Last week, I posted the final part of “Bag End,” the first part of my OC Hobbit fanfiction. Well, this week, I’m posting the next scene, called “The Adventure Begins.” Hope you enjoy!
It’s amazing how quickly an exciting adventure can become routine. Every day began with Thorin rousing us at the crack of dawn. (If I had known getting up early was to be part of this adventure, I might have chosen a different quest.) We’d ride for hours, which was exhilarating for me, as being Rohirrim, I’d spent half my life on the back of my silver horse, Gildin and was quite comfortable there. I was certainly one of the only ones able to move the next day without sore muscles. Finally, we’d camp for the night, eat awful dwarvish cooking, sleep, and the cycle would start over again the next morning. With the day-to-day routine, the easy riding, and the new friendships I was making with the company, I felt quite in charge of my life and very brave. After all, there was nothing to this adventuring that I couldn’t handle, except for the early mornings, of course. That was until one night when I found out how much I didn’t know about the world.
I tossed and turned, covering my ears and burying my head under my blanket, silently cursing them under my breath. It was no use. The oh-so-loud chorus of snores, whistles, moans and groans made it impossible for me to rest. I sat up, gazing groggily out into the darkness. All I wanted to do was sleep. Sighing, I snatched up my cloak, pulled it around my shoulders and decided to join Kili and Fili who were guarding the camp. I cautiously stepped over the hands and arms flung across my path, seriously wanting to step on Bombur’s hand in retaliation for his wheezy nighttime snufflings. Lost in my thoughts of revenge, I tripped over a backpack, spun half-way around, and fell on my backside beside the fire.
Witnessing my less than graceful appearance, Kili and Fili hid smiles. “Hello, Nerissa. Nice of you to drop by,” teased Kili.
“Nice to see you, too,” I answered with hopefully less irritation than I felt. I picked myself up and tried to regain my lost dignity.
“What are you doing up? It is awfully late,” Fili asked.
“I can’t sleep,” I said simply, deciding not to divulge my frustrations. Fili nodded.
“Want to join us?” Kili moved over slightly, and motioned beside him, moving his bow and arrow over so I could sit down.
“Sure,” I agreed, taking a seat on his left. Though I could still hear the dwarves’ snoring, it was at least warmer than in the camp. I leaned against the wall and shut my eyes, trying to block out the noise as best I could.
A horrible scream yanked me upright again, my heart pounding.
“What was that?” Bilbo, our Hobbit, ran up and stood before us.
“Yes, what was that?” I gasped.
Kili glanced up from cleaning his pipe, “Orcs.”
Another blood-curdling scream resounded throughout the quiet forest. I shut my eyes and shuddered.
Bilbo swallowed hard and asked, “Orcs?”
“Throat-cutters. There’ll be dozens of them out there. The lowlands are crawling with them,” Fili informed Bilbo.
I slowly pressed my back against the wall, hoping that would keep me safe from those throat-cutters.
“They strike in the wee small hours, when everyone’s asleep. Quick and quiet, no screams, just lots of blood.” Kili accented the “lots of blood” part.
I hugged my knees to my chest, trying to make myself smaller.
“What do you say to that, Nissa?” Kili asked.
I stared at him, too frightened to even talk. Living in relative safety with my family, protected in the small town I called home, I had never considered the reality of orcs. I had heard of them, yes, but had not thought I’d truly ever encounter one.
“Scared of orcs? Well, you should be. They have inch long fangs and glowing yellow eyes.” Kili did his best impression of an orc’s expression and started reaching his hands out, as if they were an orc’s teeth. “You know what they do?” he asked. I swore his eyes were starting to glow yellow. Shaking my head, I tried to push myself even closer to the wall, my eyes fixed on him. “They eat frightened girls, like you, one piece at a time. They bite, chew, and gnaw girls, piece by piece. They start with your hands and move to your arms …” I felt something grip my shoulder, something that I could have sworn was sharp and tooth-like, and panicked.
“AH!” I screeched. I gripped his arm, shaking from fright, waiting for the orc to turn me into his midnight snack. Instead of hearing the orc crunch on my bones, I heard only laughter.
“Ha! I got you!” laughed Kili gleefully. He seemed absolutely thrilled his joke had worked at the expense of my pride.
I went from being terrified to being indignant at his embarrassing game. I jumped up and stood in front of Kili, scolding him. “You! How could you? How could you be so mean to me like that?”
Kili grinned, not looking the least bit guilty. “It was only a bit of fun, Nerissa. You looked absolutely terrified!” He chuckled at the memory.
“Well, I wasn’t scared at all! Not too scared, that is.” I tried to regain a scrap of dignity, as I clutched at my cloak, as if it could protect me.
“So, if I said there was an orc behind you…” Kili hid a smile.
I wasn’t going to be fooled twice, but I chanced a cautious glance behind me, just to make sure. I expected to see nothing. I saw something. I almost fell over Kili’s bow and arrows to get out of the way. It took a moment, but I suddenly realized who it was. “T-T-T-Thorin!” I sputtered.
Thorin stood glaring at us. “Do think that’s funny? You think a night raid by orcs is a joke?” Thorin rebuked his nephews.
Kili glanced down, and then back up, looking hurt. “We didn’t mean anything by it,” he quietly protested.
“No, you didn’t. You know nothing of the world,” Thorin growled at us and stalked away.
Kili’s brown eyes suddenly found the ground a lot more interesting. I lost the will to scold him, and simply sat back down. I tucked my cloak around me tighter and leaned my head against the rock. The world was definitely a more dangerous and scary place than I had imagined. And my courage was definitely not as great as I imagined.
After what seemed like an eternity of silence, Balin walked up. “Don’t mind him, laddie…” Balin started his story of the Battle of Moria. I tried to force my eyes to stay awake, to listen to the story, but my energy was gone, and I was way too sleepy, and I soon drifted off…
Check in next week to find out what happens next!