Chapter 10- Bedroom Shadows
Athriel woke early and watched the shadows moving across the ceiling. She could tell it was early. The sun hadn't even risen yet. She turned her head to look towards the balcony. She wondered what she was supposed to do now. It was only her second day waking up here in the valley and the day before her brother had already been awake when she had stirred. Now she was alone in the dark and she wasn't sure what she was supposed to do.
The large room looked so strange in the dark. The shadows combined into unusual patterns and strange shapes. Suddenly she was very aware of the fact that there was a large gap between the bed and the floor. Back in Mithlond her bed had rested directly onto the stone floor. There had been nowhere for monsters to hide in her old room. This room had lots of places to hide. From where she lay she could see the way the shadows collected over by the balcony door. Had Erestor locked it last night, she couldn't remember. The shadows were collecting over by the bathroom door as well, and that door was slightly ajar. Anything could be hiding in there. Anything could be hiding and she wouldn't know. She watched the bathroom door now, half expecting to see movement in there.
She wondered how quickly she could get from here to her sitting room. Could she move faster than whatever was in the shadows. She looked from the bathroom door to the other door trying to calculate her odds. Thinking she probably could make it she moved to climb out of bed. Then she stopped. That was if the monster was in the bathroom. What if it was under the bed? There was that huge gap. It could be hiding under there. The second she put a foot onto the ground it could grab at her ankle and pull her under. She would just have to wait here until Erestor came to get her. But what if there was a monster after Erestor too. She had to make sure her brother was ok. Maybe that's why she hadn't heard Erestor moving.
Getting her courage together Athriel looked towards the sitting room door again. She had to get out to the sitting room. Then she could check that Erestor was ok. Taking a deep breath she threw the covers aside and jumped onto the stone floor. She felt something brush her ankle and panicked. She ran towards the sitting room and slammed the door shut behind her. Then she had another problem. How was she going to get from here to Erestor's room? The shadows were everywhere in here. But she had to get to her brother's room. She had to warn him about the monsters. Closing her eyes she ran towards the connecting door, threw it open and slammed it shut behind her.
There was light in this room. The fire was lit and the lamp was lit. The shadows where gone. She breathed a sigh of relief. "Erestor?" There was no answer. She crept through to the bedroom and peered around the doorframe. "Erestor?" He wasn't there, but the shadows were. The bedroom was dark and Erestor wasn't here. Athriel screamed. The monsters had tricked her. They had taken Erestor and then they had lit the lantern to lure her into his rooms. She ran out into the corridor and pounded on the door across from her brother's. She could hardly breathe as she banged loudly on the wooden door. Glorfindel would be alright. Glorfindel was a warrior; he was the greatest warrior in all of the stories. He would kill the monsters and get Erestor back. Glorfindel would make everything better. As the door opened she fell forward onto the floor crying.
Glorfindel leant down and picked up the crying child. "Athriel, Athriel what's wrong sweetheart" She cried harder into him as he held her. "The monsters" she sniffled. "The monsters have Erestor" He couldn't understand what she was talking about but, she could tell she was terrified. "Now start from the beginning Athriel, what happened." As clearly as she could Athriel tried to explain, about the shadows, and the monsters and everything. Standing up Glorfindel carried Athriel through to her brother's rooms. He was going to prove to her that there were no monsters, under her bed or otherwise. He walked through Erestor's sitting room into the bed room and lit all of the lanterns and candles. Filling the room with light. Soon the sun would be up but he wanted to prove to her that everything was safe right now.
Then he moved through to the bedroom and filled it with light. Moving back through to the bedroom he sat down on Erestor's bed. "Now listen to me sweetheart, there are no monsters here." She didn't say anything but pointed towards the floor, indicating that he should look under the bed. He sighed and knelt down on the floor. With exaggerated movements he felt around underneath the bed before shining a candle underneath it. There was nothing there, he showed the elfling. Not even Erestor's slippers weren't even there.
Then he walked with her through to her own rooms and repeated the process. "There are no monsters" He said looking her straight in the eye. "Something grabbed my ankle" She said quietly suddenly realising how silly her fears now appeared. Glorfindel now looked under the bed again. He laughed. Her slippers were in disarray, as if they had been kicked. Obviously she had felt one of them brush against her ankle as she climbed out of bed. In her panic she had knocked them.
Erestor rearranged the books in his arms. Having woken before his sister again that morning he had decided to pick up some books from the library. He wanted to start reading to Athriel, like his father had done. It would be a nice way to end each day. When he reached his door however he stopped. He had made sure it was closed when he left, as he had also made sure that the fire and lanterns had been lit before he left, in case Athriel had awoken while he was away. Now the door was wide open and all of the lanterns appeared to be let, not only those in the sitting room. He moved through his rooms and into Athriel's. The lanterns were lit in here as well. Surely she couldn't have done that herself. Walking into the bedroom he found the answer to his riddle. Sitting on Athriel's bed was Glorfindel comforting his little sister.
"What happened?" Athriel looked up and ran towards him. "Erestor, the monsters didn't get you!" She yelled wrapping her arms around her legs. He looked to Glorfindel for support but the Balrog slayer just shrugged.