Her eyes tightly closed, Elfhild prepared for the worst, trembling as the great uruk loomed over her. Leering, his fangs bared, Sharapul lowered himself down on her, one knee resting on either side of her hips. She recoiled in panic as his massive tool twitched against her. The brute's heavily sweating body exuded a putrid stench; his breath reeked of rotting meat as it struck her face in hot, fetid gasps. The foul odor was overpowering, and Elfhild felt the bile rise in her throat.
"Don't move, witch!" The uruk leaned forward, and Elfhild felt the cold press of steel against her right eyelid. "This is the flat side of the blade, not the sharp." He made a low, chortling rumble. "...But if you open your eyes quickly, who knows what might happen?"
Elfhild forced herself to lie as quietly as she could, trying to control the panic that threatened to overpower her. When she felt the blade lifted from her eyelid, she did not allow herself to give into a feeling of relief. The uruk was motionless for some moments, and Elfhild was sure that he was playing with her, baiting her and wanting her to wonder where he would put the blade next. Though she thought she was prepared, she could not help the slight grimace when she felt the cold steel on her left eyelid.
"You moved a little there, didn't you, pretty? Be careful next time. Don't want you taking any chances." His voice was harsh and rasping, punctuated occasionally with an evil chuckle. "Have you ever seen some poor bastard whose eyelids had been removed? Not a pretty sight as you might guess; their eyeballs seem to pop out of their skulls like boiled eggs," he laughed. "Do not be afraid yet, though. It will be a while before we come to that. There is more, so much more that you will feel before I slice your bewitching lids from your face!"
Elfhild felt a wave of dizziness flood over her. She tried to think of happier days, her home, her family, friends, and neighbors. Across the broad, rolling plains of Rohan, the herds of horses once grazed upon the grass which grew tall and rich. In places, wildflowers grew in the open areas, and she and Elffled liked to walk amongst them. Plucking the blossoms, they would weave them into chains and garlands with which they adorned themselves. Much to the amusement of their father and disapproval of their brother, they would even place chains of flowers upon the necks of horses and cows. All were dead now, she thought, dead upon the plains of Rohan. And soon she would join them once again when the sighing wind touched the empty lands.
"Open your eyes!" She felt large taloned fingers shove against her eyelids and force them open. He jerked her head sideways, compelling her to look upon the ashen face of Âmbalfîm. "You and your lascivious sister killed him! If you had just left him alone... but, no! You couldn't do that! You put thoughts into his head which were more than his lusty body could bear! He imagined - har, har, har, if you can believe it - that he had suddenly taken a fancy for females!" Howling with insane laughter, he slapped his thigh, and then turned deadly serious. "However, you have gained nothing, slut! If his dead eyes could see, he would enjoy witnessing our vengeance upon you. Right before you die, I will cut off both your ears, your nose, your eyelids, and your lips! After I have finished with you, your beauty will never tempt another again! First, though, there are other things we must do before we come to that."
Gripping the neck of her tunic, Sharapul pulled her with him as he rose to his feet. With her hands tied behind her back, she was helpless to fight against him as he dragged her to a nearby tree. Snarling, the uruk slammed her against the trunk, striking her head so hard against the wood that she saw bright lights sparkling before her eyes. Elfhild's head lolled forward, and she passed in and out of darkness, a blessed realm far from the terror of her reality. Holding the limp girl against the tree, the uruk sliced open her tunic from neck to hem.
"We can't have this," Sharapul growled when he saw the bindings about her breasts. "Let's see what you have hidden under these rags!" His eyes glowed with an unholy fire as he slashed through the cloth and pulled it away to reveal her breasts. He licked his lips as he squeezed the nipples, but Elfhild was too dazed to feel any shame at the uruk's degradation of her body. Addled by the blow to her head, she was only dimly aware of what was happening around her. The uruk dug a thick coil of rope from his knapsack and lashed it around the tree until she was bound from her neck to her ankles, leaving only her breasts free of the ropes. "That'll hold you there while we have some fun," he chortled.
Taking another length of rope from his knapsack, he cinched the fiber tightly around the base of her left breast and then looped the cord over her neck, pulling it down to circle around her other breast. He took up the slack until each breast jutted out obscenely. Twisting her nipples, he laughed as the addled girl gasped out, the sharp pain bringing her back to her senses. "Can't have you falling asleep on me now," he snickered, slapping her cheek to shake her out of her daze. "I want you to feel every last bit of this!"
