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Medium Dawn Felagund of the Fountain

"By the Light of Roses," Chapter Seven

The (Cyber) Bag of Weasels

bread and puppet




"About as much fun as a bag of weasels"...when I first saw this Irish adage, it made me think of the life of a writer: sometimes perilous, sometimes painful, certainly interesting. My paper journal has always been called "The Bag of Weasels." This is the Bag of Weasels' online home.

"By the Light of Roses," Chapter Seven

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disgruntled
Last week, Finwë finally arrived in the House of Fëanaro, but--perhaps more importantly--we learned a sordid secret about the elusive Telvo, and Eressetor was forced to come to terms with his own "aberrant" nature as a result. This week, we delve a bit further into Eressetor's past and come closer to discovering why he has chosen exile in Formenos.

Please remember that this story is rated for adults only for reasons of sexuality and mature themes and contains slash. My thanks to everyone who is reading along! As usual, all comments are welcomed.


By the Light of Roses
Chapter Seven

The Aberrant


I was aberrant before I even knew the meaning of the word: As young as five years old, being left to play upon the floor with the seven-year-old son of one of my mother’s friends—a designer of stained glass windows, a golden-haired half-Vanyarin man with a wife always away on “commune”—while they disappeared for hours into her workshop, locking the door behind themselves and forbidding our entry because of the allegedly dangerous materials with which they worked.

I fell in love with the son of my mother’s friend when I was only five years old, for he was as golden as his father and as delicate as a beam of Laurelin’s light and—compared to my strict upbringing—relatively uninhibited. His father did not restrict the amount of candy that he could eat, and he arrived with his pockets bulging with it, and we would share it until our grinning teeth were streaked by color and we couldn’t control our gales of laughter, toys forgotten upon the floor as he held me and I nuzzled my face into his neck.

In the garden, beneath the heavy, fragrant blossoms of my mother’s pear tree, we “married” each other as we’d seen our parents’ friends do, whispering vows to Ilúvatar and squeezing our fingers into “rings” we’d woven each other from blades of grass, rings that yellowed like true gold over time and itched our fingers. But that we did not remove.

While his father and my mother conferred in my mother’s workshop, he took off his clothes and urged me to do the same and we bathed in the reflecting pool that my father had built in the rose garden. His body was like mine and yet not, I learned: skin silky and as golden as cooked sugar, with a regal bearing where my shoulders wanted to crumple and hide my skinny, pale body. His body was like mine perfected, though he insisted upon lifting my chin and looking upon me as though with admiration.

“Laurë,” I called him. His full name was something like that but with extra syllables tacked on; to me, Laurë was the important part, for he was like the golden light that coaxed my eyes open in the morning.

My father came home early from the work site one day, having developed a headache because of the heat, he said, and he found Laurë and me in the reflecting pool, naked and gazing upon the other’s chubby, babyish bodies (though Laurë was growing quickly and slimming toward maturity), and he hauled us both out by our arms—wrenching my shoulder and making me cry—his face red with shame. He’d interrupted my mother and Laurë’s father at their work, and there had been shouting, and Laurë had been swept away by his father in haste, without even the chance to say goodbye, although he looked back at me as he was dragged through the doorway, his blue eyes brimming with tears, lost to me with the brutal bang of the door slammed shut.

I was scolded by my father and made to dress in clothes that covered me from throat to ankle in punishment, leaving bare only my hands, despite the heat. Weeping, I brandished my ring woven of grass with childish insolence and found it torn from my finger and crushed beneath my father’s boot. My mother wrung her hands and I waited for her to intercede on my behalf, but she seemed almost relieved for my father’s angry attention being lavished on me, and my trust for her diminished that day, as I cried myself to sleep that night with an empty belly.

Neither Laurë nor his father returned to our house ever again.

I, though, remained aberrant, developing a crush on my historical lore tutor when I was only twenty-two years old: a charismatic young man who’d come on recommendation of one of Prince Nolofinwë’s lords and was prone to acting out the events in the texts with me, casting me in as unlikely of roles as King Finwë or Ulmo or Melian the Maia, making me giggle with his boisterous impersonations while my own playacting remained tentative and hesitant, always stayed by the fear that he would see me as ungainly and silly and no longer worthy of his instruction. (His leave-taking, though, was accomplished by my father, when he received recommendation of a wizened, cranky old man from Prince Nolofinwë himself; my young tutor with his bright laugh was summarily dismissed and went on to instruct the children of Prince Arafinwë.) Later, I avoided boys my age for my tendency to become infatuated with them, with the violent way that they occupied space, all jostling elbows and boastful voices, so unlike me: pale and bony, called “delicate” by my mother as an excuse why I could not come out to play when the other boys knocked. Soon, they stopped knocking, and I watched them in the street from behind a veil of curtains: flailing limbs practically crackling with energy, leaping and running as though they drew their power from the very air in their lungs and could never be quashed.

They riddled my dreams at night.

