7. Ch. 6: Of Men, Fire, and the Sun
Chapter 6: Of Men, Fire. and the Sun
The flight was a two day trip, for they had to stop for the necessities of the human girl. She needed sleep and food and had to relieve herself more than once a day. The task was getting perilous for them. She would not cooperate and would often times scream when she heard movement in the forests when they stopped. She was not worth taking back to Minas Morgul, not for Annatar. The Shell of Sauron was unlikable and did not deserve the delicious woman. I would make her mine, the Mouth of Sauron thought with lust.
He was now escorting the human into the depths of Minas Morgul, the lair of the Nazgul and of Annatar. He was not surprised when the Witch-King and Annatar were waiting for them at the bottom the Green Tower. "Hail Annatar, Shell of Sauron. Hail the Witch-King of Angmar. The Lords of Minas Morgul," the Mouth bowed deeply. Realizing, Eruain did not bow before them, he pulled her down sharply. "Kneel, you little…"
Annatar was suddenly before them. "Do not force her to kneel. She is, oh, how do you say it in Haradaic…" He looked over to her with a searching glance, his Quenya ringing delightfully in her ears. "Malika? She is my Malika."
"Malika?" Eruain asked. "I am not Malika of anything, my lord. Not anymore." Eruain was not afraid and it was strange. Most would tremble under the gazes of the Nazgul.
"You will be Malika over all of Middle Earth, my bride. Once the Ring is found, of course." Annatar held her chin and gave her a once over. "Oh, you are a beautiful one, my dear."
"Thank you, my lord," Eruain smiled. "Your home is very unusual. It seems unlivable."
"You need not worry. Our room is much, much different than this. It has a roaring fire, a huge bed, a library, and even a play room." He smirked at his deceit.
The Mouth smiled in knowing as well. That play room of Annatar's was a torture room. He knew the Shell had a plan to torture this whelp, and it was going to be delightful to torture her. That delicious smooth skin of hers ripping open to expose rivers of blood. It was almost too sinful for him to think about. He shivered in pleasure.
"I expect payment," the Mouth hissed.
"You will receive none. You have done this on the whim of Sauron, not of me. I will not pay you for I did not ask for her. But it is the will of Sauron and so I will keep her." He pulled her against him. He always had this hypnotizing air about him, the Mouth thought; it was as if Eruain was under some spell. "She is not ugly like others I have received."
"Fine, keep her. I will be leaving for the Gates. Do you have any messages for the Dark Lord?" It was his job as the messenger to deliver the needs and wants of Sauron's minions to him. Such a tiresome job it was.
"Tell him I am gracious he bestowed such a woman upon me. And that I am starting to torture the creature Gollum."
"I will pass this on." The Mouth mounted his fell beast and was off, leaving the human all alone in the City of the Nazgul.
"Tell me your name, woman," Annatar smiled as they took dinner in a large hall lit by a giant hearth.
"Eruain. Eruain Bintsuladân. What is yours, my lord?" She was not used to eating so much meat, as it was uncommon in Imladris to be so carnivorous. Yet, she tasted the pheasant, rabbit, deer, and quail and had some bread and carrots.
He ate nothing and had spoken little. He drank wine from a goblet and stared intensely at either her or the fire. As he gazed into the flames, he said, "It is Annatar. I am lord of Minas Morgul."
"Why am I here?" Still she was not scared. It was something of a mystery to her. She knew in her heart she should be but she felt calm in his presence and in the dark tower. She was curious, not frightened. And he knew this and intended to break her.
"You were chosen to be the Naraca, mother of the Children of the Dark. It is a great honor, my lady. You should be happy to offer your body to the Dark Lord." He smirked. "And it will be my pleasure to impregnate you, Naraca." He laid a hand on her arm, whispering, "I'm sure you will make a fine bride even though you are a virgin." She felt his fingers leave her arm and run through her hair and across her cheek, lingering. "A fine bride indeed."
"My lord," mumbling, she turned her head away from his hand. "I cannot. A Haradrim must never lay with a man who is not Shamsborn. Shamsa can only lay with Qamar, Malikun, or the Malikun Ameeri."
His eyes slid close and she felt a hand on her arm grip tight. "You are no longer Shamsa. You are Naraca." He pulled her up and dragged her to the hearth. Forcing her to kneel, he pressed her face close to the eager flames. "Look into the fire. It burns from the lava from Orodruin, from where the Ring was forged. Can you feel the hatred that burns with the flames? Can you feel the malevolence? If you are not cooperative, you will meet Orodruin and join your beloved Shams in the sky. But remember this, there are many who love you and it would break their hearts to hear of your death. Be wary, my love, I do not take disobedience lightly."
She was relieved when he pulled her away from the fire. Inhaling she asked softly, "I thought I was special to you, a prize of sorts. That is what my father said."
He laughed, choking on some of the wine he drank. "Special? Ha! You are no prize. You hold no safety here. You are but a slave, a dirty little whore. I am not obliged to treat you well, seeing as there as hundreds of other slave girls down in the bowels of the tower. You mean nothing. You were picked out because of your connection with Suladân. You are a gift because I captured Gollum, nothing more. You put yourself higher than you really are. Here you are nothing but a savage and a slut." He held her for a moment before he released her, departing. "Finish eating. At sundown, we consummate our marriage." He did not turn around, but he could feel her fear starting to sink in, his powers of hypnosis were fading.
