By the time Evelird had reached her burning house, it was no more than a thick pile of burning, black wood. She leapt off of Fen and stumbled around the perimeter of the burning wood, calling out the names of Lorthia and Thoro. Through watery eyes, she saw no one, and she collapsed to her knees and wept. They were gone. Her beloved family was dead. She had no one. What would she do? There was no one else to care for her. She was alone. Everything that possessed her security was lost. She felt as though she were climbing a high cliff, and the rocks that she used as support to keep from falling, had slipped, and tumbled down the cliff.
Evelird stood hearing the sound of a snarling dog. It sounded distant, though. Another one came. Then another. Fen cantered up to her, as if beckoning her to come with him. She hopped upon his back, struggling to grab the reins through the tears that were streaming down her face. At a higher position, she looked around once more to see huge, wolf looking animals with riders upon their backs some distance away. The wolf looking animals snarled and barked. The riders had brown colored skin, and did not look human. By instinct she kicked Fen into a gallop, away from the vicious looking wolves and their riders. Maybe the riders were orcs…yes, she was sure of it. Thoro had told her of the evil, blood-lusty, orcs, but she had never seen one until now. They moved closer to her with every stride. Were they chasing her? Why? She urged Fen faster, trying to equal speed with her pursuers. What would they do if they were to reach her? She hoped she would not have to find out. New tears welled in her eyes, but they were not of sadness. Soon they reached the hill that Evelird and Fen had watched the sunrise from. When they were at the top, Evelird dared to look back and saw that her pursuers were even closer, and she knew Fen was giving all he had. Suddenly she heard a whistle, and Fen, stumbled, almost fell down, but picked himself up again, and continued on. His stride added a slight limp, and his breath became short. Evelird looked back and saw a black arrow buried deep into Fen’s right hip. Two more whistles came and Fen once again stumbled, and his gallop slowed even more. She could almost hear the thunder of the wolves behind her, when one more whistle came, and Fen could no longer keep going, and he slowly sagged, and then fell on his side with a grunt of weakness, and pain. Evelird had managed to jump off before he had fallen. Dear, beloved Fen! He was dying, and she could not stay behind to be with him for his last hours of living. Instinct forced her to keep running, but her emotions made her look back. She had almost reached a small patch of treese, when she bumped into something. Her head shot forward then up. Through her blurry eyes she saw a man. He quickly threw her aside, drawing his sword. Evelird staggered, then stood and watched from a distance. This man must be on her side, for he was fighting her enemy. He moved very quickly, thrusting his sword into orc, and wolf flesh. A sound came from behind her, but before she could look back, everything went black.
Evelird tried to open her eyes, but they felt so heavy. When she did, everything was blurry. She tried to focus them. It was either after sunset, or just before sunrise, she figured. Evelird sat up and looked around. Then her head began to throb with an amazing amount of pain, and her vision grew blurry again. She groaned putting a hand on her throbbing head, as if that would ease the intense pain. When her vision was restored, she noticed she had been lying down with a blanket over her cold body. Then she noticed a man sitting across from her, watching her with disguised interest. He was wearing rugged clothes, had dark brown hair, and blue eyes.
“Who are you? Why am I here?” She began to feel worried, because this place and this man were not found in her memory.
“I am Strider.” The man answered, his voice was quiet and calm. It had a great affect on her. Images of her house in flames suddenly came to her head. Then one of the wolves chasing her, and dying Fen lying on the ground followed. The images turned to scenes, and slowly she put the pieces of memory together. Tears filled her eyes at the memory of the pile of burning wood that was once her home. They spilt over her cheeks as she remembered that she was alone, and had no one else to go to. Then she looked up at Strider. His expression held concern and pity for her. She remembered him, too. He was the one who had killed her foes, who had fought for her.
“What is your name?”
“Evelird.” Her voice was shaky.
“Do you know why they were chasing you?” He asked, guessing that she had just remembered everything, by the sudden change of her facial expression. Evelird thought for a moment.
“I do not.” She tried to sit up, but her head started to ache again.
Noticing her agony, Strider said, “You were hit in the head by an orc.”
Silence past for a while.
“How long have I been unconscious?” Evelird asked.
“The sun is about to rise. A full day.”
This is the time I would ride to the hill to watch the sunrise. Evelird thought to herself as her lip began to tremble. I miss them so much. Her emotions took over her, and she almost sobbed, as she hugged her knees. For some reason, she knew that her usual life in the Westfold, was over. She fingered her ring. The one thing in her life that stayed true to her.
“Evelird, your ring, is it yours?” Strider asked. His voice was still mild, but his eyes sparkled.
“Yes.” Evelird wiped at her tears as she said this. His eyes were locked on her face. Why was he acting the same way the traveler had?
“Why does it interest you so?” She could no longer contain her curiosity.
“It does not. I was merely wondering.” Strider looked a little wistful. “Do you care for something to eat?”
“No, I do not.”
Evelird’s day was spent taking walks alone and weeping. But after sunset, she and Strider talked with one another. He was mysterious, quiet, and wise. She felt very safe with him. She almost felt…as if the lost, broken piece of pottery was beginning to slide back into its proper place.
The next morning, Evelird felt famished, and was glad to have something to fill her. Her head still ached the whole day, with an occasional dizzy spell. After a nights sleep, she was able to think more clearly. A question came to the back of her mind. It grew as the day went on. What would she do when Strider left?
“Do you have anywhere to live?” Stirder asked, “Any family?”
“If you ask the truth of me,” Evelird began, “I am an orphan. I was found and raised by a widow and her son.”
“I was raised in Rivendell. Though I am a mortal.” Strider said. “Your ring, it is well known. The jewels are of those fashioned in Gondor. Lord Elrond of Rivendell is very wise, and if you come with me, he could find out who you truly are.” Evelird froze. Find out who she truly was? Go to Rivendell? But that would mean leaving her homeland, and everything she knew. She looked down and bit her lip. This ring of hers was well known, and made in Gondor? Matters were getting very confusing. Lord Elrond, he is an elf, and very wise. Maybe she should go to him. There was nothing else for her here…
“Yes,” she said, “I will go.” Evelird felt a twinge of excitement rush through her, and she knew her life was going to change forever.
Before leaving, Strider had somehow purchased one horse for an extremely low price. It was bigger than Fen, and very muscular. The horse was big enough that ridding double was indeed no hassle for him.
Though the journey was long, it did not feel so. Evelird just simply did not care anymore. She and Strider said little to each other. She remembered passing through woods, plains, and over mountains, and even though excitement found it’s way through her feelings, the grief was all too strong to make things enjoyable. And her first time leaving home added a cloud of wariness.
Why had the orcs been chasing her? The question had been rolling around in her mind for many days now. Why would they burn her house down, along with her family? She ate little, but strength seemed to keep up with her as she held tightly to Strider’s waist.
~ ~ ~ ~ Author’s Note ~ ~ ~ ~
I had one question for you guys. Do you think the sentences in the last two paragraphs were too choppy? I tried to connect them a little more, but…*shrugs* So did you like the action?