24. Chapter 24
‘You asked me to press the buttons and I did’.
‘I didn’t tell you to melt it!’
Oh, it’s just Nicky and Maglor having one of their friendly disagreements. Then my brain kicked in, and I thought, what the hell have they melted? And how? The microwave, of course, it’s high up on top of a cupboard, and Nicky can’t reach it, so she must have asked Maglor to use it for her. Oh god, I think as I grab a pair of jeans and a sweater from my bedroom, what have they nuked into oblivion!
I stumbled half awake into the kitchen, and was confronted by a guilty looking elf holding a plate containing what looked like melted butter.
‘I do not know what went wrong’, said Maglor
‘Didn’t mean to wake you’, said Nicky in the same breath.
‘Nicky! What setting did you use to soften the butter?’ I asked as I realised that this is what they were trying to do. She told me.
‘That’s only for frozen butter! Like this,’ I said taking some from the freezer.
‘Oh’, said Nicky, looking a bit ashamed.
Maglor looked at the plate of sticky goo he held. ‘Where shall I put this?’ he asked, a little shame faced himself.
‘On the sink please, I’ll see if I can use some of it later for cake making’, I said
‘Chocolate cake?’ asked Nicky.
‘Maybe. If you don’t wreak anything else’, I said.
In the corner, Maglor had been making coffee. As he gave me a cup he said, ‘I will make cakes tonight, and Nicky shall help me.’ He gave her a stern glare, which did not bother Nicky at all.
The frozen butter was now softened, and Nicky and Maglor rapidly buttered the huge pile of toast they’d cooked. Then they spread it with jam, peanut butter or honey. We all trooped into the living room where the TV was turned on. Maglor carried the plateful of toast, and nearly dropped it in shock as the Thunderbirds started on TV and Nicky and I both yelled, ‘Thunderbirds are go!’ and fell to the floor in front of the screen, totally wrapt up in the show.
Poor Maglor, stuck watching a TV show featuring puppets running International Rescue with two crazy females for company. Interestingly, Maglor too soon became engrossed in the show, especially the space station and other equipment.
‘Do such things as a space station exist?’ he asked.
Nicky snorted. ‘Where have you been living, on another planet? The Russians have had one for years.’ She gave him a look of disbelief, ‘Next you’ll say you don’t know of the moon landings!’
Maglor stared back at Nicky, steel grey eyes meeting sky blue. ‘I have lived here many thousands of years,’ he said a bit arrogantly, ‘and I have heard of the moon landings. Like everyone I watched it on the television in 1969.’
‘Where were you living then?’ Nicky asked, changing the subject.
‘In Scotland, I was working for a farmer that summer, and I watched the moon landing with the farmer’s family. As long as I have lived, I would never want to travel into space, and it is beyond me why anyone would want to. A great deed, however’, he said, shaking his head.
Nicky was wide-eyed with surprise, ‘you really are immortal, aren’t you?’ she said, the full truth of what Maglor had told her about himself suddenly hitting home.
Maglor took unfair advantage of Nicky’s preoccupation to snag the last piece of peanut butter toast. ‘Hey, no fair’, she yelped, realising that immortal or not, Maglor was just as much of a peanut butter freak as herself.
Watching the two of them is very funny, I thought as I wiped tears of laughter from my eyes. Nicky is sulking so much now that Maglor has made her some more toast as a peace offering, and was much surprised by being rewarded by a hug from her.
Breakfast is finished, and as Maglor and I take the dishes back into the kitchen, he asks if he can speak to me privately, soon.
‘Ok, I’ll just make sure Nicky doesn’t interrupt us’, I said, somehow knowing that he wants to keep whatever it is from Nicky.
So, I went back into the living room, and noticed Nicky was watching Men In Black on video, so it was unlikely she would bother us until that was over. When I spoke to her she agreed to give us the privacy I asked for, but she didn’t really care as long as the movie was on.
‘Now, what’s bothering you?’ I asked Maglor as I walked back into the kitchen
‘Come here, and sit’, he said, reaching for my hand as I sat next to him. He kissed my hand, and then continued to hold it in both of his. Why all of a sudden is he so, well affectionate towards me? I was just about to ask when he spoke first.
‘Your Great Grandmother O’Brien,’ he asked, ‘does her name happen to be Vera.’?
‘Yes! How could you know that!’ I gasped.
‘And you look a lot like her?’
‘Yes! What is the hell is going on!’ I felt a massive headache coming on. How in the name of all that’s Holy does Maglor know these things!
‘Are you all right?’ he asked, noticing I was rubbing my temples with my free hand.
‘Yes, just bloody shocked. How can you know about my family?’
‘When I told Nicky that I lived in Scotland in 1969 I started thinking about the family I worked for that year. Their names were Bill and Susan O’Brien, a young couple whose first child, a young boy, was very ill. Living with them to help care for the sick baby was Bill’s Grandmother, Vera, who had just moved from Yorkshire.’
