Forum: 2010 - HASA Birthdays

Discussing: April 2010 Birthday Cards

April 2010 Birthday Cards

Birthday folk: Is your birthday in April and you would be delighted by a little story gift from your fellow HASA members? Then state your request here in this thread. Create a birthday workshop story to collect your birthday cards in one place, and enter it into the April Challenge.

Authors: Let yourselves get inspired by the suggestions - a chance to be creative and to make a fellow HASA member happy at the same time! And don't forget to add your birthday cards to the birthday workshop story the recipient of your birthday card has - hopefully - created.

In case you need help or have a comment or suggestion, please post it here or e-mail me privately.


April, 4 - RS: ...I would like something with Arwen  as a political, hands-on, physical (get down and dirty)  Queen of Gondor fulfilling her queenly duties and at the same time bringing with her" discipline, culture, kindness", and wisdom to Minis Tirith.  And of course, Aragorn by her side--- always.  If that's too much, what about "a day in the life of the King and Queen of Gondor".

April, 13 - Larner: I'd like any quarrel between any two characters who ordinarily get along well.

April, 14 - Gilraen: ...it'd be cool to read about someone traveling, exiled, delivering a message, or in a new place - anyone who's away from home and misses it (or not).

 

 

Re: April 2010 Birthday Cards

Mine is April 13th.  I'd like any quarrel between any two characters who ordinarily get along well.  Don't ask me why I like reading about quarrels so--I'm not certain!

 

 

Re: April 2010 Birthday Cards

Happy Birthday, Larner! This may be the quickest turnaround I've had from prompt to story, so whyever you want to read about quarrels, it's a good thing.

The Fight

"Elvish nonsense!"

Crouched in a corner, Estel winced as his mother's voice bounced off the wall and reverberated past the hardy oaken doors separating his parents' argument from the main hallway in the Master's apartments. Eleven years old and apt to eavesdropping, fear and anxiety and not a little fascination all churned in his stomach. They had cross days, of course, they fenced with words sometimes, but they didn't fight. They were Adar and Naneth first, and they didn't fight. And this was a fight.

"I will most certainly not remove them to the other side of the house, Gilraen!" Elrond boomed. The boy could well picture all the authority of the towering Lord of Imladris directed at his mother now, the Master's eyes shining in the firelight. For a moment, a fierce protectiveness rose within Estel and he fingered the cold door handle, but just then thought better of it.

"If my- oh!" she fumed, seemingly immune. "Such drivel I've never heard in my life. Poetry and philosophy every hour of the day, and I accede because you do know better, but now this! I won't have it, Master Elrond, I won't have him unmanned and his head turned to a sack of wine." So the argument was about him, Estel gulped, frantically running through everything he'd done that day – practice with Glorfindel, history with Erestor, his free hour in the kitchens helping Galen because Carathir was doing his rotation on the fences – but he could find nothing at all amiss in his conduct. His brothers were away.    

"Whatever it was those cooks sung," Elrond growled, and he sounded like thunder coming closer, "I'm sure there was more merit and complexity in it, child, than in all the history in all the songs of all the tongues of men!" 

The boy took a step backwards, but now his mother's voice turned deadly cold, the voice that no argument withstood, "O. What are you doing? And where are going? The river is flowing. O tra-la-la-lally, here down in the valley. Ha ha."

