3. Chapter 3
It is now late in the evening in the former city of Caldur, the city that now stands in ruins. Most, if not all of the buildings are but shadows of their former selves, but the Haradrim encampment is still busy, lanterns and fires light up the camp and casting long shadows all about. Within the Lady of Seaward's tent it is no different: a few cots line the walls, a few comfy chairs and in the center is a finely crafted table with maps all about it, and lanterns hang all about lighting the inside of the tent.
Within the tent is Lady Seaward's personal slave Hayya. He sits upon one of the cots with his shirt off looking at the foul scars upon his chest, even tracing them with his finger and shuddering a bit as if remembering his near-death experience. Shaking that feeling off, he looks about the tent and sighs. Slowly getting to his feet, he begins to straighten things up, folding blankets, straightening papers, simple tasks. Hayya is a tall man, of distinctly Gondorian look.
The water in the basin that Hayya has brought has grown cold, untouched; a few cloths beside it still folded neatly. Since being brought here, Farielle has done nothing but crouch in a corner and shake; her head bent over her knees, her hands in fists - and one thrust into her mouth to keep from crying out.
Now though she unfolds herself stiffly, having won - for the moment - the nearly impossible struggle not to give into panic and terror, and scream. For a long minute, she stares blankly at the cold water, and then she reaches out slowly for one of the cloths and even more slowly washes her face. When she has done this, she stops, the rag hanging limply from her hand, and stares into nothing, as if she can't think what comes next.
Out of the corner of his eye, Hayya spots the small woman beginning to clean herself. Looking at her with pity, he smiles and says, "Would you like me to re-heat that water? Get you some food perhaps?" The slave's words are kind for the most part.
Farielle jerks, and stares at Hayya. Clearly, she had forgotten he was there. After several minutes, she opens her mouth to say something; when no sound emerges, she clears her throat and tries again, her voice sounding as if she either hasn't spoken for months, or has spent the last of those months screaming her throat raw. "Yes." From somewhere, she drags up, "Please." And then is silent for another long minute. Then, "Some - some salve?" she asks tentatively, moving her hand a little. Around her wrists are welts where the ropes she was bound with cut into the skin and rubbed it raw.
Nodding his head, Hayya moves over to the small fire and picks up another bowl and fills it with hot water. Moving over to the woman, he kneels down and sets it beside her. Smiling at her softly, he picks up the cold water and gets back up. Moving to the door of the tent, he hands it to someone outside and the sound of water being dumped out can be heard.
Moving back to the fireplace, Hayya looks through a small trunk. Finding some salted meat and some dried fruit, he puts them upon a small plate and moves back towards the woman, stopping at small pack near his cot to retrieve a small bundle.
"Thank you," Farielle whispers, and dips her cloth in this warmer water, dabbing at the crusted blood and rope-burned skin on her wrists, and hissing between her teeth. When she is done, she stops, as before - as if her brain has stopped working and the world has ended and there is nothing else to do but sit and stare - until after a few minutes, a slow thought returns.
She takes a piece of fruit and eats it slowly, and then a bit of the meat, watching Hayya. And now her eyes are filled with the questions she is too frightened and confused and shocked to ask. Why Am I Here, and What Now, and What Is Going To Happen To Me. What she can say, is, "Wh-who are you?"
Unwrapping the little bundle, Hayya says,, "Apply this to your injuries, it will keep away infection and help you heal faster." Squatting down before the woman, Hayya says, "My name is Hayya Mor, Slave of Seaward tower. Personal Slave to our Lady of the Tower, Eruphel." Looking at the wounds upon her wrists, Hayya says, "You should wrap those with fresh linens as well." Getting up, he moves back to his cot and retrieves some bandages to wrap her wrists and returns to squat down before her.
Almost blindly, Farielle reaches for the salve and begins to smooth it onto her wrists. She winces away from the word he uses - slave - but says nothing, only reaching down to rub a little onto her ankles as well, trying not to touch the shackles. The rope-burns there are not as bad, by virtue of not having been pulled at so much.
