And I did not sing.
When many years had passed I realised that the voices of the Dead were no longer as loud in my ears and that the day of my final breath would not come soon.
But still I did not sing.
For I had done so many evils that I did no longer deserve to feel joy. And my heart was ashes.
I did not venture near others for a very long time.
It is beautiful here in the deep valley.
It is beautiful and I do not belong here.
I know not why I came. The air is full of noise and I cannot hear the voices of the Dead in my mind and this frightens me. For then I am truly alone. And empty.
My heart is ashes and my spirit cold but still I linger.
For many years one sentence has been spinning madly in my mind.
"To evil end shall all things turn that they begin well".
So he spake, the Doomsman, and so I believed. But not anymore.
I am hidden in the long shadows at the edge of a clearing; as silent and still as the Dead and Houseless and none see me. But I see. And could I smile still I would. Father's Jewels may have scorched me and the bitter Sea of Despair may drown my soul slowly and surely but the Son of Eärendil is tall and fair and wise and midst his sorrow he takes good care of those who trust him.
That I did not ruin. That I did not destroy.
But I dare not linger in the shadows for they seem bright when I am here. And I miss my Dead, who do not go here - so close to the quick.
And the singing from the Great Hall is too beautiful when the heart is empty.
Long have the years been and cold.
Those gone speak less and less it seems and the waves merely murmur and make no sense.
The wind whips my hair about my face as I stand here, on the dunes. None see me and perhaps I have truly died. Without realising it.
But nay, for still I see the light and taste the salt of the sea on my tongue and so it will not be.
Dead I am not; even less so than I thought for when I see them from afar my heart... my heart stirs - ashes blown ever so slightly about by the wind - and I cannot move.
She was beautiful when she walked aboard the ship and so are the young ones in their sorrow. But his radiance is blinding as he reaches out - to protect - to soothe - and I find myself wishing that I too could touch another who would have need of me.
The winds of the Sundering Sea are dangerous.
They stir what is inside and fan fires that should be ashes.
I wish and long and so do not the Dead.
The spray wet my cheeks and the winds howl; snatching from my lips what could have been song.
The Dead do not sing.
The Dark One is gone.
My brothersons's creations are gone.
Another Age is gone.
There is silence in the air.
Perhaps I too will leave now.
I walk the streets of this city of Men; recklessly. They seem to see me but move away. I am a spectre; fierce and fleeting and they dare not touch me. Mayhap they see the fires in me; memories of fires - of burning ships and cities and flesh.
I saw their King and for a moment near cried out but then I remembered that it could not be my little one for he is long gone to where I cannot go.
Another place I cannot go.
And so I merely watched as the sundered line was united once more - from the shadows.
They cheer and revel but around me it is quiet. Strange it seems but I do not question it.
Suddenly there is one who sees me.
Really sees me.
Not a Mortal, but a Teler; fair of face with silver hair and I cannot breathe for surely he will see the fires reflected in my eyes. And I cringe when he reaches out his hand.
But his voice is calm and although I cannot hear what he says to me - for the silence is loud in my ears - I see pity in his gaze and his hand is soft on my skin.
Perhaps he sees that I am dead and pities me that I shall not be at the feast tonight.
And his hands are warm and my heart is as embers and so is my skin; for the wind has been cold for so long and I have not felt the touch of another since ... since I cannot recall when.
I am sitting down now and I let my hands stroke the soft cushions; their softness gripping my salty skin. It is glorious to sit in silence and softness and the silver-haired stranger who must be very kind to be so concerned about one who is - dead but not quite for my heart is warm and my eyes are warm and there is no spray but my cheeks are wet - a stranger. And undeserving.
He strokes my hand and talks still, calming, soothing. He would make a fine minstrel; his voice is fair. Then he smiles at me and leaves to talk to someone behind a door and he has been gone a little while ere I realize that I too smile and that is so wondrous that I forget the cushions. And I feel my spirit stir within me.
The young elf, one of the Teleri, seems distressed and I turn to him, my face a mask; polite and distant.
"I have come across a warrior. From the battle. A Noldorin."
This gets my attention. I have heard of no Firstborn not accounted for.
"Is he hurt ?"
"There was no blood, Master, but his eyes seemed wrong - mad - and when I spoke to him he didn't seem to comprehend me. And so I brought him here".
I nod. It was well to make sure he didn't wander the streets alone and hurting. I indicate that the young one is to show me to the patient and asks, while we walk down the corridor:
"Did you recognize his colours ?"
The youngster shakes his head.
"He is not wearing armour, Master. But he is clearly a noble. Perhaps he has been held in captivity. His clothes are mere rags and he is underfed. And his eyes...his eyes were all wrong at first, Master - but then he smiled and..."
I nod absentmindedly and pick up a basin and a cloth and follows the youngster through the door. Just because there is no visible blood it does not....
The water stains the tiles when the basin shatters; the faint glimmer of the stones is magnified by their sudden blackness.
I feel the gentle warmth of my heart burning slowly in the night. And the warmth of hair under my hand. I caress the starglittering heavens and this makes me smile for surely that can not be right for one doomed. But so it is. And I do not question it.
The Dead no longer speak to me and I believe that I shall join them soon but it has no rush.
This night I am needed.
And this night I sing.
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.