I discovered self-love at the age of twenty-six but indulged only once, afterward stricken with guilt so profound that I wept for an hour and scalded my hands in an effort to scrub them clean. After that, even my dreams became sterile, filled with whipping, crackling bodies gyrating austerely in the cold spaces around me, dreams lacking in both sound and color.

After a while, I became not aberrant so much as sexless: proud in my chastity as others my age were in their callow, yearning beauty, my body slumped and twisted from hours of hunching over books and parchments, ugly—I suspected—and eager to admit it, with the pride of one immune to the puerile whims of his peers.

Only, at times—with the same horrific teetering of an acrobat suspended upon a wire high off the ground—I would falter.

As I had at my time of “trouble.”

As I had that afternoon.

When Fëanáro’s six elder sons returned—letting a rush of cold air and noisy chatter into the house—I slipped soundlessly to my chambers as though frightened that they would read guilt in my face and know. For always, I was certain that people knew, that they could tell my aberrance by looking into my face. Certainly, it seemed that my father had always known and my mother, sweetly dismissing the boys on the doorstep—perhaps she had known too.

Pacing my chambers, I considered leaving, going to Fëanáro and pleading an excuse to return to Tirion, for I could not bear the thought of Telvo’s—of Fëanáro’s—eyes upon me after what I’d allowed myself to think that afternoon. This was foolish, coming here, as foolish as the explorer who stumbles for the better part of a day towards the oasis only to discover that it was only a mirage and, by his foolery, he has plunged further into the scorching desert that will take his life.

I opened the door to my armoire and gazed at my trunk at the bottom of it with my robes hung neatly above it. To bend and tug it to the floor with a bang seemed some a monumental effort, and the noise—I feared—would alert Fëanáro to my plans, and then he would know for certain.

I remembered his words—Why, then, are you here?—and suspected that he’d already come close to guessing.

A knock on the door interrupted my ruminations, and I heard myself call out and a head poked in my doorway: Maitimo. “Eressetor, Turko and Carnistir have put together a quick meal if you’d like to join us.” And stupidly, I found myself nodding and following him down the steps while he maintained a polite chatter about their hunt that afternoon (and how he wished I’d been able to join them, of course) and the word he’d received lately from his uncles in Tirion that might be of interest to me. I nodded and followed in his wake, grateful for his effortless banter to cover my guilt.

The dining room had been usurped as a staging area for the massive feast day-after-next, and so Curufinwë had set up a table on the patio outside, and Tyelkormo and Carnistir were setting out trays of leftover sliced meats and fruit salad hastily chopped into uneven pieces while Fëanáro popped the cork on a bottle of wine and handed it to Finwë to pour into glasses.

Tyelperinquar—who had recently grown from toddling awkwardly about to running in a frightening, headlong manner—had pulled free from an exhausted-looking Terentaulë and was circling the table and shrieking. Curufinwë emerged from the house behind his brothers and pressed his hands to his ears. “Terentaulë! For Manwë’s sake!” he shouted, and as though she’d been waiting for that very moment, she whirled on him.

And as though he was waiting for the same, Tyelperinquar’s foot caught one of the flagstones then and he was sent pitching forward, scraping his little hands and knees along the rough face of the rock.

Chaos was abuzz the table like a hive of angry bees: Fëanáro dropped the wine bottle to the table and it fell to its side, chugging wine across the tabletop, and dashed to his grandson’s side; Terentaulë tried to push through the throng of Fëanorions gone to comfort their fallen brother-son, all the while she wept and screamed at a livid Curufinwë; Tyelkormo was righting a caterwauling Tyelperinquar while Maitimo was scrabbling about for a napkin to blot the blood from his knees and hands, and Macalaurë was wringing his hands and trying to back out of the mess and only ended up stepping on Carnistir’s toe and inspiring the eruption of another argument.

From amidst the chaos, Finwë emerged and came to me, warm breath whispering in my ear, “The door at the end of the hall to the right, in it is some salve and some bandages and some of Tyelperinquar’s stuffed toys that I picked up out of the parlor. Bring one of each.”

Grateful to let the door fall shut on the ruckus out on the patio, I resisted my urge to tarry and hurried for the sake of poor Tyelperinquar (for even if the afternoon’s events made me doubt that I could muster the resolve to be in love with his mother, the poor boy surely didn’t deserve my disregard as well) to the end of the hall where three doors stood.

Forgetting Finwë’s exact words, I opened the one at the far end of the hall and something hard and heavy fell and landed on my toe. With a hiss of pain, I stooped to retrieve it.

A statue.

A statue of a woman: a full-bodied woman, naked and reclining with her hair the only covering of her body, done in copper and so exquisite that I winced at the cold touch of metal, for I’d half-expected her to be of warm flesh.

She looked familiar, and the memory came unbidden of a neck craned to see over the heads of people taller than me, a royal procession and a thick-bodied woman with a long rope of coppery hair: but it had not been she in whom I’d been interested, it had been the man who’d held her hand, a dark-haired resplendent man whose eyes I’d wanted to fall on mine, though he’d remained naïve to the admiring crowd around him.

