up and eat. The food was wonderful- even such a simple meal seemed to have a certain elegance to it that she could not place. In fact, the whole room did. She stopped in mid-chew and looked around, puzzled at this strange feeling. Gandalf watched her for a moment before speaking.
“What’s wrong, my dear?”
“Nothing’s wrong… I just… feel something.”
“Feel something?” he looked around. “Like what?”
“I don’t exactly know- it’s as though this whole place isn’t truly real, and I’m just now realizing it.” She was surprised how easy it was to talk to him.
Gandalf gave a chuckle. “That is the magic of the elves, my dear girl. They have a quality to them that mortals cannot seem to place.”
“Elves?” she repeated. He gave her an odd look.
“Surely you know of the elves?” She shook her head and he sighed. “Well then, there is much to tell you. I suppose I could do so while we ate, but there is so much to tell it would probably carry on until this lunchtime next week. So I’ll keep it short.”
He proceeded to explain about all the different races of a place called “Middle-earth,” which was apparently where she was right now. From what she gathered, it was a place near the Gray Havens, a kind of port-city- or had he said it was a mountain range? She lost track and began to nod, and soon Gandalf could see she was tired. He smiled and took her tray away, pulling a blanket around her shoulders.
“The rest is for another day,” he said, taking out his pipe again. He began to puff on it, blowing a smoke ring every few minutes, as he sat deep in thought while Jessina slept.
((Because this chapter is a bit short, I’m putting up chapter 7 as well. Enjoy! ))