Darkness for a King

by Peregrine
The breath of wind stirred the trees above. A few shimmering leaves fluttered down to rest upon the mossy floor of the old wood. Sunlight played upon sleepy streams and golden leaves shuddered and sighed. Birds fluttered and called among the jeweled leaves of the old forest, their voices ringing out like silver bells. A doe and her fawn approached the edge of a clearing, large eyes mild and aware, slender hooves seeming to but barely scrap the surface of the earth as they tip-toed across the tall grass. Beauty in all of its glory was here, peace and nature colliding as though this were the last place that it could happen. The entire wood seemed to brim with joy and light.
But no light shone for Thranduil, though the sun was brilliant in its casting. A shadow was cast upon his heart--upon his very soul. The shinning light was gone now from his life, gone off to distant lands to aid in War . . . to face Death and Sorrow.
Legolas Greenleaf no longer dwelt below the green bows of Mirkwood. He had gone away, long ago it seemed, to Rivendell where he was to speak of the escape of the creature, Gollum. But he had not returned, though others had. And these had told him that the Prince, that his son, had followed eight others to aid a wee Hobbit in destroying a thing of utter evil. At first the Elven King's heart had been near to bursting with pride--his son was going to be one of many to make the world well again. But then a fearsome pall had settled upon him, for his son was gone from him where the chill wings of the endless night could forever claim him if he were to be felled.
Thranduil sighed, his breath shuddering in his throat, and tears long held at bay fell from his eyes. He gazed up at the shinning day star that was the sun, feeling the warmth of it upon his face. But no warmth penitrated his heart, leaving him feeling cold and lifeless. Fear and worry gnawed at him as would a Wolf worry a bone. Uncertainty overshadowed his confidence in his son's abilities. No, Legolas was in dire danger. He was marching towards Mordor--backed only by eight others and his skill with a bow. This knowledge had little comfort to offer and Thranduil shuddered.
If he lost his only son--his light and life--what would he do? The Elf had been a grinning, smiling, laughing face among the trees, bringing joy to him and the Elves among the wood. Parts of the shinning realm had fallen into darkness and ruin, but not where dwelt the Elves. But now it seemed shadow could no longer be held at bay--not for Thranduil. Not for him.
With a cry of utter anguish, the king fell to his knees, his face in his hands, and sobs wracked his slender frame. And ever and always he wondered--what was to become of his son?