She was Nerdanel, the wife of Fëanáro.

Blushing, knowing that I should not have seen—much less touched—this intimate item, I straightened with it pinched between my fingers to replace it on the shelf and found myself faced with shelves overflowing with hundreds more of the same: statues done in metal and ceramic, charcoal sketches and paintings; Nerdanel laughing and gazing lustily from beneath a curtain of hair and napping on her worktable and resting with her hand upon her pregnant belly; nude and clothed; bathing and sleeping and working.

She was far from an attractive woman but the artworks—seen through the eyes of Fëanáro—did not show that. One of the sketches was so fresh that charcoal flaked off in my fingers: Nerdanel rocking and nursing the newborn twins. Another was so old that the colors had faded into tinted shades of gray: a painting of Nerdanel lying the grass with the ties of her tunic coming undone, still a girl, not yet a wife or mother, laughing at a rain of pink petals being poured upon her from a source unseen, fingers stretching toward the viewer as though reaching for the source of the petals. I felt that if I reached forth too, I could pull her from the painting and into my embrace. I could almost see the slim, pale hand of Fëanáro moving into the picture—a guilty petal still stuck to his finger—and doing just that.

I wrung the statue in my hands, unsure if I wanted to demolish her…or worship her.

My mother had often been called to illustrate books on the Valar, and her drawings of them were different than her drawings of Elves: whimsically abstract, with hair coursing in a way that the wind would never have allowed and flattering features conveniently emphasized while others were dwarfed. Large eyes and tiny feet. Lips as bright as autumn apples upon a face as pale as snow. Bright eyes, benevolent smiles, peaceful hands turned to the sky. There was a certain reverence also in Fëanáro’s study of his departed wife: an ethereal, otherworldly quality to her, a sort of beauty that was more invention than reality. But the reason that I reached to touch her face, certain of her reality—as deluded as a bird that crashes into a window, believing it to be empty sky—was not because of his reverence but his mastery of her, as though every detail had been studied and memorized and worshipped.

What did I feel for that? A maelstrom of emotions: envy, yes, but hatred also for the woman who had the chance to command such reverent loyalty from one such as Fëanáro—and she was so ugly too! so unworthy!—and she’d cast it aside as though it mattered not.

There I stood, likewise ugly and unworthy, unable to imagine such audacity, turning her statue in my hand, fingers brushing thighs and breasts that Fëanáro had caressed in life, the memory of which had probably been with him in casting this statue. I did not hear the footsteps behind me until a shadow fell over the woman lying in my hands. “Eressetor” came the gently admonishing voice, “the closet to the right.”

The statue was taken from me and replaced on the shelf, securely this time, and the door shut upon the images—hundreds of images—of Nerdanel. Finwë opened the closet to the right and piled my arms high with salve and bandages and a stuffed dog made of rags. “We do not speak of that,” he said, and I knew of what he spoke: the closet. “It hurts him.” A warm, paternal hand pressed in the middle of my back and guided me down the hallway, back to the patio, to announce me as Tyelperinquar’s savior.
~oOo~

Both twins were missing at supper that night, and Telvo’s absence brought me a measure of relief, enough that I even cheerfully volunteered to help with the dishes—usually Telvo’s task—in hopes of dispelling any notion of strangeness that Fëanáro or his sons may have sensed about me.

(Although Fëanáro barely glanced at me through the entire meal, instead remaining in deep, avid conversation with his father at one end of the table, leaving me to feign bright-eyed mirth at the other, pretending to be amused by the dirty jokes that Carnistir and Tyelkormo were telling, each trying to best the other. They didn’t notice me either.)

After the meal, Tyelkormo and Carnistir carried the dishes into the kitchen and piled them on the counters amid the pots and pans the cooks had been using for their work that afternoon. I pushed my sleeves around my elbows and pondered the basin full of sudsy water; in my father’s home, dishwashing had been a chore done by a servant. My mother couldn’t chance “ruining her hands,” she said, and my father hadn’t the time, so there was a constantly changing procession of young women who came to do our laundry and dishes, “retiring” when they were taken as apprentices for more illustrious pursuits or when they married and began keeping their own homes.

Fëanáro’s children—despite growing up in the home of a High Prince—had no such luxuries. Their hands were calloused and scarred, though from far more than dishwashing. I felt disoriented—privileged, pampered—beside them. Alone in the kitchen, I had no idea where to begin, so I spent the first minute looking from the basin to the piles of food-smeared dishes and back to the basin, waiting for a logical solution to come upon me. Funny how I’d assumed that these tasks worthy of being done by young girls would be easy.

The kitchen door swung open then and admitted Terentaulë, bouncing a fussy Tyelperinquar on her hip. “I’ll wash if you dry,” she said, depositing Tyelperinquar into a corner, where he immediately hopped up and dashed to play alone beneath the table. She sighed and rubbed at the small of her back, then—glancing up to note my surprise—said, “Two always clean the dishes. I’ve always been the one to help Telvo.”

