Wanderer: 29. Chapter 29

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29. Chapter 29






Chapter 29

Warning! Extra long chapter

In the early hours of the morning I retired to my bed to sleep for two or three hours. I felt much better for my night of singing, those who do not understand fail to believe that a simple thing like spending a night singing could help one, but I have always found it so. I am able to think, and to let my thoughts and feelings flow with the music and almost always have found a solution to my problems. That night a solution evaded me, but I had a conviction that a solution would be found, and soon.

I woke to angry shouts from next-door, and decided investigation was necessary. On going out, I found Anita pushing at a donkey who eating her roses with great speed. She was also yelling at the beast that was doing his best to ignore her. It appeared the lady needed help!

‘You will never move him that way!’ I said, laughing as I walked towards the frustrated lady and the hungry donkey. The animal immediately moved towards me as I held out a bucket containing some grain.

‘Cheating now.’ Anita was laughing too, as the donkey all but knocked me off my feet as he buried his head in the bucket.

‘No, just exploiting the animal’s weakness for food, he would much rather eat grain than flowers.’ I watched as Anita began trying to set to rights the mess the donkey had made, ‘shall I help you tidy up the flowerbed later? After we see this fellow gets home safely,’ I said.

We walked the donkey home, across the road to the small paddock he’d escaped from. No wonder, I thought looking at the fence, it would not keep in a sheep!

‘Why does not this animal’s owner fix the fence?’ I asked Anita.

‘She’s rather elderly, can’t do it herself and is too proud to ask for help. Mrs Donnelly’s like that, she’ll let it fall apart before asking for help. Bron and I have had a go at fixing the corner, but now this bit’s gone,’ said Anita frowning.

‘Do you think we should just fix it?’ I asked. ‘Before the donkey gets out again and eats all your roses?’

She nodded, ‘I’ll go home and get some stuff; you stay there and see Poncho doesn’t get out again. You seem to be able to handle him better than me!’

Before long, Anita was back with wire and pliers and we set to work. It did not take long, and the fence was repaired well enough to keep one small black donkey in his own paddock.

‘What does an elderly lady do with a donkey, does she ride or drive it?’ I asked.

‘Yep, drives him. He’s a nice little harness donkey and around here she drives him pretty much everywhere on the quiet roads. She doesn’t have a car you see,’ Anita explained.

We spoke no more as we gathered the things we had used, and crossed the road back to Anita’s home. ‘Come on,’ she said, ‘we need to talk about tonight anyway. Oh, and do you think you’d maybe better put a shirt on?’

‘Yes, that might a good idea,’ I said as I headed indoors and found a shirt before going to Anita’s home. It was peculiar that mortals were so fussy about such things, but they were. Anita had seemed particularly uncomfortable with my shirtless state for some reason

‘That’s better, although at least I had a chance to see that your bruise has healed’ she said

‘Yes, it has, I thank you for your healing,’ I replied.

‘You’re welcome,’ she smiled.

Sitting at Anita’s kitchen table we discussed plans for that evening. ‘Do you have all the things you need for tonight?’ she asked.

‘Is it possible to get some large prawns? I should like to have some cream too, for the dessert,’ I said.

‘I think I handle getting those two things for you. You don’t need anything else?’

‘No, everything else is either in Bronwyn’s cupboards or your own.’

‘You don’t mind doing this, cooking for all of us?’

‘Not at all, I will enjoy doing it. It has been far too long since I have had opportunity to cook properly.’

‘And all elf men like to cook,’ she asked.

‘Yes,’ I said, wondering what Anita really wanted to know. She was not like Bronwyn, who let me see her clearly; Anita was closed off, as if a wall were separating her from the world.

To my surprise she laughed softly, ‘I should have been born an elf woman then, because I hate it. Except maybe for cakes, and cookies.’

I nodded, ‘elf ladies bake bread, and some also cook cakes. My mother had a very special cake recipe she would tell no one, but on many occasions she used this particularly delicious cake to bribe myself and my brothers when we children.’

