RiverOtter's 2005 Birthday Presents: 2. "Close Encounters" by JunoMagic

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2. "Close Encounters" by JunoMagic

Clicking on that picture will allow you to download an iTunes mp3 that is the soundtrack for the following vignette.
It is the song "Close Encounters" by Closeau.

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Close Encounters


Nihil stirred, shivering with the touch of the breeze sighing along her naked body in a soft caress. Reaching out for the warmth she expected to find next to her, she touched only cool silken sheets.

He was not there.

Suddenly wide awake, Nihil sat up, the covers pooling around her in indigo smoothness. The room was thick with the hot-heavy shadows of the summer night. For a moment she listened to the darkness. The rhythm of her heart was attuned to the song of this valley: the rushing of the river as it mingled with the whispering of the woods, the call of the cicadas… the rise and fall of his breathing…

Where was he?

She slipped out of the bed and pulled on her robe. Her feet, still warm from sleep, welcomed the cool touch of the tiles. The breeze that had woken her caught the sheer veil of the curtains. They fluttered towards her like wings of a giant blue-nightwing. For a moment she stood unmoving, the thin fabric of the curtains playing against her body, making her shiver with their soft rustling touch.

He must be out on the terrace.

Silently Nihil moved through the wings of the curtain.

He stood with his back to her, his hands on the railing, his view on the vale, opening wide and wild before him. The moon had already set behind the mountains, but it was not a dark night, filled with shadows though it was, for in the sky above them the stars were bright. As her gaze sought her husband’s silhouette, it seemed to her that the shadows clinging to his body were darker than the twilight of mountains and forest surrounding them. They were shadows growing from within his silent form, a darkness of many ages that was deep enough to swallow the light of the sun.

She went to stand at his side. She did not speak.

There were shadows from the past that would return from time to time. There were too many memories alive in his heart and in his mind: memories of days long gone, of roads travelled to the very end and farther still, of meetings and encounters along the way; faded, but not forgotten, not ever forgotten… With the shadow unleashed once more in the Uttermost West, it was no wonder that memories of another darkness had stirred again within him.

“I am weary,” he finally whispered, turning around to face her. “And my weariness pains me. For you have brought me more happiness than I ever thought possible. And yet… now and again…”

His eyes were clouded with fatigue. She did not answer. She might be mortal and thus parted from him forever, but she was also bound to him by the blessing of Varda. She felt his joy as surely as she experienced her own happiness. She felt his weariness as if it was her own. But it was a bone-wrenching weariness, a weariness beyond the count of human years.

She met his gaze and in his gaze, his memories: an almost endless caleidoscope of sights and sounds and smells, touches, thoughts, moments - scattered through four ages of the world. Some were brilliant in their happiness, some dull with duty. Too many were bleak with pain, sorrow and despair.

She met his gaze and held his gaze. He was her life. He was her love.

And yet, now and again, I long for the soothing shadows in Námo’s timeless halls…

“And yet you are here,” she said softly. “And yet you have stayed, when others have long since moved beyond the circles of this world.”

He did not reply, but only looked at her.

“Don’t worry, melethron nîn,” she told him, her voice husky. She reached for his cheek, cupping his face in a gentle caress. “I understand.”

For a time they stood without moving.
Then she felt him shudder under her touch.

She could not share the respite of Ilúvatar’s solemn gift with him. But there was another kind of respite she could give him.

She let the robe fall down around her body. The touch of the sleek fabric raised her nipples as it slid down her body. For a long moment she simply stood there in front of him, naked in the moonlight. She watched how the shadows in his eyes melted away like clouds being swept from the sky by a strong wind, leaving nothing but glittering stars. She could see how his breath deepened, how his gaze caught with a silvery fire…

With a sigh that was almost a moan, he loosened his own robe, discarding it with an easy shrug. He stood before her, his body pearlescent and his desire apparent.

“Come,” she told him. “Come to me.”

Without a word he closed the distance between them.


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: RiverOtter

Status: General

Completion: Work in Progress

Era: Multi-Age

Genre: General

Rating: General

Last Updated: 07/14/05

Original Post: 04/29/05

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