His thigh burned. The arrow had only grazed it, but still, it burned.
Boromir of Gondor knew that at least an hour had passed since first
they were attacked. Crouched down behind the boulder like this, he
mostly relied upon his senses of hearing and smell to tell him if more
of the enemy was about. The rain was not helping.
His fingers too burnt. The effort to hold his arrow nocked, but the
string loose, was become unbearable. His hands began to shake. Boromir
lowered the bow and looked at the boy lying next to him. Some fishing trip this has turned out to
be, he sighed.
“I am well, Boromir,” Faramir whispered, his face drawn and white.
“Just thirsty.” His voice cracked.
The fear and pain Boromir saw in his twelve-year old brother’s eyes
sent shivers through him. He checked Faramir’s shoulder. The bleeding
had slowed, but the arrow, imbedded deep, shook as Faramir trembled.
“Where is the patrol?” Boromir hissed under his breath. “They should
have returned by now.” He took a quick breath as a terrible thought
sped through his mind. They might be
dead, caught unawares as Faramir and I were. The Heir of the
Steward sent a quick plea to the Valar Help us.
“I can walk,” Faramir whispered. “Can you?” His brow furrowed, anxious
for his brother’s welfare.
“Yes, but I am… concerned.” Boromir knew neither one of them, in the
state they were in, would be able to outrun the enemy if they were
caught out in the open. He only had three arrows left. He could put
enough weight on his leg to walk, but not battle with a sword. That
skill took mobility, and he would have none. The burning in his thigh
increased. A slow fear began to creep into his stomach. Where is the patrol? He made up
his mind. They could wait no longer.
“Come, Faramir.” He helped his brother stand. Faramir swayed and
Boromir quickly wrapped his arm around his brother’s thin waist.
Boromir kept his eyes and ears open as they headed west, towards the
city. They were only about a league from the Rammas, but Boromir
doubted they could make it on their own. If there were any more
Southrons on this side of the River, they were doomed. Where is the patrol? He listened
and silently cursed. They were making too much noise, but he discovered
his wound must be deeper than he first thought, for his leg dragged a
As they walked, Boromir noted Faramir’s shoulder began to bleed again.
The arrow wobbled against his skin. The elder brother stopped. “I must
break the arrow, Faramir. I am sorry. It will hurt, but if I leave it
long, it will open the wound further.”
Faramir nodded. “Help me lie down.”
When his little brother lay on the ground, Boromir gave him his dirk
cover. “Bite on this.”
Faramir put the leather piece between his teeth and bit down.
Boromir’s hands shook.
“Do not be afraid of hurting me,” Faramir said, pulling the piece from
his mouth. “It hurts more bobbing about. Just do it as quickly as you
are able. I will be fine.” He put the bit back into his mouth.
Boromir bit his lip, grasped the shaft immediately above the wound in
one hand, placed his other hand on the higher point and pushed the one
while pulling the other – hard. The arrow broke.
Tears streamed down Faramir’s cheeks.
Boromir held him close. “Such a brave little brother.” His voice broke.
They sat thus for some moments. “We must continue,” Boromir whispered
at last. “Are you ready?”
Faramir squeezed Boromir’s hand, then nodded. Boromir helped him stand.
The older brother gave a quick glance about them, discerned the correct
direction, and moved forward. An hour passed, then two. The wound in
Boromir’s thigh began bleeding again, a slow trickle ran down into his
boot. He tried to continue walking, but stumbled. Faramir fell. Boromir
dropped to his knees. “Faramir?”
“I cannot go further. I am sorry, Boromir. You should go on without me.
You can find the patrol and bring them back to me.”
“I will not leave you,” Boromir took off his cloak, folded it, and laid
it under Faramir’s head. “We stay here. The patrol is overdue; they
will come.” He sat down heavily, bowed his head, and sent another
silent plea to the Valar. Help us.
When his head snapped forward, he knew it was time to move on again. If
he kept still, he would fall asleep and they would both be found and
murdered. Or worse. He shivered as fleeting images of the few dead that
he had seen left by the Southrons flashed through his mind. He could
not let them find Faramir. He stood, yelped in surprise at the pain,
then walked about a bit. At last, he took a drink from his flask, and
stooped. He picked up his unconscious brother and gently slung him over
his shoulders, then wrapped his cloak as best he could around his own
shoulders. He began to walk towards the setting sun.
He swallowed at the thought. The sun
is setting. If there are Orcs… but no, there cannot be Orcs on this
side of the River. Father would have known. He gritted his teeth
and walked onward. Sweat beaded upon his brow, and after only a short
time, began to run in rivulets from his forehead, spilling across his
mouth, and running down his not-quite full beard. He stumbled,
straightened himself, repositioned Faramir’s body, and moved forward,
ever slower. Tears misted his eyes, but the seventeen-year old blinked
them away. No time now for weakness.
Faramir needs me.
