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8
VIII. Seeds Under Stone (Faramir)



It was small and new, pink and perfect. Faramir touched it with a careful finger. The blossom, less than half the size of his palm, poked sturdy pink petals toward the walls of glowering rock that rose above them. Clumps of pale yellow grass spurted around the worn stones of the path that had once led two hobbits and their treacherous guide into a monsterís den.

Faramir looked down at the rubble of Minas Morgul. Twenty-one years had passed since Frodo and Samwise had hurried through the terrible place, and watched the Black Riders lead the fell host out from the cursed city. Twenty years he had labored, with the aid of men and Elves and Dwarves. They had pulled down the Moon Tower, harried the fell creatures who had lingered in the tunnels and cells; cleansed the sickened stream and winnowed the corpse-flowers beside it. And scores of years of labor still lay ahead.

Now, this sprig had arisen, likely the first true flower to bloom in the Morgul Vale in 1038 years. It was Stonecrop, Faramir realized; not yellow as at the Crossroads, but pink as the dawn skies. How did the flower come here, he wondered. Had stonecrop seeds been borne on the cloak of one of his own men, or upon one of the two hobbits who had passed through the Crossroads on their fateful journey?

He laughed ruefully. Aragorn had found a far greater treasure on a mountainside, the new White Tree standing untouched in a hidden grove free of the Enemyís sorcery. Faramir had found only one little flower, easy prey to mischance.

Small it was, yet still a brave harbinger of change. One day, this and other flowers would reclaim the darkened valley, Faramir swore, looking over the land with a gladdened heart.

___________________________________________________________________


~~~

Author's Notes: This ficlet was originally written for my informal "Faramir Creation Day Challenge" on the H-A email list, marking Tolkien's recognition, in a letter written 5/6/44, of Faramir's emergence into the story of The Two Towers.

I don't know much about flowers, or plants, or how long they would take to grow in Minas Morgul; but stonecrop crowned the head of the stone king's head in Ithilien in The Two Towers.

Check out this page at wikipedia for types of Stonecrop: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stonecrop_

This ficlet was partially inspired by Nesta's wonderful story, "of shapes and changes in hue", that can be found here: http://www.storiesofarda.com/chapterlistview.asp?SID=5479


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