Kelly began making coffee as every one else started to wake up.
Pamela got a cup for herself, sitting down on the couch. Iola and Arianna took seats beside her with their own cups.
Kelly let out a sigh.
"What's that?" Pippin asked, looking at the coffee. "Can I try it?"
She smiled. "Course you can," she said, reaching for another cup from the cupboard. "It's called coffee. Though I can't promise you'll like it." She poured it into the cup. "Careful, Pip. It's hot."
Pippin shrugged, taking the cup in his hands and taking a sip. "OW!" He said as the hot drink made contact with his tongue.
Kelly stifled a giggle. "You okay?"
Pippin nodded. "Yeah...but it really is hot."
"You know, I was thinking," Elizabeth said after a while, "how come they all just happened to...come...to Pamela's house?" She asked, referring to the people of Middle Earth. "I mean, out of all the people it could have been, I wonder why it was us?" Silence followed, naturally. No one else really had an answer.
Kelly flashed a smile at Sam, walking over to sit beside him. Sam returned the smile, scooting over a little.
Pamela sat in thought. If all of these people could come here, why couldn't Orcs...or Nazgul? It seemed like anything could come into this world if Elves, Hobbits and Men had.
She wouldn't have been surprised to know that the thoughts of Arianna and Iola were running along much the same lines.
She sighed, setting down her coffee cup and standing up. "I'll be back," she said, heading for the outside door.
Arianna and Iola exchanged glances and shrugged, figuring that their friend just wanted some time alone to think things through.
Kelly was going around the room, bathing the faces of the wounded men, singing softly to herself. All her friends were awake, but the most of the others were asleep. Elizabeth was talking to Frodo, while Pamela was talking to Arianna and Iola about all the had happened in the time space of less than a day.
"I'm going for a ride," Pamela said finally. "Anyone coming with me? There's three horses back at my trainer's place."
Arianna shrugged. "I'll come."
"I'd love to," Iola said, "but I'm not particularly experienced in riding."
Arianna and Pamela stepped outside. "We'll have to walk over there. It's about half an hour away if we walk. My trainer is out, and he won't know."
Thirty minutes later, they arrived. "You want me to saddle yours up, or you wanna go bareback?" Pamela asked.
"No, I'll just ride bareback," Arianna replied, swinging easily and gracefully onto the horses back.
Pamela followed suit. All the riding gear the horses wore were their reins. "Come on, Feanor," she said to the young foal she rode, patting the side of the horse's neck. She smiled, touching her heels to Feanor's sides a couple of times, sending the horse into a steady trot.
Arianna did the same, catching up. "What's his name?" She asked, referring to her own horse.
"Her," Pamela said. "It's a her. Her name's Aredhel."
They rode around for over an hour, and then finally they rode back to Pamela's horse trainer's place. They swung for the horses back's, quietly putting them back in the stables.
They walked back to Elizabeth's, and Pamela frowned, wondering what was up.
All the curtains in the house were closed. Arianna tried to open the door, only to find it locked. Her brow creased. "That's odd," she muttered, rattling the knob and knocking at the same time.
Inside, a curtain opened partway and someone looked up. Arianna and Pamela could hear them saying something, though they couldn't make it out. The door was opened, and Kelly took Arianna and Pamela by their arms, pulling them both inside quickly and relocking the door.
Arianna raised an eyebrow. "Care to explain what this is all about?"
"We think there's Nazgul about," Kelly said simply.
This time Pamela raised an eyebrow.
"What?" Arianna asked, an incredulous look in her eyes. She grinned. "Haha, very funny," she said.
"No, very un-funny," Lindsey said, rolling her eyes. "We're not kidding you. Frodo's been trying to put on his Ring, clutching at his shoulder, and we heard footsteps earlier. We thought it was you two, but when I opened the door, I could have sworn I saw something in a black cape, riding away on a horse. It may have been Dark, but I'm telling you, it had to be a Nazgul."
"Um...Okay," Arianna said, shrugging.
"No, can you just be serious for a minute?" Lindsey asked.
