Chapter 24 - Lost in Middle-Earth

 Elijah ran on, his heart pounding as he stomped on blindly. He came to a beautiful, crumbling throne set atop four pillars on a marble loft. The bewildered hobbit climbed up the uneven stairs and sat on the chair. He sighed and laughed knowing Sean couldn't catch him here, with this invisible disguise.
Then his merriment ceased. Harder than ever, he could feel the Eye watching him. It was disgusting and gory, it pressed on him, choking him to death. Struggling in the smoky mist that surrounded him, he found his finger and pulled the Ring off. The vision disappeared. He relaxed once again and looked out on the Anduin, assuring and reassuring himself that this was all a bad nightmare.
The Anduin. He must head down there before the orcs, thump. The hobbit pricked up his ears and craned his head. Uruk-hai! He crashed down from his perch and made his way back to the boats. As he did he passed Orlando and John. "Elijah! Wait!" Called the Elf, but to no avail. His friend kept running terrified. "He seemed as if in a terrible dream." The taller one turned to his dwarf friend.
John shook his head. "We are all in a time of calamity now. I doubt any of us have a straight head on." The two comrades returned to climbing up the slope to where their foes awaited.
***
Sean saw Elijah running towards the boats also. He sighed and followed his master's path. The servant trudged into the water. It got up to about neck deep, and he could feel the current. "Master Frodo, wait!"
Elijah turned. "Sam, what are you doing? I'm going to Mordor alone."
"I know!" Said his companion. "And I'm going with you!" At that he pushed off the bottom with his bare toes. He lifted an arm. Plunging his face into the water, he found something. He'd been drained of all the swimming he could remember. "Help!" He sputtered and floundered around. "I can't swim! I'm drowning!"
Elijah knew that this was different. It was real.
He towed the boat over to the center of the ripples, where his friend had gone down. Sean's vision was blurred. He looked up and saw the sun. Then something blocked its beautiful light, what he thought would be the last thing he ever saw. A hand! Elijah's hand! He grasped it with his last strength and was pulled up by his friend.
"Elijah!" He cried. "We are like brothers! I won't leave you!" Elijah looked at him and then threw his arms around him in a friendly embrace.
"Let's go on. We must not linger." Sean nodded. He picked up the other oar and they began paddling to the other side of the river.
**`*
On Amon Hen, it was not as loving. Battle had been raging nigh on five minutes when our familiar elf pricked up his ears and let off one last arrow before moving. "The Horn of Gondor!" He exclaimed. Orlando shoved John towards the sound. "Move!" They ran to where their friend was and only hoped that they could still help him.
Sean was surrounded by hundreds, maybe even thousands of ugly orcs. He parried with those carrying swords and ducked the arrows whizzing past his head. Orlando and John arrived and began hewing down orcs from the back.
Sean smiled as he saw them, but only briefly for another dart was aimed towards him. He turned his back to one side. An exceptionally hideous orc drew back his bow. Orlando saw him and drew his, letting go of the elven arrow. It was too late. The monstrosity had already let go of his weapon. It lodged itself into Sean's upper chest. The elf arrow still buried itself into orc scalp, but the thud wasn't as satisfying to Orli knowing that he hadn't saved his friend. Two more orcs jarred arrows into Sean. He shuddered and coiled himself up. They closed in on him. Then he rose up with strength and chopped bows in half, cutting limbs, as well as heads, off. John helped too. He ran around with his axe and plowed down orcs. Sean crumpled down, out of breath. A large Uruk stepped before him and guffawed evilly. It pulled back its crossbow and held an arrow taut. The armored fingers let go one by one. Still an index finger left and Viggo hopped into the clearing. "Viggo!" Sean breathed.

"YAH!" Said the victor sawing off the head. The orc carcass collapsed to the ground with others. Orlando and John ran to their friends' sides. Viggo laid Sean down so he could relax.
"Where-where's Elijah? I shouldn't have gone off at him." Sean said. Viggo put a finger up to his lips.
"Sh..." He soothed as if rocking a baby. "It'll be all right. You couldn't help it."
Orlando bit his fingers, trying to hold back tears. Moisture like dew already dampened John's beard.
Sean coughed, his face turning a ghastly white. "I would have followed you, my    brother..." He whispered. "My Captain... My King." Viggo wept and kissed the Son of the Steward's head. Orlando broke down in bitter tears. Viggo lay his head on Sean's face. He felt something soft like the flutter of wings. He leapt back in surprise. Sean opened his eyes the slightest bit. "Am I dead yet?"
Orlando jumped up and hugged John. John clearly embarrassed brushed himself
off and cleared his throat.
"Well, I guess. With the addition of a member," he smiled, "Come on!"
Viggo raised his hand as they all declared, "Let's hunt some orc!"

End of Part I