"When is this party over?" she asked the dwarf woman.
The other looked at her and raised a bushy eyebrow. "Party? This is dinner."
Jane just sighed again and took another swig of ale.
Meanwhile, in a place far closer than either of them knew, Suzie toiled away building a fire. After she had finished, she had a chance to look out and really observe her surroundings, now that the rude orc who had awakened her finally went off to gnaw on the disembodied arm of she-did-not-want-to- know-what.
It was like a colony of cockroaches: disgusting, filthy and, generally speaking, a place she would rather not have been. They were on the far bank of some kind of water, perhaps a small lake. Across it she could see a great stone wall that went up for several hundred yards. It was too flat and uniform to be natural. Someone must have cut it.
For a moment, the thought of escape occurred to her. She immediately realized that even if she made it past the hoard of clattering creatures to the unknown expanse beyond, she would have no idea where to go. And since she was an orc, she'd probably be immediately killed by anyone she'd want to make friends with.
Then, the orcs seemed to form what looked like order. They formed lines (more or less) and raised their makeshift weapons around like lunatics. Before she knew what was happening, she was swept away toward the water.
It wasn't too deep where they were and they were soon at the other side. She had to fight to keep from being trampled and when they reached the wall, she was afraid she'd be crushed, since the onslaught showed no signs of stopping. Closer, she noticed a door. The orcs were pouring into what she could only guess was a cave, and a huge one at that. With no idea what awaited her inside, she took a deep breath and plunged forward.
The sound was deafening. Jane didn't know what happened at first, but within moments of the announcement, dwarves were scattering, yelling, arming themselves, horns were blasting, drums pounding, and an eerie rumbling came from far off through the caverns. In desperation, and having no fighting skills whatsoever, she ran to the closet she had woken up in, closed the door, and hid for her life.
As Suzie went along through the cave, she recognized it suddenly. "Moria!" she yelled suddenly, though no one heard her. It was lively and warm, not the cold tomb she was familiar with. But it soon would be. The orcs killed and maimed every dwarf they saw, though they certainly took their lumps, as well. Wanting no part of this massacre, now that she knew what it was, Suzie found a secluded nook and managed somehow to cower without being noticed.
After hours, maybe days, she awoke. It was dark and cold. She inched out of her nook and looked around. The halls were alive with activity - orc activity. Every dwarf in sight was dead and mangled. She shuddered and turned away. It was horrific. She started walking. To where, she didn't know, but she just had to walk.
Jane slowly emerged from the closet. It was risky, she knew, but she was getting hungry and she had to eat some time. What she saw when she opened the door shocked her more than she thought anything could. Right in front of her was the head of the woman she'd met. At the sight of the severed head, she very nearly threw up. Looking around, she saw many more dead bodies, dwarves that had been laughing and singing just hours (or days, she didn't know) before. Suddenly, she grew enraged. It may not have been what she wanted, but these were good people who didn't deserve this. Reaching down, she took up the axe of a fallen dwarf and started looking for an orc. Even if she could just get one, it would be something. Besides, she was probably going to die, anyway.
After a while, Suzie reached a large hall. A dining hall, by the looks of it. Curiously, there were no orcs in here. 'Probably all back at the victory celebration,' she noted to herself. She hoped to find somewhere some respite from the carnage, but none was to be had. When she saw the lake of blood in the center of the room, a thought struck her. 'Middle Earth isn't exactly what I had expected.'
But before she could ponder this misfortune too much, she saw a shape speeding toward her out of the corner of her eye. By the time she turned to look, it was too late. A dwarf, somehow still alive, lunged toward her, screaming. Instinctively, she reached out her hand to ward off the attacker - a hand that just happened to have a very sharp gauntlet on it. The sharp fingers pierced the dwarf's leather tunic just as an axe lodged itself in her own side, in the gap in her armor.
That instant seemed to last an eternity, as in their dying moments, Lóin the dwarf and Bashnug the orc recognized themselves for what they were: sisters. But it was too late for them. Their dream had ended with a nightmare more terrible than they could have fathomed. And so they died. But life went on - in Middle Earth and in their home - and no one ever knew the truth.
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.