1. March 17, 2005: Happy New Year!
Four words were selected, either by dictionary or by random word generator online. The rule was that those words had to be used (verb conjugation was permitted).
Juno and Aranel for coming up with the idea.
Meril for a little bit of publicity.
Everyone who participated for all the fun!
untitled – by Eärengil
The woman thought of herself as the most bewailed inhabitant of Minas Tirith, Gondor. Did everyone talk about her, or was that her imagination? Her thoughts had at best been muddled since her husband’s death. He’d been a soldier, so death was part of it. You didn’t need a diviner to know that he would probably die fighting.
So when a woman came to town, claiming to have the power of foresight – she called herself a diviner – the woman said to herself “You are going to go out there and strut over to this woman, so it will be settled.”
untitled – by Arandil
“What ill deeds have you foreseen? Speak, seer, or get thee from my home. ”
The diviner stood calmly before the smith master. “Though you may not desire to muddle in her affairs, you must stay your daughter from her current path.”
“If you speak of her attention to the son of the king, there is naught I can do. While I may not care for how he struts through the city, she is of the age to make her own decisions.”
“His arrogance you speak of shall be much bewailed, and he shall be named kinslayer before the end.”
First Love – by Juno
You did not need to be a diviner to realize what was up with young Boromir of Gondor. You only had to see him strut along the streets of Minas Tirith this spring to know just what had happened to the Steward's son.
A dreamy expression on his face, his mind in a muddle, with no correct answer for any question his tutors might ask:
Boromir son of Denethor was nineteen years old.
And he was in love!
Alas, it was not to be.
He died a bachelor, bewailed, bemoaned, beloved by all of Gondor, but not by a wife.
The Return of the Banners – by Meril
The caravan’s frayed remnants slunk into Umbar like a wounded dog, trailing dust and blood and shame. They had marched out of the city chanting war-songs in myriad tongues. Their swaggers and struts had been almost comical to watch.
The holy diviner proclaimed our victory, she thought, listening as young women bewailed husbands who would not return. But she would not wail: she had given two husbands to the harsh sands before coming to live in the city, aside from three children.
Ragged scarlet banners muddled before her old eyes, twisting and warping until all she could see was blood.
Defeat – by Aranel Took
He glared at his Captain, anger threatening to muddle his weary mind and make him do something he would later regret. The Captain struts like a rooster at the head of their regiment, seemingly oblivious to the throng of families lining the street, the pitiful cries of women and children filling the air as they bewailed their dead.
For the diviners had been wrong. There had been no promised victory. No glorious return to their city as heroes. Instead, only a battered few had made the journey home, in defeat and shame. They had underestimated the Men of the West.
Muddling Through – by Gwynnyd
“I feel all muddled up, Mr. Frodo,” Sam admitted, glumly contemplating the floor of the boat. “The Lady said she was no diviner of the future, but it was so real. Trees falling. That Ted Sandyman, fingers under his braces, strutting ‘round like he owned the Shire. Why, it’s almost more than I can bear to think on. I do feel this boat is taking me the wrong way.”
“You don’t have to stay with us.” The sadness in Frodo’s eyes near broke Sam’s heart.
“No, I promised myself I’d stay the whole way. I’ll not bewail my fate now.”
untitled – by Narwen Almiriel
In a small, almost forgotten room near the library of Imladris, a small figure strutted about in what appeared to be a bedsheet. It was actually a dress made to fit a grown elf. So naturally poor Arwen found herself tripping in it. But none of the others made her look like a diviner, like her grandmother…In a corner of the room there lay more dresses all muddled up. Arwen did not know what to do. She bewailed the loss of her two favourite dolls in the hands of her brothers. Now who would take their place at her tea table?
untitled – by Arandil
“He has sustained minor injury, my lord, but he is well.” The messenger watched nervously as the king put down his carven staff.
“Praise the Valar.” he whispered, almost to himself, before turning to the envoy. “And how have you news of my son?”
“A missive was received today, sire, from the Lord and Lady…” Before he could finish, the king was on his feet, striding towards the open door.
“I shall travel there to see him with my own eyes.”
“With all due respect, my lord,” the messenger held out a shaking hand. “They ask that you remain here.”
Respect – by Aranel Took
He put his arm up on the table, letting the healer poke and prod his injury. “You’ll need stiches,” she said. “And you’re lucky you didn’t break it.”
He just shrugged. He’d gotten used to the healers scolding him over his injuries. They’d even gone to Eomer King about it. “He’s pushing himself too hard,” they’d complained. “He’s going to get himself killed.”
But how could they understand? That any bit of praise was seen as coddling or favoritism because of who he was. He had to push himself. To prove himself and earn the respect of his fellow Riders.
Learning at Play – by Eärengil
Elrond had tried to look at both sides of the situation. On the one hand, Estel deserved to be praised for trying to increase his skills. And he had clearly wanted the respect of his older brothers. But they should have known that to encourage a youngling like this would only lead to injury. It had undoubtedly been a difficult decision to make. And in the end, they had realized that Estel was going to try anyways, so they might as well safeguard him. So they had put the clues were they could be seen, that he might learn more.
