11. The Hunter
"The Hunter?" Tinmê laughed. "You believe in the Hunter?"
"Tanô says the Hunter is real and his mother has seen him." Terên looked around the circle of children, daring anyone to say they didn't believe her.
"When?" Ailin asked.
"A long time ago, when the Leavers still lived here," Terên replied.
"That's like saying it's made up," Tinmê scoffed. "Every story happened when the Leavers were still here."
"Do you want to tell the story then?" Terên said to Tinmê, who shook his head vigorously. Even if this was made up, Terên was their best storyteller.
Leaning closer to the fire and lowering her voice so the others had to lean in as well, Terên began.
"Twas stormy and wet, and Ninkwi – that's Tanô's mother, for those who don't know – had gone to meet with Belek – Tanô's father – in the forest. And when they were sitting there kissing, suddenly the Hunter appeared on his big white horse and chased them deeper into the forest. They ran and ran, the branches of the trees whipping at their faces and the wind howling behind them." Terên paused and looked at the others.
"Why'd they go into the forest in the first place?" one of the youngest girls asked.
"Because they wanted to kiss each other," Ailin replied.
"Kissing is dumb!" the younger child replied.
"Ssshhh!" Ailin smiled. "Let Terên continue the story."
Terên smiled also, and went on. "They only stopped running when they could no longer hear the Hunter behind them. By now they were very far from the village, and it took them a long time to get back. But when they came near the place where they had been kissing, the forest was all burned, with broken trees and everything, and there were three dead orku there…"
A tribble written for Cuinwen's birthday (Nov 1, 2012 - her request: children's stories, that is, the stories children tell each other) and as my entry for the October 2012 Nuzgûl of the Month - "Avari"
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.