The Red Maiden, Part Four
- The Red Maiden, Part One
- The Red Maiden, Part Two
- The Red Maiden, Part Three
- The Red Maiden, Part Four
- The Red Maiden, Part Five
- The Red Maiden, Part Six
- The Red Maiden, Part Seven
- The Red Maiden, Part Eight
- The Red Maiden, Part Nine
- The Red Maiden, Part Ten
- The Red Maiden, Part Eleven
- The Red Maiden, Part Twelve
- The Red Maiden, Part Thirteen
- The Red Maiden, Part Fourteen
- The Red Maiden, Part Fifteen
- The Red Maiden, Part Sixteen
- The Red Maiden, Part Seventeen
- The Red Maiden, Part Eighteen
- The Red Maiden, Part Nineteen
- The Red Maiden, Part Twenty
Bullying, War, Trauma/PTSD, Emotional/Physical Abuse,
Self-Harm, Violent Content, Depression. Reader discretion is advised***This is a work of Fanfiction, as none of the content is my original work. The characters are created by Stephen King and J.R.R Tolkien. The content belongs to MGM and Screen Gems, as the 2013 film remake of Carrie was directed by Kimberly Pierce and produced by Kevin Misher, and additional production is through MGM, Screen Gems, and Misher films as well as distributed by Sony Pictures releasing.***
Where The Real Quest Begins
The moment the door opened to reveal another dwarf, Carrie stopped herself from staring at him too long, else she would look more out of place than she already was. Carrie felt she caused enough problems being here for almost a full day, and she did not want to make it worse by being a total creep. The first few seconds of looking at the final member of the group, she was instantly reminded of Tommy Ross. This dwarf had the same kind of presence. It was as if fate was rubbing a sick and cruel reminder in her face. Her letting Tommy die that night, personified into a rugged blue-eyed dwarf.
Carrie could feel his presence owning the room while he started to complain about losing his way twice if not for a mark on the door. Bilbo remarked it being impossible since it was painted a week ago until Gandalf explained how he put the mark there himself. Once Gandalf introduced Bilbo to the dwarf now known as Thorin Oakenshield, Carrie’s impression of him changed as he had a smug look with arms crossed in a degrading manner. If there was one thing Carrie hated with a pure passion, it was another Chris Hargensen, anyone that considered themselves above everyone.
It made her tempted to scare off the smug look on his face as he circled around Bilbo trying to decide what to make of him, asking a series of survival like questions such as handling a sword. Once Bilbo gave a poor answer to show how little he knew of a swordfight, it made her temptation more real after Thorin gave a remark what he thought of Bilbo; that he looked more like a grocer than a burglar. The temptation was soon replaced with a feeling of sympathy toward Bilbo after that remark earned a few chuckles. It gave brief flashbacks of how she was the one laughed at many times all from looking at the face of one being made the butt of a joke. She looked away from Bilbo, however, as Thorin then turned his attention toward her his smug grin disappearing for a brief moment trying to figure her out.
“And who might you be,” Thorin said. Carrie felt like she was now under a spotlight. It was as if she were being dissected and picked apart like a frog. It left an uncomfortable silence until Gandalf stepped in and introduced Carrie White to Thorin Oakenshield. Once Carrie was introduced to Thorin, he gave an examining look at her entire self until he gave a soft chuckle. It was as if Thorin was already dismissing her capabilities based on her appearance. This time it did not earn any chuckles from any of the Dwarves knowing what they had witnessed, as Thorin had started to walk off without a word.
Despite the fact Thorin had not directly or verbally insulted her, Carrie could not contain herself as she raised a hand using her telekinesis to make him lean far enough to hit the hallway frame with a soft thud. Carrie did not care at that moment if she were to be scolded or reprimanded by Gandalf or anyone, as she felt a sense of pride and amusement that it taught Thorin a lesson. She contained a smile on her face, however, as Thorin gave Carrie the most unamused glare she ever saw someone give her. It was as if she completely pricked the balloon of his pride and popped it. No one said a word in response to Carrie’s actions. Whether they were afraid, impressed, or not wanting to anger both Carrie and Thorin, it was as good a guess as anyone can make.
However due to her sheepish and meek nature, and not wanting to overstep her boundaries, Carrie decided to become a wallflower once more as she watched the Dwarves converse among themselves. Carrie was silent listening to each one of them discuss Thorin’s journey and meeting with the other dwarf lords from seven kingdoms as well as the Iron Hills. She could hear the tone in Thorin’s voice drop to a hint of despair of how completely alone they are on this quest. Bilbo, after finally being caught in the loop why the dwarves were in his house, asked to confirm that they were going on a quest.
This left Gandalf to face Bilbo for a brief moment before saying, “Ah Bilbo, my dear fellow, let us have a little more light.” He pulled out a map and spread it out. Carrie looked at it from a safe distance while Gandalf pointed out how far to the east past the woodlands and wastelands lies a solitary peak. It did not take a rocket scientist for Carrie to see how this quest involves that mountain and a dragon that was etched on the thick paper. It was certain enough that this quest somehow required her help, but to what extent she could not tell. It was not like she had the expertise to slay a dragon, and if she remembered right from her days of high school, maidens were not safe around dragons especially if they were virgins.
