1. Remembering Celebrian
She moved through the underbrush quickly, this girl with bright red eyes. She was accustomed to living beneath the mountain's embrace. The stars were little pinpricks of light from the world she feared.
Once her home was a snug dark cave, before the Dwarves had plated it with cold metal. Then they had slain her kin. No place would hold her now. She knew not why she was going West, but some ancient and primal longing had found her.
She clutched her naked baby against her bosom, shielding him from the cold air.
"Yrch." Elladan drew his sword, which flashed brightly. "They're near."
"Middle-earth will be cleaned of their stain," said Elrohir, baring his white teeth and urging his horse forward.
"Patience, brother. We shall." Elladan knew that killing these few Orcs was as futile as using a twig to avert an avalanche. But his mother was now a vast ocean apart, her memory still four hundred fifty years fresh. He pulled on his horse's reins and followed Elrohir as they galloped through the night.
It was not long before he caught a whiff of decay in the bright air, and then a glimpse of a hideous simian shape. As he drew his bow and loosed the arrow, he thought about the utter repugnance of every Orc he'd met. The foul creature fell with a groan.
"Come, brother," said Elrohir. "Let us see if others are about."
Death came slowly to the young mother, and slower still to her son. Although pain and weakness overwhelmed her, the Orc's last act was to shelter the baby beneath her dying body.
In the morning a raven, hearing the wailing of the tiny Orc, alighted on his mother's carcass to peck at her bright red eyes.
Far away, Elladan and Elrohir awoke to elven singing and a bowl of juicy red strawberries.
A/N: This Orc had been displaced by Balin's invasion of Moria not long before the War of the Ring.
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