18. Heaven in the meantime
Prompt: Rivendell: "Every parting is a form of death, as every reunion is a type of heaven." --Tyron Edwards.
Summary: Between death and heaven lies Pelennor and its detritus.
Dawn over Erui Crossings saw widowed Morien lonely leaving home. Her sons had answered Minas Tirith's muster-call, and since then, she'd gone ghost-grey.
How hateful, the crows circling her field-corner! She took a shovel, went looking...
… and found two haggard youths asleep there – Southron and Dúnadan.
Ai, my boys! Horror showed them abandoned, dying, and outrage raised the shovel – Faithless murderers...!
One whimpered, heedless, dreaming: Nana!
Her insides cramped. Stricken, she stood, tears streaming forth, and could but think: Happy women, to whom they'll call and crawl!
Compassion spasmed – Morien fled without forgiving, but left her daily fare behind.
Author's notes: Nana! – "Mom!"
In terms of timing, this episode would occur sometime between Pelennor and the announcement that Barad-dûr had fallen, and of course well before all the names of the dead were known or could have been reported to far-flung families. Although there's no need (I hope) to read back-story for the drabble to make sense, in my mind, it's a sequel to Beyond the Pale.