Estel stood for a long time in silence.

~~~

As it happens, my birthday is April 14th, and if anyone feels so inclined, it'd be cool to read about someone traveling, exiled, delivering a message, or in a new place - anyone who's away from home and misses it (or not).

 

 

Re: April 2010 Birthday Cards

Ooh, and in this case I DEFINITELY agree with Gilraen!  The songs sung to tease the Dwarves have to be mental dross!  No wonder she doesn't wish her son to hear this stuff!

Thanks so much!  My workshop story can be found at http://www.henneth-annun.net/workshop/story.cfm?wsid=85&stid=8258 if you'd care to add your story to it!  And thanks again so much.  Now, I must work on yours!  Heh!  The one I wrote for Agape would be right up your alley, I suspect.

 

 

Re: April 2010 Birthday Cards

@Gilraen:

This was an awesome story.  It was:

A) funny (the ending was a wonderful bit of pay-off) and
B) made me very interested in reading more about Gilraen and Elrond.  Together.

Not in a romantic sense, though I wouldn't discount it out of hand.  But the dynamics of these two particular people sharing the same household and the rearing of this young boy.

 

 

Re: April 2010 Birthday Cards

And here, Gilraen, is my gift to you!  Enjoy!

Mutters in the Camp

            "Bloody root in my back—no proper pillow nor mattress!" grumbled Sam Gamgee as he sought to find a comfortable position on the rocky ground, their first campsite out of Rivendell.  He had but the vaguest idea as to which direction they were going and what they would encounter along the way

            "Will be wantin' home and my own bed and blankets often enough afore we're through," he muttered—before abruptly falling asleep.

            Frodo, lying nearby, listening to the gardener's complaints, smiled sadly.  "I, too, wish you were home, safe and sound with your Rosie, Sam," he whispered.

 

 

Re: April 2010 Birthday Cards

Larner - Well, that's Sam to a tee, right there. And poor Frodo, always with the sad smile. Very sweet snippet. Well done, and thank you! My prompt was sort of inspired by camping, so it's cool to see some turn up as well. Thanks again!

thelauderdale - Aw, thanks!  Yeah, they do have an interesting dynamic, they must have done, which would be very fun to explore. Idea for next year, maybe.

 

 

Re: April 2010 Birthday Cards

Hi!

My birthday was April 4th. I was just reading an article on Grace Kelly where she was described as bringing " discipline, culture, and kindness to fulfill her duties as a princess"of Monaco.  With that in mind, I would like something with Arwen  as a political, hands-on, physical (get down and dirty)  Queen of Gondor fulfilling her queenly duties and at the same time bringing with her" discipline, culture, kindness", and wisdom to Minis Tirith.  And of course, Aragorn by her side--- always.  If that's too much, what about "a day in the life of the King and Queen of Gondor".

 

 

Re: April 2010 Birthday Cards

For Rs:

It was difficult.  True, she had expected it, that the Atani would have their novel  flaws, but Arwen had not been prepared for bastardry, unwanted Dunedain children left to forage on their own like wild beasts.  And how much less had she been prepared to cope with their rejection of her proffered help?  One of these lost and unloved children had bitten her.

But she would find a way.  She drew herself up.  Aragorn would help; she should have asked him in the first place.  Together, they would give these wolves dignity.  Together, they would make these feral children human.

 

 

Re: April 2010 Birthday Cards

For Larner:

"We CAN'T smash the Lamps?  Bullshite!"  Melkor snapped.

"They are too well guarded, sublime one," Gothmog replied, "It will take one hellova diversion to draw the protectors away."

"Leave that to me, and stand at the ready."

 

 

Re: April 2010 Birthday Cards

I'm glad you feel I caught them properly.    And you are so welcome, Gilraen.  Hope both our birthdays are pleasant, and as unlike today as possible!  Heh!

 

 

Re: April 2010 Birthday Cards

Indeed the contrast between the life she'd known within Rivendell and Lothlorien must have seemed a paradise compared to what Men are capable of!  I am impressed by Arwen's perseverence in spite of the setbacks!  Very nice, Cuinwen.

 

 

Re: April 2010 Birthday Cards

Oh, but this sounds all too appropriate for these two!  I feel sort of sorry for Gothmog, of course.  But Melkor has a plan....

Thanks so very much, Cuinwen.  And I'd be pleased were you to add it to my birthday workshop story.

 

 

Re: April 2010 Birthday Cards

Oh Wow!

You've broached on something that I don't think I've read on thus far.."bastardry unwanted Dunedain children"...a very difficult subject indeed, but unfortunately, oh so true (especially in the aftermath of war).  This is a shocker  and a challenge indeed for Arwen (and me) and a harsh reality.  

