Echoes: 1. Echoes

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1. Echoes

Finduilas echoes, not only in his heart, but in the whole of Minas Tirith. Sea lavender still blooms in haphazard places, like little crannies in the limestone walls. It was her reminder of home, and now it is a reminder of her. The flowers are of a rich, deep blue, crowned with tiny white stars. They can be cut and bundled and strung up to dry, and they will give colour to a home all through a winter, and another, and even a third. In the end, they fade; the blue evaporates leaving rustling shells, almost transparent, like straw to the touch. Older women, their bunches of star-studded blue in their hands, lift their heads as he walks by. They weigh him up, gauge his merits and nod slowly. Their eyes say, For your mother's sake…



Ada – for he still thinks of him by the name he called him in childhood, though in recent years he has been using a more formal address – Ada kept a sprig of sea lavender in a mother-of-pearl box by his bedside. Perhaps he took it out sometimes to ponder its fragile petals, or else he did not dare lift the lid for fear the blue might escape. Either way, he did not say. He did not speak of her, later, through all the years of stern words and sterner mien, but the boy could feel the thoughts sometimes, especially on those rainy afternoons when water fell from the overflowing gutters like long-due tears. It seemed to him at times that all was falling, water, walls, kingdoms, in a gently roaring plunge into a river that would bear them all away to the sea…



Rauros, they tell him, is the name of the waterfall that swallowed his brother. His funeral ground, unless he wants to believe that hazy vision which seems more dreamlike by the day.  That one who was so vigorous, ever moving, one who could not sit at the table – especially not on those rainy afternoons – without tapping a foot or drumming his fingers on his arm, that such a one could lie so still! Yet still he lay, no different now from what lay with him, broken horn, futile sword, and so he drifted away. In Rohan, they say, flowers like white stars grow on the graves of the fallen, but no flowers will grow for Boromir, unless the river took him out into the ocean and past the cliffs of Dol Amroth and the sea lavender nodded at him as a last farewell…



Aragorn carries no horn, and it is his sword that was broken, broken and forged anew. He is neither falling nor fading; his hand defeats, his voice calls back even from the threshold of death. Today he wears the winged crown. The white rod, however, inlaid with mother-of-pearl, he has handed back to his servant and called him a prince. Older women, with sprigs of sea lavender pinned to their dresses, weigh up the new king, nod slowly and wish that She could be here to see it. But she is now a cherished memory kept in a box, or a posy that dangles, in star-studded bunches, from the ceilings of their houses. Aragorn knows nothing of this secret kinship of colours, and on the summit of his crown shines a jewel like a flame…



Mordor lies extinguished. The voice of the king has proclaimed the fall of the Enemy and flame has consumed the power of evil. Ash now covers its stricken soils, ash hangs dry and colourless from the summit of Mount Doom and all the rain of all the gloomy afternoons when the boy sat at table with his brooding father and his finger-drumming brother, all that rain would not suffice to do ought but turn it into a glistening, pearly mud.  All the years of his life, the darkness has festered and dried up all joy. All the years of his manhood, the sword has hardened his hand. Now the Black Gates are fallen and the Dark Tower collapsed like a house of straw. Even the memory of fear is already fading. The shadows begin to withdraw from the west-facing mountain slopes…



Ithilien rains down those mountain slopes, cascades over rocks lined with rosemary, lavender and thyme.  Ithilien breathes water and pulsates with streams. Ithilien puts down deep roots, finds the good water, brings forth the fruit. Not yet, perhaps, not yet, but soon the swords will be laid aside and hands will seize the plough, the pruning hook. Homes scented with dangling posies will harbour the flame at the hearth.  For his mother's sake, his father's sake, his brother's sake, he will make it flourish. He keeps by his bedside a mother-of-pearl box which he has never yet opened and perhaps never will. At night the sky is a silky blue cloak on which stars sit like tiny flowers…



Rohan's White Lady has chosen and she has chosen him. He has clothed her in the blue night and the white stars. He has touched her pearly skin and it has all, all fallen into his hands, the eyes so blue, the hair coloured like sun-lit straw, the voice he would follow even to the threshold of death. She has vowed to put down her sword with his and hold out her hands, palms up, to receive the rain. Older women have nodded slowly and pressed posies of sea lavender into her arms as she walked down the winding road from the citadel. Now they lie in silence and in gently fading blueness on the windowsill of their new home. She, though, cannot hold still. When she sits at the table, her foot is tapping or her fingers are drumming on her arm. Faramir holds his breath and listens to the echoes…

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: Virtuella

Status: Reviewed

Completion: Complete

Era: 3rd Age - Post-Ring War

Genre: General

Rating: General

Last Updated: 10/16/11

Original Post: 10/01/11

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WARNING! Comments may contain spoilers for a chapter or story. Read with caution.


Itarille1 - 19 Oct 11 - 5:06 AM

Ch. 1: Echoes

Hi Virtuella,

I am a new member here. Just want to let you know how I enjoy your story. To me this story flows like a gentle wave, so beautiful.  My favourite part is the paragraph starting with Ithilien.


MrsBoromir - 23 Oct 11 - 9:33 PM

Ch. 1: Echoes

beutifully wrtten! so gentle it feels like peotry!

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