A Woman of the Town
A Woman of the Town
Pairing: No Pairings at this time
Warnings: Bandying about of the word ‘Whore’
Summary: Haldir watches a lady of the night and becomes entangled in her life
Time: Before the events of The Lord of the Rings
Feed Back: Always welcomed
Disclaimer: All things from LoTR belong to J. R. R. Tolkien. Any other recognizable characters or situations are inspired by and belong to Victor Hugo. This is just for fun. No profit is made from this venture.
Beta: Scratches head. Wasn’t that one of those little bitty VCR type things from the 80’s? (if anyone has a suggestion, I’m open)
The woman was a whore, and a poor one at that. There was no mistake about it. The woman’s tattered clothing hanging from her gaunt frame, combined with the perpetual hungry look was enough to drive away any potential customers, at least the more respectable ones. Haldir had been in this town for the last four nights, gathering information. As one of the few elves in Lothlorien, who could or would speak the Westron tongue, he frequently ventured out seeking news or to keep an eye upon the enemy. In these dark times, the elves rarely trusted anyone but their own kind; therefore it was necessary for these forays into the world of Man. He watched the woman try once again to attract a man to her bed for a few coins. Or not. He had seen her take men into a darkened alley and allow herself to be pressed up against a dirty wall, with her skirts pulled up over her waist and a man rutting between her thighs like a filthy animal.
“Common Captain, you can leave your shoes on. No need to make a change. You have a girl who will not refuse. Just a few pieces of silver for a time with me.”
She shrank away as the man she accosted raised his fist in anger. Slinking back to the shadow, she shivered in the cold winter air, waiting for the next man that crossed her path. Watching as she pushed her lank, stringy hair from her face, Haldir wondered what had brought this woman to this place of grief. The concept of selling ones body for the pleasure of others was an idea foreign to the tall elf. No matter what the circumstances where, one of the First Born would never sink so low, they would rather fade and die then to degrade themselves so.
He had been watching her these past nights, watching her sell her body for a few coins a night. He could see at one time she had been a pretty woman, her face was really not beautiful by the elven standard, but it was passable for one of Man. But not now, the shadowed planes on her face where too angled, bespeaking of too little food and of sickness. Her reddish-blonde hair was unkempt and raggedly cut, falling to just below her shoulders and it lacked from a recent washing, probably several judging by the state of it.
Haldir was brought out of his musings on this woman by the sound of a harsh hacking cough. He watched as she wiped her mouth on the sleeve of her filthy gown and followed small group of men a little ways down the street.
“Sirs. My lords, a few pieces of silver for a good time.”
At the sound of her voice the men turned, recoiling at the pitiful sight before them.
“What did you say?” Asked one of the dark haired men.
This man had a cold cruel look about him, Haldir decided. Watching as the woman nervously wiped her hands on her dirty skirt, Haldir thought this fellow warranted watching. After pushing a piece of her unwashed hair behind her ear, she wrapped her arms around herself, shivering in the falling snow. She straightened her back, held her head high, and looked him in the eye.
“Do you want a good time? For a few coins we can go to the alley or some other place.”
“With you? Filthy whore. Do you have any idea who I am? How dare you ask that of me.”
“But still sir, would you not like to have a bit of fun?”
“I do not pay for my company.”
Without a second thought to the woman, the group turned and continued on their way to the tavern. Their laughter could be heard as they traveled down the street.
“A few coins.”
“You would probably catch something from that one Baldor.”
“The alley. What a novel idea.” XXXXXXXX
The woman trailed behind the group at a distance. She followed them all the way to the tavern, walking back and forth in front of it. She pulled a flask from one of the pockets of her gown and was sipping from it. Haldir did not doubt that it was some sort of alcoholic beverage, for with each sip she grew unsteady on her feet. As she passed the grimy window she would mutter to herself. Haldir was unable to make out the incoherent rambles of the drunken woman, even with his keen elvish hearing. The snow continued to fall as the night wore on.
She stopped her pacing when the door suddenly opened, harsh light spilling out into the lane. For a moment she was frozen in the blinding light coming from the building before she continuing her path in front of the tavern. Unseen Haldir watched, trying to figure out the woman’s reasoning for the unending pacing.
