Disclaimer: Rights to the "Lord of the Rings" characters and places belong to the Tolkien estate. This author is simply borrowing them for the purposes of writing a story that will garner her no wealth or fame. This fiction is done strictly for the fun of it. Thus, try not to take it too seriously and be nice to the author if you can.

Summary: When Legolas and Gimli venture into Fangorn, little do they realize the danger they are about to meet or the wretched secrets they will uncover from ages past. Rated M.

Dark Forest
By Anarithilien



A knife of horrible agony stabbed into his thigh. A jarring move. A stumbling step. The cradle in which he was being carried rocked and the dark void of nothingness was gone.

It was replaced with this torture. Searing, wretched, writhing pain. He cried out, not even ashamed that he did so. He made no attempt to refrain. All he knew was the swift agony that took him with the hurt. His eyes sealed tight, holding back the tears as a ringing droned in his ears and accompanied the incredible ache.

He was moving. Being moved. And he wished only for the motion to stop. The skewed recline that he found himself in only made the pain worse. He moaned aloud in his anguish, trying to find the strength to right his body and to remedy the hurt. He managed to roll to his side. The movement was accompanied by more pain, but it was enough to at least take the distress from his marred left leg. The limb throbbed unmercifully.

But the rocking motion was still there, and it threatened too make him ill, forcing a cold sweat to pour from his brow. He was shivering, he realized, and then he noted that his clothes were soaked through, sticking to his skin. And despite this, he knew also that he felt fevered.

He came to realize he was in shock. His injuries must be bad. But what had caused them? For the moment, all recollection was a blank.

He tried to open his eyes, suddenly realizing that they were sealed. Yes, he was hurt rather seriously if his eyes remained closed. Elves normally did not seal their eyes unless they had suffered dire harm. Further, the orbs seemed determined to stay closed, and no willingness on his part would pry them open.

He supposed it was for the better, for the wicked darkness of unconsciousness seemed to ebb and flow over him. Holding his thoughts to anything was difficult at best.

What had he been trying to realize? Oh yes. He had been trying to remember what had brought him here. But memory was elusive and the ringing sound in his ears, his lack of sight, and the spill of pain that wracked his body were distracting influences. It was only then that he realized his head was in agony as well, the pain before coalescing with all his other hurts to make it into one united form of suffering. But here, now, he could discern the separation of some of his hurts. That, he supposed, was a good thing.

Sound filtered into his consciousness and he only then came to realize someone was speaking.

"… see the harm you caused! I had told you it was a danger. Do you not see what you wrought? Two of my own were harmed because of you! You should be punished! You should know what you might have launched! We are lucky the whole forest was not destroyed in your foolish attempt to escape!..."

The voice droned on, but the scolding nature of it only seemed to repeat, and the pattern became a useless object to grasp. He could make no sense of what was being said, and he began to drift away back into the void where forgetfulness was easier.


He was being laid down. The movement had ended, but the difficulty of transplanting him to another place of rest caused a new surge of agony to wash over him. His cry was louder than the humble moans he had uttered earlier.

"Hush! Do you want to stir His attention?" the voice chastised.

He could not help the whimper of pain as he again rolled to his side, trying again to ease the horrible agony that electrified all his nerves and made the suffering in his body that much the worse.

And then a cooing voice gently filtered into his ears. It was the same voice as before, only kind now, not brutal and harsh. "You are hurt. Yes, I see…I am sorry! I should have realized. Let us aid you." And then his shoulders were lifted and his head was carefully brought up. Again he tried to open his eyes so that he might see his caretaker, but it was an impossible task. Still the voice spoke. "You must drink this. It will help heal you. It will make you feel strong. It will make you sleep. Drinkdrinkdrink..." the voice faded away.

The rim of a vessel was put to his lips and he could feel liquid poured into him. Too much flowed out of the bowl and much of the contents spilled onto his chest. He gagged on the fluid, but after the initial choking spasm passed, more was plied on him, done so at a slower rate. The fluid was eagerly consumed, his sudden thirst realized with the provision. He immediately began to feel the liquid's effect.

He could not so much discern taste, though he knew there was something brackish in the flavor. He did not care. It quenched his need. What he could sense was the heady lightness the drink brought on. Buoyancy seemed to engulf him, overtaking the hurt, and in a moment all the torment of his pain was gone.

What took its place was a heavy drowsiness that overwhelmed his sick body. He felt his body being moved again, but there was no pain to accompany the activity. He was floating and free. His mind was clearer as a result of the liberation, and slowly Legolas began to remember where he was and all that had happened to him.