Chapter 6: The Horrors of Memories
Sorry it has been so long guys. Updating just hasn't been a major priority for me lately, especially because exams are coming up and I am kind of freaking out about it. So I apologize if the next week you go without an update. Once again, bolded italics are Legolas' thoughts/dreams.
Pie in the Face: Indeed, indeed. Angst, sadness, grief, and pain galore are soon to come for our dear elf, and ranger. However, like you said, it our favorite characters suffering does make a fantastic story for us! Thank you by the way, I appreciate the fact that you took the time to send me kind words. I hope you enjoy the rest of my work!
Guest (reader): I am glad that you are enjoying my story. It also makes me happy to know that I might bring you just a little bit of joy through my stories! I will try and continue and updating as frequently as possible, but I can only promise so much.
Guest: Thank you so much! To be told that my writing is amazing makes me feel, well…AMAZING! This is the only form in which I have really presented my writing to a public group of people, so it has been so nice to receive such friendly recognition from such wonderful people like you! I will most definitely continue to write more Lord of the Rings stories, and continue this one until I am fully satisfied with the result.
The elf's blue eyes were clouded with an air of anxiety as he grabbed for the ranger's well-muscled upper arm. Legolas desperately tried to drag the man away from his leading spot in the group, in order to communicate with him in a more private manner. Not that it really made much of difference, because none of the others would be able to understand what he was saying.
At the sharp jerk upon his left arm, Aragorn turned around in confusion, so he was facing the elven archer. At the sight of Legolas' jittery and nervous nature, the man's brow creased. Following Legolas' lead, the ranger slowed down his pace, therefore allowing the other of the fellowship to pass him by. Once the two were the last in line, and the other were a decent distance away, Legolas began to move his hands. Estel I need to talk to you about Moria. I don't know what I am going to do about being in the dark for so long. I feel that it will crush the little resistance I have left. I….I am….
The elf paused as he dropped his jaw to rest against his chest. His shoulders deflated simultaneously, causing Aragorn to frown at the change in behavior. The ranger reached out one battle-weathered hand to gently tilt Legolas' chin upwards, while the other lightly grasped the prince's wrist. He looked into the archer's eyes and quietly pushed him to elaborate further.
"You are what Legolas?"
The prince averted his eyes from that of his friend as he signed the final piece of his sentence. I am scared Estel. In fact I am positively terrified. Finally Legolas made eye contact with the man and it pained the ranger to see the shame that was now swarming behind the blue orbs from stating such a sentence. When Aragorn didn't immediately reply, the elf dropped his gaze again. I am behaving like a whining child, complaining about the dark, but I can't help it. Whenever I think about the never ending darkness we are about to enter, I can't help but feel like my heart is being doused in ice water, before an unrelenting hand begins to squeeze it to the point I feel like it will burst. I know not what to do Estel. I wish that I could simply enter the mines without a problem, staying strong like the others, but my soul will not allow me to do so. For that I apologize, I never intended to become such a burden.
The man sighed as Legolas attempted to pull away from him, which only resulted in Aragorn tightening his grip around the archer's wrist. He pulled the elf ever closer before finally erasing the distance between them as the man pulled his lifelong friend into a tight embrace. The man felt the strong arms of the elf slowly wrap around his back as the tenseness in Legolas' form dissipated. In an attempt to further calm the being in his arms, Aragorn began to murmur in one of the elves' pointed ears.
"My dear Legolas, do not apologize for such things, and do not criticize yourself for behaving as what you call 'a whining child'. Your feelings about the darkness are shared by us all. If anything, you are the only one who has a concrete reason to feel such fear. Besides, what you fear is not the darkness itself, it is what is in it, am I correct?"
Legolas nodded limply against the man's shoulder before slowly pulling away. Whenever I enter such darkness, all I see are the beasts who tortured me. At this the man smiled.
"Now stop doubting yourself. I cannot truthfully tell you that once we enter the mines, you will be okay. In all honesty, something horrible is probably going to happen, for danger constantly surrounds us, but I can tell you that there is no way I am going to let anything happen to you."
