Inspired?

Coming Home

1. Coming Home

   
   
   
A/N (1): This story is built around – and quotes in its entirety – Fileg’s beautiful poem Home by Morning . I have chopped and changed it for this story – please do go there and read it in its correct order.
My very grateful thanks to Fileg both for giving me permission to make such liberal use of it and for writing it. I wrote this story for Fileg but it is also dedicated to the Electronic Anduin and for everyone else who splashed in it or got swept away by its current that day. For anyone who wants to follow its swirls and eddies –
I wrote The Colours of the Forest and in her review of it in my discussion Fileg came up with a phrase which inspired her to write Home by Morning . I then found pictures in that in my review in Fileg’s discussion which inspired me to write this.




Light the candles, lay the table, put the dinner on… she goes about her nightly chores. The pig, the hens and the old grey dog are fed and watered and sheltered for the night but he has not come. The lonely dinner’s eaten, the dishes washed and dried, the water bucket filled but still he does not come. The little one, the baby, their raven-headed son, is washed and dressed for bed – but Daddy has not come. She banks the fire, bars the door and pulls the latchstring in for still he hasn’t come.

By the fire she sits - once young, not old, brown haired, grey-eyed. She sits quietly and rocks, eyes steady but heart aglow. She is a Ranger’s woman and she will not fall to shadow. She pulls the curtains wider and lifts a candle to the glass. Outside the house lays darkness, but outside the house is her man – let others hide from the nameless things that creep from the houseless hills.

I stand on the line when the shadow creeps in…


Her little boy whimpers and cries for the breast and she fetches him to the fire. She feeds him and rocks and remembers her lover, remembers his hands on her and his voice in her ear.

A hand on a swordhilt, a hand on a bow
A kiss that consoles me wherever I go
One more day of fighting, one more day of woe
A kiss that consoles me wherever I go

No black spell singers, no death that lingers,
No icy fingers that reach for the soul
No hiss, no bark, no wings in the dark
Can touch my heart when you keep me whole


He’d sung her the lay on their bonding day, chanted it out for her soft and low as he took her hand, took her dress, took her soul. She whispered it back to him, quiet and close, each time he left for his perilous fight. She closes her eyes and whispers it now.

Whatever the Valar intend me to do
There’s naught with the power to keep me from you
Whatever I grieve for, whatever I rue
There’s naught with the power to keep me from you


It’s their promise, their hope, their dream. She sleeps with it, eats with, lives with it when the fell voices call and the dark winds blow. It flows through her with the glory of trumpets when she sees the grey horse come, when she hears the rumble of deep voice and the scrape of boots, when she smells the smoke and sweat… it haunts her when the hours stretch on and the darkness thins to an empty dawn.

I stand on the line when the shadow creeps in
But I will be with you before day begins
We harry the dark and we weep for our sins
But I will be with you before day begins


The child is merely mumbling her breast sleepily in his mouth now. Milk stains his mouth and dark lashes rest on warm cheeks. She strokes light patterns on his back as she rocks her boy in her arms and whispers his father’s promise to him.

No orcs that creep, no nightmare sleep
No fathomless deep, no wizard’s scheme
No endless hour can raise the power
To keep us apart when you’re in my dreams



The candles begin to gutter and the fire burns low; still she rocks and watches the empty darkness beyond the window. Sated, the boy sleeps until a coal tumbles down then he stirs and sits.

“Daddy? Daddy?”

With a hush and a kiss she holds him close. In the firelit room he whimpers for his father then cuddles against her. The darkness around them wavers as the flames flicker and fall; outside the wind rumbles and scratches against the roof. With a stroke of his cheek and a kiss on his hair, she whispers the words for them both to share:

No giant spider, no bodiless rider,
no terror by fire that crosses the land
no dark, no bright, no perilous fight
can come between us when I reach for your hand

I stand on the line when the shadow creeps in
But I will be with you before day begins
We harry the dark and we weep for our sins
But I will be with you before day begins


The candle burns, the chair rocks, the fire hisses and sighs and the two voices whisper:


No time, no chance, no circumstance
No wave that carries me over the foam
No winter’s breath, no fear, no death
Can keep my heart from coming home

Whatever the Valar intend me to do
There’s naught with the power to keep me from you
Whatever I long for, whatever I rue
There’s naught with the power to keep me from you
There’s naught with the power to keep me from you...



Out in the darkness, out in the land, on a road that runs through sunless woods and over houseless hills and past foes that would freeze your heart, a Ranger is riding. Blood slicks the saddle and hands grasp the mane as the horse heads for home. Home, dreams the rider and in his mind he sees that house shining out its light to the dark-edged hills, sees that house where his light is. He opens his eyes and sees his woman, sees his child, though the road is empty and cold. His mouth moves and he whispers his chant.

Whatever the Valar intend me to do
There’s naught with the power to keep me from you
Whatever I long for, whatever I rue
There’s naught with the power to keep me from you
There’s naught with the power to keep me from you...


The mist is gathering around him now,

Whatever the Valar intend me to do


gathering him into it.

There’s naught with the power to keep me from you


Dark it blinds him, thick it chokes him.

Whatever I long for, whatever I rue


and he slumps on the horse’s neck, twists the reins around his arms – she’ll take him home if he does not fall -

There’s naught with the power to keep me from you
There’s naught with the power to keep me from you...


His lips are cracked, his voice is dry but he mutters and mouths the words, the lay for his love, the last thread binding him to who he is, binding him to Ardar….

Whatever the Valar intend me to do
There’s naught with the power to keep me from you…

No winter’s breath, no fear, no death
Can keep my heart from coming home.




*****************************************

A/N (2): In addition to stealing all of Fileg’s poem I have also borrowed several small phrases from Tolkien.

As always very grateful thanks to the wonderful people who have encouraged me and given feedback – I love your generosity of time and spirit. Particular thanks to Chris, who provided me with very detailed feedback that really showed this story’s weaknesses. My apologies that it has taken me months to act on them – because this came in such a burst of inspiration and really isn’t in a voice I recognise I was literally scared to touch it.

This all came out in a few hours of inspiration and even though I’ve finally edited it I’m very conscious of it still being rough in places – any feedback/suggestions/criticisms welcomed. Specifically:
* The second paragraph is weak – I know, I think, what I want to say but it isn’t quite working for me so any suggestions would be welcomed. I have rewritten it a little – better or worse?
*Chris suggested that I was leaning on the poem a bit heavily and I’ve finally started making changes to try and improve that. I’ve added in more story, removed some of the poem and now, although every verse appears at least once, the whole poem isn’t quoted in it entirety – better or worse? Is more story *whimper* still needed? Any suggestions as to where?
* All of it is in a style utterly foreign to me – for a start I’m deliberately breaking grammatical rules left, right and centre! – and I’d like to know if the ‘arty’ style did/did not work for you, how well the integration of the poem worked for you, is it embedded enough, and if enough story gets through my absorption with the pictures ;-)

Thanks as always,
Avon







This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.

   
   
   

In Challenges

Story Information

Author: Avon

Status: General

Completion: Complete

Rating: General

Last Updated: 11/09/03

Original Post: 05/09/03

Back to challenge: Inspired?

Go to story: Coming Home

Keyword Search

Search for key terms in Challenge, Nuzgûl & Oliphaunt titles and descriptions.


Results are ordered alphabetically by title.