I'm sorry, I know I ought to be working on my other fics, this really isn't my fault! This evil, evil Nuzgûl latched onto me by the throat last night, and it just wont leave me alone! I don't even know what I'm going to do with this story, or if Ill even bother continuing it…sigh…I really, really hate Nuzgûl… But yes, if I do end up continuing it, Legolas will be showing up—next chapter, probably, if I make a next chapter. Grrr…evil, evil, evil Nuzgûl…

Shadows Creeping

Disclaimer: I don't own any of this; I made up the girl, but claim no rights to her—everything belongs to Tolkien the Great! I'm just borrowing, and while there may be damage along the way I'll give them all back at the end!

Summary: A darkness begins to grow in Greenwood the Great, and some young elflings get caught up in the evil events that are gradually stealing the joy and light from the forest…

Chapter One: The Child

Darkness had fallen in Greenwood the Great. Only one elf yet knew of the shadow, and she was in no condition to appreciate its greater meaning. Her entire world was focused on the red-stained body she knelt over as the rain pelted the leaves and mud around her. Her quiet sobs mingled with the sound of the storm and she shook violently, more from loss than the brutal weather.

"Ada," she cried, when the mostly unintelligible moans could be made out, "naneth, ada, tolo dan, tolo dan…" The child was no more than a few decades old, and the pain of her loss was almost more than her young mind could bear. Her dark hair hung limply in the water and blood that pooled on the dead elf's mutilated chest, stained as well with her bitter tears. She sat, surrounded by her family, but alone.

For the dead are poor company for an elfling.

All around her lay the savagely murdered bodies of her fellows, intermingled with the black, foul corpses of yrch. She had been traveling with her family and a few of their friends of old to the Gray Havens. The Silvan Elves did not often suffer from the Sea Longing, at least not to the degree of their kin, but when they did feel the call it was as irresistible to them as any Elf. Her father had been wounded in the battle of the Last Alliance, and his wounds had at last overcome his desire to stay in Middle-earth. To be fully healed, he would have to depart for Valinor, and though the parting was a sad one for the child and her mother, they knew that they would join him eventually, after Middle-earth ceased to hold them tightly, and so it had been endurable. A few others had also chosen the leave, and all had set out to bid them farewell on the shores of the Sea.

This parting, though, was one that none had expected. They had, of course, traveled armed, for not all evil things had been eradicated, but they were equipped lightly for they did not fear serious trouble. They were to pass through Lórien and bid distant kin there a goodbye, and then tarry a time in Imladris before finally heading to the Havens. Journeying southwards under the trees of Greenwood, their hearts had been saddened but light when suddenly they were beset by a large horde of yrch.

The girl remembered little of the battle besides her fear. Suddenly the foul creatures had boiled out of seemingly nowhere, screaming in voices that hurt the ears. Their cruel blades had gleamed darkly in the light of the lanterns the elves carried to light the night and their eyes had shone with vicious fire. The child had screamed in terror, but her mother's arms had enfolded her protectively, shielding the little one from the sight. She remembered clinging to her mother with trembling arms, hearing the sound of metal clashing on metal and arrows released in the air over the sounds of foul orkish voices and cries in the elven tongue.

Then her mother had gasped and her arms had tightened around the girl; she heard her father's voice cry out in pain and end with a wet, choking sound that chilled her blood. Her mother had stiffened and started to speak, but the elf-woman had fallen limply then, covering her daughter as her feä departed her body. The child felt pain blossom in her head that she noticed only after her mother had gone still and liquid that was not tears dripped in her eyes. The world swam before her and darkness covered everything.

When she awoke, the silence was broken only by the sound of rain splashing heavily on thick leaves and cold flesh. Her memory was hazy, and she dimly remembered screaming for an eternity, a wordless wail of agony. At last exhausted, she had cast herself across her father's chest—unable to look at her mother's headless corpse—and sobbed painfully.

This was a loss that could not be endured, and the elfling cried even after she had no tears left, her eyes blurred with shock and tears and her hands stained a pale red with her parents' blood. They were cold, so cold, and she knew that she would never feel anything but this again. There was nothing left; life was extinguished.

Then the child raised her head and her dark eyes were a flinty steel. No; there was something left. There was vengeance and anger. Rising on trembling legs that somehow managed to support her weight, the elfling removed her father's belt with trembling fingers. It was too long for her slim waist, so she fastened it over one shoulder and across her chest. She wiped the black yrch blood from her father's sword on the wet grass and grimly sheathed it on her back. Unable even to whisper a prayer to the Valar, she took a quiver from another elf; she could not see his face through the blood, and did not want to. Everyone was faceless now—even her nana—just another victim of the yrch. She gathered unbroken arrows from the ground to fill the empty quiver and slung it over her shoulder, balancing out the too-long sword with its weight. The child grimly lifted two long white knives from the muddy ground and tucked them inside the quiver as well.

If she was going to hunt the yrch down, she would need to be suitably armed. Picking up the smallest unbroken bow she could find—she did not want to think that it had once belonged to her cousin—she stared with unblinking eyes at the devastation before her. Wiping the tears from her face with a grimy, blood and dirt-coated hand, the elfling swallowed hard to quell her crying. She would have time to grieve when the yrch were dead.

Turning away, the girl walked purposefully into the forest. She did not look back.

She did not need to. The sight would be graven on her young heart for the rest of her immortal life.

However long or short a span of time that might be.

So, the Nuzgûl's birth: I was listening to my Nightwish cd--specifically the song "Fantasmic"--while reading some fics. Anyway, at one point the song slows down and says:

A cub of the king betrayed by usurper
A girl in the rain swearing to her fathers name
Belle the last sight for the dying gruesome
The beauties sleeping awaiting
Deep in a dream
For true loves first kiss

Its the first two lines that got me, they were the Nuzgûl that bit me so hard I seriously got a headache and couldn't stop picturing the image of the girl and the thought of the prince for two days (well, one night and 3/4 of a day, really) until I finally gave up and wrote this. I don't know what I'm doing with it, or what it intends to do with me, but here it is...Any help here would be hot!

Anyway, if you did enjoy this and want to see more, let me know. I'm not trying to extort reviews to continue this—if the Nuzgûl makes me, I will!—I'm just seeing if anyone's interested, cause them I'm more likely to do it sometime in the next century. ;) All right, enough babbling from me!