Title: The Message
Theme: Dialogue challenge
Elements: a warrior, a mountain, a tree and the word immense
Summary: Legolas and two companions discuss the message they must bring to Elrond before the Fellowship of the Ring is formed.
Word Count: 496
The travellers rounded a bend in the road and slowed their horses down the better to enjoy the beauty of the valley they had entered. The fingers of dawn painted the sky a soft pink, and as they drew near, the pleasure of the sights they saw and the hope of the comforts they expected to receive dimmed their discomfort at the thought of the reception they would get for the message they were bringing.
The golden-haired Elf turned to his comrades. “Look,” he said, “the lights of Rivendell! We will be there soon.”
“Aye,” replied Thandellon, with a yawn, “and not a moment too soon! I crave a hot bath and a decent meal. This cram is good enough for a starving Man, but I am an Elf, and require better fare.”
“On that we are agreed,” said Rhosgan. “The hospitality of Elrond is the stuff of legend, and I look forward to enjoying it again.”
“It is good indeed,” added Legolas. His eyes were clouded and his head drooped a little.
“You seem unhappy, Legolas,” said Thandellon, who was riding right behind his king's son. “I know that the loss of the prisoner may cause some inconvenience for Gandalf, but I do not doubt the lord Elrond's kindness...”
“He will be disappointed,” interrupted Legolas, “and I dislike the thought of being the cause of any grief to him. For he has ever been gracious to our folk.”
“I am sorry for my part in that,” said Rhosgan. “I was always more of a dreamer than a warrior.”
“The blame must lie on me too,” admitted Legolas, “for I also believed he would enjoy the pleasure of climbing a tree.”
“To tell the truth,” said Thandellon, “I am glad to see him gone. He stank and took immense pleasure from the most disgusting things. He ate raw fish and flesh, and would not touch the dainties we offered him at all.”
“Where is he now?” asked Rhosgan. “Where would he have gone?”
“Up a mountain, in the cave whence he came, I suppose,” replied Legolas.
“I see movement down there,” remarked Thandellon. “They are waking up now.”
“Soon we will be with them,” said Legolas, “I will give Lord Elrond the message that Gollum has escaped, then we shall return to Mirkwood. I do not think it is right to impose on him when we have nothing to give him but bad news.”