“Oh,” I said, as she nudged me aside and began plunking plates into the basin. A thin steam rose from the water, and I was grateful that she had volunteered to wash. Her hands—when they emerged—were a bright, painful pink, though she seemed not to notice.

“Tyelperinquar likes the time with his uncle.” I glanced behind me, and Tyelperinquar was peering curiously at me from beneath a chair. When my gaze happened upon him, he jerked back into the shadows. Terentaulë laughed. “Don’t worry, he’s just not accustomed to you yet. But Tyelperinquar takes after me in that. Telvo has always been my favorite of the brothers.”

I noticed that she did not qualify: except for my husband of course. She gave me a secretive smile, as though she’d noticed her error too and did not intend to correct it.

So close! I thought. So close to her at last, and here I’d decided not to be in love with her!

If the brothers’ masculinity was in their ability to rouse noise and uproar wherever they went, so Terentaulë’s femininity—despite her arms muscular from working in the garden, despite her thick-calloused hands—was in her subtle invasion of one’s senses: her scent of the bathing powders that she and Vingarië used; the gentle heat of her body beside mine; the quiet power of her voice, when she spoke, in volume rarely exceeding the splash of dishes dropping into the basin but making me crane over to listen, anticipating that words so selective must be worth hearing. Even in her appearance was subtler than that of the Fëanorians—hands glinting with jewels and angular, hard bodies honed for domination—in the gentle curve of breast, belly, hip, a body created for comfort and nurturance, into which one should wish to bury himself and never emerge.

We worked side by side in a comfortable silence, until I heard a furtive scuttle behind me and would have turned if not for Terentaulë’s whispered admonishment and fingers on my wrist: “Shh, no, he will only run back under the table,” followed by a soft touch on my calf, barely perceptible, of a small bird landing, then tiny arms slipped around my leg. Terentaulë giggled and I glanced down to see Tyelperinquar embracing my leg, cheek pressed to my calf and upturned, plaintive eyes on mine, awaiting reproach.

“It seems that he has grown accustomed to you after all!” she said delightedly. “We will not tell his uncles Tyelkormo and Carnistir, for until two months ago he would not even let them hold him without wailing as though put to torment.”

How I wished that I could force my heart to love her! For I knew that I should love the curve of her cheek, the way her hair was coming unbound and falling over her shoulder. I knew that I should love her way of capturing escaped bubbles upon her hand and blowing gently upon them to let Tyelperinquar watch the swirling colors change. But I could not. What was wrong with me that I could not?

The Valar had explained how one might come to lust after a woman already wed; they’d blamed it on the Marring of Arda, as though the allegiances with which we should have been born in our hearts—a spouse chosen for each Elf who would in turn love that Elf and no other, as at Cuivienen—had been tangled in the tumult that Melkor had unleashed upon the world until some were given no love and some too much. I wondered at the destination of my own affections. I wondered why they had been cast to others like me—other males—when such love was fruitless. Aberrant. I wondered why the Valar could not explain this to me, why they could not quell the hatred of me festering in my heart.

For I could bear to lust after Terentaulë; such affections were common enough to be trite, the stuff of bad love poetry, a rung to be crossed in ascending to adulthood. For who hasn’t briefly coveted the wife of a friend, a married tutor, a distant cousin with bright eyes and long wed? I would scrawl my heartbroken sonnets and maybe even make my tearful confessions here, amid the stink of discarded food and the pungent aroma of soap. I would endure the scorn—the fists—of her husband. And I would grow past her in the way of a scab growing to cover a wound.

I wished that I could love the silence between us, her gentleness and subtlety, but I longed for the crashing uproar of her husband and his brothers, the musky reek of male bodies. I longed for arrogant beauty that knows it deserves love—and so shall be loved. She glanced at me, and I waited for her to say that she knew my thoughts, for so loud and anguished were they in my head that surely she must hear even just a whisper. But she smiled and said, “Eressetor, you are falling behind on drying your dishes.”

Indeed, the pile of damp dishes had grown quite high, and my hands lay idle, twisting the dishcloth. Nervously, I laughed. “Ai. It seems that I have become lost in thought.”

“Indeed, ‘Thought’ is a treacherous place,” she said, and I waited for her to laugh as with a joke, but her face remained grave as she concentrated on scrubbing dried food from between the tines of a fork. “Oh!” she said suddenly, as though struck. “I saw your friend in town. Ornisso? I told him that you were apprenticed to my father-in-law. He was in Formenos, delivering a message to Lord Merkurya. He sends his greetings.”

She fell into silence to match mine. I wondered if she could hear my pounding heart; I wondered if she noticed how I fumbled and nearly dropped Fëanáro’s favorite drinking mug? Tremulous hands sat it on the counter. Into my palm, she pressed the fork to be dried and returned to her task without a word.
  • I loved watching Tyelperinquar become accustomed to Eressetor. He's such a wonderful little toddler, hiding out until he's sure of the stranger, and then attaching himself firmly to his leg. That was my favorite bit out of the whole chapter. It's just such a pity that he has such an unfortunate name, but that's not your fault.