"Can you?" Arianna asked.
"We are. Now listen. We didn't make this up. And we need to get Frodo out of here. He's in danger."
Arianna looked at Pamela. She was nodding slightly. "You're right," she said quietly. "He isn't safe here." She grabbed her cloak, quickly putting it on.
"Where are you going?" Kelly asked, putting an arm out in front of Pamela before she could go anywhere else.
Pamela raised an eyebrow. "I'm taking Frodo away from here."
"Then I'm coming with you," Kelly said simply, grabbing her cloak. "Where are we going?"
Pamela grabbed her bow and quiver. "A place I know of. We'll have to go through woods to get there. Can you be quiet while walking through woods?"
Kelly nodded. "I can." She opened her bag, pulling out a dark brown tunic and pants. "Might as well blend in," she said, running up stairs to change.
"What about us?" Iola asked. "What'll we do?"
"I don't think the Nazgul would be attracted to here," Pamela said, buckling her belt on over a dark green tunic. "And if they do, hide." She held out her hand to Frodo.
Kelly ran back down the stairs, dressed in a brown tunic and green cloak. She had a quiver full of arrows slung over her shoulder, and she held her bow by the handle with her left hand. "All set." She had tall brown leather boots that came up to her knees, and a saxe knife hung from her belt.
Pamela nodded. "So are we."
"You be safe," Iola said quietly.
Pamela nodded. "We will." She walked to the back door, Kelly and Frodo following behind."
"Namarie," Iola called softly.
Pamela smiled. "Namarie."
As they walked through the woods, Pamela and Kelly quietly pushed aside the noisy things in their path with their feet. They were almost completely inconspicuous in their clothes, blending in perfectly with the trees.
Pamela was tense and noiseless, straining her eyes for any movement.
Kelly was also tense, listening intently for any noise. All she could hear was her own breathing, and her heart which was pounding with excitement.
Frodo was clearly pale. Kelly noticed on several occasions that he kept reaching up toward his chain which the Ring was on. She wondered if that was a sign that the Nazgul were close. She had a bad feeling that it was.
She clenched her hand tightly around the hilt of her sword and kept going.
Pamela pulled her cowl lower down over her eyes. Kelly couldn't even see her eyes when she glanced at her. She could only see less than the half bottom of her face.
The sky was an extremely dark shade of blue. The only light they had was the moon's, which was often shaded most of the way by trees.
"Should've brought a lantern or something," Kelly thought ruefully.
She mentally facepalmed as she realized how conspicuous that would make them.
It was early morning by the time they to reached their destination. It was still dark out, and the three were tired.
It was a small hill, but there was a cave in the side of it. Not large, but large enough for three or four people to lay down in comfortably.
"Well, here we are," Pamela said obviously, taking off her cloak and sitting down.
"This so cool," Kelly said, running her hand over the rough wall. "How in all of Arda did you know about this place?" She was looking up at the ceiling in awe. Not high, but it was still amazing to her.
Pamela shrugged, folding up her cloak to use as a pillow. "I've known about it for a few years. I always used to pretend I was hiding from Orcs in a it." She grinned at the ironicness of her comment. "Did think I'd actually be using it to hide from Nazgul."
Kelly couldn't help grinning either. "Nope." She folded her own cloak into a pillow, laying down and putting it over her head.
Frodo and Pamela followed suit. "Goodnight."
Kelly crossed her arms under the back of her head. "Goodnight to you." With that, she fell asleep.
Iola Sat down on a stool beside Findekano. "I still don't think we're safe. And what if they do turn up? We have wounded people, and they're much too heavy for us."
Elizabeth sighed. "I dunno. Anybody hungry?"
Arianna shook her head. She pulled a Ranger's Apprentice book out of her bag, opening it up and sitting back against the couch. "Might as well make use of the time," she said, smiling.
"I don't think you'll need to," Lindsey said, who had pulled the curtain aside a bit to look through. "C'mere."
Arianna quickly set her book down on the side of the couch, rushing to the window. "What?" She asked, peering around the curtain.
