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Whispers on the Wind
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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1
Whispers on the Wind

Special thanks to my betas: Vicki, GhettoElleth, and GeorgiaPiper

Disclaimer: I don't own the characters or the settings. I borrowed them from Tolkien and make no money from this.

Note: This was written for a challenge at JulieFiannaArchive


~~~

The waves advance on the beach like some fickle lover hurrying up to steal a kiss then slipping away again. Rush. Fade away. Rush. Fade away - in a steady ever repeating pattern. I have always taken comfort in this sound, always found my solace in the music of the sea. How strange it is that someone who so loves this brackish blue kingdom of the mighty Vala Ulmo should dwell so far from it. How strange that one of the sea people, a Telerin princess in fact, should be ruling as queen of the crafty folk, the Noldor in their high city of Tirion.

Anor, in its radiant glory has seen fit to honor me regally this morning with a majestic painting of the skies in hues that even elven artists cannot truly match. Perhaps this glorious display is to welcome me home again after an absence of more than twenty-five years spent ruling in Tirion. Or perhaps it merely serves as a reminder that I must take what joy each day may bring for I know not what sorrows may yet befall. Whatever the reason for the wondrous dawn, I know I am where I need to be. I have long felt it and now know in my heart, beyond all doubt, that today is the day my beloved husband and king will return home to me.

The cool wet sand embraces my bare feet as I slowly walk along the shore back toward Alqualondë. The balmy ocean wind caresses my face with sea spray, bringing to me the lilting words of a love song. I look around me to find the source – a mariner and his wife. He sings to her of his two passions, herself and the sea. I know by her sorrowful face and his expression of determined resolve despite the song he sings, he will sail again today and she will wait, alone once more.

I had always thought I had been clever in my choice of a husband, for selecting a mate with the blood of the Noldor and the Vanyar meant that he heard no distant call of a watery mistress who would always pull him away from me. I thought I would never have to share my lord, the youngest of King Finwë’s three sons, with the people his father ruled. Little did I know that one day he would become king. Never did I fathom that one day he would sail away from me. But today, my beloved will return to me.

I nod to the surprised couple and continue on. Picking my way over some rocks, I carefully scale across to the other side. The breeze tugs at my dress bearing to me the laughter of children. I see three mothers with their skirts hitched up above their knees, standing in the surf watching their children engage in a joyful hunt for new shells. The storm last night was quite bountiful in the treasure washed upon the shore, much to the children’s delight.

This spot has ever been the finest for hunting unusual shells. I remember coming here as a child and later bringing my own children here to search and play. Feeling the blood rush to my face, I smile as I glance toward a sandy alcove that I know lies hidden nearby off to my right. Two of my five children were conceived there on my husband’s cloak.

Wrapping my arms around myself, I long to feel my lover’s embrace and to hear my children’s laughter once again. My children have grown and gone away. I wonder if I have any more grandchildren in addition to the two my sons took with them, crossing this very beach so very long ago. I wonder if my two unmarried sons have found wives. I wonder if my daughter has wed and borne children of her own.

My husband promised he would bring our sons and daughter home with him when he returned, if they yet lived. If they yet lived...

An anger long buried rises up within me once again. We are immortal! We should never have to wonder if our children or grandchildren yet live! They should be here with us living in the grand home we built in Tirion with the intent of housing our many children, their spouses, and their children. But, my empty house echoes with merely the memories of children and grandchildren, all hollowness and no life. I pound the air with my fist, then meekly let my hand fall back to my side.

But, my husband promised me, he promised.

Leaving the damp mothers and sodden playful children behind, I round the last rocky outcropping, bringing Alqualondë’s quays into view. The cries of the gulls assault me, carried on a strong wind like a gale from the past. I halt, stricken by the blow of those bitter recollections.

As if it were yesterday, I remember the crying, the wailing, the laments of death that we heard as we approached Alqualondë on the road from Tirion. I remember the beaches and quays littered with dead and dying – mostly mariners - cast about the shore in pools of their own blood. I remember the horror that we of the second host of the Noldor, the house of Arafinwë felt as we looked upon the carnage. Carnage wrought by my husband’s elder brothers and the people of their houses. I remember the widows, the daughters, the mothers, the sisters, and the orphans. I remember their grief and bewildered despair. I remember my father the king, on his knees clutching one of my bloodied brothers to his breast as if his love alone could heal the mortal wounds. I remember... But I want to forget.

I want to free myself from these memories, but I cannot. Not while my dead brother is still in Mandos’ halls. Not while my children are still gone in exile. Not while my husband is still away fighting the war against the evil Morgoth whose wicked lies and vile deceit wrought all of this horror upon the Firstborn of Iluvatar...upon my family...upon me.

But my husband is coming home today and he promised to bring the children back with him.

Taking comfort in this one assurance I have for today, I resume my walk toward the city. I traverse the streets breathing deeply of the salt air, gaining confidence from the beauty of Alqualondë reconstructed to surpass its former glory. Life continues. I have continued.

I stride out onto the point which reaches the farthest out into the sea, that loving mother who bears my dearest in her arms. I hold my head high and close my eyes, listening intently as the wind cautiously approaches, bringing me news.

Yes, my husband is coming home to me today, the whispers on the wind say.
But he returns alone.

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