Playlist Navigation Bar
Tales of Thanksgiving: A Drabble Collection: 23. What Becomes
Tarion's professed weakness is for Caranthir, preferably angsty Caranthir-as though there can really be any other! In this series of four drabbles, I consider the symbolic journey of Caranthir to the moment where he decides to take the Oath.
Memory of youth is blurred by the years, but I remember this: Atar's hands on mine, showing me how to properly hold a hammer. I was making a gift for my mother, determined to do it on my own. Happiness: it was golden like the pendant that I sought to shape with my own hands.
Yet I perceived Atar's happiness as well. Happiness that at last he had a son eager to follow him into the forge, whose tentative hammerfalls showed that I had a hint of talent.
I remember best: gold, happiness.
His warm hands on mine.
Atar adjusted my hands and nestled my little brother into them. He squawked, and I shifted uneasily.
"Atar, I'm going to drop him."
Atar laughed. "You're not going to drop him. Relax." His warm hands rubbed my shoulders until I had no choice. I felt Atar's contentment-another healthy son born-and relief as cool and pale as water. I relaxed into that feeling and my brother stopped whimpering.
"See? It's natural for you. You will be a wonderful father someday, Carnistir." His hands still cupped my shoulders. He trusts me, I realized, with his most precious blessings.
I heard my brothers laughing and realized my eyes were squeezed shut. Violently, I shook my head and clenched my lips shut as though the light-and I could sense it, even if I couldn't see it blood red through my eyelids-would invade me if I let it. Fools! To think that we can own light! It will always be the other way around.
I could feel it thrumming in my hands with the same intimate mystery as feeling another's heartbeat. My brother's laughter was subsiding.
I won't look!
His voice puzzled, disappointed.
I opened my eyes.
Now, I stand in a ring of torchlight, in a throng of people-my people-silent and awed. Afraid.
"Carnistir. Take it."
Curufinwë is wrapping my hands around the hilt of my sword. For a moment, time has folded upon itself and I am small upon the knee of another Curufinwë-though he would ever be called Fëanáro-and they are his warm hands. I can do this. I can hold the hammer...and the hammer becomes the Silmaril becomes the sword, and there I am.
Standing before my father whose eyes-hands-I no longer know.
"Carnistir-are you ready?"
Playlist Navigation Bar