20. Chapter 20
I have fed and checked the horses for her, and taken a walk in the gardens. Hoping Bronwyn would not mind, I have tended to some of the plants, especially one large silver birch, whose branches were overgrowing part of the roof. An elf can cause a tree to shed its branches were they interfere with a building, and I did this, curing the tree of its problem without hurting it.
Bronwyn is still sleeping, but now she stirs when I brush my fingertips across her cheek. She will wake soon, and I decide that we will need a meal when she does wake. A search through the cupboards brings to light all I will need to prepare a meal for us, and I make myself a cup of coffee, and look at the scroll again. As much as I have examined it, I have a belief that it holds more secrets than I can presently see on it, that it contains some kind of hidden writings I am sure. But it will not reveal its secrets; maybe the time is not yet right.
It is late afternoon when I hear footsteps, and look up to see Bronwyn enter the room, she is still half asleep from her appearance, her hair tousled, her eyes half closed.
‘Thanks for letting me sleep, I really needed it’, she says, smiling.
‘Would you like some coffee? I was just going to make myself some more, so I will make you one if you like’, I ask her.
‘Yes, please, it might wake me up a bit,’ she says, almost falling on to the far end of the sofa.
She is more awake when I bring her the coffee, and seat myself next to her. ‘Thank you’ she says, as she takes the cup, sipping carefully. ‘I don’t remember being this tired without getting drunk first’.
‘It was a very tiring night’, I say.
She smiles, ‘that is quite an understatement, Maglor’
‘Yes, I should not have burdened you with my problems’, I reply to her.
‘That’s what friends are for’, she says smiling again. ‘Your hand’s bothering you again, isn’t it?’ She reaches for my hand, again sliding her fingers over the scar there.
‘You feel the pain in my hand, do you not? As if it were your own? I ask her.
‘Yeah, I do. Why is that?’ she is curious. ‘You see, if I am condemned to a life time of feeling the pain in your sore hand, I would like to know why’.
I nod, understanding why she asks, ‘It is the soul bond again.’ She is still looking puzzled, ‘Since we made mind contact, you are able to feel my physical pain, and I can feel your thoughts and emotions a little.’
‘Really!’ she exclaims. ‘That could be a problem!’
Laughing, I shake my head at her, ‘I only feel simple things. Now I can sense that you are hungry, and you are thinking of taking a shower’, I tell her.
‘I’m impressed, you’re quite right. Think I’ll have that shower, I might feel better, and then I’ll see what there is to eat in this place’, she says, standing up.
‘I have prepared a meal for us.’ She looks surprised, ‘All elf men cook, and amongst the Noldor people most of the cooking is done by men’.
‘You never cease to amaze me. What other secrets do you have? Don’t tell me’, she says, holding up one hand, ‘you can walk on water too!’
‘No, but I can walk on snow, or mud without sinking. In water I would sink as quickly as you’, I say puzzled as to why she would ask if I can walk on water.
‘You are a curious creature, Maglor.’ She reaches up to touch my face, her fingers on my cheek, then trailing down my face, ‘I wish all my house guests were as thoughtful as you,’ she says. I watch her leave the room, my mind whirling. I can still feel the touch of her fingers on my face, how is it this mortal woman can so disturb me!
She goes into the bathroom, and I hear the water running as I go back into the kitchen to check the stew I have made, I hope Bronwyn will like it, as it is spicy, but I am sure I remember her saying she likes spicy food.
She is soon back, wide awake now, and laughing at the antics of her cat. ‘Why is Cherie so noisy’, I ask, as the cat is now looking at me, and howling loudly.
‘She’s hungry. She wants you to feed her’.
‘Oh,’ I look down at small animal, who is now standing on her back legs, her fore paws resting on my leg as she stares up at me from her blue eyes. ‘What would she like to eat?’
Bronwyn hands me a small plate, ‘here, give her this’.
I put it on the floor for Cherie, and as she starts to eat the meat with great speed I ask ‘Why did she want me to feed her? She is your cat’.
‘Ah, but she’s Siamese. They’re a bit different from other cats, and this is her odd way of saying she likes you’.
I look at the small creature, which has finished eating, and is licking the plate to be absolutely certain no trace of food remains. The cat meows as if to thank me, and wanders off to sleep in a chair.
‘Sit down, Bronwyn,’ she does and thanks me as I hand her a plate of the stew I made earlier.
‘This is great, what is it, a secret elf recipe?’ she says after she has eaten some.
‘No, just something I made from what I found in the cupboards. I am pleased you like it’, I answer her. ‘Do you want some of this?’ I ask, showing her a wine bottle.
‘Just a little thanks.’ Her eyes are sparkling as she looks at me, ‘Wow, I feel really spoilt, I know you won’t believe me, but you are a really nice guy’. When I start to protest again, she lays down her spoon, and glares at me ‘I invoke my privilege as a woman to have the last say on things, and I will have the last say on this subject, so there!’ She says now smiling cheekily.