Sharapul drew a distance away from her and surveyed the effect. "Your teats are not so big as a she-orc's, but this'll make 'em look bigger. That's what you wanted, isn't it? To play the part of the whore for Âmbalfîm?" he taunted as he tugged the ropes around her bosom until they were digging into her skin. His hairy hands groped her breasts, his fingertips kneading the constrained flesh and causing a whimper of pain to escape from her lips. The torment was almost too much to bear as sheeting fires of agony coursed through her torso. She knew that here was no hope for her, and she only prayed that her torturer would soon grow tired of his cruel sport and put a swift end to her life.
The uruk bent his head, his thick, meaty lips engulfing her mouth as he sucked her lips inside the vile orifice. Elfhild felt the evidence of his huge arousal pushing against her mound of love, and she shuddered in revulsion as Sharapul began moving his hips, thrusting his tumescent bulge against her. She tried to turn her head to evade his hateful kisses, but when she moved, the rough rope pressed into her throat. Forced to endure this added humiliation, she prayed that she would strangle upon the binds. Sharapul mumbled coarse animal sounds to himself as he shot a stream of his loathsome spittle into her mouth. The girl gagged and choked, but he only laughed at her. Elfhild tried to console herself with thoughts of the world beyond, and her family who had gone on before her in death.
Arrogant and powerful in his great strength, the huge uruk knew that he was invincible. No one dared stand in his way! Torû had slunk off in the woods, probably to get drunk on draught, and poor Âmbalfîm was dead. In this vast expanse of forest which covered untold miles, he could sneak away and find a cave somewhere and torture this little whore for days. Revenge would be sweet... and agonizingly, excruciatingly long.
Sharapul pulled his mouth away from hers and gripped her golden braid at its base, sneering at her as she gasped for air against the rope which cut across her throat. His yellow eyes gleaming with dark passion, he slapped his meaty paw across her breasts. As she shrieked in pain, he growled and snarled like a hungry wolf feeding upon a freshly killed deer. Another sharp slap cut across her tormented flesh, the pain in her rigidly taut breasts raw and excruciating. The third fiendish blow took the pain-racked, exhausted girl to the point of swooning.
Sharapul continued to force his vile tongue in and out of her mouth. Mumbling and slobbering, he intensified his prong's attack on her mound. Releasing her breasts, he gripped her shoulders, his claws digging into her skin. His great, powerful hips repeatedly drove his ram against her, pummeling her furiously, a fierce, bestial rhythm of lust. Suddenly his body shuddered, and he threw back his head, howling and screaming like a demented beast. The staccato of frenzied passion continued a short while until at last the monster was still.
Groaning, Sharapul gave her breasts another harsh squeeze, and he slumped against her. "Don't you wish that we were both naked so I could swive you the proper way? If you'd seen my great virile root and known it inside you, you could never have gotten enough of me!" he mumbled in her ear as his lips clumsily kissed over the pink shell, his tongue twisting inside. "Don't think you'll have any rest, though, for I'm not weak like a man, too exhausted to do anything after I've spent my seed. Oh, no, my little Northern witch! I'll be back up for some more fun real soon! Maybe this time you'll get the honor of having my great prong driving inside you! You'll like that, oh, yes, indeed you will!"
Gasping for air, Elfhild clenched her teeth. Her skin crawled in revulsion beneath the bulk of this repulsive monster who had collapsed upon her like a sack of grain. Anger welled up inside her. She knew that death was inevitable and that resisting would only prolong her suffering, but still accepting her fate with naught but a whimper somehow seemed weak and cowardly. Her last moments upon Middle-earth would be spent in brutal anguish, but she resolved that even with her final shuddering breath she would curse her murderer.
"Go to Hel, you bastard!" she spat out vehemently. "May you suffer for all eternity! May serpents spew poison upon your anguished flesh! May your parched tongue loll out as you stumble through icy rivers of blood, your only relief a draught of goat piss!"
