Drabble Series for Sunday and Monday
When I was small, I made a gift for my father on Awakening Day. I stole a trowel from the gardener’s shed and stomped my feet about the garden until thump-thump-thump, they came upon clay. Triumphantly, I extracted my prize from the earth and made for him with my own small hands a vase that I imagined worthy of holding the most beautiful of Yavanna’s flowers.
I got mud all over my hands and face that day, and I had to be given two baths because the first tub of water turned so muddy that it covered my whole body in a scrim of dirt that had to be washed away in clean water. And the gardener loudly lamented the patch of lawn I’d ruined—until my father silenced him with a stern glare, that is.
For he was proud of me. He took my vase and placed it in at the top of the stairs, upon a small table, where all could see. Not even on the family floor, where I had my bedroom next to his and no one went but us two and the chambermaid but the lords’ hallway where all could see my gift and marvel.
Not long after, my father announced that he was to wed Indis of the Vanyar, and all of the halls of my father’s home became unhappy for me. The family hallway was no longer a place for just my father, the chambermaid, and me because Indis was there now. In my father’s chamber, next to mine, where I could hear her voice answering his in laughter, and I thought, Imposter! Sycophant! and my stomach twisted until I was sick in the basin.
But the lords’ hallway was worse. There, my father’s marriage was a happy thing, and my attendant misery was thought strange and malicious. Manipulative, they called me. The lords began to avoid me, and I went there only to listen at doors, where strange words united my father and Indis. Not love: Well connected. High family. Politics.
Good politics. Good politics accompanied by glossy smiles that I could not mimic and soft grasping hands. My hands were growing hard with calluses.
Soon, I went there no longer. And I was more than glad to forget my vase—I had learned in my lessons with Aulë that it was mostly mud anyway—and the love that had inspired it.
On the day of my exile from Tirion, I spent long hours in my father’s study. “It was not my choice, to exile you,” he said, but I knew—even as he said it—that had it been, he would have seen me exiled anyway.
It was the last time that I would pass down the lords’ hallway, though I did not then know it. I was leaving the city. Leaving him.
But at the end of the hallway, I paused. It was still there: the vase. Still sitting upon its table at the top of the stairs, as ugly as the day I’d made it. I lifted it in my hands. I hadn’t even bothered to varnish it, and that it was made of mud—not clay—was sadly evident in the grit it left on my hands.
From behind me, my father’s voice: “Fëanáro?”
I lifted the vase over my head. And hurled it down the stairs.
Footsteps rushing towards me and Father’s voice, “Fëanáro, I am—” The vase rolled and bounced on each step and would not break.
“—I am coming with you.”
Unharmed, it rolled from the last step to the floor. And shattered.
For mirien is a quadrabble about hatred between two cousins. And passion.
This story is set just before Fëanor’s exile and is about the relationship that might have existed at this time between Maedhros and Fingon. It was written to have two meanings. If you take the first meaning, at face value, then it is simply a dark story about friendship turned to animosity.
If you choose to look at it from the second angle, then that “animosity” was spurred by a different sort of passion.
This is a slash story. If you do not like slash, do us both a favor and skip this one. It is not graphic, but it is dark and not for the faint of heart.
I hate him.
My eyes are drawn to him upon entering the clearing. It is the Winter Festival, and swaying lanterns are strung amid the trees and bonfires paint the people in a feral, throbbing light. There he is, hair the color and texture of flame; silver eyes bright in the darkness.
I hate him.
From across the clearing, his gaze is drawn to mine, and we stare for a long moment before he turns and moves away and lets the shadows swallow him. I see a lick of scarlet hair as he disappears. Amid the churning bodies and dancing flames and trees that bend with the rhythm of the drums, it is all that I can see.
Until the darkness claims him.
Yet we are destined to meet. We always have been. Coming together out of duty, then friendship. Now—
The eldest sons of the high princes cannot linger long on the periphery, and so it is inevitable. We are held tightly in the dark clutches of the crowd, moving to its center in slow jolting starts. I see him dancing with a maiden, long-fingered hands pale against the dark silk of her gown, pressing into her warm flesh beneath. He bumps me, and I seize that long fire-bright hair, defiant.
He strikes me in defense, an open hand across my cheek, a sound that falls between the relentless drumbeats. He wears a ring on that hand, and it cuts my face in a stuttering line. I am staring at his mouth, thin lips that I have not seen smile in a long, long time.
My fingers become a fist and meet that mouth, darkening his lips with his own blood.
Strong arms seize me from behind, just as he is seized by Macalaurë, and we are dragged apart. The cut on my face is throbbing in time with my heartbeat, matching the drums, then faster. Frantic. His blood is upon my knuckle, I see, when the crowd swallows him again and I can spare a glance for someone other than him.
Red blood on white skin.
Turukáno releases my arms with a disgusted admonishment before returning to the arms of his wife. The cut on my face throbs faster until it is just pain. Will it leave a scar? I hope that it will.
I lift my fist to my mouth and lick away his blood.