"That is not a Gondorian name," she says after a moment, with a sort of desperate courage. Hayya comes back with bandages, and she looks at them for a long moment before saying, "I cannot put them on, myself. Will - will you help me?" Her words come haltingly, as if she has to stop and remember each one before saying it, like someone who is speaking a language she has only just learned and never heard aloud.
With a nod of his head, Hayya says, "No, this is my slave name. Given to me by my Mistress." Setting one of the bandages down, Hayya says, "I will wrap them." Gently he lifts her one hand and begins to wrap her wrist; the bandage goes around a few times and then he ties it off snugly. Inspecting his work, he says, "Your other hand?" and then doing the same thing to her other hand, he smiles and says, "You will heal, you are lucky you are pretty and a woman. You receive far better treatment and care that way."
Farielle watches the cloths being wrapped around her wrists. There is something very soothing in the motion - around and around and around... but the moment of almost-comfort is shattered. She takes a deep breath, and in a very small voice, asks the question she dreads to know the answer to - and fears she already does. "What - what are they going to d-do with me?" Her voice shakes, but only a little, and her hands close slowly into fists again, the fingernails biting into the palms.
Thinking a moment, Hayya says, "I do not know what they plan to do with you, perhaps make you a servant in the tower to assist my Mistress with her daily tasks, perhaps you are to be married off to someone. I cannot say for sure." Getting to his feet, Hayya returns to his simple tasks of straitening up the tent, placing blankets and pillows upon cots and then what looks like preparing a meal for someone.
"Married?" Farielle stares at Hayya in utter astonishment, and the sheer absurdity of this suggestion is enough to bring back some semblance of her normal manner and speech. For the moment, at least. "There are not enough women in Harad that they must steal them?"
With a nod of his head, Hayya says, "You would be thought of as a great prize, or perhaps be meant strictly for breeding. But I do not know the plans of my masters." Boiling some water, Hayya sets up a plate, utensils and cup at the table then moves back to his cot and sits down. Unfolding his shirt, he looks it over a moment and begins to put it back on.
Breeding. Farielle wrinkles her nose in disgust. "But why?" she asks. "I thought they hated us." For the first time, she notices the scars the man bears. "What happened to you?" she asks. Automatically, she reaches for another piece of meat, chewing slowly and swallowing. "May I have some water?" she asks, and also, "Is there a brush. For - for my hair?" Her hair is tangled and full of sand.
With a look of disgust, Hayya says, "The handiwork of your Knight Captain.." his words are full anger and hatred. Pulling his shirt on over his head, he sighs and says, "They will heal in time.." Fixing his clothing and getting to his feet, Hayya picks up a cup and fills it with water and then moves over to the woman again and hands it to her gently.
"Lord Imrakhor?" Farielle asks. "He is a fool," she says sharply. "He should be hung!" She shuts her lips tightly, an angry look in her eyes, that fades a little as Hayya brings her the water. She takes it, drinking thirstily. "Thank you... it is so hot!" Little by little, she finishes the fruit and the meat, and then combs at her hair with her fingers, smoothing it as best she can, and straightening out some of the tangles. There is nothing she can do about the sand, without washing, and she doesn't seem inclined to do that right now.
With a nod of his head, Hayya says, "Trust me.. he will die." His words are full of anger and hate; shaking his head, he takes a deep breath, until, regaining his composure, he says, "I will ask about getting you a comb for your hair, but that may have to wait until we return to my Mistress' tower." Moving back to his cot, he sits down again and leans back.
Farielle nods. Quietly, she says, "Thank you. For - for being kind." And she sits in silence, staring at nothing, her face turned away so that he will not see that tears have sprung to her eyes.
Tower. Her thoughts beat at the inside of her head like a bird frantically trying to escape a cage. 'I still know the way back,' she thought, with a glance at the tent door. 'The ships may yet be there - and surely they are looking for me. I heard people shouting. I must....' She looked at the chains around her ankles and the rock they were attached to - she could barely move it, much less try and run - and despair slid like ice through her chest. Folding her arms about her knees, she hid her face in the crook of her elbow. 'They will come. Surely, they will come. They won't just leave me here.' But unbidden, a memory grows in her mind - of beds of injured men; the drawn, weary looks on the men's faces; the whispers that cut off when she had come near replaced by forced smiles.
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.