6. Chapter 6
Faramir had, to put it in simple terms, a very unsettling day.
It began with a bevy of Haradrim.
It always began with a bevy of Haradrim.
Faramir had long noted that mortal combat had a habit of throwing his entire day askew. Not that he didn't appreciate his morning jolt just as much as the next Gondorian, but hazardous life-or-death scuffles were, in his opinion, somewhat disproportionate. A decent espresso would have been enough. More than enough.
After the skirmish, which was somewhat short-lived, because his Rangers were damn good at what they did, he returned to Henneth Annûn—or "Hidey-Hole Henneth", as Boromir had so wittily termed it—where he spent several hours consulting tattered yellowed maps and devising military strategies. Or rather, pretending to consult maps and devise strategies while he quietly composed extensive mental lists of the many places he'd rather be and things he'd rather be doing.
Some people said that Faramir wasn't cut out to be a warrior. Well, he'd like to see them on the receiving end of one of his arrows. Bastards.
Faramir was feeling a little bitter that day. He'd had another letter from the Steward, who was of the opinion that the Rangers ought to be using signal flares instead of birdcalls for their martial operations. Faramir was naturally diplomatic, but there were times when there really wasn't anything one could say.
If Faramir, son of Denethor, Captain of Gondor, thought that his day had been unsettling so far, then he really had no idea what was coming next.
Because there really are very few things more unsettling than finding one's older brother dead in a boat. Except maybe being burnt alive by one's own father.
It's funny how a moment can change everything. When the craft from Lothlórien glided softly toward Faramir, barely a hair's breadth from his outstretched hand, he inclined his head, slightly, to see what was inside, and one of those moments rose up and slapped him in the face.
Nothing, in thirty-five years of experience, had ever told him what to do after a moment like that has arisen and slapped one in the face.
Several four-letter words came to mind. He said one of them. "What?"
Then, the three-letter word. "Why?"
The two letter word. "No…"
The forty-four letter, ten-word sequence. "Boromir! Where is thy horn? Whither goest thou? O Boromir!"
He gazed down at the still form again, vision a bit dimmer than usual, and couldn't think of anything else to say.
Then, he noticed that there was a piece of paper clutched in Boromir's left hand.
Faramir reached out and, taking care not to disturb the boat, plucked the parchment free. It slid from his brother's cold grasp with surprising ease. The boat lingered a moment more, and then it was gone, pulled along relentlessly by the inexorable current.
Faramir unfolded the paper.
Take a deep breath.
And then something collided with Faramir from behind with immense force, knocking him head-first into the Anduin. He floundered a moment in the murky water, his dark Ranger's cloak billowing around him, but no inexperienced swimmer was he, especially given the depth of the water. In a moment, he was on his feet again, soggy and seething, ready to launch himself at whoever had dunked him.
Only there was no one there.
But there was the faintest hint of a snigger on the breeze…
Faramir felt oddly as if he was not alone.
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.