    Once again, Finwë emerges as the secret strength of the household, being the one to keep his head in the tiny little crisis. Lord, but that family needs a momma, and it looks like Finwë will have to be it.

    Eressetor seems to have had a miserable childhood, to the surprise of precisely nobody. It's too bad about his friend Laurë (Glorfindel?) -- they seemed so happy together, but Papa did have to throw that terrible fit. I suppose it was inevitable, though the affair can't have gotten too far.
    • He's such a wonderful little toddler, hiding out until he's sure of the stranger, and then attaching himself firmly to his leg. That was my favorite bit out of the whole chapter.

      I like that part too, and I'm glad that it had the intended effect.

      It's just such a pity that he has such an unfortunate name, but that's not your fault.

      *snerk* No, indeed! If I go to long without writing a story with his name in it, I have to look it up because it's so ridiculous. Well, now it's in my spellchecker, so that makes things easier.

      I would like to call him Tyelpe but--although I use shortened names in conversations because I'm too lazy to type the whole name--using shortened names other than those in "Shibboleth" in stories is one of my few canon pet peeves. So "Tyelperinquar" it is!

      Lord, but that family needs a momma, and it looks like Finwë will have to be it.

      He certainly gives the family its balance, as you've said. The kids are all struggling with their own personal demons and Feanor is...well, Feanor.

      It's too bad about his friend Laurë (Glorfindel?)

      You're the first to notice...or say that you've noticed anyway. I put that in just to tease the Erestor/Glorfindel fans out there. I don't know if Laure is Glorfindel or not...guess that's up to each person's imagination and preference!
      • The thing that really makes the "toddler scene" work is the way Mom gives Eressetor the advice not to look until the kid has come out. Mom really does know everything, and of course, Tyelperinquar thinks he's being oh so brave and daring.

        Awful as "Tyelperinquar" is, it's only about the third worst name that Tolkien ever came up with. The first runner-up is the name of the marshland just north of Ithilien. In Elvish, it's not that bad: Nindalf. But then, he adds the translation in the Common Tongue: Wetwang. Bzzzt, sorry, you lose. And then, the reigning winner in the Worst Tolkien Name Evar Competition is Celeborn's original name: Teleporno. There's just nothing you can do with that one.

        Tyelperinquar is going to have a terrible time learning to say and spell his own name. Did you ever read the Ramona Quimby books? The one where she's in kindergarten learning to print is hysterical. She immediately notes that it's not fair that some kids are named Joe or Sue, and she has to learn to write Ramona, which she sometimes misspells "Ranoma" because she gets the number of points on Ns and Ms mixed up.

        But sometimes the naming conventions in HoME provide fun moments. The tradition of having mother- and father-names as well as an established patronymic suffix means that parents, when angry, can yell at their kids using that age-old parental cadence of three names in succession:

        "Nelyafinwë Maitimo Fëanorion! You wash that mud off your feet right this minute!" And so forth.
        • And then, the reigning winner in the Worst Tolkien Name Evar Competition is Celeborn's original name: Teleporno. There's just nothing you can do with that one.

          *winces* Yes, I remember first encountering that one. Then I did a stupid thing and told Bobby about it. So now, whenever I mention Celeborn (which is not a whole lot, but still...), he retorts with "Teleporno!"

          Was television or porno even around when he invented that name, I wonder? Not like a good Catholic guy like Tolkien would know about the latter....

          (For the record, Bobby doesn't know about "Wetwang," and I'm hoping that he doesn't find out!)

          Though Tolkien seems to extend his own bizarre naming habits to Elven culture as well. I've always wondered what Earwen was thinking in calling her only daughter "man maiden." And I once saw someone suggest that Nerdanel--the meaning of whose name is not known, as far as I can tell--might also have derived from the stem of "man." Though this particular person suggested "man maker" since she had so many sons, which I found amusing.

          Sheesh. I am way off-topic. Sorry. I seem to be into tangents tonight, probably because this is the first time in two weeks that I have the luxury of indulging in one.

          Anyway, "Eol" is not such a good name either because some people (*ahem* Bobby again) have a tendency to call the character "A-hole" instead.
          • Celeborn is older than television, but pornography has been around forever. I don't think it was called "porno" in that era, though. But regardless, "Teleporno" is just an awful name.

            "Nerwen" is probably the Quenya equivalent of calling your daughter "Tomboy." I have to say, for a race known for appreciation of beauty, the Noldor don't do well on names: Handsome, Redhead, Tomboy. . . all we need now is the Elvish for Bashful, Dopey, Sneezy, Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy, and Doc. And then there's all the [insert adjective here]-Finwës.

