7. And Then There Was Cake, or Begetting Day Horrors - Klose
Today, it was the honour of Maitimo Nelyafinwë, also known as Russandol to his family and You Bloody Bastard! to the fathers of various young females all across Tirion.
Now, imagine, for the sake of this narration, that you are that particular elf. Picture yourself walking through the hallways of the Fëanáro, mightiest of the Noldor -- and what great hallways they are, furnished with fantastic tapestries depicting the great sights of Valinor, and that magical faraway land that is Middle-earth. The golden beams of Laurelin fall upon them, hallowing your path through your father's house. Years ago, upon this day, you were brought into this world by the love of your parents, and today marks the beginning of yet another year of your time upon Arda.
You stop to admire yourself in the looking-glass that is hung at the entrance of the dining hall. In your robes of deep emerald green, you are tall and imposing and rather handsome, if you do say so yourself. Even the pale tinge of your skin seems to work to your advantage today, and so absorbed in the sight of your own reflection are you that you do not notice your brother Tyelkormo until he is right behind you. If ever there was an elf of greater vanity than yourself, it would be Tyelkormo. Even if it was you who inherited the superior good looks of the family.
But today, Tyelkormo is not interested in his reflection. Through the looking-glass you see his lips draw back into a feral grin as he calls, verily, for a pile-up -- and you turn to flee, meticulously braided hair be damned! -- but you have not taken one step before you find yourself on the floor, pinned down by the bodies of your six brothers. They are all rather slender, like your father -- hardly endowed with gaudy, bulging muscles like Nolofinwë and his brood! So this particular circumstance should not be so terrible for you, the mighty first-born of Fëanáro, surely.
However -- let it be noted, for the record, that the younger sons of Fëanáro have a tendency to be rather... fragrant. Or, as it might be explained in the vulgar tongue, they are disposed to smelling like reeling-ripe canker blossoms.
Now, so are you. And the day has only just begun.
You are next obliged to spend your time running all across Tirion, distributing gifts to your family, friends and contemporaries. Eru forbid that anyone should actually appreciate the time and coin that you spent selecting these tokens, not least your male kinsmen whose intelligence you chose not to insult by presenting them with ridiculous objects depicting certain parts of the female anatomy, and yet who seem hardly more entertained by shining jewels or beautifully new books.
Really, excepting the people who like to turn up at the commemorative feast for the free food and wine, the only person who might be said to celebrate a Begetting Day with any fervor whatsoever would be the father of said begotten elf. Seven children and countless Begetting Days later, your father has yet to tire of flaunting this apparent proof of his virility in the faces of his half-brothers.
Truly, speaking of embarrassing relatives -- one might even consider them to be the main attraction of a Finwean Begetting Day Feast. After all, your family is nothing if not dysfunctional.
In one corner, your Uncle Nolofinwë is drunk on too much wine and making loud, unnecessary comments, and in another corner, your father is also drunk on too much wine, making loud, unnecessary comments and begging cousin Nerwen for a lock of her hair. Sometimes, you think he has no pride whatsoever.
Curufinwë and Tyelkormo, in the meanwhile, are dancing rather too lecherously with cousin Irissë, and Makalaurë has progressed to singing bawdy drinking songs with such cringe-worthy titles as "Ballad of the Throbbing Python of Love". Not long after, Nolofinwë and Fëanáro engage in a drunken brawl; and in the ensuing chaos, Carnistir throws a punch at cousin Angaráto and Ambarussa nudge the punch bowl off the table.
By the time the damn celebratory cake is brought out, you are quite ready to bolt. Elves, you know, are rather too fond of their ridiculous rhymes and nonsensical melodies, and there is surely no song more absurd than the so-called "Begetting Day Song". We shall speak no further of it, except to observe that no one sings it louder than your esteemable father.
Let us move on to the part where your cousin Findekáno is encouraging you to blow out the candles upon the cake. These candles symbolise your new age, and there are a depressingly large number of them on the cake, only reminding you that you are swiftly leaving your days of youth and excess behind you as you let out a mighty, exasperated sigh upon them.
The candles are removed, and you breathe a sigh of relief. Very soon, Telperion will begin to wane, and the day will officially be over. In another month or so, there shall be another Begetting Day to be celebrated, perhaps, but it shall not be your part to suffer the various indignities that accompany it, thank Elbereth.
Also, there is cake.
It is baked lovingly by your mother, and it is decorated with a likeness of you, using colourful, sugary icing. But you barely have time to realise that cousin Turukáno, the little punk, has vandalised your cake with what can only be termed politely as a "phallic symbol" -- before you notice that Findekáno is suddenly grinning rather too widely at you, and a large slice of cake is promptly smashed into your face.
"reeling-ripe canker blossoms." - shamelessly gacked from a book of Shakespearean insults, although I confess ignorance as to whether canker blossoms actually smell or not.:S
"Throbbing Python of Love" - all credit for this goes to Robin Williams!
Names, Quenya to Sindarin:
Maitimo/Nelyafinwë/Russandol - Maedhros
Fëanáro - Fëanor
Tyelkormo - Celegorm
Makalaurë - Maglor
Carnistir - Caranthir
Curufinwë - Curufin
Findekáno - Fingon
Nolofinwë - Fingolfin
Turukáno - Turgon
Nerwen - Galadriel
Irissë - Aredhel
Angaráto - Angrod
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.