"She drew herself up"---With Aragorn I've no doubt she will endure.   A very "eye opening" piece.  Thank you so much, I've quite enjoyed it.

RS

 

 

Re: April 2010 Birthday Cards

For Larner on her birthday..


The King of the Sindar shook his head angrily.

"I forbid you to go. You will not march with those betrayers of our kin."

Beleg looked at Elu, just stared into his eyes, his features growing colder than a starless midwinter night.

Elu, standing not three feet from the warrior, stared back, or rather down - being the tallest of the Children of Illuvatar had its advantages. The King's wrath could be terrible, and it was most certainly gathering. Great power shone from the eyes of the one who had been chosen, who had seen the Trees. A will mighty enough to cow any of his subjects ... or almost any.

"You forbid me?" came the reply, finally. "I think not."

"All those in Doriath, all, are subject to my command. You will hear my words, Beleg!"

"Once we were Quendi. All of us. Perhaps for most of us, that has changed," the Unbegotten replied, "but not for me. Those in Doriath, you say, are yours to command. That is true, and rightly so. Outside of Doriath, however, we are free to do as we wish. All are." The last words were almost whispered.

Elu's eyes gleamed strongly enough to cast shadows on his recalcitrant Marchwarden's face. "You will fight alongside those murderers, then?"

"Against the one who murdered Finwë your friend, the same one who murdered Alyri my wife, and countless other Quendi besides? Yes, I surely will."

"Goodbye, my King. If I return, I hope to find welcome here in these woods. But if not, there are others who might make better use of my bow."

With that, Beleg Cuthalion turned on his heels and departed, destined for unnumbered tears.

 

 

Re: April 2010 Birthday Cards

Hope this is what was asked for- but be warned, it's not the happiest octopus on the reef, or the sunniest day on the island, or the warmest sand on the beach.

(Where the heck do I get these metaphors from?!?)

*

Stumbling blindly through the wastes, the man was more dead than alive. His horse long-dead, his shield broken and discarded, half-maddened by pain, he could barely remember his own name.

No, all he remembered now was his mission, and the price that would be paid by the world of Men if it were to fail.

The arrow in his side- black-fletched and cruelly barbed- turned his every breath to agony, his every move to misery, his every second to eternity.

He ignored it, though it roared in his brain louder than a thousand angry dragons.

The message must get through.

It must.

*

Author's Note: In TA 2509, a great host of men rose up against Gondor, and Cirion's thought turned at last to the Éothéod, and he determined to send messengers to them. Each bore a message learned by heart, and also a small stone incised with the seal of the Stewards. The first pair of messengers left on the tenth day of Súlimë, and in the event it was one of these, alone of all the six, who got through- he was Borondir.

Of the others, no tidings were ever heard...

 

 

Re: April 2010 Birthday Cards

Wow - this is dark and depressing, but what a powerful drabble!  I do hope that this is Borondir so his message got through

What a wonderful snippet of history you've found here, and what a great gap filler you've written.

 

 

Re: April 2010 Birthday Cards

Many thanks for your kind words, Jay- but I get a horrible feeling that knowing me the protagonist of this story is one of those unfortunate Five Other Messengers...

 

 

Re: April 2010 Birthday Cards

Ooh, Maeglin--this is quite the rebellion Beleg is demonstrating here, and so well reasoned.  Thank you so!  I can so well see this!

Am working on my story for RS, but it's taking time to write for some reason.  Hopefully I'll be posting it soon.

 

 

Re: April 2010 Birthday Cards

A grim determination shown here by the unnamed errand rider.  No, not a warm, fuzzy tale, but one of power in spite of its grimness.  Well done.

 

 

Re: April 2010 Birthday Cards

"O. What are you doing? And where are going? The river is flowing. O tra-la-la-lally, here down in the valley. Ha ha."

Hey, I like tra-la-la-lally!  I take it as evidence that there were at least some young (or young at heart) Elves in Rivendell - not all were grim and worn out!

But Gilraen certainly does use it to turn the tables on Elrond here - great story!

 

 

Re: April 2010 Birthday Cards

Thanks, Larner.  I've always thought there must have been a bit more to this than the canon 'Thingol would permit none to go save Beleg and Mablung', and your request awakened my comatose muse, so thanks!

Maeglin

 

 

Re: April 2010 Birthday Cards

Happy birthday to Gilraen:

Back in Cuiviénen, his daughter's wedding would have been a splendid affair, Lyrond thought.  There would have been almonds and apricots, spring wine, fresh fish, beautiful dresses.  But here in the wilds, he could find none of that, nothing to make a party with, not after the poisoned berries on the west slopes of the Hithaeglir.  He wasn't about to take a chance on the mushrooms.

