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Tales of Thanksgiving: A Drabble Collection: 9. From the Doors of Night
A long while ago, Appoggiato won the Spot the Bad Pun contest that I'd had for a chapter in AMC. Her prize was a story of her choice, and she asked for a story about Maglor during the happier times of the Fëanorian family. I've still yet to write the story, but I offer four drabbles in the meantime about Maglor during one of the happier times of his childhood. (And I will one day actually finish the full story!)
From the Doors of Night
It was nearing my begetting day-within a fortnight, even-when my mother failed to rouse me for breakfast one morning, and I found her sitting at table, having sent my brother to his lessons with a banana and cup of milk. Her eyes were red. She looked weary.
"Where is Atar?" I asked, climbing on her lap. Her arms closed around me, but it was more reflexive than anything, like blinking when something came at your face.
"He has gone off." Rubbing at her eyes suddenly and drying her fingers on her skirt when she thought I wasn't looking.
"Where is Atar?" I asked Nelyo, who always worked at his books but worked more when Atar was "gone off."
"Gone off," he answered, and his face clenched in concentration.
"Gone off where?"
He sighed. "The Doors of Night. Be gone, Macalaurë. I am busy."
I snuck Nelyo's lorebooks and read about the Doors of Night. A black sea, it said, and darkness impenetrable. I thought of the darkness beyond the doors of my closet and shivered for Atar, who had scared away the blackness there once with a lantern-and the fear too. I hoped he'd taken enough lanterns.
The Doors of Night, I read in another book, are the only place where blackwood trees grow, producing wood of astonishing quality.
Atar came back and took something to his workshop and didn't appear again for many days more. So it was like he was never back at all. Amil was still sullen and Nelyo still worked at his books, and I wondered what he'd brought. Certainly not blackwood. Atar didn't care much for working with wood. Too easy, he said.
My begetting day drew nearer and nearer and then it was tomorrow. And it seemed that everyone had forgotten.
We had breakfast on my begetting day and were a family again. Even Atar came, though he looked tired from many days of ceaseless labor.
"Would you like to receive your gifts after breakfast?" he asked, and though he was exhausted, his eyes gleamed like adamant beneath dust so you know that-though dirtied-it is something you should treasure.
He hastened from the room, before I could answer, and returned with my gift: a harp made of blackwood brought back from the Doors of Night.
His eyes brighter than adamant, as though my joy had washed his exhaustion away.
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