In A Light from the Shadow Shall Spring Frodo was on a boat with his parents. As the boat was destroyed by rocks Primula was able to save her child but could not find Drogo again. On the shores of the Brandywine Frodo wanted her to promise that she would return and that everything would be all right, but she did not answer. Primula sent her son back to Brandy Hall to call for help, while she tried to find Drogo but she died before she could rescue him. It was decided that Frodo should henceforth live in Brandy Hall as the foster son of Esmeralda and Saradoc.
The brown water of the Brandywine murmurs quietly as it flows along the riverbed. It must be late afternoon for the sun stands deep in the west as its light is reflected by the stream where small, bright sparkles glitter like tiny stars. An oak tree is shaken by a fresh October wind and some of the last leaves swirl to the ground in a playful dance to secret music that only they can hear.
As I watch the swaying branches I listen intently to the silent whistling of the wind in my ears. I shiver in the cold and wrap my arms around myself to try and stay warm. Yet, the feeling of cold lingers and gets even worse as the wind grows stronger blowing my hair into my face.
I have often been cold the past few days. Auntie Esmeralda feared I would become ill, but I know I won't. I feel well, except for the cold. Yet neither blanket, nor fire, nor tea can ease it.
The only time when I feel any warmer is at night. I don't like the night, when everything falls silent and nobody talks to me. I like it when people talk. It guides your thoughts into different directions and makes you forget your worries. But at night when all is silent and dark, all the sorrow returns. Memories and the woeful knowledge that nothing can ever be the way it was.
There was a time, when I thought memories were a wonderful thing that could always remind you of happy times. Sometimes you would also remember sad hours, but the happy memories would always prevail.
Now even the cheerful moments produce a painful knot in my heart, for I know I can not return to the happier days of the past. I know my parents will never return to me, no matter how much I wish it. Yet I cannot stop myself from longing for them. Sometimes when I am alone I think I can hear them calling my name. I'll run to the door and throw it open, but there would be nobody there - just an empty hallway or maybe a hobbit looking at my tear-stained face with a puzzled expression. Back in my room I cry even more when I see my parents' smiling faces before my closed eyes and feel the warmth of their touch.
Even now, as I stand at the riverside I can feel their presence. Tears well up inside me and I try to swallow them - without success. The only sounds in my ears are the whisper of the wind and constant flowing of the Brandywine and I understand that there is nothing but silence around the ones I loved. There is nothing now they can give me - no words of comfort, no joyful laughter and no gentle touch - not anymore.
I pick up a stone form the ground and cast it into the river along with all my sadness, anger and fear. For I am scared. I know I am the foster son of Saradoc and Esmeralda now, but that is not the same. I am still alone - lost in a place crowded with relatives. They don't see that I still miss my parents or that I feel lonely even with them around. They carry on as if nothing has happened. For them things are pretty much the same as ever; but for me everything has changed. How can they forget about my parents so easily?
Forcing my eyes from the river, I scuffle along the bank. The wind blows into my face drying the tracks of tears from my cheeks .I hardly notice the blades of grass that tickle my feet. My mind is occupied with the water and I cannot stop my eyes from peering into it. The silent murmur of the Brandywine will forever be in my ears. These cold waters have taken what was dearest to me. These waters have stolen my heart and soul, leaving me behind, empty and longing for something I will never receive again.
I didn't know what longing was until the very day I first felt it. It's like a knife that leaves your soul bleeding with nothing to bandage the wound. Like a pain that lurks deep inside you and overwhelms you when you least expect it. Since that fateful hour that I first felt this pain nothing can quench my yearning. No matter how much Auntie Esmeralda cares for me it will never feel the same. She gives me love but it's different from the love my mother used to give me, a different kind of warmth.
I once believed my parents would be here forever or at least until I was a lot older. I never thought the day of our parting would come so soon. It all happened so fast. We didn't even have time to say goodbye. I never thought I needed to. Now I wish I had waited a little longer on the shore, hugged my mother a little tighter and told her again how much I loved her. I wonder if she knew. I hope she did and I hope my father did too.
