Mother's Day Challenge


1. Fading

What will you remember, Naneth?

Will you remember the babe you loved and nurtured since conception, the babe who cried the first time you cradled her in your arms? Every year, on the anniversary of my begetting, you recounted the tale to me, as is the custom of our people; as I do with my own daughter. But there is no-one to do it for me.

Will you remember a child with flowers in her hair, dancing upon the grass, singing with such youthful naivety? How we enjoyed those times alone in the garden, sheltered beneath the rowan tree. There, you first taught me to sew, patiently guiding me through each stitch until I had confidence enough to attempt it myself. Do any of my tapestries still hang in your chamber, all that will remain of your daughter?

Will you remember the maiden they said walked in Luthien's likeness? Will you remember riding at my side the first time we journeyed to the Golden Wood without Ada or the twins? Surely not as vividly as I do. Though I may have come of age many years earlier, 'twas only then that I truly felt it. In all eyes, I was still a child; in yours, I was a woman.

Will you remember the girl you left behind in Lorien one year? Never before had you done that; but I begged and begged until you acquiesced. I stood with my grandsire as your escort rode from Caras Galadhorn, watching you disappear into the afternoon. If only I had known I would never again see the mother I knew...

Please, I beg you - do not remember the pallid girl seated by your bedside, speechless with horror. Never have I felt so truly helpless as I did then; I wanted to run, to hide away, but you needed the love of your husband and children. Only the hope of seeing us again kept you alive in those dark times.

Will you remember the tearful maiden who stood on the shore, watching your ship grow smaller on the horizon? As we turned back to the horses, I wondered how many years your chair would be empty at Yenearsira, how many Begetting Days I would celebrate without the one who gave me life, how long before I too would take the ship and rejoin you in the West. The knowledge that I will never see Valinor, never see you again, tears my heart.

Do you despise me: despise me for abandoning you, despise me for turning my back on my kin, despise me for loving him? I have wounded you; for that, I despise myself. Some mornings, I can bear neither the sight of my own reflection nor my husband; but I cannot blame Estel. I was the one who chose, and I am the one who must suffer.

Will you remember me at all? When millennia have passed, when I am but a tale shrouded in myth, will you remember your daughter, or will I fade even in your heart and mind?

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: Evening Nightshade

Status: General

Completion: Complete

Rating: General

Last Updated: 11/24/03

Original Post: 07/12/03

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