Why couldn't she wait until they arrived in Aman?  Why did she insist to wed on the road?  They had run out of soap, for heaven's sake.   The dishes would be dirty and the guests would smell bad.

"But there will be music, Ada, and dancing, and there will be love.  Ilúvatar will bless Bannodal and I all the more for binding to each other in a time of hardship."

"Wargs attacked last night, golden girl.  There are fifteen dead, Imin among them.  This is no time for celebration."

"Oh yes it is, Ada.  Living in joy is the best revenge."

Lyrond cast his eyes on the ground.  The ferns and tiny blue orchids winked.  They agreed with his daughter.

 

 

Re: April 2010 Birthday Cards

Oops, double posted, LOL, did I mention I was new here?

 

 

Re: April 2010 Birthday Cards

Double oops!  Looks like I TRIPLE posted.  This site is going to take getting used to

 

 

Re: April 2010 Birthday Cards

Yes, I have always supposed Arwen would have found much to be shocking once she became Queen of Gondor.  But as a princess of the Noldor, she would be firm of mind.  She would not crumble, but only become more determined to set whatever wrong she sees aright.  And she would quite naturally have Aragorn's support in this, for although he may have become more pragmatic for having more exposure to the Atani than Arwen has, he was raised by elves and shares their values.

 

 

Re: April 2010 Birthday Cards

Hah!  Here, RS--I mentioned the Queen's Bounty in another story I wrote for you a few years back; here's the beginning of it!

The New Queen's Bounty

            The shrill cries could be heard all along the lane; and out on the high road through Minas Tirith at least one of the great ones headed toward the lower portions of the city paused, all too clearly discerning the words of a distraught mother.

            "You have ruined your tunic and your sister's dress!  How am I to see you decently clothed now, with your father dead in the defense of the city and no one to earn coin enough for new cloth?  How could you possibly be so careless!"

            "What is it, vanimelda?" murmured the King into the ear of his obviously distracted Queen.

            She glanced aside at the small lane from which the voice had issued, and answered, also in low tones, "A mother berates her son for ruining the clothing of himself and his sister."  She turned her gaze to meet his.  "It is another case in which the death of a Man in the defense against Mordor has left privation."

            One of the guards behind them called out a single word, and those who'd gone ahead stopped, two of the advance turning to come closer to the realm's new Lord and Lady.

            "Would you see more clearly the actual destruction wrought?" asked the King.

            It took no thought at all.  "Yes."

            He gave the slightest of nods to her, then a more definite gesture to the chief of their guards to indicate Lord and Lady wished to turn aside momentarily.  As he allowed his wife to lead the way into the narrow lane, the guards shook their heads and hurried to adjust their positions to accommodate the change in destination.  Never would our Lord Denethor have done such a thing! was their mutual, if unspoken, thought.

            "How did you come by the paint?"  Arwen smiled automatically, remembering all too well a long-ago day when it was her own mother asking the same question of her brothers.  When her husband gave her a glance of inquiry she merely shook her head.  "And how is it that it's even in your hair?"  She had to struggle not to laugh aloud.  The woman was clearly deeply upset, and it would not do to belittle her concerns.

            A wooden gate stood open, its boards partly painted a lurid green.  A pail of paint lay overturned upon the pavement, its former contents splattered liberally, indicating that it had probably stood there, upon that crate, and been dislodged from it.  From within the yard she heard a boy's voice offering his defense.  "Master Orion down the lane—he had the paint left over from the painting of his garden shed.  He said we might have the rest for the gate.  You said yourself that the gate needed painting, Nana, if it were not to rot away!"

            The green footprints of two individuals, one much larger than the other, could be seen leading into the yard.  "An easy trail for you to follow," she whispered almost soundlessly, and the Lord Elessar smiled, the corners of his eyes crinkling as he nodded.  He, too, could now hear the voices raised within the yard surrounding the small house that stood behind the now-piebald gate.

            "And you had to use it today, when you were dressed to go down to the market to see what new foodstuffs were brought into the city from the southern fiefdoms?"

