13. In the Dark
Favorite quotations and sources are subject to change, but I wrote this based on Tom Waits "LowDown", specifically this line:
"She's a big, red flag in a mean bull-pen."
She's on that dais every morning, every evening – a bright, white flame in the dark narrows of the hall. She will turn her head, and every eye is drawn in a heartbeat to that flash of gold. His eyes, too, as he sits beneath her on the stair, and Háma feels dirtied to see it – for that one looks not only to see her hair, or her face.
She feels it, the Lady Éowyn. Háma knows. She walks out onto the practice grounds each day, when the sun is highest, to wash that unwanted look off in sweat and hurt – hers or whatever young hothead thinks to challenge. And they do challenge – she gets a ring of lads around her every time. They keep the prying eyes blind for a little while at least.
Let the lads look, he always thinks, but sends men wiser, older, hardier to face her, or takes her himself. She does not deserve the boys, after all, and Háma finds he does not quite trust her not to wound when at last she can.
But he says nothing of that, either – she's not one of his lads, after all, and something in him weighs heavy against the urge to tame that fury, and its quickness that takes no prisoners.
For she will have to stand upon that dais by day's end, and all the next morn, and in between there are dim halls and shadows – black enough, perhaps, to lose her shine in, and then Meduseld will go dark.
Someone, he thinks, should put those snake-eyes out. Just put them out, quiet in the dark. But he cannot – they cannot. They're a kingdom of moles, with one bright flame to dazzle them, and beyond that no one can see his way… to anything.
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.