Title: Alone

Rating: K

Warning: Boo! (it might be better to turn the lights on while reading, just a suggestion)

Disclaimer: Mine, all mine! turns around slowly Ahhhh! No, Mr. Tolkien, they are yours and yours alone! Ahhhh runs away screaming .

A/N: Written for the Teitho Challenge "Boo!". Legolas is six in human years. Are you scared yet? No? Read, and you will be…

Summary: While playing with his friend, a young Legolas gets himself into a very frightening situation, one that will cost him more than he might be able to give.

"No passion so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of

acting and reasoning as fear"

Edmund Burke

Part 2/2: Into the dark...


He tried it again, pulling this time, but the old door did not move and inch. With a jolt in his stomach, the prince took the handle in both hands and pushed and pulled with all his might, but try as he might, the wood did not move, the door not budge. It was locked. And he was trapped.

His feeling of victory turned into uneasiness, then slight fear.

Taking a step backwards, the elfling took a deep breath. Someone must have come and locked the door as he had been asleep. Why had he not heard him? Because elves are soundless if they want to be. Elves make no sounds, that is why he had not heard the one who had locked the door.

Sighing, Legolas looked down the poorly lit corridor. The doors on either side were locked too, he knew that, and the end of the hallway was lying in the darkness, so he could not see where the hall was leading to.

Blinking against the darkness, the prince went through his options, all the time trying to ignore the feeling of uneasiness that crawled over his being.

He could yell until someone heard him. But who would hear him here? The corridor had looked as if there had been no one for ages.

He could find something and knock at the door. Perhaps a servant would hear him. No, same problem. No one would hear him if not for all the luck in arda.

Then, there was still the corridor. Perhaps it would lead him out.

Sighing, the small elf glanced at the door and tugged a strand of blond hair behind his ear. After taking a long look at the darkness that lay behind him, the took a deep breath and then, yelled as loud as he could.

Again and again he lifted his voice and called out for help, but his attempts were in vain. No one heard him, no one answered. After a very long time for one so small, Legolas let his last call echo down the passage and into nothingness. Dropping his head, he sniffed miserably. His throat was aching and his head pounding from all the yelling. Why had he not been heard?

Sniffing once more, he took another deep breath and then wiped angrily at the tears that had gathered in his eyes. He was no mere elfling anymore who would cry over everything. Fine. If no one heard him, then he would find a way out of this on his own.

Turning away from the door, Legolas took hold of the flickering torch and then, after another deep breath, set out down the dark corridor. He would find his way out. The darkness would not harm him, his ada had told him that more than once. Darkness was just the absence of light. Nothing to fear.

But as he set out into the blackness, his soft footsteps echoing from the walls, he felt a painful jolt in his stomach. He repeated it over and over in his head. There was nothing to fear. Nothing to fear. Or was there?

Soon the grey old door had disappeared behind him and the light of the torch was the only bright spot that lifted the darkness around him. With shuffling steps the young prince walked down the hallway, the light of the torch throwing flickering shadows on the walls, fighting against the overpowering shadows and creating eerie movements were there actually were none.

As he went, the small isle of light he was carrying showed him only a fragment of the corridor, never the whole and the darkness before and behind him made him feel uneasy. Rounding another corner, Legolas stopped in his tracks abruptly. Had there been a sound? Right before him? Had there been someone…or something?

His heart pounding fast in his breast, his breathing quickening, the prince strained his ears, his eyes piercing the darkness before him. So he stood for a minute, his senses on alert, his small hand gripping the torch so tight his knuckles turned white.

Just as he let out the breath he had been holding, sure that his ears had played a trick on him, he heard it again. Nearly jumping in his fright, Legolas stepped back quickly. There! A squeaking reached his ears, followed by the soft sound of small feet hushing over stone.

A rat!

Lifting his torch, the young elf tried to locate the animal, but no matter how quick he was, the rat was faster. As soon as the light touched the corner the animal was hiding in, it would escape into the shadows.