‘I find it hard to believe you were once a child’, she smiled, as if trying to imagine me as a child was somewhat amusing.

‘Elves are conceived and born in the same manner as mortals, Anita, but elf children do grow to adulthood much more slowly than a mortal child would, and I can assure you I and my brothers got into most of the mischief any boys would.’

‘Really! Now you as a naughty boy I would like to see!’

‘Probably not, I used to get carried away by my brother’s brilliant ideas, and as the oldest but one I used to get blamed a lot. Like the time Celegorm, Caranthir and Curufin put something that exploded into our grandfather’s forge. It did not hurt anyone; it just made a loud noise and scared everyone, and my older brother Maedhros and I both got into trouble for our grandfather thought we should have watched the younger boys more closely.’

‘Maybe we should write a book on unfair punishment between us, eh Maglor,’ and Anita yawned.

‘Perhaps you should go back to bed, it is very early, and I will take care of your flowerbed,’ I said to the obviously tired woman. I knew she had slept little during the night.

‘Do you mind? I really am very tired,’ she tried to suppress another yawn.

‘No, I would not have suggested that you should rest if I did not think you need it. Go on, sleep, and I will wake you in two hours? If Nicky does not?’ I said.

‘Thank you,’ she said very sincerely as she disappeared back into her bedroom, and I went out to fix the roses. Poncho the donkey had made a mess of the poor plants, but it did not take long using my elvish abilities to mend the damage to the bushes, and to fix their roots deeply in the earth. I sang quietly to the plants as I worked, and in no time they were healed and tidied.

‘Did you send Mum to go sleep some more? She said you did,’ I turned and saw Nicky, still in pyjamas and slippers, her hair messy.

‘I did, she was very tired.’

Nicky sat down next to me, rubbed her eyes, and blinked rapidly several times. ‘That’s better, I can see properly now,’ she remarked. ‘You’re been so nice to mum Maglor; thanks,’ she said, once again adopting a very adult manner.

‘You and Anita have been nice to me too, Nicky, and I do appreciate that.’ I looked hard at my little friend, she was thinking hard about something. ‘What is worrying you, Nicky?’

‘I was wondering if you’d help me with something?’ she asked.

‘My help? With what?’ I was curious now, what help could I give a small mortal girl.

‘Well, it’s school holidays right now, and for nearly the next three weeks, and the nutty professor gave us holiday homework.’ She said, a scowl on her little face.

I blinked and shook my head, ‘The nutty professor?’ I asked bewildered.

‘The science teacher,’ she said. ‘He’s loopy, so we call him the nutty professor. Not to his face, of course.’

‘And this teacher gave you homework to done on holidays? Perhaps he is insane, because I do not think that is quite fair,’ I said.

‘Dead right it’s not fair. So, I was hoping you might help me do it,’ she said, her blue eyes sad.

I recognised the look, it was exactly the same one first my youngest brothers and then later my foster sons used to mean, ‘feel sorry for me, poor little child that I am I cannot do what is asked of me without your help,’ and of course, it worked. I felt sorry for her.

‘Is that allowed, to have help?’ I asked.

‘Course it is. Ask Mum if you don’t believe me. And it’s such hard homework, and I thought you’d help.’ Another look from huge blue eyes.

‘Why does not your mother help you?’ I asked.

‘Because she knows nothing about this sort of stuff.’ She scowled. ‘We have to do an experiment with light, and I thought…’

‘You remember me saying about my father’s jewels, of how he trapped light and you thought I would know much of light and what could be done with it,’ I finished for her. Part of me wanted to be angry at Nicky for reminding me of the Silmarils, the Oath and my father, and part of me was flattered that she asked my help.

‘Yeah. Do you mind?’ She looked a little wary now, as if she just realised what she had asked me.

I considered her request for a minute, and then my decision was easy. I was Nicky’s friend, and so I should help her, and that I was now free of the Oath, so the thought of the Silmarils should no longer bother me. ‘Did the teacher say what was needed, or just anything involving light? I asked, and saw her grin a little.