Remembered Wisdom – by Gwynnyd
“Do not underestimate your enemy. He will not behave stupidly just because you wish him to. Respect yourself. Respect him and you will live to see victory in the end.”
Fine words. Easy to hear on the cool, shaded terrace where the white stones of Minas Tirith reflect the sun into kindly warmth. Harder to put into practice when the enemy is lurking, somewhere, and injury and death are naught but a slip away. Only the foolish wait for hidden foes, and then betray themselves.
Faramir scans the terrain and slowly moves his troops into position, silently praising the wisdom of his father.
A tribute to Werecat's "Brown Spirit" – by JunoMagic
"Put aside that old injury. It is time to let go!" The white wizard advised. He was on his way to the Grey Havens and had come to bid a friend farewell.
The younger man stroked a black cat that was curled up on his lap.
"A fool, he called me," he said in a low voice. His eyes were gentle and brown, the same colour as his robes. A sparrow on his shoulder nibbled at his earlobe.
"But I have only praise for you, and respect," said Gandalf. "Walk the vast forests of Arda, and be happy, my friend."
untitled – by Narwen Almiriel
They all praised her.
People came into the Houses of Healing every day to ask after her. They gave her flowers, wished her a safe recovery.
But not him. She had not seen him since that day. He had healed her wounds, her injuries, but not her heart. She did not care what anyone else said. She did not want fame. All she wanted was for him to respect her. To love her. She would ask him why he did not, but she could not put aside her pride. She was the White Lady. Surely she was worthy of him?
Biased Bedtime Stories – by Meril
“And the great King Elrond said, ‘You have done me great injury, spider-spawn, and now I must put you in your place.’”
“Where were we when this happened? You would never—”
“Hush up, Arwen! It’s my turn! So the great King sent his praised Captains, Elrohir the Orc-Slayer and Elladan the Goblin-Crusher, forth from his realm to give the ugly Prince of Mirkwood his doom. On reaching Moria, Captain Elrohir said, ‘How fitting: a spider fed to the dwarves.’ And—”
“Elrohir! Your sister is hearing this!”
“Sorry, Nana. How about Orcs?”
Celebrían groaned. Will they ever respect Mirkwood?
Rampant Desire – by Elvenesse
Pippin looked at Aragorn hopefully, “have you finished with your portion of the stew?”
Aragorn carefully moved his bowl behind him and shrugged innocently, “stew, what stew? Are you sure it is not just a figment of your imagination?”
The rest of the fellowship watched in amusement as Merry carefully retrieved Aragorn’s bowl whilst Pippin kept him occupied.
Merry sat back down next to Pippin, saying, “Here Pip, would you like some of my meal?”
Aragorn lunged for his bowl and knocked it into the fire, which flared up and swallowed the food, amidst gales of laughter from the fellowship.
Fateful Dreams – by JunoMagic
"It's nothing but a figment of imagination!" But cold fear gripped Denethor's heart.
"Father, you know that fantasies are not my domain! But this dream, it flares like fire in my heart!" The warrior sighed. His father would not like to hear this. "And Faramir shares this portion of the dream!"
He would not say that Faramir had the worst of it. Dreams that woke him, screaming.
"We have to go to Imladris and find out the meaning of it all, no matter what the cost! I know this is fateful!"
And Denethor knew that it was, too.
Do Figments Have Eyes? – by Gwynnyd
“It’s a figment of your imagination.” Merry shrugged off Pippin’s fears casually as he carefully divided the food in the pan into equal portions. Moria’s dark pressed down, but the small fire was cheerful.
Pippin was not so lightly dismissed. “I saw them, Merry, as clearly as I see you. Eyes in a face, just as the fire flared up. I was looking out into the tunnel and I saw them. Then I heard footsteps, even though we were all here and resting.”
“So, go tell Strider or Gandalf. There’s nothing I can do about it.”
“Bother Gandalf again? No!”
Shadowfax – by Aranel Took
He settled in to the little hollow, pulling his cloak around him to ward off the chill. This portion of the field was quiet tonight, not even the crickets making noise. Only the rustle of grass in the wind. He would be in trouble if his escapade was discovered. But it would be worth it.
He didn’t have long to wait. Like a figment of a dream, a ghostly white shape appeared. A shrug of shoulders, the toss of a head, the flare of nostrils--Éomer gaped in awe as the great mearas capered like a colt under the moonlight.
Everything’s Wrong – by Meril
Sam struck the flint and tinder again, producing a tiny flare which promptly died in the wind. Frowning, he tried four successive times, ultimately failing to light the tiny portion of wood.
Nothing had gone right that day. Boromir looked tense enough to shatter, Aragorn was withdrawn; Legolas and Gimli were arguing (again); Merry and Pippin were bickering; Frodo was brooding…
And he couldn’t light the FIRE!
Instantly suspicious, he peered into the gathering gloom. He fancied he saw a creeping figure, skulking through the shadows near the boats. Sam shrugged.
A figment of your imagination, Samwise. Nothing more.
Nerdanel and Fëanor: The True E!Hollywood Story – by Arandil
[In response to Meril’s snickering request: “Have Nerdanel call Fëanor a shallowbrain.”]
