Two lives, Faramir realized, bowing his head. At some point during his reading, he had sunk down to sit upon the carpet, back braced against the wall, and he was grateful, suddenly, for the stolid reassurance of stone. And now what should I do with this? he wondered, staring numbly at the book clasped in trembling hands. For these are not simply grave goods: that trunk is a crypt for memory, as much a grave as any ever dug into the earth or carved into the mountains.
How to bury a stranger that he had just barely come to know, though that stranger bore the same face his father had? How to make peace with a man who had grown to love his wife so that he resented ever after the child who had weakened her? How to apologize now, at this late date, for the unspeakable crime of having survived mother and brother? The sun was riding low in the sky when, at last, Faramir sighed softly. In the end, there was but one response that he could make. And though it be a paltry answer, accept this one gift from me, Father, for it is all that I have to give!
Here follows the final page of the book of poems that Denethor, Ecthelion's son of Gondor, wrote:
And below it, in a graceful hand, stands the final verse:
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.