2. Drabbles of Gondor - a collection
“What do you want?” Finduilas turned away from her mirror.
There he was, the proud Steward of Gondor, lingering in the doorway with something that could only be called a mischievous twinkle in his eyes.
“I know this is not a very responsible behaviour,” Denethor told his young wife, crossing the room to stand behind her. “But… finish dressing later?”
He let his fingers slide down her side to play around her waist, searching entrance to her robe. She turned around to face him.
“You stupid man,” she laughed.
He raised his eyebrows at her. “But I want to improve!”
“Guards of the Citadel”
“What is the matter? That noise is fit to shatter a mirror!” Denethor bellowed, not bothering to conceal his anger.
He glared at the guards. Opening the doors of the tower before him, the guards robbed him of the satisfaction of smashing the doors open.
His sons and his wife were dancing around the wilting White Tree. Bright eyes turned to him, small hands reached for him.He almost winced at the frail and feeble movements of his wife.
Ignoring Finduilas, he growled at his sons, “Don’t act like fools! That way you will never become guards of the Citadel!”
Song of a Nightingale
“Think of me as a nightingale of Rhûn, my love,” she suggested, her voice weak from the disease that was about to claim her life.
Denethor sat and held Finduilas’ hand as she was getting ready to spread the wings of her soul and fly away beyond the tides of time and the horizon of Eä.
“They sing only for one night,” he finally replied.
“But Eru and all the Valar turn to listen,” she whispered.
With the eyes of his beloved companion and wife, Denethor also closed his heart. No chant however sweet would ever stir his soul again.
He was nervous. There was real artistry to throwing a spear. He had to do well. His brother was more than a little opinionated about clumsy throws or bad aim.
Faramir swallowed hard. His hands felt slightly sweaty. The perfect grip… a secure stance…
His heart pounded heavily. He concentrated, until he felt there were only three things left in his world. The spear, the aim – and his brother’s sharp, blue-grey eyes.
He drew back, trying for a mighty heave –
he threw the spear –
he watched the spear hissing through the air in a perfect curve –
and his brother applauded.
You did not need to be a diviner to realize what was up with young Boromir of Gondor. You only had to see him strut along the streets of Minas Tirith this spring to know just what had happened to the Steward’s son.
A dreamy expression on his face, his mind in a muddle, with no correct answer for any question his tutors might ask:
Boromir son of Denethor was nineteen years old.
And he was in love!
Alas, it was not to be.
He died a bachelor, bewailed, bemoaned, beloved by all of Gondor, but not by a wife.
The Obligatory Tribute to Aeneid
Boromir slid off his horse. For once he was sober and in high spirits. He ran into the tavern.
There she was, his saucy wench!
Ana! Swinging her broom, modest as always in a russet-brown skirt.
Against her will her smile brightened, as she beheld the hero-drunkard-warrior-of-her-heart.Her breath caught in her throat as he roughly tweaked her behind, embraced her and then proceeded to kiss her thoroughly.
“No, my lord, no,” she gasped. “There are customers present!”
“Forget about them,” he roared happily. “Now bring on the ale, let’s celebrate!”
Her face fell at that request. Nothing had changed.
The Meaning of Truth
His father stared at him, his gaze hard and unforgiving. What it was that he could not be forgiven for, Faramir did not know. He only knew that his father always managed to find fault with whatever he attempted.
“The Dunlendings are nothing but heathens,” Denethor said harshly.
“Their life is one of simplicity,” Faramir replied softly.
“And the Corsairs are nothing but corrupt filth,” Denethor hissed.
“But their knowledge of the seas and the winds is extensive,” Faramir countered calmly.
He would have to live without his father’s forgiveness and approval.
But he could not live and renounce truth.
Promises Broken, Promises Kept
The need to prove himself was natural, he thought. A young warrior of Gondor, determined to show his worth…
He returned home accomplished and his father applauded his success. But each time his joy in the return faded, as he saw his younger brother pushing himself beyond reason, but to no avail.
Looking at Faramir, Denethor would only see his failure to save the woman he loved.
Looking at Boromir, Denethor saw the promise he himself had once held, a young warrior of Gondor.
Boromir was scared that he, too, would not be able to live up to that promise.
“It’s nothing but a figment of imagination!” But cold fear gripped Denethor’s heart.
Boromir shrugged. “Father, you know that fantasies are not my domain! But this dream, it flares like fire in my heart!”
The warrior sighed. His father would not like to hear this. “And Faramir shares this portion of the dream!”
He would not say that Faramir had the worst of it. Dreams that woke him, screaming.
“We have to go to Imladris and find out the meaning of it all, no matter what the cost! I know this is fateful!”
And Denethor knew that it was, too.
He waited for the fourth arrow to explode in his body. He waited for the last pristine spot of his shirt to be sullied with blood.
The arrow never came.
But his life was draining from him; a slow flow of life and blood, just as it once must have dripped into him through the umbilical cord, feeding him with maternal strength, until his form was completed, until he could be set on his life’s path.