‘I’ll show you,’ she said, getting up to go indoors.

‘Perhaps you should dress properly, and I will make us some breakfast too,’ I said, getting up too, and going back to Bronwyn’s house. Nicky loved pancakes, so that is what I made. Just in time, Nicky arrived, dressed, her hair brushed and neat, carrying some books and papers.

Over breakfast, I looked at what the science teacher wanted. ‘You could present your work here, off the school grounds?’

‘The school is only just five minutes walk that way,’ she said pointing. ‘So I could, I suppose. Last term I presented a project on jelly fish on the beach, Bron helped me with that one, so I suppose I could do something here.’

‘Then I have an idea. We shall make a camera obscura.’

‘A what?!’ exclaimed Nicky.

‘It means dark room. It is Latin,’ I said.

‘A dark room like in photography?’ she asked, a worried look on her face.

‘Yes, but this is older than photography. My father did experiments with these ways of making images, using light, when he was young and told my brothers and myself about it. It is actually quite simple, but very impressive.’

‘So, what do we do?’ she asked puzzled.

‘We shall paint a wall in the old forge white for now, and later I shall have to see what materials are available, and then we will acquire whatever else we need. We will need to make a lens, among other things, or rather I will, and you will help, because we will make a portable camera obscura as well as using the forge, that should take care of both parts of this’

I took one of her pencils, and quickly sketched my idea. ‘See’, I said, ‘It’s really quite simple.’

The look of disbelief on my little friends face had given way to amazement. ‘Can we really do this?’ she said, ‘just you and me?’

‘Yes, although for the presentation we will need help from a few other people, perhaps some of the other school students,’ I said.

‘This is just going to spin everyone out,’ she said quietly.

‘Is that good?’

‘Yep.’ She gathered her things, ‘you’re so nice, Maglor. Apart from Mum or Bron most adults wouldn’t want to help with this, you act as though you’re pleased to help! Thank you.’ She looked at the clock, ‘I’d better go home, I’ve got some stuff to do before we go to get Bronwyn.’

‘I should feed the horses, I suppose,’ I said as we walked outside.

‘Do you want a hand?’ she asked.

‘No,’ I shook my head, ‘you go do what you need to, Nicky.’

Two hours later, I had fed the horses, and tidied up the house, and prepared some of the food for that evening. I sang to myself as I worked, and was generally feeling quite happy with things mostly because Bronwyn would home soon. Home, where I could look after her.

I was sitting at the kitchen table playing with little Cherie cat when Nicky leapt in the doorway announcing we would be leaving soon to collect Bronwyn.

I pulled my boots on; around the house I usually went bare foot around the house as elves were inclined to do. ‘Let us go, then.’

She smiled happily as we locked up the house. Anita had moved her car, and had it parked on the roadside. Anita beckoned me to sit beside her in the front seat, and Nicky bounced into the back seat, carrying a book on dinosaurs from which she occasionally read bits out loud to her mother and I.

This morning the trip to the hospital was uneventful and quick. The doctor was in Bronwyn’s room, examining her. A nurse flashed by, greeting Anita with a smile as she entered Bronwyn’s room. We waited outside, I could hear the conversation within, and was able to report to Anita and Nicky that things looked very hopeful.

The nurse reappeared, smiling. ‘Come on in,’ she said brightly, so we filed into the room and saw Bronwyn sitting on the side of her bed, chatting to the doctor.

‘Ah, Anita, you’ll be keeping an eye on Bron, will you?’ the doctor asked.

‘Sure will, and Maglor is staying with Bronwyn so she won’t be alone at night.’

The doctor looked me up and down, as if assessing whether or not I was suitable to take care of Bronwyn. Irrationally, this irritated me. Who did this mortal think he was?! Arrogantly I stared back at him, only later realising that I had been acting as I had not for thousands of years, as a Prince of the Noldor. So I stared back, not bothering to hide myself, or to pretend that I too was mortal. The doctor soon turned away, unable to meet my gaze, and uneasy without knowing why. I continued to stare at this mortal’s back until Nicky poked me in the ribs, right where I was still a little sore. I looked down at her, a frown on her face, her blue eyes glittering.