            "But he said if it were not used immediately that it would be like to dry betimes, Naneth.  And I had no idea that Rhysellë had found a second brush and would seek to help me!"

          A higher voice spoke over him.  "I was only trying to help, Nani!  It's such a pretty color"

          The Lady Arwen and her husband again shared amused and somewhat appalled glances—the color was hideous!  Another unspoken communication, and he held out his hand to help her make the long step to avoid the worst of the splatters, and he followed, another gesture indicating their guardsmen should remain outside the yard.  Only Hardorn shook his head stubbornly, carefully stepping over the spill to keep them well within sight, while the rest remained in the lane, murmuring in amusement to one another.

          The two children, one a boy of about twelve and the other a girl of perhaps seven, stood to their left, and their mother stood to the right upon the walkway to the door, a small child barely out of infancy being shifted to keep it firmly on her left hip.  "No—you shall stay here—we don't need another smeared with paint!" the woman was saying.  She returned her attention to the children before her, shaking her head in distress.  "And what are we to do now?  You cannot go to the market with me in such a state, and I must imagine that there is now quite the mess upon the stones of the lane outside the gate!  And we could be ordered to pay a fine for having stained the streets of the city!  Where am I to come up with even more coin should such a fine be levied?"

          The two children opposite her exchanged looks.  Obviously neither had thought on the possibility of a spill, or a fine to pay.  The boy dropped his gaze to the ground.  "I'm sorry, Nana.  I'll ask them to allow me to work to pay it off."

          Arwen gave her husband a significant look, which he answered with a brief nod of understanding.  "I doubt," he said aloud as he returned his attention to the small family, "that you need fear such a fine, Mistress."

          The mother and her children all gave identical jumps of startlement at the unexpected voice, all turning their attention to see who had entered their yard.  "And who are you to say what the bailiff might--" the woman began, then stopped as her eyes widened in recognition and fright.  "My Lord!  My Lady!" she said in a voice suddenly thick with awe, and she tried awkwardly to curtsey with her youngest on her hip.  "And what has brought you here?  I am sorry…."  Her throat was obviously dry, and her tongue too thick within her mouth as she stared up at her royal visitors, then suddenly dropped her eyes to the ground as if terrified her gaze might be deemed too familiar.  "I am sorry," she whispered again.

          "And for what?" asked the King as he and his wife came closer.  "That your children so love you they would seek to paint the gate for you that their father is no longer here to paint?  A woman that draws to herself such love from her children is to be honored before all!"

          The woman colored with surprise and confusion, not certain how to respond to such a compliment.  The girl Rhysellë was looking up at him with wide eyes, not certain why his presence seemed to cause such confusion; the boy straightened as he recognized the respect shown his mother.

          But it was the Queen's eyes that now caught those of the young mother.  "Fear not, Mistress," said the Lady Arwen.  "We, too, were once children, and know all too well how, in our attempts to aid those we have loved we were like to mar more than we helped.  And I remember well the day I appeared in much the same state as does this one before my beloved naneth, save the paint I'd managed to spill upon myself was blue rather than green."  She laid a gentle hand on the shoulder of young Rhysellë, smiling down into the clear green eyes of the little girl.

          "And for me, it was whitewash I'd poured upon myself, and Ada was most distressed when I left footprints across the floor in the Hall of Fire," her lord husband explained.  He smiled into the woman's eyes.  "Yea, even in the north children are yet children, are they not?"

          She looked from King to Queen and back, not certain what she should do or say.  Again husband and wife exchanged unspoken communication, and the Queen smiled encouragingly.  "I do not know if you are aware of this, but I am a weaver and embroiderer of much experience.  If you wish employment, I have need of those who will serve in my weaving rooms, and I will gladly offer training to the children of those who are willing to serve me so.  And I have already begun to gather clothing and fabrics to help clothe those who have lost the support of fathers, husbands, sons, or brothers, that none within the White City or in its townlands might need to go naked or in rags.  Much of the fabric that I and my maidens will produce shall go into these stores, or to the needs of those employed by the Citadel and the City itself.  For I swear I shall not be idle as my husband and the lords of the realm seek to rebuild all that has been lost in the long defense against Mordor."