Now that path was altered, its direction forever changed, from life to death.
He sighed, thought of his mother.
And then he was dead.
“Farewell to the Heroes”
The hooves of the horses echo in the silence of the streets. The early morning sun glints on helmets, shields and swords. I look at the faces of the warriors, so tired and grim. They will die to defend me, before I had the chance to know their names or if their kiss is sweet on a moonlit night.
I throw my bunch of wilting flowers on the pavement.
Grey eyes meet mine.
My heart beats faster. A handsome young hero.
But he is gone before I can raise my hand to blow him a kiss.
He never came back.
Plans and Hope
“It’s my best estimate, sire,” the scout told Prince Imrahil. “We will be out-numbered at least 10 to 1.”
The Prince looked at the soldier. He was a young man, but the days of war had worn deep furrows in the youthful face. His back was bent with the weight of the world.
Imrahil looked at the boy in front of him. Where were his own sons now?
“Even for this situation,” he told the boy. “We have plans. We are not taken unawares. Take heart! There’s hope!”
“Really?” The boy’s eyes lit up.
I hope so. I really do.
He held the reins with a firm hand, as his horse whinnied with distress at the stink of decay drifting up from the Fields of the Pelennor. It was a warm spring.
Looking straight at the broken gates of Minas Tirith, he tried to ignore the awfulness of mangled corpses to the left and right of the road.
He entered the city. Of the first circle not much remained. For years poverty and indigence would reign here.
But then he lifted his head. Up at the Citadel the flag of the king was flying in the wind.
There was hope!
A young soldier waiting for battle and waiting to die, you may ask the reason why:
You may survive the skirmish of this night.
You will – perhaps – see battle in a week.
You might live to fight on Dagorlad’s plains.
The black hordes’ barrage will not cease.
The flood of darkness will flow endlessly.
A war has begun, which will never be won.
Why do you fight?
In darkness I drown, to the barrage I bend and war will surely wreck me –
but damned will I be, the day should I flee!
No magic, no wisdom or power for me:
only my life I have,
and gladly shall give,
so you may live!
A/N: a quote from Alfred Lord Tennyson: “The Charge of the Light Brigade”,
“Their’s not to reason why,
Their’s but to do and die”
Sleep, My Son, Sleep
A blanket for her son. To keep him covered and sheltered, all year long.
Handsome, he had been, his mail so bright, his eyes so proud, as she had thrown down roses of Imloth in front of the hooves of his horse.
Strong, he had been, with his dagger shining, his spear glinting and his grandfather’s sword gleaming.
Hope, he had given them, on that dark day, riding to war, out of the gates of Minas Tirith to face all their foes.
A blanket of earth for her son. To keep him covered and sheltered, sleeping in peace forever more.
The Thoughts that Remain
At the wake of your father, there ought to be one thought in your mind or one feeling in your heart that is at least charitable.
The musicians made their way forward to where the deceased was laid out in slow movements, careful not to disturb the blanket covering what remained of Denethor son of Ecthelion.
No one wanted to see what was under that blanket.
No one wanted to see what had become of Denethor.
But Faramir had seen what had become of his father, in life and in death.
He could not forget.
And he could not forgive.
Celebrations and Consequences
His mother slapped him right in the face. Bergil cringed.
“What do you think you were doing? Lifting skirts and gathering ill-repute? Sampling the bitters of every inn in Minas Tirith?” She fumed, her face red, her hand still lifted threateningly.
His manly pride withering, Bergil ducked down further, rubbing his inflamed cheek.
“But Mom! It’s New Year’s Eve! Everyone is celebrating!”
“Everyone! I’ll give you everyone! You are all but fourteen!” His mother shouted.
There was no reasoning with his mother. So, feeling slightly queasy from too many drinks, the Citadel’s proudest squire slunk off to his bed.
Coneys, Stew and Circumstance
“I know it’s not much,” the woman said, as she put the bowl on the table. “It’s only a bit of stew, some coneys. With the circumstances being what they are, I am glad to have anything on the table.”
The war had left Harondor a wasteland. Burned houses, poisoned wells and fields where nothing grew but the rusty remains of swords and scimitars, good for nothing but ruining a plough.
“It is an honour that you share this meal with me,” he said and bowed to her.
“And a sign of hope for us,” the woman replied. “Elessar Telcontar!”
What books can teach
What books could teach!
The knowledge contained in the books archived in the library of Minas Tirith seemed almost infinite! Éowyn was more than pleased with what she had discovered in the vaults today. This trip had been really a good idea; even the most impartial judge could see that!
How to enhance love play with mock battles.
Oh, yes, she could see the sense in that!
But what about this?
How to tie down your lover with silken ropes and 23 knots.
Would Faramir like this?
Éowyn’s smile was naughty. She was willing to give it a try …
Sam blushed beet-red.
They were on a visit in Gondor, the Gamgees, the Tooks and the Brandybucks. An adventure to enjoy with their wives and families!
But Sam did not enjoy himself at all, as he sat on a bench in the gardens of the Citadel, next to the Queen of Gondor.
