As I lay dying on the field, I know I am just one lost soul among so many, countless others. The dead lay ontop piles of rotting carcasses. After the battle, carrion birds will circle the battlefield. Of this, I am sure. So many dead for such a hopeless cause. Mothers, wives, children will weep at home, will die of grief. When will the shadow part, and leave the dead in peace? Never, so long as the race of men endures, and that is what we fight for. So that we may live, yet so many die. Men, boys train their whole lives, ready for battle, and when it comes, they fall, so young, so soon, sliding off the saddle as a well aimed arrow pierces their heart whilst in a desperate charge. Men die with their faces disfigured, shields shattered, lives forfeit...dreams...lost.
I shall soon rest in the halls of my forefathers with my ancient kin. There, I shall find peace. I have died gloriously, killing many foes, their heads rolling across the plain. Is that not a worthy death?
I shall see my beloved son, my Theodred. Ahh, my son! My son, how fare you dining with your forefathers? You have been welcomed as a hero, no doubt, my brave son...how I miss you, but fear not, I shall be graced in the prescence of my father soon.
Oh, how the mighty have fallen, in these times of darkness and death. My greatest regret, is that I die now, and never again shall I see Eowyn, my fair daughter of Rohan. Oh, that I could see her smile, one last time, my beloved. My dream, I know is one among so many others lost on this day.
"Come not between the Nazgul and his prey! Or he will slay thee in thy turn. He will bear thee away to the houses of lamentation, beyond all darkness, where thy flesh shall be devoured, and thy shrivelled mind be left naked to the Lidless Eye."
Oh, it is my time. I shall not cower, or hold my eyes shut.
"Do what you will; but I will hinder it, if I may."
Who is that? A brave soldier of Rohan! Oh, my broken body, if I could only sit up and glance, but for a moment, such a sight! If my bones were not in this agonizing state, I would see this young soldier, so triumphant, so noble. Yes, yes, this is what we fight for. For freedom. For life.
Even in this time of need, we must not despair;
there is always hope! And it may always be kindled, but alas, I give hope to Rohan, but none has been saved for myself. But if there is one thing the enemy cannot take from us, it is hope. He may take our women, kill, burn, rape, destroy, and plunder. But he may not--cannot--take our hope.
But our dreams are still discarded.
And they always have been.
"But no living man am I! You look upon a woman. Eowyn am I, Eomund's daughter..."
Ah, my hearing fails me. I think I listen to the name of Eowyn called. Perhaps now I shall die? My mind wanders... How long have I lain here, for minutes only, perhaps? Ah, but it seems like hours.
What has happened? It would seem the Dark Captain has departed for now. I feel the sunlight upon my face, alas, it brings with it no warmth.
If only I could see the White Lady of Rohan one last time...what is this now?
"Farewell, Master Holbytla! My body is broken. I go to my fathers. And even in their mighty company I shall not now be ashamed. I felled the black serpent. A grim morn, and a glad day, and a golden sunset." I say. Meriadoc the hobbit seemed to have managed to get onto the battlefield, most peculiar, but his presence warms the sun for me.
"Forgive me, Lord," he says. Why should he be forgiven? "if I broke your command, and yet, have done no more in your service then weep at our parting." He brightens my heart, this little man.
"Grieve not!" I reply, a warm smile gracing my lips.
"It is forgiven. Great heart will not be denied. Live now in blessedness;
and when you sit in peace with your pipe think of me! For never now shall I sit with you in Meduseld, as I promised, or listen to your herb lore."
Oh, I hope the hobbit's heart will not darken overly much, for the war is not yet over.
I lie there with my eyes closed, with Meriadoc hovering over me protectively. Like Eomer, I dimly recall the time that I whittled away, listening to the poison of Grima.
My eyes fly open.
"Where is Eomer? For my eyes darken, and I would see him ere I go. He must be King after me. And I would send word to Eowyn. She, would not have me leave her, and now I shall not see her again, dearer then daughter."
"Lord, lord," Meriadoc began brokenly, "she is--"
He is cut off? How so? What's this? Does the Enemy tread ever closer to where I rest? I would presume as much. I shall close my eyes, so tired I am. I shall finally rest. By the time the battle comes upon me, my spirit shall walk the path to my forefather's hall.
"Hail, King of the Mark!" Eomer cried. My eyes open in a rush. Eomer, my kin! "Ride now to victory! Bid Eowyn farewell!"
The new King of Rohan, he shall rule my beautiful country fitly. I am free to go.
And in this moment, perhaps for once, Theoden King truly did find peace, and was happy.