Ides of March, The -- Onlist Challenge
8. [Untitled] -- Nerwen
“If they have broken the gates we are surely doomed.” As I hear these words, another sound comes, distant as if carried many miles on the wind, faint horns. I know not what, but my unspoken question is answered, “The horns of Rohan.” Rohan! They have come to help us. Is it possible that we might be saved?
The battle rages on, I can here the sounds of it, but cannot tell how it goes. I fear for the result, but I can no longer fear for my father. His death took away my protector, now I sit here and wait for the war to end. Wait for my doom, for I no longer believe we can win.
“Come away from the window, girl,” my aunt enters the room, followed by a maid carrying the tray containing our meagre breakfast. “It is not seemly for you to sit thus. Behave like a lady.”
I get down from the window sill and sit instead at the table. I do not try to argue with her for I know it would not please her.
“We should have left the city. Why did you not beg some of your friends to take you in. It is unsafe here.”
“If the city falls, all of Gondor will fall. There is no point to running away. It would simply prolong the waiting.”
“Hush, child. That is not so, Gondor will never fall.”
Maybe she is right, but how can it not?
After we have eaten, she makes me sit by the fire to continue my embroidery. I sit there, the threads tangle in my hands. I continue sewing, but it is only messing up what I have already done. She is busy mending something, and so does not notice. The bells suddenly ring out, signalling a new danger. I drop the embroidery and run to the window, to here the shouts, “The Corsairs are upon us! It is the last stroke of doom!” I turn to speak, but she has also heard, her face is pale. I step away from the window, towards her. We hug, standing together in silence. Neither of us can think of anything to say, any remaining hope has now disappeared, only the certainty of our fate remains. I do not now how long we stand there, before I hear more shouts, the tone is different. I return to the window. Looking out, there are more people in the street now, I want to shout out and ask them the news, but restrain myself. I overhear snatches of the conversations,
“The banner of Elendil.”
“Unlooked for allies.”
I look towards the tavern. The innkeeper, an old soldier crippled out of the army, has come to the door. One of the passers by turns to him, to tell the news, “The ships bear a banner with the White Tree, the Severn Stars and above them a Crown. The warriors poured out of the ships to our aid.”
“Great news indeed. That deserves a drink.” They go into the tavern, still talking but I can no longer here their words.
I turn back and tell my aunt the news. There are tears in her eyes, but her voice is steady, “The banner of Elendil. There must be strange folks who fight under it. I wonder …” but she breaks off, not finishing that sentence.
I sit by the window, she shakes her head at me, but does not order me to more. I wait for more news as the battle rages on, yet it seems to have changed, all the news that comes is more positive. The day goes on as I sit here, but as the sun sets, the battle end. The noises quieten. More and more people venture out onto the streets, but I may not. I sit here and listen, hearing the rumours that are passed from person to person. An old women passes and speaks to one of the men loitering in the door of the tavern, “Have you heard? The king has returned!”
A little later a messenger comes down from the citadel, spotting an acquaintance, he calls out, “Have you heard? The steward is dead and the Lord Faramir seems likely to follow him.”
Others exclaim at this new piece of news. Yet even this dark tiding fails to dim the joy that I now feel. I am just happy that the battle is over, and that we are now safe. Surely the war will soon be over; surely this victory will lead on to others. I turn from the window as the light fades. I am glad that this day is done and that I can now look forward to a time of peace, which must surely be coming.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.