“Could this be why I’m here? To die?” Carrie thought to herself as this had death wish written all over it. She decides to keep silent however and stay focused on the conversation, as if she could get some sort of clue why she is here, just in time to hear Bofur confirm the beast being a dragon called Smaug the terrible. Carrie wondered where she heard the name before. It was familiar, like the back of her hand. She could vaguely remember her literature teacher, Mr. Ulman, talk about a project involving great myths and dragons meant to be a chunk of their grade. Carrie put that thought away however, not wanting to look worse among the dwarves.
At that moment Carrie heard Ori exclaim, “I’m not afraid, I’m up for it. I’ll give him a taste of dwarvish iron right up his jacksie!” Another dwarf forced him to his seat. She silently took note of how the dwarves, each one of them, were dedicated enough to fight for their lives for this quest. She started to get an inkling, but it was interrupted by Balin remarking the reality of this quest; how they number fourteen, none being the best or brightest.
Among the growing babble the Dwarves made after Balin’s remark, Fili exclaimed, “We may be few in number. But we’re fighters, all of us, to the last dwarf!” That earned a few cheers and nods among the group. Carrie gave a small smile.
“And you forget we have a wizard and a powerful witch in our company. Gandalf will have killed hundreds of dragons in his time!” Kili exclaimed with confidence. That was enough to leave Carrie stunned, Gandalf already shaking his head and raising a hand in protest. Normally Carrie would defend her powers not being anything of witchcraft, but she was too stunned and a bit glad this was where she stands among the group in spite of her antics. If she was to be a witch, then that is what she is.
Carrie was soon lost in her thoughts, as the dwarves kept pressing Gandalf in a rising roar on how many dragons he killed. It would have gone on for hours around a nervous Bilbo had it not been for Thorin getting their attention, yelling a command in his native tongue as he rose up from his seat. It was enough to snap Carrie out of her thoughts and back to her senses as all eyes were on Thorin.
“If we have read these signs, do you not think others would have read them too? Rumors have begun to spread. The dragon Smaug has not been seen for sixty years. Eyes look east to the mountain assessing, wondering, weighing the risk. As the vast wealth of our people now lies unprotected,” Thorin said, and paused, looking at the group as the full gravity of this sunk in with everyone.
Thorin continued to speak among the dwarves rallying them to take back what was rightfully theirs. After a rumble of cheers, Thorin started to cry out another phrase in his native language, a large smile on his face. Carrie began to wonder in silence if this is the type of “medicine” she needs to change for the better and possibly save lives. She pondered this as Balin brought everyone back to reality with a frown. “You forget the front gate is sealed, there is no way into the mountain.”
“That, my dear Balin, is not entirely true,” Gandalf said with a knowing smile as he pulled out a key from his sleeve in a magician-like fashion. It left Thorin stunned as Gandalf explained how it came by Thrain for safekeeping, as he slowly handed over the key. Fili ended up making an awed remark of how there must be a door to go with the key, leaving Gandalf to comment if they are able to find it since dwarf doors are invisible when closed. After a brief pause, Gandalf started to explain further how there may be a way to find the door that lies somewhere on this map, and he does not have the skill to find it.
“However, there are others in middle earth who can,” Gandalf said as he looked at each of the dwarves. “The task I have in mind will require a great amount of stealth, and no small amount of courage. But if we are careful and clever, I believe that it can be done,” Gandalf added as Ori remarked that they needed a burglar. There was an array of muttered voices as Bilbo agreed. He absentmindedly noted that they’d need an expert, soon regretting it with all eyes on him.
“And what about her?” Dwalin chimed in looking at Carrie as the dwarves did the same. “Can she do well with a sword? Anything besides witchcraft?” Dwalin added as the mutters grew. Carrie did not know whether to feel insulted or doubtful of herself. She had no answer as the tension grew until Gandalf got their attention with an authoritative tone as the room darkened causing Carrie to feel overwhelmed by the force of his power. She tried to steady herself.
“Hobbits can be unseen by most if they choose, and while the dragon is accustomed to a smell of a dwarf. The scent of a hobbit is unfamiliar,” Gandalf said. His attention turned to Carrie before looking at the dwarves. “As for Ms. White here, she has a distinct advantage in this quest, more than any of you can say. Her powers could very well save your life and maybe more,” he added as this left a silence hanging over the entire group. Carrie didn’t blame Bilbo for feeling unsure, but she knew one thing for certain: she was no hero.
**If you or someone is experiencing a mental health crisis, has experienced severe depression, or has experienced a PTSD episode call the national suicide prevention lifeline (1-800-273-8255), text CONNECT or HOME to the crisis text line at 741741, or call 911**