1. Chapter 1
He was madly in love with everything about Andrea. Her legs, her waist, her breasts. Her hair, her eyes, her mouth. The way she walked. The way she held her head. The way she dived into her handbag to take her key out, and the way she put it into the keyhole and turned it to open her door.
He felt he could not live without her. He yearned to be the key in her door and to feel the firm touch of her fingers, but she never knew.
Andrea never knew he was watching her from the bushes surrounding her house. She knew of his existence, to be sure. But somehow, she didn't seemed to see him. It was only too obvious she wasn't interested in him at all.
Still, he wanted her. He wanted to possess her. Badly.
Not that he would ever take what he wanted. It would be easy to sneak up behind her in the dark when she came home late at night, to push her inside the house, follow her, close the door, and - but he was not like that. Too shy. Too well bred. Too grey.
Tonight, Andrea was particularly late. He had been waiting for almost an hour in the blustery darkness beneath the blind eyes of her bedroom window, and still she did not come. Squatting between the bushes, he shivered in the wind whining and keening around her house. It was then he heard the voice.
It was soft, yet clearly audible above the noise of the wind, which he found strange - until he realised it spoke inside his head.
You are not happy, it said. Nor will you ever be, if you go on like this.
He was not in the habit of speaking to himself, but perhaps he was finally going mad. With unrequited love, with unfulfilled desire, with his own lack of resolution, with his own inadequacy. Sighing, he scanned the street once more. Nothing.
She is lovely, your Andrea, the voice said. As fair as the woman I loved once but never made mine.
This gave him pause, for surely it was not something he would say to himself even in a fit of madness. He wondered who it could be, speaking into his mind.
A wandering spirit, blown about by the winds of these later days.
A spirit? Later days? He began to feel a knot in his stomach. The spirit of some dead person?
Yes. I am dead, the spirit told him. But you need not fear for your life. Far be it from me to kill you.
Though this didn't reassure him, he tried to keep a rein on his fear. This woman, would she be dead, too?
For many ages, the voice in his head confirmed.
An old spirit, apparently. 'Why didn't you make her yours?' he asked, curious despite himself. 'Didn't she love you?'
The faint sympathy he began to feel vanished with the spirit's next words. She did. But the fate of our kindreds are apart. She was not bound to the circles of the world, but I am. She was mortal and would age, whereas I would age as slowly as the world itself. Had I taken her to wife, a brief hour of happiness and ages of loss and regret would have been my fate. The spirit seemed full of sorrow now. And so, I turned away from her.
He did not understand. 'But didn't you just say you were dead?'
I was slain, the voice explained. But for most of my kindred, death is not permanent. We can be re-embodied. Not so you mortals, for you leave the world forever. I was afraid I would not be able to bear such loss. A foolish thought, for I had to bear it anyway. And by turning from her I denied both of us even the brief happiness we might have had.
He frowned, feeling something was not quite right. 'Why weren't you... re-embodied, you called it?'
My beloved Andreth and I died within hours of each other. I asked the Powers that shaped this world to grant me the gift of leaving it, but they refused. They could not change my fate, they said. They could not change my race. All I could do was hope we would be reunited. But they could not give me the certainty I craved.
The spirit seemed to sigh, a peculiar feeling that gave him the creeps, somehow, as if something was itching inside his head, a spot he couldn't scratch. A weird feeling. There was still no sign of Andrea, he saw, and though the voice was silent now, he could sense the spirit was still there.
'Why are you telling me all this?' he wanted to know.
I recognise your predicament. Unfulfilled love eats the soul. I could help you win Andrea. You could have the happiness I denied Andreth and myself. A brief happiness according to my measure, but a lifetime for the two of you.
A lifetime? He hadn't even thought of that, never gone beyond the wish to possess her. But the spirit didn't need to know this. 'How?' he asked.
Allow me to use your body. I could act for you, speak for you, win her love for you.
Ignoring the alarm going off in his head he said, incredulous. 'Could you really do that?'