There is nothing to do but to allow her to have her own way on the subject of my nature. In actual fact, before the theft of the Silmarils, and the oath, I would likely have privately agreed with her, most of the time. All people have moments when we are less than nice, and hurt those around us, but I like to think that before the oath I did well in trying to be like Mother, and always show consideration of others
We have finished eating now, and we are giving some thought to the task of clearing up, when Bronwyn’s telephone rings. She answers it quickly, for which I am grateful, as the sound is painful for my elven hearing. Her conversation is brief, and from my end makes no sense at all.
‘Slight change of plans tonight’, she says cheerfully.
‘Oh, what has happened?’ I ask.
‘That was the Marine Institute, instead of going out in the boat tonight, I’ve been asked to take charge of a rescue operation, and bring anyone who wants to help’.
‘Rescue operation?’ I am puzzled now, what on earth does she mean? I can feel that she in not unhappy by the change in plans, as she is more exhausted then she believed she would be.
‘Yep, a young whale, maybe the smaller of the two we saw last night has managed to strand itself on the beach about two miles south of here. I’ve been asked to take charge until someone can be called in, and to assist the local people who want to help the poor thing.’
‘Can I help?’ I ask. I know that there will be an attempt to help the beast back into the ocean, and I really do want to help. I like whales, and do not want to think of the poor creature dying on the sand.
‘Of course, the more the better, especially when we try to it back into the water. I’d like to bet that Nicky and Anita will come too. I’ll give them a call’.
She does so, and soon tells me that Nicky will be along, but not Anita, apparently there has been some trouble with her son.
‘The police are there’, said Bronwyn in a disgusted tone, ‘that bloody Andrew has probably been stealing again, the mongrel.’
She is very angry, it is coming through clearly to me, and I say so. ‘The damned kid doesn’t think, after everything his mother’s gone through she needs his crap like a hole in the head! Still, at least we can get Nicky out of there, she doesn’t need this any more than her mother does!’
I reflect that Bronwyn is right, we can get little Nicky away from this situation, and as I help Bronwyn collect the gear that we will need, I find myself thinking of my little friend, and how upset she must be by the disturbance in her family.
The back door opens, and slams shut. Nicky is here, very upset. I can tell she has been crying. ‘Is it wrong to want to punch your brother?’ she asks me.
‘It depends on what the brother did’.
‘My brother got picked up drug dealing, and now the police are hassling mum, and saying she is a bad mother, and I’m so scared I’ll get taken away from her!’ she says bursting into tears.
Poor child! What an unhappy situation she is in! I think as I comfort her, and dry her tears. ‘Come now, little one, you know Bronwyn will not let anyone take you away from your home. She will tell the police the truth, and all will be well’.
Nicky rubs her eyes, and smiles, ‘You’re right, I’m being silly, but I panicked you see’.
‘You are allowed to be frightened, when frightening things happen.’ I smile at her, ‘and under the circumstances, you are allowed to want to hit your brother. I should know, having six brothers!’
The little one laughs at this, and is looking happier. Bronwyn appears, ‘Well are we ready to go?’
‘Yeah, let’s go help this whale’, says Nicky, her childish enthusiasm back again. I sigh, wishing I were twelve years old and innocent of the world again.
Nicky has rushed to the vehicle, and as Bronwyn and I follow her, Bronwyn speaks to me, ‘Nicky’ll be staying the night; everyone is too upset over there. Did she talk to you?’
‘She did. She is afraid of being taken from her mother, and she asked if she should want to hit her brother for all the trouble he caused’.
Bronwyn has a thoughtful look on her face. ‘What did you say to her?’
‘That you would not allow her to be taken away, you would tell the police the truth that Anita is not a bad mother, and I said that she is allowed to want to hit her brother’.
‘Good’, she says, nodding. ‘I knew you’d sort her out’.
‘You sent her to talk to me?’
‘No, just made sure I was outside’.
‘Well, you and she have connected somehow, I don’t think you realise how much Nicky listens to you, or looks up to you, and I thought she’d do better talking to you’.
‘Nicky looks up to me?’ I ask, shocked.
‘She sure does. She thinks you’re the nicest person she knows, outside of her mum and me. She told me the other day’.
‘I do not know what to say or think!’ I say to Bronwyn and it is true, I do not. From wandering alone for many years, suddenly I find friends all around me, and it is strange after being friendless for so long. Very pleasant, but strange.
‘Don’t hurt your brain thinking, Maglor. Please just try to accept the Nicky and I are your friends. Even Anita in her own way likes you. So just settle down, and stop being silly’.
‘Silly!’ she says firmly. ‘Now, we have a whale to help save, so I suggest we go do it!
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.