1. Prelude: Not Unwilling.
Disclaimer: The characters are Tolkien´s.
Warning: Very disturbing themes.
Second warning: This has been completely rewritten. (the notes have been used again, though)
Thanks to Margit for her beta.
"Tú ya no puedes volver atrás
porque la vida ya te empuja
con un aullido interminable." (J. A. Goytisolo)
Prelude: Not Unwilling.
She wanted to see the sky. Not that dense, oppressing ceiling of leaves that allowed only the light of some stars to fall upon her face, but the sky of her youth, the high dome of the land of her wanderings. And she had tried very hard, the deep lacerations in her skin and dress could tell.
Aredhel cried. It was a cry of rage and impotence, as the throbbing pain of life about to explode forced her to fall to the ground on her knees. She had wanted him to be born free. To be herself free. She had wanted...
A cold wind blew over the trees of the forest, and its lingering sound seemed a lamentation that echoed her cries as she choked in darkness. Years, years. How many years? She had wanted to endure, to be strong; she had wanted revenge.
She had wanted...
Faerroch had known it long before her, as always, but she had not wanted to pay attention to the growing uneasiness of her faithful steed. She had wanted to enter that forest, for she was tired and she thought, with good and sound logic, that there they would have better chances to find some animals to eat and wood to build a fire.
She did not know that sound logic did not have anything to do with sheer horror. If she had known, she would not be there now; but she had entered the forest cloaked in her own daring ignorance, and so she fell prey to the dark spell.
Hateful bastard, thrice-cursed son of darkness. He came to her while she was trying to find her way out of there, tall and silent, handsome but grim; and the agonising light of a star revealed strange features of an unnatural pallor, half covered by shreds of hair of a blonde colour that had sadly waned to something whitish as the hue of his skin. His eyes were red, like blood and fire, and like them they scorched her deeply, painfully, mirroring his lust for her.
"I am Eöl, lord of the forest of Nan Elmoth." he said, when she swallowed her anxiousness and asked him for his name and intentions. "And I want you."
Then, of all things, she had laughed! The brave and fearless Ar-Feiniel, of course, how could she have done otherwise? She had never suffered anyone to think she was afraid, even if perhaps the quick pounding of her heart and the shivers that traveled through her spine against her wishes told her that this time she was in true danger. But she did not pay heed, to Faerroch or to herself, and accepted his invitation to stay that night at his house.
"Come with me. This is your house and mine, the house of the Lord and the Lady of Nan Elmoth."
"At least until tomorrow." she replied, smiling.
She was never to go out again.
Why, why, why? He had never answered that question, as if it was something beyond him that he could not quite explain. Why? she asked repeatedly, struggling and trying to reach for her sword, realising that the strength of the Noldor was this time overpowered by the hidden and terrible might of the Moriquendi. As it was wont to happen, he defeated her. She could still see herself there in her worst nightmares, reduced to a helpless body pinned against the wall, and trembling in anger and dread while he stroked her hair hungrily, ready to take everything from her.
She was going to die.
He was coming closer. He was taking her clothes away, ironically doing his best to try not to harm her before she left her hröa forever.
"My wife you will be until the end of Arda."
"You are fey! I will..."
But then, he kissed her. Her mouth full, she could not speak any longer while he took her in his arms to enter her body in a powerful stroke, and pain and humiliation filled her in a confused turmoil. She would endure everything, except to die this way, forsaking life to escape the lustful embrace. She could endure pain, for a warrior she was, but to die! It was unfair. It meant leaving her without any chance.
Slowly, she felt her eyes beginning to lose focus as the thrusts became harder, and her hatred for that man redoubled. I will kill you, oh, yes, I will kill you one day. I will stay a Houseless One to haunt you!
As she could, feverish Aredhel grabbed Eöl with her remaining strength and refused to let that last thread of hope slip from her hands. Unexpectedly, his efforts began to give her body some feeling of pleasure, and without thinking twice she shut her damaged mind from reality and summoned to her the last remaining memories of happier encounters in a different world.
She would survive.
"I love you", she willed herself to say.
"And I you" his deep voice answered her. With a graceful and slow movement, she wiped the drops of sweat from her brow, and her black eyes sparkled with a mischievous challenge.
"Is that all you are willing to offer?"
Eöl could not hold himself after that, and they made love again and again; two, three, four more times. During all the night, they fought, they claimed, they surrendered; until he became exhausted and a triumphant howl escaped her lips. Then, she dragged him down to the floor, and there they embraced and sighed contentedly gazing at each other´s eyes, the Lord and the Lady of the forest of Nan Elmoth.
It was through. The shriek of the mother had turned into the wail of the newborn one, and now Aredhel was posessively clutching in her arms the tiny shape that had been the fruit of her womb. The child who had made her discover that she could still love after so many years.
Shhh...Do not cry... Her gentle caresses tried unsuccessfully to stop his heartfelt protests for having been born in such a horrible place. I did what I could. I tried to give you the light of the sun, to climb to the tallest of all trees so your eyes could greet the light of the morning, but I failed. Child of Twilight you will have to be for now, my precious, my love.
In spite of her weakness, Aredhel knew she had to feed him. She made an effort, and found the right position to give her little one her breast. That quieted the baby immediately, and she used the opportunity to have a closer, enraptured look at him.
How beautiful he was. How small and seemingly helpless, yet she knew that he would grow to be taller than her one day. He would be a great Noldorin warrior; that destiny was written already in the little bush of dark hair which grew in his forehead, and in the sparkle of radiant light dancing in his wide curious eyes. He would be a strong and handsome adult one day.
Her heart. Her son.
Aredhel had been taught that children had in them a share of both their parents, for they were the fulfilment of their wish to become one. Yet, she could not believe that this law could hold true when the mother had been forced to lay with a man against her will. He was her child, it was written in his very face, that mirrored her traits and not Eöl´s. Even if she was aware that her husband was going to try to take him away from her, he could not change that he was her son, who would learn to love the light of the sun with the years, and who would ride with her far from Nan Elmoth to the open plains and to the fair Hidden City.
"Lómion, my son." she said while she rocked him lovingly, tears welling up in her eyes. "You will be my freedom."
Hours after the second meal she had missed, Eöl was beginning to be seriously worried about Aredhel. He was not very learned in women´s things, but he knew that she was in a very advanced state of pregnancy and that this could make her unusually weak. The thought of his wife lying on the ground, unable to move, was seriously haunting his mind, and he decided that, despite his promise of leaving her roam alone, it was time that he went to search for her.
But, as he was wrapping a cloak around his shoulders at the threshold of the house, the Dark Elf suddenly heard a faint wail accompanied by a rustle of leaves. Immediately, he stopped dead, and raised his head.
There she was. She was tired to the point of breaking down, stumbling as she walked, torn and dishevelled as a tree struck by lightning. And, clutched possessively in her arms there was a very small baby, who was trying tenaciously to find her pale breast.
"Aredhel!" he cried, searching for words for the first time in his silent life, and rushing towards them. But the new mother turned away.
"Do not touch him! He is mine!"
And then, she fell to the floor.
(To be continued)
The name of Aredhel´s horse, Faerroch, means "Spirit Horse". The name was suggested to me by [name removed for review].
As the Elves are generically called "Quendi", Moriquendi (Elves of Darkness) is how the Elves who stayed in the dark lands of Middle- Earth when the Valar summoned them to Aman are called by the ones who did, the "Calaquendi" or Elves of light. I suppose "Moriquendi" must be a little insulting.
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.