[Author's Note: Turin-haters: beware! ^-^]
Why is it your face that I see in this foul forest? Yet even under nightshade you appear fair, blue and white like moonlight on water. The Orcs-- I cannot separate them from the dark, except when torchlight stops against their faces. They are hideous, like a twisted inversion of everything good and pleasant and lovely to behold. The very air around them is black and offensive; yet I grow used to it, with time. They are cruel, these Orcs, speaking ill of all fairer races, even yours, Beleg Cuthalion of the Sindar. And yet I am reminded of myself, for I too spoke ill of Thingol and other Grey-elves. But not of you, Beleg. I could not.
Have you come to rescue me? I am sorry; I should not have put trust in the dwarf. We were betrayed; many of my company were slain. I would that they had slain me as well. But they took me, Beleg, alive, like some say they took my father. They take me to Angbad, to the Enemy. But you are here; do they take you as well? I do not think it so. They could not take one so valiant as you. You have come to free me, then. I dared not hope that you would, yet my heart ever expected it.
But why do you look at me with such a face? It does not look like you, frozen in a stare, as though you look at me from over a great distance. Oh Beleg, why did I stray so far from you always? Once we were companions in arms and none could withstand us. Yet here I am, bound by a band of slavering cravens. The strongest fall when they lean to others below them. I was betrayed, scorned by the petty dwarf even as by Saeros.
Why does my hand feel so heavy? I began to think while in capture, Beleg. I began to think that perhaps I was not the Wronged, but indeed the one who brought upon the wrong. I thought of this for I compare myself to you, and it is only by you that I see clearly lit my pride, my foolish wrath. I see that even as I strayed from Doriath did I turn from the wisdom learned there, from you. I began to doubt there was a fate that I did not myself forge with bitter spirit and vengeful hands.
But I know that it is not so, for I recognize the pain in your face now, Beleg. Believe that fate has conspired to hurt you, for I would not, could not ever do so, dearest friend. If it is these Orcs who have in some way marred you-- one has cut my foot, for I feel it bleeding-- if it is they who has caused your face to pale, I will slay them all, for that is my right, and I am still mighty, Beleg, I have not forgotten all of what I learned in Doriath. There in my hand lies the sword-- why do I hold a sword?-- there is the sword that will fell them all, like rotting trees. I will cut them all till they are but knotted stumps, rooted to the ground by their own foul blood.
Why do you not answer me, dearest Elf? I think in your voice I hear every pleasing sound that I miss, even to the voice of my sister Urwen, who I cannot call Lalaith for she laughs no longer. Fair as an Elf-child, they said she was; you are no child, Beleg, but there could be none ever fairer than you are. Though I cannot laugh as Lalaith did, as even you do in merrier moments, know that by your speech I am gladdened. Even though they can bring me shame, and regret, and grief, your words are never ill to me for you speak the truth of your heart, the heart that is nearest to mine. Why then did I leave you? It is my pride, Beleg. It is a fell thing, yet it is my pride which keeps me alive. Why then does it bring sorrow and death to all others?
Are you in such pain, Beleg Strongbow, that you can no longer stand upright? I would reach to help you, but I hold a sword, a strange sword for heavily it weighs in my hand, and the blade drips a small puddle onto the ground. Is it your blood that colours the blade? Alas, I see it is! Why do I hold this tool of evil? Oh Beleg, can you not answer me? Who has struck you, gallant Elf, for with this same sword I will run him through, for it cries out for blood, and I hear it, I hear the sword but I do not hear you breathe, dear friend, why do you lie so quiet?
Tell me who has slain you or I will go mad, for the sword shouts to me from my palm where it abides. It shouts lies, Beleg, dreadful and fearsome lies, please tell me they are lies, and I fear I shall not hear you above the cry. Was it the Orcs, noble Cuthalion, who maimed you, for gladly I will rend them to shredded hides, or was it this strange figure who stands behind you, he looks at me in fear, gladly also will I strike him down. Answer me, for oh, this black sword grows a burden and my hand trembles Beleg, I do not wish to hold it any longer, I do not wish to watch your blood run in crimson rivets to the trampled grass, why do I hold it now, why do I hold it still? Do not look away, cherished Elf, do not take your eyes from me, for they speak even if your mouth cannot, please let me hear what has been done to you, and it shall be repaid seven-fold. Please do not leave me to believe the lies, Beleg. Please do not leave me listen to your blood on the sword which is in my hand.
Do not leave me, Beleg. Do not leave me with myself. The sky is lit, Beleg, it is no longer black, for there is lightning, bright light, pure and white, and though it comes with a terrible sound it is so fair to see, my friend, and you loved to see the sky so. Please do not go from here. Please hear me Beleg, as you always have, and answer me one last time. It was I who slew you, I will believe it if you but speak it to me, though it be the death of me I will believe no other answer, do but speak the words, Beleg, tell it to me as you told me of the woods and of the sword and the bow.
Do not die silent, Beleg. Do not be silent in your love for me. Hate me Beleg, hate if you must, but do speak the words! I have slain you, I have slain you most beloved of companions, most worthy and faithful of friends, fairest and wisest of Elves. Tell me I have slain you, for I cannot bear the silence.
Yet you do not speak.
Are you dead, Beleg?
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.