Prompt # 65: Direction
Legolas fled from his siblings, his feet sure, but fighting despair as his heart faltered. He was not the child they thought him to be! He bit back a sob, even as he pushed himself harder.
The trees rushed by him in a blur as he ran heedless of his direction, skimming over the forest floor. All that mattered to him now was to escape his brother and sister, who thought him incompetent, and to somehow distance himself from the pain that throbbed in his chest as a result. No one understood him, not since his mother had taken that fateful trip to the South five years past.
Long did he run: past tall, russet trunks, over soft, green turf under a vast, blue sky in which soft, snowy clouds hung with graceful poise. A flash of white off to the side halted his fleeing steps, and standing still, heaving for air, he stared into the trees from where the movement had come. His breath calmed after a minute, and he listened with care for any sign of danger, his eyes searching for what he had seen out of the corner of his eye.
Then, he heard it. There was the sound of a branch snapping underfoot, rustling of underbrush, and a soft thudding, followed by a snort. Legolas smiled as he sighed in relief, his body relaxing. He had found it! He could now prove he had taken it, and not Tórchal! The smile slipped a bit as he realized that meant confessing to what he had done...and to his father at that. Why had he not considered that when he originally decided to take it?
Another thought occurred to him as he looked around at where he stood. When running from Anoriel and Orthoron, he had not paid attention to where he was going, and he had run long. His eyes widened as he realized he had traveled far from home and was in a part of the wood he was not familiar with. Frowning, he hesitantly took a step towards where he had heard the movement and called softly, hoping Manuilos would come to his voice.
Another snort and sounds of movement, only it was moving away from him, skirting him and heading back in the direction from which he had come. He called again, this time a little louder, but the rustling and thudding continued moving north.
Groaning, Legolas followed the sounds, not having yet caught sight of Manuilos. He had only taken a dozen strides when a sharp whistle pierced the air around him. Legolas froze, obeying the command of the signal without thought. He had long been drilled on obeying certain indicators used by his father's patrols. Moving only his eyes, he searched for the danger which must be near for someone, probably one of the patrols, to use such a warning sign.
The whistle had come from not far away, and Legolas hoped whoever it was would arrive with due haste. In his excitement to show Anoriel and Orthoron what he had done, he had left the halls without weapons, something which now made him feel very foolish. Orthoron had carried a sword, but that did not help him much now.
His breath stilled when he heard a clicking noise above him. SPIDERS! Dismay filled him and he wished whoever had warned him had given him the signal to flee, not to stand and be used as bait.
It seemed an eternity before anything happened, but when it did, there was no warning. There was the slightest twang of a bow and the soft swoosh of an arrow in flight, followed by a thump. The spider that had been hovering over Legolas's head by a thick, silken thread dropped to the forest floor beside him. He gasped and flinched instinctively away from the large arachnid, but the creature was dead, an elven arrow lodged in the thick, black body.
Legolas studied the arrow protruding from the spider with wide eyes. He knew the fletching far too well. He was in trouble for certain. There was no getting away from it now.
Looking up, he took note that he was no longer alone. Standing not a foot in front of him stood a tall, imposing form shrouded in a dark cloak. But Legolas did not need the hood to be thrown back to determine who stood before him. He had known the moment he saw that arrow who had saved him. Without taking his eyes from the form, the adolescent dropped to his knees.
"I'm sorry, Ada," he said contritely, and, to his amazement, he found he meant it.
To Be Contiued…