1. Love Story
Drowsing in heat, the patchwork fields and little spinneys sprawl, from Prospect Hill to farthest haze
“A fair sight, there, sir!” Bright sunlight, rent with leafy shadow, gilds his tousled curls where he rests, back against a grizzled ash, pillowed on green velvet.
Frodo nods wryly. Surpassing fair, though not as Sam means it; and his prospects are confined by custom, and by fear that words might mar the little he may have. To speak of love and longing, now, the world so far below?
A crinkled smile. “Penny for them, Mr Frodo?"
A sigh. “It’s a lovely view, Sam.”
Amazing, how much chaos one solitary hobbit can create, Sam thinks cheerfully, as he bustles around, carefully sorting crumpled sheets of blotted parchment from wonderfully fair copies. He has already re-stacked the reference books as tidily as might be, amongst the general clutter. Mr Frodo is deep into another translation, by the look of it, explaining his late night and still being abed. Sam doesn’t often get to tidy the study, and he loves the smell of ink and leather and old books. There, that's it, all done.
Time to see if his sleepyhead could fancy second breakfast with him.
No danger they will be forgotten, artless, enduring forget-me-nots; wide-eyed with flash of gold at centre, seeding with abandon beneath flowers of more stately yet less innocent appeal. The garden floats on their blue mist, ground awash 'neath spiring foxgloves and branching white sweet rocket, crumpled silk of lilac poppies and paeony globes in luscious pink.
Sam has spent years removing faded, paler blues, encouraging the dark; now that shade is clear and perfect, like sky beyond the horizon when the sun vanishes, a colour he might drown in and never count it loss.
A reminder he will never need.
Frodo, lost in the great and gracious bed; pale with shadows redolent of pain. The wraith world waits, should elven healing fail, as fail it may, a wound so icy white. Silent and still he lies, his breath a seeking thread.
Sam, taut and torn between despair or hope; no more the young untroubled tween that he recalls. Tired, anguished eyes draw to their only centre. Strong hands droop listless now, no aid that they might give, when he can only watch and wait. Sam’s being is suspended, from Frodo’s fragile thread.
His own grief is as nothing.
Rising From The Ashes
From good black earth, rank nettles rise, stinging memory to sweeter herbs that grew once there. Foxglove stands sentinel to ruined glory; speckled cups long gone, seed hisses soft in sway of wind. Leaves of fireweed crackle brown; its downy issue floats in air, settling like ash…
Through trampling or malicious wreck, deep roots yet live, and dormant bulbs will swell to bloom. Good seed sleeps, hidden under soil. Colour and fragrance may still arise from sensuous leaves, with work and healing care. The season’s turn restores the land.
What remedy for deeper wounds, if time and tending fail?
One For Sorrow
(Samwise, returning from The Havens)
Across his path, swift flash of black and white: a lone and mourning magpie, bereft of mate and single to itself. No more the swoop and glide from copse to river, stream to wood; plunge and rise and joyous soar, wings tip to tip, through laughing, tumbling air, with call and answer woven in a single pledge of love and fealty lifelong.
"Seek thy mate!" The ritual invocation springs bitter to his lips, twists sorrow deeper in his breast; for his cannot be sought.
He passes on, and never sees the wanderer appear, the pair restored, remade in airborne bliss.
The candle flickers and then dies; a flare sparks brief in embers’ glow. Shadows settle soft about the room as he sits before the hearth, mute in memory.
The warmth of tranquil nights, their love and longing spent in bliss; and darkness thick with crushing fear…
A light in dark places, when all other lights went out.
Laughter under sun, lustrous hair and shining eyes; luminous silvering of paler skin; furious fire and lethal, searing heat…
No more; all brightness now is veiled to him, all radiance gone. No true light; never, since that other light glimmered, and was lost.
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.