Suddenly, a gun shot sounded in the air and seemed to echo through the world. Kate dropped the gun in her hand and touched her chest. She choked, coughed and blood came from her mouth. Kate had been shot.
“No!” Haldir cried catching her and laid her on the soft white sand as she sputtered.
More gunshots sounded, but this time they were not directed to Kate but the man watching them. Several figures darted out from nowhere, and Haldir knew he needed to get Kate away from here. Haldir scooped her up in his arms and fled away from the gunshots to a more secluded area. Haldir set Kate down once again and touched his cool hand to her burning brow. Tears filled his eyes as he looked upon her beautiful face now painful. Kate shivered and coughed more blood as the fever inside her roared, and the bullet seared within her. Haldir pressed his hand to her bloody chest as Kate’s breath quickened and her chest fell and rose quicker than normal.
“You are fine, Kate. You will heal,” Haldir said.
“It’s too late, Haldir. You know this,” Kate uttered in a small voice.
Haldir kissed her lips, and his tears fell upon her face.
“I am sorry Haldir. I am sorry for hurting you. And I’m sorry I have to leave you now.”
“You will not leave me,” he commanded.
She reached up to touch his cheek with her small hand. “You have done something miraculous in my life, Haldir. I will go to death remembering it.”
He looked into her turquoise eyes, and she pierced him. Kate’s face was pale now, and blood lingered upon her lips, but Haldir could not avert his gaze from her beautiful eyes which seemed to look deep into his soul.
“Kate, I cannot live without you. You must stay.”
“I love you, Haldir. I always have,” whispered Kate as she started to fall into darkness. “I must leave now,” Kate attempted to speak but she coughed again and closed her eyes.
“Amin mela lle, Kate,” I love you he said. “Amin khiluva Kate a’ gurtha ar’ thar.” I will follow you to death and beyond.
“I love your elvish, Haldir,” a slight smile curved upon her lips. “I shall miss it.”
“I will come, Kate. I said I would follow you to death and beyond.”
“Do not pursue me, Haldir. It is my time. Namarie my love.”
Kate closed her eyes as her heart continued its last beats, and her soul was left free to soar where it wilt.
Kate saw darkness before her, endless darkness. Echoes of her past dwindled within her mind as she wandered through the endless void wondering what would happen. The real world seemed forgotten. She knew this was the turning point, and she could not go back. Her life hung by a thread now, and all she need do was tear it yet memories from her life lingered within her; memories of Haldir. Yet if she continued, she would forget. She could still see Haldir holding her in his arms as he spoke elvish his tears falling upon her brow. Kate’s eyes flowed tears as she thought of Haldir’s grief for her and how much she wished she could return to him. Kate heard the sound of the ocean yet now it was mingled with another sound. A sweet music came to her ears, and a light emerged from the darkness. She walked to it, and it became brighter and seemed to grow soon to envelop her. Images appeared before her, and the music grew louder as well as an odd noise. Then kate found herself standing upon water her eyes looking down a wondrous flowing waterfall longer and wider than Rauros. Everything else faded away as she saw a as a host of twinkling stars sang their sweet crystal music to her ears. Kate knew she would have to jump if she wanted to join them. Their music called to her. The harp strings lingered in her ears playing their melancholy yet hopeful enchanting music. Kate seemed to forget everything about her former life. She was robed in what seemed a sheer dress of crystal light. She felt no pain from the gunshot from her many bruises. She simply heard the music and longed for it.
Haldir’s tears flowed onto Kates head as he tried to bring her back with the elvish speech, though he knew there was no hope. And yet was there not? Suddenly, Varda’s words of hope so clear and concise as stars themselves shot through his mind. Walk through the fire
“Walk through fire
But do not despair
Pass through shadow and flame
And even then shall you fair
May a shining star light your way
May the darkness not overpower you
May the star forever your path stay
May your journey ever be new
Beyond the reaches of this world
There lies more than a memory
Seek not the shadow but the light
Only then will you truly see.”
