Show Me Fear!

Encounter with the Past, An

1. An Encounter with the Past

Author's Note: I realize that the choice of characters is not exactly conventional, but a persistent Nuzgul demanded that I write this. :-) This is a response to the "Show Me Fear" challenge, to write a ghost story.

Thanks: Many thanks to the members of Henneth Annun for the inspiration.


Boromir's eyes flew open as the sound of combat greeted his senses. A great battle seemed to be raging about him, and he could feel the uncomfortable sensation of heat from the flames below. What is this? he thought to himself, still under the haze of his sleep. Where am I? Forcing himself to concentrate on his present surroundings, he fumbled to retrieve his sword, only to find that it was already in his grasp. But when...? Before he could finish his thought, he was forced to react as a great sword slashed towards him. Working on sheer instinct, Boromir raised his sword just in time to block the deadly blow. The strength of the blow, however, left his arm numb from the impact, and he was forced to take a few steps back.

Breathing heavily, Boromir looked for his assailant, expecting to see an orc or some other vile creature. To his astonishment, it was not a servant of Darkness that was before him, but a man tall and great, stern in his expression and terrible in his wrath. Again, the man charged forth and attacked Boromir, and again, Boromir narrowly managed to avoid his opponent's blade.

"Who are you? And why do you seek to fight me?" Boromir wanted to shout, but the only sound that escaped his lips was a strangled cry as his opponent set upon him again. As he slowly recovered from the initial shock and fought back, Boromir could not help but marvel at the his opponent's skill. He would have liked to become better acquainted with the warrior, had the circumstances of their first meeting been less hostile. I wonder who this man is...? I can sense no evil in him. So why is he so set on hurting me?

"Back, traitor! Leave her be!"

Boromir frowned at the accusations hurled at him by the other man. I am no traitor! he thought indignantly. How dare he speak such lies about me! And he truly wishes me dead! At once, Boromir began to fight with renewed vigour, spurred on by his opponent's hateful lies, and his own sense of self-preservation. Unfortunately, so intent was he on the battle at hand that he did not notice his surroundings slipping away from him. Bewildered, Boromir tried in vain to regain his footing, but it was too late. Aie! I should have remembered the city walls! he thought desperately as he fell. His entire body was wracked in pain as he struck the rocky slopes brutally. Twice more he fell against the rocks that tore viciously at his flesh, and it was all he could do to keep from screaming in agony. Then, he felt naught but the flames licking at his skin...

"Boromir? Shhhh, rest now, Boromir..."

Dazed, Boromir opened his eyes and blinked wearily. He was once again back at Amon Hen, and he could feel someone's hand gripping his shoulders firmly. Looking up, he saw Aragorn give him a reassuring smile. Irritated, Boromir shook off Aragorn's hand and nodded curtly at him.

"A nightmare," Boromir muttered, avoiding Aragorn's glance. "Think nothing of it."

Deliberately turning away from the curious ranger, Boromir closed his eyes and feigned sleep. If Aragorn had wanted to pursue the matter, Boromir certainly did not intend to let the ranger have a chance to do so. Soon, a fog settled upon Boromir's mind again, and he found himself drifting off within its pale mists.

"Son of Denethor!" A clear voice called out to him.

"Who goes there?" Boromir was instantly awake this time, looking about warily. Carefully, he reached for the hilt of his sword as he saw a ghostly figure approach him. No true living form did it resemble, yet a light seemed to reside within the being, and a pair of gleaming eyes could still be seen.

"Fear not, Adan. I mean you no harm. You may call me Maeglin."

"All right... Maeglin... why have you come here?" asked Boromir. A great pause ensued before Maeglin replied.

"You do not know?"

When Boromir did not respond to the question, Maeglin laughed. The sound of his laughter was musical, much like that of the elves, yet a trace of malice seemed ever-present, causing Boromir to shiver involuntarily.

"Who are you? What are you?" Boromir asked again, eyeing the figure before him with suspicion. Hearing Boromir's question, Maeglin chuckled coldly.

