When Celebrian opened her eyes, she could have sworn they were still closed, her surroundings were so dark. But a harsh voice rasped, “Get up, Elvish swine!” and kicked her, hard, in the side.
Celebrian gasped in pain and remained prostrate on the ground. “Phrase that more politely and I might consider obeying.” This earned her two more kicks, both in the same spot as before. The voice sneered, “That’s it, get up!” An Orc-hand descended and grasped her wrist hard, yanking her upright and dragging her bodily after. Celebrian fought the Orc as best she could, trying not to let her fear show. Where are they taking me? she wondered, letting her fingernails dig into the Orc’s palm.
She found out all too soon. Her captor pulled her into a large cavern and shoved her roughly into a stone chair. It was then she found that her shoulder was stinging unbearably. She cradled it in her other hand, pushing back the tears that welled into her eyes.
The Orc reached into the recesses of the cavern and withdrew a clumsily fashioned boot, much too big for Celebrian’s foot. She kicked his face as he came near, but all he had to do was hit her shoulder for it to send agonizing pain shooting through her body. Celebrian collapsed, hot tears stinging her eyes, as the Orc shoved her foot into the boot. “Scream, Elf,” he sneered.
“Elrohir! Look!” Elladan pointed to a barely visible indent in the grass of the Redhorn Pass. His brother drew near to examine it.
One glance was enough. “Mother fell there,” Elrohir determined, his eyes spotting the Orc footprints that were accompanied by a trail of crushed grass, as though he were dragging a body…”Come on, Elladan!” Elrohir cried, leaping onto his horse. “Come on!”
Her mind detached by the pain in her shoulder, Celebrian watched as the Orc jammed her foot into the boot. “Scream, Elf,” he sneered as he turned a clumsy screw on the boot.
A second of nothing…then a definite sense of something tightening, closing in…It was the boot! The screw the Orc was turning was tightening the boot. It tightened to a perfect fit, but the Orc twisted the screw and the boot tightened some more. It pushed her foot inward, farther than it was meant to go. Celebrian felt the bones of her foot shift, rearrange, break. It was mind-wrenching, ever-increasing pain. The tears she had tried to hold back fell unheeded as she screamed in pain.
Elrohir reined in his horse. “They took Mother here?” he murmured in shock. Elladan gasped in horror behind his brother, his eyes taking in the dark, Orc-infested cave.
Then Elladan set his jaw. “Let’s go.” He drew his sword, his eyes glittering hard. Elrohir did likewise, and together, the rescue party behind them, they plunged into the cave.