"That," Lindsey said. She quickly pulled the curtain back.
"What?" Elizabeth asked, having a bad feeling in the pit of her stomach that she knew just what it was. Iola didn't reply as she drew her long sword from its scabbard.
"Get them out of here," she said, nodding her head at the wounded one's.
"I'm not going anywhere," Findekano said firmly, drawing his sword, and making a lame attempt to stand.
"Fin, please," Iola said. "You're already hurt. We'll be fine. Just please let them get you upstairs."
Findekano shook his head stubbornly. Lindsey and Elizabeth wondered how they were supposed to get a strong-willed Elf with a sword all the way upstairs.
Faramir wasn't going to hide either.
Iola sighed. There was nothing they could do. "Pippin, Merry, Sam," she said. "Into the closet." She jerked her head toward the closet. "You too, Bilbo."
They all obediently obeyed. All, that was, except for Frodo.
Arianna grabbed her bow, slinging her quiver over her shoulders and nocking an arrow to the string. Halt's words rang through her ears: 'An ordinary archer practices until he gets it right. A Ranger practices until he never gets it wrong.' She grinned as she realized that all her practice with a bow may come in handy.
She helped Iola push the couch against the door. "Won't stop them, but it may delay them," Iola said.
Arianna grinned. “No man can kill a Nazgul. But we're not men.”
Iola shrugged. “Let's just hope we can take advantage of that one.”
Arianna pulled her bow string so that the feathers of the arrow were touching her right cheek.
Iola was behind her and to the left a little, sword drawn. Sam was standing back a little farther, but he was determined to do to what he could for Frodo. Even if it meant dying. He had also drawn
Sting, which had yet to do since the incident with Shelob.
Somehow Lindsey and Elizabeth had managed to drag Thorin into another closet.
Suddenly, there was tremendous bang, and the door rattled. Arianna shifted from one to foot to the other nervously.
One more loud bang! And the door was open. Arianna's face turned a shade paler.
It took her a moment before she finally realized what was going on. She carefully aimed at the Nazgul that advanced toward them. Her hands shook a little as she released, causing the arrow to hit the Nazgul in the arm.
The Nazgul shrieked, and she chided herself for her poor aiming.
Her hands continued trembling as she nocked another arrow to her bow.
It wasn't long before she had run out of arrows, still not managing to kill any Nazgul. She drew her Saxe kinves, angry at herself for shooting so badly. Can't be helped now, she thought ruefully, slashing at the Nazgul.
Suddenly she heard someone screaming her name, “Ari, look out!” She didn't have time to see. She just ducked, and not a moment too soon. She had barely reached the floor when a dagger whizzed past, right through the place she had been standing, and hit the wall beside the door. She gasped in relief, throwing Iola a grateful glance.
She heard Sam yelling something about Frodo. And then she though she heard someone yelling her name. Before she knew what was happening, she felt the hilt of a sword come down hard on the side of her head. The last she remembered was Iola screaming her name as she collapsed to the floor.
The Nazgul finaly managed to get out the door, determining
that the Ring-Bearer wasn't there, even if he had been before.
Iola rushed to Arianna's side. She felt for a pulse, sitting back in relief as she felt it. “She's okay. I think she's just unconscous,” she said, noticing the bump now forming on the side of Arianna's head.
“Frodo,” Lindsey said.
“What?” Iola asked, lifting Arianna to the couch, with the help of Sam.
“Frodo,” Lindsey repeated. “What if they find him?”
“Well, there isn't too much we can do. Just hope they don't.”
When they finally awoke, Pamela judged by the place of the sun that it was about noon. “We need to get going,” she said, standing up and using her fingers to brush the tangles and dead grass out of her hair.
Kelly rubbed her eyes.
“Here,” Pamela said, tossing Frodo and Kelly a biscuit.
They finally set out, back to the horse stables. Pamela and Kelly took a few minutes to saddle the horses.
Kelly once again rode Aredhel, and Pamela put Frodo on the horse, swinging into the saddle behind him.
