A Twist of Fate
Disclaimer: I take no credit for all facts and Characters related to Tolkien's works.
I. A night in the trees
It was quiet.
So very quiet.
Great furry, eight legged bodies crept amongst the tree, stealthily searching for easy prey. Their red eyes glittered in the dark. They could smell meat, fresh and sweet and tender.
A long hairy leg reached out to the mass of meat before it, longingly.
And fell to the ground dead with an arrow through its head. Sensing danger, the others scuttled away.
"You really ought to be more careful, you know."
The elf smiled at the human who had jerked awake at the sudden movement.
"I was merely… pretending to be asleep."
The elf cocked one elegant eyebrow.
"You were pretending to be at unawares in order to attract a giant spider to us – by using yourself as bait – so that I could kill it just at the right moment?"
"I am honored that you have such trust in me…"
Legolas playfully mocked the ranger, giving him a little bow.
Unable to control their mirth any longer, the two old friends burst out laughing. It was several minutes before they actually stopped.
After a quick meal, both the elf and the ranger continued their journey through the forest.
Aragorn turned to look at the elf who seemed to be engrossed with something up in the trees. He was just about to ask what exactly had his friend so fixated when the elf stopped, cocked his head to one side and listened hard. He placed a finger to his lips to silence his friend's questions and frowned slightly as he tried to discern the sound he was hearing.
"Do they bring danger?"
Legolas did not answer, but instead grabbed onto a branch of the nearest tree and began to climb. He was not taking any chances. These were dark days and there was no knowing what evil was at work in these woods.
Aragorn hurriedly followed his friend's example and the two were just in time as a group of men rode through on their mounts.
The last rider was almost past the trees in which the two were hidden when he suddenly stopped. Their leader had given the order to set up camp.
Aragorn cursed silently under his breath. It seemed his luck was especially foul today. Woken up by an arrow whizzing past his head… stranded in a tree because of a group of strange men. He only hoped that by the end of the day the list of unlucky things would not grow longer.
Several hours crept slowly by, Legolas had already settled himself comfortably in the tree. Aragorn sat tense on what he felt was the strongest part of the bark.
"Why don't we…"
He started brightly but was halted by the elf.
"I would not take the risk."
"But they could be harmless for all we know."
Legolas didn't even bother to repeat himself and the companions lapsed back into silence. Aragorn sighed. The elf smiled in amusement at the agitated ranger.
"Rest my friend. I will keep watch tonight. It is likely that tomorrow they will break camp and we can continue on our journey to my home."
Aragorn tried to rest. He truly did. But the fact that they were in a tree high above the ground was not exactly a very comforting thought. I'm not going to fall. I'm not going to fall. He thought fervently to himself. It was then that he noticed a pair of red specks staring at him. He gulped.
"Legolas. Legolas. Legolas!"
"In case you haven't noticed, there's a spider … erm… frighteningly close to us."
"Aragorn, spiders have a limit to how much they can eat. And this one seems pretty satisfied to me. Especially since it has been there for the last… hour or so and has not made a move towards us."
Aragorn absorbed this information grimly. There had been a spider in a tree facing this one for an hour. He wondered if it was his imagination or if the spider seemed to be moving towards them. No, he was definitely right. It was moving towards them. He glanced at Legolas who seemed completely at ease.
"Stop being such a child Aragorn."
"Wait till your brother's hear about this…"
Aragorn swallowed hard, trying to calm his fears. Was it his fault that he didn't like giant spiders found in Mirkwood?
He edged closer to Legolas.
"That's it. I'm not spending one more second in this tree."
Aragorn declared, he sounded childish even to his own ears, but at this point he didn't care. His main priority was getting away from that eight legged creature.
"Besides the riders are gone… I see no sight of them down below, and as a night has already passed, I believe they should be gone."
That said, he hastily started to climb back down.
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