Disclaimer: All facts related to Tolkien's works are his.
Warnings: Some gory descriptions, not for the overly squeamish.
Other stories in this series: A Twist of Fate
These Burdens We Carry
Chapter I. Relentless Pursuit
There was an unnatural silence in the forest. Legolas fiddled with the strap of his quiver nervously and gazed around him. He had been wondering restlessly around the forest for half the day, searching. His heart was filled with worry for what he would find. He sighed tiredly and decided to rest for a few moments. Pulling out his canteen he took a few cautious sips, easing his parched throat a little. His body was tense and on edge, ready to flee at any hint of danger.
The trees offered no solace here. Their voices cried out in agony, painful to the ears of an elf. All around him were naked branches, reduced to skeletal twigs and burnt barks. The ashes of leaves blew around whispering of a hidden danger.
The desperate hope, that he would find what he so urgently sought, washed through his being and urged him to cut short his rest. Legolas' quiver tapped gently against his shoulder as he traveled and the few arrows in it tilted to rest on an edge of the quiver.
The metallic smell of blood had become more and more saturated as Legolas walked on. He chose to ignore the possibilities behind the sickening odor. His foot stepped into a puddle as he turned to his right and he froze.
He blinked, but the sight remained before him. He had found the rest of his petrol, but now he half wished he hadn't. His legs felt weak and his mind screamed at him to turn his eyes away but he couldn't. He felt paralyzed to the spot. With sudden realization, he realized that he must have just stepped into a puddle of blood. He felt nauseas and managed to prevent himself from looking downwards. His gaze was fixated on the horrific picture painted before him.
He kept no track of how long he stood there and in that time, his sharp sight took in every detail and committed it to memory. It would give him nightmares in days to come. The sound of orcish voices in the air dragged him back to the present and his head snapped up, startled. He lingered for a moment more before he began to run, the faint marks of tears on his cheeks drying rapidly.
The orcs had come to finish off what they had started. Their foul voices and their stench polluted the air as they trampled through the injured ground, heedless of the bodies that were mauled by their foul feet. Blood squirted out of the masses of flesh onto their iron boots but they did not care.
Legolas gasped for breath. The orcs were relentless in their chase and had given him no respite. He didn't know how long he could hold out at the rate this was going. The chilly air nipped at his bare skin as he approached the mountains. He hoped he would not be forced right over it. The chances for surviving the trip over the mountains alone were very slim. If the orcs gave up halfway, there were still other perils to face, wargs, snow storms… the list was endless.
Aragorn breathed in deeply, filling his lungs with the crisp morning air. His fingers tapped lightly against the window sill, following the rhythm of the steady drip of water from somewhere nearby. It was at times like these that he remembered how thankful he was to be living in an Elven realm. Rivendell glistened like a jewel in the morning sun. How many mortals got to see such a beautiful sight every morning?
He gave a contented sigh and pulled on his boots. Whistling softly, he strode out of the room to have breakfast with his family. They always tried to have the morning meal together when he was going to leave home for long periods of time.
He was anxious to get on his way. He had not seen Legolas for half a year and was eager to see how he was faring.
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Well… this is the first chapter, and if you want this story to go on, it would be wise to review! Lack of encouragement in the first chapter may lead to writer's depression… and inability to continue. :o)