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83
Fear - B2MEM

`Tis a grey morn. Fog throngs in the City's lower circles, flows over the fields. Faramir's gaze drifts to the shrouded river, to the blur of Ithilien beneath the Mountains of Shadow. Soon he must return there, and he doubts not what he should find.

Orcs. Easterlings. Haradrim. Spy birds and creatures whose eyes glint at night, watching him and his men. One grows used to such. One forgets oftentimes that life had not always been anxious. One grows used to everything. Anxiety becomes a familiar. It lives in the gut and in the blood, lies smooth beneath the skin, thrumming there like a lover. Anxiety pricked sharp by war strikes men sometimes so, and laundry after battles is subject to bawdy jests.

But inevitably, there comes a break with the expected lot of life: anticipation cannot tame all, and the present comes crashing in sometimes, even often, to upset it. The familiar recovers its frightful malevolence.

The air trembles over misty fields: a long, deep note sounds, staining the silence, again and again. Faramir stiffens, his face whitening. Boromir?

But `tis gone. Dread descends in its wake—fear has got free, as the future tips out into a void…

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