5. Chapter Five
She felt his touch upon her forehead. Slow, gentle fingers, brushed her hair back. Keeping her eyes closed, she sighed contentedly. She waited to feel the touch of his lips on her forehead. It did not come. A slight movement. 'I should be up,' she thought. 'There is so much to do. We leave for home today.' Another movement and she opened her eyes.
It was dark, darker than night, yet she sensed a presence. The smell almost gagged her. 'Where am I? This is not our talan.' Putting her hand out in front of her, the fingers touched webbing. It was not Haldir's soft fingers that had grazed her forehead, but a spider's web. She recoiled in horror. Rubbing her hand against her hair to wipe away any remaining webbing, she stopped. Her hand was sticky. She looked down and saw blood covering both her hands. Almost falling in surprise, her heart sickened within her.
Looking around, she saw them. Elves. Perhaps a hundred of them. They stood shackled to the walls of the cavern. She had leaned her back against one of them while wiping her hair and managed to get his blood on her hands. Terrified, she stepped quickly forward, away from the newly dead body in front of her and fell into another body, this one in the first stages of decay. She gasped and tried to get away from the Elf-clad wall. Spiders crawled back and forth over their dead bodies, weaving their webs. Flies and gnats covered the open wounds. She threw up.
Recovering, she started to move towards what she hoped was the front of the chamber. A low moan caught her attention. Frightened, she moved away from the sound. She heard it again and could not stop herself. She moved towards her left, towards the moan. The light on this side of the chamber was dimmer. She could hardly see, yet she knew someone needed help. Her fingers touched the wall and she walked slowly, never letting her fingers leave the wall, towards the vaguely familiar voice. She flinched as she felt cold flesh. She started to sob.
"Please," a low voice called next to the body she had touched. "Please help us."
She gasped and moved towards the voice. "Who is it? Who is here?" Her hand touched a face. She tried not to recoil and was rewarded with movement. The face gently nudged her hand. She almost cried, a feeling of familiarity flared in her mind.
"It is Singollo. Please help us."
She woke screaming; Haldir held her tightly, shushing her with gentle words.
"Haldir! Haldir! He is dying! He is captive and he is dying and there is blood everywhere!" She looked down at her hands. Sobbing, she held them up to him. "Where is the blood? They were covered in blood."
"See, garn nîn, there is no blood. You are safe and with me.
She sobbed piteously and he almost died at the sound. "Who is dying, Haldirriel?" he whispered.
She did not answer. The frightened look in her eyes terrified him. He held her tighter, beginning to brush her hair from her face. She screamed again and pushed his hand away, wiping her hair as if it were on fire. He could not understand her actions. He tried to calm her but she grew more and more agitated.
Running footsteps sounded below. A moment later, a hand moved the entrance covering away.
"Legolas!" Haldir cried. His friend stepped quickly to Haldirriel's side. Noting the sheen of sweat on her brow and the terrified look in her eyes, the Silvan Elf ran to the cupboard, returning only an instant later.
"Here, Loselleth, please drink this."
She pushed it aside, screaming, "He is dying!" Her eyes bore into him and he shivered.
"Please, melethril nîn," Haldir cried. "Losto, sedho, hodo." Her eyes looked beyond him. 'What could she have seen?'
Legolas took the cup and held it to her lips, forcing it down. She choked. A small portion entered her. Legolas poured more of the liquid into her mouth. She started to thrash, trying to hit them both, screaming all the while. Legolas once again poured the liquid into her. After a moment, she stilled.
Haldir sat back in bewilderment. "I have never seen her like this."
Legolas passed the cup to Haldir. "I believe this would do you some good, too."
Haldir shrugged and took a small sip, his hand shaking. Giving the cup back to Legolas, he bent and held her close, rocking her and whispering her name. At last, he felt her breath return to normal. "She frightened me, Legolas. I do not understand it."
"Nor do I." He wanted to say something about their lovemaking and the consequences of it, but knew that levity would not be appreciated at this time. He sat on the floor near his friends. "Has she some gift?"
"Let us go into the other room. She needs quiet." They moved into the back of the talan.
"We were speaking nonsense, love phrases. After a time, she fell asleep. I was holding her in my arms, touching her, fondling her hair. She started to struggle in her sleep; I tried to quiet her. She flailed her arms. I held them close, but she would not stop. Her head swung to and fro. Then, she started to scream. I know nothing more than that."
Legolas sat with his head down, brow furrowed as he listened. Haldir sat, bent forward, head held in his hands, worry plain upon his face.
"Did she say any word? Any name?"
"Nay. Wait! She said Sing or Singa... Singollo! That is the name she called out. Why would she speak of Thingol?"
"Because it is not Thingol that she is calling!" Legolas stood up and walked swiftly into the front room.
Haldir followed, still mystified. "Singollo is the name of Elu Thingol. Why would she call that name?"
She was still asleep, but shivering violently. He ran to her side, taking her in his arms. Legolas knelt next to him.
"Singollo was her brother. He died during the Battle of the Five Armies!"
A/N - 1) Melethril nîn - my love; 2) Losto, sedho, hodo - sleep, be still, lie still; 3)Garn nîn - my own
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