8. Prisoner of Battle
That was not actually true. Scaldo remembered being wet and sick, helpless and immovable. At some point, he rolled onto a gravely place and sagged there for an eternity. After a while, eternity grew purpler and purpler and finally rosy. Somewhere a rooster, who had little else to do other than perch in the middle of nowhere, crowed. Next a face appeared and a loud voice called, with answering ones.
Scaldo felt himself being lifted, dropped, then lifted again. Almost dropping once more. The voices talked and Scaldo found that soothing until the loudest first voice sounded, and he was dumped on the ground.
It was not until food touched his lips, a warm brothy sort, that his mind crawled awake. The feeders seemed delighted he ate and kept it on, and Scaldo made no protest.
The food ceased all too soon, in Sclado's opinion; however, it gave him the opportunity to have a good look at his rescuers. He looked and thought: I really must be dead.
Creatures such as these only existed in stories nannies told hobbit lads and lasses to scare them to sleep. Their legs were as long as Scaldo was tall, they were hairy, their hands the size of pans, and dirty, most obviously barbarous: giants! So many of them, all caught up in a blur of shadows from their own loftiness before the early sun. One of the giants stepped forward.
"Welcome to Sarn Ford. I am Chamsar Cuturgurth Belaran Aglareb."
"He made those up, be not intimidated," said someone helpfully.
Chamsar did not seem to hear. "I am Captain of the Ford Guardians, the stone slingers. Tell me, small troll, how came you here?"
"I am not a troll. That is a queer charge coming from giants."
Chamsar did not hear again. The shadows before Scaldo's eyes cleared and he saw Chamsar was verrry tall, his eyes were stone blue, and he had dark mustaches hanging from under his nose like thick sausages. These he knuckled often.
"I have lost my way," said Scaldo, "I came down the river, you see, and died somewhere, and I am sure I am dead. But if it is not too much trouble, I would like more food. And also-"
"Enough," said the giant leader, "I name you Torug. My men will help you find your hole. Meanwhile, we will fortify you against the sun."
"Now wait! I am a Chubb, not a troll. I cannot go home. What I came from was the Dwarf, and him I must find. He wears a blue hood and painful boots, if you've see him."
The other giants went stone still. Chamsar looked to have processed his words for the first time, and he spoke with a dead tone.
"You know this... person thing?"
"Yes, no, somewhat, rather. May I have second breakfast?"
"No!!! You are a prisoner of battle. Bind him till I judge him. No one is to talk with him."
Chamsar's followers seized Scaldo, groaned, and settled for tying Scaldo's stubby legs together.
Scaldo lay like that, watching the sun slither upwards from beneath a shabby tarp his captors had erected over him.
At some point one of the captors knelt close and whispered. He had the same voice as the one who had interrupted Chamsar earlier. "Be you well?"
"I am sorry."
"Muffins," said Scaldo, glazed and sprinkled with self-pity, "What did I do to deserve this?"
"You should not have mentioned the Dwarf to my brother." This giant did look like Chamsar, with the same blue eyes and dark hair, although he had no mustaches, only a patchy, juvenile beard on his chin.
"Why? What has the Dwarf to do with it?"
"I am forbidden to speak of it."
"But you were forbidden to even talk to me, as well." Scaldo tried not to sound whiny. He was excited that maybe, maybe, maybe this giant could tell him something about the Dwarf.
"Talking is different from whispering. However, speaking is still speaking in all levels of voice. I cannot. I can say this, though: any doings with the Dwarf brings trouble. I would keep away. In fact, I would say the same about Cham."
"I cannot speak of it."
The tall one mistook the porkish hobbit's sigh of disappointment for apprehension, perhaps.
"Fear not. I'll back you at your judgment."
"Shh, squeal not so loud. My brother's judgments are not so bad. It is all good fun."
"Shh. Cham is coming."
The giant stood up (dreadfully far up) with a jolt and whistled with the innocence of an infant. (If infants do whistle).
Scaldo was not the most deductive of hobbits, the Valar know, but he was not assured Chamsar's judgment would be all good fun.
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.