I promised my mother that I'd return to the place where we parted and even though I wanted to I knew I would not find her there. Now I just stand on the shores of the river every day, gazing into the water. I don't know what I am waiting for, but I am waiting - waiting for something. Auntie Esmeralda is worried about my strange behaviour. She thinks the cold feeling will return if I stay on the riverside too long without shelter from the fresh October wind, but I think she's wrong.
Suddenly I realise that I have stopped with my eyes resting on the water of the Brandywine again. A silent sigh escapes from my lips and the wind is tickling my ear as I place my right hand upon my heart.
'hey are right here, here in your heart and there they will always be. Bilbo has said that and I believe him. I don't know why but this simple act makes some things easier for me. It eases the longing I feel, if only a little.
As I place my hand upon my heart I close my eyes. I can hear the murmuring of the water, feel the gentle fingers of the wind stroking my cheeks. But there is another feeling: It's like warm, soft hands resting on my shoulders. I have often felt the gentle touch of my mother's hands during long, silent nights and feeling them again brings fresh tears to my closed eyes. Will my longing ever stop?
I can almost smell the fragrance of her hair when the hands on my shoulders pull me into a warm embrace far too comforting to be only dream. I gasp as my eyes behold the loving smile of my mother. I can do nothing but stare unbelievingly at the sight of her, as my legs give way and I sink helplessly to my knees. She catches me and kneels to the ground with me in her arms. Can it be true?
"Don't cry," she soothes stroking my hair as I rest my head on her breast. Touching her makes all my feelings of doubt and unreality fade. All of a sudden I know what I have been waiting for all these days on the shore. I have waited for her - her touch, her voice, her love. All I have longed for is suddenly given to me, and the feeling it arouses is just too overwhelming to stop my tears.
My hands grasp the fabric of her dress tightly, unwilling to ever let go again. Feeling the fine garment between my fingers proves that my mother is truly with me and my tight grip also assures me that I will not lose her a second time. She holds me close calming my trembling heart with her soothing caress. "Don't go again," I plead as I find my voice again, but it's broken and choked with tears. "Don't leave me behind all alone."
One of her hands gently holds my chin so that I can lift my eyes to look at her sad, smiling face. The wind is playing with her long, dark curls and the sinking sunlight sparkles in her brown eyes. She has never looked more beautiful. She is cupping my face with both her hands now, wiping away the tears on my cheeks and kissing my forehead. "My dear child," she whispers lovingly, "You are not alone in life, although you might think that you are. There are so many that care for you, so many only wanting your best. You just need to allow them to look after you. Don't harden your heart to their love."
In my heart I know that she is right, yet the feeling I have is different. I don't need the love of others, I need hers. I can tell she has read my mind as she strokes my cheeks and kisses me again. I sink back into her arms savouring her warm embrace. Her touch says much more than any words could do, so I too keep quiet and just hold her close for a very long time.
I don't think about anything while she holds me. The world stands still and there is only she and I - until one other thought strikes my mind. "You did not promise."
She looks at me with a hurt expression. "I could not," she answers sadly. "I did not know if I was able to keep it and therefore I thought it be better if I said nothing. It would have hurt you all the more had I promised and not returned."
I swallow hard and throw my arms around her neck. I whisper. "I love you mama." The tears that have dried before threaten to return as my fingers become entangled in her silky hair and I feel her warm breath against my neck.
"I love you too my dear," she answers and holds me even closer. "I am sorry your world is tumbling down, but I know you will find the courage to go on. There are so many things still ahead of you - good and bad - and you will succeed in every one of them."
I look at her again for I am not sure what she means. Her eyes won't answer my unasked question and I feel that this is not the time or place to ask her to clarify herself. Right now they do not matter and just being close to her is far more important. So I lean back into her arms and look west into the sinking sun. A red and golden glow shimmers on the horizon and for a moment I'm enchanted by its beauty.
The sun is almost gone when I realise I am getting drowsy. I yawn and my mother smiles at me shifting slightly so I can lay my head on her lap. Her hand gently strokes my curls and I feel my eyelids growing heavier. I hear her saying. "Rest your head and go to sleep, have no fear my dear I will watch over you, I will watch over you through all the dark nights that are still ahead of you."
The candle on Frodo's nightstand burned low and went out plunging the room into a mantle of darkness. Frodo turned in his sleep and gripped his pillow tightly. A content smile spread across his face. This was a dream he would never forget.
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.