Haldir knew he would have to walk through the fire, darkness, and Shadow to find Kate. Haldir brought his face to Kate’s and laid his hands upon her lips journeying far back to the brink of time. To travel this path was to seek those who were passing into the next world those whose time had come. That time owuld lead them to a destiny far out of reach. If Haldir was strong enough, this path he could take and return a stolen life if the fading life had not yet journeyed to the next point. And yet if he did not have the strength or if Kate had already journeyed to the next point, Haldir could remain lost there for eternity. Death was summoning Kate, and he did not have long. Haldir knew he needed to succeed in finding the gap between two worlds the living and the dead. Haldir repeated the words of Varda again and again in elvish and the tongues of men. As if by magic, Haldir suddenly felt nothing and heard nothing. The ocean was gone. He no longer felt Kate’s pale and cold body under his own. Haldir was covered in a veil of darkness, and he feared he had failed and was trapped in time. But then, a light came to his eyes, and he called Kate’s name as a prayer.
She stood upon the egde of the waterfall like a star. He knew she wished to jump. She wished to join the voices of the stars in the air. He could not hear them. He could not see the amazing sight that lay before her, but he knew.
“No, Kate,” he said gently. “Tis not your time.”
Kate turned to see her beloved Haldir standing upon the edge of the shore calling to her in the sweet elvish tongue, a soft hand reaching out to her. She knew she had to come to him for he could not go across the water. She thought of the times they had shared together. She remembered how much she loved him though he was elf kind immortal and different from her. And she knew of the risks he took of coming after her.
“I told you not to pursue me,” she said.
“I can not let you go, Kate. I love you. Your life is ahead of yo, Kate.”
“He speaks the truth,” a familiar voice spoke in elvish.
Varda appeared upon the shore across from Haldir. She raised her hand to the sky, and the sweet music of the stars diminished, and Kate looked to them hoping it would continue for it was beautiful. She turned her eyes to Varda as the Elentari stepped onto the water coming to Kate.
“I cannot force you to take the path. You must walk it yourself, Katelyn. But your time is not yet come. If you love Haldir as you say, you must prove it now for he has proven his to you. I know your feelings ands thoughts, Kate. You led a terrible life. I know you wish to forget. You wish to be free of life. But now you have a chance for another. You have changed, and you can return to your life now.”
Varda stepped away from Kate. The mortal looked once more at the stars before her seeing their twinkling lights longing so much for freedom. Then she realized it was not freedom. She would be trapped in death, and she could never again see Haldir if she took the path of the Shadow. Kate wrenched herself away from the waterfall and slowly walked across the water toward the shore. Haldir held out his hand feeling himself pierced with every move she made toward him until at last, she found herself in his arms. Her tears fell upon his chest, and Haldir held her hands tightly whispering elvish as he held her. Their eyes met, and they found themselves upon the beach once again.
“Thank you, Kate,” Haldir caressed her cheek.
“It was not my time,” Kate concluded.
“Yet that time will come one day, Kate,” Varda spoke.
Haldir and Kate stood up, and the elf spoke. “Give her immortality, Elebereth. I beg of you.”
“My dear, Haldir. You know I cannot deprive her of the gift of men nor can I deprive you of the gift of elves. Middle Earth is bound to you, and you will return one day. Yet Kate I can give the gift of youth.”
Varda raised her hands to the dark sky. The clouds slowly parted showing a clear crystal sky full of a host of stars. And it seemed, a small twinkling star from the darkness moved from the sky coming down to meet them. It flowed obediently into Varda’s hand, and the air was filled with a beautiful light nearly blinding Kate and Haldir as Varda encircled it within her hand. The light faded, but did not die. Varda opened her hand showing a small phial within her hand. She held it to Kate’s mouth, and the mortal drank the crystal water, which tasted unlike anything in the world. Kate felt new life spring into her, and noticed her chest no longer bled, and she seemed young like the elves. She felt as she did in Lorien except she knew it would remain for much longer. Haldir took her hands in his.
“And what of the time to come, Varda?” he turned his eyes to the goddess.
“You will know what to do, Haldir. The time has not yet come. But you know the doom you chose when you forsook the twilight binding yourself to Kate.”
“Simply bittersweet love and sorrow?” he asked.
“No, the prize is well worthy. Hope and the joy of a new life.”
With that, Haldir kissed Kate and held onto her.
THIS IS NOT THE END! I REPEAT THIS IS NOT THE END!