Oblivion by Virodeil

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Title: Oblivion: Chapter 1
Author: Eärillë


Number: G51
1. Emotions: Cruelty
2. Textures: Painted
3. Weather: Snow


What would you do if you were quite suddenly dumped into a familiar yet unfamiliar land, with the past and present unreachable yet tantalisingly near, and the future more than uncertain? What would it feel, to be hunted down by scary people and adored by other, no-less-scary beings without your knowing why? Sometimes oblivion can be a torture, too.


Rating: PG
Warnings: first draft, gaur


Characters: Gandalf, OC’s
Genres: Action, Alternate Universe, Character Study, Crossover, Horror, Hurt/Comfort, Mystery
Place: The Shire: unspecified
Timeline: Third Age: pre-Ring War
Word Count (in MS Word): 1,886


Chapter 1


The sunlight is so, so bright upon the fresh-fallen snow. The feel of the land is similar, familiar; but neither sun nor moon were there then, only two bright trees…


No no. They were, later. They were there, but I was a different person – persons…


Now, who am I? My past – pasts? – is – are – fuzzy, distant, distorted, in my reckoning. I am myself, yes I am, with my own strengths and weaknesses and powers and temptations; but who am I? I can feel a well of power within me, and an accumulation of knowledge gathered in a long time and through several identities, so I am… I am…


Who am I? The knowledge is within reach yet unreachable, somehow. It is so cruel, robbing me of my self-knowledge. He – she – is…




My mind bogs down, as if I have bumped some kind of barrier and bounce back futilely. It is always like that. The knowledge eludes me like water.




I was – am – water, among others; yes, yes, I am. Sea, sea, sea…


What is in the sea? What is important there? No, no, I can seem to recall that it is who, not what… Help? Family? I do not know! – Please end this torture…


I look around, helpless, hopeless. White-coated trees greet me, waving their bare branches lazily in a gentle wintry breeze; trees not of my country… But no, they were, at some point; they must be, for I can recognise many of them and give them names. – Argh! Where am I? Who am I? Or… what?


I look down. No, I am female, as always, save that one time. (But when was it? In what place?) I am garbed in what I somehow recognise as my battle gear; and on seeing the apparel, feelings of urgency and worry penetrate my confusion. I was helping people, rather haphazardly, as a healer and warrior at once. Kin by adoption, friends, strangers; flee, flee, flee…


My groping hands find and clutch two items sheathed on a belt against my midriff, trembling, just a breath away from yanking them out and whipping them around in futile frenzy. – Let go, let go, please! I cannot stand this – I shall go mad!


But is it not what that… that…. Being, foul being, wants?


I snarl silently, deliberately letting go of the dagger and what my memory perceives as a wand – something to channel power, yes, yes. Really, I try; but my fingers just spasm around those, then lie still, stiff as if carved of stone.


It is like the calm before a storm: tense and eerie. Nothing and nobody is around me; I can just detect so much. The breeze has stopped blowing, and the sun is retreating behind a march of thick clouds. I shiver. The thick leather cloak, hooded and ankle-long, perfect for both battle and rain and cold weather, cannot help me fend this particular type of chill.


I finger the hilt of my dagger nervously, all too aware of how twitchy my digits are. The glossy surface, painted with abstract patterns by myself, calms me somewhat.


But then he – she – it – reaches me, and I lose the fragile hold I keep on my composure. I can dimly hear myself utter a pained yelp, even as my mind screams in torment and fright. And the tendril of tainted awareness basks in it, seeking to delf deeper into my spirit. My desperate struggling is without avail, as I do not possess even a sense of self. But if I lose this battle… No no no no no!!


I attack the tendril of awareness back, blindly, mindlessly, unaware of my body or my surroundings – as long as I can escape that vile thing, I do not care about anything else. White-hot pain spreads throughout my own awareness, times and times worse than that curse I experienced several times under the nonexistent mercy of that woman’s wand…


That woman. Something Lestrange? Ah, I can fight it, then. I did. I can do it again. I must do it again. For them – for green eyes and messy red hair, brown eyes and black locks, sky-blue and pale golden strands, stormy orbs and hair as soft and silver-blue as sea-spray…


I snarl aloud my defiance, keeping all the images as firmly as I can inside my shaken and scattered awareness. I shall fight and win, for them, and for what the vile thing has stolen from me. I must–


The choking link the invading awareness has established in my own breaks with a silent snap, reverberating soundlessly throughout my being. It promises to come back at another time, another moment where I am at my weakest, but I am just glad the ordeal is over for now. And anyhow, I do not have any strengthleft to send forth a sense of defiance, let alone challenge, to it.