He walked towards her and her passion flared within her. He must feel a portion of what she felt …he was standing so close she could feel the heat from his body. There was one way to know.
“What do you desire, Curufinwë?” She waited breathlessly for his answer.
Grasping her hand and fueling her longing, he unexpectedly shrugged. “You are the only one whose skill comes close to mine. I desire your company.”
“Comes close, you shallowbrain?” His want had been a figment of her imagination. Rejection turned her ardor to anger. “Far surpasses, is closer to the truth.”
Special challenge: Include alcohol (for St. Patrick's Day), and New Year (for March 25th: the day the Ring was destroyed).
The 25th of March – by Meril
[Features characters borrowed from Aeneid.]
During the gathering at their chosen tavern, Boromir observed his men.
The men joked that old Amlaith (who now sipped at a brew silently) wouldn’t smile for his mother. Red-haired Ragnor sat with a barmaid beside him, whispering in her ear and fingering her skirt.
But there were empty spaces. Heldar, who wouldn’t see his rosy-cheeked wife again. Baran, who had barely sprouted a beard.
The best comes with the bitters, or so they say. Taking a long look at the crowded, laughing, living tavern, Boromir drained his ale.
To a new year. Remember the dead, but still keep living.
untitled – by Elvenesse
Éowyn gathered her skirts around her knees and climbed onto the bench to sit next to Faramir, who was swaying slightly. She laughed as she took a mouthful of his drink, savouring the bitter taste. “You’re not used to matching drinks with the Rohirrim, are you my love. I am glad we decided to come here to celebrate New Year, even if you can’t hold your drink.”
Faramir grinned sloppily at her; then stood on the table, “Come,” he shouted, “let us toast those who are no longer with us. Mothers, fathers, brothers, friends!” The hall resounded with drunken cheers.
untitled – by Aranel Took
Estella wrinkled her nose and pursed her lips. Freddy always put too much bitters in his beer. She’d try a different beer, maybe some of Gaffer Gamgee’s brew.
She weaved her way through the gathering celebrating the New Year, heading towards the ale casks to get a new mug. She didn’t make it. She was stopped by small hands tugging at her skirt. She looked down. Her sons and Fari were looking up at her, looking a bit guilty about something.
“What did you three do now?” she sighed, setting aside her mug. Being a mother took priority over beer.
Here’s to All Mothers! – by JunoMagic
His mother slapped him right in the face. Bergil cringed.
"What do you think you were doing? Lifting skirts and gathering ill-repute? Sampling the bitters of every inn in Minas Tirith?" She fumed, her face red, her hand still lifted threateningly.
His manly pride withering, Bergil ducked down further, rubbing his inflamed cheek.
"But Mom! It's New Year's Eve! Everyone is celebrating!"
"Everyone! I'll give you everyone! You are all but fourteen!" His mother shouted.
There was no reasoning with his mother. So, feeling slightly queasy from too many drinks, the Citadel's proudest squire slunk off to his bed.
Revelry – by Gwynnyd
Shouts, laughs, and horns’ blats drifted upwards on the light evening breeze with the scent of beer and frying sweets. The gathering shadows concealed no fear. From his high place, Aragorn saw mothers shooing children indoors away from the whirling skirts of dancers filling the streets. Nine times he had watched his people celebrate more raucously than was deemed seemly at the formal New Year’s court. He longed to roam the streets, swilling bitter beer on every level and learning new tales of that day of joy.
Arwen took pity on him at last. “Go. I will make your excuses.”
Sleep, My Son, Sleep – by JunoMagic
A blanket for her son. To keep him covered and sheltered, all year long.
Handsome, he had been, his mail so bright, his eyes so proud, as she had thrown down roses of Imloth in front of the hooves of his horse.
Strong, he had been, with his dagger shining, his spear glinting and his grandfather’s sword gleaming.
Hope, he had given them, on that dark day, riding to war, out of the gates of Minas Tirith to face all their foes.
A blanket of earth for her son. To keep him covered and sheltered, sleeping in peace forever more.
Foreplay – by Aranel Took
Goldi yawned and made her way to her guest room at the Great Smials. Rose and Daisy had gone to bed a while ago, but Goldi had stayed up far too late listening to Uncle Merry and Uncle Pippin tell stories.
She opened the door quietly, trying not to wake her sisters. She set the candle on the bedside table and turned back the covers.
She covered her mouth with her hand at the sight of the bullfrog in her bed, gaping up at her with huge eyes. “Faramir!” she muttered. She scowled and picked up the frog. This means war!
Unnumbered Tears – by Elvenesse
This was supposed to be the war to end all wars. I broke the leaguer of Gondolin to come to my brother’s aid. Yet to no avail.
We marched out of the hidden city to end Morgoth’s reign. Our assault was broken by those who were oath-sworn.
On the forth day began the Battle of Unnumbered Tears: I watched my brother fall to the whips of fire. I watched as swarms of orcs covered his body, and I could not reach him.
Mortal treachery lost us the battle. Yet through the friendship and sacrifice of Húrin, were my people saved.
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.