"The Small and Secret Things"--11 through 15
The attempt to back up all of my daily drabbles on my LJ continues. I know that these are not new for most of my flist; for those who might read them for the first time, I hope you enjoy!
My daily-drabble project is on SWG here. It's updated daily ... more or less. ;)
On the way to Alqualondë, Fëanor thinks on the Silmarils. It has always been my private theory that part of Fëanor's obsessive pursuit came with the association of the theft of the Silmarils with Finwë's murder, almost as though to resolve the first would also resolve the second. This drabble explores this idea.
Longing for Light
I awake with a start and try to open my eyes, and they are stretched and aching before I realize, they are open, but it is dark. Endlessly dark.
Nelyo lights a candle, but it is insubstantial. Weak. Not for the first time--nor the last--I think of Them. I think of his iron prison as described in our darkest tales, and I think of Them casting holy light on it from within. Lighting his hideous, hated face.
The sickness in my gut entwines with lingering grief at my father's death, until I can no longer tell them apart.
Today is Friday the 13th, and today's word deals with a phobia more irrational than most (and phobias are inherently irrational). So today's tribble--exactly 300 words--deals with what appears at first glance to be borne of paranoia and irrationality, a misgiving that leads to the creation of the Silmarils. This idea is expressed in The Silmarillion:
In that time were made those things that afterwards were most renowned of all the works of the Elves. For Fëanor, being come to his full might, was filled with a new thought, or it may be that some shadow of foreknowledge came to him of the doom that drew near; and he pondered how the light of the Trees, the glory of the Blessed Realm, might be preserved imperishable.
It happened more and more these days: He awakened, a cry choked in his throat parched as though filled with sand, his heart dashing itself too fast against his ribcage
the Light save the Light!
and the bedclothes screwed up in his fists. Beside him, Nerdanel shifted and
called softly, "Fëanáro? Are you well?" her brow creased in that way of hers usually reserved for when the boys scraped their knees or bruised one another in anger. He nodded. Of course. Of course he was well. This recurring
nightmare was but another relic of an overdriven mind too busy lately with eccentric thoughts. To capture light--well, more precisely, Light, as in the Light of the Trees--was nothing new; he and Nelyo had been debating it for years. But it would be a feat extraordinary
in which his heart shall rest
and would require great effort, and in the languor of years as a husband and father, watching his sons grow and content to sleep late with his wife wrapped in his arms, he'd never hastened to achieve it. But now, something shifted, something deep in the
unknown realms of the world, and as animals become strange in the charged air before a coming
storm, so Fëanáro was suddenly crazed with the idea of it, of capturing and preserving
the Light of the Trees in something tangible and he could almost feel them in his fist, his hand closed tight upon them, and his mind began to click busily despite the indecent hour, and he answered Nerdanel in as normal a voice as possible, "I am
well; no worries," so that she would drop back to sleep, so that he could begin as soon as possible
before it was too late.
Fëanor, it seems, has taken over the daily drabble. Today's tribble again features him, but when the Word of the Day means "fruitful and productive," then who else but Fëanor comes to mind?
I've always believed that Fëanor was a difficult, demanding father but nonetheless adoring of his children. In fact, I spent an entire novel developing this idea. Today's piece looks at the same in the more reasonable length of 300 hundred words.
But a Stone
It was one of our most fruitful times, with many discoveries and skills perfected beyond expectation, when the craftsfolk of the Noldor turned out ornaments and gems and jewelry in dazzling profusion.
I am called proud but I am only being honest when I say that I was at the hub of it. This day, I was working to perfect a green gemstone more splendid than an emerald. At its center quavered something of mystery, even to me--its artificer--that turned and folded upon itself and sent darts of light in the absence of facets until the stone seemed to possess life of its own. Maybe, it did.
But it was a delicate thing, and I was striving desperately to preserve it, to harden the stone before that flickering entity within dissipated like a flame without kindling, gone to smoke and ash. Behind me in the laboratory came shouts, but this was nothing new; another discovery, perhaps, or disaster caused by excitement and haste. But no, the timbre was different, and something touched my leg then; something warm and soft, and I had the choice to flinch away and save my stone. Or acknowledge this other entity that I also didn't entirely understand.
His face was upturned to mine: my Nelyo, my beautiful son with his mother's hair and my eyes and both our curiosity. "What have you made, Atar?" he asked, and my assistant swept in then to take him away, but I stayed him with a flick of my hand.
The stone clattered to the tabletop and there, I suppose, it "died," though I did not bother to look. This thing of my hands suddenly mattered little.
" 'Tis but a stone, Nelyo," I said, and I lifted my son and kissed his face. "Nothing of importance."
Today's word is a funny one, so I've made an attempt at a humor piece. Celegorm cleans his room, in 200 words.
His mother's words rang in his ears. Before you play, you must clean your room.
Must, Tyelkormo! No exceptions!
He grumbled and looked around. Outside, the day was warm and bright--the first such day after a week of rain--but in here … well, in here, it was wont to be called a mess or a wreck or, his mother's favorite, a travesty. Even his father--and Fëanáro was not tidy by any stretch of the most fertile imagination--claimed that Tyelkormo's bedroom could lend proof to the theory of entropy.
But the day outside … it beckoned!
Tyelkormo got busy.
His feet made fast work of finding a home for his dress boots, a dog bone, a broken green-fletched arrow, and an encrusted soup tureen beneath his bed. The Atlas of Aman he was supposed to be studying sailed into his closet. He rolled discarded quills and parchment, three rings, a pile of rocks, and a screwdriver into his rug and shoved it in after.
To finish the job, he grabbed a tunic from a hanger, swabbed the dust from the furniture, then dashed it into the hamper.
And he called, "Mother! I'm off! I've cleaned my room!"
Today's tribble (300 words) is dual-purposed. For one, it is inspired by the Word of the Day, bibelot. For another, it is dedicated with fondest wishes to Cheryl, who asked for a birthday drabble called "Wet Elves." Well, it's only one wet Elf and I've chosen a different title, but I hope that it suffices. Happy birthday, my dear!
Eärwen watches her soon-to-be husband construct a special gift for her on the beach of Alqualondë.
Love in Pearls
He didn't know that she watched and she did her best to hide, ducking behind the drapes in her bedroom overlooking the sea. He was young, just come of age, having only recently lost the awkward boniness of youth. Nay, he was awkward no longer, she thought, watching as he glanced furtively about him. A tiny smile tightened the corner of his mouth and she imagined mischief in his eyes, sparkling like evening light upon the water.
Convinced that no one watched, he let his robes slide away. With a gasp, she ducked out of sight behind the curtain, hiding her eyes. I should not look! … but she did, creeping out by degrees to watch him ease into the warm seawater.
She did not know why he had come to the shores of Eldamar without informing her of his intentions, as he had done--with delight--so many times before. At the last, there had been wine, heady conversation. I always thought, she confided, laughing, in the space between private thought and spoken word, that the man I married would spell his intentions upon the sand of the beach in pearls, where I might see from the highest tower--
He was not long in the sea, for the pearls were plentiful, and as Laurelin began to brighten towards noontide, he emerged, dripping, with golden light sculpting the planes of his body, no longer the familiar form of her childhood friend but someone different. Beloved.
Kneeling naked on the sand, he set to task, returning again and again to the sea for more pearls, until there was a shimmering rainbow upon the beach spelling--what? She eased full from behind the curtain. She knew not. For it was the Elf--not trinkets recovered for her delight--that so captivated her.