I do not know how long I am left in a daze after that. All that I know is that I am aroused by something wet and cold trickling slowly across my right cheek, falling past the rounded tip of my short nose. The soft sounds of snowfall that I hear later is like the sound of music to me, after the evil feelings and images the tainted awareness injected into my consciousness. It must be snowing now. It must be snowflake that has woken me up.


Someone liked rain and snow quite much, just like me. And another, whom I consider as half of my being, loved stirring it up into a storm. So who woke me up now?


If it is a who…


No no. I cannot let myself hope now. The journey is still quite long. I must find a way home.


Is this not home, though?


But where is this?


I want to clench my hands into fists, but cannot. Then I become aware of the throbbing pain on them, and the feeling of my fingers being buried in cold, sodden soil. I fear what I shall find when I am finally able to estricate them from the earth they are clutching.


But it seems that I have no other choice, for I am sensing more than one person approaching me. I have to go.


Groaning and whimpering in pain, I force my stiff muscles to support my body leaning on my elbows, and for the first time I see the state of my curled hands.


The first thing that registers in my mind is fresh blood that coats my knuckles, then the mud and snow piled on the back of my hands. Then the bruises make themselves known via another bout of painful throbbing, and I let out another whimper. Stil, I have to do one more horrible job: estricating my hands from the ground.


Before I can steel myself to do it though, the individuals I sensed earlier have come upon me, crowding my sprawled, cloak-tangled form. No no no no no – I must run, escape–


I yank my hands out of their wet, sticky prison, crying out in agony. My injured appendages, numb and burning at once from the pain and the cold, fall limply back onto the mud they have just escaped from. My tears mingle with bits of snow on my cheeks, and I am somehow glad about it. I do hate to appear weak in front of anyone, especially strangers. They could exploite the moment… No, I must run now. There is a little pull of strength left in me. Should I die, I would not die here, observed by potential enemies.


Apparently the people gathering around me have another idea in mind, though. Their hands latch on me when I attempt to sit up, and in fact assist me in doing just that. So small… I wonder if they are children. And if that, if they are harmless.


They assist me to sit up. One slips behind me and stands supporting my back, and I can barely suppress my instinct to flinch and shy away. They are too intrusive for my taste – my current taste, at any rate. But I am helpless to fight, to escape, now. Kind gestures always undo me, as seldom as I get such a treatment.


I cannot track what they are doing around me. But then something wooden and flat and firm is pushed under me, apparently attached to a set of wheels. And I am pushed on it to somewhere only they know. – I hate it. I am completely under their mercy now. I should not have let myself be softened, weakened further, by their outward kindness. I must flee, even if I must kill these small creatures in the process—


No no no. Where have the thought come from? Cold murder is vile and abhorrant, cruel and pointless.


Vile… Abhored…


That… thing! Trying to possess me again; with subtlety, now. No, I must not let it take control. I must not be like it.


Too easy to be like it…


I shudder, and sense that the small open cart hurries along faster, with all the little ones pushing and pulling it huffing and puffing. Do they take pity on my shivering? And to think I was considering murdering them to attempt a – futile – escape in the middle of nowhere!


And with the humble shame flooding and drenching my conscience, the tainted awareness’ influence recedes with a disgusted recoil. The weight ladening my body, which I was somehow not aware of, vanishes, and leaves me strangely empty. (But if I must fill the void with the same burden, I would never consent.)


The small creatures, whom now I see are much smaller than even my own short form, park my makeshift litter by a nearly-overflowing well. (Unfrozen well? In winter? But I have seen stranger things, have I not?) One of them then detaches himself from the group and fills a metal pail with water from it. – The sound of trickling water! And my thirst is slaked by it not a moment later, before they slake their own. How curteous they are…


I will myself to settle down further in their care, trying to ignore the voice in the back of my mind that I should not do it, that I am in danger because of this complacency. It is surprisingly easier to do now. And when two of them depart, only to come back some moments afterwards with another of their kind who looks and feels like a healer, I submit myself to their ministrations more willingly than I thought possible. (Perhaps, it also has something to do with the fact that most of my will is spent stifling cries of agony, as the healer bathes and cleans my injured hands with water from the well.)


The feeling of peace and safety that permeates my being now makes me somehow lethargic, and I do not much remember of what happens afterwards as a result. I end up lying on what looks like two small straw mattresses joined as one, clean and tended well and free of my encumbered garments, and that is all what I care about. I slip into a state of meditation, my form of rest since true sleep was robbed from me years ago, with peace and gentle acceptance buoying my spirit.

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