Do not stray too far, Melmenya.
Easy for you to say, thought Eowyn, when you
hardly ever need to goand, if you do, you can just
stand behind a tree...
She took a few more steps, and glanced backwards. She could not
see any elves, but that did not mean they were not thereand
watching her. She ducked behind a dense bush, unlaced her leggings,
squatted, and relieved herself.
A tiny brown bird, hopping amongst the branches, surveyed her,
Well you can mind your own business, Eowyn
grumbled, pulling up her leggings and re-lacing them. She stepped
out from the bush and started back towards the camp but, after
less than a dozen yards, she began to suspect that she was heading
in the wrong direction.
The little bird seemed to agree.
Eowyn stopped, and turned full circle.
Everywhere looked the sameand she was no longer
sure where she had just come from.
Legolas? she calledsoftly, because she knew
that orcs had occasionally been seen in this part of the Forest.
There was no response but Tweet-tweet, tweet!
Which way? she whispered, looking up, beyond the
little bird, through the forest canopy, to a tiny patch of clear
No clue there.
She decided to call for help
And, somewhere behind her, a twig snapped.
That, thought Eowyn, taking cover behind another bush,
is not an elf.
She peered through the dense foliage, holding back a gasp when
three orcs ambled into view. (They were not on her Orc
The leader stopped, and sniffed the air. Woman flesh...
Eowyn grasped her sword.
One of his companions shook his head, snuffling appreciatively.
Woman piss, he corrected. There was a pause;
Eowyn heard him making water.
Wheres the woman? asked the third brute.
Silently, and taking great care not to disturb the branches around
her, Eowyn drew her sword from its scabbard.
The first orc sniffed again. Cant smell nothing but
him, he said, jerking his head towards his incontinent
friend. The third orc slapped the culprit across the back of the
head. Dont! He sniffed again. Yesshes
over here. He swaggered towards Eowyns hideout.
Eowyn slipped her sword into a gap between the branches, and
aimed its point at his unprotected belly.
The brute took another step.
The orc staggered backwards, hands flailing, trying to bat away
the tiny assailant fluttering in his face.
One of his companions drew a dirty black blade and slashedGaahh!and
Eowyn heard his weapon connect with a soft thud, like a childs
paddle hitting a leather ball.
Hardly thinking, she pulled out her sword, began to risethen
froze, her skin prickling. There was something behind her.
Eyes wide, orcs temporarily forgottenfor this was not an
orcshe slowly turned her head.
Just a pile of fallen branches covered in dry leavesbut,
for some reason, Eowyn could not tear her gaze away from them.
She leaned closer.
And pair of eyesgreen and goldenopened and stared
back at her. Then a head moved, and a hand rose
Eowyn bit back a cry of surprise, but she had betrayed herself.
Woman! came a triumphant howl, and the three
slavering orcs crashed through the undergrowth. Mine!
shouted the leader. All mine.
Unprepared, outnumbered three to one, and with the strange leaf-man
still at her back, Eowynfor a split-secondconsidered
using her blade upon herself.
But then she thought of Legolas, and she swung her sword back
and forth in a wide arc, shouting at the top of her voice, Legolas!
Two of the orcs stumbled backwards, startled by the sweeping
sword, but the orc leader, intent on taking his prize, drew his
weapon and advanced.
Eowyn! The elfs voice seemed a hundred miles
away. Keep calling, Eowyn nín!
Elves! snarled one of the orcs, retreating into the
trees, Elves come for her!
But the leader would not be distracted. You and me,
Eowyn planted her feet firmly, and raised her sword.
Melmenya! Melmenya, keep calling!
Eowyn had no chance to fightthe first orc struck; she parried.
The second orc came at her from the right; she parried again.
More orcs, drawn by the commotion, were closing in on her.
The leader struck once more and, this time, Eowyn was too slow
But a pair of strong armsrough with bark and leaveswrapped
themselves around her waist and whisked her out of harms
way just as
The orc leader fell to his knees, an arrow buried deep in his
skull. The second orc, dropping his sword, clutched in confusion
at two arrows protruding from his chest. Elves were streaming
through the trees, in pursuit of the rest. And, suddenly, Legolas
was beside Eowyn, lifting her from the ground and gathering her
against his chest.
Melmenya! I told you not to go too far...
Where is he? Where has he gone?
Where has who gone?
The leaf-man. He was here... He saved me...
Eowyn searched the ground, looking for a tiny corpse. What
happened to the little bird...?
Deep in the Woods, a pair of leafy hands opened, and a little
brown bird spread its wings, and fluttered away.