TITLE: "Nothin' Special"
ARAGORNANGST PROMPT #168: Special (500 words)
AUTHOR: Marethiel/ThinkingLady
CHARACTERS: You'll figure it out!
DISCLAIMER: Don't own 'em, drat it. I just taken 'em out to play. Many thanks to Professor Tolkien for creating these wonderful souls to populate my imagination.


As thunder and lightning cannonaded outside the mouth of the dank cave, an octet of creatures played mercilessly with their "toys" … a tall, blond Elf of regal bearing, and his companion, naught but a young, dark-haired mortal; a Ranger, from the look of him. They'd already "played" with him, as his bruised and bloodied face and head disclosed. A good-sized gash at his filthy hairline was just beginning to stop seeping blood. He hung from his bonds limply, exhausted with pain from his merciless beating. His muddy and sodden rags hid the bruises and welts delivered earlier by these horrid creatures as they interrogated him.

Now, the Elf clenched his teeth, refusing to give these fell beasts any satisfaction in the physical pain they heaped upon him, fighting his urge to tug once more at the bonds tightly wrapping his wrists, attached to an iron ring mortared into the stone wall above him. One of the taller beasts leaned towards him, leering as its filthy hands played with the cornsilk hair. The Elf yanked his head back, and spat in the creature's face, his blue eyes blazing with repugnance. The orc started in surprise, then a low rumble the Elf recognized, with horror, as the beast's attempt at laughter. Its filthy hand shot forward, gripping the Elf's jaw painfully, holding him steady as its face crept closer to his.

"'Ere, then, my pretty," it cooed, its breath so revolting as to nearly make the Elf gag. "It's a cold night. I know ways you could 'elp w'that…"

The Elf's expression remained stony, but his heart plummeted. What unspeakable treatment awaited him and his companion? His poor friend… surely the young man could not survive another session like his last with these creatures…

"Keep your filthy paws to yerself!" spat the leader, shoving the other back a few paces. "That one there… e's special, he is. The Master'll want him for sure. One o' them Elves… prolly knows a lot 'e can share w'the Master!"

"Aw, I ain't gonna kill 'im," the orc muttered, continuing to eye the Elf coyly, "just warm 'is cold 'eart a little. And me own meat…"

The leader replied with a quick, clean slash, beheading the orc as it stood, spraying its black blood over the moss-green tunic of the Elf as it crumpled at the Elf's feet. The blond slowly raised eyes molten with hate.

"If you maggots want a plaything, then 'ave at that one."

"If 'e's with the Elf, ain't the Master gonna want 'im, too?" sneered an orc, kicking at the half-conscious Ranger, forcing out a groan.

"Nah… 'e ain' nothin' special," grunted the leader, roughly gripping a handful of the blood-streaked dark hair and yanking the man's head back, the silver eyes dazed. "Look at 'im," it chortled, releasing the hair and shoving the man's head forward at the same time, flecks of blood and sweat spraying from the tortured head as the man sagged forward. "Nothin' special there a't'all!


All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.[1]

-- J.R.R. Tolkien, "The Fellowship of the Ring"