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Minas Tirith, 2988 T.A.

After the funeral, Finduilas’ brother stays, as the custom demands, to help bear the burden. But what aid can come to this heavy house? The walls and the roof may stand, but her death has severed feeling. In her wake remain a speechless man and two dazed boys.

The wintry skies weigh down like stone. Imrahil drifts around the house like a sinking ship. In a pale blue room, he finds the widower, sitting with his hand across his face. Propped beside him, a small boy keeps watch. Their fingers interlock. Quiet, the boy’s eyes say. He needs to sleep.


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