The prince nodded as he took a deep breath. He then forced a smile to come through his still gloomy composure, but it only came out as a strained grimace. Aragorn could see through the elf's facade as if it were completely transparent, but he didn't want to once again strain Legolas' composure, so he went along with it by firmly gripping his friend's shoulder. Aragorn then turned around and followed after their traveling companions, who by now were much too far ahead. Legolas watched the man's back for a few moments before sighing and running to join him.
The tension among the fellowship of the ring was high as they trekked among the decaying bodies of the dwarves of Moria. All that they could do was follow the light of the wizard's staff, and try to move through the dank air as quickly as possible. Eight of the nine figures let their eyes wander along the walls and floor of the mines, their curiosity piqued, but there was one who could barely even walk straight, his knees were shaking so terribly. His blue eyes were glued wide open to the dim light of Gandalf's staff for at the current time, that small light was the only thing keeping him sane.
The prince's condition was deteriorating quickly, but none of the others couldn't really tell due to the bad lighting, and the fact that they were more focused of the other possible dangers around them. However, if they could really see him, they would be able to tell how much being in the mines was affecting him. Legolas'—already terribly pale—skin was now an ashen and sallow. It accentuated the dark shadows that ran under his eyes, and along the deep hollows of his cheek bones. His once sparkling eyes had become even more dull and clouded, the hope that used to consume them was completely gone. All of these changes combined gave Legolas the haunting look of a skeleton. He was also rather unstable on his feet at the moment, but he hid it well, for he had been given many years to perfect his strategy on how to hide his pain. Although, however calm the elf may have appeared on the outside, inside he was collapsing in on himself.
When will this suffocating darkness end?! When will I be free from this horror?! By the Valar, I already fought through this mess once, why are the gods forcing me to do this again?! What on earth have I done to deserve this?! Please someone tell me why I cannot find peace anywhere?! The world must be determined to kill me, or make me suffer as much as possible, for I cannot believe that this added to my past can be a coincidence. I just need to get out of here, then everything will be fine, then things will go back to normality, which is good, very, very good.
"Legolas why don't you take this time to rest mellon-nin." (my friend)
The sudden comment from Aragorn snapped the elf out of his morbid thoughts. He turned to look at the ranger and found that the man was now standing several feet away with the rest of the fellowship, who were watching him with curious expressions. It took him a moment to realize that he had stopped walking during his thought process, and the fellowship had taken that as a sign he needed rest. Legolas shook his head in denial and signed quickly to his friend. No it is fine, I am fine. We do not need to stop.
"No Legolas, everyone needs a rest…" the man paused and stepped closer to the elf so Legolas was the only one who could hear him. "…especially you. Don't think I didn't notice how you have been nearly tripping over your own feet for the past hour. Please get some sleep Legolas, your body needs rest in order to cope with all of the stress you are currently under. It is alright to show some sort of weakness Legolas, you do not have to be invincible."
The elf frowned, but he nodded none the less and walked over to where the rest of the fellowship was currently setting up a make-shift camp. He didn't bother to interact with anyone else before he laid down his bedroll, threw his pack to the side, and lay down to rest. It only took several deep breaths before the prince's eyes glazed over in the elven form of sleep. Eventually, the rest of the fellowship also embraced the sweetness of sleep, with the exception of Aragorn who was standing guard. The ranger sat a little ways away from the others, seeing as everything around them was calm, or so he thought.
Legolas' face was currently contorted in a mask of pain, and his limbs were twitching ever so slightly as he worked through the nightmare plaguing his mind.
"Not so tough now are ya elf?"
The tortured being screamed once again as the blazing hot metal was run across his skin, searing the already mutilated flesh of his chest. The once flawless skin bubbled and blistered as the screaming of utter agony sounded once again, but twice as loud. Finally the elf—who was swinging from rusty chains attached to the ceiling, so his toes dangled just above the ground, therefore putting unhealthy strain on the being's shoulders—was given a second of reprieve as the molten material was removed, only to be replaced by the cruel whip his captors so commonly used. It was laced with shards of broken glass, metal, and wooden splinters, so every time it was slashed against flesh, it dug to the bone, and tore the skin away. The body jerked as the first blow from the whip landed upon his shoulder.
