Chapter 14

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The Fellowship comes to a more open space. Broken columns lie tumbled across the floor. Gandalf lifts his staff.

Gandalf: "Let me risk a little more light."

His lit staff illuminates a giant stone hall with tall pillars & arched ceilings. Gimli gasps as all stare about them in awe.

Gandalf: "Behold: the great realm & Dwarf city of Dwarrowdelf."

Sam [awe]: "Now there's an eye opener & no mistake."

Walking forward through the hall, they peer round a column. Gimli sees a ray of sunlight shining through a chamber & runs into it.

Gimli: "Haugh!"

Gandalf: "Gimli!"

Entering the chamber, bodies & weapons are scattered about it. The dwarf stops & kneels by a crypt in the center of the room. A shaft of light illuminates it. Gandalf walks forward & peers at the tomb's surface.

Gimli [sob]: "No! No! No!"

Boromir places his hand on Gimli's shoulder. Gandalf reads the words on the stone.

Gandalf: "'Here lies Balin, son of Fundin, Lord of Moria.' He is dead then. It's as I feared."


Gimli wails as Gandalf gives his staff & hat to Pippin, bends down & takes a large & battered book from a corpse's hands. He opens it & clears the dirt from its pages.

Gimli [soft chant]: "Kilmin malur ni zaram kalil ra narag. Kheled-zâram...Balin tazlifi."

Legolas: [to Aragorn] "We must move on, we cannot linger!"

Gandalf [reading]: "'They have taken the bridge...& the second hall.'"

Gimli stops sobbing & looks up blankly.

Gandalf: "'We have barred the gates...but cannot hold them for long. The ground shakes.'"

Pippin, still holding hat & staff, backs away.

Gandalf: "' the deep.'"

He looks up slowly & turns the smudged, bloodstained page. The Fellowship begins to glance around uncomfortably.

Gandalf: "'We cannot get out. A shadow moves in the dark.'"

Stumbling back, Pippin sees a corpse with an arrow in its chest, sitting by a stone well. He turns towards it, curious.

Gandalf: "'We cannot get out...'"

He glances at the last, single line, a scrawl fading out at the bottom of the page, then looks up in the uncomfortable silence.

Gandalf: "'They are coming!'"

A loud crash causes everyone to turn. Pippin, unable to stop himself, has lightly twisted the arrow in the corpse. The skull slips off, falling into the well with a resounding crash. The guilty hobbit turns as the rest of the skeleton slips into the well, dragging with it a chain & bucket. Noise echoes from hall to hall far below. Pippin winces at each wave of noise. Then silence.

Gandalf [slams the book shut]: "Fool of a Took! Throw yourself in next time and rid us of your stupidity!"

Pulling his hat & staff from the hobbit's hands, the wizard turns away. Pippin stands in his spot, awkwardly. No one speaks. Then the silence is broken by the clink of metal. All turn to see Miyuki facing the door, eyes narrowed, her left hand on her sword.

Miyuki [grim]: "They are coming."

Then, everyone hears the sound.

Doom! Doom!

Bit of a grim chapter but that's part of the story. Anyway, I wish all you readers a very Merry Christmas!


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