4. Dangerous Dreams
**This in mind speech**
''This is visions''
""This is thoughts ""
"This is normal conversation"
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It had been two days, since Kestrel had discovered the problem with her memories. Not all of them had been lost, but the ones she remembered were jumbled together in a swirl of places, things and faces she could not identify. Night terrors woke her three or four times a night now. The horrifying scenes playing out deep within her subconscious mind, made rest nearly impossible. The hideous smell of death permeated the air. The stickiness of blood that clung to skin like a leech; both black and more often, red. The screams of pain that bounced around the inside of her head, as if the sound could escape its tormentor, made her cold inside. The worst came when a picture floated out of the darkness of her mind. It was a scene of such horror, that it made Kestrel vomit in the corner of her room in helpless misery. She could see herself in the reflection of a shimmering pool of thermally heated water bubbling up from an unknown hot spring. She was naked, covered in dripping red blood and other unidentifiable substances, but instead of looking afraid or horrified, Kestrel saw a vile look of intense satisfaction on her own face. It was this small smirk that graced her lips, that made her stomach heave its contents into the small bucket in the far corner of her room. Only a true monster could feel smug covered in gore and death. Kestrel prayed to the Valar that the scenes she remembered were nothing, but fevered dreams made up out of her fear and uncertainty. She did not want to think that the capabilities for such wanton destruction could be normal for her.
Curled up again in front of the blazing fire, Kestrel hugged her knees to her chest for the second time that night and tried to rock the haunting picture into oblivion. She issued no sound, after the initial vomiting, to alert the guards to her tortured state. She knew they watched her closely and sent word to the strange twins, but the identical elves had given up on trying to sooth her fears. They had tried to question her repeatedly over the last few days. When they had asked if she would be willing to talk freely and tell them the reason for her being in their realm, Kestrel's only answer was a negative shake of her head and brown eyes that stared holes in the floor of the gray room. The twins' patience had run out with the elleth's refusal to answer, so now the only people she saw were guards at meal times and the twins during questioning. She was grateful they still fed her and that the supply of fuel for her fire was in abundance, but the loneliness wore on her already battered soul. Taking a deep cleansing breath, Kestrel dragged herself back to the bed and tried again to find rest within her troubled reverie.
Elladan and Glorfindel were in a heated game of chess, when one of the two warriors that stood guard outside the prisoner's room came to report on the elleth's condition. Elladan heaved a sigh at the sight of the guard and braced himself for another telling of the prisoner's restless slumber. Turning to Glorfindel, Elladan spoke softly, "It seems our prisoner is once again being subjected to night terrors; if the guard's face is any indication. It has been this way for days now, but she will not cooperate with us. Her attitude leaves us no room for mercy. I dislike being cruel to females, but this small elleth will speak nary a word to anyone. I had hoped that we could break her silence, but the way it is going, she may spend eternity locked away due to her stubbornness." Glorfindel could only nod in sympathy of Elladan's frustration with the whole situation. He knew the twin would allow no harm to come to the elleth, but the twin would definitely keep her locked away until the time she gave a detailed reason for being within Imladris' borders.
The Balrog slayer listened half-heartedly to the conversation between Elladan and the guard. He was curious why this female would not help herself. All that was needed was a plausible explanation and then she could enjoy the comfort and freedom of Imladris without fear. Stubborn, the twin had said, but Glorfindel wondered if it was something more. Making his mind up to visit the prisoner in the early afternoon and possibly bring Erestor as well, the slayer turned back to the chess board and tried to figure out a strategy to squash the older twin's hopes of winning for good. A brilliant smile lit his face, as a crafty gleam twinkled in the depths of his sea blue eyes. Four more moves and Elladan was Warg meat! A sense of peace invaded Elrond's study once more, as the guard left to go back to his assigned duties.
Glorfindel whistled softly as he walked briskly towards the Last Homely House. He had finally gotten his work done, but it was well after the midday meal, so had eaten with the other warriors in the barracks. It was slipping into that time of day when the sun was still warm, but the extreme brightness was just beginning to fade. Not quite twilight, but definitely not midday. It had always been a favorite time of day for the golden haired elf; when the crickets began slowly waking up to sing their delightful songs and the breeze began to chill ever so slightly. Mounting the steps quickly, the seneschal decided it would be the perfect time to visit their reluctant prisoner; who was still housed securely in the gray room. Glorfindel took the time to ponder all the reasons that he had thought up, that could have a bearing, as to why the prisoner would want to be uncooperative when questioned. Being a spy for the evil Dark Lord was the first thought he had. If she did indeed having the distinctive markings of the evil Dark One, then it was a strong possibility, but there might be a few other very good reasons as well. Frowning Glorfindel began turning ideas over in his head as he continued through the complex twists and turns of the hallways.
