Brothers: 5. Chapter Five

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5. Chapter Five

***Manwë’s POV I remember it, as if it had only just happened- burned into my soul, my being, never to heal, never to ease. My brother’s execution. Horror beyond anything I had imagined, and all my resolve to be strong, for the sake of Arda, for the sake of all Life, nearly crumbled before that horror. They had bested him, and they told me he had pleaded for mercy at the last, cringing in the darkest tunnels of the hell of his underground. Alone. He had sent Sauron away, to safety. Had forced him to go. But they had advanced on Melkor, and cut his legs- savagely, to hew through the black armor- and he had fallen to the ground, face-first, crippled, injured, ruined. I had not given such orders. Eonwë had muttered this news to me, and I had asked why they had done this. He replied, in a shaking voice, that it was not his doing, but the others- in their rage, and lust to defeat their mighty enemy, had shown no restraint. But worse was to come, than mere crippling. He had knelt before me, hate seething from him, blindfolded, bound hand and crippled legs- his feet- I couldn’t look there. I knew what I would see. Blood seeped onto the floor, making a red flower around the remnants of his feet. My heart ached bitterly at this sight, and then I had simply resolved to just end this, as soon as I may. I caught a glimpse of his forever-wounded hand, charred by the Jewels he could not live without. Pity and anger competed in my mind, and then, I pronounced sentence upon him. Condemned my own brother to death, and then to the Not-Life, outside the Worlds. The proud head bowed, and did I see a slight tremble? But I could not indulge my natural desire for pity, not this time. If I did so now, I would be condemning the world to ruin, for the sake of one being. The others looked on, Varda looking at me, concerned, feeling my grief. Nienna wept openly, silver tears down a lovely face. Mandos triumphant, not in any cruelty, but in justice and penance about to occur. Aule and Ulmo stone faced, shocked perhaps that one of our own was about to die by our hand. Yavanna took Nienna’s hand. My brother is responsible for agony and death untold, his one death and exile into oblivion, is as a grain of sand on an immense ocean by comparison. Or so I tell myself. He looked up then, and I ordered the blindfold off of him. “Do you have anything to say, Melkor? I will grant any last requests, and hear all you might wish to say.” His terrible eyes burned into me, and I would never be free of that look. Kinslayer, he mocked. He had no other words, no last requests, nothing to ease his own fear- or my anguish. “Let it be carried out then, quickly!” We pulled him back up, Aulë and I- he could not stand, of course - and taken him to a wall – I had that wall obliterated, afterwards- we held him, and Mandos drew a long, fearfully sharp sword. My hand shook as I watched, but I controlled it. The others gathered in a circle, not wanting to watch, yet it was their duty to do so. We had said, in our anger and hurt, that he was no more counted among us. But the pain I saw now, in all the eyes around me, said otherwise. Then, I saw fear in his eyes, and I was drawn to his gaze, now more pleading, softer, terror beginning to rise up. Pride and alarm struggled in his face, but he did not openly plead for mercy. He was wise enough to know I could give him none, now. Mandos raised the blade, and he began to struggle violently, and Aulë and I bore down mightily to restrain him. “Hold him!” I shouted, upset. “Let us do this cleanly!” I placed my hand on that great deep chest, that I had touched in love so many times, and with a shudder of dismay, found the thunderous heartbeat. “Here.” I said, distantly. Mandos placed the sword tip directly above that spot, and for the first time, Melkor made a sound, a moan, and my own heart bled. His black wings spread out around us, now, and beat slowly. With all my resolve, I held him tightly, and Mandos thrust in the sword, and it went all the way through his chest, and out again, and the wings shivered in the air. His eyes bulged, and he thrashed against the restraint of his captors. And suddenly, he lunged upwards, and blood erupted from his mouth, covering me, billowing onto the ground, creating a lurid crimson sea. Nienna had collapsed then, at the ghastly sight, and Yavanna and Varda cradled her, their own faces white with horror. My mind had sobbed, in silent agony, as Melkor, finally released to die, lay on the blood-covered flowers, body arching up, and then relaxing, and then again, the wide wings convulsing. My own legs had suddenly nearly gone out from under me, then, and I swayed, and Aulë had caught me, his fiery eyes misty. Endlessly, silently, he had writhed, and I watched, in stunned dismay, and dimly I heard Mandos saying, “Enough! Let us end this!” – as I watched impotently, Aulë had raised a great axe, and he brought it down on Melkor’s neck, and the head was severed from its body. I staggered then, and Mandos caught me this time, whispering gently “It is not done, yet. Nearly, but not yet.” Above us a black shape loomed and formed, spiraling out of the lifeless body. It coalesced into the shape I knew well, and I committed the final act of justice: I hurled a chain around Melkor’s ghostly neck, and I dragged him away, howling, struggling, his hatred burning hotter than ever. Beyond the Door of Night I thrust him, and turned back to him one last time. He fell on his knees then, but by now I was numb, too deeply stunned by all that I had witnessed- and brought to pass. “Do not leave me here- alone.” I reached out a hand to him, and he allowed me to stroke the black locks of his hair. “You will never be truly alone, my brother. Never. My mind will never truly leave you, know this, and never forget it.” I raised my hand and cast the spell, and the sad, weary eyes began to close, the lids becoming heavy, and he sank onto his back, the black wings folding around his body, and he descended into the deep Sleep. Only Varda knew my grief, and no one ever knew my shame. *Kinslayer*.

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: Annatar the Fair

Status: General

Completion: Work in Progress

Era: 2nd Age - Rings

Genre: Drama

Rating: Adult

Last Updated: 04/23/05

Original Post: 03/06/05

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