Of UNO and Thunderstorms
DISCLAIMER: I DO NOT OWN LORD OF THE RINGS OR ANY OTHER THINGS I REFERENCE! NATALIE AND FRANCESCA OWN THEMSELVES RESPECTIVELY! I ONLY OWN MYSELF AND ANY OCS THAT APPEAR!
Chapter Twenty One
The Uruk Hai ran on and on all freaking day and late into the night. When they finally stopped, Merry, Pippin and I were dropped on the ground like luggage, which in hindsight I guess we were. But that's not the point! I landed painfully on my back and had the breath knocked out of me. Damn Uruk Hai. Oww, my back. I thought as I rolled over on my side, away from the hobbits and gasped for breath.
"We're not going no further 'til we've had a breather!" One of the orcs complained. "Get a fire going!" An Uruk Hai ordered. A bunch of Orcs and Uruk Hai ran into the forest to collect some fire wood. Pippin started mat crawling towards where Merry had landed and I, having finally gotten my breath back, wriggled my way over to them.
"Merry! Merry!" Pippin said as he crawled. "I think we might have made a mistake leaving the Shire, Pippin." Merry whispered. Amidst the sound of the Uruk Hai chopping and hacking up the trees they'd cut down, a loud sort of groaning noise was heard. "What's making that noise?" Pippin asked. It was my stomach, Pippin, because I am freaking hungry! I thought sarcastically. "It's the trees." Merry answered, looking at the forest around us. "What?" Pippin looked up at Merry, confused. "You remember the Old Forest, on the borders of Buckland? Folk used to say there was something in the water that made the trees grow tall, and come alive." Merry explained. "Alive?" Pippin interrupted. "Trees that could whisper, talk to each other, even move." Merry continued. "Yeah, we've got boring normal trees back home." I muttered.
"I'm starving! We ain't had nothing but maggoty bread for three stinking days!" Some random Uruk Hai rudely interrupted our little conversation with his complaints about the food. "Yeah! Why can't we have some meat?!" An orc agreed, then turned towards us with a look on his face that I know meant we were in deep shit. "What about them? They're fresh." The orc continued. AWW HELL NO! If you touch me, or them, I will kick your ass all the way back to Mordor! How I'll do that when I'm all tied up I don't know. But mark my words. I will! I thought.
"They are not for eating!" The Uruk Hai leader growled. As he said this, another Uruk Hai came over and dragged Merry, Pippin and I away from the orcs who wanted to eat us. We were put down again sitting upright. Another random orc looked over at us. "What about their legs? They don't need those." He said. I felt my eyes widen and I fidgeted while Merry and Pippin looked down at their legs. "Oh they look tasty." The orc continued and moved towards us. He was shoved backwards by the Uruk Hai and all the McNasties started to growl and hiss at each other.
"Get back scum! The prisoners go to Saruman. Alive and unspoiled." The Uruk Hai leader stated. "Alive?" The orc who wanted to eat our legs asked and moved towards us again. I fidgeted some more, trying to get away from him. Being near orcs in general is a bad idea. Being near orcs that want to eat you is suicidal. "Why alive? Do they give good sport?" he continued excitedly. I stuck my tongue out and pulled a face.
"They have something. An elvish weapon. The master wants it for the war." The Uruk Hai leader explained. Some of the orcs that I saw made faces at the mention of elves. This made me smirk slightly. For whatever reason, my twisted mind found that somewhat funny.
"They think we have the Ring." Pippin whispered. "Shut up! If they find out we don't we're gonna be dinner!" I hissed softly, cutting off Merry from saying something of the like.
"Just a mouthful. A bit off the flank." An orc's voice sounded from behind us and I awkwardly spun around to see one of the ones who wanted to eat us raise his sword/weapon/whatever you want to call it. Suddenly, the Uruk Hai leader spun around and hacked off the orc's head. Said head rolled off our shoulders and the body fell to the ground behind us. "Looks like meat's back on the menu boys!" The Uruk Hai shouted. The McNasties all stampeded towards the dead orc and started ripping it apart, knocking Merry, Pippin and I over in the process. Okay, that is completely disgusting. I thought.
"Pippin, Natalie. Let's go." Merry whispered as we began to crawl away from the fight. Suddenly Merry gasped and Pippin and I flipped over to see the orc who wanted to eat our legs with his boot on Merry's back. "Go on, call for help. Squeal. No one's gonna save you now." He taunted us. A spear suddenly came out of nowhere and hit the orc in the back. He fell over dead. I heard the sound of thundering horse's hooves and whinnies. Then, chaos ensued as the people I knew to be the Riders of Rohan attacked the McNasties. You want to rephrase that line of shit? I thought as I barrel rolled out of the way of a random flying weapon. "Pippin!" Merry shouted. Pippin rolled over just in time to scream and roll out of the way of the horse that had reared up right in front of the poor hobbit.