          What could the young woman say?  She looked into the eyes of the new Queen, and found herself caught, seeing there the light of stars, compassion, and a new day dawning on the land.

          "And the bailiff?" asked the boy.

          The King laughed outright.  "What of the bailiff?" he asked.  "Nay, and what complaint can he make if we now clean up what has been spilt out upon the streets?"

          And who could have foreseen the spectacle offered as the King himself knelt down in the dust of that narrow lane, helping a youth to clean up spilled green paint?  And when the young mother found, a few days later, that the gate was now fully painted in a more suitable shade of green, she found her appreciation for the new state of the realm broadened, and her burgeoning love for their rulers enhanced.  Indeed Gondor was renewed under the King Elessar and his Elven Queen!

 

 

Re: April 2010 Birthday Cards

Larner - that's absolutely delightful! The characters come through so clearly: the overstressed and distressed mother, the well-meaning children, and of course the compassion and humour and complete lack of pomposity of Aragorn and Arwen.  Lovely stuff.

 

 

Re: April 2010 Birthday Cards

Happy Birthday, Gilraen!

"There is so much to do before we leave, and I haven't spent any time at all in the library and I haven't been able to get hardly any crafters to speak with me. They're all so busy. I'm never leaving Lorien again! And it gets so hot here! And cold... can you believe they don't do anything at all about the weather, they just let it happen? And that house! It's so... so... hard! You can't see anything, and the air just sits there and squashes you. And there are no mellyrn. I didn't think there could really be anywhere where there weren't mellyrn. I'm never..."

"I know, I know. You're never leaving Lorien again." Lothdaimoth smiles fondly up at Caelwen and pats the seat beside him. "But you must admit they are not backwards in their food."

"Noo... " Caelwen says. "But there is no lembas!" She eyes him for a moment, a dubious expression pasted on her face, before giggles burst from within like water freed from a dam, and perches on the bench beside him. "The food is very good, and the wine is also. And Hir Elrond is very wise and kind, and this is a nice place, for anyone who wants to live here," she says, a bit of incredulity in her voice that so many people clearly do want to live here. "But I don't! And when we get home, I'm not leaving again, not ever."

 

 

Re: April 2010 Birthday Cards

Goodness, I drop off the internet for a few days and all these stories appear. I've created a place for them in the birthday workshop, so please add, whoever wishes.

Aruthir - The journey of Cirion's messengers to the Eotheod is one of my favorite pieces of lore, one I was hoping might turn up from the prompt, so thanks very much! A very grim, very precise little piece you've made. It's excellent. 

Cuinwen - Firstly, welcome! Secondly, thanks! Thirdly, this is a very interesting point and counter-point on the road to Aman. I can well see the father's argument, but joy is indeed the best revenge. Well done.

Chelle - Haha, I like the humor in this one. You'd think elves would embrace the changing seasons as much as anyone, but I suppose if you're used to the staid majesty of Lorien, all the waterfalls in Imladris must be a quite a shock. Thanks!

Larner - I love it when Aragorn and Arwen completely disregard their regal standing. Nice characterizations in this one. Happy birthday, too!

Maeglin - I really like this. The clash of two very strong wills indeed. Makes me want to go back to that part of the Silmarillion. And hey, you're entitled to like tra-la-la-lally. Both Gilraen and Elrond were being a bit too serious there, I think.

 

 

Re: April 2010 Birthday Cards

Hm.  Maybe I got it wrong, but I thought I remembered reading somewhere that Galadriel used the power of her ring to ameliorate the changing of the seasons in Lorien.  Not that she eliminated them (and of course, Caelwen has no idea her Lady has this Ring, she just thinks Galadriel manages it all by force of personality or something!), but made them less extreme.  So I figured someone coming out of there for the first time might be somewhat shocked by how hot summer was allowed to get in other, clearly inferior places.

I will have to look and see if I can find where that ref might be.  Or maybe I've remembered wrong entirely, oy!

 

 

Re: April 2010 Birthday Cards

Oh Larner!

This was delightful!  

..."the shrill cries.." so realistic... I had to laugh at this as you're actually describing me with my kids!

