Nightmare: 1. Nightmare

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1. Nightmare

Author's Note:
At the time of this vignette, Finduilas has been dead for about a year, so Faramir would be about six years old and Boromir would be about eleven.

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It was late when the child awoke, his terrified shriek echoing throughout the dark chamber. His wide eyes looked frantically around the room for any sign or warmth but found none; he had not even pale starlight for comfort, as the windows were closed and fastened against the frigid night.

Beyond the walls of his room, the wind howled through streets of Minas Tirith, rattling the shutters and moaning through cracks like souls in torment.

He shivered beneath his covers and squeezed his eyes shut against the dream full of shadows and fire. Tears slid down his cheeks, wetting his pillow, and he curled up, bringing his knees tightly to his chest.

There were dark things beyond the safety of his bed; he knew that if he opened his eyes, he’d see them… see their eyes, pale or full of flame like in his dream.

A whimper rose in his throat and he swallowed hard; he would stop crying. His father hated it when he cried. Mama… No; she was dead. He jabbed small fists into his eyes. Boromir… He wished they still shared a room; if he ventured past the edge of his bed, the things from his dream would be there… and they would catch him. ‘Boromir…’ he whispered, his voice small and insignificant in the vast emptiness.

There was no answer, and though he hadn’t expected one, the silence crushed the hope – frail though it had been – that his brother was somehow in the room with him. Stubborn tears leaked out of the corners of his eyes and wiped them away with his fists.

The wind slammed into the wooden shutters with a sudden violence and he jumped, sitting up in bed, his small body shuddering uncontrollably.

He wanted his brother.

Taking a deep breath, he pushed back the blankets and paused, his heart pounding nervously; nothing reached for him and he slid quietly off his bed. As his bare feet touched the cold stone floor he shivered, but didn’t stop to search for his robe – the… things might see him.

Silently, he stole across the floor and almost – almost – bumped into the door. Breathing hard, he placed his icy hands on the knob and turned it; the old door opened with a loud creak and he froze, biting back frightened tears. Boromir…

No eyes appeared in the pitch-blackness and no shadowy claws groped out for him.

He closed the door as quietly as he could and stood, shivering and small, in the hallway. There was only one torch and it was far behind; it cast a feeble orange glow that did not reach him. The way to Boromir’s room would be through the dark.

He looked fearfully down the corridor at the stairwell that spiraled up into nothingness; what might be lurking there, waiting to pounce the moment his back was turned?

He stared at it hard but nothing moved and slowly, he put it behind him. Moving stealthily, he put one foot carefully in front of the other. If he were very quiet, maybe he could make it to the end of the hall without anything noticing him…

Nothing stirred and the only sound he heard was the faint rippling of the torch’s flame behind him.

Holding his breath, he kept one hand against the stone wall as he went on, trying to remember how many steps it was to Boromir’s room. Monsters couldn’t hurt you if you were busy thinking…

Something crashed loudly, shattering the silence, and he started violently. His hands flew to his mouth to try to stop the scream. Trembling, he fell against the wall as the sound reverberated through the corridor.

A heavy, fast step sounded in the stairwell, climbing ever downward and the boy could feel the vibrations in the stone. His eyes widened in terror and he shrank as far as he could into the shadows as something appeared.

It was a man.

A tall man, dark, grim and cloaked. The flickering torchlight cast jagged shadows on his carved face and turned his scowling mouth into an empty, black slash across his face. He strode forward, his cloak billowing out behind him like a shadow.

Father…

Walking as though demons of Morgoth chased after him, he drew ever nearer to the boy, his feet thundering against the stone. As he passed his son, he looked at him but did not see him. A moment later, he was gone.

The boy stayed where he was, pale, trembling and unable to move. He saw only his father’s eyes when he’d looked at him: cold as ice and full of death and horror, complete, endless horror.

The image of those eyes floated before him in the darkness, searing itself in his mind. His shuddering increased and he broke into a run, all thought of stealth vanishing.

He stumbled once and fell to his knees, scraping the palms of his hands on the stone floor. Crying, he pushed himself to his feet again and ran on, ignoring his stinging hands.

At last he reached the end of the black hall and slid to a halt outside his brother’s door. He knocked once, but his small fist hardly made a noise against the thick wood.

Tears streaming down his face, he grasped the knob in both hands and turned it. The door made no sound as it swung open and he darted inside, shutting the door against the eyes that floated, disembodied, out in the dark hall.

‘Boromir?’ he called.

No answer.

He tried again, his voice sounding panicked. ‘Boromir?’

There came a muffled grunt. ‘Faramir?’ he asked sleepily.

Faramir nodded and edged closer. ‘Yes,’ he answered, hiccoughing.

There was a rustling noise and could dimly see his brother sitting up in bed. ‘What’s wrong, little brother?’ He sounded more awake now. ‘Did you have another dream?’

‘Yes,’ Faramir whispered. ‘Can… can I sleep here tonight?’ he asked in a small voice, trying to stop his tears.

A hand only a little larger than his own reached out and ruffled his hair. ‘Come on,’ Boromir said, and Faramir heard the smile in his voice, ‘there’s lots of room.’

Gratefully, he climbed in and snuggled down beneath the covers as his brother shifted further over. ‘Good night, Boromir,’ he said softly.

‘G’night, little brother.’

With his brother’s reassuring warmth beside him, Faramir closed his eyes and fell asleep.

And the dreams stayed away.

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.

Story Information

Author: Ti'ana Luthien

Status: Reviewed

Completion: Complete

Era: 3rd Age - The Stewards

Genre: General

Rating: General

Last Updated: 09/24/03

Original Post: 08/28/03

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