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The Gull's Cry
It is ended. King Elessar, Aragorn to those close to him, has died after 160 years in the throne. Now only two members of the fellowship remain in Middle Earth, Gimli and myself, but not for long. I have asked him to accompany me on my journey over the sea, for I shall obey my heart's desire at last. These past years we have grown to be good friends, odd as it may seem, but we set aside our differences and reached an understanding long ago. At first he was hesitant when I broached the subject, as I expected him to be.
"You want me to sail with you and leave Middle Earth?" he said. "But I am a dwarf, we do not share the elves' desire to go West. I don't wish to depart from this land. I belong here, not on a ship."
"This I know and understand but I ask you to at least consider my proposal. I do not ask lightly. I will leave and go West whichever your answer may be, but I would very much like to have my dearest friend with me to share the journey."
He grew quiet and looked away, his face deep in thought as he considered what I said.
"Even if I did go with you to the Havens," he said after some length, "how would I be allowed to stay? I thought no other people besides the elves lived there."
This is a genuine concern I had of thought of earlier, but I will not allow my determination to be swayed by this doubt.
"If you are refused entrance then I will not remain either," I say with firm conviction. "But my heart tells me that will not be the case. If my wish alone does not grant you abode perhaps the Lady Galadriel can, by her grace, sway the minds of those that may object. Yes, I am sure the Lady will not deny you."
His eyes brightened at the prospect of seeing her again. "The Lady Galadriel, the fairest lady to ever grace this land. To see her again would be worth the long voyage. If anyone else had asked this of me I would have said no. But since it is you I will go. We have traveled side by side and been best friends for many years now. It only seems right that we should make this last journey together."
I smiled widely and felt glad.
"Thank you, old friend. That is all I wanted."
We sailed a few hours ago in the early morning. I stand at the rail of the ship and look out at the waters that surround us, watching mesmerized the currents that form as the ship breaks through the water. The breeze caresses my skin and lifts my hair, making it fly around my face. I close my eyes and focus my senses on the sensations I feel; the gentle sway of the boat underneath my feet, the warmth of the sun on my skin, the sweet and salty scent of the seawater, the smooth and strong feel of the finely crafted wood under my fingers, the beating of the water against the hull, and the sound of the gulls that fly overhead. Their cry no longer troubles me, now it is soothing, relaxing. For the first time in so long, I am calm.
The morning we set out from Minas Tirith, as I roused from my bed, instead of the veiled yet lingering sorrow I felt each day after his death I felt serenity wash over me and claim me in its healing embrace.
The room I lived in during my stay in the city once belonged to Boromir. I did not ask for it nor did I even think of it until Aragorn took me to it the first night after Gimli and I returned from our travels. He did not tell me it was his and yet I knew, perhaps it was something about the look of the room or the objects in it, or the barely perceptible scent of him that still hung in the air, but that might have solely been a whisper from my memory. Aragorn said that all was exactly as Boromir left it, to the best of his knowledge and that I could remain there if I wished.
I walked further inside and my eyes sought out every piece of furniture from the finely crafted desk to the ornate chair and the large bed, which once held his slumbering body. I moved towards it and stood by its side. I placed my hand on the neatly made sheets and slowly roamed my hand over the smooth surface. I closed my eyes and, concentrating, I could almost feel that I touched not the cloth but Boromir's bare skin, the most precious surface I ever had the privilege to feel. The beloved name escaped my lips in a reverent whisper.
"Legolas," Aragorn's voice intruded into my thoughts. I had forgotten he was in the room, my recollections were so vivid. Quickly, I composed myself and met his worried gaze.
"Legolas, if this is too much for you... "
"No!" I swiftly interjected. "No, I want to stay here. I need to. Thank you for bringing me."
He smiled understandingly then turned to leave.
After the door closed, I sat on the bed and removed my boots, then my clothes so that there was nothing between my skin and the night air. I pulled back the covers and slipped into the warm comfort they offered. Laying my head on the pillow, I closed my eyes and drank in the subtle fragrance that lingered on the fine fabric. I rested that night and every night afterwards, not on a cold and desolate surface, but enveloped in the arms of the one soul in Arda I would have bound to mine. It may have been only a shadow, a remnant, a pale substitute for the one I lost but it was enough to bring me through the long years I spent living with his absence.
The morning in which I rose from that bed for the last time I walked to the window, which overlooked southern landscape, as I had done numerous times before. I spent more hours than I can say during those years gazing out from it at the rooftops and parapets of the reconstructed city, the fresh waters of the Anduin flowing through the verdant land, and the gulls flying across the vast expanse of the sky, all the while with a deep sense of longing resounding through my soul. However, this day instead of a mournful sigh emerging from my mouth a content smile curved my lips, similar to the one that adorns my face at this moment. Perhaps it is the sea- longing in my blood that clouds the partial sadness I feel at the thought that I shall not behold the vibrant reds and oranges that leaves acquire on the autumn or listen to the cheerful song of one of the birds native to my land upon waking again. I visited Mirkwood once more before leaving and said my final goodbyes to my family and the woods that saw the beginnings of my life but will not see the end. I shall carry these last bittersweet memories of Middle Earth close to my heart. I do not dwell on them now, I would rather turn my mind back to happier ones, ones in which loving grey eyes reflected my own, passionate kisses caressed my lips, and a caring touch blessed my skin. It is strange that it should be here on a ship that every minute moves further away from the place where he fell and departed my arms that I can finally set aside my grief. Yet do the people of Gondor not say that the Anduin carried his body to the sea? Perhaps it was so, for I have found what I was seeking and rest eludes me no more. I have found my heart upon the song of a sea gull and I do not intend to lose it again.
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