Exploring Darkness: 6. Sightless and Separated

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6. Sightless and Separated

Eldarion opened his eyes but could see nothing. He was puzzled until he remembered that he was in a cave. But hadn’t there been torches a moment ago? And what was he doing lying down? These rocks really weren’t comfortable bed substitutes. He tried to stand up and found he couldn’t. For some reason, he couldn’t get his legs to listen to him. He attempted to at least sit up, but gave up on that idea. His legs seemed to be stuck under something heavy. Leaning forward as much as he could, the tips of the boy’s fingers brushed rock. What was he doing with his legs under the rocks? He laid back down, rubbing his pounding head. Where were Uncle Gimli and Uncle Legolas? Why had they left him here all alone? The little boy shivered, suddenly feeling cold. He was alone in the darkness of the cave, and he couldn’t get up. He hoped his uncles came to rescue him before he got scared. Because it wouldn’t do for the prince of Gondor to be scared. And he wasn’t. Not really. He knew his uncles would be here to save him any minute now. He could be brave until then. This was an adventure! He liked adventures, he really did, so there was no reason to be afraid. He was safe with his uncles. Even though they weren’t here right now. He gulped, trying to see in the pitch black. But it was all right. They’d be here soon. Very, very soon…he hoped.
* * *
Gimli opened his eyes. He saw nothing but darkness, but long years of time spent learning the secrets of caves had given him senses of stone. There was rock close above him, and more rock against his side. He shifted slightly, and felt something pressing down on his shoulder. Trying to estimate whether moving was a good idea or not, he cautiously explored the stone with his hands—or rather, hand, for one arm was caught beneath the rock that lay partially on him. He was thankful for the thick chainmail he nearly always wore, knowing that without it he would be in considerable pain right now. He would hurt as soon as his body caught up with him, he knew, but bruises were preferable to broken bones—and a few cracked ribs never killed anyone, he thought as he drew a particularly painful breath. Judging that shifting out from under the rock would not start another collapse—it seemed to be a lone piece of stone that had for whatever lucky reason decided that the dwarf was a good spot to rest upon—he summoned his strength and shoved. Gimli gritted his teeth against the pain that flared in his shoulder and managed to push the rock off of him. Muttering curses under his breath, the dwarf stood up, ignoring the protests of his right side. He looked around, but of course, in the pitch blackness, could see nothing. “Legolas?” he asked, his voice carefully pitched low to carry but not loud enough to disturb fragile stone. “Eldarion?” The was no answer. The dwarf refused to allow himself to think of the myriad of different reasons for the silence. Clamping down tightly on his fears, Gimli started a careful inspection of the rock around him. He had to know if there was danger of another collapse before he could start moving around to search for his friends. He did his best not to picture them awakening, alone and lost in the darkness, but his thoughts didn’t seem interested in cooperating.
* * *
Legolas opened his eyes. Opened my eyes? What were my eyes doing closed? he thought blearily. He shook his head to try to clear it, and realized immediately that that was a bad idea. Clutching his head, the elf tried to figure out what was going on—and why it was so very, very dark. Then he froze. A stray thought whispered through the elf’s mind. It had been dimly lit last thing he remembered—firelight flickering off walls of smooth rock. Gimli had been there, as had Eldarion. The boy had been excited about something, he remembered vaguely. In fact, he had started jumping around…and for some reason Gimli had tried to stop him…but why? And where were they now? For that matter, where was he? The throbbing in his head seemed to make it difficult to think properly. Then he remembered: they had been in the cave. They had been in the cave, and then there had been a sudden rumble, and then darkness and sharp pain…then nothing. But that meant… Legolas looked around wildly, ignoring the protests of his head at the sudden action. A thrill of fear ran through him. He was in a cave. “Gimli?” he whispered softly, ignoring the slight tremble in his voice. No answer. “Gimli!” the elf shouted, but only mocking echoes answered.

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.

Story Information

Author: Tathrin

Status: General

Completion: Complete

Era: 4th Age

Genre: Drama

Rating: General

Last Updated: 02/02/05

Original Post: 02/02/05

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