"Onnedhiel," he spoke in Quenya while he watched her sew in the dark corner of his room.
"Yes, Lord Annatar?" The elf was blonde like her master but it curled more than his. She was not as old as him, but could not remember her true age. Having been his maid for more than three millennia, she knew what he wanted, for he had a new, young virgin as his wife.
"Teach her the ways of lovemaking before she comes to me tonight."
"Yes, my lord."
"Aiya Naraca." Onnedhiel entered without a knock. The flames reflected off her glistening hair and lit her light skin that had not seen sun for over two millennia. Eruain turned at her greeting, recognizing the soft spoken Quenya. The beautiful elf maiden looked very close in appearance to Annatar, sharing the same structural facial features. "I am here to teach you."
It was clear to the elf that Eruain was scared. Her body shook and she was crying softly. "Dear Naraca. It will not be so bad to lie with the lord. He is a kind lover and will not leave you wanting. He is gentle and wishes to satisfy you. It will not be so bad," she cooed once more, enveloping the shaking woman. "It will hurt only for a moment, dear."
"Why is it me? Why am I to be Naraca?" The tremor in her voice was caused by her overwhelming shivering. Clutching to Onnedhiel as if the elf were her own mother, she started to weep loudly once more.
"Hush, little one, you frighten too easily. Lord Annatar is the least of your worry. You have yet to encounter the Masked Man." She felt Eruain shy away from her, clinging to her own body for support. Onnedhiel knew that the human did not wish to hear such words, but it was the truth. The elf was sure that the knowledge she was passing on would be better to know before the night came.
"Who is the Masked Man?"
"He will come for you at night, within your dreams. You will be sleeping and he is the Dream Thief. He will torture and rape you. I am sorry, but the Masked Man is not someone you can escape from. He will find you."
"What if I do not sleep?" The human sounded serious. But mortals needed sleep.
"And how long do you think you could function without sleep? You are no elf." The elf rose and crossed the room, pouring herself a glass of water from the pitcher that rested on the vanity. "Anyways, all the dinner food made for prisoners in Minas Morgul is made with a tasteless herb that induces deep sleep five hours after it is consumed in case some protest to sleeping." Sighing, she drank. "Please, let us not talk of the horror of the Dream Thief. Let us practice for your wedding night. Do you know what will happen?"
Blushing, the Haradrim mumbled, "Of course I do." Her mother had educated her long before her eighteenth birthday. As Eruain had grown into a young adult, Alatar had forced her to learn the difference between rape and lovemaking. Suladân on the other hand would not let her be alone with a man unless it was Haraduien, whom he had promised his daughter to.
"How do the Haradrim do it?" The elf drank more of the water. "Like dogs? Or do you face each other?"
"Women may not look upon the face of a man during lovemaking. It doesn't matter though," she held her hand out and studied her veins. The same blood flowed within them that had flowed within her father's. She was a Haradrim. She was Shamsa. "I cannot submit to him. It would spoil the Sun."
The elf scoffed. "One cannot spoil the Sun. It was made by Eru Ilúvatar for us, so we are able to see. Do not be so daft, Naraca."
"That is where you are wrong, elf… The Sun was not given to us. We stole it." She cleared her throat. How many times had she told this history? It was Shamsa's duty to educate her people in their religion. This time it would be no different. "In the days of old, humans were not the Malikuns of the world and did not hunt animals. Animals were the Malikuns and hunted the humans. They killed all the people except one girl and her brother. They hid in a cave, deep within the desert. The boy learned to kill the Asad with a bow and arrow and made a robe from their manes. The girl made them soup from the bodies of the Asad and that was the first time people ate meat.
"One day, Shams ruined the robe and the boy swore revenge. His sister helped him fashion a snare. He traveled to the hole in the ground where the Sun rises every morning. As the Sun rose, he snared it and tied it up so that there was no light or warmth that day. The animals were afraid, so they sent the biggest and most fearsome animal to try and free the sun. This was the mouse, which in those days was as big as a mountain. The mouse tried to chew through the snare freeing the sun but the intense heat shrunk him down to his present size. Since that time the people have been the Malikuns and the hunters, rulers and conquerors of Shams."
As she considered what to say, Onnedhiel stood and went to the door, turning slightly in the doorway to give her one last piece of advice. "Your naïveté about the world, about everything, is astounding. And I cannot wait for the day when your Sun comes tumbling down." And then she was departed.
Eruain drew her knees to her chest and whispered quietly, soothingly, "I must forsake you Shams. I am sorry. I am sorry." She repeated this over and over again. It was her prayer as Annatar entered the room. It was her confidence as he stripped them of their clothes. It was her escape as he entered her, rough and hurried. It was her safeguard as he finished inside of her, rolling off of her and dressing. It was her prayer. It was her prayer, that forsaking of Shams, which had blurred her mind and memory. But that prayer, that forsaking, that escape, could not help her as sleep seized her and the Masked Man came.
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