""Maybe she does not speak the language? Though that is very unlikely, as she is Elf kind, but there are ways to test that theory in a subtle manner! Maybe it is just an issue of trust. She is frightened and does not know us, so therefore we could be considered dangerous; except that she has been treated with kindness and still refuses to talk. I wonder what would be the best way to approach this elleth? "" Sighing as he rounded the corner of the hallway that ended at the gray room's door, Glorfindel decided to do what he did best … improvise. Nodding to the guards as he approached, the seneschal waved his hand for the guard to open the door, without making any comments or asking any questions. Walking into the room, he heard the lock slip back into place. The fire was merrily blazing in the hearth, but no other light was lit. The gloom of the place made him shudder slightly. Being an Elf, he hated dark, closed, dingy places and the gray room was much too closed and dark for his peace of mind, even with the fire.
Taking in the sleeping form of the elleth cuddled under her warm coverlet, Glorfindel moved closer to the bed and quietly retrieved the rug at its side. Laying the rug next to the fire, the elf dropped gracefully down upon it, crossed legged. Placing his back against the side of the stone hearth, Glorfindel settled in, with a book he had brought, to await the elleth's return from her dream filled reverie. After almost an hour, the elf's attention was captured by the restless motion of the sleeping elleth. Her head tossed violently. Her limbs shifted in distress. Watching her intensely, Glorfindel waited patiently for her return to full wakefulness. Less then fifteen minutes after the elleth began her restless tossing, she shot upright in a tangle of twisted sheets and terrified brown eyes. He observed the brave way she fought back her panic, with deep cleansing breaths and hastily closed eyes. Curiosity plagued the seneschal, as he continued to contemplate the female in the tangled bed. Glorfindel wondered at the dreams that made the small elleth so completely terrified upon waking. He promised himself that all his questions would be answered weather or not she wished to answer them!
Kestrel's eyes slammed back into focus as panic set into her soul and jerked her bolt upright in her bed, still wrapped in a tangle of sweaty sheets. The night terror slowly slid back behind the curtain her mind had erected to help keep her sanity intact. It was one of the lesser scenes, so it was easier to push away then most of the dreams, as reality broke through the fog of sleep. Breathing heavily, Kestrel closed her eyes tight while she thought of feeling the sun on her face and tree bark beneath her palms. She missed those things the most, when she awoke to the darkened room and no amount of flame could light her soul like the sight of the sun and the distinctive smell of the forest. As she took a few deep breaths to calm her fears, Kestrel became aware of a presence that had not been there when she had fallen asleep. Fighting her instinctive reaction of flight, the elleth pretended that she was still ignorant of the intruder in her room and continued with her breathing. Mind racing quickly over her options, the elleth decide her best bet would be to play the shy, surprised innocent and opened her eyes acting as if she were still alone.
The act of surprised shock turned real, as she took in the strange elf sitting, on her rug. beside the fire. His long hair gleamed gold in the firelight held back from his face by intricate braids, while deep blue eyes, the color of Autumn skies, watched her with an unnerving intensity. He lounged comfortably against the hearth, with a now discarded book cradled in his lap. The elf was outfitted in the same sort of clothing that the other twin elves had been dressed in, on their last visit to interrogate her. Kestrel quickly decided it must be the normal uniform for all of the warriors; as the guards were similarly attired. As with all the elves she had seen, this new ellon looked young, virile and handsome, yet the way the warrior's intense gaze was drilling into her very soul betrayed the truth of his advanced years. Judging by the intelligence, curiosity and calm reflected in his gaze, Kestrel estimated the blond warrior's age to be around three thousand, but quite possibly older. There was a level of confidence that many of the guards lacked and it was that air of command that worried her.
""Have they now sent in a more seasoned warrior to question me? I have most definitely tried the twins' endurance past the breaking point and now they are sending a much less tolerant investigator to drag the truth from me! Well I did not believe I would be able to get away with my silence much longer, but I had hoped for a few days more, at least. The twins must be in a great hurry, to get from me, whatever information they believe I possess. I truly hope this new warrior will not be too disappointed, when I do not talk to him either. As if I would give him the satisfaction of an explanation, after being thrown into what must be their version of a dungeon. That this golden haired warrior has been in the room watching me sleep, for who knows how long, is eerie! Normally I would have felt his presence; long before I did today. Why has he not asked me any questions yet? This annoyingly silent elf is making me nervous, but there is nothing that I can do about it. Wait and see, is the only answer to this horrible new dilemma! Damn! I wish he would start talking before I do something stupid, like lose my temper. "" The elleth nervously thought to herself as she met the elf's penetrating gaze with a wary one of her own. ""Alright elf, let the mind games commence! ""
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.