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85
The River - B2MEM

The river ran swift and cold with the snow melt off the White Mountains. It laughed its way through channels, splashing and foaming against rocks, rushing through the Riddermark's rare gorges. Green-blue-brown, with little white caps and bubbly trails, it swirled and flowed through sun and the shade of cliffs, collecting trinkets:

Grassy drifts uprooted from wintry soil; silt that had settled on the riverbed; the new seeds that came to rest on the waters and would find a home downstream, there to grow greenly in the summer; blood...

Blood.

And bodies. Two tumbled free of each other, choking and coughing when the battering rocks broke the bond that held them fast. Then one clung to the boulders, `til cold and hurt sapped his strength and left him to the mercy of the river. The other, brute in strength and being, howled the pain of bruised ribs and bones and broken claws as the river swept onwards, tossed its foundling here and there, ducked that great bulk beneath the waters `til at last, paws struck shoals.

The drenched, brown form heaved itself from the flood, water gushing from mouth and abused nostrils. The warg shook herself, sending up a spray of water, moaning and complaining a bit at the pain this caused, but she was strong. She had survived. And now, free of all her masters, `twas time to feed her own vengeful appetites...

But the river was merciful. Perhaps it remembered a certain kinship with the other foundling—all waters recall the sea and the One Who Sounds in the Depths, and the blood this one had left in the river spoke of sea-salt.

Thus while the warg followed along the stony bank, too fearful of the water's wrath for even hunger to drive her back in, the river bore the other safely upon its breast. When at last the glitter of the sun upon the water grew too bright, and the weight and chill of wet fur too great for even hunger to overcome, the warg gave a last, disappointed snarl, and made off to find a warm cave to rest in `til nightfall and better hunting.

Only then did the current turn to wash its bounty up upon the shore.

The river flowed onward, then, as ever it had, slipping down its channel, for 'tis not in the nature of rivers to linger. But for those who had ears to hear it, the waters sang softly, repeating words more than half-forgotten, but still flowing in the watery veins of the world from out of an Age long past:

Et Eärello Endorenna utúlien. Sinomë maruvan.

~~~

Author's Notes: This is obviously drawn from "The Two Towers"!Movieverse. The Sindarin line at the end is a part of what Elendil said, when he made landfall in Middle-earth after the Akallabeth.

This ficlet was written for the "W - like a Wet Warg" prompt.


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