I love the guard's reaction to their King's and Queen's "change  of destination".  I'm sure they're already used to that!

You've truly captured my image of Arwen as the queen that does not stand "idle"as her "husband and the lords of the realm seek to rebuild all that has been lost in the long defense against Mordor."

Aragorn and a little boy cleaning up paint!  What a lovely sight that is!

Thanks so much Larner.  I've already printed this out and placed it with my other "birthday present" written by you  from a couple years ago!

Rachel

 

 

Re: April 2010 Birthday Cards

Hey, RS- and Larner, too, for that matter.

Sorry this is late and even sorrier if this isn't exactly what you wanted- but the idea made me smile (an event rare as an Ent-Wife, indeed) so I thought you'd like it. If you don't... you can always take it back to Wal-Mart if you have the receipt.

You do still have the receipt, right?

Set some time in the Fourth Age, and rated G, for those who care.

 

*

"Husband, I do believe that you have led us upon a wild goose chase."

The King scoffs, and we all hold our breath.

"I see no sign of anything in these woods, let alone the prize you claim we shall find."

Anyone else who spoke these words would be instantly imperilled, but the Queen...

...Let us just say that she knows what she is talking about. I clear my throat, about to speak, but the glare that the King shoots me is sharp as any arrow, and I shut my mouth.

"Wife, for all your knowledge of the wilderness... you have a lot to learn."

The Queen rolls her eyes.

"A lot to learn? Tell me, then- what might have my eyes missed that yours have spotted, husband?"

She does not add the word "human" to the sentence this time, but she has in the past. The King smiles.

"My eyes spotted nothing, wife, but my nose is worth all my other senses."

Now it is the Queen's turn to scoff, and for the hundredth time this day I wish that my Liege and his Lady were not quite so competitive when at the hunt.

"Is that so? Then why is it, husband, that you can never recognise when I have a new perfume?"

The King grins, his eyes flashing in the gloom of the woods.

"Because I know that most of the perfume sellers that come to court are charlatans selling the same junk in different bottles, wife."

The Queen raises an eyebrow, but says nothing, and the King continues in her silence.

"But I let you buy them no matter what the price, and I coo over them as if they were our own children, and I ignore the cost, because I know that they make you happy."

No-one speaks.

No-one would dare.

The King continues.

"The same way that I know that there is a deer cowering in that very bush behind you."

The Queen's expression does not falter, but I know that she is worried. Is he joking with her, or has she truly lost the game this day- have her senses truly failed her?

She says nothing, but instead reaches for the bow strung across her shoulders.

Every time I have seen her Grace hunt, I have been amazed at the smoothness and softness she displays.

A single arrow is drawn from her quiver and nocked to her to bow within the blink of an eye, silent as a breath at midnight. For a moment the world stands still...

...and then The King winks. It is a tiny gesture, a flicker of a single eyelid, but is enough of a distraction for the Queen for her arrow to miss its mark.

As we all watch, a huge buck springs from the undergrowth in an explosion of movement, and the King cries out in glee, causing his horse to rear up with shock.

I catch the King's eye, and with a smile and a single kick of his spurs his steed bursts into a gallop. This, I know, is the moment he loves most- the thrill of the hunt, the blood singing in his veins as he charges towards the kill...

I look across at Queen Arwen, and I see the exact same look in her eyes as burns in her husband's.

She spurs her own horse to action, and I sigh.

This is going to be a long, long day...

*

 

 

Re: April 2010 Birthday Cards

Hi Aruthir!

This is a hoot!  Imagine..the king and queen being competitive with each other!

I love the verbal sparring between them. And I love the fact that Arwen can take Aragorn's biting remarks!  And if Arwen is anything like me, her silence speaks more than words and I wouldn't want to be Aragorn when these two are finally alone!

I love it that Arwen can be just like one of the boys...er ..or in this case, like her husband!

You can just feel the tension and awkwardness that the narrator is going through.  A long, long day indeed!

(Although...I cannot imagine Arwen getting  excited at killing something, I would like to imagine the chase would be thrilling.   Me thinks I'm getting too deep into this.  Nevertheless.....)

This is a brilliant and refreshing piece!  Thank so much!

No need to stand at the "Return line" at Walmart.   I'll keep it!

Rachel

 

 

Re: April 2010 Birthday Cards