‘Mum told me to tell you that whatever it is you’re up to, stop it,’ she hissed, ‘or perhaps the doc won’t let her go home today. Come on,’ she said taking my hand, ‘we’re going to the canteen now, or I’ll…kick you.’

My mood had changed now, and I had to suppress a smile. As I followed Nicky from the room, I reflected that this was part of her charm, that she is not afraid of me, or concerned that I am an elf, to her I am just another adult, with the strange ways all adults have. We bought some sweets at the canteen that Nicky insisted we eat outside. I agreed because she was right, probably had I stayed in Bronwyn’s room I would have said or done something that would have caused the doctor to refuse to allow Bronwyn to leave hospital today.

Anita found us some minutes later, eating sweets and talking. ‘Bron’s just taking a shower before we go.’ She caught my eye, ‘No thanks to you, Maglor. You had Dr. Bruce thinking you’re some kind of a nut case, not fit to even take care of yourself! He very nearly refused to release her today.’

Ashamed, I nodded, ‘I know, but it was the way he looked at me. As if I was untrustworthy. It angered me.’

Anita said nothing, but nodded and stared at the ground for a while. Fifteen minutes must have passed ere she spoke, ‘Bronwyn should be ready now, let’s go see.’

Nicky and I trailed Anita as we went to check on Bronwyn, as Anita had suggested, she was ready to go, her things packed in bags, dressed in sleeveless shirt and a long pale green skirt and sandals. She greeted us all with a smile, and squeezed my hand when I assisted her to stand, and I felt my heart lighten as I looked into her eyes, once again reminded of fine emeralds by their colour.

Her few things I carried, as Bronwyn walked between Nicky and Anita, leaning only slightly on the walking stick the hospital had loaned her.

‘Are we going to IMAX,’ asked Nicky, of her mother or Bronwyn I was not sure.

‘I think I’m up to it, I’ve done nothing but rest for nearly three days and I’m bored, so let’s go,’ Bronwyn smiled at Nicky as we walked.

As Anita and I agreed Bronwyn was fine, we put all Bronwyn’s things in the car, and soon found ourselves seated in the cinema watching the dinosaur film. It was rather interesting but very loud, and I had a headache by the time it was over, it was worth it to see how excited Nicky was to point herself out on the screen. Bronwyn had sat next to me, and held my hand tightly all through but it was towards the end that I understood she was trying to ease my aching head; to my surprise it worked a little.

Bronwyn was tired by the time we arrived at her home. Anita and Nicky did not stay, as they had a lunch appointment with Anita’s parents, and as they left Anita promised to bring me the extra food items I asked for earlier in the day.

Once in the house, Bronwyn settled happily onto the couch, and asked me to bring her a box that lived in the safe. She had given me the combination while she was in hospital, she said in case the house caught fire there were some things in the safe she would like saved if at all possible. I knew it was so I could look at artefacts there if I wished, frankly I had not felt like doing so until she was home.

I brought the small box to her, and she opened it, and there was my dagger, it really was the one I had thrown away come back to me after all these thousands of years. It was battered, and the leather wrapping on the hilt had long since rotted away, but I believed I could repair it. The cloak clasp too, had been mine, a copper circle representing the sun that I had lost when I moved back towards the sea in the beginning of the Fourth Age. I had travelled through Gondor, on my way, for I had heard that Elrond’s daughter Arwen was now Queen, and I was possessed of a foolish desire to see one I regarded almost as my grand daughter. I did see her, at a public dinner, she did not see me of course, and would not have known who I was even if she had. I had been interested to discover that what I had heard was true, that Arwen was as beautiful as Luthien, whose fair face I had once been graced to see, although I had not known who the elf maid travelling with a mortal man was until later.

‘Maglor?’ Bronwyn’s voice and gentle touch brought me out of my waking dream, a dream in which I had seemed to walk the streets of Minas Tirith again.

‘You’ve cut yourself,’ she scolded.

