Drip. Drip. Drip.
The ice at the entrance to the cave he sheltered in was melting.
Normally, that would have been a sign of winter's ending, and of warmth and colour returning. Now, with his leg still healing, it had only signified that he should drag himself above the cave's floodwater level or drown in the icy runoff.
Somehow, he had made it, but his wound had reopened, negating previous effort at stitching it up. Slowly. Don't faint. Just… slowly…
He grabbed his knife, prepared to defend himself.
A dark-haired head peeked in.
"Happy Birthday, Estel!"
Originally written for Cairistiona's 2013 birthday on LJ.
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.