Cling and Clatter: Part VI
by Jules

Well hang on
Don't let yourself go
'Cause everybody cries
And everybody hurts

His brother beckoned to him, egging him on as they climbed far into the treetops of the Mirkwood kingdom. Higher and higher they climbed, far higher than was safe for young Elves without knowing the feelings of the trees. An older more learned Elf would have read the language of the tree and known that it was not comfortable with the children so high within its branches. It could only solidify its limbs so much before the weight, however slight caused them to yield and snap, sending its young charged plummeting to the ground. The younger Elf felt a slight sense of apprehension and fear as they neared the highest branches, he almost called out to his brother, but did not want to look the fool. Surely the limbs of such an old and tested tree would support their minimal weight. He paused in his ascent, looking down towards the thicker more sturdy branches and his brother once again egged him on, saying that if he was a true Elf he would know a tree would never let him fall. The smaller Elf again hesitated as the groan of the timbers made itself known, fear curdling his eagerness to beat his brother. Before he could raise his voice to warn his older sibling, a great crack followed by two startled yelps echoed through the caverns of Mirkwood.

He must have closed his eyes when the branch gave way beneath him, for he could see nothing but black, yet he heard the whistling of the wind in his delicate airs. His body felt weightless, cushioned by the air that flew swiftly passed him. He didn't feel overly frightened, yet he knew sooner or later his body would hit the ground, breaking bones and crushing organs, but strangely this didn't seem to bother him. He was content just to float, savouring the feeling of nothingness, enjoying the feeling of absolute peace that enveloped his mind. The constant rushing of wind was slowly transformed into the distinct two tone of breathing. Inhale, exhale. Inhale, exhale. Was it his own breath that echoed through his ears, or that of another? He dragged his mind away from the blissful black and forced his ears to focus on the sound. Isolating the rhythm of his own breathing and moving past it, he found he could hear two more sets. One very close to his head, and the other more distant, as though someone were standing back from wherever he was. But he was floating in space, how could anyone be with him? His groggy mind churned within his skull, piecing together the few facts he knew and discounting what his subconscious told him.

His body hurt, he knew that much, yet he could not remember ever hitting the ground after falling from the tree. Did he even fall from the tree or was he just dreaming? He isolated the pain to a few areas of his body. His left thigh seemed to be the main source of pain, something was pushing rather painfully against what must be a raw wound. His back ached is various places, though these were only a dull ache. Numerous bumps and bruises made their presence known as he took an inventory of his body. He stomach rallied against him as his thoughts became more lucid, nausea pushing its way through his system and making him feel greener than the leaves of his once beloved home. He barely had time to roll over before his stomach emptied its pitiful contents on the floor. He groaned as he sank back against what felt like sheets. He had yet to open his eyes and steadfastly refused to do so. If he didn't open his eyes, the blackness may return taking the pain and nausea away. He felt weak and helpless, frail and dependant and it was not something he wished upon any elf let alone himself. He relaxed his mind and wished for the black to come, instead soothing voices crept into his mind. The voices were at first a jumble of words, meaningless and tangled, but soon his mind sorted out the syllables and phrases into coherent thoughts. Someone was concerned for him, telling him to fight and not give in. He headed the words and sank once into the welcome black, allowing his body time to heal without his mind forever churning.

Sometimes everything is wrong,
Now it's time to sing along
(When your day
Is night alone)
Hold on, hold on

| Part VII |
| Index |