Author: Linda Hoyland
Characters/Pairing:Aragorn, Eladdan, Elrohir
Word count: 577
Book/Source: LOTR book-verse
Disclaimer - These characters all belong to the estate of J.R.R. Tolkien. This story was written for pleasure and not for financial gain.
Dedicated to Estelcontar as a belated birthday gift.
March 5: Menegroth
Write a story or poem or create artwork that will illustrate the consequences of isolation.
They had told him this was the hardest test to pass to become a fully-fledged Ranger; to spend time alone in the wilds. Aragorn, though, was rather enjoying himself; for the first time in his short life there was no one to tell him what he should do. He had no lessons to study and it was entirely up to him to decide how he spent his days.
The weather was fine and food was plentiful. It took Aragorn some time to become accustomed to sleeping on the ground rather than the soft beds of Rivendell, but even that hardship did not deter him for long. He fashioned a bed of soft bracken where he was free to sleep for as long as he chose and dream of Arwen.
Sometimes he sighed and softly sang old ballads to himself, pining for the hopelessness of his cause in gaining the love of Elrond’s daughter. At other times he was hopeful and dreamed of restoring his people to their former glory and winning the fair lady’s hand in marriage.
When darkness fell, he would light a fire and gaze into in, and wonder how he as Chieftain of the Rangers could overcome the darkness that threatened them all. His strength seemed as feeble as the meagre campfire.
It was then he felt very alone. He knew he could return to the others whenever he wished, but he was determined to show that he was no pampered Elven child, but one of the Dúnedain, well able to survive alone in the wild and worthy to be their Chieftain.
As the days passed, sometimes he fancied that he saw Arwen walking beneath the trees as she had beneath the birches at Rivendell, but when he approached her she vanished dissolving into the mist.
The birds grew ever more accustomed to his presence and he began to fancy that they were watching him. Or was it fancy? Did not the enemy sometimes use the crebain for his own purposes?
Aragorn stayed closer to his camp He no longer practised with sword or bow, or took pleasure from swimming in the river.
That night the moon was full and the trees seemed to grow faces in the silvery shadows. He could hear them whispering. The words sounded like “Doomed to fail, doomed to darkness!”
The shadowy branches seemed to reach out towards him to grasp him, crush him, strangle him.
“Hush now,” a familiar voice soothed. “You are safe.”
Strong arms embraced Aragorn and held him tight.
“The trees!” he cried, “They mock me, they will crush me!”
“You have been alone in the wilds too long, Estel,” said Elladan. “Come back to the others. Halbarad and your other comrades are waiting to welcome you home.”
“I failed,” Aragorn said miserably. He took a keep breath. The trees no longer looked threatening.
“No other young Chieftain has endured so long in the wilds alone,” said Elrohir. “ I remember them all.”
“We should have made our presence known before now,” said Elladan. “It was hard to watch when the isolation began to take its toll on you.”
“You mean you were there all along?” Aragorn asked.
“Of course, we could not leave you so inexperienced and unprotected,” said Elrohir.
“Not that you needed our help until tonight,” Elladan added, seeing the young man’s frown. “Now come, the Dúnedain are eager to greet their Chieftain. You have proved yourself more than worthy.”