17. Facing My Own Demons

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Flashes of the memories began to flood my vision. It had become too much, almost consuming. I didn't have it in me to pull myself away from the images before my eyes.

A pair of strong, big arms eventually pulled me away from the mirror. I stumbled back and felt my feet gave up beneath me. I met Haldir's concerned eyes. They were flickering between me and Lady Galadriel in alarm.

I followed his gaze at Lady Galadriel and was startled with what I saw. The impossibly beautiful elf was on the floor with her husband, Lord Celeborn, kneeling beside her, speaking comfort to her in elvish. Both of their eyes were trained on me, shock and worry were in Lord Celeborn's eyes. For the first time, I saw pain and sorrow swimming in his wife's blue eyes. The sight only magnified this new feeling I had nestling in my chest. I tore my eyes away from them.

What is this feeling? Why does my heart hurt so much?

My chest felt raw; like I suddenly discovered a sudden gash of wound manifested in my heart. It was painful, too painful– something that I would never wish even on my worst enemy.

My mind began to recall all the vision that I saw in the mirror. Lost memories. It was all too much. My mind was jumbled, scattered all over the place as I tried hard to make sense of it all.

Eventually, I rejected the vision in my mind. I rejected the life that I had been having for the past few months in Middle Earth. But deep down in my heart, I knew everything I saw was the truth. My reality.

But I couldn't accept it. I wouldn't.

I gasped when pain pierced through my heart at the memory that was now imprinted deep in my mind and soul. I brought my hand to my chest instinctively in a failed attempt to ease the pain.

Scratch that. It was not just pain. It was something destructive, something demanding and insatiable, crueler than sorrow.

It was agony.

Break my fingers again one hundred times. Hit me like the worthless human being that I was one hundred more times. Kill me again, over and over– I'd take them all and be grateful.

I'd take anything, anything but this pure and raw agony deep in my chest.

Anything than being in this world.

This is a nightmare. I can't be here. This is impossible. This isn't real. I belong in Washington, with my family, not in a fantasy land!

Realizing where I was and the denial that came with it, I jerked away harshly from the elf's hold on my shoulder and backed away. Using my hands to support me, I crawled backwards on the ground, away from Haldir.

My eyes finally took in the look that Haldir, Lady Galadriel and Lord Celeborn had. The three elves stared at me with concern and wariness etched on their impossibly beautiful faces.

I had to get away from them. They weren't real. None of the way they look was normal or humanly possible. The fact that those creatures actually stood before my eyes, flesh and blood staring me in the eyes– it frightened me to no end. I thought I was going mad.

Confusion, fright and horror overwhelmed me. I let my emotions guide my feet as I scrambled away from the elves– from all of this nonsense. I broke into a run, but my feet were as if they were made of lead. I stumbled as I bolted from the courtyard and abruptly come to a stop as my eyes met with the frantic faces of my so called companions.

Aragorn, Legolas, Frodo and Boromir.

Oh god. They can't be real. This is a nightmare.

One of them, the elf, approached me. I shrieked in terror and stumbled on my feet. He had always been a fantasy to me. Now, he was a fragment of my crazy, demented mind. I must be hallucinating.

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