Red Lily: 4. The Cutting of the Stem

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4. The Cutting of the Stem

The time of harvest came, and with it came the Gatherers. They took all they could get "for common good", that is, for themselves. Lang was one of the head Gatherers of East Farthing, and soon he was upon the Maggot family. Needless to say, he had little pity for them. His underlings took all the mushrooms, all the ale, most of the apples, and a great deal of grain and vegetables.

One day Lily went to the woods with her sister-in-law Bluebell, Tommy's wife. They were going to pick raspberries. Having started at the same bush, they soon got separated. Lily was a fast worker, and took no notice of things around her. Suddenly someone clasped an enormous hand over her mouth. Then it was replaced by a filthy rag and the attacker faced Lily, holding her by the shoulders. It was Lang.

In a flash Lily remembered every time she had seen the man: how he had behaved, how he had insulted her. She imagined how Lang saw her, and knew her life was worth nothing to the human.

'Well, well! What have we here. The g'reshu Red Lily.' He grinned wickedly. Lily shuddered. In a way the grin and the look in his slanted eyes were worse than anything that happened after. The expression had all that in it, and Lily's wild imagination was already burning in a thousand pains before the man had managed to open his belt.

He tore off her skirt and whistled in a surprised tone, examining her.

'An untouched g'reshu? They didn't want you? Were you too big for their tastes?'

Lily glared at him angrily, showing no fear, for she felt none, only anger. Anger and hatred, both at the man and at herself for being too weak to defend herself.

'You know, I haven't had a woman for over a year.'

Lang entered her three times. Lily was soon covered in sweat. She kicked like an animal, and was treated like one. The pain was terrible, but not more so than she had imagined. She had a good imagination. When Lang was done, he lifted up a stone and hit Lily on the head.

Maybe he meant to kill her, maybe not. Anyway, Lily Maggot had a thick skull. Bluebell found her lying in a shameful position, bleeding at both ends. She dressed her and fetched the men to carry her home. Lily recovered, but she did not want to speak of what had happened. She feared her father would attempt a revenge, and after that, the family would be in even bigger trouble. She never saw Lang again, except in nightmares. These were frequent. In them she lived the pain and humiliation again and again, with new aspects each time, hearing voices accusing her. She would never tell anyone and she took an oath from Bluebell to keep silent, too.

It was only a nightmare. It hadn't happened. Lily told herself, over and over again, it hadn't happened.

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.

Story Information

Author: Arwen Imladviel

Status: Reviewed

Completion: Complete

Era: 3rd Age - Ring War

Genre: Romance

Rating: Adult

Last Updated: 01/02/03

Original Post: 07/30/02

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