| Flashback: After Helm's Deep
||[Jan. 13th, 2004|07:30 pm]
Éadayn stood, pulling the hair from her face, where it stuck fast. So many bodies filled the caverns of Helm's Deep that the heat was stifling, and the smell was becoming worse and worse. She had been stooping over a young boy, brought in from the fields hastily bandaged. He had awakened for a moment and cried out, for he must have felt for the first time the pain of having lost an entire arm. Éadayn had not the means to keep the blood from stemming from his arm, and so she had sat with him, only waiting out the time until his eyes closed forever. |
It was perhaps the gravest day she had ever seen. The loss of men was tragic, but slowly she was becoming immune to death as men around her expired one after the other. They were tended as best possible before brought into the caverns, but there was still haste to be made, for Rohan had still to go to Gondor and aid them in vanquishing their foes. And so many lay around, dead or dying, or gravely wounded, and she had not the skill or means with which to save them, nor ease their sufferings.
Éadayn was moving to the delirious man next to the body of the young boy when she heard someone calling her name. She turned, and the seamstress who had lived in the house next to her family for all of Éadayn's life was calling to her. She stood near a group of men who had just brought in several bodies, living or dead they knew not. Éadayn made her way to them.
"What of these?" she asked the men who carried them.
"Two gone, we think," said the one nearest her. "This fellow's bleeding still. Don't mind him much. And here's another nearly gone, in some sort of fever, Miss."
Éadayn nodded, and the men left. She found that two of the men were indeed dead, and the third was shaking in his death throes. The fourth still wore his helm, and she had a hard labor trying to remove it and not injuring him further. Though it was she herself who nearly died when she saw his face finally; the fourth man, the one who the men had said was caught in a fever, was none but her cousin Cyren, of whom she was quite fond; quite probably one of the only surviving members of her family.
"Hast thou any water?" she asked her neighbor, who stood over her in concern.
"Nay, miss," said the woman. "But I might fetch thee some, for I've seen a smal store at the back of the caverns."
"Go then, and make haste," Éadayn said. "I tell thee, this man shall not die like the others. He I shall save, if fate permits. Go, woman!"
And the woman went quickly, for she heard the urgency in Éadayn's voice. And Éadayn would sit by no men but those who were near her cousin for the remainder of the day, waiting for him to awaken.