24. Evidence Of
For Oshun is a strange quibble featuring a possibly-crazy Maglor, a decidedly weird Maedhros, and a lifetime of memories that might explain why Maglor chose the fate that he did.
My eyes are shut but I can see him. Maedhros. One thousand years together and I can never not see him.
"How did this happen?"
We might have been back in Tirion, still young. The way Nelyo used to laugh upon finding the remains of a party on the morning after, while I had rubbed my aching head in dismayed bewilderment. Evidence of a great life, he had called it, spreading his hands as though embracing the whole mess.
Maedhros does not do that now. Even had he hands, he would not embrace it.
"Macalaurë." Insistent now, demanding answers.
"Do not call me that." You will not let us call you Nelyo of the childhood lost or Maitimo of the beauty you no longer possess or even Nelyafinwë of the kingship you forsook, so Maedhros-that bitter name upon my tongue-do not call me that name I was given by my mother, that name I was called in love by my wife, the meaning of which is also lost.
But he ignores me: "How did this happen?"
So he had asked upon the docks of Sirion where Telvo-excuse me, Amras-had lain between us, sprawled over on his side and the rain and sea having washed his wounds to where, yes, it is as they say: He looked like he was sleeping. Amras who-we all used to complain-"took his half from the middle" and always flopped into one of us while we tried to sleep on hunting trips. Mumbled in our ears and kicked. I waited for the mumbling, but it never came, and here I am.
I see Maedhros with my eyes closed. Imposing, yes, and still beautiful-but not if you knew when he was. Echoing, mocking me, for I'd asked him once: How did this happen? a great voice made frail by uncertainty in the hour following Atar's death. How did we-of the great life-become orphans?
And Nelyo-Maedhros-had kicked a shower of dirt down the hill. Because it did! There is no reason! It is like those rocks-it tumbles where it will!
No, I'd always liked music where the score always led somewhere and there were rarely surprises.
Now he haunts me with it: "How did this happen?" Gesturing at the sand, I see, with his right hand. Or-where his right hand should be. In practice, he uses the left, but practice shall never erase instinct.
I squeeze my eyes shut tighter, but still I see. I would dig my eyes from my face, but still I'd see.
Footprints meandering down the sand. One set-no two! Three! Where we'd let them go. He wants to walk and erase them, as though erasing evidence of our loss will bring those lost back to us. I wait with eyes tightly shut.
But it never works. I open my eyes. His footprints now lie in their stead.
"How did this happen?"
And I am 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.