            Eöl works because "A-hole" actually is a decent description of that character.
  • Oh, poor, poor Eressetor. :-( He has no self-esteem to speak of, it seems, and has had a terribly loveless life so far. I love that all this info about his early life and his family wasn't given until this chapter -- it fits right in with what we already know about him, and really does a nice job of just solidifying the specifics about his past. Very nice writing... and oh! this passage:

    How I wished that I could force my heart to love her! For I knew that I should love the curve of her cheek, the way her hair was coming unbound and falling over her shoulder. I knew that I should love her way of capturing escaped bubbles upon her hand and blowing gently upon them to let Tyelperinquar watch the swirling colors change. But I could not. What was wrong with me that I could not?

    *wordless sob*
    • Next week is Eressetor's more sordid backstory. Mwahahaha! (Not that I'm teasing people who have been complaining about having to wait a week between postings or anything.... *innocent whistle*)

      I think that Eressetor's mother might have loved him a bit. But his father didn't want him at all, and he is credited with being the first crack in their marriage, and I think that influenced her, as did the fact that he appears to be a little version of his father. Aside from the gay-thing, of course. ;)

      From there, of course, it is a self-defeating cycle: He feels unloved, so he acts like it and drives people away. *pets and huggles Eressetor*

      (By the way, I figured out that you have two LJs now, so I friended vana_tuivana as well! Meryth will friend you when I let him back on the computer; that damned muse gets himself into trouble when I let him on the comp unsupervised....)
  • Oh, poor Erestor! Sounds like even a childhood in Aman without mothers dying and unwanted half-brothers isn't necessarily happy...
    Both his parents seem rather overtaxed with having a child. An aberrant, "delicate" child moreover. Poor little elf, growing up like that.

    Little Tyelperinquar, on the other hand, is adorable. And he finally gives Erestor the hug he deserves! (Although he deserves a firm kick for thinking himself so ugly and worthless, damnit!) I'm growing rather fond of his mother, too.

    And, as always, I can't wait for next Thursday!
    • Oh, poor Erestor! Sounds like even a childhood in Aman without mothers dying and unwanted half-brothers isn't necessarily happy...

      I certainly don't think that it was. And I am out to prove that Valinor was not the paradise they show you in the travel brochures, one story at a time. *evil grin*

      Both his parents seem rather overtaxed with having a child. An aberrant, "delicate" child moreover.

      His father didn't even want him, which--if you take LaCE as canon or even as a bit of truth--makes him aberrant as well. I think that Eressetor's problems stemmed from there: being known as his mother's mistake, as the first crack in his parents' marriage, not to mention his father's subsequent attitude towards him.

      And both parents are flighty and more concerned with their respective careers than their son. Not like any modern parallels can be drawn here, in America anyway. *ahem*

      (Although he deserves a firm kick for thinking himself so ugly and worthless, damnit!)

      At first I thought that you wanted to kick Tyelpe! Then the sentence sunk past the blond, and I realized.... ;)

      I'm growing rather fond of his mother, too.

      Good! I was hoping to make Terentaule a likeable character in this, but female characters tend to elude me at times.

      And, as always, I can't wait for next Thursday!

      :^D Hey, we're about halfway through the story! It has fifteen chapters. And next week, you will get Eressetor's sordid history. >:^D

      Thanks so much for continuing to read along and for the lovely comment. This week was made much better by my online friends *hugs*
      • I certainly don't think that it was. And I am out to prove that Valinor was not the paradise they show you in the travel brochures, one story at a time. *evil grin*

        *cackles* You are. I love it.


        At first I thought that you wanted to kick Tyelpe! Then the sentence sunk past the blond, and I realized.... ;)


        Noooo! I'd never kick cute little Tyelpe. Not until he grows up and tries funny business with rings, anyway. ;)

        Thanks so much for continuing to read along and for the lovely comment. This week was made much better by my online friends *hugs*

        So I haven't been entirely useless this week! Yay!
        *hugs back*
  • The Valar had explained how one might come to lust after a woman already wed; they’d blamed it on the Marring of Arda,...(snip)..... some were given no love and some too much.

    I love how you bring scientific (Valarogic) explanations into your stories. The Cuivienen love muddle is interesting.....and probably a lot more fun than the ancient elves want us to know. ;-)

    I saw your friend in town. Ornisso?

    You are going to give Eressetor ulcers. Poor thing. {{hugs}}




    • I love how you bring scientific (Valarogic) explanations into your stories.

      I love bringing mythology (and obscure "canon") into stories. It's fun to think through things as would the characters. Yes, precious, I am a sick person. ;)

      But, thank you; it's good to know that others notice it and appreciate it as well! :)

      The Cuivienen love muddle is interesting.....and probably a lot more fun than the ancient elves want us to know. ;-)

      *evil grin*

      One day, I am going to write a story about Cuivienen. But I have to do more reading and research first.

      I am always intrigued how the Avari or the original Elves portrayed the ideas that are presented in LaCE.

      You are going to give Eressetor ulcers.

