Memorial Day Onlist Challenge

War and Remembrance

36. Offerings

Every year at this time she grows quiet and edgy. Small sudden noises, like a dropped fork, make her start. The sight of her young son playing brings forth occasional tears, swiftly hidden.

Many folk at this time of year remember, and mourn.

The Pelennor was dark, and the sun hid her face from Men. "The foul one has conquered even the heavens," said some. "Then there is no hope, and we are doomed!" said others. There were many that said little, but threaded their way into mail shirt and greave, cuirasse and helm; taking up the bitter burden of sword, spear or bow.

She recalls then that burden, and that it was bittersweet on her body and in her blood. Bitter, that she had lost lovéd cousin and other well-known warriors of their household to the contest of arms. Bitter that lack of honor in her land and kin had driven her to this. Bitter and befouled by a traitor's covetous gaze and lingering unclean touch.

But there was also sweet, strange though it tasted: the sweet rush of action at last which carried her along on its seductive wind. The sweet fierceness like a hawk choosing her own time and prey. The sweet joy of proving to herself and others that she was more than worthy of a blade.

Bitter and sweet had not been all, there was more: the piercing sorrow of loss of one who stood as father to her until he fell, first beneath the poisoned breath of a worm, later beneath his own horse. The rush of the wind, the joy of the hunt and the boon of victory, all brought to nought when one awakens and there is no healing for the spirit.

And that is what she remembers best at this time. That in the end, whatever difference it made to others, it made little to her when she woke - still broken. Great deeds did not redeem the damaged soul.

And on this day, sometimes she wonders, was she right? At her hands a great evil fell, and perhaps none other could have done as she did.

Was she wrong? She left her duty and people, and disobeyed the orders of her liege lord.

It is one day of remembrance each year, when like a fine bouquet of flowers she lays her service to healing on the altar of her past disobedience and despair.


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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: HA Writers Group

Status: General

Completion: Ongoing Serial

Rating: General

Last Updated: 05/28/03

Original Post: 05/25/03

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