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Tales of Life  by Aelaer

Prompt Fourteen: Silence
Ficlet: Deafening Silence of the Dark
Rating: G
March 8th, Paths of the Dead

'"Keep your hoards and your secrets hidden in the Accursed Years! Speed only we ask. Let us pass, and then come! I summon you to the Stone of Erech!" There was no answer, unless it were an utter silence more dreadful than the whispers before; and then a chill blast came in which the torches flickered and went out, and could not be rekindled.' -ROTK, The Passing of the Grey Company

Deep within the Mountain, Aragorn called out to the Dead, and summoned them to the Stone of Erech. He was not sure what he should look for as an answer, and simply waited for a response. There was none; instead, this deafening silence took hold of the area, and with this silence came this unseen horror that assaulted him with the force of a thousand men. Nevertheless, he let not his fear show upon his face; all of his company looked up to him, and if he showed any fear, then the party would collapse.

All of a sudden, the torches were blown out by a swift wind, and everything was covered in a deep darkness. In this complete darkness, the silence was even more oppressing, and then he felt another presence. Beforehand, he had heard only whispers and barely felt it, but now, it was almost overwhelming. There were not only living present in this vast space anymore.

And to confirm his suspicions, he heard a small whisper in his ear. "They have come. They will follow," said Legolas. He could not see him, but he could hear the slight astonishment in his voice. There was no fear, however. Immortal beings did not fear the Dead, and were not greatly affected by their presence, or their dark and horrifying silence.

Aragorn nodded, though he knew that even the elf could not see him in such profound darkness. The Dead were here; they had responded to his call, and they would follow him to Erech. Finally, he broke the silence that encompassed the company, and started walking again. His company followed him, and behind them were the Dead, who would finally fulfill their oath.

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