1. Chapter 1
Have you ever had an experience when you just could not think of a rational explanation for it? You know you are not dreaming for you pinched yourself until you turned black and blue. Yet here it is happening right in front of your eyes. Still, it is your brain telling you that this is just a hallucination and it will not let you register your thoughts. Well, I am here to tell you that you are not alone. I am just your average woman trying to make her way through this life on her own. I did not go looking for this but it sure did find me. If you had asked me, back then if this was a good thing or not, I would have said no. Now, I would not trade a single moment.
We have all heard of guardian angels. Sometimes they seem to be that little voice in our head telling us to do something or not do it. However, what I am talking about are those rare moments of divine intervention. You know what I'm talking about. We've heard the stories about people being rescued by someone. For instance, a car is burning and the driver is trapped inside. Someone comes along unexpectedly and saves them. Then just before the police or rescue workers arrive, the hero disappears. Maybe someone is lost in the woods and a person happens along to show them to safety. They always vanish just when the victim is about to thank them, never to be seen or heard from again. Well, I had one of those guardian moments. It happened when I was a child.
You see, I was born in a small farming community. I know, I know, I'm what you call a country bumpkin. My parents owned a nice chunk of land there. Actually, it had been passed down through many generations in my family. My dad was a farmer, growing everything from corn and wheat to soybean and even tobacco. We lived in your traditional farmhouse, complete with chickens, goats, a couple of pigs and of course the family dog. I loved living there and helping my dad. The best thing was sitting beside him on the tractor. He taught me everything I knew about farm life. It was a wonderful way to grow up.
Of course, farming was not all I did. My favorite pastime was to explore the woods on the west side of our land. My mom used to take me on nature hikes through those woods. We'd be gone from early in the morning until it was time to make supper. She showed me how to distinguish different animal tracks. She taught me about the different plants and which ones had edible fruit. I found out the hard way about poison ivy though. My mom showed me the best trees to climb. One time, we got my dad involved helping us make a tree house. We used to sit up there for hours and observe the wildlife. She was so in touch with nature. I learned to appreciate it and understand it.
As I got older, I went there on my own. Dad was nervous about that but Mom said not to worry, that I would be safe. She was more worried about me riding on his tractor. She constantly told him that the woods were the safest place for me to play. Still, there was a certain time of year when I was not allowed to go there. November was deer hunting season and the forest was a dangerous place to be during that time. These hunters were trespassing because this was a part of our land. However, with no fences, they came right into our land. I remember how mad it used to make me. This was our property and I figured these were our deer. After all, I was only eight years old at the time. It didn't matter though. Mom said it was off limits and I did as I was told.
So, you are probably wondering what happened to me when I was a child. Well, I was ten at the time. It was a warm summer day. The sun was bright, not a cloud in the sky and no breeze to cool you off either. I was on my way to my tree house. A week earlier was my birthday and my folks gave me some new camping gear. I decided to take my new canteen with me to my hide away spot in the woods. Like I said, it was hot and I drank all my water. I didn't feel like going all the way back home to refill it. Instead, I made my way to a small stream. I took out my new green canteen, unscrewed the lid and crouched down at the edge of the water. As I filled it, I noticed how cool the water felt. I thought how nice it would be to stick my feet in. My canteen was full and I put the lid back on. I started to walk away but the thought of that delightful water wouldn't leave me alone. So I took off my sneakers and waded into the shallow stream. It felt wonderful on my feet and the rest of my body became jealous. I knew if I followed the stream a little ways it would lead to the pond that sat next to my tree house. I fished there a couple of times with my mom. Sometimes we swam there. She told me to never swim alone. There were plants below the surface that you could become tangled in. If I only went in up to my waist I should be safe. That's how I rationalized it. So I made my way to the pond. When I got there, I was burning up. I could stand the heat no longer. It didn't matter that I didn't have a bathing suit. There was no one around in these parts. So I stripped down to my training bra and my and underwear and strolled on into the cool inviting water. It was crystal clear near the edge. As it got closer to the middle where it was deeper, the water was a deep blue. I told myself I would not go that far and only went in waist deep.
As I was playing in the water, I heard something. A twig snapped somewhere across the pond. I crouched down so only my head stuck out of the water and stayed still. There was movement in the trees beyond. I could have sworn I saw a flash of gold and wondered what animal was approaching. I knew this was a watering hole for many forest creatures. There was another snapping sound and I did not move. Suddenly, out from behind a tree stepped a fawn. It was so tiny with white spots on its sides. It stood still, cautiously looking around for movement. When it felt all was safe, it went to the water's edge for a drink. I watched as it lapped at the water. When it was done, it stood there a moment longer then began walking around the pond. Something was wrong with its hind leg because it was limping pretty badly. Finally, the poor thing laid down, exhausted from limping to the pond. I watched as it began licking its hind leg. There seemed to be blood. It was wounded. I searched the surrounding area for any sign of its mother or other siblings. It was obviously too young to be on its own yet. When I saw no other deer, I began to worry. A baby this young that was hurt would be abandoned if it could not keep up with the rest.
I wanted to see how badly it was hurt but knew it would try to run if I got out of the water. Slowly, I swam further out into the water. If I could just get a better look, I could see what had happened to its leg. I was very close now. Just as I thought, there was a big gash on the back thigh. It looked deep but it was still hard to tell. The fawn turned its head to face me. I saw the fear in its eyes as it stared at this strange creature in the water. This was a bad idea, I thought. If it tried to run, it might further damage its leg. Just when I thought it was about to get up and bolt, it closed its eyes and tucked the tip of its nose under its foot. You could see the life going out of it as the fawn seemed to give up. I knew I had to help. After all, that's what my mother taught me. So I started swimming again. Closer and closer, I got to the shore. I was only about fifteen feet away when the fawn lifted its head to look at me as if to say, 'Don't bother, I'm done for.'
As I waited, treading water, I suddenly felt something wrap around my leg. As I kicked, it held on tighter. Then I felt as if I were being pulled under. I knew right away that it was one of those water plants my mother warned me about. Panic washed over me and kicking did no good. The more I thrashed around the more entangled I became. I was almost completely submerged and called out for help. Of course, there was no one around to hear me. Just before I went under, I looked back to the only one who knew I was there. The fawn was still lying on the ground but it was not looking at me as I thought it would be. It was looking back at the forest, up in the trees. The last thing I remembered seeing was its tiny white tail wagging as if it was happy to see someone. I yelled once more, which was the wrong thing to do. The weed pulled me under and my lungs were empty. I remember being able to stick my hands out of the water but not my head. I flailed my arms around hoping for some kind of miracle. My chest hurt as my lungs were burning for the feel of air. There was nothing to do but gasp and take water into my lungs. I remember hating that fawn at that moment. Darkness took over as I was blacking out. My mother's warnings rang through my head like a big bell. Why didn't I heed her advice? Just as I was about to slip from the reality of the world around me, I felt a hand on my leg or at least I hoped it was a hand. Of course, I could be hallucinating from lack of oxygen to the brain. I looked down and saw that same golden color I saw in the trees. And then my world went black.
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.