Of UNO and Thunderstorms

Chapter 41

Of UNO and Thunderstorms


Chapter Forty

Natalie's POV

A little while later found Eowyn, me, and the Riders of Rohan breaking camp to ride for Minas Tirith. Eowyn and I were dressed in our borrowed armor and had tucked our hair into it to better pass for guys. I felt like Mulan.

Both of us had mounted our horses and were preparing to leave when I spotted Merry talking to King Theoden. Whatever had been said, Merry seemed upset over it and stood there as the other riders maneuvered around him. I nudged Eowyn as we rode towards him. She nodded and as we passed, she hoisted him up onto her horse.

"Ride with me." She whispered to him.

"My lady." Merry whispered back, grinning. I rode up next to Merry.

"Glad you're coming." I whispered.

"Natalie?" he asked.

"Who else would it be?" I retorted, smiling at my friend. From where Eowyn, Merry and I rode I was able to hear Éomer and King Theoden yelling to the other soldiers to basically hurry the hell up. I unconsciously started humming 'I'll make a man out of you' from Mulan under my breath, changing the words around to fit the situation. Let's get down to business, to defeat the orcs. No! There will be no musical numbers here!

*Olympia's POV*

Aragorn led us through the Paths of the Dead by torchlight. It was eerily silent and that put everyone on edge. I walked next to Legolas and everyone looked around warily. Aragorn held the torch out in front of him to look down a pathway on our right. A moment later he turned away when he saw human skulls on the ground.

Legolas stayed at the entrance to the pathway and looked down it. I stood next to him and saw through the darkness the ghosts of the dead we were here to summon. Chills ran down my spine. I looked over at my sister. 'I see dead people.' I mouthed to her. 'Me too.' She mouthed back.

"What is it? What do you see?" Gimli asked. Apparently he couldn't see the dead people. Hmm. That's weird. Why only Kate, Legolas and me? Maybe it's just an elf thing….I wondered.

"I see shapes of men, and of horses." Legolas answered as we continued walking. I nodded slowly and watched the dead people.

"Where?" Gimli asked nervously.

"Pale banners like shreds of cloud. Spears rise like winter thickets through a shroud of mist. The dead are following. They have been summoned." Legolas replied.

"The dead? Summoned? I knew that." Gimli replied and attempted to laugh off the fact that he was scared out of his mind. "Very good. Very good. Legolas!" he called when he realized that A) he had stopped and B) we had moved on without him.

Ghostly hands then began to materialize and reach towards us. I shuddered and turned away. Gimli waved and puffed frantically, trying to get them off him. Legolas just stared at the ghostly hands. Aragorn ignored them.

"Do not look down." He advised us.

I bit my lip and looked at the back of Legolas's head in an attempt to keep from looking down. Gimli promptly froze and looked down. Kate looked down too. I was forced to when I tripped over something. When I looked, I realized that the aforementioned something had been a human skull. Skulls and bones covered the ground and made an awful crunching noise when we walked.

Aragorn suddenly broke into a run and Legolas, Kate, Gimli and I followed him out of the tunnel we were in and into a huge open space. The space had a massive building in it. We walked towards the building warily. Aragorn stopped at a cliff edge near the front of the building and looked out over the chasm there.

"Who enters my domain?" a raspy voice asked. The voice seemed to echo through the cave-like space. We turned around and the ghostly image of the King of the Dead appeared before us in front of the steps to the building.

"One who will have your allegiance." Aragorn answered.

"The dead do not suffer the living to pass." The King of the Dead answered.

"You will suffer me." Aragorn stated determinedly. The King of the Dead let out a menacing laugh. As he did, many other ghostly buildings appeared on the other side of the chasm we had seen earlier. We all turned to look and saw the dead soldiers come out of the buildings and surround us. They were chanting something that I couldn't quite make out.

"The way is shut. It was made by those who are dead, and the dead keep it. The way is shut! Now you must die!" The King of the Dead exclaimed as more ghostly soldiers appeared and began to advance on us. Legolas fired an arrow at the King of the Dead. Said arrow went straight through him and clattered on the ground. I looked around nervously at the dead soldiers.

"I summon you to fulfill your oath." Aragorn told the King of the Dead, taking a step towards him.

"None but the King of Gondor may command me!" The King of the Dead responded. He limped forward and swung his sword at Aragorn, who blocked it with his own. Apparently, the King of the Dead recognized the sword that once belonged to Isildur.

"That blade was broken." The King of the Dead stated as Aragorn pushed his sword away. Aragorn held his sword the dead king's throat.

"It has been remade." Aragorn told him. With that he pushed the King of the Dead away from him. Aragorn looked around at the army of the dead for a moment. "Fight for us, and regain your honor. What say you?" Aragorn addressed the army. There was no response and the dead soldiers stared at us. Aragorn held his sword out in front of him and walked into the crowd. "What say you?" he asked again.

"Ah, you waste your time Aragorn. They had no honor in life; they have none now in death." Gimli told Aragorn, glaring at the dead army.

"I am Isildur's heir. Fight for me, and I will hold your oaths fulfilled." Aragorn said, completely ignoring Gimli and brandishing his sword at the dead army. "What say you?" he demanded.

The King of the Dead began laughing again and the army began to disappear into thin air.

"You have my word! Fight for me and I will release you from this living death! What say you?!" Aragorn shouted as the army disappeared completely.

"Stand you traitors!" Gimli yelled. Suddenly there was a cracking sound and rock and debris began to fall and the building in front of us crumbled and collapsed. Hundreds of thousands of human skulls fell out of the building as it crumbled. It was like an avalanche of death; quite scary when you think about it.