      Yep. Feanor will take care of him soon enough, though. >:^]

      (By the way, have I told you how much I adore your icon? Me wants to kidnap him and give him to my Elves to play with. Finrod is grinning maniacally now, for some reason....)
      • (By the way, have I told you how much I adore your icon? Me wants to kidnap him and give him to my Elves to play with. Finrod is grinning maniacally now, for some reason....)

        That's because Finrod has a bit of an evil streak......he knows who is hiding behind the ivy. Believe me when I say your Valinor-raised elves are not ready for 21st century Elrohir.

        Elrohir skiing

  • He's one seriously messed up guy. Exactly what personality disorder(s) have you given him?

    Definitely Avoidant Personality Disorder (Marked social inhibition, feelings of inadequacy, and extremely sensitive to criticism), maybe Schizoid P.D. (A pervasive pattern of detachment from social relationships and a restricted range of expression of emotions in interpersonal settings, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts,).

    You're not too hopeful for his future, are you? While self-esteem issues will undoubtedly present themselves in treatment, serious self-enhancement is unlikely. The negative self-valuation is a life-long, pervasive cognition not conducive to regular methods of increasing one's self-esteem.
    Poor Eressetor. He needs a lusty affair to feel better about himself; help him out here.

    (Yes, I had to look this all up.)
    • Oh, now you're in my old territory of clinical psychology! :^D

      I would agree with the Avoidant, but I think Schizoid seems a bit too extreme. I'm not sure that he necessarily detaches from social relationships so much as he doesn't know how to form them. I believe that he longs for love and friendship like a normal person, but he turns people off by his poor self-esteem and his tendency to act harsh and pompous to cover it.

      Social anxiety disorder is a possibility too. He is very self-conscious and unduly concerned with appearing stupid or foolish in public. The good news is that SAD is much more easily treated with medication or therapy than personality disorders, which--as you noted--are next to impossible to treat.

      Well. That was fun and strangely nostalgic. :^D

      Poor Eressetor. He needs a lusty affair to feel better about himself; help him out here.

      Well, next week is Eressetor's sordid past. So it's not long now.... ;)

      (Yes, I had to look this all up.)

      Heck, I studied it, but I would have had to look it up too! Well, except for SAD; that's quite common, so we spent a lot of time on that one.
    • So how do clinical pshrinks figure out when they're talking about SAD (Social Anxiety Disorder) or SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). I picture many amusing misunderstandings at parties.
      • *snicker* I'd never considered it before, but I suppose that could cause some misunderstandings, i.e. a lot of introverts sitting under heat lamps and such.
    • Which brings up the subject of Elvish pharmacology; for a people who don't get sick, I wonder how those herbolgoists & healers spend their time.

      I'm just having some vision of meth-addicted Noldor wandering around Tirion, or Vanyar too stoned to get worked up over anything or do anything but sit at Manwe's feet and sing.

      Though I honestly think it was the light of the trees that was addictive; putting it in the silmarils just concentrated the effect, everyone get greedy over them: the Valar, Feanor, Thingol, the Dwarves, Dior, Elwing.
      • Which brings up the subject of Elvish pharmacology; for a people who don't get sick, I wonder how those herbolgoists & healers spend their time.

        GMTA. I've wondered this too. I've figured that healers did trade in caring for the injured, but before the Noldorin rebellion, I don't imagine that there were a lot of those either. Forge accidents? Falls from horses? Meth overdoses?

        To take a slight tangent, I've also wondered about what exactly constitutes "poisoning" for an Elf. Aredhel died of poison, but does this extend to food poisoning? Can wounds become infected by a higher-than-usual amount of toxic bacteria? (I've also wondered about what prevents cellular aging or keeps cells from replicating out of control and causing cancer, but you didn't ask for this tangent, so I'll kindly shut up now. ;^P)

        Vanyar too stoned to get worked up over anything or do anything but sit at Manwe's feet and sing.

        There's the answer I've been looking for as to why the Vanyar behave as they do!

        Though I honestly think it was the light of the trees that was addictive; putting it in the silmarils just concentrated the effect, everyone get greedy over them: the Valar, Feanor, Thingol, the Dwarves, Dior, Elwing.

        GMTA. Again. :) We just had a discussion on one of the Tolkien email lists I belong to about the Silmarils. It is also my belief that they had addictive properties. The behavior of someone who has prolonged contact with a Silmaril is strangely similar to the behavior of one who's taken heroin for too long. The idea of having to live without said Silmaril seems highly aversive--painful even?--to contemplate for those who have been exposed for long periods of time.

        I'd never considered the idea of concentrating the light and concentrating the effects of it. That's an interesting possibility! I have a theory also as to why putting the light into stones seemed to take a good thing and make a lot of bad things come of it, but I've babbled enough--and off-topic for much of it--so I'll shut up for now. ;)
        • I've always had a hard time believing that Miriel/Finwe were the first to die. Accidents do happen, especially to children: drownings, burns, hitting one's head, etc. Maybe the Valar immediately restored them to life, but then there wouldn't have been such distress at Finwe's death; that would have come later when it became apparent that he wasn't coming back.

