Time passed. Motioning a finger to her lips for silence with a glance to the doorway Celebrían easily ripped a length of her now ragged dress off and began to bind the deep slash on his arm which had been reopened and begun bleeding again after his last beating. He managed to smile gratefully at her through lips as cracked as her own. Ripping another few ragged strips she secured them but wondered what good the filthy bits of cloth would actually do.
Touching her fingers experimentally to a swelling on the side of her face Celebrían winced and decided she would not even consider examining her feet. Fear and depression were closing in upon her, holding the figures of her family and friends close in her mind Celebrían prayed, prayed for anything but this whilst she cringed against the wall. Her body stung and ached in numerous places, she was starving and desperately needed rest but her tormented mind would not allow her to be caught unawares.
Never show fear, never show pain, never be caught unawares.
In her head she found herself repeating the old battle mantra her husband had told tales of using, how she longed to see him and her children. They would not see her cry. Or at least that was what she told herself as a few tears managed to slip past her lashes.
Dragged to her feet and held by her throat against the wall, and a dagger hovering just above her eye. Celebrían's lip trembled and she shook, eyes fixed upon the blade, waiting. Waiting.
Do it. Just do it she mentally pleaded, anything other than knowing it would happen and having to wait any longer. Her resolve was weakening, already she felt her legs begin to weaken beneath her. As she was steeling herself for the pain and clenching her fists she was distracted, and eyes looking away from the hovering blade just for a second as she saw her youngest guard elbow his tormentor in the stomach and dart away. Terrified of the outcome her eyes flicked back to the blade in front of her though it was not there for long. Diving headlong into the orc with a defiant cry her guard knocked him to the floor and together they scrabbled and rolled on the floor. Weakened though he was and despite the orc's growls and strength the guard somehow nimbly managed to twist on top and whilst the orc was face down wrench his neck till it snapped.
"Behind you!" Celebrían cried out in alarm, her voice hoarse, as a wiry goblin loomed behind her guard as he struggled up. He tried to duck on hearing her warning yet the goblin was quicker and gripped his arm and on hearing the struggles from within the guard from the door had entered too. Celebrían was forgotten as the three remaining orcs and goblins in the chamber gathered around her guard. The bandage she had attempted not so long ago to put on was ripped from his arm and the brutal nails of the orcs dug into his healing skin as the stretched the slash further. He writhed in agony in their grip. Celebrían could not stand it, not again. She slipped forwards and picked up the discarded dagger of the dead orc. Taking tentative steps and then raising her hands she sent the dagger down with all her might into the back of the nearest goblin.
Standing behind horrified that she had just killed a creature despite all else Celebrían in her moments daze did not have enough time to react quickly enough to defend herself or dart away. Forcefully was she thrown across the room, and head colliding with the wall her consciousness slipped away. If she had been conscious she would have known her last guard suffered the fate he saved her from.
Searing pain woke her from the depths of unknowing, screaming in agony and writhing on the floor, desperately trying to pull her head away from whatever it was that was causing so much pain. Eyes rolling Celebrían took in her dim surroundings and then realised with the excruciating pain that she was still there.
Where was he? Where were they? Where was her husband?
The seeds of depression and loneliness and of being forgotten were growing in her mind as her forehead burned. What were they doing to her? Her vision was blotted then blurry, the rough hands upon her face and along the cut upon her forehead were being slowly processed by her mind. Rubbing in? Muck? Poison? They were poisoning her? It seemed a fire burned across her brow. They were poisoning her.
Lashing out in desperation she felt one of her feet come soundly into contact with an object that staggered back from its unexpected blow. Again she kicked out and writhed, struggling to get her hands free, desperate to wipe the evil substance from her wound. Having previously thrown her head back she brought it forward again, twisting with the pain. It connected with the head of the goblin leaning over her. Tears were welling in her eyes as the pain on her forehead became unbearable. Inspired, Celebrían butted wildly again. There was a roar of outrage or pain, she did not know nor care but there was a roar. Heart hammering Celebrían wriggled and writhed, flailing wildly out at the vague shapes before her blacking vision. Them, the wall, herself it did not matter what she hit, just to lash out, something must work, something must make it stop. One last kick and then they were upon her. No.
A feral scream issued from her lips and then Celebrían's mind lost all but survival. She dug in with her nails, biting and scratching. Her strength was leaving, her last reserves drying up. Feebly trying to roll over Celebrían felt the onslaught subside. Hurried steps and then she was left, her ragged breaths the only sound in the now empty chamber.
Why have I not died?
By the time the swift scuffle at the chamber entrance occurred and the two figures walked in, their eyes filled with horror and shock, Celebrían had been long from consciousness and would not have heard the sorrowful cry of "Oh mother!"
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.