After the Hour of Doom by Raksha The Demon

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Imrahil blinked as the towers fell and their Enemy rose up one last time, then wafted away powerless in the wind.  The two hill-trolls that he had been fighting turned and fled, one with Imrahil’s favorite dagger buried between the scales covering the monster’s right shoulder.  Imrahil would miss the dagger, but was glad to see the great troll’s flight. 

 

Steadying himself on his stallion’s back, he patted the charger’s sweat-streaked neck.  They were both unscathed; which is more than could be said for at least forty of his Swan Knights.  There was much to do now.  In a minute.  He looked up, trying to understand, trying to believe.  The Enemy was gone!

 

Perhaps it was weariness that brought sudden tears to Imrahil’s eyes.  If only this war, with its brave hobbits and returning King, could have come a year, two years, three years earlier or more.  The dead of Osgiliath would still live; as would Denethor.  And Boromir.  And so many others. 

 

Imrahil straightened in the saddle.  Every muscle ached, but he had much to do, beginning with the ordering of his men; seeing the living cared for and the dead counted and buried.   He reached into his saddlebag and pulled out his kerchief.  Sadly, it was stained with orc blood.  He could not wipe his sweating brow with something so foul!  He foraged deeper; wishing to face his Knights with a calm, ordered face.  There it was; a piece of sturdy cloth.   Imrahil unfolded it, and used half on his sword and half to dry his brow.

 

Much better!  Prince Imrahil sheathed his sword.  Now to work!  Although the Shadow had departed, it had left a fiendish mess.  A faint grumble startled him.  Imrahil laughed; for he realized that the sound came from his own suddenly hungry stomach.




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