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Medium Dawn Felagund of the Fountain

"For What I Wait," for lavished

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.

"For What I Wait," for lavished

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feanor fall
"For What I Wait" was written for lavished. It certainly doesn't brim with cheer ... but she asked for it! That is, an "AU in which Fëanor outlives all of his children."

In this particular tale, Fëanor takes care of Maglor during his last days alive. While there is nothing graphic in terms of sex or violence in this piece, it does contain discussion of suicide, so readers bothered by suicide might want to avoid this one. Generally, though, the story should be suitable for most readers.

For What I Wait

I have filled the teacup to brimming, and I totter from the kitchen to the bedroom, trying not to slosh hot tea upon my hand. I blow gently upon it, to cool it, as I walk. He will drink it even if it scalds his mouth. He has done it before, groaning in pain, then drinking deeper until I must wrest the cup from him.

"Macalaurë," I call gently. We use the old tongue with each other, even in this new world where our people have been relegated to myth. I keep my ears covered with a hat when I go out of the house. The brightness of my eyes they attribute to sorrow; "Fëanor Full of Tears" they call me. But the tears were dried long ago, when I used to gaze upon Laurelin until my eyes were dry again. Laurelin is no more, and so I do not weep, else I might never stop.

Macalaurë curls upon his side in the bed. I have kept the fire high and piled him with furs and quilts, yet still he shivers. His skin has gone translucent, like my fingers might pass through it, like he might disappear and be marked only by the silent collapse of the bedclothes around him. Gray veins are too dark upon pale skin, surging with sluggish blood. The tea is cooled enough to drink, and so I help him to sit. Once upon a time, I might have traced my son's life upon the page as I might have plotted a mathematical equation: His birth at the nadir and his rise through wonder and grace and wisdom--on and on, he should have gone, his line stretched off the page. But unmarked by me, he began to falter and fall. What, then, was the apex, I wonder?

The Noldolantë.

That was my son's greatest achievement: to lament my deeds in such a way that even I almost wept and certainly regretted.

I will not think of it.

"Macalaurë, take your tea." Now, back nearly to the nadir again, he is as helpless as a child. I must fold his fingers around the cup and guide it to his lips. Tea dribbles down his chin; I have proffered it too quickly. I wipe his face. The other day, even, he wet in his bed, and showed no shame in it; I had not the heart to scold. His eyes are half-lidded, smoky glimmers beneath thick, dark lashes. "Do you even hear me?" I whisper. He hears me, yes--his eyelids flutter and his lips twitch--but he has forgotten how to speak and, certainly, to sing.

I remember when we came here, to this cottage by the sea, and he still fumbled melodies upon a lap harp, sitting on the rocks by the water. His voice had begun even then to lose its strength, but it was still lovely to hear. It trembled like moonlight on the water or stars beneath a haze or a body spent in passion. Is that his trouble? We are immortal, yes, but his life has contained more than any single person should have to endure, even across the whole of time.

Then, he'd sung of his brothers, or his mother left behind over the sea. I'd forced myself to listen. The people in this land sometimes scourge themselves under the pretense of purification. His voice was my scourge. When it ended--

My deeds are mine alone to bear.

It was a winter night when he spoke for the last time, bitterly cold with winds that howled as they tossed the trees and frenzied the sea. I might have turned for ten seconds--long enough to stoke the fire--and he was gone. When I found him, he was seated upon the rocks by the sea, barefoot, in naught but a nightshirt, hugging his knees to his chest. His harp lay, broken, on the rocks below. He rocked, and he sang. The wind thrashed harder, trying to take his voice from him, but his words would not be quelled. Long ago, I had learned that.

He sang of his brother, of my firstborn. Of Maedhros--that name, bitter upon my tongue. My forgiveness of Maedhros has been slow in arriving. Each of my sons died, at the least, in the promotion of our cause. But Maedhros: he took his own life. The life that I gave him; this I could not forget. It was akin to a gift rejected, tossed to the dirt and crushed beneath one's foot. Even when his feet had naught beneath him, Macalaurë had said, still he stood, suspended, just for a moment. Thinking how mad you'd be, likely. Laughing in that fey manner that made the hair on my arms stand on end, for it was oft-heard, familiar; it was my laugh.

But that night, on the rocks by the sea, he sang to the sky of his brother. He sang in Quenya, in a voice I had not heard since first he sang the Noldolantë.

Ere you left
For the dark places
'Tween the stars.

My mouth opened to call his name, but the wind took my voice.

I still linger.
For what I wait
Is a new star
In those dark places.
For what I wait
Is you.

I reached the rocks then and gathered him in my arms. His body was wracked with shivers, and his naked feet had long gone numb and would not support his weight. "Macalaurë, you fool!" I whispered as I carried him back to the house like a child.

And that was the last that he spoke.

He has finished his tea. I take the cup from his stiff fingers and kiss his forehead. "Macalaurë, you must live for me." Lips still warm with life move against his cold skin, but his eyes have long fallen shut, and he dreams. Of what? Of dark places?

Long I lay beside him, trying to rekindle his warmth, renew his life. Once I gave him life, why not again? Why should a parent be made to watch his child die when his own life blazes unchecked?

I think of Maedhros stepping from the precipice and lingering for just a moment upon the air. Macalaurë, he lingers.

Forgive me, Atar.

Torn from dreams, I hear porcelain shatter against the floor; the teacup tumbled from my hand as I slept. Macalaurë's cold body is still wrapped by mine. His face is turned into his pillow. I turn him upon his back, turn his face to mine, but neither breath nor song will ever again cross those lips.

The cold is biting and the wind is fierce. How have I come here? Naked feet are cut on the frozen ground, and I feel every cut. The snow melts where I walk.

