Too Dark for Night
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A tale of love, loyalty, and above all, happiness
Author’s note: Like the character is this story, all I have are my words, my thoughts, and my wishes. I have no one close enough to tell them to, and am afraid of spite. This story is a labour of love; I cannot keep it my mind any more. Please try to understand, identify, and maybe even enjoy Too Dark for Night. A story of loyalty, happiness, and love. A love story.
Mirth cannot move a soul in agony
This story starts in the midst of the Second Age, Elrond is sent to Eregion, and Celebrimbor has perceived the designs of the rings, not long after they are hidden. Our location is the House of Elrond, in a vale in the Misty Mountains…
It was the dead of night, the period between Midnight and Dawn, when all is still and quiet, and a sound is not to be heard. Books and pencils lay scattered around the table. The figure at the desk held her head in her hands, tears running down her cheeks, dropping onto the pages below and blurring the words so carefully written. Her head was full of anxiety and it was not helped with her fingers clenched around her copper hair, trying to remember something she had long since forgotten. She was a poet, a writer, and a lover of words. She believed they stirred the soul, they held the mind. Her love for words was something no one could perceive, and each word she cared for like her own. Then, when she had given up all hope of remembering her thoughts, she heard it. A melody. Simple and sweet, twining itself around her mind and turning her head. It seemed so out of place that she was shocked, as if such a beauty was not allowed in so sorrowful a place. She slowly brought her head from her hands, and moved to the window, gazing into the night. Not a thing was seen, not a single thing. The darkness gave no token of the melody that it had held, when, as she was turning, the voice came again, in the same melody, in the same tongue, the same bearer of the voice. The tune was so compelling that she opened the door and began to walk towards the garden, in the hopes of finding the bearer. The darkness was still murky, not a thing seen anywhere. Sad voices seemed to touch her, try to catch her as she walked, their arms always falling short, always slipping. It was purely black, and it was if ghosts of lost elves and men, and lovers separated by race or blood walked behind her in a procession, their faces solemn as the darkness. But the voice, ever drifting, swaying on the night breeze moved her, urged her to ignore the voices and search for the minstrel. Then, her heart stopped as she saw a window through the blackness, the only window alight in the house, and as her gazed moved upwards, she saw a sign of the singer. A glint of golden hair flashed at her from the window, and all the voices disappeared, the ghosts parted and melted into the ground from whence they came. The window seemed a blazing fire, and she, the cold and weary traveller coming for heat and rest. Her mind being quick, she called up to the window in a clear voice…
‘Lean out of the window,
I heard you singing,
A merry air.
My book is closed,
I read no more,
Watching the fire dance,
On the floor.
I have left my books,
I have left my room,
For I heard you singing,
Through the gloom,
A merry air.
Lean out of the window
The profile in the window stirred as it heard her voice. Then, leaning out of the window, the singer was revealed and she saw him for the first time. He had long golden hair that shimmered in the light of his room. He had dark eyes, which seemed blue, but were shadowed. He was an elf, as she had guessed from his voice. ‘Goldenhair?’ He asked. ‘Why do you call to me? And why name me so?’ his eyes remained serious, while his voice strayed towards lilting. ‘I name you so, because of your hair, that looks to me as gold from the sun, which has hidden herself on this cold night.’ ‘I see you not.’ he called. ‘The dark is suffocating.’ Her heart failed. ‘May I ask your name, lord?’ ‘Only if you would give to me the gift of yours first.’ He replied. ‘I am Lowen, and I have dwelt for many years by the shores of Nenuial.’ She called. ‘I am Legolas Greenleaf, hailing from northern Mirkwood, over the Mountains. The darkness is evil. The threat in the east is becoming apparent.’ The dark then shielded him from view. ‘In the morrow, we will meet again.’ He said. ‘I cannot bear not to see who I am talking to.’ ‘I am not a thief. Nor am I a murderer!’ she cried. But he had gone.
When Lowen had retired to her room, the books upon the desk and floor made her sad, and reminiscent of conversation. ‘Books seem to be my only companions.’ She mused, sitting upon her bed. And what better companions could there be, She settled in thought. But inside her heart she knew that words would only bring you so far. Her heart had never spoken to her before; it was nearly always her mind. But right now, her heart told her that books and words are something other than love, and that they are a passion, and infatuation. Love is something entirely different…
After the dark had passed, and silver began to show in the sky, Lowen went to her desk and took a page. Her finger starting to move, but her mind was elsewhere. The pencil in her hand wrote many words, but none made sense. She smiled to herself as she rose and sat on her bed again. She thought of the balladeer, and how his hair glinted like the feathers of the great eagles, and how his eyes, danced and then stood, how his voice was amused while he was trying obviously to be serious. She smiled as she fingered her hair, and thought.
The next day was a stormswept and desolate one, eventually giving way to a mild evening. Though Lowen looked and searched the House of Elrond for any sign of Legolas, it remained futile. Then, in the night, while she was writing once more, she heard his voice, singing in elvish. It was like a creeping vine, faint, and then growing stronger, stirring up your mind and allowing you to forget. It was like she had been in a prison, and suddenly was allowed to roam free, like she had never seen the sky before. She looked outside. It was not dark as the last night; the night actually took on a sapphire hue. She noticed his voice came from below, in the garden, but she could not see him.
She walked quickly downstairs, and out into the garden. This time the voices were not there, and the ghost did not follow her, they were just onlookers. Ever following his song, she blindly searched until she came to an arch, bedecked with small white flowers. The song suddenly stopped, and Legolas walked from the shadows. She felt a sense of foreboding again, as she noticed his great beauty. She thought that his fair face could not be grouped among such common people as herself. How could his fairness be allowed in such a place? ‘Though I searched today, I could not find you, Lowen.’ He said as he joined her under the arch. ‘I searched for you also.’ She said, eyes downward. ‘What made you come to me?’ he asked. ‘It is your voice.’ she said, looking up into his blue eyes. ‘It is a siren call to me, it haunts me and my very existence. Not a second has passed that I did not think of your song.’ He smiled. ‘I suppose I should thank you. I was very lonely last night, sleep did not come, and it hasn’t since then. It is a warm night, Lady, would you like to walk among the flowers?’ Eventually they came to talk about the war. ‘It is awful.’ She said. ‘Most of our community is gone in Evendim. I have come to tell Elrond Half-elven of what plight we bear and how we cannot do anything about it. With the three rings in hiding, we are fine for the moment, but the Dark Lord is rising. He has made it clear that he desires Middle Earth, and has the means to hold it in siege until he is pleased.’ Legolas nodded. ‘Mirkwood is my home, and yet the growing threat of Dol Guldur has seized the south. We are helpless.’ There was silence. Until his voice broke the air. ‘You seem grievous, Lowen. Almost as if you were yearning for something…’ ‘Do not mix sadness with yearning, Legolas!’ she sounded almost angry. ‘I do not wish for anything, I am merely a quiet spirit!’ He was taken aback. She had ignited into anger once he had mentioned her being melancholy. It surprised him, and made him wonder more of her desire, it was apparent she craved something…
Thanks to: James Joyce, for his poem, Chamber Music, it fitted in quite well.
J.R.R Tolkien, for creating a dream.
Nenuial is the Elven name for Lake Evendim