The Family Line Part 138 – The Missing Lynx

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Part 138 – The Missing Lynx

Through the remainder of the afternoon, Theomin resumed his search for his lynx friend. The last he saw the lynx he was up in the cliff of Tyl Annun as he attacked Kronog along with the rest of animals that followed along. But the animals that came to Theomin’s aid all were scattered as the drake spewed fire on them. So where did all the animals go? More importantly, where was Aches?

Theomin looked down from the cliff as he wondered just that question. He began, much like he began the search earlier that day. He started from the cliff where Aches attacked Kronog. “If this was the last I saw him, and he was attacked by fire, where would he go from there?” he wondered to himself. He thought of the other animals and where they went as well. “Could the birds have aided in their escape from the cliff?” he wondered. Theomin looked down from the cliff. It was a very long drop from there as a voice came from the side.

“Quite a drop, is it not?” the voice said. Theomin looked over to see the girl, Ariel, who faught with Eleswith’s army. “Quite a long one.”

“What are you doing here?” Theomin had to ask.

“I have been looking out from this place for the past day,” she said, “since we gathered in silence after the fighting was over.”

“But why here?” he asked. He came in closer to the girl who looked lost in deep thought. Her eyes were red and dry. They were swollen as if she had been crying for too long as she also looked sleep deprived. “Why indeed,” she said as her own words trailed off into nothingness. “This is the last place I saw the man I was hoping to wed. The last place I gazed upon his eyes as he looked down at me before I plunged into the waters below.”

“He was one of the many wardens who was killed was he?” Theomin asked. “Was he thrown from the cliff?”

She only shook her head in silence but never broke her stare out into nothingness. “No,” she finally said. “I was dropped from this place. I was dropped as he watched me plunge down into the waters below.” Theomin was silent. He had nothing to say as she continued, “Before I was dropped into the waters below, they placed me into a cage. A terrible metal cage with metal bars. The same as the ones the other wardens were placed into before they too were dropped into the lake. They placed me into that cage and forced him to tell them where someone was. They forced him to tell them where Theomin was. But when the last of the wardens was dropped into the waters and only I remained, he told them. But that was not enough. They pushed me over the cliff but the last I saw of him was when he grabbed the cage and tried to save me from the horrible fall into the water below. The last I saw of him…” she began to sob again but continued as she sobbed, “was a troll beating him lifeless. The last I saw of him was his dead eyes as I fell into the lake.” She looked down and began to moan as she cried.

Theomin came to her and wrapped his arms around her. He knew not what to say as too wrapped her arms around him. She continued as she regained her composure, “That was the last I saw of him. I have not told my story to anyone. Not even to Eleswith, the leader our group. She has not a clue as to how I ended up on the shores of Tinnudir. She only knew I was a survivor.”

“I am so sorry,” Theomin whispered to her as he rubbed her back. “Who was he? Who was the warden who was to be your husband?”

“I hate to say his name,” she said. “He was too precious to me and I fear I will break down and cry if I am to say his name.”

“Do you know who I am?” Theomin asked as he was not sure if she knew who he was and why he was significant to her sad story. “I am sorry to say that I am the vary man they were searching for. I am Theomin.”

“I know who you are,” she said. “I had seen you around many times. You aided us in hunting for our food. Her…” she paused as she was about to say his name but stopped herself. “He knew you and had great respect for you. That was why he could not talk. That was why he could not tell them where you were.”

“Then have you anger for me?” he asked.

“How could I?” Ariel asked. “I could not be angry with you. You had not a part to play in killing my love.” She was silent for a while before she had to ask, “Why did he want to look for you? Why did Kronog go to such lengths to find you?”

Theomin quieted down for the thought held a certain amount of pain for himself. But amazingly, the pain was not as terrible as it once was. “Long ago, when I came here from Rohan to search for my family, I was framed for a murder in Bree. A murder in which I played no part.” He was silent for a while before he continued, “For a long while, I was beaten by the same man who hurt you. But then he went by a different name. He was Gerald Tenderlach. The son of Mayor Tenderlach of Bree. I was framed for killing his brother.”

“Then who killed him if it was not you?” Ariel asked.

He had not the hear to tell Ariel that Eleswith was the one who murdered the mayor’s son. “Gerald, who you know as Kronog, killed his brother. He was hungry for power. He wanted to be mayor of Bree after his brother died. After a while, his dream was finally realized when he murdered his own father. When we took back Bree from Gerald, we found the lifeless body of the mayor in the mayor’s office.” Theomin shook his head as he could not believe what had happened. “There were so many evil men who were behind the retaking of Annuminas. And they all came together to summon a terrible creature. That was why we needed to come here. That was why we needed to come back and fight. I cared not for revenge of what Kronog did to me. We needed to fight for the future of Middle Earth.”

“Then we succeeded,” Ariel said. “At a terrible cost.”

“Yes,” Theomin said as he remembered his friends and his brother. “At a terrible cost.” He gave a sigh as he remembered what Ariel told him about the part he played as a hunter for the city. He looked at Ariel, “It was Herion, was it not? It was he who was your beloved.” Ariel only looked down with sadness. He remembered the last time he saw Herion, strung up by the neck at the gate of Bree. He had not the heart to tell her of what he saw. “He was a great man and an excellent hunter. He aided me through much.” He gave a slight laugh as a memory came to him, “The first time I met Herion was in Esteldin. It was just before we came here to retake the city. He and I trained together just before we came here. Our friend, Taidir was one of the two that I trained with. Taidir too was lost long before we lost Herion.”

