Gilraen awoke crying out “Estel!”
She was covered in sweat and her heart was racing from the fright of her dream. Raion sat up and tried to comfort her. His arms felt safe and yet she felt the terror grip her heart even harder.
“Something is wrong. I know it.”
“What could be wrong my love? Estel is not that far from Rivendell and he is in the best company possible.”
“I know that, but something has happened. I can feel it. There is no way to explain it except to say I have a gut feeling Estel is in trouble. I had that feeling one other time, and my husband never came back to me from that battle.”
Gilraen jumped up and started to get dressed. “Where are you going?” Raion asked
“I have to go talk to Elrond.”
“Love the sun has not risen yet. Elrond will be sleeping. You can’t go waking him up just because you have a feeling.”
“If I want to see my son alive again I have to go wake him. No matter what time it is.”
“Alright, I am coming with you.”
“You need to stay for Sermë.”
“She should come because we don’t know what will happen.”
Raion went to wake up Sermë, while Gilraen finished dressing. Suddenly tears started falling unchecked down her face. She felt such dread and fear grip her that she could do nothing. She sat on her bed reaching out to that unseen hand to give her strength. She could not help but ask for Eru’s strength because she was not sure she could face loosing another person in her life. Strength came from that unseen hand, and she knew she needed to get ready and see Elrond.
Sermë was ready in a flash and they headed to Elrond’s house. Lights around the last lonely house lit up the road leading to the house so they knew that Elrond was indeed up even though it was well before morning.
“He knows,” was all Gilraen said.
At that moment Glorfindel stepped out of the house and was surprised to see them standing on the path. “OH Gilraen, I was coming to get you. Elrond needs you.”
“You know how?”
“I had a dream and I know something has happened to them.”
“You better come in.”
Gilraen took a breath and walked purposefully into the house. She was not going to let her emotions take over right now. She needed to see Elrond and be strong for her son.
Elrond was meeting with his advisors and generals when they came into the room. “Gilraen, Raion I am so glad you have come. Something is wrong with the boys. A dream came to me in my sleep. Elladan was calling out to me for help. It is a dreadful thing I think that has befallen them.”
“I too had a similar dream. We cannot let anything happen to them Elrond. I don’t think I can handle another death.” Gilraen felt her knees grow weak and if it had not been for Raion’s Arm around her she was sure she would have collapsed.
“Get me water now.” Elrond barked to his aide. “Here Gilraen, sit down.” She sat and water was brought to her and she drank thankfully. “I am ok now. It was just a moment of fear.”
“Know this Gilraen I will do all in my power to save them. They are my sons I could not stand to loose them either.” Elrond looked vulnerable and scared for a minute but that was gone as he stood and turned to his men “No time to loose. I would like to be out of here in an hour. Raion you are coming with us. Gilraen stay here. No use you waiting home alone.”
Immediately noise filled the house as elves went to do their bidding. Raion went home to get his gear and was back in a short time. He spent what little time he had with Gilraen. He wished to give her confidence that all would be well but all he could give was his strength and assurance that they would their best to make everything right.
One hour went past and they were on their way. It was a formidable group, Elrond leading an army of 100 elves. Gilraen watched them with Sermë at her side. Sermë was crying but Gilraen was strong. She just knew she needed to be for Sermë’s sake and for herself. “Sweetheart you know that Estel could not have better help than being with his brothers and having his father looking for him don’t you?”
“Yes, but I am still scared.”
“I know, believe me, I know.”
Estel awoke and could not believe how bad his head hurt. He tried to open his eyes but only one seemed able to work. He tried to bring his hand to his face and wipe away whatever was coving his eye but he realized his hands were tied behind his back. Suddenly it all came rushing back to him. He had almost been asleep when he had heard a noise and looking up came face to face with the biggest goblin he had ever seen. He had no time to react because at that moment the goblin struck him in the face with his iron fist. Estel looked around for Elladan or Elrohir. He was lying on his side and he seemed to be pushed against a rock because he could not roll over.
