AN: Writers block, what more can I say?


The world lurched around him. He was on a horse, fleeing through a dark forest. The trees pressed in around him. Hidden shadows flitted between knarled trunks. Branches reached down to grasp him. He knew not where he was going, only that he had to get away, as fast as he could.

The deep sense of foreboding he felt grew to complete terror. He twisted and turned, struggling to get away. A tight grip held him still on the horse. He could not see anyone. In a panic, he fought to free himself but the arms were too powerful.

Every sinister sound stopped. The effect was worse than the inhuman cries had been. He shrank back, paralysed by fear. A word was barked in a harsh language which hurt his ears. The shadows rushed foreword as if to swallow him. Screams he recognised as those of his own parents accompanied the change of the orcs. Their shaped were hideous. Sharp, cruel scimitars were pointed at him. Armour of leather and dark pitted metal covered gray mottled skin. The faces were twisted into hateful contortions.

One huge orc loomed closer. He was thrown off the horse. The death grip around his small body was released with a gurgled cry from behind him.

Hooves thudded around him. The horse let out a horrific piercing scream He curled up and by some chance, was not crushed by the rearing animal. The ground shook as the proud beast fell to the side with a crash. A warm pool of blood quickly spread along the ground. He felt it coat his hands and legs. It smelt sickening .

A hand reached down to grab him. He was pulled face to face with the demon from the pits of Mordor. A dark bloodstained knife was raised high and fell, rushing at him. He could not move, could not breathe. A heartbeat seemed to pass before he screamed.

The next thing he knew, he was lying under a holly bush. The leaves pricked at him but he could not move. He listened in terror to the death cries in familiar voices.

A voice he knew as well as his own rose in a crescendo of agony. A head fell by the bush. It bounced once before rolling to face him. It was his father's face which stared back, mutilated but recognisable. He did not realise that in his terror, he was also screaming. He screamed a pure cry of horror, unable to stop. He was unable to do anything but scream. The face he love so much just stared at him blankly, unchanging. He screamed until he felt his throat was torn apart. Then he screamed some more.


Lord Elrond was pulled from the peaceful world of Elven dreams by a loud cry. The experience of centuries as a healer had him standing alert in the corridor by the time the next scream came. He flew down the corridor to the room of the human child he had taken in a few months ago. in such a short time, he already felt as if the boy were his own son. He flung open the door and hurried towards the unrelenting sound.

What he saw in the moonlight streaming in from the uncurtained windows wrenched at his heat. The sheets on the bed were twisted and contorted, wrapped in a death grip around the small figure in the centre of the bed. Estel's back was arched and his head thrown back as he voiced his distress. Sweat stood out all over his ashen face.

Elrond sat on the bed and noted the soaking wet sheets. He reached out to press Estel's shoulders back onto the mattress.

"Estel," he called in a soft but insistent voice. "Estel, It's ok, I'm here. Wake up now Estel. It's tie for you to leave this nightmare now." There was no response. Elrond moved one of his hands to rest on the boy's clammy forehead. His thumb ran soothing circles on the boy's temple as he whispered soft words of comfort. The desperate screams died down to despairing whimpers. Estel sank back under the manipulations of the elf but remained as tense as his cramped muscles would allow.

Elrond gathered the boy in his arms. He rocked gently, one hand rubbing slow circles into a shaking back, the other supporting a tossing head. The whimpers died away under his loving ministrations. He sang a calming elvish lullaby as he waited for the child to come back to full awareness.


The small voice cracked over the small word. The fragile body in Elrond's arms shook with the strength of a violent coughing fit. Elrond leaned towards the small bedside table and onehandedly pored a glass of water. He raised it to Estel's dry lips and tipped it gently. Small hands grasped at his night robe and clung on firmly. Estel drank deeply. His gaze fixed unwaveringly on Elrond's, seeking reassurance. Elrond maintained his serene expression. He replaced the empty glass on the table.

"It was just a dream, you are safe now," he reassured. Estel did not answer, just buried his head into the folds of Elrond's night robe.

Elrond stood, cradling the child in his arms. He walked to the wardrobe and pulled out a fresh night shirt. With some help, Estel discarded his dirty night shirt and pulled the new one on. Elrond saw no need to awaken the servants for a task he could do himself. Estel stood shivering in the moonlight while Elrond went to change the bed. After stripping the bedding, he saw the insecure cold figure watching him and abandoned the task. Again, he gathered Estel up in his arms and murmured soothing words in his ear. With the comfort and warmth of his protector restored, Estel's shivers eventually stopped.

With the child he loved as his own so dependant and defenseless in his arms, Elrond found it hard to return to making the bed. Some partof him protested to leaving Estrel alone again. Besides, it argued, he will be cold without you.

An all too easy decision made, Elrond retraced his steps down the corridor to his room. He lay Estel down on his soft bed and pulled the coverlet up over his shoulders. When he drew away, Estel tuurned, searching for him. Elrond slipped into the bed from the other side. He wrapped his arms around the small form beside him. Estel curled up small and snuggled close. Elron dlet himself sink back against the pillows and down into sleep, knowing that for one little boy there would be no more nightmares tonight.