“I know of Taidir,” Ariel said. “He was my cousin. He was always a little spunky,” she laughed. “But a noble one he was. And a great fighter.” Theomin nodded as he remembered the friends he had lost. “Thank you, Theomin,” she finally said.

“What are you thanking me for?” he asked.

“I was so broken after losing Herion,” she said as life came back into her cold face. “I was so lost. Because I kept all of the pain and loss to myself, I felt so alone.” She looked at Theomin with care and respect, “You let me talk to you. You opened my heart and I let loose all that I had lost. Now I know that I need to open up about my losses. Only then can I finally find acceptance in Herion’s death.”

“I am glad I could help,” he said as he embraced her as she squeezed Theomin tightly.

She whispered again in his ear, “Thank you,” as the let go of their embrace. She wiped her face of tears that had newly run down her face as she asked. “Why have you come up here anyway? I know it was not to speak with me.”

“I actually came to find my lost lynx, Aches,” he said. “I have been searching for him since the fighting was over.”

“That little ball of fur that came and attacked Kronog?” Ariel asked. “The one that looked like a big cat?”

“Yes,” Theomin said with a little excitement. “Have you seen him?”

She looked around as she seemed to remember what had happened. “After that dragon spit fire, I saw the eagles carry some of the animals away. I know not what happened to them after that.”

“Thank you,” Thoemin said until he realized, “but they could be anywhere now.”

“Wouldn’t you check near the water?” Ariel asked. “If they were set on fire, they could have been dropped near it.”

“Of course,” he said as he felt stupid for not think of that, “The water would be the perfect place to look. Thank you,” he said as he hugged her one last time and ran to the nearest place.

He ran down the steps toward the Arient and crossed it as quickly as possible as those rangers around him hailed Theomin as he passed by. He crossed up the hill and around Clorhir as the men and women from Bree and Trestlebridge shouted a hail to Theomin. He slowed and gave a hail back at the them but could not stop himself from continuing. He ran down the slope and up toward Echad Garthadir as those from Dunland gave Theomin a hearty praise with their fists up in the air in honor of him. Theomin did the same as he put his up in honor of them. He passed Echad Garthadir and ran down the slope toward the closest bit of shore. Though he was not told outright nor was it the best bit of shore that bordered Annuminas, he was somehow pulled to that very small bit of water at the small inlet on the western portion of the city.

Among the small pebbles and small crashing waves of the lake, there was the small lynx. He layed there, not moving, dead. Theomin ran to him, tears gathered in his eyes as he could not fathom his small friend had already died but the terrible wounds told a different tale. His fir was singed off and his skin had melted from the drake’s aweful fire. Not a breathe could Theomin find in his small friend.

Theomin fell back, devastated by the loss of his beloved lynx. He picked up the lifeless body of Aches and held it in his arms. He held him tightly and pictured him in his mind as remembered his lynx. The last of his family in Eregion, he would have most likely died either at the hands of the half-orcs or by starving to death. He remembered his companion remaining with his for a long way, from Eregion until the the foot of Bree. He remembered finding his small friend in the land of the North Downs as he persued his friend of Rohan, and that was when it suddenly hit him. He substituted his friend from Rohan with the small lynx. He missed Aches, but more importantly, he missed Eotheron.

He felt horrible pain as he knew he would never see his good friend from Rohan. He placed Aches on the ground and doubled over in pain of the loss of his friend. He was the only friend he knew all his life. To never see him was a terrible reality he would need to face. “How can I return?” he asked himself as he fell to the ground, heartbroken by the loss of his friend. “How can I live without him? How could I have lost him? Why has he left me?” he asked. Tears filled his eyes as he cried and a single tear grew from his eye. It rose from the lid of his eye and formed a drop. Theomin wanted to wipe it away but cared not to move. The tear-drop formed and released from his eye and onto the small lynx. Only a moment passed as he cried more for the loss of his friend when a single jerk of Aches starteled Theomin from his sorrow. He sat back and waited for something to happen. But nothing came from it. He stood and stepped back.

A sudden memory harkened him back to his dream back in the cave. A memory of the one who aided him through the whole journey of rediscovery of who his lost skills. A memory that he had somehow lost as he battled through the cave, Bree, and into Annuminas. It was a skill of life. It was a skill that could aid those who were almost dead back to life.

With haste, Theomin grabbed his staff in both hands and raised it high above him and then struck it down on the ground. A light of a green hue grew from the waters of the lake and surrounded the small lynx. As it surrouneded him, it grew in intensity and spun around the tiny lynx and lifted it from the ground as light engulfed it and then softly allowed the lynx to descend onto the ground. It then layed there much like it did before. Dead it seemed until Theomin could see something new. The rising and falling of the Lynxe’s chest. It was alive!

Theomin placed his hand softly on the lynx’s coat as it woke. It looked at Theomin and jumped up to greet Theomin as if nothing had happened. As best it could, it wrapped its paws around Theomin as Theomin held the small lynx as tightly as he could. He hugged Aches as if it was Eotheron who had returned. Tears flowed from his eyes as he could hear himself say to the lynx, “Welome back!”

 

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