58. Scene V.xii
The Lay of Leithian Dramatic Script Project
BELOVED FOOL: BEYOND THE WESTERN SEA
[Elsewhere -- the brightening mists]
[Beren looks around in the swirling grayness, wary and cautious as he rises slowly from the matted turf, but in a very hyper-alert way, not able to see what or where anything else might be. He whirls, as if hearing something, and then turns back as though glimpsing something from the corner of his eye, standing very still, taut as a bowstring -- and then someone reaches out of the fog to tap him lightly on the shoulder, with one quick finger, pulling back like a playful cat. Beren spins around, making a completely instinctive and utterly futile attempt to draw nonexistent sword with equally absent hand before flinging himself down and aside in a defensive roll, coming up in a crouch ready to fend off the person who has accosted him as best he can.]
[He is not prepared, however, for peals of laughter, or an iridescent-robed figure too overcome at his reaction to speak for several moments, or even to stand straight. It is Vana, Orome's wife, but not as we have seen her before while watching the Loom: now she is The Ever-Young, the embodiment of Springtime, and although she is not much taller than Luthien, she is incomparably more beautiful and creepy -- for her visible manifestation changes from moment to moment, flowers and petals appearing and blending to form the semblance of her gown, her jewelry, and even perhaps her hair and features, so that the Maiden of Flowers appears not so much as an illusion, but as a glimpse of something far more complex and timeless than any single image could convey.]
That wasn't funny.
Yes, it was.
[she claps her hands delightedly]
It was the most ridiculous thing I've seen all season. Come on, haven't you lain around long enough?
[she darts forward, like a bird, and grabs his hand, tugging him up and spinning him halfway around as she keeps going, then releases him to stand and look at him critically.]
--What are you staring at me for? You've seen me often enough.
[while he is standing there open-mouthed, she darts off into the mist again and vanishes, leaving Beren shaking his head in bewilderment.]
[she reappears behind him again and startles him by tugging on a strand of his hair]
[he turns and gives her an accusing look -- but she is not there, having turned with him like a ballerina and stayed out of his angle of vision -- and then taps him on the shoulder again. This time he stays still, statue-like, as though frozen, while a long moment passes. Finally she sighs in exasperation and comes around to face him.]
You're no fun. --Why not?
Um. --If you haven't noticed, I'm dead.
--So? Lots of people are.
[she circles him again, in a very stylized movement, as if she were practicing dance-steps, seeming to ignore him -- then pounces again:]
So why are you so grim and dreary all the time? You didn't used to be.
How much time you got? This could take a while.
[she waves her hand dismissively]
You don't need to tell me about how your life was ruined by Morgoth several times over, everybody already knows all about that. I'm talking about now.
It still happened.
But you can't do anything about it now. --Can you?
Beren: [getting stubborn-angry]
It's still happening. Everywhere I go -- everyone is out to get me. It's not right.
Vana: [halting in mid-pirouette]
[she gives him a very piercing Look from the corners
of her eyes and waits until he looks down first.]
Not everyone. But--
So why are you worrying?
Why don't you enjoy the time you have now?
[she darts around him again, he turning this time
to try to keep facing her]
But you don't--
[he breaks off in open-mouthed astonisment, seeing
that the turf in the little circle around them is now lush and green as
far as can be seen into the haze]
You're -- Are you--?
[but gets no further, as she has swung around the
other way and caught hold of his shoulder, spinning him back off balance]
You used to know how. But you've forgotten.
You've forgotten how to dance. How can you be fit for my sisters if you can't dance?
Come on, you don't want to stay here, do you? This is boring!
Beren: [gesturing to the fog]
But you can't see where you're going in this--
[she moves about behind him again and surprises him by covering his eyes with her hands for an instant]
What does it matter, if you think there's nowhere to go?
There isn't. Not for me at least. --Except away.
Vana: [appearing in front of him again and folding her arms]
Do you have any idea how tiresome you're being? Do you want me to leave you here alone?
Beren: [blurting it out]
I mean -- I'm not trying to be rude--
Vana: [tossing her head]
I'd hate to see you try, then.
I'm sorry. You're right, I don't know how to live anymore -- Tinuviel gave that back to me, every time, but I've lost it again --for good, I'm afraid.
Oh, not for good.
[she circles behind him and pulls his hair again]
Besides, you've not tried looking, yet.
[he moves away in annoyance]
What's the point, though? Really? I'm asking -- if it's just going to be yanked away from me again--
This is so boring. --Misery, anguish, and world-sorrow. If it weren't for her, I swear -- it isn't as though I haven't things to do, you know, -- and I was already very put out with you for making Tav' so unhappy--
Beren: [completely confused]
Vana: [shaking her head impatiently]
Never mind, it's boring, and it's over. I told them I would, anyway. Come on, I'll lead the way--
[she reaches out her hand to him, but he draws back]
Don't you trust me?
[he shakes his head, half-smiling in a kind of amused dismay]
Beren: [completely honest]
Not even a little?
