I do not understand the world today.
I often do not, especially when I am with mortals for they are strange and confusing, but today it is worse. It is a jumble of sounds and colours that create chaos within my mind, a series of connections that are disjointed and ridiculous.
Gimli tells me patiently it is because I am ill and I laugh at that.
"I am an elf!" I exclaim and I wonder to myself how he has not noticed that fact before.
"You are an elf with a penchant for putting himself in the way of filthy orcish blades," he says and I remember.
I remember the injury, for it spoiled the fragment of time we had snatched together, undone by that pocket of lingering enemy we stumbled across. I remember the pain of the blade as it sliced across my arm, the blood which flowed through my fingers at a somewhat alarming rate. I remember Aragorn, full of concern, binding it tightly. I remember my disappointment for I had spoiled a perfect day.
"Where am I now?" I ask Gimli for I do not remember getting here and the room spins so confusingly I am not even sure if I have ever seen it before.
"This is your room lad, in Minas Tirith. I have told you this, try to keep hold of it Legolas."
I cannot remember him saying any of this before. I am sure he imagines it. If I did not feel so terrible I would be genuinely concerned for him but as it is I do not have the energy.
"How did we get here?" I ask him, and he sighs as if he has answered this question before.
"We rode here Legolas, for you were still sensible enough to carry on a conversation then."
"I can carry on a conversation now!" I cry.
"That's debatable," he mutters and I wonder what he means by that. Is it not exactly what we are doing?
"You have a fever," he explains gently, "It is confusing you."
"Elves do not get fever," I reply. We are back to this again and I think I really should take the time to educate him. He is obviously appallingly ignorant when it comes to elves, I wonder why I have never realised this before?
"Elves who have infected blade wounds do." He speaks to me as if I am a child and it upsets me.
"I KNOW that Gimli!"
"and that is you," he finishes, " Does your arm not hurt you?"
Now that he mentions it, it does. When I sweep across my mind to try and answer his question the pain floods out to meet me from amongst the cacophony of noise and sights and feelings that at the moment is my brain.
My arm throbs badly, it beats a rhythm in time with my heart.
"It does hurt," I say. "It does."
The door opens and Gimli's face lights up with relief. Does he not wish to be with me?
"Aragorn is here," he says to me with a smile, "He will stay with you while I get something to eat. Would you like something Legolas?"
"Lembas?" I am unsure if I am hungry or not at all.
" Ah....I think that might challenge them. Perhaps something a bit...more mannish?"
"I don't know anything mannish." I am confused now and bewildered, "Why would the cooks be preparing mannish foods Gimli?"
His face looks melancholy then as he pats me on the shoulder.
"You are not in Ithilien, Legolas, or the Greenwood. I will choose something for you I think you will like."
He strides over to Aragorn who stands solemnly in the doorway.
"He is worse if anything,"he whispers to him as he leaves. " He makes no sense at all."
I wonder who it is they speak of? Someone is unwell and perhaps they should not be wasting their time with me.
Aragorn looks weary as he sits beside me and places a cool hand upon my forehead. It is obvious he does not like what he discovers.
"What is wrong?" I ask and I wonder what goes on outside these doors. Surely it is something serious for he looks so very burdened.
"Your fever is worsening and it concerns me," he replies.
I do not wish to revisit the argument with him of elves and fever. He should know this, what did Elrond teach him during all those years in Imladris? I find I feel too unwell to get into that now. Everything hurts. Not just my arm but everything, every muscle I have aches to the touch. What have I done to myself to hurt this way? I feel as if I have fallen off a cliff.
"Did I fall?" I ask him. It makes sense to me. Perhaps I have hit my head and that is the reason for the strangeness of the world.
"You did not fall Legolas. You have a fever, I know things seem confusing."
That is the understatement of the year.
"Everything hurts Aragorn." Usually I am stoic, usually I would put up with this pain and bear it but it is agony and it is beginning to undo me.
"I will give you something that will improve it." He is calm as he moves to collect the glass from the other side of the room but I feel underneath that he is not calm at all. The illness of this mysterious person Gimli was concerned about must be worrying him. I seek to ease his load, he does not have to bother with me if there is something more urgent that requires his attention.
"You can go to him Aragorn if he needs you. Do not waste your time with me. I am well." I am not exactly well but he need not know that.
He looks at me in surprise.
"Who do you think needs me?"
"Who ever it is who is ill. Gimli was worried for him."
His shoulders slump as if in defeat.
