1. Desire, unfulfilled
For years uncounted, before Sun or Moon rise, and after, she dances under the stars to the music of my flute. It must have meant something, yet when the mortal appears and calls to her, she discards me like, like… I have no words for it. I, in whom song flows like a river, rendered speechless. She speaks not. There is no need. I know it in my heart. It was fun. I enjoyed your music, but it was no more than that. Or does she even think that much of me? I doubt it. She thinks only of him.
Everywhere I go, she is. Even – especially – when she is not. For a while, I stop going outside to play my music, but my imagination eggs me on and conjures up even worse images than what I saw. Now, in mind, they do not just talk, and laugh, and dance. Talk turns to sighs, laughter to moans, and a quick kiss turns into entangled limbs on a bed of ferns.
Never a lover of sunlight, I now flee the caves to escape the dark, but find I carry it within me. I find her, them, again. Enough. This will stop.
Beyond Esgalduin I direct Thingol's men along bosky paths deep into the forest, yet she evades them and leads the one they hunt to her father's hall herself. There they stand. She is defiant, the mortal dares not even speak at first.
Thingol speaks; the mortal finds his courage and replies. He speaks proudly. Proudly enough to anger the king so he will be slain? Alas, no. But his words condemn him to a hopeless journey. No need to slay him here. He will find his death elsewhere.
She watches as he departs. I weep silently, for love of her.
Rapid Esgalduin runs; time passes. Nightingale, he called her. I watch as the nightingale's song fades to silence and wait. Then, one day as I sit eating my breakfast, she comes to me, and for a moment, hope springs in my heart.
Doriath is become as a cage to me, she says, and I would fain escape it to follow him.
I pretend to choke on a bite of rye bread to hide hurt. Later that day I tell her words to the king. I do not meet the Queen's eyes. Thingol thanks me. I weep to see her imprisoned.
Under her tree guards stand. I would visit her in her solitude, but she has learned of my betrayals, and will not see me. Though Hirilorn stands secure, yet I gaze at it with foreboding, hidden in the deep umber shadows of the forest. I do not know how, but I know she will escape it, to her doom.
Were there aught I could do to stop her I would, but I sense my part in her tale is done. I depart Menegroth to wander through the forest. Though I bring my flute, there is no music left in me.
All now is ashes. She has left, and the sons of Fëanor in Nargothrond hold her. Better she were the wife of the mortal than of a Kinslayer. Nay, better she were dead, within me a thought escapes, and I recoil from my own thoughts. Do I truly wish that? No, I think. Yes, my heart insists.
I sit on a fallen tree near where Esgalduin runs, and I lift my flute to play. After the first sigh of breath produces a sound that makes me clasp my hands over my ears, I nearly fling the flute into the river.
Running away solves nothing, it is said. Yet the perspective of distance allows me to heal, to forego the jealousy that tore me apart. The wound of my grief for her will ever be raw, yet it is better than what I had become. I looked for her for long years in the woods of Beleriand, and now my path has led me across the mountains into strange lands where she has never been. Here, I will sing of her even if none but the waters that run in these woods will ever hear my lament. It is good thus.
Years later, a poet, words running in his head, must have sat down to make ink, egg yolk and other ingredients at hand. Whether he ever considered the irony that he wrote the Lay of Leithian using the script that they call the runes of Daeron, no story tells.
It is an irony that does not escape me, though, as I visit a village as I do on occasion to buy new clothes, and hear songs by other voices than my own. Though I turn my face away and weep when they sing the Lay, no one guesses my name.
A/N: An eight-drabble acrostichon, originally written for the February 2013 challenge at the Lotr-genfic LJ community. The theme was Dark side of love and the elements I could use were fun, egg, bosky, rye, umber, ash, raw, yolk
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