‘The sick baby was named James?’ I asked.
‘Yes, he was’, Maglor replied, his eyes locked on mine. ‘I know your uncle and aunt and great grandmother, and as I do not believe it is a coincidence.’
Events of the last few days have led to me being exhausted, and not up to revelations like this. My headache has intensified, and I leaned forward resting my head in my hands. Maglor has noticed and has moved himself and his chair closer to me. I found myself in his arms, leaning against him as he somehow soothed my headache.
Neither of us spoke for a while, then ‘Do you feel better?’ Maglor asked.
‘Yes, thank you’, I said and went to move away from him, only to find he tightened his hold so I could not move.
As he had done on the beach, he connected with my mind, and showed me his memories. I saw Nana, and Uncle Bill and Aunt Susan, younger than I remembered them, for 1969 I was only two, and had not met them yet. Maglor’s memories showed him working on the farm with my uncle, tending livestock and crops. It had apparently been a happy summer for him, for the memories were pleasant.
Then, more abruptly than before, he broke contact and I found myself back in my kitchen, in the present, still held in his arms.
‘Do you believe now that I knew your family’, he asked.
‘Yes, there’s no doubt you’re right, but what does it mean?’
He sighed, ‘I do not know, but it must mean something’; and he kissed my brow.
I sat up then, having decided I needed to know, ‘Why all the hugs and kisses lately?’ I asked him.
‘Do you dislike me touching you?’ he asked, a hurt look on his face.
‘No, I just wonder why?’
‘Elves are an affectionate race of people,’ he said laughing.
‘Oh’, I said, wondering if he was telling me everything.
‘I went for walk on the beach this morning’, he said suddenly.
‘Did you’, I said, curious.
‘Yes, at dawn. The sun rising over the waves was very beautiful,’ he said in a distant manner, as if speaking from a daydream.
‘That’s nice’, I said wondering where he was going with this.
He nodded. ‘And I as I walked, and dreamed, a vision came to me.’
‘A vision! What sort of vision,’ I asked him, intrigued.
‘Of an ancient island land now sunk beneath the waves. You would call it Atlantis; in past times it was called Numenor. This land was a gift to the remainder of the mortal peoples the Elves called the Edain. On Numenor they became wiser and longer-lived, before their folly lead to their downfall. My youngest foster son, Elros, was the first King of Numenor.
This morning as I walked along the beach, I had a vision of Numenor, and my foster son as King, with his family.’ He stopped here, and looked at me, ‘Do you know much of your families ancient heritage?’
‘A little. Nana O’Brien has told me of her grandparents, and I have mostly Celtic heritage, a little German and a dash of Finnish. Why?’ I said.
‘Because in my vision I saw a young woman, I think Elros’s granddaughter, and but for her blonde hair she looked exactly like you,’ he said.
‘Me! How could she look like me!’ I said, shaking my head trying to deny his words.
‘You are her descendant,’ he said, very gently, ‘and therefore my foster son is your fore father. When we first made mind contact, I thought you were of Numerean blood, but now I am certain.’
I sat still, my mind whirling, then a realisation hit me, ‘our meeting was meant to be? We are supposed to be friends and help each other?’ I said.
‘Yes, this was meant to be, from before you were born, Bronwyn, for you to play a part in my life was ordained by Illuvatar for some reason we have yet to fully discover. That I know some of your family members, that you are of Numorean blood, and that you discovered the scrolls we know. Yet, there is a piece of this puzzle missing.’ At my bemused and no doubt slightly stunned expression he smiled reassuringly, ‘do not fear, we will find out together what else is meant to be.’
‘I’m not frightened, just confused’, I said, having difficulty this early in the morning making sense of everything.
‘Perhaps I should not have told you,’ he said.
‘If you had this vision, then it must be important. So, you had to tell me, but maybe you should have waited till I woke up properly,’ I said.
He nodded, ‘I forget that mortals take longer to ‘wake up’ for the day as you said,’ he said, a twinkle of humour in his eyes.
‘At that, I’m off to have a shower, and then get some stuff ready for this afternoon’, I said.
As I went to stand, Maglor took my hand again, ‘you do not have to do this, Bronwyn. A Silmaril can take a strong hold on someone’s mind; the lure of these gems is not easy to resist,’ he said.
‘I know I don’t have to come with you, I’ve said that I don’t think you should even try alone, anyway, how can you without my help?’ I said.
‘I know I need the boat and diving equipment, I meant that you do not have to dive with me’, he replied.
‘Yeah, right, like I’m letting anyone dive alone, especially you when you are going to go look at the Silmaril,’ I said
‘And you call me stubborn,’ he said, letting go of my hand as I went off to have my shower.
Standing under the hot water with shampoo in your eyes is just the perfect time to be told your mother is on the phone from Australia. So that’s exactly what Nicky yelled through the bathroom door at me.
