The light hurts our eyes at first. It is not as promised.
The dust in the streets is a fine powder that glistens like diamonds. The dust on our bare feet is coarse and black and makes painful blisters. We are led before the Valar in tattered furs that are warm if not beautiful, not that warmth is an issue here.
Their robes are of silk, their sandals of leather as supple as water; there are jewels on their brows. I watch for their faces to pinch at the sight of us, but they betray no emotion. "Kings of the Eldar," they say, "we invite you to join us in Valinor."
A thrill seizes my heart—but I hesitate. Thoughts of the Hither Lands trouble me. I will miss the meadows glazed in silver, the flicker of the stars in Cuivienen. I will miss the starlight on Miriel's hair.
Ingwë steps forward.
Author's Notes: This drabble was inspired by Marta's birthday drabble request: "I'm interested in moments between cultures where one considers itself more civilised than the other. What did the 'less civilised' think of the 'more civilised'." So, of course, thanks go to Marta for such a thought-provoking and inspiring topic!
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.