[she puts her hands on his shoulders and looks at him very seriously]
I promise I won't lead you into a green field of algae over a quagmire. --I couldn't have, anyway: you saw the waterflies above the surface and heard the peepers and knew, as your pursuers did not.
Beren: [sounding confused]
No, I did that -- the patrol that morning--
You made the marsh thaw? The frogs and bugs start mating? Really.
[she gives him a narrow Look]
No, that wasn't -- I mean--
[without warning she spins him around and darts forward to end up standing in front of him again, staring at him intensely]
Have I ever led you wrong?
? ? ?
--Or would you rather still be wandering in the wood, your voice still frozen in your heart's midwinter?
[while he is still struggling to understand, she lunges for his hand again and pulls him, urging:]
Come on -- race you!
[he resists, not actively, but anchoring her as she flits back and forth before him like a bird on a thin twig or a narcissus on a windy day, pulling him along behind her]
The top of the hill.
Beren: [looking around at the pale swirling mists around them]
Vana: [as she draws him up the beginning of a slope, increasing her pace]
But how can you not win, if you're leading me?
Figure it out, silly!
[he jerks his chin defiantly at that, and something determined and a little crazed comes into his expression, as he tries to keep pace with her. Just as they are reaching the crest of the hill he swings her around, using the slope to assist him, so that he is now leading, and as her speed carries her in an arc that helps spin them both up, he stops her, catching her with his right arm around her backwards-leaning waist before she can fall, as though they were dancing partners in a sculptured tableau.]
Vana: [also whispering]
[For a long, long instant they stare at each other, the Ever-Young with a mysterious smile, Beren with a kind of amazement at his own daring: slowly, almost as if in a trance, he lifts his hand to touch her hair, her cheek, her lips, as lightly as if he were touching a wild bird, while she smiles up from his hold. It is a very intense, very strange moment -- which is promptly broken as the precarious balance of their pose is lost and they topple onto the grass, Vana with a wild shriek of laughter, he with a cheerful shout of alarm, and she leaps up, tugging him to his feet with a little impatient bounce in her step.]
Beren: [laughing, his eyes sparkling]
[she nods, just as gleeful]
Now you must pay the forfeit!
[he thinks she's teasing him]
Beren: [uncertain if she's joking]
Vana: [raising her eyebrows]
What does it matter? You cannot undo what you've done. Or can you?
Well, no, but--
Then it doesn't matter. You must pay the price.
Beren: [still hoping it's a joke]
So -- what does a goddess want from me?
[shaking his head]
--you can't ask that of me!
Of course I can.
[she pirouettes carelessly, ending up back in front of him, and he steps away in alarm]
Beren: [increasing panic]
What good will it do you, to take my -- my sight?
[she only shrugs, and darts around him, her lightheartedness seeming suddenly very sinister]
[he backs away again, and she keeps following, with an erratic, half-dancing motion, smiling the whole time]
But this isn't right--
By a trick--
And? Haven't you always?
[he takes another step backwards -- and into something dark and solid behind him, like the wall of a tower in the fog, and she steps in close, with no more room to retreat, definitely invading of personal space. Intense:]
Will you disavow your deeds, then?
[pause -- he stares back at her, not looking away]
[she reaches out and takes his face in her hands. He flinches, closing his eyes, and she kisses him hard and hungrily on the lips. The Power steps away suddenly, reeling a little as though dizzy, her eyes wide in shock]
Oh!…oh…I never guessed…I never guessed you saw us that way…--No wonder my sisters love you so much!
[he looks at her, blinking, dazed, and she laughs]
Remember what I told you!
[sfx -- vanishes into a spread of mixed flowers rising around him]
I guess that means all of it…--as if I could ever forget!
[he turns to see what he fetched up against, and looks up -- and up -- to the black column rising behind him into the mist, wide as a tower and just as tall. Half unbelieving, he looks across through the brightening mist to where another dark, shrouded outline can be seen.]
The Corollaire --
[he raises his hand to touch the bark of Telperion reverently, and the mist is cleared away in a sudden breeze, revealing not only the dead Trees fully but the mountains all around in the distance and right here, the sweep of land below leading out to the hill with the white city of Tirion on its crest and out through the Pass, a glimpse of coast and blue horizon far off. (Note: as the light changes from foggy pallor to the clarity of dawn, everything in the scene is awash in radiant morning color -- including Beren: no longer ghostly, his worn cast-offs and tatters richly glowing in tones of sienna and umber, granite and kingfisher blue of his Elven knight's cloak, the browns and grays no more drab than burnished wood or rain-wet leaves against the sky; this remains so throughout the entire Corollaire sequence.)]
--Is this real?
[There is a sound behind him of wind in branches, not terribly loud, the prolonged rustle of a species whose leaves are very lightly hinged to their twigs, such as birches -- he turns again, and sees -- a beech tree, unbelievably tall, its leaves shimmering in the morning, where there was none as they raced up the hill, directly between the Two, and he falls on his knees, bowing his head in homage.]
Yavanna: [voice heard as camera focuses on Beren]
Rise, my Champion -- it's a little late for such formality, don't you think?
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.