Alenor didn’t remerge from her cottage throughout the entire day. She didn’t emerge because she was lost in anguish from a past that haunted her and past she had hoped would left her alone.
It was in the darkness on night while Alenor sat staring at hands she could not see when Eowyn came to her. At first Alenor saw nothing, then she saw the little red flame bobbing in the darkness and drawing nearer. Alenor though didn’t bother to go and greet the person coming to the door, who she knew was Eowyn. The knock on the door came next and even then Alenor stared at it like it was a figment of her imagination. The flame moved to the window then Alenor saw Eowyn’s face creased with worry. Her look swept across Alenor and the cottage, then she disappeared. This time there wasn’t even a knock, Eowyn opened the door.
“Alenor we need you’re help! We could lose Theodred without it!” Eowyn wasted no time telling her why she was here.
“He is already dead Eowyn,” Alenor said hollowly. “Already dead before he came home.” Alenor didn’t see Eowyn move, but she felt it on her cheek, the stinging left by some one who has slapped you. Alenor looked up Eowyn looked as if she were a blazing fire.
“I will not hear such from your mouth again Alenor! I only heard that from your mouth when you came to us in rags from what was once a beautiful dress and half-starved from not eating! Since then you have always had hope! What’s happened to you?” Eowyn raged. Alenor looked down ashamed.
“I have always tried with a smile on my face when every one said it would be impossible,” Alenor admitted. “But not now Eowyn!!” Another sting fell across her face.
“Do you hear yourself?” Eowyn demanded. “Friends are not supposed to hit one another, but here I am slapping you! You’re not yourself. You’re just a drawn hermit now without a care of the world! You don’t try any more!” Eowyn fumed and stormed out of the cottage slamming the door behind her so hard it rattled on its hinges.
Alenor sat for a while in the bitter blackness of night dwelling on Eowyn’s words and once in a while touching her cheek where still a dull sting clung on as if reminding her of her unwillingness to help Theodred. Every time though when she thought she could help she wondered bitterly what she could do.
Alenor wasn’t sure how much later it was, but her back was stiff from sitting so erect and a pale dawn was casting in her room when Alenor suddenly jumped up as if life had given her another chance. Taking time only to remove the quiver on her back from the last practice Alenor raced head out the door into the receding blackness. Even so she didn’t even heed the danger as she was sent flying hither and thither by unnoticed objects in the gloom.
What a sight she must have looked as she raced into Theodreds room. Eowyn looked up from where she had been pressing an already blood soaked cloth against Theodreds wound. Eomer just stared and failed miserably in the composure he tried to put on as he mouth was slightly agape. Eowyn smiled briefly before returning to her task.
“I knew you would come given the thought and chance,” she murmured. As is suddenly noticing that his mouth was slightly agape Eomer closed it only to reopen it a second later.
“Alenor, what do you know about medicine?” he asked quickly. Alenor shook her head in a regretful way.
“Only what my mother taught me and even then I know little as I was often dreaming of doing something much more fun then sitting around and listening to her,” she said sadly.
“Well never mind that Alenor! Push up your sleeves, or what’s left of them, and help out. I myself cannot do much other then sit and watch or talk to him,” Eomer explained. Alenor wasted no time she quickly picked up the basin of water that was red to the rim and dumped it placing in clean water. Eowyn nodded graciously and squeezed the blood soaked cloth into the water then placed it against his wound again. Alenor prepared herself for a long strenuous night or what was left of it. Then again Alenor smiled she always did when the going got worse then you could imagine!
The night though past quickly, melded with fear and survival everything else went unnoticed. By the time the sun was high in the sky Alenor’s arms ached defiantly from pouring blood stained water out and placing clean in. Eowyns hands were blood soaked from the efforts to staunch his wound.
“If only we had the healing power of the Elves,” sighed Eomer as he closed his weary eyes for a moment. He then ran his hand over Theodred’s brow. Alenor saw him looking at her though.
“Healing power of the Elves?” she snorted, looking at Theodred. “Do not look at me such Eomer I see your eyes upon me. Go to Théoden after you’ve cleaned up a little show him that Sauruman has betrayed us.” Eowyn raised her head from where it had rested on the bedside.
“My Uncle would not notice and Wormtongue will notice and defy,” she said wearily. “But if you stay here to tend Theodred we will go to him.” Alenor nodded and Eowyn got up. Eomer raised himself from the chair.
“I would get that blood off your hands my sister before you see the King,” he told her.
“And my brother I would suggest you better looking clothes then that on,” Eowyn told him and walked out room with deadly grace. Eomer followed her closing the door behind him. As the door shut with a click behind him Alenor let the smile slide off her face. It hurt to keep it there so long, but she had had to keep the other twos hopes up. She kneeled on the floor and pressed the cloth against his wound with her other hand she grasped Theodreds hand firmly in hers.
“Theodred if you can hear me,” she whispered closing her eyes unable to look at him any longer. “Please know that we are there for you. Don’t leave, do not leave your land before your father is well. Theodred please if you can hear me wake up!” Tears of anguish slipped down her face as she tried to hold back the tidal wave of tears that was forming behind her eyes making her sight shimmer. Alenor suddenly gave a yelp looking up. Theodred was looking at her, his eyes filled with pain he would not admit to.
“I heard your voice it was a beacon in the darkness,” he whispered weakly. Alenor placed more pressure.
“Hush Theodred,” she whispered soothingly to him. “Everything will be alright. Everything will fine.” Theodred shifted slightly and grimaced, but no sound escaped his lips.
“No, I won’t make it,” he painfully looking at her sympathetically. “Please tell Eowyn, my father and Eomer I love them deeply.” He paused for a breath. “I do not think I shall wake again Alenor. You were always my inspiration.” He still breathed, but Alenor could tell he was slipping back into unconsciousness.
“Theodred!” she screamed desperately squeezing his hand. “Theodred wake up! Please! This will all be over and you will rise again! Theodred!!!” With her last scream she heard the door open.
“Alenor, Alenor is he dead?” came Eowyns frightened whisper.
“Not yet Eowyn. He stills lives by a thread,” Alenor whispered sadly lowering her head onto the side of the bed.
“Why were shouting?” Eowyn asked sitting where Eomer had sat before. Alenor didn’t realize his absence at the moment though.
“He awoke and spoke to me,” Alenor answered softly closing her eyes to hold down a rush of tears. The vow, she had made a vow never to cry again she would hold it.
“Leave Alenor and rest I will tend to Theodred myself,” Eowyn said. Alenor looked up at Eowyn.
“Eomer where is he?” she asked suddenly noticing his absence.
“He attacked Wormtongue in the Hall and he banished Eomer and Uncle didn’t even do anything!” Eowyn answered fiercely. Alenor stood up forcing her knees straight and not to collapse beneath her weight.
“Are you sure you can handle this on your own?” Alenor asked softly again holding back the tidal wave of tears. Eowyn nodded and Alenor left the room.
By the time she came to the cottage Alenor had very nearly given up hope on her vow. Nothing had ever hurt this much. She stumbled across to the bed after shutting the door. Alenor collapsed on the bed. A warrior does not cry. A warrior does not cry. A warrior does not cry . . . she repeated until it was almost a chant running through her head and she fell asleep into a dark dreamless slumber.