Characters: Estel and another
Source: Pre-Ring War/Aragon’s early travels.
Disclaimer: Tolkien has complete ownership of Middle-earth and the man-who-would-be-king… Kortirion is responsible for the rest.
Estel stood very, very still. The third blade thudded into the up-ended table-top, barely missing his ribs, the fourth broke the skin. Blood tickled his naked belly as a tiny rivulet snaked down to soak the waistband of his trews.
A fat merchant seated nearby stared eagerly at Estel’s stomach, hollowed beneath ribcage, panting in anticipation - the crowd bayed.
His tormentor spread a sheaf of shining knives, holding them aloft for the inn’s patrons to see... before rapidly outlining his captive’s torso with blades. Estel’s breath hitched as one hit square between his legs – a mere fraction from gelding him!
Eventually the knife-thrower bowed, before soliciting approbations from his cheering audience. Estel stepped away from the makeshift target, frowning as he shrugged back into his shirt.
“Next time”, Estel hissed, “I’ll throw the knives!”
His companion, swathed so heavily in Haradric silks it was difficult to tell who was underneath, laughed softly.
“They like a little blood... means they pay more. Besides, if you threw - they’d know what I am. Look...” Proffering silver coins, “Almost enough to buy horses to get us home. Oh... the merchant wanted a... private show... but I did turn him down!”