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Story Notes:
One of the Martapennas
A story of Cirince Fletcherson and the Leader of the Grey Company.
Alternate Universe
A Red Wren

There was that whistle again. It was the most aggravating thing, that trilling little whistling call that kept echoing through the trees, bouncing off of the emerald and jade leaves and seemed to be coming from all around him. He couldn’t pinpoint the source, and it wasn’t a bird making that little trill, though it was a fairly good imitation. If it didn’t have that irritating way of circling about him, coming closer and closer all the time, he wouldn’t have cared, but it was sneaking up on him, he knew it.

A whistling trill, off to the right of his left shoulder. Another call, from behind him. Yet another, from over his head and to the far right. And another, and another, and yet another and another, coming from all around him, circling, that sound circling like a pack of hungry wolves all around him, masked by the shadows of the forest.

All around, circling, whirling, coming from all directions, and then suddenly it was silent. There were no bird calls, no rustling of the leaves, nothing. It was as if everything in the woods had gone ever so still and silent.

What is going on here? He wondered silently, staring up at the forest canopy. The sunlight drifted through the green filter of the leaves, a peaceful glow that made the Ranger in the Old Forest feel drowsy and safe. But he knew, somehow, that the next few minutes were anything but safe. Something, a charged, hushed feeling in the air, told him that something watched him silently from the cover of the forest.

“Where are you?” The Ranger demanded softly. He knew better than to snarl or yell in a wood he was supposed to be patrolling for troublesome dark creatures. “I know you’re here,” he said.

“Do you?”

He whipped around and stared, mouth agape, at the child standing before him. Her russet hair gleamed in the dappled sunlight. She smiled, fluffing her hair a little with one hand, and blinked her big, violet eyes. For a second, he thought he saw purple cat’s eyes, but when he passed a hand over his face, she looked like a normal child... although he’d never seen a person with purple eyes before.

“What... who...”

“You said you knew I was here. I heard you. So, did you know?” She smiled.

“I... of course I knew. I just... didn’t expect you to be so...”

“Short? Small? Female?” She asked. She sat down on a fallen tree, brushing leaves and debris from her buff-colored half-robe. He blinked at the clothes she wore- soft, sturdy grey-brown breeches, grey boots, and grey-green shirt. Her cheeks were smeared with earth; she had a smudge of dirt on her pert, little nose. “Most people don’t. Of course, most people see me and then forget about me fairly quickly.”

“Oh...” Halbarad murmured. He didn’t quite know what to say. He’d never seen a child in the Old Forest in all the time he’d patrolled here. Not a human child, at any rate. But... was she human? She had rather large ears that ended in the most delicate of points, but he’d never seen an Elf with such copper red hair. He’d never seen an Elf child with such golden toned skin, either, as if the sun had kissed her.

“I’m from the Village.”

“What?!” He cried. He’d heard of the Village. Just a couple weeks ago, a youth and a maiden had come across his path, when Aragorn had been with him. They’d ended up taking them back to one of the small camps scattered across the woods, and the girl had mentioned that the person who had bandaged her wounds had been a violet-eyed, sunset-haired maiden... but the girl before him couldn’t have been more than ten. Surely a child couldn’t have handled such injuries as that girl had had...

“I’m the healer girl,” she added dryly. “I’m the daughter of Alianne Fletcherson. She’s the Healer of the Misty Mountains, at the Eyrie of the Wind Lord. Do you know her?”

He couldn’t say that he did.

“Of course not,” she replied for him. “Why would you? Who among the Rangers has dealings with the Eagles? Well, I just wanted to see you, Halbarad Ornaminasion, just once, in case I ever need your help.”

He blinked once, surprised. In case she ever needed his help? Why would she...

And now she was getting to her feet, and dusting off her clothes, smoothing back her hair. She smiled at him, and the smile was such a sweet, cheerful thing that he felt an answering smile tugging at his mouth, almost against his will. She held out one hand to him.

“You shake it,” she said dryly, smiling.

“I know that,” he said, and took the tiny hand in his own, rough, callused one, shaking it gently. For a brief second, her fingers curled ever so trustingly around his, and he felt something tug at his heart, a sense of recognition, the urge to protect. He loved children, they were so innocent and kind...

“Good-bye, then, Sir Ranger. Until I see you again,” she said, and turned to walk into the shadows of the forest. Then, suddenly, she turned back. “If you hear this sound,” and she made that little, trilling whistle. “Then you will know I am nearby, and I’ll be coming to see you.”

“Why would you want to...”

“My mother told me to,” she said, and shrugged. “She said you’re a useful kind of guy.” And she walked away into the forests.

“Wait!” Halbarad cried. “Who are you?!”

“Cirince,” she said. He jumped and whirled around to see her standing behind him, leaning against a tree. “Cirince Fletcherson.”

“Then, Cirince Fletcherson, if you should ever have need of me...” He didn’t know what made him say this, but he knew it needed saying. “If you should ever have need of me, come into the Old Forest, and give your call. I will find you.”

“Thank you,” she said, and this time, when she disappeared into the shadows of the trees, he knew she was gone for good. But he also knew he would see her again.

A little, red-winged wren flitted onto a nearby tree branch, and gave that little whistling trill. He smiled, and went back to patrolling the Old Forest.

Chapter End Notes:
Disclaimer- I came up with the storyline, the Liemuina, etc. I did not come up with the hobbits, the Elvish language, or anything else copyrighted by someone other than me.


My sources are:

w w w . n e v r a s t . n e t

w w w . t u c k b o r o u g h . n e t

w w w. uib. no/People/hnohf/wordlists. htm

The Lord of the Rings: the Return of the King (book)

Sevenwaters Trilogy by Juliet Marillier

Trickster's Queen by Tamora Pierce


Alianne - variation of Alanna, which means "rock"

Cirince - red wren

Eyrie - the nest of a bird, such as an eagle, built on a cliff or other high place; a house or stronghold perched on a height

Fletcher - someone who fletches arrows; fletching means to put the arrows into the end of the arrow shaft

Fletcherson - son of a fletcher

Halbarad - tall tower

Ornaminas - tall tower

Ornaminasion - Son of Ornaminas (I had to come up with a name for Halbarad's father; I couldn't find it)

A/N: yes, I know, they both mean the same thing; also, I couldn't find the name of Halbarad's father, so I came up with one. That is totally a fic-centric idea.


In the words of JunoMagic:

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