Once again, anything related to Lord of the Rings or Tolkien is not mine. I do not make any form of currency on any of this. And now, for the last chapter of Time and Space...it's been fun.
Time and Space
"Have you ever had deja vu?" I asked.
"Sure," Mike answered.
I bit the inside of my cheek.
"What's up?" He munched on his sandwich.
I leaned in. "I've been having it a lot lately. I mean, all the time. I go into the ward and it hits me full on. I look out the window to the city and it's the most familiar thing in the world to me." I sat back and sighed. "Maybe I'm just going crazy."
"Don't worry." He chucked his pop. "You're the last person in the world who'd go crazy." He looked at his watch. "C'mon."
We both stood and headed out of the cafeteria and I felt as though I'd done it before, recently, but with someone else. The feeling was starting to drive me batty. Everything reminded me of something else. It was more than deja vu. I had actually experienced what I remembered. Standing in the elevator brought on memories of helping calm someone down who was nervous about them. But who? And why?
"Listen, why don't you take a couple days off? Give yourself a long weekend." We stepped out of the elevator. "You need a break from this place. You being here so much is probably why you're experiencing deja vu all the time." He headed to the nurses' station to sign some forms. "You haven't had a vacation in over a year." He flipped some papers. "Take some time." He put down his pen and looked at me and I shuddered. There was an air of fear, of evil around him. I swallowed. "Maybe you're right."
The feeling passed, but I couldn't help but think on it. I'd never seen Mike as anything other than my supervisor and friend. There was nothing malevolent about him.
The tea later that night was relaxing. The hot bath even more so. Music driftly lazily into the bathroom as I leaned back in the tub, finally letting go of my stresses. An hour later, I found myself digging through my closet for my winter clothes when I found it.
Picking it up, I smiled. I hadn't used it since last year. Work had been demanding most of my time, leaving little for hobbies or anything else really. Standing there, in the middle of my bedroom, I pulled the string back. Oh how I missed using it. I had loved archery, the precision, the focus, the feel of power when the string was released. Hunting through again, I found a couple of arrows, a little bent with being pushed to the back of the closet. Tomorrow, I was going to shoot some targets.
And it felt wonderful. The thwang of the string, the thump of the arrow all brought back great memories for me. Not the deja vu memories (or the dream memories I'd been having lately), but the real memories of me doing just this. I then promised myself to not slack off, to continue on with this hobby.
"Haven't seen you here before," the man said.
I looked up to find an older man disassembling his own bow. "No. I haven't been to the range in a long while."
"Feels good, don't it?"
I sat back in the chair. "Yeah, it does."
I kept that feeling with me the whole weekend, going every day to the shooting range, getting a little better each time. On the last day, though, I saw a man who brought back that sense of deja vu. 'Great. Went four whole days without that feeling and I get it now, here,' I thought to myself. Shaking my head, I re-focused on the target, not the man in the next target over. Still, I couldn't help but eye him a little. His blond hair was tied in a short ponytail and his dark eyebrows were narrowed in concentration. He pulled the bow, the levers creaking, held the pose then fired. The shot was perfect. My own left something to be desired.
Returning back from retrieving my arrows, I was about to ask where he learned to shoot so well, but found him gone. Shrugging, I returned to my target.
Work was better. I felt re-energised and was ready to get back at it. Clients came, I did my best with the men in the ward and laughed and chatted with the nurses and other doctors. The problem was that the sense I got from Mike was anything but jovial. He may have smiled at me, but all I could see was darkness. I couldn't explain it.
My dreams had been relatively normal, until one night. It had been so vivid, so real that it took me a few minutes to realise that the dream was only a dream and not reality. I laid in bed for a couple of hours replaying it over and over; the monster hunting the hero, the hero searching for his compatriot, me being the assistant to it all. That alone would have been enough, but the face disturbed me more. I could see her, clearly, distinctly. Her brown eyes full of calm and compassion. She was both beautiful and not quite human. She spoke a foreign language, yet I knew what she said. She was a guide. But for what?
The next day was long and tiring. My lack of sleep had made me cranky and irritable. I couldn't wait to get home and go to bed. When I arrived at my house, though, I found something unusual waiting for me at the door.
A small package.
Looking around for the deliverer, I finally bent down and picked it up. The only words I recognised were my own name. The rest was in some flowing script, very beautiful, but completely unreadable. I momentarily wondered if it was a bomb from a disgruntled client, but quickly dismissed that. None of my clients were dangerous.
