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10
Memories of Harad

Disclaimer: All places and persons belong to Professor Tolkien whom I greatly admire. This was written for the simple joy of writing. No copyright infringement intended, no money made. Andrahar belongs to Isabeau, while his father is mine.
Rating: General, suitable for all.
Series: Sons of Gondor
Archiving: my website and Edhellond. Everyone else: please, ask first.
Summary: Andrahar thinks back at his childhood. Triple drabble, 303 words.
Dedication: to Nerwen Calaelen, for Edhellond's 5th anniversary.

This piece has not found a beta reader yet. My apologies.

Author’s note: This particular vignette has been inspired by a side remark in “Wisdom of the Sands” by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.


~~~

My father, Isfhandijár, was the kha-kan of Bakshir: the second most powerful man after the padisákh himself. It was his duty to lead Bakshir’s armies in wartime, as well as to judge about those who had broken the law, in the padisákh’s name. Many said he was a harsh man, with a heavy hand. I believe, though he was only devoted to justice. And justice is harsh in the realms of the savannahs and shifting sands.

I remember a bright morning – I could not be any older than six summers – when a young woman, the concubine of some rich merchant or powerful khan – was caught and judged for some wrongdoing I could not fathom at that time. My father ordered her to be taken out to the desert, outside the city, bound to a wooden pole and left there, ‘til her spirit would be freed from her sinning flesh. I remember her beauty and her desperate pleas to be spared; yet none of those would move my father’s heart.

Afterwards, when her screams could not be heard any longer, I asked my father why would he not spare her. My father looked at me for a long time, as if trying to decide whether I was old enough to understand.

“My tiger,” he finally said, “I was being merciful. By freeing her from the sins of her flesh, I have saved her spirit from being stained. One day, you will understand.”

Had he lived long enough to raise me as a true warrior of Harad, I might have understood indeed. Yet Fate has brought me to the West, where I was taught a different kind of mercy. I wonder sometimes which one is my true nature now.

~The End~

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