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Medium Dawn Felagund of the Fountain

Happy Birthday, Sirielle! (and your drabble series too)

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.

Happy Birthday, Sirielle! (and your drabble series too)

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sirielle asked for a drabble about Maglor’s fate after the last awful line in The Silmarillion. Since it is her birthday and also the holidays, I have given her several versions.

I've fallen a bit behind on posting. I have stuff written but no time to post! I should be able to catch up next week.

I'll be away again for most of the week, so I'll see you all on Monday!

He closed the book with a snap. “That is it,” he said. “The history of the Eldar.”

The girl glanced up at her tutor. Disappointment gleamed in her eyes. “But I do believe that you’ve forgotten a bit,” she said. She was a smart girl with straight shoulders and a forward way about her, but she was used to getting what she wanted. Mystique, romance: she was at the age for fairy stories, for frozen princesses and wicked queens.

And lost princes.

But her tutor only smiled. “I have not forgotten a single word. The texts you have read are secret, granted not even to kings. Yet I have found them for you. They contain all that is known.”

The girl thought about this. She stared out the window. It was winter, and the light off the snow made her face look graven, aged.

“But what about Maglor?” she blurted out finally. Eyes widened, smile youthful and naïve, the illusion was ruined.

“There is nothing to know.” He gathered the book into his arms, “and so I do not teach it.” He strode from the room before she looked too deeply into his face. Before his own illusion was ruined.


There was a legend in the town by the sea, a legend of restoration. Redemption.

People came from all over, broken treasures cradled in hands: watches, vases, rings. Dolls and wagons, broken during childish fits, then regretted.

“Leave it there, in the sand,” they were told. “When you return upon the morrow, it shall be restored to you.”

One widow brought the locket her husband had given her, the picture having been ruined long ago. She buried it in the sand, as instructed.

Come the morrow, it was fixed. Caught in the heart was a single strand of chocolate-colored hair.

One boy was cleverer than most. He always had the answers at school, jabbing his hand into the air before the other children could answer. And he was determined to learn the secret behind the “magic.”

He crept out at night to watch the beach. He’d buried a fountain pen in the sand, having broken it over his knee that morning.

But he was surprised by a hand on his shoulder and his mother, her sour face tender, somehow, in the moonlight. “Come home,” she said, “and do not worry him. Do you not see? Knowing—that would ruin it.”

The children raced to the beach. It was not a trinket in their hands; it quavered, eyes darting with fright.

The seabird with the broken wing had been found, pecked by gulls. Its fate had been debated, and it had been decided that it should be trusted to the magic.

Carefully, they covered its feathers in sand.

Come mid-night, the man came. Long-fingered hands sifted the sand, found the bird. It had stopped trembling.

Rising to face the moon, he opened his hands and set it free. That which winked in its grasp—? Nay, it was just a star.

The orphanage was a formidable place, rising from the cliffs that soared over the angry sea. Its hallways were labyrinthine, cold and damp, with drafts that came from between the stones and put rattles in their chests. “Witches’ fingers!” chanted little Samantha when the nuns weren’t looking. “Witches’ fingers! Witches’ fingers!” But all of the children—even Samantha—feared the witches’ fingers above all else, for some of the children’s chest-rattles had become blood, and they had been sent to the sanitarium, never to return.

Three of them were close in age—neither little and tearful nor big and sullen—and they snuck out at night and knelt on the cliff that hung over the sea, watching the water dash itself upon the rocks. Just visible to the east was a strip of beach, and the children imagined where it might go, when it tapered out of sight around the cliff.

“To a castle!” said Nathan and Thomas cried, “To the lair of a dragon!”

“Away from here” was Samantha’s reply.

On one night, the clouds were low and fat snowflakes spiraled slowly to the earth, and the three children crept from their beds and went to the cliff, both frightened and exhilarated by the great height and the occasional surge of wind that snapped their nightclothes like banners on the breeze. Numb fingers clutched the rocks and peered at the water—and the beach—beneath.

“Tonight is the night of magic for children,” whispered Samantha, “when the Wandering One comes and leaves a beautiful item for each of us. Sometimes pearls or sometimes gold from ships that have foundered. Special things, that come from the sea.”