I looked down at my hand, which I had tightened around the blade of the dagger. Blood dripped from between my fingers as I realised that the blade was still sharp. Not surprising I suppose, for my father had made it. ‘I should take of it,’ I said at last.

Bronwyn took the dagger off me, and gave me a small towel that just happened to be on the coffee table, which I wrapped around my hand. In the kitchen, I took a better look; I had cut myself worse than I first thought. I pressed the towel hard against the deep slash in my hand, ignoring the pain that caused.

‘Give me a look at that,’ came Bronwyn’s voice beside me. ‘Nasty,’ she commented when I removed the towel to show her. ‘Here, I’ll bandage that for you,’ she said.

‘I can do it,’ I replied.

‘Sure you can,’ said Bronwyn quietly. ‘Real easy to bandage your own hand, I think not.’

By now, my hand had almost stopped bleeding, but it was hurting, and in truth I was grateful that Bronwyn did bandage my hand for me.

‘There you are,’ she smiled, ‘and be more careful next time.’

‘Yes sweet lady,’ I answered her, and as she was still standing next to me I found it only natural to slip my arm about her shoulders and hug her. She returned the hug, and we stood so for some minutes, just enjoying each other’s company.

Then there was a knock on the door. ‘I’ll get it,’ said Bronwyn very quietly. I took her hint, and disappeared into my bedroom in case it was someone I should not meet. Barely had I got there when Bronwyn called to me; I went back into the kitchen to see her speaking with some people I had seen at the Marine Institute.

Bronwyn introduced me to the one person I did not know, and we all chatted for a few minutes while the visitors assured themselves of Bronwyn’s well being. Before they left, Roger Jackson, the director asked if I would mind going back to the Institute with them to see George the whale.

‘Me, why me?’ I exclaimed, startled.

‘Because the whale is very stressed again and Aaron claimed you could calm him. We don’t want to use drugs to settle George, we really don’t know what dosage to use and Aaron suggested you might be able to do whatever it is you did before,’ said Roger.

‘Very well, for George’s sake I will do this. I understand you mean now?’ I asked.

‘Yes, that would be great,’ said Roger, a look of great relief on his face. Like all those I met at the Marine Institute, the sea creatures mean a great deal to him.

‘I’m coming too,’ announced Bronwyn.

‘No. You are tired and need to rest,’ I said. ‘Please, Bronwyn, I will much happier if you stay here, I do not think that this will take long.’

‘Ok. I guess I’ll stay’, she said rather grumpily. That alone should tell her she was tired.

‘And lay down and rest,’ I insisted.

‘Yeah, all right,’ and when I continued to stare at her, ‘Ok, ok I’m going,’ she said, as she disappeared into her bedroom.

The journey to the Marine Institute was interesting to say the least. Roger asked me many questions about my knowledge of whales, and why Bronwyn and I had been diving together. Over the years many times I had to invent tales to satisfy curious mortals, and now I told a story worthy of any ever told. Personally I thought I stretched the bounds of believability, but Roger seemed to accept my tale without question.

Poor George was happy to see me, making loud squealing noises, and floating on his side, slapping a huge flipper in greeting. I sat on the edge of the pool, my feet dangling in the water. George floated by me, rubbing his head against my feet, his thoughts excited and happy. It pained me to tell him that I could not have him removed to the ocean yet, that he would stay some time, as his tail was not healed, nor had he adapted to swimming with his mutilated tail.

Saddened, the whale pleaded with me, and he managed to make me promise to see him every day and sing to him. He was immensely pleased, and agreed to co-operate with the vets in return. So I sang to the whale as he floated now beside me.

An awed director drove me back home, and made arrangements to collect me the next day. I walked quietly into the house, and found Bronwyn asleep in her bed. I bent over her, and kissed her brow lightly. She did not stir, and I went to begin preparation of dessert for that night.

I worked in the kitchen for some time, and then Nicky popped in the door, smiling happily.

‘Here you are, Maglor, Mum said this is the stuff you wanted,’ she said.

