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Silent Flower of Song: Book One: Setting the Chessboard

By SauronKhamulmaniac

Mystery / Adventure

The Elfling

Chapter 1
It HURT. Her mouth opened in a silent scream of agony and she writhed in pain, fingers curling and body convulsing on the stone slab that she lay on top of, strapped down with leather restraints. Tears poured down the once-flawless cheeks that were now stained with blood and grime, eyes closed.
Orcs cackled as they passed, a few even stopping to spit upon the bloody gashes in her skin, black spittle sizzling with poison. Her eyes remained closed, no response drawn out of the still, prostrate form.
She was too tired to fight back. How long had it been since she had stayed here, in these deep, dark, dank caves of Angband, the once-fortress of Morgoth, defeated Master of Sauron?
"Scream for us, pretty little thing!" An orc jeered, making her torturers laugh in twisted amusement and glee. Everyone down here knew that she could not speak.
They said that it was all the better that she couldn't (since elves tended to spit curses at them in Sindarian, which, as they agreed, sounded like a grating on the ears), but still agreed that she was cheating them of the pleasure of hearing someone scream in pain. That's what they lived for. To hear and breathe and feed off of the pain of another.
Particularly elves, for orcs hate elves because they remind them of what they had been before they had been twisted and defiled and deviated and mutilated- clean, pure beings that shone with the light of the Valinor.
Their victim wandered in the little world she had created in her mind, an escape from the pain and the darkness. She was vaguely surprised at herself that she even had the capability to feel pain any more, after all this time. Pain was her staple. She turned it over absently in her mind, cradling it to herself and cherishing it, for it was the only proof that she was still alive.
Oh, of course she could breathe and was alive in the physical sense, but she meant it by way of the mind. She was still alive in her spirit. Elves cannot live as long as she had in this kind of environment, but she had, and she cherished that thought.
She smoothed her inner screams that beat against her throat, begging to be released, and instead turned them into her own music. The screeching, wailing sound of a violin that plays a haunting melody that sings of agony.
She hears everything as music, a part of her that not even the darkness can take away, for the darkness could not touch her inner light. She had- unbeknownst even to herself- learned to use her inner light and unconsciously twist it into a shield that protected her heart and her soul and her mind.
So she has lived on, her natural, elvish glow dulled by her unconscious shielding. It was there, but it was muted. The orcs did not care. Neither did the few Balrog's who still came now and then in their incoherent wanderings. To them, it was a sign that she was slowly wasting away. They never suspicioned that it was the opposite.
To her, the darkness has its own music. To her, everything has a voice of its own. It speaks in its own way, and she listens; for they are her only friends in this dark place, choked with the fumes of noxious gases that seep from the dirt walls and corrode away like acid.
They have left her there for a while as a reprieve. The only reason she is not killed is because the orcs need someone to remind them of what they are living for. They have no master now. They have no purpose now. But they continue to fester with hate, and their anger is unleashed on her, for that is her only purpose down here. To provide a outlet for their continuous anger and hatred.
Her eyes are closed- unusual for an elf, which goes to show her poor condition. She lets out a ragged sigh that is barely heard and does her daily debate. Or is it hourly? She cannot remember anymore, for time here does not exist. It just is. It does not concern itself here, and it does not make a difference.
Does she live? Or should she succumb to the darkness? As always, she pushes it away. She may be good-for-nothing, for she is of no use but for amusement, but she still wants to live. Death for her is probably inevitable, but she balks at the thought of giving up now. Not now, when she still has hope.
Yes, hope, for she longs for the chance to see daylight again: clear, pure light, not the dark, green flames that light black torches here, smoking and sputtering like old men coughing and wheezing from their pipe smoke.
"Here pretty. Time for your food." An orc throws a plate on the table and untied her wrist restraints roughly, gouging her already-slashed wrists. She does not flinch, only giving the orc a blank look before sitting up like a zombie, stiff and hard. Despite his glare, he scuttles away.
Her eyes unnerve them. Once bright and vibrant, they are now dull and cloudy, but somehow still seem to pierce them in an unwavering gaze that promises victory one day. She cannot remember the color of her eyes anymore. She cannot remember the color of her hair anymore. She cannot even remember her name anymore. All she knows is that the orcs hate her for her uncanny, piercing, silvery-blue and leafy green eyes that are unnervingly blank.
She eats the food, hating it and yet wanting more of it. It is nothing more than sickly, withered leaves that are not green anymore and soup that is probably made of spider flesh. She doesn't want to think about it. Water is brackish and dirty, but she knows that she must drink it to stay alive.
She is not an elleth. She is an elfling, a mere child in both body and mind. She has not grown in all of these years because she was cursed when she arrived here in these dungeons for the first time. Light cannot remain in darkness without suffering some harm. This was the effect of the darkness on her light. She was to remain an elfling for as long as she was here in these underground halls and rooms, never to grow in mind or body.
She lay back down after finishing her meal. There was no use trying to escape. There was no way to escape. Orcs guarded and patrolled the halls incessantly. They would leave her here for an hour and come back for more sport. That was the way it always was. They knew well enough that she needed to be fed or else she would die. And they did not want her to die.
Her eyes closed and she sank back into the music that she could hear in everything, until her hour of reprieve was up and she submitted to the soundless screams of pain and the weak convulsions of agony. The violin's haunting bow sawed an agonizing melody on the strings of her tattered body as her mute pleas for help went unnoticed in the unforgiving halls in the deeps of Angband.

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