The elf cried out in pain as blood spurted out from the new wound. Another blow landed across his back, re-opening his old wounds and causing them to bleed anew.
"Ya're weal elf, and ya always will be. I thought the elves were supposed to be strong, but look at ya! Ya're pitiful, none of the others will want ya now, I mean why would they? Ya're nothing now. No pride, no strength, no nothing. Ya're useless."
Each taunt was extenuated by a brutal slash of the whip, resulting in more and more screams from the poor elf. By now his head has dropped so his chin was resting along his collar bone, the strength to keep it raised non-existent. His breathing was harsh and uneven as the destroyed body attempted to cope with the overwhelming pain and stress it was under.
"Leave 'im be! We don't want 'im to die just yet!"
The command from the leading orc caused the others to snarl in protest, but they released their weapons none the less, leaving the captive to suffer alone in his lightless cell. Once the beasts were gone, the being's breathing became nothing more than soft shudders as his tears of despair caused his throat to close in on itself. The salty liquid streamed down his face as broken words fell from his cracked lips and bloody lips in a morbid mantra.
"Please kill me….please kill me…..please kill me…..please…."
His words were stopped when the rest of his strength left him. The elf's broken body slumped even more as his flesh throbbed from the new wounds, but honestly, the being was quite used to the pain by now. Being held in a never ending hell for three years will do that to you, or at least he thought it had been close to three years. He had been tracking the seasons based upon the mud, leaves, and sometimes snow which caked the bottoms of his captor's boots, but sometimes it was hard to tell due to his condition, and the fact that he was slowly dying.
The being had all but given up on the thought of being rescued, for his family probably thought he was dead, and he might as well be. He would never be the same elf he was before this mess, he would never get to see his father again, his friends, or his cousins. He would never get to explore middle earth, see the mountains or his beautiful forest again, none of it. The elf started to sob, and sob, there was nothing he could do to stop his fate, his imminent death.
That was when the door to his cell opened once again, and the heavy clank of metal boots filled the dank air again. Followed by a jeer from another one of his captors.
"Well elf, it is yar lucky day. We've been allowed extra time with ya today."
The man frowned when he thought he heard a whimper from behind him. He turned to look back at the fellowship and found that everyone excepted for Legolas was sleeping peacefully. The elf was thrashing about and tears were streaming down his face. He was mouthing frantic phrases as he moved, and the man could only assume that he was caught up in a nightmare from his time as a captive.
Worrying for his friend, Aragon leapt up and hurried over to the elf's side. He knelt beside the elf and placed a hand across Legolas' forehead, while he placed the other on the prince's shoulder. He began shaking the elf in desperation to wake him up, when the elf's thrashing became more and more intense. It eventually developed into a sort of convulsion, and the tears began to pour with renewed vigor down the elf's pale cheeks. Soon the man had to begin calling out to Legolas, because the elf refused to wake.
"Legolas please, you are only dreaming, you are safe, and you are here with me and the fellowship."
Nothing happened, the elf only continued to thrash and mouth various words frantically. It was then that the man realized what it was the prince was trying to say, and it broke his heart. The elf was silently screaming "kill me, please, please kill me". The ranger quickly gripped the sides of Legolas' face in an attempt to still his thrashing. Finally the man's calls reached the suffering elf, and the prince's body jerked upwards into a sitting position. His blue eyes cleared and he immediately grabbed for the man's neck. His arms locked around the ranger as if the man was his life source. It was then that Aragorn began to whisper in the elf's ear as Legolas sobbed silently.
"It is alright mellon-nin, you are safe, shhhh Legolas I am right here, I promised you remember, I said that nothing was going to harm you here, and I intend to keep the promise. Peace Legolas, shhhh be at peace, please be at peace." (my friend)
Please review guys! I love hearing what you have to say. Oh and a quick note, when Legolas is speaking in the dream, it is because that memory was before his voice was stolen.