‘Thank you Nicky,’ I replied to her.

‘Where’s Bron?’

‘Asleep.’

Oh,’ she said, pulling up a chair, and standing on it to reach a box of cookies she knew were there in the cupboard. Opening them, she offered me some.

‘Do you always make free of all Bronwyn’s things?’ I asked amused by her, for she seemed just at home here as at her own home.

‘Yep, she’ll get us back later probably.’ She peered curiously over my shoulder, ‘What are you making?’

‘Dessert.’

‘I know that, I meant what sort.’

‘One that needs to be chilled before serving,’ I answered her with a small smile.

‘Maglor!’ said Nicky, punching my arm in frustration.

I laughed then, while she scowled. ‘Chocolate mousse,’ I said.

‘Wow, are you ever going to be popular!’ she exclaimed.

‘Am I? Why is that?’

‘Because that’s Bron’s favourite dessert. I mean, Mum and I like it, but Bron really likes it,’

‘Is not that a happy coincidence then.’

Nicky gave me a sideways glance, a habit learned from Bronwyn, by which she meant a likely story. ‘Whatever,’ she remarked.

‘I saw that in Bronwyn’s mind,’ I said, ending her puzzlement.

Her eyes were round with wonder, ‘really’ she gasped.

‘Yes really.’

‘Could you do that with anyone?’

‘You, for instance?’

‘Yes.’

‘No, not unless you let me, and I would not, not without great need.’

‘Good!’ she said. ‘I was really worried that you read everyone’s mind.’

‘No,’ I shook my head at her. ‘You have been worrying over that?’ I asked her, surprised.

‘Yes.’

‘Needlessly, little one,’ I said crouching down in front of her to reassure her.

Suddenly she seemed at ease with me again, and her little hand reached out to push my hair from my face and brush the shape of my ear with her fingertips.

‘Your ears are a funny shape,’ she giggled, a young and carefree little girl once more.

‘Perfectly normal for an elf,’ I said.

‘But they’re pointed! Like some sort of an animal. Maybe that’s why you hear so well.’

I pondered this for a moment, ‘I have never thought of it before, but perhaps you are right.’

She giggled again, and looked at the clock. ‘Must go, I’ve got gymnastics practise; we have a competition in less than two weeks. Mum’ll be so mad if I’m late.’

Bidding me farewell, she shot out the door at a great speed and ran home. I could not repress a smile as I watched her fly up the path towards her home.

I returned to the chocolate mousse, and soon had it finished and in individual dishes in the fridge. Cleaning up took longer than making the mess in the first place, and I had not long finished when I heard Bronwyn’s footsteps; she was having trouble walking, I could hear that.

I met her as she entered the lounge room, and moved to assist her.

‘I can walk,’ she smiled, as I took her arm, and supported her.

‘I know, but just now you need help, for a few days anyway,’ I said. She nodded, acknowledging the truth of my words, as she accepted my help to go outside and sit on the veranda.

‘Do you feel better?’ I asked, settling myself in a chair next to her.

‘Mmm, I do, much better. Have you been back long?’

‘Just over an hour. You have had a good sleep!’

She smiled, stretching her injured leg slowly. ‘I have,’ she agreed. ‘How did things go at the Marine Institute? Was George pleased to see you?’

‘He was, but he was very unhappy. He made me promise to see him and sing to him every day, and in return he will co-operate with the vets. It was nice to see him again,’ I said.

‘Huh! Now you have an excuse to off singing to George every day, and you know you’ve been wanting to,’ she said, her eyes twinkling.

‘Once again, you are correct, sweet lady.’ I shook my head, ‘I am not used to mortals seeing through me so easily.’

She laughed then, and gazed over to where she could see the horses grazing, ‘the horses look well,’ she said, ‘thanks for looking after them.’

‘You are welcome, Bronwyn. They were no trouble, and Nicky helped too.’

‘Yes, but that would be a treat to her. She adores anything to do with the horses.’

I agreed, and we sat chatting casually of minor matters, and laughing at the antics of Cherie cat who was trying to catch butterflies in the garden. She nearly caught one once or twice too.