Oh yes. The voice inside his head chuckled softly.Believe me, I'm well able to charm her. I am Aegnor son of Finarfin, a High Elf who was taught wisdom by the Powers of Arda in the Age before the Sun. I possess what you mortals call... magic.
An Elf, magic, the Powers of Arda, whatever that meant... I'm probably going insane after all, he thought. Madly in love, and mad with love, and imagining the impossible. But even if it was all nonsense, a trick his own mind was playing on him, surely it couldn't do any harm to prolong the game a little. Just a little, until Andrea came home and his eyes could drink their fill of her again.
'All right,' he said. 'Come in then, Aegnor son of Finarfin.'
The voice laughed, a chilling laugh that suddenly told him something was very wrong. Fear rose in him like bile.
Too late. He felt a dizzying sensation, as if he was turned on his head and sent down a long, slippery, one-way shaft. It ended in a dark, narrow cell, too small for him to move, too low to stand, too short to lie down, and closing in on him until he froze into immobility. He tried to scream, but no sound left his lips.
Around him, the wind died down quite suddenly. He was aware of everything: he had hands but his will could not move them, he had a mouth but his will could not use it, he could see and hear but his will could not act on it.
He was a prisoner inside his own body.
'Calm down,' the chilly voice told him. 'I said I wouldn't kill you, and I don't lie. If I have any say in it, this body will live long. I've done this before, and I'm very good at avoiding accidents and remaining in good health. You'll grow accustomed to my presence in no time.' Another laugh. 'I guess I omitted something from my story, my dear host. At first, I had no wish to be re-embodied, but the longer Arda lasted, the more I came to regret it, until finally the absence of a body became unbearable to me. We Elves are not made to live only in the spirit. But an Elf who does not enter the Houses of the Dead - and that is what I did when the Powers denied my request - is doomed to remained disembodied forever, unless he can take possession of another's hull and make it his own. And that is how I have been living for thousands of years.'
At that moment, a car pulled up in front of the house, and Andrea stepped out of it. Without waving goodbye to the driver she walked up to the door, while the car tore away with a roar. Andrea, all loveliness and long-legged beauty, opened her handbag, took out her key and unlocked the door with a graceful gesture. Once it was open she stepped inside, switched on the light and quickly closed the door behind her. And all the time, he who was hidden in the bushes did not move from the spot.
In the depths of his prison, the spirit of the mortal cried out in soundless agony. Though he was no longer in control of his body, he could still feel its every sensation. Until the very last moment before the door closed, he had clung to the possibility that the spirit who possessed him now would keep his promise, make a move, any move that would eventually take him to Andrea's bed - and allow him, the prisoner, to share his enjoyment of Andrea's delights. He had thought that perhaps the desires that used to ride him would ride this Aegnor instead, but now it began to dawn on him that the Elven spirit mastered his body far better than he had ever done and had no intention whatsoever to take Andrea, tonight or any other night. And he abandoned all hope.
'Disappointed?' asked the Elf, while the body rose and turned its back to Andrea's door.
You said you could win her love for me...
'I did,' Aegnor admitted, moving the body away from Andrea's place. 'But when did I ever say I would? It's good to have a house for my spirit again, but that's all I was after. Your Andrea doesn't really interest me. In her own way, she's lovely enough, but she can't hold a candle to Andreth, and no woman ever will.'
You are evil!
'Perhaps I am. But do you think you're any better, willing as you were to use me in order to possess her? It seems to me that, all things considered, we two are well matched.' And raising his imprisoned victim's voice, the Elven spirit laughed heartily.
Afterword: Aegnor is the Aegnor from the Silmarillion, youngest son of Finarfin and Eärwen of Alqualondë, brother of Finrod and Galadriel. Andreth is the mortal woman he fell in love with according to the Athrabeth Finrod Ah Andreth, HoMe, Vol. 10, Morgoth's Ring. Despite the fact that she loved him, too, he did not marry her for various reasons specified by Finrod, some (but not all) of which Aegnor mentions in this story.
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.