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13
In the Dark

Day 24 prompt: favorite non-Tolkien quotation

Favorite quotations and sources are subject to change, but I wrote this based on Tom Waits "LowDown", specifically this line:

"She's a big, red flag in a mean bull-pen."


~~~

She’s on that dais every morning, every evening – a bright, white flame in the dark narrows of the hall. She will turn her head, and every eye is drawn in a heartbeat to that flash of gold. His eyes, too, as he sits beneath her on the stair, and Háma feels dirtied to see it – for that one looks not only to see her hair, or her face.

She feels it, the Lady Éowyn. Háma knows. She walks out onto the practice grounds each day, when the sun is highest, to wash that unwanted look off in sweat and hurt – hers or whatever young hothead thinks to challenge. And they do challenge – she gets a ring of lads around her every time. They keep the prying eyes blind for a little while at least.

Let the lads look, he always thinks, but sends men wiser, older, hardier to face her, or takes her himself. She does not deserve the boys, after all, and Háma finds he does not quite trust her not to wound when at last she can.

But he says nothing of that, either – she’s not one of his lads, after all, and something in him weighs heavy against the urge to tame that fury, and its quickness that takes no prisoners.

For she will have to stand upon that dais by day’s end, and all the next morn, and in between there are dim halls and shadows – black enough, perhaps, to lose her shine in, and then Meduseld will go dark.

Someone, he thinks, should put those snake-eyes out. Just put them out, quiet in the dark. But he cannot – they cannot. They’re a kingdom of moles, with one bright flame to dazzle them, and beyond that no one can see his way… to anything.

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