Fading Legends: Part IV
by Camilla Sandman
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The last elf.

I see the longing in his eyes, this unexplainable need to cross the sea. I feel it too, but I am half human. I cannot imagine what it is like for him, or even why he has stayed so long. I would have left long ago, before Middle-earth faded, so I could keep it bright in my memory.

How sad must he be, knowing all the great things that have been?

Yet, I look at him, and my heart is filled with joy.

I am glad he is still here.

~~~~~~

The wind had died, and the sun was hanging low, so low darkness was already creeping in over Mordor.

In the dark, Mordor almost looked as it had, but the strange silence lingered. They moved more slowly now, watching every step for a treacherous crack in the ground.

Aneana didnít say much, but regarded the elf with bright eyes. .

"What do you think it is?" Gimli said suddenly, fixing his eyes on Legolas.

"A wizard," the Elf said simply, causing the other two to blink in surprise. "There were five wizards. Three are gone."

"Gandalf, Saruman, Radagast," Aneana shot in, nearly tripping over a rock. Her dark cloak almost made her blend in with the shadows. "My mother spoke of them."

"What happened to the other two?" Gimli asked, eyes gleaming slightly in the dark. The elf wondered if he was thinking of their dear wizard friend, who had long since parted. Mithrandir, once Gandalf the Grey, but he had left as Gandalf the White.

"I do not know. Those who know are no longer here," Legolas replied, staring up at the darkening sky. Galadriel would have know, he was sure of it.

Galadriel was gone.

And then the shadows came at them.

Legolas spun around even before the first shape had moved, firing two arrows within a heartbeat. He reached for another as Gimli leapt on the shape closest to him, and Aneana brought out her sword.

The shadows seemed to be half solid, because they twitched as the arrows found their targets. But they made no sound, silently attacking.

The first shape fell to the round with five arrows in it, hissing as it did. And suddenly it dissolved, and the arrows fell to the ground alone.

Legolas had no time to consider what it could be, two more shapes already coming at him. He leapt away from them, firing as he did.

To his side, Aneana seemed to be staring up at the sky, her eyes wide with terror.

The mountain shook violently as a dark, dark shape descended on them. It seemed to be dark beyond a simple lack of light, and at the centre there seemed to be a vaguely humanoid shape. A wraith, a wraith of something that had once been great.

"You have come," a voice said, so terrible, yet Legolas thought he detected just a small hint of fear in it.

Aneana stared at the being, clutching her sword. She seemed like a cat ready to spring, and even as Legolas cried out a warning, she moved.

Turning his bow, Legolas began shooting at the wraith. It cried out in anger, turning its attention to the elf for just a second. It was all Aneana needed, bringing her sword down. Gold glimmered as a ring fell to the ground. The wraith cried out again, a command in a language that seemed oddly human.

Legolas tried turning again, but the shadows around him had already come, and he reached desperately for his knives.

Gimli saw the elfís predicament, and was already moving forward, slashing furiously. But there were many shadows between him and Legolas.

A mere few feet away stood Aneana, but she was not looking at the elf, but rather at the ring on the ground.

"Aneana!" Legolas cried, feeling dark hands twist the knives from his hand. She had already bent down to pick up the ring, and too late she turned.

The elf saw her eyes fill with deep anguish, her lips moving as she charged towards him. But even though she moved, she was becoming more distant.

The wraith moved as well, and the last thing the elf registered was Gimliís cry of "Noooooo!"

*******

"Nooooo!" Gimli cried out, watching as his dear friend was carried away, fast as the wind, wrapped in darkness. Aneana stood thunderstruck at the place the elf had been standing, tears forming in her eyes. His bow and knives lay on the ground, and the dwarf picked them up and clutched them to his chest.

"You should have helped him!" Gimli said furiously. "You should have helped him!"

"I know," she whispered, looking down at the ground. In her hand, the ring glimmered treacherously. It had a gem of some kind, she wasnít quite sure what kind. It didnít matter now.

"What have I done?"

The dwarf didnít answer, but his eyes said enough.

She shivered, even though there were no wind. If she had turned around fasterÖ If she had not picked up the ringÖ A true legend of Middle-earth. The last elf. What was a simple ring compared to that?

Legolas. Forgive me her mind sent out, hoping against hope he would hear her.

"We should never have come," the dwarf muttered, kicking the ground. "The humans can deal with Middle-earth now. He should be at the Havens, not in Mordor with me."

"Heís the last elf in Middle-earth," she pointed out. "There are no ships. Even Celeborn left at last some time ago. Legolas stayed, becauseÖ"

"I know," Gimli said quietly, and his voice had a profound sadness in it. She stared at him, and suddenly she realised how torn the dwarf was. He wanted Legolas to stay in Middle-earth because of their great friendship. Yet he wanted the elf to leave for the very same reason.

"We will find him and help build a ship," the dwarf said after a momentís silence, his voice strong and determined now. She met his glance, and she smiled, ever so briefly.

"Yes, we will."

They chased into the darkness.

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