An hour later, Kelsey found herself before the Lord and Lady of Lothlorien. They were sitting in high-backed chairs that reminded Kelsey of thrones from the Middle Ages. Eithiel had exited, leaving Kelsey to stand in front of perhaps the two most honorable people in Middle-earth.
As Kelsey had become accustomed to, Galadriel was silently watching her. Celeborn said, “Please, tell us where you are from.”
The girl figured she would have to some time, and as soon as Galadriel stopped staring at her the better. It was getting a little creepy. “I’m from a place called Earth. Not Middle Earth, or First Earth, but just Earth. I’m from the United States of America, and I live in Arkansas. People think we’re hicks, but we, well most of us, aren’t. At least I’m not.”
“How can we trust you?” Celeborn asked; again, she wished Galadriel would leave her mind alone.
“Well…” she thought for a moment. “here’s the deal. Where I come from, you are in books. A man named J.R.R. Tolkien wrote one huge book about Middle-earth, and you and Elrond and Aragorn and Arwen and a load of other people are in them.” she turned to Galadriel, “That’s how I know so much about here. I’ve read it.”
Galadriel stirred. “So you know what will happen? You don’t need a Mirror or a Palantir or anything?”
“Tell me, what happens.”
Kelsey could see she was going into one of her Galadriel-will-be-Queen modes, and said softly “I told you before, I’m not allowed to.”
Galadriel almost yelled “Tell me!” but she calmed down as Celeborn layed a soothing had on her shoulder.
He seemed the rashional adult here. “Do you know how long it is you will be staying?”
“No. But I figure it will be at least ten years, because all the stories have people being involved in the Fellowship.”
Celeborn understood none of this, but accepted it all the same. “If there is anything we can do to ease your stay…”
This is what she had been waiting for. “Actually, I want to learn to fight, you know, with swords and longknives and stuff.” I figure I’m going to need it, she thought.
He smiled, “Now that we can help you with. Follow me.” he stood and headed down the huge staircase that encircled the tree. She followed, a grin from ear to ear on her face.
“So, who’s going to teach me?” she asked at the foot of the stair.
“Haldir, I think. Do you want someone else…?”
“No. Haldir’s cool.” she could get used to this.
“We’re heading to the practice fields. His shift doesn’t start for another two hours, so I figure he’ll be practicing. Have you ever held a sword or done archery before?”
“Not swords, but I was pretty good at archery at summer camp.”
Lord Celeborn stopped at the edge of a ring of trees around a clearing. He whispered, Kelsey barely being able to hear him. “There he is. See if you can sneak up behind him wihtout him knowing.”
‘Man, this guy’s cool’ she thought about Celeborn as she crept up behind Haldir. He seemed fun, cool for a High Elf. She was five feet behind Haldir when he turned around.
“What are you doing?” he asked with a laugh.
“Sneaking up behind you. Celeborn said to.” she pointed behind her were Celeborn had once been, but now he was gone. “Where’d he… ugh! I should have known.”
“Should have known what?”
“Nothing. I want to train for battle. Can you help?”
“I don’t know. Are you sure you want to? Not many females would, and I don’t think many of the males would like it if a thirteen year old girl went to war.”
“I figure while I’m here, I’m going to have to fight. So I might as well be ready. And I won’t be thirteen when I do fight. I figure I’ll be about twenty-three. Hopefully by then I’ll be good at it.”
Kelsey trained for five years. She was eighteen and she was extremely strong. She was best at archery, but she liked swords better. She had grown into a very beautiful young lady. All the male elves tried to court her, but she always turned them down. She knew that they only liked her because of her looks. And she did look very good.
She always kept her blonde hair shoulder length, when it got unruly, she trimmed it with a particularly sharp knife. Primitive, but she had to keep her hair under control. She had always been a tom-boy, so she didn’t go crazy for the long hair. She did compronmise and wore dresses sometimes.
She had grown about two inches while she was in Middle-Earth, so she was only one inch shy of six feet. She spent a lot of time with Haldir, just as friends, on her part. When she was nineteen, Haldir realized he loved her.
She was wearing a dress tonight. It was a shimmery light blue. She was standing on the balcony off her room when she realized Haldir was standing behind her.
“I know you’re there.” she said without turning.
“How did you know?” he asked as he came up beside her, leaning against the railing.
“I just did. I guess being around you all the time, I can feel your presence.” she was looking straight ahead.
“I think you may be becoming an elf.”
She laughed as a tear rolled down her cheek and fell the twenty feet to the forest floor.
She brushed away the tear. “You remind me of one of my friends back home.” She looked at him with her soft green eyes (they were green that day). He could see so much pain in them. Too much.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t know…”
“No, it’s fine. I had a crush on him.”
“I liked him. Fancied him.” she had stopped crying.
“Oh. Does that mean you have a ‘crush’ on me?”
She looked into his eyes. She could tell. “Maybe.”