Anita appeared soon, as we had arranged, she said she wanted my help for something. Not a lie, as of course as I was helping her, by cooking the special dinner for Bronwyn. Anita was preparing salads; I had already done the dessert, so all that was left to do was to cook the albacore, and to prepare the first course, a light dish of prawn kebabs.

‘How are we going to get Bronwyn over here? And the dessert too,’ I asked Anita as soon as we were out of Bronwyn’s earshot.

‘Easy, I’ll get her over here by saying I want to dress her leg properly for the evening, and she knows it’s easier to bring her here then take all my first aid supplies and dressings to her house. While I’m doing that, Nicky can sneak the dessert into my fridge,’ she answered with a grin.

I was cooking the fish on Anita’s barbeque, wrapped in foil with a sauce of ginger, garlic, lime juice, peanut oil, soy sauce, and sweet chilli sauce. At the last minute I decided to stuff the fish with some cooked wild rice that was in Anita’s fridge, mixed with herbs.

While the barbeque heated, I prepared the prawns with Nicky’s help; she was looking forward to the meal very much. Her gymnastics practise had made her very hungry indeed!

I had started the fish, and the prawn kebabs were sizzling nicely in their chilli and black bean sauce before Anita disappeared to fetch Bronwyn. The food was cooking quickly, and we decided to leave the dessert where it was for now, as Anita could dress Bronwyn’s leg later.

Anita and Bronwyn soon appeared, Bronwyn leaning on her stick as Anita assisted her through the gate, up the path, and into the pretty courtyard next to Anita’s barbeque. Nicky, who was taking all the fussing over Bronwyn very seriously, placed a tray on the table next to where Bronwyn was seated, and handed us all a glass of wine she had poured under my direction, a fruity slightly sparkling white wine. Nicky herself was drinking apple juice, and I worried that she would slosh as she moved if she drank any more of it. She had drunk four glasses of it since coming home that I knew of.

‘Something smells nice, what are you three up too anyway?’ Bronwyn asked as she sipped her wine.

‘Nothing at all,’ I said as I placed the now cooked prawn kebabs on a plate in the middle of the table, and Nicky handed out plates and cutlery. She had apparently appointed herself my assistant for the evening.

Eyes wide, Bronwyn accepted her plate. ‘You didn’t have to go all this trouble on my account!’ she said, surprised. ‘Thank you,’ she said to us all.

‘It’s our pleasure,’ said Anita, as Nicky and I echoed her.

The prawns soon disappeared, and the fish was served, along with Anita’s salads. Even I had to admit that I had prepared a very nice meal, certainly the ladies were loud in their compliments, claiming they rarely so enjoyed a meal.

Nicky and I cleared the dishes, and gave the fish remains to Cherie as Anita tended to Bronwyn’s leg, pronouncing herself very satisfied with way Bronwyn was healing.

The chocolate mousse was served topped by whipped cream and shaved chocolate, and by then even I wanted no more food, the sweet stuff was all I could manage. Afterwards, all of us sat sipping coffee that Nicky had made, relaxing, but not for long. Nicky was telling Bronwyn of how I had sung to the stars for most of the previous night, and soon enough I was convinced to fetch my guitar, and sing some songs for my friends.

No songs from days long gone of Valinor passed my lips that night, but music from this world that I was now part of. Anita and Nicky joined me in many of the songs I sang, and I found they both had good voices for mortals. Bronwyn tired soon in the evening, and I too realised that I had been fretting and worrying over Bronwyn since she was hurt, and now she was home I relaxed and found I was tired too.

Anita was yawning as she bid us good night, Nicky had already gone to bed by the time Bronwyn and I went through the small gate that joined the two properties on our way home.

I saw Bronwyn tucked up comfortably in her own bed before I too settled down for a good long sleep.


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: Jillian Baade

Status: Reviewed

Completion: Work in Progress

Era: Other

Genre: Romance

Rating: General

Last Updated: 04/26/04

Original Post: 06/26/02

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