Characters: Estel and Haldir
Disclaimer: Tolkien’s middle-earth - Kortirion’s just along for the ride.
“Come Estel, take them....”
Haldir held out the round, blue pellets. Estel eyed the bitter pills distastefully. He could sit upright in the wain without the world spinning, but was too unsteady to ride alone.
“They’re the last – your strength returns, does it not?”
It did. For five days the bowel-flux had made Estel drift in fever-dreams. He only vaguely remembered Haldir’s first ministrations of medicine. Embarrassingly, they’d involved an oiled finger he’d struggled against - and a hot flash of guilty pleasure. Estel flushed at the memory.
Now they’d taken effect, the pills could be swallowed instead; Estel took them.
Estel rinsed the acrid taste from his mouth with gulps of water. Haldir laughed softly.
“I know,” he said, “but effective against belly wounds, so....”
“What are they?”
“Blue mould they once found growing on lembas. Now, the Lady’s maidens gather it and make the pellets.” Haldir shrugged, “They taste foul, but have saved many lives. Come. Can you hold fast? Then climb behind me and we’ll blow your cobwebs away!”
They galloped ahead of the others. Clinging behind Haldir, Estel’s blood quickened; the wind caught his breath, tugged his hair.
Far ahead... their destination, the Blue Mountains of Lindon.