Glad you enjoyed the story, and glad it made you think, too- after all, do you really think that a simple wink from a human male would make an Elf-maiden miss a point-blank shot? I think both of them enjoy the chase more than the catch, to be honest- a hangover from all the years they were apart, maybe?

Now there's a Nuzgûl for you to play with...

 

 

Re: April 2010 Birthday Cards

Thank you so, Aruthir!  Oh, yes, I can see THIS argument between them!  And he smells the deer while shd does not?  And he LETS her buy the same perfume in different bottles because he knows it makes her happy?  Heh!

Lovely moment of competition!  Again, thank you so!

 

 

Re: April 2010 Birthday Cards

Thanks so, Azalais.  I simply cannot imagine Aragorn being pompous or affected save in jest, and I am certain both would seek to allay distress when the chance offered itself.

Thank you so!

 

 

Re: April 2010 Birthday Cards

I'm so pleased you have found it so delightful, Rachel.  Always a pleasure to write the King and Queen of Gondor, I find.  And I cannot imagine either, knowing of some distress they can help allay, they would seek to ignore the situation.  And I find the idea of Aragorn helping to clean up the paint spilled, and secretly sending someone to paint it a more acceptable shade of green, to be satisfying, too.  Thanks for the prompt to write to!

 

 

Re: April 2010 Birthday Cards

I certainly had a pleasurable one, although for my birthday I got a new boss!  Heh!  Not what I'd expected for the day, I must say.

Good luck and God bless!

 

 

For Larner: Happy belated birthday!

Nearly a month late, but I hope it was a nice one (and hope eve ything is going well with the new boss :-) ) Happy Birthday!

In despair

"It's madness!"

"Wait longer and it will be too late. The King... Fa--he is not himself!"

"That makes it no less like treason!"

"Treason!" the Marshal cries, but it's the son's haunted look that chills his heart. "He'd be disgusted with what he has become were he well. I can't sit idle anymore."

"Neither can I, but this?"

"Do you think he would thank us?" Th?odred grabs him hard by the shoulders. "For doing nothing?"

?omer looks away, unable, unwilling to deny the truth. "Which oath is stronger--the one to the Riddermark, or to your heart?"

"Aren't they the same?"

 

 

Re: April 2010 Birthday Cards

Happy Birthday, Gilraen

Just a bit late, but here's my birthday drabble-and-a-half.

Messenger's doubt

I raise my hand to draw my men's attention, yet before I give the order, I waver. I know this is the right decision. To go on would only lead us to founder among these fog-ridden rocks that bar our path, where every wave can bring unseen disaster.We should go back. We may reach the Havens – if my measure is not off – before the worst of winter's storms. Rest, heal our own hurts and Vingilotë's, try once more when the winds of the world are favourable again. Yet every time I return home, my resolve to attempt this again lessens.

It is only a moment of doubt, and even these men who know me well will not have seen it, will only think I pause to draw their attention fully.

"We go back," I say at last. We fail whether we continue on our path or turn back.

 

 

Re: April 2010 Birthday Cards

Bravo on this, Nath- it's such a perfect snapshot that it gave even me chills. I'm reminded of all those classic WWII black and white movies with craggy-faced sailors- it's suspense distilled, this is, and I like it a lot. Well done!

 

 

Re: April 2010 Birthday Cards

Thanks Now to see if I can get the muse to work on the other April requests... Roll eyes

 

 

Re: April 2010 Birthday Cards

I wasn't expecting any other drabbles, so this is a pleasant surprise, and a very compelling snapshot.  Nice to know even the Mariner had doubts. Thanks so much, Nath!

 

 

Re: April 2010 Birthday Cards

Happy, very belated birthday, Larner! So embarassed!  Am I still in time?

It took a while to get this finished, but here's my birthday story for you; as it's a bit long to paste into the forum, I hope length makes up for delay...

 

 

Re: For Larner: Happy belated birthday!

Oh, this is wonderful, Starlight--and so likely a confrontation between the two of them!  Thank you so!

And I hope everyone is adding their stories to my birthday card challenge!  Thanks again!

 

 

Re: April 2010 Birthday Cards

It's never too late, Nath!  But did it get lost in translation? 

 

 

Re: April 2010 Birthday Cards

Oops: http://henneth-annun.net/stories/chapter.cfm?stid=8293

(note to self: make links clearer)

 

 

In Forums

Discussion Info

Intended for: General Audience

This forum is open to all HASA members. It is read-only for the general public.

Membership on HASA is free and it takes only a few minutes to join. If you would like to participate, please click here.

If you are already a member, please log in to participate.

« Back to 2010 - HASA Birthdays