Legolas shuddered. He hated rats. They were so small and quiet, so quick and…mean. He had heard stories from the older elflings. About rats that were as big as dogs, with fangs as sharp as those of wolves. They would sneak into the rooms of small elflings and try to eat them while they slept. But that were just stories that the older ones told to frighten the younger ones. Or were they?

Gripping the torch even tighter, his heart beating fast in his chest, his whole body shivering slightly, the prince walked on. The sooner he walked on, the sooner he would get out of this place. Aye, he would find an exit soon.

He wanted to get away from the rats, oh, just away. He could not see them, but he knew they were there, and that was even worse.

Walking down the dark hallway, his ears strained, he could hear the rat behind him, but the one was soon joined by others and before Legolas knew what he was doing, his legs had moved on their own and he was running down the corridor, desperately whishing to leave the parasites behind him, to escape the scraping sound of their feet, the soft noises they made when they brushed against each other, the red eyes that seemed to stare at him from the shadows.

His breath coming in short gasps, his side burning with an inner fire, he finally slowed his steps and stopped running and walked nervously on, the torch in his hand already burned low, the light it gave growing weaker with every minute that passed.

Gulping, the prince directed his gaze from the torch to the way before him. For how long was he now already walking through this halls? There had to be an exit somewhere. There just had to be…

As his soft footsteps sounded faintly from the stone floor, he suddenly felt something cold brush past his face. With a shriek he jumped back, his hand dropping the torch and his other hand wiping at his face furiously, trying to wipe away whatever it was that had touched him.

The torch sputtered on the stone floor, the light growing dimmer, then it steadied, but only for a few seconds. Flickering shadows danced once more along the walls, illuminating a huge spider web that hung in the hallway, spreading from wall to wall, and then the torch sputtered once more and with a final whooshing sound, the light giving wood died.

The corridor was plunged into complete darkness, so dark Legolas could not even see his hand before his very eyes. His heart beat so fast in his chest that it seemed to explode, his breath was coming rashly and irregular, his hands became sweaty and his legs felt wobbly. Oh no, oh please. Not the light. He needed the light!

Swallowing, Legolas felt panic rise. Tears came to his eyes. He wanted to flee, to turn and run, to head back to where he had come from, but he could not move. The thoughts raced in his head. Behind him where the rats, he could not turn back. But before him…

He had seen the silvery web, the huge web that was spreading from side to side. If he wanted to go one, he would have to, he would have to…

The thought alone made his skin crawl and he felt as if a spider was already stalking over his back on icy legs. A hand seemed to clench around his heart and squeeze it so tightly that it hurt. He could not go on. What if the spider was still there?

With eyes bigger than any spider that he had ever seen, Legolas felt his body go numb, then he started to tremble uncontrollably. Goose bumps covered his arms and sweat appeared on his brow, his face turning the shade of milk. A thought had crossed his mind, unwanted and sending him into a state of sheer panic. What if the spider was sitting here somewhere? Sitting… above him?

Slowly, he lifted his head to the ceiling.

Fear gripped him. He felt his breath catch in his throat, his legs trembled, his stomach churned, sweat rolled down his spine and he felt a whimper rise in his throat. Tears once more filled his eyes.

He wanted to get out, away from here, to his ada. He wanted his ada. Sniffing, Legolas took a shaky breath. What should he do?

Suddenly, he heard a soft sound coming from the ceiling, a sound as if a hairy leg was scraping over stone. Before the horrid thought had truly settled in his mind, he was racing forwards, right into the spiders web, his hands tearing at the strings, his face touching the web, his breath hitching.

He wanted to run, away from here. Just away. Within moments he had freed himself from the web and then he ran down the corridor, his legs moving on their own account, his left hand scraping over the wall to steady him and to help him find the way, the other stretched before him.

He ran and ran, tears streaming down his face. When he fell he jumped to his feet, when he reached a corner he took the passage that seemed to be brighter than he other. Soon his clothing was dusty, his knees littered with bruises and his hands scratched.

On and on he went, his mind screaming at him to run as fast as he could. Fear had gripped him, overwhelmed him, made him numb to his pain and weariness.

