Twilight Kingdom: 1. Twilight Kingdom

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1. Twilight Kingdom

Description:  Faramir is delirious and dying during the retreat from Osgilith. Inspired by T.S Eliot's poem, The Hollow Men.

Disclaimer:  I do not own Lord of the Rings, or any of the characters portrayed therin, and am merely a fan who enjoys playing in his lovely sandbox. Several quotes are taken directly from Tolkien. Again, no copyright infringement was intended.

He knows the battle is full of the sounds of metal upon metal, of men shrieking in pain and terror, of the crashing of stone, but he does not hear this. Instead, he can only hear his own breath rasping in his chest like wind through dry grass. He knows that around him, men are fighting and dying, but he can only see the clouds, darker than night, the roof of a great wave reaching over to swallow them.  His cold fingers brush against ; the blood from his Men, those bravest of Men, who were willing to rush to their death under his command, who would risk leave widows mourning and children fatherless for the sake of a fool's hope.  

They are empty of everything but war; they have been made into instruments of violence by the encroaching shadow, a madman's mind, and they humble themselves to this face.  Their violence and suffering is the only thing left, now, that gives their souls substance.  They need not postpone their agony.  Between every joint, every thought, every movement, lingers the Shadow. 

It is a relief to be dying.  In a moment of clarity, he realizes the arrow must have been poisoned, because an old nursery rhyme is spinning in his ears and the buildings are leaning over him maliciously, ready to devour him and his Men, their black windows hungry for the flesh.  Will none spare them? A rat scuttles over his ankles.   

The shadow has almost overcome him now.  He is sinking, drowning. Bitter cold gnaws at his bones. Although the world slows to a crawl before his blackening eyes, it seems that in only instants until the darkness will smother him entirely.  

But: not yet. Not yet, he begs, fixing his eyes on the single star shining bright through Sauron's veil of darkness.  Gil Estel. All the old and familiar prayers are lost to his memory in the haze of cold and pain, so he clenches his teeth and, with a mighty effort, searches for acceptable words. Varda, Queen of the Stars…

(A strange image flashes into his mind: unfamiliar grey eyes gaze into his own.  For a brief moment, joy courses through him.)

And by Manwë, her…spouse…

(A white sapling, heavy with blossoms.)

 May the shadow be…driven away from these lands.  May…we be whole once more. May we find the Hope that has forsaken us…so… for so…long…

(His mother:  at one moment, she is sweet and young, and then she is hollow and cold and dead. 

                                             A golden  peal of laughter and braided hair of the same color.  

                      The smell of smoke and oil and wood. )

It is so hard to hold on…give me…just a little more strength.

The voice that answers is not that of a Vala.

"You are doing so well, little brother," it murmurs.  "I know it is hard, but you must hold on."

("Do now thy…"

                "…this shadow will endure…"  

A horn, cloven in two.

"…the great dark wave climbing over the green lands and above the hills…"

                                                A woman, the one with a golden braid, smiles at him. A babe is at her breast. A single word, a name, floats into his mind: Elboron.

                                                                                                He and Boromir are children, splashing in the surf and racing across the beach.

"Behold the…"

                "…great evil has befallen and we stand at the end of days…"

                                He lifts the winged crown in his hands.

"…That Doom is near at hand…")

                Nauseated and disoriented by the visions that have completely overtaken him, he no longer knows where he is.  The cold is increasing in competition with the intense images swimming in his mind, and he almost wishes for it to overcome him, if only for the relief of silence and darkness.  Incredible pain explodes in his temples.  He makes a pathetic gasp that is supposed to mean make it go away.

The voice seems to understand him. "That is not in my power, Faramir."   It seems to come from far away this time. And--- thank the Valar, yes, the visions are fading, too as the shadow finally begins to conquer him. For a moment, he feels a surge of joy at the thought, but oh…that feeling is crushed as the shadow now not only swallows his visions, but his whole soul. He tries reach out, to call for aid, but he can do nothing.

"You must hold on." The voice is so very distant now.

Do not leave me.

"Never." He can barely hear it. "You must hold on, little brother.  Do not dare give in."

But the shadow is so very strong.

He lets out a whimper and knows no more.

                                                This is the way the world ends.

                                                This is the way the world ends.

                                                This is the way the world ends.

                                                                Not in a bang, but a whimper.

                                                T.S Eliot, The Hollow Men

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: screaming.whispers

Status: General

Completion: Complete

Era: 3rd Age - Ring War

Genre: Drama

Rating: General

Last Updated: 05/07/12

Original Post: 05/07/12

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