"Out!" Aragorn shouted to us and we began to make our way towards the exit, trying not to get swept up in the avalanche of skulls. It wasn't working and we soon found ourselves climbing over the skulls to get to the tunnel on the other side of the cave.

Kate yelped as she tripped and nearly fell. I stopped, grabbed her arm and tried to pull her back to her feet. She held my arm in a death grip. We were too close to the edge of the chasm for comfort. Kate's footing faltered and her grip on my arm loosened for a moment. I looked into my older sister's eyes and all I saw was the fear that she would fall. No. That won't happen. I won't let you die, Kate. Not in this place.

"Kate don't you dare let go. I am not letting you fall." I whispered to her.

I yelled to Legolas for help seeing as he was the closest to me. His eyes widened and he grabbed onto my other arm, somehow managing to pull both me and my sister to our feet. Legolas pushed us ahead of him when we reached the tunnel and began to run.

"Legolas! Run!" Aragorn yelled back to him. We ran through the tunnel as skulls continued to rain down on us. Soon we burst through the exit and into the sunlight and staggered to a stop.

"Are you alright?" I asked Kate once we were out. She was taking shaky breaths and her eyes were slightly unfocused, as if she were mentally miles away.

"I'm fine. How about you?" she replied after a moment. I nodded. We both turned around to see Aragorn fall to his knees. I looked up and saw ships with black sails in a river at the base of the mountain. There was a town burning there. I choked on a sob as I took in the destruction.

My mind's eye went into the burning town and I tried not to think of the devastation the place was suffering. I could faintly hear people screaming from where we stood. Legolas put his hand on Aragorn's shoulder and my sister gave me a side hug. The look on her face told me two things. First, that she was thinking somewhere along the same lines I was. And second, that she could hear the townspeople's screams for help too and wanted badly to do something about it.

Suddenly the wind picked up and sent chills down my spine again. Aragorn stood and turned back towards the mountain. The King of the Dead materialized and walked up to stand face to face with Aragorn.

"We fight." The King of the Dead stated. Aragorn nodded slightly. He, Gimli, Legolas, Kate and I then walked down to the riverbank to intercept the ships. The ships sailed by where the five of us were standing. I could see people moving around on deck. I glared fiercely at them. Kate nudged me with her elbow.

"You're overdoing it." She whispered. I screwed my lip to the side and nodded.

"You may go no further. You will not enter Gondor." Aragorn stated loudly. The people on board began to laugh. Kate tensed beside me and glared at them. I elbowed her lightly.

"Who's overdoing it now?" I asked quietly. My sister narrowed her eyes at me slightly.

"Who are you to deny us passage?" Someone on deck demanded.

"Legolas, fire a warning shot past the boson's ear." Aragorn whispered to Legolas. Legolas took out an arrow and knocked it into his bow.

"Mind your aim." Gimli stated. Gimli nudged the bottom of Legolas's bow with the butt of his axe as Legolas shot the arrow. This messed up the shot and caused Legolas to accidently shoot the guy standing next to the boson. Legolas glared at Gimli.

"Well done, Gimli." I stated sarcastically.

"Oh. That's it, right. We warned you! Prepare to be boarded." Gimli said. The people on the ship laughed.

"Boarded? By you and whose army?" Someone shouted to us.

"This army." Aragorn said simply. The Army of the Dead then appeared and charged towards the ships. I smirked slightly as the Army of the Dead did their thing.

Soon, we found ourselves on the ships, sailing towards Gondor and the Battle of Pelennor Fields. I leaned on the railing of the ship and stared at nothing. Kate came up next to me. Neither of us said anything for a minute. I turned around and hugged her. She hugged me back.

"That's annoying." She muttered more to herself than me.

"What?" I asked, furrowing my eyebrows.

"I can't put my chin on your head anymore. You're too tall." My sister replied. I smiled a little.

"You haven't been able to do that since before Will was born." I retorted. Will was our youngest cousin.

"But Will's only three!" Kate exclaimed.

"I know. I haven't grown much since my freshman year of high school, Kate." I said. Kate Gibbs slapped me.

"I love you too. I'm glad you're okay. I almost lost you in there." I whispered.

"It's okay Olympia. I'm fine. So there's nothing to worry about in that department." Kate whispered. I nodded. After a while, Kate let go of me and left. I wandered around the ship until I found Legolas, who was also staring out at nothing. I went and stood next to him.

"Meep." I said. Legolas smiled slightly and wrapped an arm around my shoulders.

"Meep to you as well, meleth." Legolas responded. My eyes widened and I stared up at Legolas.

"Did you really just say 'meep'?" I asked, grinning. Legolas grinned in response. I started laughing and hugged him. That may have just made my life. "Te amo." I murmured.

"Would I be correct if I assumed that means 'I love you'?" Legolas asked. I laughed.

"Yes, yes you would." I replied.

"I love you as well." Legolas told me. I smiled up at him. He leaned in and kissed me in response. We then continued to watch the shoreline from the railing of the boat. It was a bit like staring out the window of a car when you go somewhere. I started humming to myself.

Author's note: Two updates in a less than two week time period! What is this? Oh yeah, this is what happens when there's only one week left of school and I have nothing better to do than write and study for finals and Regents. Yep! You all read that right. This upcoming week is my last one of classes, in which I will be taking all my finals. Then next week I only have to go in and take two Regents exams. So, I'm done with school as of June 12th. I also just found out that The Hobbit is on my summer reading list for next year. Win! So, anyway… READ AND REVIEW PLEASE!

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