Author's note: Hi, and welcome to my first fanfic! Actually, this is my first time submitting (I've been writing fanfics for years), and I feel excited/nervous. I would appreciate any reviews, as long as any criticism is constructive and not simply ripping me apart (I don't handle that very well!) Well, without further ado…enjoy!

Disclaimer: I own none of the characters; everything belongs to J.R.R. Tolkien.

Chapter 1

The darkness of the void was beyond the night that presses on the window. The gap was so deep, it seemed that if I stepped forward, I would not fall. Only a narrow ribbon of black was visible of the bottom.

I had always been afraid.

And I was afraid now.

Voices whispered to me from the depths. I wished so desperately that I could have drowned them out. Fell voices rasped out all my fears, all my ruined dreams, all of my terrible guilt. How did they know? What did they know of my pain?

"What use is a woman in man's garb?" they mocked.

I did not realize I was crying until I tasted the salt on my lips.

Turn back. I must turn back. I could not stand the fetid darkness, the foul echo of all my fears.

"You have failed. You could not save those you love. You could not save your uncle."

I closed my eyes. The pain that my arm was causing me was dull compared to the fierce piercing in my heart.

"I tried," I whispered brokenly.

"You failed."

I heard the soft groaning of the dying men on the battlefield—worse than any scream, any keening, any cry of grief. Their moans provided a terrible chorale for the voice.

"But perhaps you didn't fail," it whispered. "After all, what was Theoden but an old dotard who held you captive by the leash of your duty? You are free now!"

"How dare you!" I screamed hoarsely. I felt the warm sun on my shoulders. I wanted so desperately to turn. Turn back…turn back…

The wind raised to a shriek, but the barren, endless land remained still.

"It's not true," I whispered. "I loved him."

"As you loved another?"

My vision blurred with red-hot tears.

"Who are you to question me?" I rasped out.

My hands unconsciously pulled at my hair. But how true, I thought calmly. How often had I resented my uncle for the bonds, obligations his illness had imposed on me? How often had his gentle protective "No, Eowyn," in response to my desperate pleas to be able to ride with him to battle, to fight, to win my own glory and valor instead of waiting upon those who sought it freely driven me to my chambers, attempting not to shake with fury?

Fury and desperation. Desperation to escape.

"There is no escape for you now. You are being meted with that which you deserve."

Suddenly, the voice seemed all too familiar…

I clamped my ears shut against the screech of the King of Agmar's beast. His hideous head loomed over the void, the small black eyes fixed upon me, rendering incapable of movement. My chest felt so very cold, I couldn't breathe…

"You shall pay, Shieldsmaiden of Rohan!"

My arm fell to my side, numb with pain. I wanted to scream, but my mouth merely opened to let nothing escape. Turn back—I must turn back—I could feel the hot sun, agonizingly close, on my shoulders—but then why was I so cold?

The Witch King slowly unsheathed his sword.

"I'll kill you!" I shrieked, my heart beating in my ears. "I'll do it again—I will!"

"But who is there left for you to live for?" he whispered. I shuddered at his raspy voice rasping past my ear. "They are all dead—your uncle, your brother, your—oh, but he never did love you, did he?"

I let out a barking sob, my hot tears falling so thickly that I could not see. I didn't want to see, I never wanted to see again. He was right. After fulfilling my most cherished dream—at last, being able to seek my own glory and honor, at last, fighting for the ones that I loved—what had I accomplished?

I had lost everything, without realizing what I had to lose.

I did deserve this.

I closed my eyes as the Witch King slowly descended from his steed and made his way towards me. He seemed to float across the void easily, and soon he would be bearing upon me…I could not move…


A different voice—this one so welcome, so wanted—it couldn't be…


It wasn't—I knew it was some cruel trick of the Witch King's making—it had to be…

"Eowyn! Come—turn to the light! Let us leave this place! Come!"

I turned around, and ran towards my brother.

Author's note: I hope you liked it! I will attempt to update regularly, but as I am writing this by hand, and then typing it up, I'll have to ask you to be patient. (I think better when writing by hand. For some reason, a blank computer screen freaks me out, if I don't know what I'm going to say!) Anyways, until the next chapter!