They hadn't gone far when Pamela heard what sounded like horse's hoofs behind them. “Kelly!” She said. “I don't think they're far behind us. Take Frodo, and get as far away as you can.” She lifted Frodo from her saddle and put her in the saddle in front of Kelly.
Kelly shook her head stubbornly. “No. If you staying, I'm staying.”
Pamela shook her head. “Kelly, Frodo needs your help. Now go!”
Before Kelly could utter another word of protest, Pamela raised her bow, bringing it down hard on the horse's backside, sending it into a gallop.
Kelly sighed, urging the horse forward. “You better be safe, Pamela,” she said quietly. “You better be safe.” She looked over her shoulder and saw Pamela nocking an arrow to her bow.
Pamela pulled the bow back until the arrow's feathers touched her cheek. She backed up a bit, so she could see all the directions the Nazgul could come from.
She lowered her bow, making a quick glance over her shoulder, then looked back, satisfied that Frodo and Kelly were now out of sight.
She could hear the horses coming gradually closer. It seemed like eternity before they crashed through the trees, stopping in sight of the girl in front of them, looking so confident and looking almost fearless.
She raised her bow, aiming at the closet Nazgul. She released the string. The arrow soared through the air, landing right in the Nazgul's helm. It fell to the ground, seemingly dead.
She quickly grabbed another arrow, nocking it to her bow and aiming. She didn't get far. The Nazgul were surrounding her, and she suddenly sensed the presence of one right behind her.
She dropped her bow, her hand flying to the hilt of her sword. She tightened her grip, quickly drawing it out of its scabbard and thrusting it backwards.
It never found its mark. She felt the side of sword hit her over the side of her cheek. She stumbled backwards, falling down.
Kelly galloped into the trees, jerking the reins from left to right to avoid the branches and trees. She had already gotten a couple of cuts from the longer branches.
She wondered how Pamela was faring. She hoped she was alright, but she had a terrible feeling she wasn't. She had just made it out into the clearing when her horse let out a scream, rearing backwards and knocking her and Frodo off.
She jumped back to her feet, grabbing the horse's halter to steady, when she realized what had scared the horse.
Not ten feet away, a Nazgul stood. She was surprised that it was on foot. Maybe it decided that would quieter. She quickly grabbed her sword, and lifted Frodo into the saddle. She clenched her eyes shut. Pamela. How could they have gotten here without going through Pamela first. "GO!" She yelled, slapping the horse on the rear end. Frodo grabbed the reins, galloping away.
The Nazgul could see a fierce look of inductance, fury, and, like the other girl's confidence, in her grey eyes.
The Nazgul thrust its sword forward, and she ducked just in time. As she went down, she plunged her sword upward, sending it right into the helm of the Nazgul, Witch King of Angmar.
She gasped in pain, her sword falling to the ground, and she clutching at her arm. The Nazgul shriveled up and dissolved right before her eyes.
She fell to her knees, still grasping her arm in pain, and finally, fell over, unconscious.
"I'm going after them," Iola said finally. She didn't get far when she heard galloping. "Oh no," She muttered, looking out the window.
"No, it's them! It's Pamela!" She said, grinning and flinging the door open.
Pamela tied Feanor to a tree and rushed up the stairs.
She was dirty and bloody, but overall, she looked fine.
"You look terrible," Iola said. "What happened to you?" She looked past Pamela. "And where are the other two?"
"What?" Pamela asked. "They're not here...I thought they would be. Oh, Ghâsh."
"Ghâsh what?" Iola asked. "Where's Kelly and Frodo? And just what the Valar happened to you?"
"That's what I'm going to figure out!" Pamela replied, dashing back to her horse and untying it from the tree.
"Where are you going?" Iola asked.
"To find Kelly," Pamela said, swinging into the saddle.
"Well...let me come. You may need help," Iola said.
Pamela nodded, reaching down. Iola grasped her hand, and pulled herself up into the saddle behind Pamela.
Pamela touched her heels to Feanor's sides, and the horse galloped away.