1. The End of All Things
He moves through my room, talking to me as if this were just another day.
Too far gone to answer him, I listen to his aged footfalls, feeling the air stir as he passes.
Perhaps he cannot face the truth, but he surely knows.
I am dying.
I do not regret my own passing, having lived a long and blessed life, but I regret leaving him. He has already lost one he loved more than life and it grieves me to cause him another such pain. I would stay longer if I could, but my time has come, as it must for all mortals, and I can no longer deny the inevitable.
He sits by my bedside, tired and heartsore, and I know he has been weeping. He begins to tell me a story, a children’s tale I heard once in my dimly remembered youth. The slow and loving sound of his voice eases me. Have I ever told him how much comfort his words have given me? It is too late to now, but it is my hope that he knew, somehow.
He falters in the telling and murmurs with surprise. ‘Oh, dear,’ he says and the words are followed by a sigh. I can see him smiling in my mind’s eye and can hear him settle back in the old chair. His breathing deepens and slows with sleep. As I listen, the sound recedes till it is but a whisper and then silence. Over the gentle rattle of my own breath, I feel the stillness of the room.
He is gone.
Perhaps I should feel grief, but I am glad for him. He has mourned me twice and that is enough for any life. He has gone ahead to where his dearest Rose waits and where sorrow will be but a distant memory.
And I am just behind him.
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.