Chapter 19 - Lost in Middle-Earth
The company walked casually
along, dawdling every once in a while. It began to grow dark and a Warg howled.
They ran. Eyes were seen on either side of the path, and one wolf nearly
overtook them when Orlando shoot an arrow into the foul beast's gizzard.
As the darkness gave way to the magenta morn's horizon, they spotted a jagged
row of evil teeth, the Misty Mountains. Sir Ian pointed out an incredibly
disturbing one. "That is where we're going, Moria."
Presently, they came to Sirannon, the Gate-Stream, that would lead to the
mountain. Going up a row of crumbling steps, they saw a vast, disgusting,
stagnant lake. Viggo saw a dirt-clodded creek and they all crossed it and
came to a slim little path along the wall of the mountain. Sir Ian sat down.
"All we can do is wait." Slowly but surely, the moon rose again. With it, came a bubbling from the lake and then all was calm.
"The Watcher! I forgot!" Orli exclaimed. He notched an arrow to his swift bow. "I'll protect you, Lij."
"Maybe you should let him go now, Sean." Billy and Sean were arguing in the back.
"No! I mean, until the doors are opened." Sean retorted. Then a Warg howled. "See, he'd be ripped to shreds out there!"
"Whatever!" Billy rolled his eyes.
Sir Ian strode up to the pony and placed his hands on the muzzle. After a
while, he commented. "This is hard on all of us, especially since he was
such a good pack animal, but Bill, go back to Rivendell and live happily
there." The good-natured horse nuzzled Sean's back and he burst into tears.
Untying the packs on his back, Sean released him. "Goodbye friend. I don't
know if I'll see you again!" He cried as Bill slowly trotted off.
"Look!" Viggo shouted and changed the subject. He pointed at a point between
a few holly trees. "The doors!" Elf runes crept up the stone wall as more
moonlight was shed on them.
"I know that it's the elf word for friend that will open the door, but I forgot what that was..." Sir Ian pondered.
"Well, you better hurry, Ian, I don't want to be snatched by the Watcher!"
Elijah declared. As if right on time, something frothed the water. A tentacle
rose up. Orlando shot it and there came a great cry as if of the Nazgul.
The tentacle went back into the water.
"Now." Elijah said, after coming out of his trauma. "Friend, what is the
word for friend..." The whole Fellowship turned to the wall just like it
will tell them the answer. As they were studying it, no one noticed the wounded
tentacle come back up. It and a few others slowly wrapped Elijah up, but
he didn't realize it because of how intently he studied the wall. Then a
sharp tug pulled him up into the air. Orli shot another arrow to no avail.
"Elijah! My friend! Friend! Mellon!" He cried. The door slid open. Elijah
bit the tentacle that ensnared him and he dropped to the ground and with
the others hurried in.
"Well, in the worst of times, Elves will amaze you." John shook his head
as they entered. He and Sir Ian walked at the head of the party, leading
them up a flight of stairs untouched and in great shape. They went deeper
and deeper as the air grew hotter and a foul stench enlarged.
There were many perils along the way. Many holes and gaps had to be jumped,
and it sounded as if water was under them. Elijah's senses had increased
since the grim events of Weathertop and he could see better in the dark than
most of his companions. Also, he almost could swore he heard little pitter-patters
of bare feet behind them. Of course, he shook it off. 'The rest must sense
it too, since, they've read the book also.'
They came to a three tunneled passage way and randomly chose one. It must
have been the correct way because they came to a guard room. "Now *this*
looks like the set." Billy said. He nearly stepped in a hole and considered
it to be the well where he accidentally backed a rock and alarmed the orcs.
"Well, Billy, I guess you must." Sir Ian sighed. Billy picked up a stone
and held it for a long time, as if he didn't want to part with it. Then he
dropped it in. After a long while, they heard a thud and knew it had reached
its destination. Then came a faint drumming. The Fellowship sat in their
makeshift beds, like Boy Scouts hearing the scariest ghost story ever told.
Except that this ghost story had come true.
Sir Ian took watch after Billy and woke the others up after six hours of
being alone in the cold dark. "I remembered as I was keeping lookout that
the Fellowship changed directions and went into the right tunnel."
"Which one's the right one?" Billy said sleepily.
"The one on the right, you Fool of a Took!" Sir Ian said. The Fellowship
rolled up their beds and trudged on to the "right" tunnel.
"Y'know," Billy murmured to Dominic. "That joke's getting old."
They camped out in a cavernous hall on the right side. When they awoke
they kept walking once again. They came to a hall with a door on the right
side. It creaked on its hinges as they swung it open. The Fellowship had
come to a room that was very musky and dust covered the floor. It was dim
and there was a mausoleum in the center which confirmed that Balin was dead.
John unexpectedly wept sorrowful tears. When his eyes were dry, he unhooked
his ax from its place on his belt.
"All right, ladies and gentlemen, it's time to lock and load..."