"The Small and Secret Things"--1 through 5
The Small and Secret Things is my daily-drabble project on SWG, based on the Dictionary.com Word of the Day. Because I really should have these things saved somewhere other than SWG (as, indeed, I preach to SWG members about their own work), then I am putting them up here as well. Hopefully, every few days, I'll be able to catch up and post a few more.
The betrothal of Arafinwë and Eärwen. I tried here to capture the languor of Alqualondë in contrast to Arafinwë's restless anxiety at waiting for Eärwen's reply. This was tough ... in just 100 words!
Evening in Alqualondë
It was evening in Alqualondë, the city of perpetual gloaming at a time where the mist rolled off of the sea and smeared halos about the lamps. All was silent but for the distant notes of a harp, muted in heavy air.
But for my heart, pattering too-quick in my chest.
My hand extended, fingers pinching the silver betrothal ring tightly so that they would not quiver. Jaw clenched against a shy, hopeful smile.
It was evening in Alqualondë, when a second held a thousand heartbeats and felt as long as an age of the world.
Until she said yes.
Maedhros on standing up to Fëanor about burning the ships at Losgar. This moment has always had significance to me, for it is the first indication of Maedhros's understanding of the need--and power--of unity between the Noldor. Yet it also is the first proof of how the strife between the princes of the Noldor will forever damn their quest against Morgoth. It is a portent of many things to come.
The Failure of Logic
As a child, I raised my voice against my father. He could seemingly twist logic to suit his whims and, gazing down upon me from formidable height, seethed with power that rendered me silent.
But now, I should be his better, for it is my logic against his senseless madness, only I see now what escaped me as a child: Logic cannot fight madness, a foot stamped obstinately in the dust, a ridiculous assertion upheld because it is, and there is no argument.
So the ships burn.
I should be his better, but still, I am not.
The ships burn.
Fingolfin tries to understand his half-brother's elusive affection. I have tried to use my "Nolofinwë voice" for this one: economical and to-the-point, focusing on physical (versus emotional) observations.
I totally blame Fëanáro for making him that way. ;)
A Study of Curufinwë
I study it closely, but the concept eludes me. So simple … I wonder: What am I missing?
I watch Curufinwë come through the door. Strides lengthen--one, two, three--and he is in our father's arms, hands clutching the other at the shoulders. He is wrinkling Father's robes.
I try it.
One, two, three--strides so long my legs ache. I cannot reach his shoulders but I clutch the small of his back so hard, trying to make his tunic wrinkle.
He peels me free.
"Nolofinwë! Leave me." Mouth down-turned, displeased.
I do not understand.
What am I missing?
I've never been a huge fan of the Valar, but I have always (oddly) possessed a weak spot for Námo "Named After My Halls" Mandos. It is always fun to try to get into the mind of someone strong (or cruel) enough to bear seeing the future and knowing that he can do nothing about it. Here, he watches the Eldar arrive in Aman.
I watch the new-arrived Elves from afar, stepping from island to Aman, wide-eyed, taking in Light for the first time. It must hurt--it does hurt, I know--but their eyes remain wide, pupils tiny dots, soulless like the eyes on statues. They don't even blink.
Before Manwë, Ingwë collapses to his knees. Trembling hands catch Manwë's and kiss the bright sapphire upon his finger. Behind Ingwë, like a row of dominoes, the other Eldar slowly topple in veneration.
Begotten both in the mind of Ilúvatar, I know Manwë's surprised pride at this.
In time, he will pay for that.
A double-drabble where Celegorm remembers his friendship with Oromë before he swears the Oath of the Fëanorians. I often ponder which son went first and which went last; in my mind, I often change their roles and try to develop the motives for each choice. It could make an interesting series of stories someday. In the meanwhile, it's a fun characterization exercise at least!
The torchlight paints shadows upon his face. He holds out a blade, unwavering and pointed to my chest. Your turn to swear.
I wonder how the torchlight looks upon me and hope it hides the doubt carving a frown upon my face. Or eyes suddenly welling with memory of forsaken friendship.
It is my turn.
For Curufinwë went first, son in image of father, then Nelyo, acting the obedient heir; Macalaurë next, in his brother's footsteps; the twins with eager, red-rimmed eyes and Carnistir last, strange motives of a strange heart as ever indecipherable as he spoke our father's oath.
Until only I am left.
Firelight gilds Father's blade; the steel runs red.
Even in Formenos, I remembered Oromë.
But I will not think that. 'Tis not his blood in my veins, nor is love for him first in my heart.
Nonetheless, I hesitate.
Eldar weren't meant to be seen this way, in torchlight, feral beasts drawn to heat of flame. Only once before have I known such fire-streaked darkness, in the womb, with his blood in my veins.
Valinor's plains gilded by Laurelin--and friendships found there--can be no more.
I take my place at my father's side.