He was able to look around just enough to see Elrohir lying just a few feet away from him. He noticed that there was a large cut along his hairline. He knew that Elrohir was not conscious because his breathing was shallower than it would have been if he were sleeping. Estel could not see Elladan but as he listens to the sounds around him he realized his brother was being buffeted by the goblins somewhere behind him. He cringed as he heard Elladan scream out in pain as they took a knife and cut a gash across his leg. Next thing he knew Elladan was lying beside him. He had closed his eyes because he was afraid he would be next if they knew he was awake. He lay very still and listened as the goblins talked.
“Gorgoth should be very pleased with our captives.”
“Yes Elrond’s sons will make him very `happy’.” An evil laugh went around the camp.
Estel was very scared at this point because the goblins knew who they were and meant trouble for them. He knew it was up to him to get them out of this mess because the twins were in no shape to be any good. What to do? He knew one thing for sure he could not let the goblins know that he was awake. He lies very still and closed his eyes. His head hurt and so he fell asleep without really wanting to do it.
It was midday when he woke up again. All was quiet, but Estel lie still for quite some time. He needed to know what was going on. When he opened his eye Elrohir was looking at him. Estel asked him if he was all right. Elrohir nodded slightly. He was facing the camp so he told Estel that the goblins were sleeping. This made sense since Goblins travel faster in the dark. “There is one just a little way past the camp who is on guard, but he has not paid attention to us for at least an hour.”
“What should I do?”
“Try to get loose and go find ada.”
“What about you?”
“My ankle is broken and Elladan can’t walk. They really hurt him when they cut him.”
Estel could not believe he had to do this all by himself. He did not know where they were, and yet he could not let these monsters hurt his brothers or let them all be carted off to wherever they were going. He knew it would mean either death or indescribable torture and then death, more than likely the later. Goblins were never merciful enough to just kill. If that were all they wanted they would already be dead.
What could he do? He knew that first he needed to get untied. Elrohir told him to feel along the rock he was against and feel if there was any sharp place. Estel felt but where his hands were there was no sharp spots. He wiggled his way higher just a little and he lie very still so as not to attract attention. Nothing happened so he felt his way around and he did find a small lip on the rock that was pointed and he started rubbing frantically against the lip. The rope broke but he was careful to make it look like he was still tied. He did not want to attract attention. He stayed still for a while. He slid back into the same position he had been in just incase they noticed that he moved. He was perfectly still and suddenly he heard the goblin moving toward the camp.
“Hey wake up you lazy bum,” He said as he kicked the next guy in the ribs to wake him for his turn on watch. The goblin jumped up pulling his knife and holding it very close to his throat.
“Kick me like that again and you won’t live to see home.” He snarled as he put his knife away.
The guard took his spot but not before coming over to check on the brothers. He kicked Estel in the leg. It took all of Estel”s power not to holler in pain but he wanted the goblin to think he was out yet. “Yeah sleep while you can little human. You won’t be sleeping once you get to where we are taking you.” He laughed evilly as he walked over to the post.
Elrohir let Estel know when the guard had leaned up against the tree. Estel worked as quickly and as quietly as he could. He untied himself and figured out where he wanted to be going by checking the position of the sun. As he looked around he knew that he wanted to be heading toward the sunlight. If he went to the left he would be going deeper into the woods and this would give the goblins a shade advantage. He also knew if he kept to the sun that the goblins would be slower. He went right and after an hour he was in an open field with the hot summer sun in his face. He was facing west and he needed to go south.
He started south but no sooner had he headed in that direction than he heard yelling behind him. The guard had checked on the captives and discovered he was gone. He roused the others and they grabbed Elladan and Elrohir and started off while the guard chased down Estel.
Estel bolted as fast as his legs would go. He was so glad the way was flat. He ran on and on. The goblin was falling behind. The sun was getting to be too much for him. He would not give up though. Estel thought for sure his lungs would burst until he stumbled upon a stream. He ran through the stream hoping to loose the goblin. He thought it had worked so he sat behind a rock and drank great gulps of water. As he was drinking he heard a noise. It seemed to be too quiet to be the big noisy goblin, but Estel did not know what it was and if it was that awful goblin he needed to get away. He scoured the tree by the stream and sat looking at who was going to pass. He was looking north so he did not see the group coming from the south until they were practically right under him. He turned and practically fell out of the tree in his shock and excitement.
“Father!” he screamed as he jumped down from the tree. He was in Elrond’s arms before his feet touched the ground.