After Pippin's near death experience, we unanimously decided, without even having to speak, to get the hell out of there. Pippin immediately set to work trying to cut the ropes on his hands on a nearby axe that was embedded in the ground. I did the same on another nearby discarded weapon and then untied the ropes on my ankles. When I looked up, both Merry and Pippin were untied and we started running while dodging falling dead bodies and trying not to be trampled by the horses. Soon that same freaking orc who wanted to eat our legs grabbed Merry's belt. He yelled and took the belt off. Then, we continued to run away from the battle and into Fangorn Forest. We ran deeper into the forest and stopped under a tree to catch our breath.
"Did we lose him? I think we lost him." Pippin commented. A split second after he said that, we heard the loud raspy breathing of an orc and the orc chasing us came into view. "You just had to go and jinx it didn't you, Pippin?" I stated, only slightly pissed off. Once again, note the sarcasm. "I'm gonna rip out your filthy little innards!" The orc exclaimed. I looked at my hobbit friends for a second and we all stood up and ran again. We ran for a while to get a head start and then hid behind a tree like those people who get chased through a city and hide in a conveniently placed alleyway. "Come here!" The orc shouted. Does he honestly think that's going to work? I thought, rolling my eyes. We ran from our hiding spot and got as far away as we could.
"Trees. Climb a tree." Merry said suddenly and shoved Pippin towards a tree. I shoved Merry after him and started to climb up behind the hobbits. We climbed up into some decently high branches and stopped to look around. "He's gone." Merry breathed. Suddenly the orc grabbed Merry's foot and dragged him out of the tree. Merry was thrown to the ground and the orc advanced on him. Merry backed up into what looked to me like a floor fighting position and kicked the orc in the face. Nice kick! I thought.
"Merry!" Pippin shouted down to his partner in crime. I yelped when a pair of eyes opened up on the tree and the tree groaned. Pippin looked up at the face and then back to Merry. I face-palmed when he did a double take. The tree dude, wait never mind, the politically correct term is an Ent. The Ent looked over at Pippin and Pippin fell, only to be caught and picked up by the Ent. Said Ent held both me and Pippin like we were rag dolls. The Ent then proceeded to step on the orc, thus crushing it. Merry looked up in shock and began to run away. "Run Merry!" Pippin yelled. But the Ent scooped him up in the same hand that held me, brought his hands out in front of him and squeezed us.
"Little orcs." The Ent said after staring at us while he walked deeper into the forest. "It's talking, Merry. The tree is talking." Pippin said. I noticed a bit of panic in his voice. "Tree? I am no tree! I am an Ent." The Ent said. Treebeard! His name is Treebeard! I realized belatedly. "A tree herder. A shepherd if the forest." Merry stated, completely awed. "Don't talk to it Merry. Don't encourage it." Pippin told him. "Treebeard, some call me." Treebeard said. "And, whose side are you on?" Pippin asked. "Side? I am on nobody's side, because nobody's on my side, little orc. Nobody cares for the woods anymore." Treebeard answered. "We're not orcs! We're hobbits!" Merry cried. "Well, they're hobbits. I am of the Man-kind." I corrected. "Hobbits? Never heard of a Hobbit before. Sounds like Orc mischief to me! They come with fire. They come with axes. Gnawing, biting, breaking, hacking, burning! Destroyers and usurpers, curse them!" Treebeard shouted as much as Ents can shout and squeezed us tighter. "No! You don't understand; we're hobbits! Halflings, Shire-folk!" Merry said. "Maybe you are, and maybe you aren't. The White Wizard will know." Treebeard replied. "The White Wizard?" Pippin asked. "Saruman." Merry hissed. Actually no, the White Wizard is now Gandalf because seeing as Gandalf is a badass motherfucker; he came back after killing the Balrog and dying. I thought to myself. Treebeard soon put us down somewhere in the forest and we looked up to see the White Wizard. I resisted the urge to say, 'Hi Gandalf! How was the afterlife?'
We ran all through the night. At dawn I stopped and looked to the east as the sun rose, coloring the clouds red and orange. Legolas stopped beside me for a moment and I looked up at him. Even he looked a bit tired from running for four days now. He glanced down at me with a small smile and butterflies erupted in my stomach and my heart stopped before starting to race. I smiled a little tiny bit and attempted to ignore said butterflies. The key word there was attempted. Meep! Now isn't the time for this! "A red sun rises; blood has been spilled this night." Legolas stated and we turned and ran again. We came to the top of a hill and Aragorn knelt down to check for tracks. A horse's whinny broke the silence and Aragorn motioned for us to hide behind a huge rock nearby. I crouched down and watched. A second later there came the thundering sound of hooves on the plains as the Riders of Rohan appeared and galloped past us in a blur of brown, grey-ish, black and white fur and metal armor. As soon as they had passed, Aragorn stood up and we followed him out of hiding.
"Riders of Rohan!" he called. "What news from the Mark?" Upon hearing Aragorn's question, Éomer raised his spear and the riders circled back to surround us. I backed up and we formed a circle facing towards the riders, who were now pointing spears in our faces. I went cross-eyed trying to see the one that was barely six inches from my nose. Kate smacked my arm from her place on my right. I turned around and watched as Éomer rode forward.