"Let us simply say that I was an elf who was cruelly slain upon the walls of Gondolin. They sought to destroy me... to banish me to the halls of Mandos! And I will make them pay for that! But I need not say more. You know who I am, as I know who you are, son of Denethor. Would you deny that you felt the pain, just as I did, when we fell from the city walls?"

Boromir drew in a sharp breath. "That was but a dream!"

"Nay, it was all too real!" Maeglin shook his head. "It was there that Tuor took my life... and my love."

"I am sorry for your losses... Maeglin... but I fail to see how this concerns me," said Boromir, still perplexed. In the back of his mind, he knew that he had heard the names somewhere before, but he could not place them for the life of him! Of one thing he was certain, though, and that was that he had never met this creature in all his life.

"You fail to see this? You do not feel it?"

"Feel what?" asked Boromir, starting to get impatient with all Maeglin's riddles.

"We have a connection, you and I. We are so very alike. Are you truly unable to see this?"

"What connection? I know you not--"

"And that is where you err, son of Denethor," Maeglin interrupted. "We are both tormented by our lust, and we are unjustly denied the object which we desire by those around us."

The Ring... Reminded of it, Boromir could feel the pull of the ring anew. As if sensing his thoughts, Maeglin pulled up close to him.

"Aye, as you lust after this Ring, I do lust after my Idril," he whispered.

Boromir recoiled, hearing his thoughts spoken aloud. "I--I know not of what you speak!"

Maeglin laughed again, his cold laughter ringing out next to Boromir's ear. "You can deny this to all the others if you so wish, son of Denethor, but you cannot deny it to your own heart!"

"Get thee gone, you evil spirit! I will have nothing to do with you!" Boromir shouted as he jumped to his feet and began to walk away. Before he could walk any further, however, he felt an icy touch on hisshoulders, chilling him to the bone. Turning around abruptly, Boromir found himself staring into a pair of dark, piercing eyes and he froze.

"Even now as we speak, you yearn for the Ring... for the powers it would grant you... for the victory it would grant you! But you are denied this - the one thing you want the most!" Maeglin looked deeper into Boromir's eyes. "The Lord of Imladris denies you possession of the Ring and he denies you your kingdom, just as his forefather, Tuor, once denied me my true love and my happiness. Do you see now? Do you see how our fates are so similar?"

"The Ring is too dangerous to be used," Boromir protested feebly, but already, his heart was hearkening to the words of Maeglin.

"I know that I have not chosen a coward, son of Denethor. What have you to fear? Once you have the Ring, the world is yours to command." Maeglin drew back suddenly and sighed. "Alas that I failed when it mattered the most! But you... you shall succeed. With my help, you shall succeed."

"Why would you care if I should succeed or not?"

"My friend, have I not said that our fates are entwined? Together, we will succeed... and Tuor's pitiful descendant will not have his say in this."

"I do not understand," said Boromir, feeling his strength being drained. I have desired this for so long. Why should I be forbidden to touch the Ring? To use it? I should take his offer of help. I am tired of pretending...!

"You need not understand this. Follow the path that your heart lays out for you," whispered Maeglin, as he moved closer and closer. Boromir's vision swam and for a moment, he could feel nothing but coldness surrounding himself. As the darkness wrapped itself around him, Boromir felt his body go limp.

Then, suddenly, Boromir sat upright in his place and gazed about himself with bright eyes. Without faltering, he stood up and took his watch next to Aragorn. Much less tired did Boromir appear then, and those who saw his eyes would never doubt for a moment their watchfulness. Yet, as the night wore on, and he appeared to stay ever vigilant in his watch, he was consumed inside by a fiery lust and his eyes held a strange gleam never before seen.

But it was not until he lay sprawled upon the ground, the Ring out of his reach, that his vision would return. And it was not until then, that Boromir would see.

The End

Well, I sincerely hope you enjoyed this fanfic. The premise is a bit strange, and most likely AU, but I thought it would be interesting to explore alternative views to Boromir's fall.

This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.


In Challenges

Story Information

Author: Aralanthiriel

Status: Reviewed

Completion: Complete

Rating: General

Last Updated: 01/10/03

Original Post: 08/22/02

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