Elizabeth sat huddled in fear beside Alice as they hid beneath the thick under-brush of the forest, and she sang in her mind a soft song her mother had allways sung, for the memory of her home eased her fear, somewhat. Alice beside her trembled in fear and wept so that her eyes were redened and sore. Neither of the girls wished to look out from where they lay in hiding, and to see what lay beyond them, what fear-some battle waged forth, in which naught would surely come for the better. ” Are we going to die, Alice?” Elizabeth asked timidly in a hushed whisper, and Alice repied as she held to her dearest friend to comfort her:” I don’t know.”
” It’s really likely, isn’t it?”
” Yeah, sorry to say, but it seems that way.”
” Surley, With Thranduil being an elf and all he would be able to kill them all, right? All the Vampires?”
” Elizabeth, I don’t know!”
” Well, what helps you to feel better when you get frightened?
I allways sing a song that my mom allways sang in the car. It’s not a happy song, but it makes me feel better anyway.”
” Then you just sing your song, Elizabeth, ’cause I’ll bet I’m wrong and we’ll come out of this just fine.”
Thranduil drew from his side a long and gleaming blade that shone with a chilled flame and cast a frail light upon the Vampires. ” It is that Eriendiel seeks now your blood, and I say now it will not be denied its request, you foul creatures of darkness!” He said hrshly and his laughing eyes were changed so that they no longer held within them the dancing light of the stars, but the leaping flames that are the flames of battle. His face was no more fair and kind but it was cold and it seemed an evil light shone from him, or so evil it was only to his foes. A fire burned within him for he felt still the girls in his arms and his memory of something lost was re-kindled and this memory he would keep forever safe from danger. He grimaced:
” Come forth now creatures of Morgoth and slay me if you will, though know now that I shall not die.”
” How are you so brave, elfling?” Threr came a hiss from amidst the Vampires and one of them who was taller than the others and who’s blade was longest and foulest, said unto Thranduil that the ‘little’ elf could not slay the King of Vampi-
res and so that it was he who would die.
” See you now if your judgement lies true!” Thranduil cried and rushed forth, leavig be the King of Vampires, but slayind all who were with him, and so great was his skill that none of the lesser beasts fought, for it was that they saw their death arise and come for them afore the elf would ever touch them.
There were some, though, who fought, but they were less good and so were slain. And when finally it came that Thran-
duil was done with and had felled every Vampire that was to be seen, there was only the King of Vampires who still stood.
” I see now that you are worthy of the word of my people.” The King of Vampires hissed with a dark grin,” But you shall not have it, for I shall remain upon my throne and they will not speak of your name e’er and you shall be felled from your seat of leadership and laid buried beneath the earth, where no word of your glory by the mouths of your own people shall reach your ears!”
Thranduil only smiled and wiped free his blade Eriendil of the black blood of the Vampires, and when it shone once more, he held it high in the air. ” Plead and you shall live!”
” Never!” And the King of the Vampires held, too, his blade up to block Thranduil’s feirce sword as it fell swiftly down.
” Be this some mockery of your folk?!” The elf said with cruel jest to the Vampire’s ears, ” That I should so easily have slain all your warriors in but a moment’s time and that you, their king, should be narry as strong as I, a mere elf?”
” Be silent, insolent fool!” The Vampire King shreiked in rage.
But it was that in this moment the Vampire closed its yellow eye and Thraduil parried its blade and gave it a mighty blow so that it fell upon the earth. Its’ blade fell far from it on the slope of a hill, nigh one hundered paces away.
” If you leave my lands be forever more and torment us no longer, giving me your crown of iron, I shall spare your life, you foul and ugly thing.”
The Vampire King was a power-less beast with no weapon with to hold, and so it wallowed in pity upon the ground and threw its’ crown at Thranduil’s feet. ” It is you have my word at your saftey returned to you, Elf.” It hissed in pethetic cowerdice.
” And we shall no more invade your lands at the cost of our own, but it is that you shall return to the hills with me, for you shall ne’er return to your own lands to sit in glory there, but you shall serve in my house under the confinement of elvish chains.”
And so he took from about his waist a long thin, rope and tied the Vampire King to a tree untill it was decided that they should leave.
Elizabeth was silent in her mind as she heard from out-side of their leafy bower of hidding utter quiet. No swords as there had been clashed and no cries were giv’n, but it was only quiet. Alice was the one who had courage enough to look cautiously out into the forest, and Elizabethwas startled when she gave out a cry. But it was no cry of sorrow, nor was it of fear, it was a cry of joy, for Alice rose and laughed and skipped about merrily. Elizabeth rose as well and what she saw she laughed upon, for there lay all of the Vampires slain and one tied to a tree, and Thranduil came towards them, he not seemingly hurt, and he sheathed his sword when Elizabeth came running to him, but it was Elizabeth alone who did so. ” Thranduil!” She cried in joy,” I Didn’t see any of it, but evidently you were awsome! Oh, they’re all dead!”
” You saved our lives,” Came Alice’s voice from far ahead,” I thank you,Thranduil.” But that was all that she said in thanks and she moved past them like a chill wind in a summer’s evening.
” Oh, don’t mind her.” Elizabeth said as she saw Thranduil’s face confused at why Alice was still angry.” She’ll get over it all, she allways does.”
Thranduil sighed.” Then I suppose now we are thruigh here and we shall flee. The hills lay not far away and so we shall walk and be in the other’s company and if it should grow to be irksome, then we shall run so that we may arrive there all he swifter and then be rid of the other.”
” That sounds wonderfull!” Elizabeth sighed with admiration in her eyes for the beautiful elf and she did not see Alice scowl behind her back. ” Traitor.” Alice mumbled in wrath.
” You little traitor.”
We return to the forests again. Our hobbit friend has lost all faith and finds the true meaning of apathy by the end of this chapter. He is taken captive by a band of elves and one human. This chapter suggests that some of his past will be revealed soon.