After what seemed like days but had actually only been a few hours, his right hand felt the soft structure of wood under his fingers. Skidding to a halt, Legolas sniffed loudly. Oh please, let it be a door!

Searching with both his hands, not minding the additional scratches and splinters, he soon discovered that it was indeed a door. The wood under his touch felt warmer than the walls and as he looked at the floor, his teary eyes detected a soft glow coming from the other side of the door.

Searching frantically, his hands finally found the handle and he desperately pulled with all his might. Then he pushed. Howling in frustration, he kicked the door half heartedly.

It was locked.

All strength seemed to leave him. His legs buckled under him, he sank to the floor on his knees, his arms useless at his side, his head bowed, his blond hair that had come lose from his fine breads hanging in his face.

Sobs shook his body, tears rolled freely down his face. He felt so lonely, so helpless, so alone. All he wanted was to get out of here, to go back to the light and the warmth…to his ada.

He was so imprisoned by his misery and fear of never leaving this dark and horrid place again, of never seeing his ada again, of having to stay in the blackness that surrounded him, alone and abandoned, that he did not hear the soft footsteps that neared the door from the other side.

Sniffing, Legolas could not suppress another sob and a soft hitching howl. He wanted to get out. Oh, how he wished he had never entered the passageway.

In just that moment the footsteps passed the door and then stopped, only to turn around and walk up to the door again. Had the young and terrified elfling listened, he would have heard the rustling of robes on the stone floor, and the sound of a head being pressed at the door.

But Legolas did not hear it, and so he was frightened to death as it suddenly rattled before him and the door creaked and then slowly opened, letting light stream into the room. It hurt his eyes as they had become accustomed to the darkness through the long hours that he had ran through the corridor.

Sitting on the cold floor, he lifted his head and looked up with teary eyes, seeing only a tall shadow stand in the doorway. Holding his breath he watched with wide eyes as the figure reached down, then stayed stiff as strong arms circled around his shivering form and lifted him from the floor.

Burying his head into the shoulder of the elf who had found him, he sobbed even harder, his heart pounding so fast that he felt light-headed. Tears still leaked from his eyes and he sniffed into the tunic of his saviour.

Legolas did not know how long he was carried through the palace, did not notice the low whispers that was spoken with the elf who carried him. Finally, after long moments, he heard a soft knock and then another door that was being opened.

He was lifted from his saviours arms and into other arms, strong arms, arms that he knew so well. He turned his face and buried his tear strained face into the tunic of his father's shoulder, breathing in the scent of grass and paper that seemed always to engulfe his ada. His heart nearly jumped out of his chest. His ada!

His sobs increased even more, but this time from pure relief. He was with his ada, he was safe.

The whispered conversation between his father and the other elf did not register in his head, but he heard as the door closed and then the soothing voice of his ada that was telling him to calm down, that all was well and that he was safe now.

With one hand rubbing his son's back and the other stroking the sweaty hair out of his elflings´s eyes, the King went to the cosy chair that stood near the warming fire in his own private chambers and settled down. Reaching for a blanket, he wrapped it around the shivering elfling, all the while talking soothingly to him.

It took long until the trembling ceased, the tears dried and the sobs ended. And it took even longer until Legolas had found the courage to tell his father all that had happened.

The rest of the night was spent in his father's arms, snuggled into the blanket, with warm milk and cookies, the fire warming them. And as the snow continued to fall outside, the King looked lovingly down upon his sleeping son, his hand tucking a strand of blond hair behind a finely pointed ear. A proud smile graced hisfair face.

The next day, the King and his son started with a new lesson. They explored every room and every passage of the palace, climbed every flight of stairs, learned the direction of each corridor. The building was so big that it took them a few days until they had reached the last room and the last passageway.

And after that, the King of Mirkwood taught his son one more thing, he showed him how to whistle with his fingers and how to do it even without them.

It was their special signal. Thranduil told his elfling, that when he was ever lost again, he should whistle, and he would find him.

And Legolas was never lost again.

The end.

I hope you like this little story, it was fun writing it. So, what do you think, a god/bad/well...Legolas and Thranduil story?