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5
The Noble Task and Come Home

Written as a birthday present for Erin (Sangfroid101).

March 15, 2005.


~~~

The Noble Task

I leap lightly onto the railing, breathing deep as the salt-tanged breeze sweeps my face. Home; this is truly home. More of my life has been spent on water than on dry land. One of Uinen’s maidens, with flowing seawater hair, my father teased me as a child.

It has served me well: a first-rate captain, and holder of my own ship. And no mere fishing vessel. The finest ship for the finest task, Lord Olue told me.

“Captain! The Culúrien is gaining on us!”

A fierce grin. “Let’s not have a crew of Noldor beating us! To the sails!”

Come Home

Another oar-stroke, driven by weary and sun-burnt arms. Another sunrise, filtered through the mists, and illuminating the water in palest gold. Another day, spent trying to reach what seems unreachable.

“Get you moving!”

I heard a far-off shout, and looked up hopefully. Another illusion? Endless hours on this tiny craft, trapped by haze and eternally eddying tides, can deceive the senses.

“We have a homecomer!”

Another call! And no fantasy: a ship, prowed with a swan’s head, glided towards me. A woman, face framed by silver braids entwined with white feathers, and with a smile as wide as the seas, appeared at the rail and shouted something.

“Are you…? Is this…?” My voice is hoarse from salt spray.

“You are home, cousin,” she laughed, throwing down the rope ladder. “Come."

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