1. In His Shadow
In His Shadow
Boromir heard the rustle in the reeds on the western side of the swollen Gwathló. He drew his sword, after striking his horse on its flank and sending it running. A diversion, he hoped. He crept through the tall grasses nearest the river. The sounds ceased. He stopped and held his breath. Five minutes went by. Boromir took in only short sips of air. Ten. He did not question himself. He had heard noises and they were not those of an animal.
A fly lit on his cheek. He allowed it to walk about, over his nose, and close enough to his ear to feel its buzz. Sweet dripped down his vacated nose and onto his closed lips. His body needed to move. He refused. He heard his horse off to his right. It chewed on the sweet stalks. Boromir hoped whatever made the noise would move towards the horse. The creature crept through the reeds towards the horse, but Boromir heard the sound.
He smiled. I have you now, he thought.
He flattened amidst the mud and slithered to where he last heard the sound. The creature still moved towards Boromir's horse. With excruciating patience, Boromir moved a quarter of a rod and stilled. The noise was louder. Boromir took to his knees and crawled forward.
The noise stopped again. Boromir swore he heard a whimper. He blinked twice. The movement was off to his left. He crouched, then lunged. Whatever he caught fought like a Southron tiger. Boromir held on tight. The struggle slowed, then ceased altogether. Boromir held his blade to the neck of the creature. He turned it over.
"Amrothos! What do you here?"
"I want to go with you. I heard what you told Father about a Quest. I am old enough. How can I prove myself if no one lets me try?"
"Amrothos." Boromir sat in the mud. He pulled his cousin to him. "I cannot believe you have done this. I cannot take you back. I have gone too far. How have you come this far without a horse?"
"I walked. I followed you during the day, as best I could. Then at night, while you slept, I tracked you. Once I knew where you were camped, I slept for a few hours. You make an awful racket when you wake. It was easy enough to hide until you were on your way again."
"What have you eaten?"
"Grass and stuff." The boy dropped his head. "I ate most of my provisions the first week out. While you were in Meduseld, I worked for a farmer. He gave me more food, but I ate most of it before we reached the Fords of Isen. I am hungry." He looked up.
Boromir was not pleased. "You could have been killed. Your father must be beside himself. If we find anyone on the other side of the river, I will pay them to return you to Meduseld. Théodred will see you make it back to Dol Amroth."
"Boromir. Were you never young? Did you never want to go on an adventure? No. You were the oldest. You could do whatever you wanted. I am youngest with no future at all."
"That is not true, Amrothos. In a few years, you will join Dol Amroth's Swan Knights. You will have many adventures."
"I will not. Father thinks I have not the wits to be a soldier."
Boromir thought of Faramir and how his father looked upon his younger brother. He sighed. "I know not where I am bound, Amrothos. I should not take you."
"But you will. Please, Boromir. I will not be any trouble. Let me fetch your horse." The boy stood and ran for Boromir's mount. The horse, startled as Amrothos stumbled through the grasses, reared and ran.
Boromir bowed his head. Memories of the bumblings of this particular son of Imrahil surfaced. It is going to be a long, long journey, he thought.
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.