          And it wouldn't have been just death, but disfiguring and disabling accidents. Most could probably be healed, but new body parts aren't going to grow back.

          Oh well, if you're going to suspend disbelief to accept eternal life, you shouldn't pick at all the details reflecting life as it is lived here.
  • In the garden, beneath the heavy, fragrant blossoms of my mother’s pear tree, we “married” each other as we’d seen our parents’ friends do, whispering vows to Ilúvatar and squeezing our fingers into “rings” we’d woven each other from blades of grass, rings that yellowed like true gold over time and itched our fingers. But that we did not remove.

    I really like the descriptions of this youthful 'love' that Eressetor used to have for his friend. I think you've captured the tenderness and innocence very well. And of course, such things do happen and are sometimes quite poignant.

    We worked side by side in a comfortable silence, until I heard a furtive scuttle behind me and would have turned if not for Terentaulë’s whispered admonishment and fingers on my wrist: “Shh, no, he will only run back under the table,” followed by a soft touch on my calf, barely perceptible, of a small bird landing, then tiny arms slipped around my leg. Terentaulë giggled and I glanced down to see Tyelperinquar embracing my leg, cheek pressed to my calf and upturned, plaintive eyes on mine, awaiting reproach.

    I love the scene of Terentaulë and Eressetor working together in the kitchen. It's very sweet how this friendship develops between them. And Tyelperinquar is such an odd little child! So reminiscent of Carnistir!

    For I could bear to lust after Terentaulë; such affections were common enough to be trite, the stuff of bad love poetry, a rung to be crossed in ascending to adulthood. For who hasn’t briefly coveted the wife of a friend, a married tutor, a distant cousin with bright eyes and long wed? I would scrawl my heartbroken sonnets and maybe even make my tearful confessions here, amid the stink of discarded food and the pungent aroma of soap. I would endure the scorn—the fists—of her husband. And I would grow past her in the way of a scab growing to cover a wound.

    This is my favorite paragraph. It's so well-described and the emotion is heart-wrenching. Poor Eressetor, thinking to spare himself the possible agony of experiencing truly realized love by claiming a false one. But I sense he knows that he can't do this, and he will be brave and face the inevitable.


    • I really like the descriptions of this youthful 'love' that Eressetor used to have for his friend. I think you've captured the tenderness and innocence very well. And of course, such things do happen and are sometimes quite poignant.

      Thank you! :) I had a boyfriend at the age of six, but it was more because we were the two least popular kids in the class and so seemed a natural couple. But I remember the intensity of puppy love all too well; I guess it really wasn't all that long ago for me. :^/

      I love the scene of Terentaulë and Eressetor working together in the kitchen. It's very sweet how this friendship develops between them.

      Terentaule totally surprised me as a character. Initially, I intended for Finwe to be the one who told Eressetor that Ornisso sent his greetings. It made sense, then, that Feanaro would find out about Ornisso and Eressetor from his father. But this part of the chapter evolved without my consent, and as I sat and stared at my audacious computer, I realized that I liked it. ;) So I changed the story to fit it.

      I can't say here because it would spoil the ending for the others, but you know that the "significant others" of the Feanorians play an important role by story's end, so I liked that Terentaule's character developed as it did. Also, it seemed an important step for Eressetor to become friends with her and accept that 1) he did not love her and 2) his squeamishness for picturing her and Curufinwe sexually involved had more to do with Curufinwe than Terentaule.
  • Are we really on chapter seven? Did I miss one? That can't be right...

    Aw, Erestor "married" Glorfindel! *giggle* ^_^

    And Tyelperinquar is Cute!!!!! Maybe even cuter than Carni...*didn't say that*

    And, on a further look, yes I did somehow miss chapter six, so I will go read that one now!!! *feels very stupid, and also really confused as to how that happened considering the lack of doing anything and the obsessive flist checking...*
    • Yes, you missed the *good* one too! Telvo is very disappointed and pouting with his clothes half-off. :^P

      So you think that "Laure" is Glorfindel too. Eeeeenteresting....

      (I put that detail in there to see if any readers would make the connection. I really don't know if they are the same character.)

      But when my sister and I were that age, my sister married a purple ball named Mr. Grape, so regardless, I don't think that Eressetor can do much worse than that!
      • Yes, you missed the *good* one too! Telvo is very disappointed and pouting with his clothes half-off. :^P

        Tat's a nice image...I'll take care of the rest of those clothes for you...;)

        Yes, I realize I missed the *good* one now!!! *tear* At least I found it now!

        So you think that "Laure" is Glorfindel too. Eeeeenteresting....

        *grin* Well, I must hold to my Erestor/Glorfindel OTP!!!! ;)

        But when my sister and I were that age, my sister married a purple ball named Mr. Grape, so regardless, I don't think that Eressetor can do much worse than that!

        LOL!!!! Yes, I think Glorfindel is a much better choice! (Though I was really sad that Erestor's dad didn't think so...jerk).
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