I scream at the sky and the stars reel overhead. My scream is louder even than the whipping wind. It fills me. I seek all of the dark places. I seek all of the dark places, and two new stars that must be there. They must, they must.

He said he waited.

They must!

Where are they?

I still linger.
For what I wait
Is a new star
In those dark places.
For what I wait

Is you.

  • This story hit very close to home for me given what happened the past months, so a dozen of tissues later, I could finish reading it, but it wasn't Maglor who I saw there. In time when I read it again, I might. It is hard to find acceptance when you loose someone close, even if you know deep down inside you cannot hold them in this life forever. This realisation is buried deep inside of Feanor, but I think it might take a long time when he finally is able to, I am glad Maglor found his peace, very glad indeed. I might print this story to let it read to others, if you don't mind and they won't have an idea who Maglor and Feanor are, but it might help.
    • Yes, Rhapsy, please print it and share it with whomever you'd like. I mean it. It's just a fanfic story, so if you think that it will help other people in any way, it would be my honor to let you share it at will. :)

      I was a little worried about sharing this, because of the suicide. In the end, I am glad that I did. :)

      • No for me it wasn't the suicide part. Suicide has marred our familty too often, but for me it was Feanor's reaction to it all. It just felt that he just hung on to that last shred of hope, the deeply rooted pain and fear of loosing someone. I know that I held onto thoughts like: its for the best, I will remember this person always and in years (as I realised yesterday so suddenly) the pain softens a bit, but the profound missing is there. Feanor just goes about it, knows where he fails, but he is so far from accepting the naked truth which I think is the most difficult one to face. Well the end as he stands there, I think it slowly gets there for him.
        There is also the bit of giving life and letting it go, several themes that touched me deeply, made me cry walk away and yet facing it. It also helps to heal, that is why I want to print it and show it to thise who I think can need it too. I am very happy that you shared this, every little bit helps here and this certainly was the case *hugs*
  • What can I say, I'm a horrible masochist...;D

    I loved it, of course--from the little details like Fëanor wearing a hat to the painful description of Maglor, it's amazing! I was really interested to see where you'd go with this, and I liked how your Fëanor wasn't overly dramatic with grief or raving--it shows how deep the pain really is for him.

    Thank you so much! ♥
    • Your icon is ... gah. So I proffer my lovely Nelyo from rhapsody11 as revenge. ;)

      Thank you for your kind words ... I'm so glad that you liked it. :) It's a little off the beaten path for me--I don't usually write AU--but it was a great challenge to take on and very interesting to write. *hugs*
      • Hehee xD I personally haven't found anyone who fits my mental image of Fëanor better.

        AUs are very tough, but I've always thought--what if Fëanor hadn't died that day? And wouldn't that be more tragic, for him to never fulfill his oath, and, in addition, see all his sons die?

        Anyway, I completely loved it! ♥
  • *copies & pastes from SWG review response...*

    People will probably be annoyed with me when I say that I wasn't sure if this story worked when first I wrote it. But then, I've gotten three separate confessions of tears, so maybe it did. ;)

    I'd say not "maybe" did, but "probably" did. ;) Luckily for you, I just woke up from a much better night's sleep than expected, so I won't be annoyed this time. ;)

    Strangely, after reading this story, I went outside and found it was gently snowing, and very quiet, and somehow that seemed soothing as well as very fitting.

    Thank you, Tarion, for the review (and for the postcard, which is sitting on my desk as we speak type!) *hugs*

    Oh good, the USPS came through! And you're welcome. Do I get my postcard sometime? *hopeful grin*

    Hey Finrod, pester Dawn into sending my postcard!
    • Finrod has been exiled to the utility area of the basement. >:^)))

      I would expect the postcard after the holiday card since I haven't even written the postcards yet. XD This is Dawn logic:

      Illuminated holiday card = five days of intense and tedious work
      Post card = five minutes of sloppy handwriting

      So guess which gets done first??
      • Hey, that's probably even more secure than the balcony! You're new house just looks better and better! ;)

        And hey, that's kind of like doing the 30 page paper before the 10 page paper. It actually makes sense...At least I had my postcard written. But I needed stamps...(Ok that just makes it sound more pathetic!)
  • This is a lovely story, but it seems to me that it would be better off as an original work. The setting is a little vague, and the presence of Fëanor alongside glimpses of things that happened not only after his death but as a direct result of his death are not adequately explained. Perhaps they don't need to be -- Fëanor himself doesn't seem like Fëanor. I hate to tell you this, because I do enjoy your writing and I love your willingness to experiment with the characters, but I think you've managed to gentle down Fëanor to the point where he's completely out of character.

    Make this an original work, and it would be truly heartbreaking.
    • Unfortunately, that wasn't--and isn't--really an option.

      It was a request from a friend, so I wrote it the best that I could. She wanted a Silmarillion AU about what might have happened if Feanor had outlived all of his sons, so converting what I agree could feasibly stand on its own as an original work to an original work would not have been fair to her. I agree that Feanor doesn't seem like "my" Feanor here. However, the story is AU and takes place in a time, place, and situation not at all covered in the canon. I couldn't justify (to myself) writing my Feanor with all his crassness and restlessness and almost complete lack of empathy in such a situation. It seemed to fit "my" Feanor even less that he would be this way, after watching all of his children die.

      Meanwhile, the thought occurs to me that Feanor had to die so early so that the fire that makes him Feanor was preserved so that he could do the deed of rekindling the Trees as described in the Second Prophesy of Mandos that I'm so obsessed with. I can certainly see--having tried writing it the other way--why Tolkien made that choice.

      Anyway, I'm sorry that you were disappointed with the story, but it will have to stay the way that it is.
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