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A Soul's Sorrow

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Title: A Soul’s Sorrow


Author:  washow


Rating:  G



Summary:  A very short vignette about Legolas’ thoughts on the destruction around Isengard.  A.U.


Disclaimer:  I do not own Lord of the Rings nor am I making any profit from this story.  Any similarities to other fan fiction are purely coincidental. 



A/N:  The idea for this story struck me as I was traveling through the storm-revenged countryside a few years ago.  The storms have resulted in the majority of the trees losing some or all of their limbs and thus making the roadsides look like the aftermath of a great battle.   I couldn’t help but wonder how Legolas would have dealt with the clear-cutting around Isengard.  This story is AU because I have altered the trilogy so that the group is camped outside Isengard for the night.  I look forward to your reviews because this is an unusual piece for me, the first I have written in first person present tense, and I am unsure how it comes across.  In addition since this is a one-shot be sure to sign-in or leave an email address if you want a reply to your review.




A Soul’s Sorrow


Night has long ago fallen on our camp and all but the sentries are in their beds resting after the recent battles, but try as I might I can’t find my rest this night.  Every time I start to drift off images of the destruction we saw around Isengard dance before my eyes    oak, ash, birch and elm all hewn down in their prime and hacked into pieces to feed the furnaces.  I try and fail to find my way to elven dreams once last time before I arise from my bed and go forth to wander the field of battle:  Seeking to comfort those fallen friends which haunt my mind.  Each time I come across a casualty it is the same; I bend down to stroke the destroyed limbs of the unfortunate tree, thank it for its life, and ask its forgiveness for not saving it from this fate. 


Seeing so many beautiful trees destroyed saddens my heart and makes me wonder what has become of Mirkwood, my home.  Long has the darkness infringed on our borders, so has evil taken this chance to launch a full-scale assault on my home?  Have my loved ones fallen on the blades of foul creatures and fled to Mandos’ halls?  Have my beloved trees, friends throughout my life, suffered a similar fate to those of Isengard?  The thought of my homeland being destroyed makes me stagger, and I lean upon the dead stump of a tree for support.  So lost am I to my grief that I don’t hear the approach of the other being so the sudden touch on my shoulder makes me jump.  I quickly recover from my shock and look behind me to see my best friend gazing back at me with concerned and sympathetic eyes.


            Aragorn grips my shoulder in a sign of support then turns his gaze to take in the scarred battlefield before us, “It will be beautiful once again my friend.”  I turn confused eyes on the ranger and he laughs quietly, “This place Legolas, I can see in your eyes how saddened you are by this destruction, as am I, but Treebeard promised that he and the other Ents would see it restored and you must trust in him.”  Aragorn pauses for a moment and looks deep into my eyes, “Your sorrow runs deeper than just the destruction of this forest does it not Mellon Nín?”  I can’t help the impulse to look away from him; although, it proves him correct beyond a shadow of a doubt.  Suddenly there is a gentle hand on my cheek and he turns my head until I am once again looking at him, “Legolas, I know that you worry for your home but I promise you that once this war is over and evil is destroyed Greenwood the Great will thrive again.” 


            His optimism causes my heart to leap for joy but I cannot let my hopes overpower my rationalism, “How do you know that my friend?  This war is far from won and try as we might evil may win.”


            Aragorn lays a comforting hand on my shoulder, “I know because as long as we retain hope in our hearts anything can be accomplished.”


            I smile, though my eyes are filled with tears, “You are right; thank you Mellon Nín for reminding me of that fact.


            He then takes my hand in his and gives it a tight squeeze, “I’ll keep reminding you Legolas if you’ll remind me when I start to drown in the darkness which surrounds us.”  I nod my agreement so the ranger continues, “Come back to camp, we will need to rest this night if we are to fight tomorrow and I fear we shall have to fight for many tomorrows to come before freedom will once again dawn in this world.


            We are walking back in companionable silence when I suddenly see something that makes me doubt my eyesight for there in the midst of the carnage is what appears to be a living tree.  I strain my eyes to see it better but the distance is too far and darkness too complete so I slowly wander away from my friend and toward the object.  As I draw near I see that it is a birch sapling which has some how missed the orc axes and now stands as the sole reminder that this was once a forest.  I reach forward to gently touch the tiny trunk and feel my heart lighten as I absorb the joy which is radiating from this tree.  Upon closer examination I see that the tree is covered with buds and smile because this tree is displaying the hope I have been missing, the same hope Aragorn was talking about – the hope that a brighter day will come and life will continue. 



                                                  The end