He had little food to share but he shared it with me anyway. I tried to refuse but he said that eating his fill when another was starving did not appeal to him. So I sat down and ate with him. As we ate, we talked.
"Tell me your name wanderer," asked the man, the strange man under the Bodhi tree.
"Once I was Kanafinwë Macalaurë, than I was Maglor now I am simply the wanderer." I replied, "What of your name?"
"Once I was Siddhartha, than I was a seeker now I am, Buddha." He replied.
"Enlightened one," I cannot help but smile, "that is presumptuous."
He smiled, "Yet enlightenment is what I sought when I began my search and enlightenment is what I have received, thus I am a seeker no longer and I am enlightened," he looked to me with eyes alight with the light wisdom and asked, "Why do you wander Kanafinwë Macalaurë, you who are the last of the ancient ones?"
I started and suddenly I realized that he perceived much beyond that which was wont of mortal men and my first thoughts were of flight. I wanted to flee this place and hide, hide from the knowing gaze of the man who faced me. Yet his gaze was comforting, encouraging, warm and empathetic. So I answered, "I do not have any place to go, so I wander. You see the house I called home lies past unreachable horizons. I can never return there. I would not want to return there for it would never be home again without my brothers and they are all dead. I am the last of seven sons, as well as the last of my people left upon the outer lands. So I wander from place to place, devote of aim, waiting for time to end."
There was compassion in his eyes and a sadness born of pity, he laid a soothing hand on me and asked, "Tell me of your bothers, how did they die?"
"It is a long story." I say by way of answer, hoping that he will let things lie.
He smiles a warm friendly smile, "I am very patient."
"Very well than," I said, than I sang the Noldorantë and showed him in vivid colours the fall of the Noldor and the death of my brothers.
I recalled the stench of innocent blood filling the air as my blade hewed down the ill armed mariners. Their ships were as dear to them as the Silmarils were to my father, but we could not see that than and we bloodied the white foam of the Bay of Eldarmar with their blood. We paid for blood with blood. Amras, youngest, dearest to my mother, beloved of Celegorm and Maedhros, whined on my songs since birth, burnt alive by my own father's hands.
Maedhros was next. His body might have died after all was won and lost but his soul and heart perished long before. No it was not during his captivity, he would not give Morgoth the pleasure. His heart and soul he gave to Fingon and they perished with Valiant cousin. The final destruction of his body was a blessing in disguise. I know he relished it. He relished the flames licking at this skin, burning away his tainted carcass, purging his soul of its sins with its shearing heat. I heard him laugh, a merry laugh I had not heard since before the release of Morgoth.
Celegorm the fair, Caranthir the dark and Curufin the skilled fell next. Elves never forget history but still we were doomed to repeat it. So we marched under the red banner of war, following the flaming hair of soulless Maedhros, tied to the faith that awaited us by the tether of our oath, swayed by the silver tongue of haste Celegorm who could not let go of his affront at the hands of a mortal. It would be a lie if I told you I did not know we would return fewer from our march against the Sindar. I knew, still I marched, still I let my brothers march. It would be lie if I said that I thought the gem worth the lives of my brothers. It was not, but I am a coward and I feared the everlasting darkness. We made war upon children in Doriath, two boys, twins like Amrod and Amras had been. We left them to die in the frozen woods from the ravaging of the cold wind and of hungry wolves. Much I could stomach, but that was too much, yet still I did nothing and allowed the oath to lead me.
The last to fall was Amrod, dearest to my father, like a son to Maedhros and me. Yet I think he was happy for he was not whole without his twin. I would have followed him than for I no longer feared the everlasting darkness but for two boys, twins like Amrod and Amras, two boys we had turned into orphans. Two boys I became a father too. Ironic that I who had robbed them of all should become their all, yet such is life. Such is the song of Eä.
"A tragic tale of suffering born desire," commented the man, the strange man under the Bodhi tree, "Suffering is the lot of life that lives in ignorance and desire. So I have come to realise."
I laughed, "I can but agree with it, given that all that we have suffered has been because we desired vengeances and the Silmarils above all else."
"Do you still desire the Silmarils?"
Once again I laugh and hold up my charred right hand, "That desire has been burnt out of me." I gaze at it, at my hand and as always it changes into a thing alien to me, "The world has changed many times since I held the Silmaril in my hands, yet still it burn, still it throbs and the pain will not go away."
"Do you still desire vengeance?"
"Vengeance on whom and for what; alone and wandering I have learnt that we at least leaped what we sowed."
It is true; so much could have been averted if my father had just had a bit of patience and heeded the council of those who only wanted to help him. So much would never have come to pass if we had got down on our knees and begged Eru to release us from the oath. Perhaps I would still have my brothers if I had had the courage to say no, no more.
"What do you desire?"
I start at the question for I realise that I know not the answer, "I am weary but I desire no rest for I do not think I can rest, I am lonely but I desire no companionship for I know of no companion that will chase away my loneliness, I long for home but know it is futile. I do not desire anything."
And the Buddha smiled, "If you do not desire, you do not suffer."
The pain was gone. I gazed at my hand and it was not charred any longer. The pain was gone.
"Go home ancient one, the sea calls for you," he whispered as he got up.
I got to my feet as well. We bowed to each other and parted ways. He bent his towards the nearest mortal village, I bent mine towards sea for indeed there was a voice in the wind from the west. "Come home Macalaurë, you have been gone too long."
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.