Summer Solstice Ficlets
I have written the following ficlets for Summer Solstice. There are no particular warnings, and everything should be safe for general audiences. They are also posted at SWG and Many Paths to Tread. As always, comments--both positive and critical--are welcome at all places!
Summary: Aegnor sees Andreth for the first time on the Summer Solstice. A double drabble.
This piece is actually two perfect drabbles: One is an excerpt from a history text about the Edain (in italics) and the other is the story.
The Swift Flame
It is said that Mortals arose at the Sun's first rising, that which is now the longest day of the year. It is said that Ilúvatar molded them of leaves and earth and ignited the life within them with the first rays of Arien's light, before the journey wearied her, when yet the Sun stood for endurance and hope.
When first he saw her, Aegnor was arriving in Dorthonion at the Sun's rising on the longest day of the year. Yet a maiden, Andreth stood on tiptoe, stretching to discern the first scrim of fire upon the eastern hills. She was laughing, lifting her arms, beckoning Arien forth.
If the life of the Eldar courses alike to the waters beside which they awoke, then so the life of the Edain is a flush and a fervor and, at the last, a flash upon the horizon.
Do not hasten! came Aegnor's sudden thought, for he felt how Time clutched him, saw how the Sun flung across the sky again and again and again, how the laughing maiden withered. Would he heave back upon the reins of Time, to linger forever here
Then slow descending darkness.
with the flash of first fire.
Summary: Maedhros prepares for the Fifth Battle. A double drabble.
It inspired a sort of madness, a relentlessness not permitted in the months when the days were shorter and darkness compelled him to sleep. Not since his youth in Valinor, not since the time when he had yet to become disillusioned, when the Treelight granted all activities at all hours, had he worked so hard.
His brother urged him to sleep. Drew the drapes. Tacked them shut. It made no difference.
He could sense Arien's nearness to the north of him. As the light never fully faded from the horizon, the commotion never fully quieted in his mind. Before a half-hour was gone, trying to sleep, he had risen again to his work, to his table strewn with papers and maps, to his inkwell running dry and the growing pile of unsent letters.
In the utter stillness of mid-night, there was no one to argue, no one to declare folly or irrationality. There will be an alliance. No one to express doubt. An alliance of all the forces of good in Beleriand. No foresight troubled him. He threw open the drapes, sent Macalaurë's tacks scattering across the floor. There was light ever on the horizon.
At last, we will prevail.
Summary: Nerdanel remembers joy. A drabble.
Nerdanel the wise had known that it would end in grief. Mayhap not so badly--her husband exiled, her sons murderers--but grief all the same. But she had seized her joy. She had thought of neither eventuality nor inevitability.
It came nonetheless.
Winters are harsh in Formenos, even more so now without the Trees. Yet on this day--the longest day of the year--winter is unthinkable. The city is arrayed for festival for the first time since the Darkening, and none think of winter.
Nor does Nerdanel. She will have her joy. But she feels the year turning.