Authors Note: I do not know if I am going to add more to this one or not. It was something that kind of created itself and I really have no idea what to do with it. It came from watching a story about Little Big Horn and the only survivor being a horse. Hope you enjoy.
The War Horse
Gimli wondered out onto the dawn-misted field of Pelennor. The search for survivors amid the carnage had been going on since the battle had ended yesterday. It seemed more like a lifetime ago. Letting the wind choose his direction he headed south searching for survivors as he went.
Even though the sun had risen an hour ago the air was still chill keeping the mist from dispersing. The haze gave him the feeling of being isolated letting him only see several feet in front of him at a time. It was a cold and disquieting journey as he moved among the dead. He didn't know how far he had traveled when he spotted motion ahead of him. He hurried forward hoping to see a spot of life in this whole cursed field.
Gimli stopped. Well that wasn't what he was hoping for. The horse didn't seem to notice him probably due in part to its injuries. One arrow was imbedded deeply in his haunch, another in his shoulder, and several deep claw marks ran along his sides, more in likely from a fight with a warg. He stood loyally over the body of his fallen rider.
It was strange. He had never given a care to the great creatures one way or another except to curse the ignorant creatures. He gave an indignant sigh. The more reasonable part of his mind told him he should just put the animal out of his misery and be done with it. But he hesitated.
This is what came of keeping company with an elf.
Then again maybe it wasn't. Maybe it was the fact that the creature, as grievously hurt as he was, still guarded his fallen rider. Looking around, Gimli could see several bodies of orcs that were trampled into the ground. He wondered how long the horse had stood as sentinel.
Gimli snorted, dismissing the thought, turning back to the matter at hand. He was giving the creatures too much credit again. It was just an animal and a dumb brute at that. Curse that stupid elf!
The horse raised his head almost drunkenly at his approach, swaying slightly on unsteady legs.
The horse was in poor shape; Gimli decided, a mercy killing would be a kindness to the poor animal.
The horse raised his head testing the air before giving a warning snort.
"Easy horse." Gimli cajoled.
The horse pawed at the ground weakly all the while being careful of his rider.
Gimli reached out taking care as he moved towards the creature. Please don't let any dwarf find out he was talking to a horse! His father would disown him for sure!
The horse stamped his foot again his ears pinned back.
"Easy horse. You need rest, not more fighting." Gimli reached out with a gloved hand for the reins, only to be forced back as the creature lunged snapping at him. "You crazy beast!"
The horse stood tall, glaring at him even though his sides were heaving with exhaustion.
"I could leave you here." Gimli stated furiously.
The horse ignored him, reaching down to nuzzle his fallen rider.
"Once more," Gimli growled. "I am a friend you stupid, stubborn animal. You snap at me once more and I'll bury my axe in you and be done with it."
The horse shook his head making a strange whiffing noise.
Gimli took a step forward but stopped as the beast laid his ears back again. He was half tempted to leave the animal there but he couldn't in good conscious. It was not in his nature to let any living thing suffer. He drummed his fingers against his leg in thought.
"Would you come if I take him with us?" Gimli asked the horse not really expecting an answer.
The horse bobbed his head.
Gimli puffed another sigh rolling his eyes. He looked about him easily finding some long spears and a cape to use making a travois. Hesitantly he again approached the horse but to his amazement the horse backed up, letting him approach. Gimli looked down at the rider to find a young man behind the helm, an arrow piercing his heart.
"He died brave." Gimli muttered softly. He maneuvered the man onto the travois before turning back to the horse. "Come along then."
Gimli picked up the pole ends and began the slow trek back towards the city. He turned once to find the animal limping slowly after him.