Taking the package inside, I set it on the coffee table and then sat carefully on the couch. Something was familiar here. That writing was not new to me. I stared a long time at that package, unsure if to open it or not. My curiosity won out.
Carefully unwrapping it, I found a smallish wooden box. It was exquisite. It was covered with the script and other decorative work. The wood itself seemed to glow as though a tiny light source was inside the wood. A pale bluish-white light dimly lit the room.
Upon touching the wood, I felt a slight shock and an image flashed in my mind. He looked very like the man in the shooting range, but different. And familiar. I knew that man. Gently and cautiously, I lifted the lid and found something even more intriguing.
There inside was a very old, very worn book. Its cover was bent and ripped and had been opened many times. It had become soft with use. Carefully lifting it out, I was once again struck with that sense of familiarity, this time being the strongest yet. The pages were yellowed and seemed very nearly to fall apart. I set it on my lap and lightly opened it.
And again I was speechless.
The writing on the pages was my own.
I stared disbelieving at it, completely at a loss as to how my own writing, my own words, appeared in such an ancient text. This was utterly impossible. Yet there it was, my distinctive S staring back at me.
Journal 32: Legolas the Elf
Started November 3
I was now in shock. To begin with, I was only on journal 28 right now, November 2. Secondly, what the hell was an elf? And how did I come to write this? But another question entered my brain: who sent this?
Putting the book on the table, I went to the door and looked outside. I couldn't see anyone and nothing appeared out of the ordinary around the door. I then examined the package and found nothing useful on them. There was no return address, not even a deliery sticker. The puzzle was hurting my head.
Perhaps the answers could be found in the book. Taking it up again, I began reading of "my" account of this Legolas person. I quickly discovered that I had been captivated by him, wanting to help him any way I could. I only shook my head in disbelief. I couldn't have been that easily swayed, could I?
The night continued and I read on, being very mindful of the age of the book. What I realised was that no answer was readily coming as to how I wrote this book and how it came to me now. Nearing the end, I became more engrossed in it. The sense of desparation, the need to get home, the sadness of Legolas discovering the fate of his friend all culminated in the final scene with that creature. Finding that Mike had been the host for Lausona suddenly explained much. Could this have been real?
The morning sun found me with a cup of tea and the book opened to the last entry:
I can only hope that Legolas will return to us. I worry that Aragorn will lose all hope of seeing Arwen again if Legolas can not deal with the grief over his friend. Lausona may also use this time to his advantage. I don't know what I can do to help you, Legolas.
I found myself wanting to know what happened. So many questions came to mind, but without any answers. I had been pulled into that world and now I was left hanging. It was unfair.
I jumped into the shower when I realised the time. Work wasn't going to wait for me and maybe getting my mind off this book would be good, if only for a little while.
As I left my house and went to my car, I had the strangest feeling that someone was watching me. Gazing around, my eyes fell on a man across the street, leaning against a large oak tree. I could see that part of his hair was pulled back while the rest floated in the wind. He uncrossed his arms and straightened when he realised I was aware of him. He then walked towards me.
And I knew who he was and I wasn't afraid.
He stood close to me now, his fine features staring down at me. I could see the points of his ears, his blond hair a stark contrast to the black ribbed turtleneck he wore. But it was his eyes that did it. Looking into those azure pools, everything came to me. The longer I stared, the more I remembered. The hospital, the tree, Lausona, Arwen, Aragorn. It had been real; all of it true. Those weren't just dreams or deja vu. I had truly lived them.
We held the pose a long while.
I wanted to speak, but couldn't. So much was going on inside me that I didn't know where to begin. How was any of this possible?
Finally, he broke the gaze with a simple blink and I was brought back to the moment.
"You received the book." His soft voice penetrated my thoughts. Like him, it was beautiful, elegent, rich.
I only nodded.
"Then you understand."
I stepped back. I had wanted to say no, but I couldn't because I did understand. My much sought for clarity was now here. I grasped it all. The fog was lifted and there was calm. "Yes."
He smiled lightly.
"But you must continue the story, Legolas. Tell me what happened when Lausona was defeated."
"I shall, Elvothien. I shall. But first..." He stepped to the passenger side of my car, a little evil grin on his lips. "You must give me a ride."
A/N: well, there you have it. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I did writing it. Thank-you to all the reviewers and to those who e-mailed me. You encouragement has been appreciated. Please let me know what you think of this ending. Should I do another story continuing this line? Is Lin worth another story? Thanks once again. And thanks to Tolkien and Peter Jackson for the inspiration.