In the Cards: 24. Mania

Reader Toolbox   Log in for more tools

24. Mania

Silhouetted men about trash-can fires draw fearfully together as he passes. They know him – twenty years he's wandered these blighted streets, an unquiet presence, wrecked by more than poverty. There's a darkness riding in him, and they turn away.

They've reason, perhaps – who knows what he does when he's asleep? His dreams might – but they're bloody nightmares to shame his daytime rages. They sit heavy, like beasts desiring, for there's memory in them...

Rimed in his filth, he goes among the forgotten, haunted by faces with all the same eyes – by voices with all the same cries.

"Tell your fortune?" wheezes the half-blind madwoman perched amid garbage, and turns a resurrection.

He ignores her, would pass by, but she rises from her trash-bag throne. "The angel," she, persistent, rasps; "She comin'!"

Her hand catches his.  


His darkness shrieking descends, and he throws her aside – then stoops, snatches, slams her into a wall. Her eyes go white in her head, a wet-dark aureole spreading behind her dreads.

"Leave me!" he snarls – to himself, to her, warning and rejection commingled in confusion.

But she remains – dirt-crusted fingers dug into his sleeve, she pants, lips twitching, "Angel... she comin'..."

There's something on her face when she blinks, and he, foreboding, touches it – wet, stinging not sticky. Tears. She's weeping as she's smiling as she's dying, and she's looking at him...

It's a fist through his chest, that wet-eyed, laughing look. His legs buckle, pitch him to the pavement, bewildered, stunned. He's gasping like a half-drowned sailor and he can't catch his breath, can't catch his breath.

"Help," he mouths, stretching his hand to the one hand that wouldn't take rejection. But there's no life in it now; prostrate beside her, he succumbs to dizzying night.

1. I'm going with the alternate name "angel" for this card, rather than judgment.
2. Unfortunately, I couldn't get this part of Melkor's story done in under 300 words.

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.

Story Information

Author: Dwimordene

Status: General

Completion: Complete

Era: Multi-Age

Genre: Drama

Rating: Adult

Last Updated: 06/08/10

Original Post: 12/30/09

Go to In the Cards overview


No one has commented on this story yet. Be the first to comment!

Comments are hidden to prevent spoilers.
Click header to view comments

Talk to Dwimordene

If you are a HASA member, you must login to submit a comment.

We're sorry. Only HASA members may post comments. If you would like to speak with the author, please use the "Email Author" button in the Reader Toolbox. If you would like to join HASA, click here. Membership is free.

Reader Toolbox   Log in for more tools