Ides of March Onlist Challenge, The

Ides of March, The -- Onlist Challenge

5. Wind and Fire -- Adi

I do not like the city. The paved and cobbled pathways are hard under feet used to grass, and the steep and winding streets would threaten the balance of one less proud and noble. And the smell – even in peace time the smell of this place is enough to make me afraid. This place smells of Man and stone, and great walls keep the wind from driving the scents away. With those great walls, the city tries to keep out wind and rain, but of course it doesn't succeed. All it can do is shut itself in.

What is so terrible about wind and rain anyway? This I do not understand. Wind would drive away the evil smells. Rain might put the fires out.

Fire fills me with fear, but I am proud and do not shy away. I am here for the love of my lord and master, and he does not shy, so why would I? We have a task to do, him and me, and though I do not know what it is, I can tell its importance from the urgency of his voice, the tenseness of his muscles.

We must have a task to do, or else why would we clatter up the streets of the burning city, when outside the gates my brothers scream their fear and rage in battle? I can hear them even from here, and though I do not wish for battle, I would fain join them. We do not love battle, my brothers and I, not as Men seem to, but we understand what is needed of us. Out there would be pain and fear and confusion, but perhaps there would also be a chance for speed and movement. Certainly there would be grass under foot.

I miss the feel of wind. I miss light. I miss open spaces, and freedom to run as I choose.

But I follow the will of my lord and master, chosen in respect and love. Even my freedom is not my own, and when he calls, I must come. What he bids, I must do. This is the way of things. I do not shy away.

Once, my line served only the Kings of Rohan, for they are fine Men, great-hearted and noble, even as we are. But we have always been free to choose a master as we wished, and when my time came for choice, I would take for my own no other than this one. For I saw with the wisdom of my sires that the time had come for a greater King, and my pride bade me serve him if I could. And so though he is no King, I chose to ride with this one. He smells of Man and Elf both, and of grass and wind and rain, and more than anything else of fire, and yet I do not shy away.

In a place that smells of fire and death, he pulls me up short, and leaps down from my back. So too does the little one I had not even noticed I was bearing. To me, this child-like creature means all but nothing, and I am sure that to him, I mean just as little – and yet I know that to the one who rides me, in our different ways, we both mean the world.

Sometimes many things are important. Wind and fire both.

He rushes into the place of death, and I do not fear for him. My part in his task is done for now, and I am content.

And what does any of this matter, my brothers sometimes ask. Will it make the grass grow any greener, or the foals any faster, or the wind any sweeter, or the fire any brighter? Against my fear, I have sped through the burning city at my master's command. And the wisdom of my sires tells me that it does matter. Now it is dark, and the city burns; the grass is stained with blood, and the wind scented with death. My lord and master would right these wrongs. This I know. I am doing this for the feel of the wind, for the light, for the open spaces, and for the freedom to run as I choose.

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.

In Challenges

Story Information

Author: HA Writers Group

Status: General

Completion: Complete

Rating: General

Last Updated: 03/16/04

Original Post: 03/16/04

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