Faramir always needed him. That is how it had been since almost the day
the boy was birthed, according to his childhood nurse. Their mother,
weakened by a long and excruciating labor, let her five-year old son
play with the babe. Boromir was told that his mother oft wondered at
the devotion her eldest showed towards his little brother. After but
two days, she came to trust her Boromir and let him watch over the babe
whenever possible. Thus began their love – the brothers were rarely
seen apart. He needed Faramir as much as Faramir needed him.
Boromir stumbled again, and this time, he fell. Trying desperately to
keep Faramir safe, he twisted, and felt a sharp pain in his knee. He
held Faramir close, but his brother never woke. He took his cloak off
and again covered the boy. Boromir touched his knee. It was fine. The
only problem was the bone sticking out below the knee. The Heir of
Gondor let his head fall back upon the cool grass and wept. Not for
himself, but for Faramir. How can I
save him now?
He woke to find the sun near setting and the ground cold. He was
shivering, his teeth were chattering. Faramir
will be cold! Boromir wriggled out of his cloak and covered the
boy. He kissed Faramir’s brow in imitation of his nurse’s routine for
determining fever. Hot! He
looked about. There was a stream nearby, but he doubted he could reach
it. Nay. Faramir must have water. As
must I. He crawled, using his left leg to propel him, and
reached the little creek. Tears streamed down his face as pain lanced
through his leg, down to his toes and up to his hip. He cupped a
handful of water and drank. It was cold. If I put it on Faramir’s wound, it might
help. But what will I carry it in? He felt about him. Nothing.
He sighed and pulled off his tunic and then his shirt. Every motion
caused his leg to send fire through his body. He dunked the shirt in
the creek, put his tunic back on, then pulled himself back to Faramir’s
side. Tearing the shirt into three pieces, he laid the smaller part on
Faramir’s forehead. The second piece, he wrapped around the broken
arrow shaft. He held the third to his own wound.
When next he woke, darkness had fallen. Faramir’s breath was shallow,
hardly detectable. Fear slashed through him, overcoming any other pain.
What can I do? How can I help him? A
fire! I will light a fire. Even if the enemy sees it, still someone
else will. We are near the Rammas. We must be only a half league away
at most. Someone must see it. He leaned his head in his hand
and wept. Everything is wet. I
cannot start a fire. What am I to do? What would one of Father’s
And then he remembered; he had a flint and char cloth in his tunic’s
pocket. He pulled himself as upright as his broken leg would allow and
looked about for dry grass. Only a stone’s throw away. Crawling over
took the last bit of his strength. He lay next to the dead grass and
waited until the pain lessened and his heart slowed. Pulling out two
handfuls, he steeled himself and crawled back to Faramir. He found some
dried twigs under a small ledge. Boromir pulled the flint from his
pocket, his dirk from its bitten sheath in his boot, and found a good,
flat stone. He tore off a few pieces of Faramir’s shirt and made a
cradle with them for the char cloth. After too many tries, Boromir sat
back, defeated. The flint would not spark, or when it did, it missed
Faramir moaned. The sound tore right into the very core of Boromir’s
heart. He sat back up and began the slow process again. Chip, blow.
Chip, blow. His hands shook when the spark flew onto the cloth. Boromir
took three long breaths, then gently wrapped some of the pieces of
Faramir’s shirt around it, always gently blowing upon the now
smoldering cloth. It caught further and he wrapped some strands of
grass around it. The fire licked at the grass and held. His fingers
burned slightly, but he did not care. He dare not drop it. Gently, he
lowered it into the cradle he had made, placed small pieces of dried
grass upon the fire, and kept a slow, continuous wind upon it. Once it
was strong, he threw handfuls of wet grass on the fire and white smoke
billowed up. He sat back and wept as the fire grew, smoke pouring from
it, and rising up.
Shouts! He looked up, fear coursing through his veins as he heard
horses nearby. Voices were shouting out. But in Sindarin. He tried to
stand, to shout, but he could not. He put more grass on the fire. He
closed his eyes as smoke overwhelmed him, but found himself being
clutched tightly. “Boromir!” he heard his father’s voice. “Boromir!”
“Father,” Boromir wept openly. He held onto his beloved father for but
a moment. “Faramir is sorely wounded. An arrow. He will not wake.”
“Sleep, son. I will take care of Faramir. Rest now. You have done what
Boromir closed his eyes and a blessed, wondrous darkness took him.
“When will you wake, Boromir? The Warden says he will not give me food
until you are awake.”
Boromir blinked. When he finally was able to open his eyes, they felt
deliciously tired, he saw Faramir looking down at him. “Faramir!”
Unbidden, tears fell. He looked away in embarrassment.
“You saved me, Boromir,” his brother whispered. “Like you always do. I
Boromir pulled his brother to him, careful of the shoulder wound, and
held him close. “As I always will, little one. I love you, too.”
A/N – You know, half the fun of writing is researching. Here is a great
page for learning how to start a fire with only a flint and a piece of
steel (in this story, Boromir uses his dirk.) http://www.mahalo.com/how-to-start-a-fire-with-flint-and-steel