Without the Stars–Chapter one: Aerwin

by Dec 11, 2006Stories

She was exhausted and wracked with pain. She’d almost thought she’d imagined what had happened, but it was all too vivid… Images tumbled through her brain; she was too weary and dazed to sort them out. This had to be real; not a dream.
A knock on the door. “Aerwin?”
The elf didn’t respond. She closed her blue-gray eyes, but immediately reopened them. The chosen darkness reminded her that her brother’s darkness was not his doing. Rain echoed in her heart.
“Are you alright?”
Aerwin thought that that was a silly thing to ask. Of course she was not alright. Her brother had been murdered by orcs. She felt like killing them all in revenge. But another emotion came over her. Sadness, and also, hunger. So maybe she could not turn back the spinning wheel of time, could not kill every orc in Middle-earth, but she could not remain here either.
She didn’t know whether to cry or scream.
Aerwin got up and washed her tear streaked face. She silently gathered up her most precious belongings. The two dragon-carved golden daggers that had once belonged to her brother. Her bow that was painted a shiny green color and had silvery leaves traced on it, along with poison tipped arrows. Her favorite silvery blue tunic. She silently placed each possession in a worn leather bag and climbed out of her window. She crept as noiselessly as possible through the trees following a faint path that lead to the edge of the forest. She had a scarce supply of food in her pack, taking only what store she had found in her room. How long would it last? she wondered. Well, from now on, Aerwin decided that she would have to tighten her belt, and not think of the gnawing hunger in her stomach. Aerwin went with all speed possible to the edge of the forest, and reached it by nightfall.
Thunder rattled like hoof beats and dappled-gray clouds drove eastward in the slow motion gallop of horses in a dream. Mirkwood was blurred and distorted by rain as full of tricks as funhouse mirrors. It was twilight.
Aerwin pulled the hood of her green cloak over her head, and walked a bit faster. Where she was going didn’t seem to matter. Perhaps it was fate that she leave home; perhaps somewhere out there was an important destiny waiting for her.
Whatever the case, she was being pulled there, as surely as the river Anduin flowed.


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