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B2MEM 2013
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Title: Ainulindalë
Author: Dwimordene
Rating: T-ish?
Prompts: Day 1: Archetype, Loss of Innocence; Day 4: Down the Swift Dark Stream You Go/Back To Lands You Once Did Know; Personal Insanity Challenge: Huinare’s Socrates prompt (sort of… contextually, I think I have it) combined with the Unity prompt, Aliana’s prompt combo (look, look, genocide doesn’t specifically come up – this totally counts! ;-D )
Warnings: Er… kind of… not the clearest or most poetic thing I’ve ever written about these two. See also summary.
Characters: Nienna, Melkor (Eru sort of)
Summary: It’s all just a Freudian love-fest down here. Update: Now with 3 drabbles’ worth of notes (Help! Somebody stop me, it’s a sickness…).



First Theme: Down the Swift Dark Stream They Go

From being comes existence. That was time, in which creatures then stood forth, great and small, in beauty more varied than any can comprehend, each and all together, save One. Each one a good, each one bound, and destined to an ending.

They pierce the heart! Nienna weeps for joy at their coming, for grief at their ending, but lament she reserves for the horror ahead: for bad endings.

The others do not understand – save One and one. And in his wrath, her brother’s song turns dark and fierce, rises to contest, to stay, to silence – I will it not!

Second Theme: Back To Lands She Once Did Know

The Music swells against him, as the One unfolds his power, but Melkor shan’t cease, though his song be overwhelmed. The more powerful the One’s Song, the more Melkor strives against its fate, though the Song sweep his brothers and sisters from him.

One alone remains: she stands before the One, sings to Melkor.

Yes, she sings, yes, yes!

Unwitting, foolish sister! Grief’s her glory, and glory she does: tear-blinded, fatal, she sees no possibility, understands not outrage – nor her own song.

He shall open her eyes. Melkor tears her veil, sings a ravishing: See what thy ‘yes’ hath wrought!

Third Theme: Seek the Sunlight And the Day

Then he enters her thought; his brazen song strips bare the truth of him and her. He opens his depths to her, compels Nienna to hear – nothing. Nothing, but the echo of herself there.

Time falters. In the instant, she must choose: yes or no, to suffer or to deny and end – him.

And so herself.

Oh my child! she cries, brokenly, feeling him glory in such wounding truth.

But her lament outruns his song, net-like. For, though truth wound, and grief hurt, yet they do not unmake what is.

Her salt stings – Melkor recoils.

The One raises his hands…

Fourth Theme: Under Sunlight, Under Day

… and from that moment, they were bound – bound and blessed, in all their battles ‘til the Song be sung.

Sister and brother, mother and son, father and daughter – thus she fights to win him over, lives in each defeat, and he is never rid of her, or himself. Grief goads, gives rise to chancy, changeable wrath, that one day destroys, another justifies. Open-eyed, Nienna laments their failures, rejoices in their overcoming – she finds herself in every slaughter, overcomes him and herself in every caress.

Bitter Melkor’s complaint: Love knows no innocence! Hard-won wisdom – hard to love.

Yes, says Nienna. Yes.


Notes: 1. The Ainulindalë focuses primarily on the contest between Melkor and Eru, but the other Ainur are never wholly silent until the start of the Fourth Theme, which shuts even Melkor up. Focusing on the fact that the others still sing opened space for me for a more complex, brother-sister interaction sustained simultaneously, particularly since in the First Theme and the Second, some Ainur are drawn to Melkor or confused by him, and drift closer to him before being pulled away again as they tune to Ilúvatar’s interventions. Nienna not tuning her song to Melkor’s but remaining face to face with him throughout is a relationship drawn from Emmanuel Levinas’s work – again (one trick pony!).

2. From being comes existence.: It’s Melkor, Nienna, and Levinas, which means that Heidegger has to be here, since it’s all about the fall…

3. The line that Eru raises his hands in the Third Theme comes from the text: Ilúvatar ends the Third Theme and begins the Fourth by raising both his hands. The most obvious interpretation of this gesture, combined with what Eru sings, is to say that it means “Stop”; but to me, the gesture also evokes the line “laying on of hands,” and so memories of priests laying both hands on or over a child or someone sick in order to bless the person, or holding both hands over the broken Host to hallow it. Obviously, then, Ilúvatar needs someone or something to bless, and why not Melkor and Nienna and their struggle, which will play out throughout the entirety of the Fourth Theme?

4. That barrel song: it’s so much more cheerful than the lines suggest! I had forgotten about that – it’s like a nursery rhymne, full of you know not what threatening or horrifying aspects until you get old enough to start paying attention to the lyrics. Good job, B2MEM crew, your ploy is working!


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