Today I’m posting part 5 of “The Adventure Begins,” my OC Hobbit fanfiction. Throughout the story, Nerissa has been learning how unprepared she is for an adventure and how dangerous an adventure really is. In this part, Nerissa and Kili try to find Fili, who is missing after being thrown into the river by his spooked pony.
“Fili!” we called again. The only sound we heard in return was the rushing of the water. It swirled around us, reaching up, grabbing us with its icy fingers. My initial panic returned and gripped my heart, making it pound madly. I knew we had to find Fili, and we had to find him quickly. If he was trapped under the water, it might already be too late. I twisted in my saddle, trying to scan the riverbanks and the river all at the same time, feeling a renewed sense of the pressing time.
I shouted back to Kili, attempting to make myself heard over the roar of the river, “I don’t see him.”
“Let’s keep searching!” Kili shouted back. “We’ve got to find him!”
Hoping I couldn’t see Fili because of the way we were positioned in the water, I slowly spun Gildin around, trying to catch a glimpse of the dwarf clinging to one of the rocks jutting out of the water, or on the grassy bank, or on one of the logs caught up in the torrent of rain water and debris. Despair filled my heart as I still had no sight of him. I pushed the emotion back, determined not to give up until he was found.
“We should head downstream a bit more! He might have been washed down, like you were.” I waved my arm in that direction, to emphasize my words.
Kili agreed with a nod of his head.
With our plan laid out, I signaled Gildin to start moving downstream again. The horse cautiously stepped through the water. The current was so strong at times, it almost swept us away. I was thankful again and again for my faithful, brave horse. I scoured the bank and river, watching for any little movement, hoping it was Fili. The river was filled with branches and leaves all swept away by the torrential downpour we’d had earlier. Feeling the boughs snag my dress and scratch my legs, made me grow even more anxious to find Fili and get him to safety. I continued my searching, but there was no sign of the dwarf.
“Where are you, brother?” a frustrated Kili exclaimed behind me. “Why can’t we find you?” The only answer to his question was the continual roar of the river.
“Fili!” we called periodically, hoping he’d answer. Every time we’d shout for Fili, Kili would sit motionless, listen, look hopeful, and then realizing there was no answer, go back to calling. I continued scanning the river, hoping my good eyesight would be able to spot the dwarf in the dark waters.
“Wait! Is that him?” Kili’s sudden, hopeful shout broke my concentration, and I twisted around to see where he was pointing. “There!” Kili indicated. I followed the direction of his finger to a brown object on the bank. In my excited state, I thought it was Fili for a moment, and I almost shouted, “It’s him!” Then I realized the object was covered in bark.
“A log.” I shook my head and gave Kili a sympathic smile. I wished I didn’t have to be the one to tell him that it wasn’t his brother.
Kili swallowed and looked grim.
“We’ll find him,” I encouraged loudly, but I felt just as defeated as Kili looked. There was no sight or sound of his brother, and we had been in the river quite a long time. As we advanced further downstream, we continued looking for him, trying to see behind every log and every rock. The great dwarven rescue was feeling less like a rescue and more like a failure. I would have given anything in that moment to see Fili okay again. Please, please, please don’t die. Please.
“Fili!” Kili shouted once again, his voice catching, as if he was trying not to cry. I turned around in the saddle, so I could see him. He turned his head away, but I could still see the tears, threatening to fall.
I tried to repeat my earlier encouragement, “We’ll find him,” but my voice caught, and I suddenly felt my own eyes well up with tears.
Kili met my eyes and tried to smile slightly. “We’ll find him,” he said over and over, almost as if by repeating the phrase he could make his brother magically appear.
A section of bank, almost completely hidden behind a bend in the river, appeared ahead. Gildin followed it, continuing his course. My eyes were glued to this new area, hoping that Fili would be there. Past the bend, the shoreline changed, and I was afraid if he made it that far he would be severely injured on this great rocky outcrop. We’ll find him, we’ll find him I said to myself, trying to steady my nerves with the magic phrase. I stopped suddenly seeing something, clinging to the bank. My heart pounded. Could it be? “Fili?” I whispered, more to myself than anyone else. Then I recognized him as Gildin stepped closer. “Fili!”
Kili gripped my arm painfully and demanded, “Do you see him?”
“Yes, I do!” I urged Gildin forward, pushing the weary horse on. “Come on boy, faster!” I begged.
Kili couldn’t take it any longer. He dropped off the horse and waded through the water, yelling his brother’s name. I rode Gildin in a bit more before jumping off myself. The icy water lapped at my hips, and I suddenly felt colder than I had ever felt in my entire life. I grabbed Gildin’s reins and hurried towards the shore.
I stepped onto the bank just as Kili roughly pushed his brother over on his back, grabbed his shoulders and shook him, all the while saying, “Fili! Can you hear me?” Fili didn’t respond, so Kili grabbed him, turned him over again and pounded on his back. “Fili! Fili!”
Find out if Fili survives or not next week. Ok, ok, we all know he does (at least for now), but still come back and read the final part anyway. 🙂