Intent on her path thru the snow, the woman did not see the dark haired man and his fellows exit the tavern. Visibly drunk, staggering and laughing, they came to a stop behind the woman, who had her back turned to them. Haldir tensed, waiting to see what the drunken louts would do. He did not have to wait long. The dark haired man reached down, scooped a handful of snow, and shoved it down the back of the woman’s dress. With his companions shouting their support, he spun the woman and shoved another handful of snow down the front of her dress.
“There. You dirty thing. That should help cut the smell of a filthy whore.” Laughing he stepped back, and raised one dark eyebrow, almost as if he was challenging the poor woman to do something about her predicament.
Hands raised, almost claw like, struck out catching the man in the face. She raked her nails down his cheek, leaving a trail of red marks. Screeching at the top of her lungs, the woman attracted any passer-bys that might have been out at that late hour. A small crowd had started to gather around the two of them, each one shouting words of encouragement to the young lord.
Baldor, taking a hold of her arm, pushed the woman off of him. Landing in a heap at his feet, the woman stared up at the man with hate in her eyes. Without a sound she launched to her feet, hands raised for another attack.
“What right do you have to ruin my only dress!”
“What right? I was just helping with your toiletries, Madame. You seem to have missed a few spots when you made ready this eve.” Baldor mockingly replied as he sidestepped a slap from the woman.
This only infuriated the drunken woman more. For the third time she attacked him, spewing obscenities in the Rohirric language. Haldir raised an eyebrow, surprised that he had not thought of the woman being from Rohan, the reddish-blonde hair aside.
Tired of the woman’s attempts to further cause him harm, Baldor raised an arm, striking the woman in the mouth. Tears sprung to her eyes as she touched the place where he had hit her. From where he stood, Haldir could see the blood seeping from the cut on her face. At that moment Haldir decided enough was enough and started to where the two combatants were squared off against each other. Before he could take a step towards them, a tall broad shouldered man had pushed his way through the gathering crowd, coming to a stop in front of Baldor. The town constable had arrived. XXXXXXXX
Stapa had been a constable for almost twenty years, and he had seen the worst of mankind that was possible during that period. Like the increasing number of prostitutes that currently plagued his beloved town. It seemed every winter, women, finding themselves without a husband or family, took to the streets in a vain attempt for survival, for honest work was scarce in the town. Orcs made passage to the neighboring towns almost impossible, their number growing each year also. There were dark times on the horizon, and Stapa was determined to prevent the spread of it to his town. Even if it meant arresting a hapless woman.
“Quickly, tell the story. Who saw what, why, and where.”
“Constable Stapa, I was crossing the street when this prostitute attacked me. You can see she left a mark.” Baldor said as he pointed to his face.
“You may rest assure Lord Baldor that this woman will pay for her crime when you make a full report.”
Until that moment the woman had been nearly silent, quietly sniffling as she touched her sore mouth.
“Crime? Crime? I was the one with snow shoved down her dress. What right does he have to ruin my only dress? I need it for my work!” She ended with a shriek, clutching at the lapels of the coat the constable wore.
Stapa curled his lip in disdain, before removing her hands from his person. Shoving, he knocked her to the ground. He stood over her as she started to cry in earnest. Stapa had long ago steeled his heart against tears of defeat. If this woman thought that by crying she would get out of this, then she had another thing coming.
“Silent woman! Cease your caterwauling this instant and tell me your name.”
“Maeg...Maegden. My name is Maegden, sir.” She answered as she unsteadily rose to her feet.
“Maegden, I hereby arrest you in the name of the law for prostitution and for attacking a Lord of the city. You will come with me to the jail where you shall be placed in a cell until the time comes forth for the hearing of your case.”
“Jail? I can not go to jail! If I do my daughter is surely to die. How will I take care of her then?”
“I have heard such protestations every day for nearly twenty years. Save your breath. Save your tears. You should have been home taking care of your ‘child’ and not walking the streets. Then maybe you would not have this trouble.” Stapa answered her as he pulled her down the street, towards the city jail.
Maegden, drunk, increased her wailing as she went towards the jail.XXXXXXXX
Haldir stirred from the shadows that hid him from the crowd, the gray cloak he wore doing its best to hid his movements from the others. The woman...‘No. Wait. She has a name,’ he thought to himself, ‘And it is Maegden.’ The woman, Maegden , could be heard crying , as she was dragged down the street to the jail. Haldir decided to follow and see if there was anything he could do to help with the plight of this unfortunate woman and her child. After telling his brother, Orophin, where he was going, Haldir followed Constable Stapa and his prisoner to the jail.