“’Tis not only the clothin’ if ye take my meanin’, my lady. That’s exotic, to be sure. But quite pretty. Really, quite pretty. But –” He stopped short. How to continue? However, he really needed advice. Female advice! “’Tis quite mysterious… I simply don’t grasp it, what me wife wants me to do… really, I feel all shipwrecked and helpless…”
Arwen smiled at the hobbit’s embarrassment and handed him a book. “Read that. It will help you!”
The title was “The Garden of Pleasure”.
A gardener’s book!
Sam heaved a sigh of relief. Now, that couldn’t be bad!
She almost wished she’d never showed that book to Faramir. She remembered that glint in his eyes, when he looked up… that knowing smile…
Her eyes bound with a silken scarf, Éowyn could not distinguish any form or movement. For once she was not in control, but bound to helplessly suffer whatever sweet torture Faramir saw fit to bestow upon her.
Her desire almost unbearable, she moved her body against his hot tongue. With a hoarse scream she came.
Later, drifting off to sleep in his arms, she replied to his question:
“Well… I can’t say it was really uncomfortable.”
The Joy of Children
Arwen stared at her two daughters – identical twins with the same dark hair and grey eyes as their mother – and sighed deeply.
With perfect synchronicity her daughters had fouled up their diapers.
Arwen was weary to her bones from endless nights of jumping to the needs of her pretty daughters. Now they stank to high heaven once again and screeched like rusty doors with annoyance at their condition.
Sighing, she picked her daughters up to take them back to the nursery for a new set of diapers.
“Next time I want them house-trained at birth,” the queen of Gondor muttered.
Cleanliness and Godliness
Faramir stripped off his shirt. Ten years after the war, the Prince of Ithilien was a commanding presence. Confident in posture, supple in his movements. Only sometimes his gaze turned hard and cold with memories.
But now he was smiling. In fact, he was suppressing a grin.
“Must I? Really?” Elboron tilted his head questioningly.
Faramir nodded. “Of course.”
Elboron heaved a sigh. “If you insist…”
“Your mother would not appreciate it, if we came to supper all dusty.”
“Right.” The little boy set his jaws, mimicking his father, and splashed the ewer full of icy water over his body.
Only a Game
“It was intended only as a game!” The little boy wailed as his mother tried to rub the oil-colour off the delicate skin.
“I was to be a corsair! And Elboron would be Ada and chase after me!”
“For that mischief you needed to fill the expensive colours of the court’s artist into a jam jar?” Aragorn frowned at his only son.
Arwen looked up, an entreating smile on her face. She spoke soothingly, “Melethron nîn, I think it was just an extension of that fable you told them last night… you are a very good story-teller, you know!”
“That is a potent brew of rumours if ever I heard one,” Iorlas said and gave the table a resounding thump.
“Outrageous, isn’t it?” The wench cuddled in the arm of his fellow drinker enthused, showing her rather crooked teeth. “Such renowned warriors! And now this!”
She rolled her eyes, pretending profuse distaste. But there was no mistaking the gleam in her eyes: a dreary desire for dirty gossip that burned in the vapid features of the tavern girl.
“A dwarf and an elf! Ain’t it horrid? And I ask you, my lord, is that at all bi-bito-bigologically possible?”
Herblore: for Fliewatuet
She sat in the herbarium, a quiet hall in the Houses of Healing, where all the herblore of Gondor was kept and the herbs to go with it. Roses of Imloth, the dried leaves of Culumalda trees…
And, now, after years of being spurned as an old wives’ folly: athelas.
Even dried and pressed, the leaves exuded their pungent fragrance. Carefully she retraced the long leaves.
It was a quandary. How should she phrase her comment?
Athelas? Asëa aranion? Or kingsfoil?
She thought of the king. Those bright grey eyes. That touching smile. That gentle voice.
She began to write…
Athelas Again: for Fliewatuet
He woke with a hangover. No wonder … the newly reclaimed territory of southern Gondor certainly merited a celebration, or two. Maybe even three. But his head reminded him that a week of partying was too much of a good thing.
He rolled over and felt positively green.
He saw green. He touched green. He smelled green. His wife, more beautiful than any exotic flower of Harondor, was dressed in a sheer nightdress of green silk.
He nuzzled her neck, his stubbled chin undoubtedly scratching her soft skin. Then he whispered, “I really need athelas. Would you be so kind…?”
(written for the “Put Down That Can(n)on, Mr. Tolkien!”-Challenge at HASA)
The men had gone off to war a year ago. Lothíriel spent this summer with Éowyn. With the children off to play a game, the women sat side by side on the lawn.
It could have been a beautiful day…
Lothíriel leaned back, trying to remember soft touches and hot kisses. When love and desire had been readily available to her, how easily had she dismissed their meaning!
She closed her eyes, but could not suppress her tears.
Suddenly she felt the light touch of cool lips.
“I miss Faramir, too,” Éowyn whispered. “But perhaps we can comfort each other.”
A/N: Any feedback at all is immensely appreciated!
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.