In our time of dying
Disclaimer: I do not own the Hobbit.
It was something so simple, yet so complex at the same time. Depressing, sorrowful and refreshing all at once. The world itself could be ablaze in the red hot grip of a multitude of flaming fires and the soothing rain would come like always to heal what is left, to wash away all signs that anything was ever wrong.
Tears of rain.
It was all the same thing really, or at least it was to the young dwarf who no longer cared for the world around him, no longer cared to be a part of that world. The world now only had blood to offer, blood both black and red which frothed and swirled and mixed together in the ceaseless rain.
At least no one would see him cry. Not that it mattered. Not that anything mattered anymore. The ginger haired warrior of no more than ninety who fell with a black shafted arrow buried deep within his neck was just another casualty to add to the growing list. The flinty eyed elf who bore such a youthful face became another kill for an axe wielding orc. The swordsman barely into manhood became another hacked open body on the ground. All young, all nameless and all dead. Dead like his brother, dead like he soon would be.
They had been fighting back to back, just like they always had. How it had happened, Kili would never know, but as a fresh wave of combined orcs and goblins hit the lines built up by dwarf, men and elf, a wheel had begun to churn and an hourglass run out of sand. Two hourglasses, for it was always in pairs where they were concerned.
The fighting had been unimaginable; not even the sickest of minds could have thought up such carnage and destruction. There was all manners of violent deaths at play, from the most horrific of beheadings to being impaled again and again upon the spikes of spears. Snapped necks and severed spines were nothing compared to those who had their chest crushed in by a rock fired from a catapult and then were left to die, pinned underneath the same rock as the poor fellows slowly chocked to death on their own blood, and still there were worse ways to go. The archers who were still armed with arrows and bows were not choosy in where they shot their victims. Those who had an arrow buried in their heart or through their head were considered lucky compared to those who had to wait a seemingly endless amount of time for death to collect them, the lining of their stomach torn or lung pierced by an archer with a careless aim. Death upon death upon death and it was always the youngest who fell first.
There were distinct advantages the older warriors held over their younger counterparts, namely that of muscle and experience gained from having seen many winters in their time. Those with grey streaked in their hair and creases lining their faces had the benefit of years upon years to train their body, to harden it for battle such as this. The old were experienced, many having seen brutal conflict such as the one that raged around them at one point or another in their long lives, but most of all, the old knew how to stay alive. Those who had taken part in battle before knew how to pick up on subtle hints that indicated their opponent's next move. They knew how to avoid making costly mistakes that would send them to their deaths sooner than they would have otherwise been. To them, avoiding being cornered by the enemy was child's play and not tripping up on a stray shield or limb was easier done than said. It was these seasoned warriors that stood tall and proud in face of the enemy. It was they who fought on valiantly in every aspect of the word. It was the young who laid spread eagle at their feet.
Naïve to the battle around them and unknowing to the tricks the enemy might have attempted to pull on them, it was surprising that both Fili and Kili had survived for as long as they did. Inseparable they had been, down to the very last moment the elder had on this earth.
Kili laughed bitterly in the wind, a broken and dying sound, made all the more chilling by the blood evidently stained against the whiteness of his teeth. The brunette remembered all to well the spear that had been driven through his back and out through his middle, missing his heart and lungs, but piercing his stomach. That was not the beauty of the blow however, the beauty could only be found in the fact the very same spear had gone through his brother first only moments before. They had fallen to the ground at the exact same time, together as always as the same deafening sound of blood rushing in their ears drowning out the brutal and almost beastlike sounds that had emitted from the mouths of those around them at the time.
Kili was now shivering in the sheets of rain pouring from the sky, though whether it was from the cold or the weariness of his body he did not know, it most likely being a combination of both. This did not bother the brunette however for he was caught up in recently made memories scarred forever upon his mind.
Having been pinned back to back, Fili had asked in the calm voice he had always maintained in the most dire of situations a question which had Kili's mind reeling not only from the white hot pain seeping from his torso, but from the very idea of pulling himself off the instrument which was embedded so thoroughly within him. Still, it was his brother who was asking, his brother that the young archer would have done anything for. However, Kili had not quite managed to ease himself off the end of the spear, the spear still skewered through his middle even as rain dripped both its bloodied and twisted ends. The spearhead was curved cruelly over, hooked before flattening out again making it virtually impossible for Kili to pass through without further enlarging the already extensive wound which had been dealt to him. He had said as much to Fili, both wincing every time the spear was jostled. The older blonde had then, with much effort and no small amount of agony, pulled himself off the other end of the spear, the end without the head. The prince's blood still painted the end shaft of the spear a brilliant red despite the rain's effort to wash the evidence of such hurts away.
Kili stared blankly ahead of himself, allowing droplets of freezing water to run down his face and into the open wounds in his body as he recalled what had come next. Fili, every bit the strong and brave older brother Kili had known him as, had half crawled, half dragged himself so he was positioned in front of his sibling. With the spear removed, there was no longer anything stemming the blood flow gushing from the gaping holes situated in both Fili's front and back. There was no longer anything stopping Fili's life force from leaving his body as swiftly as the spear had impaled it. In the end there had only been time for a few whispered words.
"Khul nadadith. Amrad zatâgrîf izd nu nudûd nât. Fear not, for we shall meet again."
Kili could nothing as the last bittersweet memory left him. He was alone among the mass of writhing bodies, alone and forsaken in the cold and unyielding rain, dying without the comfort of friend or family to wash away the horror of the moment, yet Kili was not scared. He was not scared of the darkness that would soon envelope him or the cold oblivion it would bring. Why should he be scared when death would be a welcome relief from the pain and agony of staying in a world of blood and gore and rain, endless rain?
Thorin had been removed from the field of battle long before, wounded yet still living, and that, Kili mused to himself as he waited for the world to stop moving around him, was the way it always went, the way it would always go. The old were saved from the fray to be healed of all injuries at a later date while the young were left alone to fight and to die clinging to the hope that they may just make it out of the mess they found themselves in alive, if not wholly intact. Clinging to the hope that the ones they loved would not be left behind.
The single thought ran through Kili's head as the weight of the spear within him grew even heavier than before. The brunette knew that someone was still waiting for him, for them, waiting for both her sun and her shadow to return home to her waiting arms. He had made a promise to this someone, a promise that he had sworn he would fulfill even if it took him his whole life. Now it looked as though he would never get to keep that promise.
"Forgive me," he mouthed weakly, eyes fixed on the stone in held loosely in his hand as the last essence of his life was washed away by the rain, the ever persistent rain tinged with the scarlet of his blood.
Kili's eyes then glazed over, no longer seeing as darkness overtook him. The stone fell from his hands to be lost in the marsh that was now the battlefield. The young brunette then fell forward, body going limp as the archer's cheek met the muddied ground with a splash, sending brown and red droplets to soak the boots and breeches of those who still stood around him. Empty eyes stared blankly ahead, the blood streaked golden hair of a mere finger's breadth away from the face the eyes belonged to.
So was the cost of war.
Khul nadadith – Peace little (younger) brother.
Amrad zatâgrîf izd nu nudûd nât. – Death will take two brothers in the end.
I had to tweak some of the words meanings slightly to make the sentence make sense, but that is pretty much what they mean.
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