No summary given
Disclaimer: These are Tolkien’s characters. He deserves all the credit for their magnificence.
Elladan and Elrohir stared down at the battlefield, contemplating their next move. Since the attack had begun a short while ago, they had lost man after man to their ruthless enemy.
“Brother, we cannot win this,” Elrohir whispered solemnly to his twin. “They expect every attack that we make and are always there to counter it. For the first time in our lives I fear there may be no future for us. How could we have let this happen? How could things have gotten this bad, this quick?”
“Do not despair yet, Elrohir. There may still be hope,” said Elladan, who although he had a grim look on his face, he still believe that they could survive this, that they would be victorious.
Elrohir scoffed. “Hope has betrayed us, along with our Mirkwood brother.”
“I know El, I too feel the pain of their deceit, but we must focus on what is happening here and now. This shall be a difficult victory but I know we can triumph. We have to,” replied Elladan stoically as he patted his brother on the shoulder.
After several more minutes contemplating their next move, Elrohir finally spoke up. “What if we attack from the left? I think their defense is weak on that side. We may be able to fool them into making a mistake from which we can take advantage.”
“No, you are not thinking straight. Look at how their men are positioned. It would be nothing but reckless of us to send one of our soldiers in there, they would dispose of him before our very eyes. I cannot bear to witness any more death.”
“You are right. How could I have been so blind?” said Elrohir right before he let out a sigh. “I wish ada were here, or Glorfindel; either one of them would know what to do.”
“True, but they are not here and we must accept that. We can no longer rely on their guidance to see us through. It is now up to us to make the decisions that will affect the outcome of this battle, whether it be good or ill” said Elladan solemnly.
After a few more minutes he spoke up again. “Here is what I think we should do. We attack straight up the middle-”
“Are you crazy? They will be all over us! It will be a massacre! This battle has gotten to your head brother; you have seen too many of our men fall. I am beginning to wonder if you should still be in command with decisions like that.”
“You speak hastily Elrohir; please, let me finish. We attack up the middle – yes, they will be all over us, but there is nothing we can do about that. Their attention will then be diverted to that attack and they shall then make one of their own. We then surprise them and advance from the right side, taking out their commander and claiming victory for ourselves. What say you?”
Elrohir paused for a moment, contemplating the move. “It is risky. If things do not go exactly right, we will lose for sure. However, I think our options have run low, and I can think of no other strategy. We cannot remain on the defensive forever. The time to act is now.”
“I am glad you support me on this decision. At least this way, if we should happen to go down, we will go down together, and I would have it no other way.”
Elladan clasped arms with his twin before picking up his rook and moving it across the board.
Estel reached his grubby six-year-old hand out to move his queen in order to take the piece, but was prevented from doing so when Legolas grabbed his hand.
“Hold on young one; I think you are falling right into their trap. We could take their rook, but then they would be free to capture our King. But, alas, they are foolish and have rushed into a decision. Look,” he said, pointing to their bishop, who was now perfectly placed to make a move. “We have them.”
Estel smiled and moved the bishop across the board. “Checkmate!” he said with an enthusiastic grin, which showed his two missing front teeth. He had never won a game of chess before and was highly excited.
Elladan and Elrohir both dropped their heads in shame. “I can’t believe we lost. I thought it was the perfect plan,” said Elladan, clearly amazed that it didn’t work.
“Alas, I suppose it is as ada always says. ‘In learning you will teach and in teaching you will learn.’”*
Elladan looked as his twin quizzically. “What is that supposed to mean?”
Elrohir smiled back. “Honestly, I have no idea; I just thought the moment called for some wise saying. But I suppose you could take it to mean that in learning to play ourselves, we were able to teach him, and in teaching him to play we have learned what a big mistake that was, as our pride is now severely bruised after being beaten by a six year old.”
Elladan rolled his eyes. “No, it was not a mistake to let him play, but rather a mistake to let Legolas ‘help’ him. Estel only actually made the first move by himself; everything else was dictated to him.
The twin’s banter was interrupted by Estel jumping off his chair. “I’m going to go tell ada that I finally won,” he called out as he raced from the room. “I can’t believe that I beat two big elves!”
“Should we stop him?” asked Elladan as he watched the youngster leave. “After all, this could be very embarrassing if it were to become publicly know that he beat us, for I m sure in his telling of the event, he will have had no help whatsoever.”
“No, let him have this one victory. Besides, I want a rematch with our dear prince here.”
Legolas rolled his eyes. “I do not think so; everyone knows Mirkwood elves are superior, and I do not wish to waste anymore of this beautiful day inside beating you two.”
“El, I do believe that we have just been insulted. This definitely calls for a rematch. Now we must not only defend out own honour, but that of our people’s as well.”
Elrohir was interrupted by the return of Estel. “Ada says he is proud of me and that I should make a habit of beating the twins. He says that it would help to humble them,” the happy child reported to Legolas.
The blonde elf burst out laughing. “Your ada is very wise Estel, but the twins here want a rematch. Do you feel up to it?”
Estel studied them for a moment. “I do, but this time Legolas, I think I will let you make some of the moves as well, that way we can share in the victory.”
Legolas tried to hide his smile at the fact that Estel seemed to have already forgotten about all the aid he had received in the last game. “That is very kind of you young one. Why do you not set up the board.”
Estel gladly set up the game, only pausing once ask if the ‘horsey’ or the ‘castle’ went on the outside. Then, for the next little while all that could be heard coming out of the room was more strategic battle talk from the twins, who were once again losing.
* This line is not mine, but instead Phil Collins’ from his song “Son of Man”