The Only one

Summary : A survivor of an epidemic wanders by chance into the long lives of the elves in Mirkwood . NOT A ROMANCE

Disclaimer : Anything from Tolkien's works belongs to him .

NOTE : I know that Tolkien did not mention any small town near Mirkwood , besides Esgaroth , it is but a figment of my imagination . BUT if you want to link it to Tolkien , lets just say the town was wiped out by an Epidemic and thus did not exist when the hobbit was written . =)


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Prologue

A small town near Mirkwood :

My body burns with fever yet I feel so cold . The wind outside gusted the trees and shadows danced fitfully across the white ceiling . I pull the blanket closer to my body . The sight of the shadows frightens me . Is it an omen that the end is near for me ? My brother has passed on already . His body lifeless and cold . The men carried the body away for burning almost immediately . I could hear my mother whimpering slightly when they came and later the thud of her body against the smooth wooden floor as she fainted dead away . I weep silently for her death .

Death , Death everywhere . Most of the town folk have already died . I am probably doomed to the same fate .

My throat is dry and parched . I badly need a drink of water . With as much energy as I can muster , I roll off the bed and noisily land on the floor . I pull myself forward toward the water barrel with my hands . . My hands reach forward to clutch the sides of the barrel . The almost empty barrel balances dangerously on its edge , before toppling over . What water was inside disappears through the cracks between the floor boards . I sob aloud for the first time in weeks . I fear the impending doom . My head spins and the floor boards begin to blur . My eyes close and I give in to the darkness . The last thing I hear before all awareness fled from me was the sound of my own ragged breathing .

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Scouts from Mirkwood :

The few trade supplies we get from the town have stopped coming for a few weeks already . As our horses approach the town , I sense something is wrong . No smoke arises from the chimneys . No window is a lit with flickering light from an old glass lantern . The road is deserted . An icy wind worries the trees and cast shadows in the pale moonlight . Something is terribly wrong . I lift my hand to halt the others , and cautiously get off my house . I hear the sound of something falling to the floor in one of the nearby houses . I walk towards the source of the sound . The door creaks as I pull it open . A prone form on the floor catches my eye . It is a child . The only sound in the room is her weak ragged breathing as her lungs struggle to take in air . I rush to her side to find that she is unconscious . I carry her back to the group and give the order to search for other survivors .


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The elven scout lifted the girl effortlessly into his arms . But by that time her ragged breathing had become no more than a faint whisper . When he stepped out of the village house , her breathing has ceased.

He laid her down on the ground and , putting his mouth on hers , the taste of vomit bitter on his lips , he tried to give her breath .

One of his comrades , seeing the fallen girl , rushed to her side to help , pressing his hands to her chest . Together , they helped the girl breathe , slowly guiding her back to life .

It was into the first elf's mouth that she , at last , sputtered and coughed . By that time , she was able to breathe on her own . The girl did not speak , did not ask where she was or who they were . She was still half way between consciousness and darkness . She moaned slightly and deliriously called out for her mother , her eyes never opening.

When at last , every house had been searched for other survivors, and the dead had been hastily seen to. The scouts mounted their horses and hastened back to their realm, with the only survivor half cradled in front of the elf who had found her .

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Legolas sat in a comfortable armchair at the bedside of the child they had rescued from the village . Her breathing sounded uneven to him , and occasionally , she seemed to gasp for breath before falling back to the low raspy sounds that filled the room as her lungs worked to take in air .

The girl could not be more than eight in terms of mortal age. The healers had bathed her after stabilizing her condition , and her hair which had earlier been coated with dirt and mud and had lay stringy and limp around her head, now appeared black and silky as it shrouded the pillow beneath her head. Legolas did not know why , but he felt strangely protective over the girl, which was the reason why he had wandered into the room after the healers had seen to her , and sited himself in a chair beside her bed .

The son slowly peeked out from the horizon, and it's first rays slowly crept in through the window to rest on a prince of Mirkwood, who had wandered into the fair dreams of his people but a few hours before.

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TBC...

R/R pls!!!!