"There is no one else who is ill Legolas."
And I am puzzled.
"What was Gimli speaking of then?"
"He was speaking of you. It is you who worry him."
Suddenly I am filled with a rush of terror, for Gimli had said this sickening person was not making sense and yet I am being completely sensible. It is the rest of them who are not. Have they all gone mad? Have they caught some mortal sickness that affects their brains?
What should I do?
Aragorn gently places a cup in my hands while I contemplate my predicament.
"Drink this, it will help your pain."
I want to refuse, the possibility of poison crosses my mind, but the pain is bad and the wish to ease it wins out over my anxiety. It is bitter and I gag as it slides down my throat but eventually the vicious throbbing of my arm begins to ease.... to fade away and subside into nothingness. It is a blessed relief.
Aragorn brushes away the hair that has fallen across my face.
"Is it helping?" He asks.
"Yes," I murmer, and it is all I can do to say that one word, for now the pain is gone, lethargy overtakes me. I am tired, oh so tired, my eyes, like lead, will not stay open.
His hand upon me is calming. It is coolness drenching the fire that rages within me. I feel his presence, his healing, wind its way through me. It is peace amongst the chaos, a refreshing breeze caressing through the confusion of my mind.
It soothes me and finally I give in to sleep.
The Elven dreams I walk are not peaceful ones however. It is as if every trauma, every loss, every fear I have ever had in my life emerge all at once to confront me and when I awake I am drenched in sweat, my heart pounding rapidly in my chest. I feel it will explode. Something is wrong, something is very, very wrong.
"Legolas?" It is Aragorn still beside me and seeing him is a relief.
"Something is wrong!" I cry, for surely he will help me. But he only frowns and reaches out to stroke my burning forehead. I realise now that I am very hot.
"Speak Sindarin, my friend." He says, "I cannot understand your silvan dialect."
I am confused for surely that is what I was speaking, it what I always speak with him. I try again,
"Something is wrong, Aragorn, Something..." I trail off for he looks no more the wiser. What is happening? Why can he not understand me? I search my mind for the words but they are not forthcoming, lost in a jumble of memory. Sindarin, Silvan, Westron, they all intermingle, words swirling around my brain and I can make no sense of any of them. I realise that I do not know which is which.
I look past him in panic and it is then I see the stones, the walls. I am surrounded by them and they are menacing, full of hate and malice. I have always hated the stones, I have never trusted them. I do not understand why Aragorn and Gimli would wish to shut themselves inside when they could be out under the trees. The stones move as I watch them, shifting, sliding, they crush down upon me. They aim to destroy us.
"We must get out!" I cry and I pull myself upright but the room tilts and black spots dance before my eyes. Aragorn pushes me gently back into the bed.
"You are safe Legolas." He says calmly, "Whatever bothers you is not here. Your mind plays tricks on you. It is the fever, it is only the fever."
I am consumed now with panic for he will not listen. He is wrong, it is real and the stones grow ever nearer.
"Let me go!" I cry in desperation as I struggle against him. "Please Aragorn, Let me go!"
"Ah Legolas," he replies, "I do not know what it is you say," and he will not release me.
With a dawning horror I suddenly understand and I wonder why I did not before. He is in league with them. He must be! He wishes them to capture me, to kill me, he is on the side of the stones..... Do they obey his command or him, theirs? And so I fight. I ignore the burning, tearing agony that is my arm and I fight with all the strength I can muster.
It is not enough.
He is stronger than I and I am not used to this, something weakens me from within. I hurt him, I know I do, I land blows, I bite and scratch, I do anything to escape but I cannot break free. I am distraught. I cannot think of anything that could be worse than this. He is my friend, my brother, and I do not know why he has turned on me. It tears at my heart, it destroys my soul.
I cry out his name in desperation trying to get him to see me for who I am. If I can just get him to understand, I think, if I can just reach him. If I can just remind him I am Legolas.
"Aragorn, I am your friend! Please do not do this.....Please!"
But he is angry, I can sense it, anger, frustration, desperation, he radiates them all and it frightens me even more than I already am.
"Be still Legolas, you will hurt yourself!" He shouts it at me. Does he think I will just lie here and let it happen?
He is calling for help then, loudly, and I wonder who will come. Where is Gimli? I want him, I need him, he can make this nightmare go away and so I call his name. With all that remains of me I call for him.
But Gimli does not come.
I seem to have developed an obsession with writing about the Three Hunters!