A Stranger In The Woods

Chapter 32: It Has All Been In Vain


Katie ran until she thought her lungs would explode. She wanted to slow down but knew that if she did, Boromir would surely die.

'I must save him,' she thought wildly.

Just then, the horn sounded for the third time, much closer. Katie ran towards the sound, clutching her sword firmly in her hand. She slowed to a walk as she heard the cries of battle.

'That's Merry and Pippin,' she realized. 'This is it.'

She quickly made her way through the thick brush and stopped dead in her tracks as her eyes took in the sight before her.

Boromir was fighting off some orcs, two arrows sticking from his chest. Just then, the leader of the monsters fired again, bringing the man to his knees.

Katie watched as Merry and Pippin were captured and drug away.

"No!" she cried out, despair clutching her heart.

Boromir looked over at her and caught her eye as he knelt there amid the fleeing creatures, struggling for a breath. He opened his mouth to speak but Katie couldn't make out his words.

"Watch out!" he cried, just as she heard a noise from behind her.

Before she could register his words, pain shot through her head and she fell into darkness.


Legolas ran as quickly as he could, jumping over fallen orcs in his path. He came to a clearing filled with the dead creatures and slowed to a cautious walk.

He spied Aragorn kneeling over a fallen body. 'Boromir!' he realized, looking around helplessly.

He heard Gimli's heavy footsteps behind him but did not turn. A glimmer to his right caught his eye and he walked over to it.

'Katie's sword,' he realized, his heart consumed with fear, and for a long time he could not move.

Then with a sigh, he reached down to pick up the sword and stood to face Aragorn.

"They will look for his coming from the White tower," the ranger whispered, "but he will not return."

He turned to them, not bothering to hide his tears. "They have taken Merry, Pippin, and Katie," he stated softly.

"What about Frodo and Sam?" Gimli asked roughly.

"I have let them go," Aragorn whispered.

The dwarf walked towards him, pain evident in his features. "Then it has all been in vain," he growled. "Katie was right. The fellowship has broken."

"Not if we hold true to each other," Aragorn said passionately. "We will send Boromir to his home. Then we will find our friends."

He walked up to Legolas and clasped his shoulder tightly. "We will not abandon them to torture and death," he promised. "Not while we have strength left."

Aragorn turned and walked over to Boromir. The three of them carried him to the banks and laid him in a canoe. They placed his sword in his hands and sent him over the falls.

Aragorn waited until the boat was no longer in sight, then he turned to Legolas and Gimli.

"Leave all that can be spared behind," he ordered. "We travel light."

A small grin pulled at his lips. "Let's hunt some orc!" he hissed and began running up the hill.

Legolas glanced down at Gimli.

"Yes!" the dwarf cried with a determined growl and began running up the hill after Aragorn.

Legolas watched him go, his mind racing. 'How far ahead where the orcs?' he wondered. 'What would they do to Katie? Harm her? What did they want her for?'

He shook his head to clear his thoughts and started after Gimli and Aragorn.

All he knew was that he had to find her. 'I will find her,' he assured himself. 'And I will kill the orcs that took her,' he thought bitterly.

He smiled a grim smile, feeling determined.

The three of them ran as fast as their feet would carry them, following the herd of orcs.