It was dark outside, for the sun had not yet risen above the grassy, yellow hills. Evelird was riding Thoro’s horse, Fen. She loved him, and all horses. Every morning she rode Fen up to the top of the hill to watch the sunrise. When she reached the base of the hill, she pulled the black horse to a trot.
Evelird lived her life as any other girl would. She loved her home in the Westfold. She loved her family, Lorthia, her mother, and Thoro, her beloved older brother. She lived a quiet, happy life at age eighteen. But living a happy life was never enough to take away the feeling that she was out of place. She felt as though she were a piece of a broken potery, trying to find it’s way back into the correct space where it belonged. She did not know who her parents were, or anything about them. This feeling of knowing nothing about her past, or her real family, made her feel very prone to life’s traps, and confusions. All she knew was that she was found in Gondor alone, except for three dead bodies. Had she been simply left behind to die because she had not earned the love of her real parents? Why would they leave her lost amongst the broken pieces of pottery? What her birth name was, she also did not know. Evelird was simply the name her adopted mother Lorthia had given her. And what was this ring that she had had when she was found? She now wore it on her right hand, since it fit her now. She told herself over and over that she should not complain. She had a nice enough family now. But telling herself to do so was like telling a wild stallion that he does not long to be free.
She reached the top of the hill just as the sun had started to wake. She halted Fen, and sighed contentedly, as she watched in awe. Slowly, the sky turned different colors, from dark purple to fiery orange.
After she had something to eat, Evelird sat at the table and watched as Lorthia ate her breakfast. “Will you tell me the story of how I came to live here?” Evelird finally asked. Lorthia paused. “You already know that story well,” she said.
“But I wish to hear it again.”
Lorthia sighed and looked up “Hmm,” she started, “I remember it as I remember yesterday. Thoro, who was only 11 years of age, was riding to Gondor to see your Aunt and Uncle. On his way he found three dead bodies of guards of Gondor. As he looked around them, he found you. You were so little, and frail. He decided to take you home to me. Of course, he did not know any better than to continue on and ask people there.” Lorthia laughed a little at the thought. “So he came home to me. It was already dark, and I was sitting here at home. When he called my name, I almost died of fright. A baby was the last thing I expected to find in that little bundle. Little Thero had recently died, and I was still mourning over him, and you brought back so many memories of him. I decided to send Thoro back to Minas Tirith to send word of a missing baby, but no one replied, and I kept you.”
“What I would give to learn of my past.” Evelird said wistfully.
“Knowing your past will not change your personality, or how you live,” Lorthia said with much wisdom in her tone. Evelird smiled her gratitude, but the wild stallion still longed to be free.
Later in the afternoon, Thoro joined Evelird for a walk across the hilly Westfold. It was slightly cold, and a breeze would blow by at times.
“Something is the matter,” Thoro said finally, “You do not seem yourself.” Evelird looked up into his concerned eyes. She really did love him as a brother. As children, they would tell each other secrets, play games, and do everything together. Even though Thoro was almost thirty, he still cared for, and looked after her.
“I know nothing of my real family, where I came from, or who I really am. I feel as though I am no one, nothing; dust,” Evelird said. Her brow was furrowed, and her lips tightly pulled together. Thoro had heard Evelird say this many times.
“Evelird,” he began, “Knowing everything that you desire to know, would not change you. You do not need your past and real parents as a guideline of how to live. Why not live how you desire to live: be different, be kind, be courageous, be yourself. If you do that, then I am sure that is the same way you would live if you knew your past.” As he said these words he looked at the sky, as if the small clouds were giving him inspiration. Evelird had never heard her brother speak with such wisdom, and she admired him for that.
“I see Fen galloping his heart out.” Evelird said, from her laying down position. She and Thoro were lying upon the yellow grass staring up at the fluffy clouds, each of them possessing it’s own shape.
“Why do you never see anything but a horse?” Thoro asked jokingly.
“Excuse my rudeness, but I will have to disagree, and say that I do not always see horses.” Evelird giggled after saying this.
