The son of the King stands on the dark shores of a foreign land. His banners—Silmarils on a red field—slap the cold wind off the sea.
Dark waves, people's faces—twisted, horrified, still seeing the blood on the sand at Eldamar—pinpoints of stars made hazy-red by the rage that fogged his vision, even when he wipes his eyes, falling, clicking and clacking, into senseless place like tiles inside a kaleidoscope, never stopping or ceasing, although he wishes that they would, he wishes he could escape the underlying mantra, the rhythm to his madness, a big, pulsing beating heart: My father is dead. My father is dead.
And his son before him—his eldest son, tall and beautiful, his red hair playing in the wind, pulled free of his braids. There is tenuous hope in his eyes, the hope of a child who stares into the darkness, hoping the nightmare will not be true. "Atar," says the son, and a flare of warmth lights on his arm: a hand, warm fingers pressed to flesh gone cold. "Atar." A soft voice full of hope, red hair—like his mother's—twisting on the wind. "Now what ships and rowers will you spare to return, and whom shall they bear hither first? Fingon the valiant?"
But the words cannot disrupt the rhythm of his madness; like a slip of parchment tossed into whirling cogs, they are only destroyed: They cannot bring back his father, and so they cannot stop that squeezing rhythm. My father is dead. He sees darkness, and his father's beautiful city, red in the torchlight, and the thousands of flickering points spread at his feet—dangerous if dropped or held carelessly, but not as dangerous as his words.
And his half-brother and his sons, in the periphery of his vision, listening but not entirely convinced, possibly wishing to possess the torch-lit city for their own.
The white ships of the Teleri—which could not be washed clean of the horror of Eldamar no matter how many buckets were drawn aboard from the sea—creak as though in private, conspiratorial conversation. He is a King without a crown—the crown remains in Valinor and even his prince's adornments were stolen from Formenos—and his right to the throne is the reflection of fire in his eyes.
A torch now he sees, and he beckons to it. "Curufinwë!" he calls and brings black hair and obedient gray eyes to his side. The elder son is mouthing words, and he supposes that there is sound behind them—his mouth twists; he is protesting—but he does not hear it: He stares into the torch, the flame—red entwined with gold—and feels its heat on his face and does not think of the consequences of an arm that used to wield a hammer and make beautiful things that bends back now and uses all of its strength to hurl the fire at the white ships.
The red-haired son turns and strides away.
It does not take long for the tender wood to be consumed, and he is cold no longer; his face is bathed in flame, the smoke reddening his eyes and serving as a worthy excuse for the dampness upon his face.
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.