‘Ok, be there in a minute, if she wants to hold,’ I yelled back.
Finishing the fastest shower in history, I pulled my clothes onto my still partly damp body and bolted out to the phone, only to find Maglor enjoying a nice chat with my Mother, oh great!
‘Can I talk to my own mother?’ I hissed.
‘Of course’, he said to me, and to my mum, ‘Bronwyn is here now, it has been nice talking to you, Jill’. He then handed me the phone.
Wondering what on earth Maglor had said to my mother, I took the phone, ‘Hi Mum,’ I said, rather nervously.
A long and confused phone call later, I got off the phone knowing two things: Mum was snooping into my life again, and that Granny Mills wasn’t well, so could I call her please.
‘Oh, I need a strong drink,’ I said, collapsing into a chair, my head in my hands.
‘She always looks like that when she’s been on the phone to her mother,’ said Nicky to Maglor wisely.
‘Did I say something to your mother I should not have?’ he asked.
‘What did you say?’ I said.
‘Your mother wanted to talk to me. She asked if I was staying here, and how I met you, and then she asked what I thought of you. I thought that was a strange question’, he said.
I groaned, ‘and what did you answer to her strange question?’ I said
‘That you are a very nice woman,’ he said, looking a little puzzled.
‘You’re in trouble now,’ said Nicky from the corner.
The puzzled look on Maglor’s face was still there as Anita knocked on the door, to be let in by her daughter.
‘I came to warn you,’ she said, ‘Mrs Shandley has been spying again, and she just told me she’d rung your mother about Maglor, so expect a call from Jill, you know she’s not going to be able to resist interfering.’
‘Already happened,’ said Nicky, ‘and guess who answered the phone;’ she pointed at Maglor.
‘Do you want a strong coffee?’ asked Anita.
‘What have I done wrong,’ asked Maglor.
‘Nothing. Jill is a wonderful woman, but her one failing is trying to run Bronwyn’s life for her. So when our local snoop told her of you, she naturally rang up to see who the guy is that’s living with her daughter,’ Anita said to Maglor.
‘Have I created an awkward situation for you?’ Maglor asked me.
I gave his hand a reassuring squeeze, ‘No, not really, Mum just worries.’
‘Yep, worries that you’ll end up with a guy she didn’t set you up with,’ said Anita.
‘Very true’, I said, after a good laugh.
‘What did you tell Jill?’ asked Anita.
‘The truth, Maglor’s a friend who is staying a while,’ I said, ‘but I don’t think she believed me.’
‘Of course not,’ said Anita, ‘mothers never believe what their daughters have to say about gorgeous guys living in the same house.’
Light broke upon Maglor with a dazzling radiance, ‘does your mother think we are lovers?’ a very surprised elf asked me.
Anita answered him for me, ‘Yes, but don’t let what Jill thinks bother you Maglor, she’s always inclined to think the worst of Bronwyn and the best of her younger sister Rhonda.’
Maglor nodded as he absorbed this information.
‘Ok, how did things go last night?’ I asked Anita.
‘The usual. Bit worse this time maybe,’ she answered pulling a face. ‘Andrew’s been charged and is in a juvenile detention centre for now. He’ll probably be convicted, and very likely have to stay inside for a couple of years.’
‘I meant how are you doing, Anita.’ I said.
‘Yeah, I know. Ok, I suppose, but I’m getting a lot of pressure to put up the bail money. Don’t worry’, she said at my look of concern, ‘I got caught last time, and I won’t go there again, let the little prick stay right where he is.’
Wow, last night must have been intense. Never heard Anita speak so harshly of her son before. I glanced quickly Maglor’s way, to discover he was staring at Anita, who was doing her best to ignore him.
‘Have you disowned your son?’ he asked Anita.
‘Yes’, she said, very quietly. ‘I don’t like having to do it, but I have Nicky to think of. She doesn’t need an older brother who is a druggie stuffing up her life.’ Anita sighed deeply, and continued speaking, ‘of course, if Andrew gets off the drugs, and cleans himself up, I’ll be happy to see him again.’
Maglor reached over and laid his hand over Anita’s. ‘Sometimes we must hurt those we love for their own good,’ he said, his voice as soft as hers.
Anita stared into the elf’s eyes, the two seeming to be frozen in place, like statues. She started to say something, when the phone rang, jolting us all with the harsh sound of the ringing. I answered it.
When I hung up, all the others were looking at me, ‘Well, that’s the Marine Institute, confirming everything’s set up for our expedition this afternoon, so I suppose we’d better go, Maglor. Do you have everything you need?’
‘Yes, I have my things ready,’ he said.
We drove off then, in my truck, leaving Anita and Nicky at my place, as they were avoiding Anita’s parents, and knew they would not be looked for at my home. As events unfolded later that day, it was as well they were there.
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.