“You rude and arrogant child!” Thoro said, quietly laughing. They both sighed, and searched the clouds for more images. “Do see that?” Thoro finally said pointing. “It’s Minas Tirith. Can you see it?”
“Yes,” Evelird said. “I do see. Remember all of the fun we had doing this as children?” Thoro nodded in return.
“It must be time for dinner by now,” Thoro sat up, and smiled. “May I escort you back?” Evelird took his arm, and they walked back to the house.
“This kind man is going to eat with us this night.” Lorthia began. “He is a traveler, and is in need of a meal.” Evelird eyed the man as she and Thoro walked through the creaky door. He had gray hair, and was a smaller man. His face did indeed look kind, and he set his supplies next to him before he sat down.
When they were all sitting at the small, wooden table, and eating, the old man told them about himself, and where he had come from.
“That is quite a long journey.” Lorthia smiled politely. But Evelird was not quick to take a liking to this traveler.
“I have always taken a deep liking of nature, and the outdoors.” He answered in return with a smile. He was indeed a nice man, but something did not seem right.
“What is your name?” He asked looking at her.
“Evelird.” She answered in a tone of question, and caution. Evelird added a smile to try and add a cheerful touch. The traveler exchanged her smile, but did not seem satisfied and glanced down at her hand that rested on the table. His eyes seemed to widen when he noticed the silver ring.
“Where did you come to own that beautiful ring?” He asked never lifting his eyes from it. Evelird paused a moment, confused.
“I…I don’t know.” She said, “I have had it ever since I was born.” The traveler nodded, but again did not seem content.
“It is indeed a beautiful thing.” He said, still staring at it. “I suppose you don’t know anything about it?”
“I’m afraid I don’t.” After saying this, she put the hand that possessed the ring, into her lap, and shifted in her chair. For some reason, she did not feel comfortable with him staring at it with such interest. The old man seemed to shoot a glare at her, but quickly replaced it with a warm smile. A shiver trailed down Evelird’s spine, and she began to feel very uneasy. Thoro looked at the traveler, a challenging and defending look in his eye. Lorthia must have noticed the tension grow, for she asked, “Would you care for anymore food?”
“No,” the traveler said, “No, I should keep going. But I thank you for your kind hospitality.” He stood, gathered his belongings, and walked to the door, but before he left, he glanced at Evelird’s lap, in a searching manner.
“Good-bye.” He said.
Why had he been so quick to leave once he had seen her ring? She looked at the silver band, with the two blue jewels, and wondered why he had been so interested.
Evelird gently slipped the bit into Fen’s delicate mouth, and slid the leather crown piece over his ears. Then she led him out of his stall and into the foggy haziness of the early morning. She jumped onto his bare back, and gave him the signal to canter. It was a chilly morning, and Evelird had not brought another layer of clothing. Redness masked her cheeks and nose in a very short time, so she leaned closer to Fen’s neck to absorb some of his body heat.
As they rode to watch the sunrise, Fen seemed slightly wary. She sensed it in his stride, for he added an extra spring of nervous anticipation of something. When they reached the top of the hill, the sun had already started to rise. “Oh, well,” Evelird said patting Fen’s neck, “That’s the way it is sometimes.” The sun finished it’s duty soon, and Evelird turned Fen back the way they had come. The closer they got to home, the more nervous Fen became. Something was not right.
Evelird could now make out the shapes of the houses. But she saw bright, orange light from behind the fogginess. Then the mist cleared completely, and she saw that her beloved home was in flames. She went numb, and her thoughts shot back to when she had left; both her Mother and Thoro were asleep. Sheer terror filled her heart, and she saw the roof began to cave in. Fen leapt into to gallop, and Evelird lunged forward and grabbed mane, hoping, praying, that somehow her family would escape.
Well, I’m sorry I had to leave you with a really bad cliffhanger!! I’m so mean, aren’t I? Please comment, and be back to talk to you all later!