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Story Notes:
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters and settings you may recognize. Those belong to the genius Mr. J.R.R. Tolkien. I do however lay claim to the character Arya Burke.
Author's Chapter Notes:
Story is from Arya's POV. Review if you like it or have any advice. No in elenath hilar nan had gin.
I awoke to the early morning light filtering through the trees.

“Trees?” I thought to myself as I sat up quickly. My head swam with pain.

“Ow, head rush!” I said hoarsely and fell back down. I noticed I was still in the same shirt I wore yesterday and my flannel pajama pants. My hair was still halfway up in the semi Lord of the Rings style I had adopted in recent months and my feet were bare. I sat up more slowly than before and tried to get a good look at my surroundings.

“Why is my vision all blurry?” I thought to myself. Then I realized that I still had my contacts in. I took them out and reached for the small bottle of contact solution that I always kept on my person. But then I noticed that when I took my contact out that my vision was perfect. I rubbed my eye to test if it was true and it was.

“Freaky, but I like it.” I thought. I excitedly took my other contact out and threw them on the ground.

I stood up and brushed myself off. The ground was mossy and soft on my bare feet.

“Where exactly am I?” I thought. I surveyed the surrounding forest. It looked identical to the woods by my house. My siblings must have played a prank on me while I was sleeping.

“They must be hiding somewhere waiting for me to wake up so they can scare me.” I thought.

“All right, Nancy, Lynn and Cliff, I’m awake the joke’s on me!” I shouted. I received no answer. I listened for a rustle or any noise of movement in the forest, but there was only silence. I walked forward a little ways calling my siblings names as I went.

“Nancy!”

“Lynn?”

“Cli”

My shouting was cut off by someone’s hand coming down on my mouth and an arm wrapping around my waist. I squirmed against whoever it was but they held me fast.

“Quiet!” a gruff voice ordered me. I recognized the voice as a man’s but it did not sound familiar. He dragged me into the underbrush. A flicker of fear flashed through my mind. I tried to remember the techniques I had been taught in that self-defense class I had taken but my mind drew a blank.

“Relax, I will not harm you but you must keep quiet. Do you understand?” he asked. I got my first look at the stranger who held me captive. He hadn’t shaved in a while that much I could tell and he smelled like he hadn’t bathed either. His hair was dark brown and his eyes were pale grey. They pleaded me to comply. I nodded.

“I’m going to release your mouth but no questions yet, melon nin. They will all be answered in time,” he whispered. I nodded again. He released his had slowly from my mouth and seemed surprised that I stayed silent.

He looked at my appearance curiously but was soon distracted by a large company of creatures that I didn’t recognize. My captor or I guess now my savior motioned for me to get down. I took the time to examine his appearance. He wore a tunic with a leather vest and leggings. On his feet were worn leather boots that came up to his mid-calf and a long knife and sword hung from his belt. He didn’t look like someone who would be from the greater Seattle area. Maybe this was one of those Renaissance reenactment things. But, did the Renaissance period have those freaky-looking creatures? I didn’t think so.

We hid until the gruesome creatures were a few leagues south of us. When we emerged my savior again held up his hand.

“All in good time, melon nin,” he said. He glanced over my appearance again and chuckled when he noticed my bare feet. I shifted nervously from one foot to the other. Now that the “danger” had passed what was he going to do to me?

“What is your name?” he asked me as he gathered wood for a small fire.

“Arya Burke and yours?” I stammered.

“I have many names but Strider will do. What country do you hail from?” he asked.

“Excuse me?” I sputtered.

“What country are you from on Middle Earth?” he asked.

“Middle Earth!?” I squeaked.

“Yes, I am wondering why a child of seventeen would be out this far in the Chetwood without a guide or mount or footwear,” smirked Strider as he looked at my feet again.

I was frozen in place. Then it hit me. Chetwood…melon nin…Strider…Middle Earth? Of course not, he had to be joking. But, why did he seem so sincere? In my shock, I started to laugh hysterically. Strider’s face looked at me quizzing my sanity which gave way to shock when my eyes rolled back into my head. Then my world went black.
Chapter End Notes:
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