Challenges by Linda Hoyland

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Shadows had never troubled Faramir before. They provided welcome respite from the summer's heat or cover from the enemy's watchful eye.

These shadows, though, were different. No mere figments of light and shade were they, but creatures filled with a malevolence that assailed his senses and filled the very air he breathed. They seeped into the every essence of his being and drained his strength, his joy, and his hope.

There was neither sun nor moon nor stars in this place, only creeping, all enshrouding shadows. They clung to him like cobwebs, leeching away his life force. The more he struggled, the more tightly they held him, their tendrils burning and freezing, cutting and pinching at his flesh.

His strength failed. He prepared to welcome death's cold embrace.

"Faramir!"

A man's voice, clear as a bell, rang in his ears.

"Come, my friend! Walk no more in darkness!"

He held out his hand to Faramir. He grasped it. It was warm.

Light shone from a jewel upon the stranger's brow and he appeared shining like the sun in springtime glory

Filled with love and awe, Faramir cried out, "My King!"

Then the shadows dissolved like mist before the resplendent sun.




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