A dark man with unruly brown hair walked calmly on the light path through the forest. He sifted the pack he was carrying from his left shoulder to his right, grunting slightly under his breath as he did so. Aragorn grabbed the cloak he was wearing tightly around his body, trying to ward off the cold that seemed to creep up at him as the sun began to drift closer to the horizon.
He looked wearily around the path he was walking. The woods of Mirkwood were dangerous, especially at night. There was many a time when his foster twin brothers Elldan and Elhoir told him of the dark perils that laid in these woods.
They had strung stories of the infamous Mirkwood spiders and their venom that could paralyze an unsuspecting elf. He shivered at the thought of the eight-legged monsters crawling along the trees; deadly fangs hanging from their mouths, dripping with the blood of an unsuspecting traveler. The man's eyes darted around the trees praying that he would not catch a glimpse of one of the arachnids. He found himself wishing that he would have never come here to this forsaken place. He could be at home. Watching his foster father Elrond turn an unusual color of purplish- red at the twins for the latest prank that they decided to pull. He would then just happen to walk in while Elrohir was trying to use his quick tongue to get away with it. If he was lucky he may have just "slipped" a suggestion for an appropriate punishment such as... doing all the chores in the house for a month.The man chuckled to himself.
Ah Yes! That would certainly be better than walking in this evil-infested forest. But then again, he could have been on the bad end of the prank.
The man shivered at the thought and decided that facing a couple hundred creepy-crawly bugs wasn't so bad after all.
The man's head shot to the right and he remained completely still for he thought that he had heard something. Aragorn hung there, features frozen as a statute, hand on the hilt of his sword, for a few seconds waiting for any sign of movement in the bushes to the right of him. After a few more seconds passed with no sign of any "monster" lurking in the bushes besides some dead leaves, he straightened up and shook his head. He was certain that he was hearing things.
He was nearly twenty for Eberth's sake! He was not a child anymore. Wasn't this what the whole journey to Mirkwood was about? To prove that he was capable of surviving on his own! He should not be so frightened!
Elrond had given him a letter to present to King Thranduil of Mirkwood. Of course it did not of any matter of great importance, but this was like a test to him. He was certain he could go to Mirkwood and back relatively unscathed, or that is what he had told his ada. Elrond had been wary of letting his youngest son travel all the way to Mirkwood. The paths to the city were misleading and it was very easy for someone to get lost in the dangerous forest. So he sent escorts to lead him half the way there. Of course Aragorn had turned the escorts around about a days length into the journey, and he was positive that Elrond would be furious when he returned.
The scruffy man laughed slightly to himself and continued on the forest road. He should be reaching Mirkwood by tomorrow's midday. He would make it there and come back fine! He would finally show his father that he was not a boy!
A sound cam from the man's right. Aragorn stopped and listened. He could hear something. Something was coming. It was a distinct thump thump thump of a large creature's feet bearing down upon the forest floor.
Aragorn searched his surroundings for a place to take cover. Unfortunately, he hadn't enough time to seek shelter in the trees. If the creature was what he expected it to be, he probably would not even reach the first branch.
There was only one thing to do.
Aragorn quicky discarded his pack with herbs and food in a nearby bush, all the while the noise of the creature grew louder.
Some how he thought he might need some healing herbs if he survived this attack. The huamn swiftly took out his blade and held it before him, poised for attack. He had one last thought before the creature emerged from the nearby trees.
Maybe the twins pranks aren't that bad after all.