Thomas snorted. A skinny, mistrustful boy, he scoffed at such storybook notions, and Samantha was prone to whimsy. “And why would he do that?” he asked.

“For once, long ago, he tossed the greatest treasure known to the world into the sea. And since then, no beautiful thing can touch his heart, and so he gives them freely to others, who shall find joy where he cannot.”

The children’s breaths steamed in the darkness as they squinted at the beach and the churning black sea. It was Nathan—sharp of eye if not of mind—who gasped and pointed. “Are there footprints? Upon the sand—?”

“Of course there are,” Samantha breathed with a smile, fingers tightening on the rocks. “If you believe.”
  • Oh Dawn, this set is just beautiful, from the Noldolante being told by Maglor himself, buy the magic he leaves behind for those who don't have it, to an almost x-files ficlet (sorry can't help it) featuring my beloved bard (Samantha and I believe is something I'll always associate to Fox Mulder).

    Most fav lines/fragment (I have so many)?

    Come mid-night, the man came. Long-fingered hands sifted the sand, found the bird. It had stopped trembling.

    Rising to face the moon, he opened his hands and set it free.

    I just had to think of Elwing with that one. This is beautifully multi-layered work!
    • Yay! I intended it to be evocative of Elwing, to serve as a motivation for why he tries to make the world right for people who might not even deserve it....

      Thank you for reading these! I am fond of drabbling about Maglor. I have a ne'er-ending project of Maglor-fate drabbles/drabble series. Your bard is very inspiring. ;)
  • I'm speechless.
    I think I never grew out of the age of frozen princesses and lost princes.
    Truly beautiful drabbles.
    • Thank you! I never grew out of that age either. I was thinking today that I really kind of hate living in Maryland sometimes. I would like to move to the Midhavens (my own fantasyverse) or maybe Middle-earth....

      And I do look for Maglor, each summer by the sea. :)
  • Once again, your writing takes me to a place that my cowardly mind won't go on its own: Maglor's fate after the end of the First Age.

    The first drabble made me wonder... what is it were all real? What if Maglor was/is somewhere out there? What of I'd meet him and have no idea who he is? What would I do if I knew that he still lives? (Other than drop everything else and look for him all over the world) What would I do if I'd actually find him? (except drive him nutz with my obsessive love for his father) Ag, so many questions...

    the rest of these drabbles are just like Hans Christian Andersen stories, with a dreamy mood and uncertain endings, not always happy, but always with an edge of mystery to them. Needless to hay I loved them all and yes, my head will always be in the realm of frozen/sleeping princesses and lost princes. Giving said realm a twist of my own, that is.

    Thanks so much for sharing these and I look forward to more excellent reads. *hugs*
    • Thank you! And...you're welcome! :)

      I am still stuck at the age of lost princes and frozen princesses too. I am working on a short story to give Bobby for Christmas, and I was so happy today to get lost in my own little fantasy world, to visit this place for the first time and simply savor everything.

      Also, I do look for Maglor each summer in Ocean City. Street performers are common there, and I will admit to glancing at the ears of young, dark-haired men. ;)

      And it is my personal belief that as soon as we dream these people and places, they are real. By writing about them, we keep them alive. (The first issue of Antithesis Common had a fantastic story along these lines.) I also have a drabble in my WiP Maglor drabble collection about how writers have saved Maglor from fading.

      Once again, we think so much alike that it's scary. ;)

      If you get this before you check your flist, you might want to go look at a certain naughty Feanorian piece.... >:^D
  • Maglor

    Lovely, Dawn. The first one is my favorite.
    • Re: Maglor

      Thank you! :) The first was my least favorite, actually...though that might come in part from having written it while very hungry, in a rush to get out the door, and being interrupted every few seconds by Teh Husband. Something written under those conditions can't possibly be any good, I keep thinking.
  • Dear Dawn,thank you so much for this present! I just got here finally.

    I like all three drabbles and join the princesses group :)
    Fantastic sad mystery in the second and third story, while the first is the most probable one. The illusion he wants to believe himself. Well, maybe not that most probable one but one where he is not lonely.The magical gift man is lonely,in both of mysterious stories.

    I believe he has died and fled to Mandos or came back to Aman any other way, maybe wandered through Helcaraxë. He simply couldn't stay alone wandering for the whole eternity.

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