16. Chapter 16
For some time we sat; neither Bronwyn or I had moved much, but just sat in silence, which she broke, ‘Why should my touching your hand take the pain away?’ she said, still continuing to gently rub the palm of my right hand. I do not answer her immediately and she speaks again, ‘Does it start to hurt again if I stop? she asks, her actions mirroring her words.
‘Yes, strangely enough it does’, I say to her.
‘Much’ she asks.
‘Quite a bit, for I have not realised how my hand has hurt me until it did not’.
‘Poor Maglor,’ she says, smiling, her fingertips again soothing the pain. ‘Why?’ she asks suddenly.
‘Why what,’ I answer.
‘Why should a scar still hurt you?’
‘It is punishment, for daring to take a Silmaril for myself after all the evil I have done’. To my surprise, she has moved even closer to me, and I feel her compassion for my sorrow and the emotional strength, which she has given me through our physical contact. Since it has been many years from when I last felt another’s touch I have drawn more from her than I ought to have, but it has not affected her, through my ability as an elf to see into other’s hearts and minds, I know she has freely given me what she has.
‘A punishment. From who, God?’ she says softly, ‘and if this is God’s punishment, how is it I can take the pain away?’ She had been resting her head on my shoulder, and now sits up to look me in the eye, still holding my right hand in hers.
I have been pondering this, and give her the only answer I can make any sense of, ‘I think, somehow, that our souls must be connected’.
Bronwyn does not appear particularly surprised by that statement, instead she nods. ‘It makes perfect sense, now I understand how I have been so drawn to you when I have only known you a few days’.
‘Yes, it starting to make sense,’ I reply to her.
‘And so how does that scroll fit in to this? As I said earlier, I know it shows a way to a hidden elf civilisation, but what does it have to do with jewels, and scars that still hurt?’ she asks me, obviously confused about how it all connects, and where I come in to it all.
‘The scroll shows the straight road to Valinor, a place that once was part of what you call earth. Elves live there, but mortals may not, with a very few honoured exceptions.’
‘If it was once part of earth, why is not now? Where did it go? Another time? The Astral Plane?’
‘Valinor is both in another time, and on the Astral Plane, only those who know the way, and who are permitted may go there,’ I say to Bronwyn. She is listening carefully to all I say, and she has again surprised me. That she believes me does not surprise me, but for a mortal to be so informed of alternative realms does astonish me.
‘So, it was removed from the earth, and all the elves are supposed to go there, right? Why aren’t you there, then?
This last is not really a question to me, but to herself, and I wait curiously to see if she is perceptive enough to come up with the answer herself. ‘That day on the beach, when we met, you said something was forbidden to you. This is it, isn’t it, you’re not allowed well, I guess, basically to go home?’
‘Yes, that is it’, I say, turning away from Bronwyn, thinking on the forbidden has brought tears to my eyes, for I long for Valinor, for my friends and those of my family who still live, or may have been released from Mandos.
Maglor has turned away, so as I don’t see him cry. Why is it all males have a thing about not letting others see their emotional distress? He has pulled away from me now, his back to me, and his head bowed, although he his hand is still in mine. Does he want further comfort, but is afraid to ask?
I move towards him, my left hand going to his shoulder, and I feel him tense. Slowly, so he has a chance to pull away from me if he wants, I move to sit close behind him, and slide my arm around him, and lean into him, offering comfort. He doesn’t reject me, but I notice he is shaking, and wonder what it is that is so obviously causing him such terrible pain.
‘What is wrong, Maglor?’ I ask him.
‘Can’t tell you’, is his muffled, teary reply.
‘Yes, you can, if you want to’.
‘Please tell me, I won’t hate you.’
‘Yes, you will’, he says pulling away from me again. This time he turns to face me, tears sparkling in his eyes.
‘Whatever it is that is the matter, Maglor, you are very obviously in a lot of pain. Can’t you trust me, and let it out?
His reply was to shake his head, and twist his fingers together.
‘Maglor, for your own good, you should tell me, it is hurting you even more bottling this up, you should let it out’, I say to him, very concerned now.
He is looking out to sea, and he speaks as he watches the waves, ‘I have killed many people, innocent helpless people, women and children, for the sake of an oath, and as I sit here the sea looks red with their blood to me. So, you see, I am not who you think I am, I am a murderer, as vile as any that has lived.’
I know I am staring, a shocked look on my face. What sort of an oath could turn a person who I believe is really kind and gentle into a murderer? No wonder there is such black torment in his soul.
‘Oh Maglor, what sort of an oath could do that to you?’
‘You still wish to hear my story? It is blood thirsty and cruel, and very foolish.’ He said, and I notice he appears to be close to breaking down.
‘You regret what you did’, this is not a question, but a statement.
He gives a soft, short laugh, humourless. ‘Regret is too small a word to encompass my sorrow at my actions.’
I have moved towards him again, my horror at his revelation is not as great as my compassion for his pain.
‘How can you bear to be near me? My hands are red with blood, see?’ he says holding his hands out; ‘they will never be clean’.
Trying to show my compassion in my voice, I take his hands in mine, ‘I see no blood on your hands, but I can see the stains on your soul’.
He has been on the point of breaking down for a while, and now he does, all but collapsing against me crying uncontrollably.
The bit about Valinor being removed from us by time, and (maybe) being in the Astral Plane, comes from a couple of web sites on Elves, and Magic. If you are interested, I can send the site addresses, it is quite interesting stuff, and correlates with a lot of what Tolkien said about elf history, although I don’t necessarily agree with or believe in everything on these sites, some of it sure makes sense to me!
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.