"Such foolish talk from such pretty lips!" Sharapul threw his head back and laughed as he gripped the peaks of her jutting, tortured breasts in his taloned fingers and yanked them viciously. Elfhild's screams rang through the forest. Then, still laughing uproariously, he squatted down in front of her and pulled the shoes and stockings from her feet. "Such dainty little feet," he murmured as picked one up by the sole and caressed the skin with his fingers, "but you won't need your toenails anymore... or your toes for that matter!" Laughing, he brought his blade up and inserted it in the tiny crevice where the toenail joined her little toe.
Bracing herself for the pain that would follow, Elfhild gritted her teeth. She knew that this monster would slide his dagger between each nail and toe, and one by one, rip her toenails from her body. Yet she would not beg for mercy, for she refused to degrade herself in front of this beast. She knew it would do no good anyway, for he would only mock her as he gained his pleasure by torturing her. She tried to keep her lips tightly compressed, waiting for the first agony to rage through her feet. She doubted that she was brave enough to remain silent through an ordeal like this, and prayed to Béma to give her strength.
But the horrible torment which she anticipated seemed inordinately slow in coming. That was probably part of the torture, though, the anticipation of that dread moment of pain and suffering. She did not want to give the fiend any more pleasure than he would derive naturally from her torment, but perhaps if she knew what was coming and could brace herself for the agony, it would not be as horrific as it would be if she were taken by surprise. She opened one eye a crack and peered out cautiously through her thick lashes. She saw that her tormentor was turned away from her, his body posed in a defensive stance, as though listening to some sound beyond her range of hearing.
From out of the woods burst forth three riders, obviously Southrons by their manner of dress. So distracted had he been by his cruel torment of his prisoner that Sharapul had not heard their approach until they were almost upon him. Sharapul quickly drew his sword and faced the intruders with dagger and blade. For a fleeting second, he considered fleeing, but rage boiled in his blood, and at that moment he blamed the Southrons for Âmbalfîm’s death just as much as he did the wretched girl tied to the tree. After all, if it had not been for the slave traders, he never would have had the misfortune to cross paths with the accursed Northern wench, and his beloved Âmbalfîm would still be alive.
Their scimitars drawn, the riders bore down upon the uruk. Esarhaddon's chestnut mare drove ahead of the others, her powerful muscles bunching and stretching as she raced over the ground. Dodging the slaver’s scimitar, Sharapul struck out at the horse with his sword, the tip of his blade slicing into her shoulder. The cut was not deep, but the attack against his horse drove Esarhaddon into a fury, for he greatly loved his beloved mare Ka'adara. Wheeling around, Esarhaddon charged forward with a cry of rage, his scimitar swinging like the wide sweep of the reaper’s scythe. Sharapul tried to evade the downward swing of the Southron’s scimitar, but this time he was too slow, and the uruk's head was hewn from his shoulders like the wheat in the harvest. Spewing blood from the severed neck, the uruk's head flew backwards as the body toppled forwards. Bouncing, the head rolled over the ground like a child's ball.
The Southerners galloped past the decapitated body and then reined their horses around. After trotting their horses back to the twitching carcass, the men looked down at the body, muttering among themselves. Esarhaddon studied the uruk’s corpse, dispassionately observing the way the spine had connected to the bloody base of the skull. Black blood oozed from the mangled, ruptured veins and arteries and crept over the ground.
"Those damned uruks can never be trusted!" Ubri spat to the side, his face dark with anger.
"It does not matter now," Esarhaddon remarked as he turned his gaze away from the uruk. "The bastard is dead."
Ubri dismounted from his horse and tossed the reins of the fretting mount to Ganbar. Picking up the decapitated head by its blood-soaked hair, Ubri held it up for the other two men's inspection. Glancing over to Esarhaddon, he asked, "Shakh, we will mount the head upon a pole and set it by the edge of the road, but what do you wish us to do with the body? Burn it?"
"No, throw the corpse against the base of the post and let it rot; the bastard was worthy of neither burial nor cremation." Dismissing the incident from his attention, Esarhaddon gazed across the clearing to the tree where Elfhild was bound. "See to it, men. There are far more pleasant matters that take my attention."
As the slaver rode away, Ubri and Ganbar exchanged amused glances with each other.
"How long do you wager before he has that slave girl in his bed?" Ganbar asked, a knowing smirk upon his face.
"Not so long as it will take to drag this damn thing to the road if you do not stop talking," Ubri grumbled as the two men picked up the dead uruk and carried it away.