"What business does an elf, a man, a dwarf, and two women have in the Riddermark? Speak quickly." He demanded. I glanced at Kate and we both glared at Éomer. Kate subtly pulled her hair behind her ears, revealing their pointed tips and I followed her lead. Neither of us had had the time to pull our hair back and I'm going to assume mine looked like I had been attacked by a bird and then through a wind storm while riding bike at this point. I'm already not a big fan of this guy. Granted that I didn't like him much in the movies, but still. I thought.
"Give me your name, horse-master. And I shall give you mine." Gimli replied. I have to agree with you there, Gimli. Aragorn quickly glanced at him with a look I interpreted as the Middle Earth equivalent of 'Dude, just don't'. Éomer gave his spear to the rider next to him, dismounted his horse and walked over to Gimli. "I would cut off your head, dwarf, if it stood but a little higher from the ground." He stated, glaring at Gimli the whole time. Legolas, who was on my other side, quickly drew his bow and pointed an arrow at Éomer. I drew my knives, not knowing for sure if he was serious and sure as hell not going to let him hurt one of my friends. Dude, I've only known you for two minutes and you're already pissing me off. I think that's a record. I thought, twirling my knives in my hands and glaring at Éomer.
"You would die before your stroke fell." Legolas stated. The Riders of Rohan quickly raised their spears higher and pointed them and Legolas and me. One of them poked me in the head and I shot the rider a glare out of the corner of my eye. Aragorn stepped between Éomer and certain death by arrow and held Legolas's arm down while giving me a stern look. I put my knives away.
"I am Aragorn, son of Arathorn. This is Gimli, son of Gloin, Legolas of the Woodland Realm, and Ladies Kate and Olympia of the Elves. We are friends of Rohan and of Theoden, your king." Aragorn said, gesturing to each of us in turn as he told Éomer our names. I was still glaring at him, ignoring Kate's smack to my arm to try and get me to stop.
"Theoden no longer recognizes friend from foe." Éomer responded, taking off his helmet. "Not even his own kin. Saruman has poisoned the mind of the king and claimed lordship over his lands. My company are those loyal to Rohan. And for that, we are banished. The White Wizard is cunning. He walks here and there they say, as an old man hooded and cloaked. And everywhere, his spies slip past our nets." Éomer continued with a glare in the direction of Legolas, Kate and I. I just raised my eyebrows a bit and glared back.
"We are no spies. We track a party of Uruk Hai westward across the plain. They have taken three of our friends captive." Aragorn explained, noticing the stare-off that was going on between the elves present and Éomer. "The Uruks are destroyed; we slaughtered them during the night." Éomer said.
"But there were two hobbits and a young lass. Did you see two hobbits and a lass with them?" Gimli added. "They would be small, only children to your eyes." Aragorn elaborated. He was, of course referring to Merry and Pippin seeing as Natalie is taller than Kate, who stands at about 5'8. Éomer shook his head.
"We left none alive. We piled the carcasses and burned them." He explained, pointing to a rising cloud of smoke behind him. "Dead?" Gimli asked in disbelief. "I am sorry." Éomer told us. He then let out a high pitched whistle and called, "Hasufel, Arod, Braylla!" Three horses then walked to him. One was white and the other two were reddish brown. Kate's eyes lit up like a Christmas tree as she took Braylla's reins and started petting the horse's forehead, which had a small white diamond shape on it. I don't know the technical name. I grinned. Kate and I had always loved animals, but my sister took a liking to horses specifically and started riding when she was ten. I personally liked dogs just a little bit better and was quite possibly the worst rider on the face of the earth. "May these horses bear you to better fortune than their former masters. Farwell." Éomer told us as he put his helmet back on and mounted his horse. "Look for your friends, but do not trust to hope. It has forsaken these lands. We ride north!" Éomer stated and with that, the Riders of Rohan left.
Once the Riders of Rohan were gone, Aragorn, Legolas and Kate all mounted their horses with relative ease. Gimli was helped up onto Arod behind Legolas. "Kate, help. I can't ride horses for my life." I murmured. Kate chuckled before taking my arm and helping me up onto Braylla behind her. I fidgeted a bit and wrapped my arms around my sister's middle, holding on for dear life. "Relax, Olympia. You're not a horrible rider and you'll be getting a whole lot better in the near future. I'll bet that soon enough, you'll be able to shoot your bow while riding a horse." Kate tried to comfort me. "Kate, you're a bad liar. You and I both know that I am a god awfulrider. But I'll grant you the second part of that statement. I will be getting better because we'll be riding a lot. Not so sure about the shooting a bow part, although that would be absolutely awesome. Meep." I replied as we started riding towards the rising smoke cloud that marked the burning Uruk Hai bodies.
Author's note: Okay, a few things you should know. First, Kate's horse Braylla is female. Um yeah, I didn't know if you could tell just by the name. Second, I used some random Middle Earth name generator on the internet to come up with the name Braylla, so yeah. Third, I am so sorry it took me so long to update this! My area was hit pretty hard when Hurricane Sandy made landfall and I lost power for about five days. Luckily there was no damage to my house or my parents' cars but there are still a bunch of downed trees and some downed power lines and all that happy crap. READ AND REVIEW PLEASE!