Blood and Water

Tears Like Rain

They walked for what seemed like hours Estel still perched on the big man's shoulder. He hadn't made a sound since they left the river. He was worried and afraid. He was worried for him and his brothers. Had they been found? Were they alright and chasing after the attackers right now? Secretly Estel hoped the later to be true. He didn't want to think his brothers were laying on the river side dead or unconscious, but up and well on their way to his rescue.

"Are we almost their?" whined the rat faced man.

"Soon." grumbled the other man wearing the bear skin.

"So what do we do with the whelp when we get back?"

"I don't know? Quit asking."

The woman with the hawk feathers stroked the side of Estel's cheek with a long nailed finger from her hand, "Maybe we can keep him. He'd make an interesting pet."

"I suppose you have a collar and leash picked out for him?" said the man called bear.

"I might."

The man with the warg skin instantly stopped in his tracks and threw Estel to the ground. Seeing this as another chance to escape Estel scrambled to his feet and ran in the direction he knew home to be in. Unfortunately he didn't get far. The warg skin man instantly rounded on him and snatched him by the back of his shirt and threw him into the nearest tree effectively knocking all the air from the boy's lungs.

"No ya' don't." He said to Estel. Grabbing the boy by the arm he dragged him back to the others. Estel pulled at his shirt trying to get free. He felt the hard ground, rocks and all, rub and scratch his back mercilessly. He was tossed at the feet of the woman the feathers in her cloak tickling his nose some. "Here you have a leash you take 'em. I'm tired of carrying the worthless brat."

Not wishing to antagonize the bigger man she took off the rope that hung at her belt and tightened it around the boy's neck. Pulling him close she glared into his eyes. "Listen you maggot, you will stay with us, no more of this trying to get away. You hear?" Estel shook his head. "Good. You see this rope tied to your neck? Every time it's pulled on the knot will choke you until you come close and every time you wander too far it will become tighter." she tighter the rope around Estel's neck to emphasize her point. "You must obey me if you wish to see your family. Understood? You're my pet until we reach our camp." Estel fearfully shook his head. "Good. I don't want to hear a sound."

"Valor help any child that woman may one day bear." whispered Bear to the wind. The others nodded in agreement.

They traveled for a few more hours, but to Estel it felt like an eternity. He wanted to call out, he wanted to yell, he wanted to do anything but obey these people, if that was what you would call them. To Estel they were monsters, the kind that haunt your dreams, the ones that hind in the shadows waiting for the time to strike. The beings any and all creatures feared on an instinctive level. Estel was very much afraid. He would stumble and trip along the way the rope ever growing tighter around his neck. The woman was good on her threats. She did not slow when Estel fell and if the boy didn't almost instantly rush to his feet then the rope would choke him and they would drag him along the path. The woman would even give a mighty tug to get him moving faster or just to torment him with the primal fear of death.

At last they reached weathertop. The sun was beginning to set filling the skies with all sorts of pinks, purples, blues, and red. While the sun itself no longer held its bright yellow, but a mix of orange and red. Estel was reminded of home and how he and his father would always go out onto one of Rivendell's many balconies and watch the sunset together. Where that normally brought joy into his little heart he now felt an immense sadness as he quietly asked himself if he would ever watch those beautiful sunsets with his ada again.

'Maybe ada is watching it right now. I wonder if he misses me.' Estel shook his head. Of coarse his father missed him! How could he ever think such terrible thoughts?

'If that's true then why has no one come for you yet?' asked a little voice in the back of his mind.

Estel was startled out of these thoughts when a large shadow loomed over him, blocking the sun from his view. Looking up he saw another man, he was not one of the ones who had dragged from his brothers and through the woods. This one was well built with dark eyes to mach his black hair and handsomer then the others. He wasn't all muscle like the twins nor was he skinny, dirty, and oily like the rat face man. This man wore wolf fur on his feet, wrists, and waist, which had the wolf tail still attached. He wore light dark armor across his chest, protecting the vital organs hat laid beneath the skin. The look alone was not enough to frighten Estel though, but the two wolves that lurked behind the man in the wolf skin did. One was black while the other was a mix of gray and white. They growled and showed their teeth to the boy as he cowered in fear of them.

"Down boys." said man clad in the wolf skin to the wolves behind. They instantly became quiet as the wolf man squatted to Estel's level.

"Hello little one, I am Rain." he said with a smile.

Estel was hesitant. Why was he being nice when the others were cruel?

Rains smile instantly faded into a cold harsh grin his black eyes glittering in the setting sun. He grabbed a handful of the boy's hair and jerked him closer to his face. "We're going to have lots of fun. Little Estel." a cruel laughter escaped his throat at the boys now wide eyes with fear etched into their depths. For the first time that day Estel did something he had feared doing.

He cried cold, bitter tears.

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