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Shoutbox

Narya
06/15/18 08:15 pm
Thanks Spiced, you too :)
Spiced Wine
06/15/18 08:06 pm
Yes, it’s been very nice! Have a lovely weekend, Narya :)
Narya
06/15/18 07:49 pm
Happy Friday, Team Tolkien :) I hope you're all enjoying blue skies and sunshine like we are in the North of England :)
Spiced Wine
06/15/18 09:55 am
Happy Friday, everyone :)
Spiced Wine
06/14/18 10:32 am
Aww, thank you, Narya :)
Narya
06/12/18 11:55 pm
Brilliant update, Spiced :)
Spiced Wine
06/10/18 11:57 am
The days they fly past!
Karlmir Stonewain
06/10/18 11:05 am
Friday? It's Sunday already and I'm making a start on a sequel to my most recent story.
Narya
06/09/18 12:36 am
Hurray, Friday! :-D
Spiced Wine
06/08/18 10:06 am
Happy Friday, everyone
Shout Archive


Second Chance by Narya

[Reviews - 12]   Printer Chapter or Story
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Story notes:
This is one of my older stories. It was written at a time when I was badly in need of catharsis, and was a response to the Animal Transformations challenge over at lotrfanfiction.com. The brief was to write a modern-person-falls-into-Middle-earth tale in which the modern person turns into an animal. It was supposed to be a ten thousand word piece of fluff. Hah. It grew.

At one point there was a sequel on the cards, but even though I hadn't quite covered all the story mechanics in the first instalment, the emotional journey of the characters was complete. I hadn't left myself with much room for manouevre. I didn't want to do a major re-write of the story in order to cram things in, but I did want to streamline it to make it work as a standalone, so that I didn't feel beholden to it any more. As I said, it's an old story, and I grew a lot when I was writing it (eek, maybe I should have put a cheese warning for the story notes!). I see the flaws, but I still see a lot that I like, and I care about the characters. I wanted to feel like I'd left them somewhere appropriate.

There are one or two loose threads even now; I wanted to leave myself the option of going back to the 'verse, while still having a coherent story that works by itself. For that reason there may or may not be a few gapfillers further down the line, but for the time being this is it. I hope you enjoy it.
Pain. Dizziness. Sickness. Confusion, movement, and even more pain. Like fire in her gut. Voices – but they sounded like they were speaking underwater. Sobbing. Ground lurching under her. Pain again – agony, even. She couldn’t see...

*

“But she was alright at first!” wailed Anna. “She got up and ran after the horse – and then...” She dissolved into tears. Her Dad slipped an arm around her shoulders and squeezed tight.

“It’s alright, Anna,” one of the paramedics assured her. “We’re trying our hardest for her; she’s in the best possible hands.”

“She will be OK, won’t she?”

The paramedic smiled, but she didn’t answer the girl’s question, nor did her smile quite reach her eyes.

*

The stubble in the mown field dug into her back. Why didn’t they move her? It itched. How she ached. She forced her eyes open. Where was her horse? Where was her sister?

*

“Her eyes are open! Izzy!” Anna tried to spring forwards, but her Dad gripped her arms firmly.

“Let them do their job, love.”

“But she’d want me with her!”

“I know. You are with her, love. You’ve done so well – you’ve been such a brave girl...”

Normally, Anna would have swatted her Dad’s arm away and berated him for talking to her like a baby – but with her sister lying crumpled on the ground and her insides feeling like somebody had beaten them up with a whisk, she couldn’t bring herself to do it. Besides, she realised with a flash of guilt, what must he be feeling? Izzy was his daughter as much as she was Anna’s sister.

She leaned against him and watched in silence.

*

More pain. They were moving her again. Rattling. Jolting. A siren – blue light. An ambulance. Not good. She closed her eyes. It hurt so much...

*

“Now, then, poppet, tell us again exactly what happened – so we know what to do for Isabel when we get to hospital.”

Anna took a deep breath. “Well...we were just riding through the field – only walking – and Minstrel stumbled. He – he rolled with Izzy still in the saddle and she went under him...but she was OK, she ran after him when he bolted, then she just fell, it looked like she tripped...”

“Molly!”

The paramedic looked up; one of her colleagues was frantically gesturing her into the ambulance. Her heart sank.

“Back in a moment, poppet,” she smiled, and sprinted over.

*

Izzy wasn’t sure how it happened. One moment she was strapped to a stretcher, in agony, barely able to see or hear. The next, everything had blurred into a whitish mass, like a blanket of snow had settled over her eyes – and then she was floating steadily upwards, and it didn’t hurt any more. She glanced down. A tall, red-headed woman in green overalls was racing towards an ambulance, and standing a little way away was a man with fear etched into the lines of his face. He had his arms wrapped around a brown-haired girl of about fifteen. The two of them looked familiar, somehow, but they were moving further and further away as she drifted up...no. Those two were important, she knew it. She struggled downwards, ignoring the force that was gently yet insistently restraining her.

Not yet. Not ready.

The red-headed woman was coming back now; the man was shaking his head, and the girl was sobbing.

Slowly, tenderly, Izzy reached out a comforting hand to touch the girl’s cheek; the girl shivered at the contact, and for one brief instant, Izzy felt a flash of remembrance. Warmth suffused her. She pulled her arm away and closed her eyes, and felt the embrace of a power she couldn’t begin to comprehend as the world around her became a mass of light – and then there was no more.
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