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The Path Home by Erulisse

Author: Erulisse (one L)
Title: The Path Home
Rating: G
Beta: None - any and all errors are solely my own fault.
Word Count: 1000

Summary: Element - Photo here  photo moonsetSmaller_zpsb90df681.jpg Maglor has wandered the shores of Middle Earth for millennia. Now a final opportunity exists and time is running out. Will he take his last chance to go to the West?



Author’s Notes: Disclaimer: Tolkien built the sand box; I only play with the bucket and shovel that he left for me. No money, profit or non, is made from the publication of this story.




The Path Home


My fingers fall silent as Isil captivates me. I nod at my audience.

Look over there, westward. Do you see that silvered ball moving slowly to sink beneath the restless waters? Have you ever remarked upon its gleam reflecting in the eyes of your beloved, while you grip each other passionately in the late hours of the darkness? Perhaps its light inspires you to produce art or poetry. Maybe it illuminates the paths of good or evil that you will walk tonight. What are you thinking as you look outward across the channel at the moon?

Hmmm, what do I think? You ask me. A stifled laugh escapes me while I pull my vision back to you, away from the softly whispered promise that remains yet unfulfilled. I bend over my instrument and resume my strumming.

You allow anger to color your query, questioning who I am to put on such airs.

Who am I? I am nobody, merely an entertainer for your night's revels. I have played for the people of this city for many years now.

If I told you the about the thoughts and memories that this setting moon brings to me, you would think I was inventing a fable. My memories are of darkest night and the iron tang of spilled blood. My life is not a book featuring pristine pages and perfect penmanship. No. My life is a stack of torn, singed and bloodstained pages and my thoughts on this silvered orb are far different from any of yours.

I sit on the ground, my back against the sea wall, and allow my guitar to speak for me while acknowledging those who kindly drop money into my open guitar case. My corner is sheltered from most of the city lights, although every year they shine brighter, pushing the stars away from their harsh illumination. I fear the stars will continue their flight away from Arda and the artificial lights of Endórë.

I feel that my time spent living with the unnatural rhythms of artificial light is now ending. No more will I have to bear witness to the occlusion of Varda's glorious legacy, that white belt of sparkling points that she painted across the night skies long before men walked Arda's surface. Now the towns and cities have become the hunting grounds for those who live for the night's blood and those activities that should take place in shadows and darkness. If orcs still roam Middle Earth, they must feel welcome underneath these cold and lifeless lights.

I do not know why I originally came to this ocean side city. I have wandered for Ages and have banished dreams of returning home from my active thoughts. I have lived here for almost fifteen turns of Anar and this city has been good to me. Many have welcomed me and few attempted to harm me. The inhabitants of the city are generally kind.

I arrived in the early spring when the temperatures were becoming more clement. I wandered the streets and corners for a few weeks, marking the boundaries and territories of the various gangs, homeless, prostitutes and beggars. I have had too many enemies in my long life and felt no need to add to their numbers by setting myself up on someone else's corner. I watched carefully, finally deciding to claim this somewhat sheltered corner of the sea wall where I could set up my guitar case and play for the money that would pay for my few needs.

I began playing my music for anyone who would listen and have been content. I set up in the late mornings to catch the lunch crowd wandering along the shore while they take a break from their office jobs. The food trucks are nearby and the sea wall beckons to those escaping their cubicles. They purchase their food and a beverage, and walk to sit on the benches. They eat their lunches while listening to the restless waves and the cries of the gulls diving and fighting above. Often they stop and listen to my music. On rainy days or during the colder days of the winter fewer people come outside for their meals. Then I shelter and play indoors instead.

I am welcome to play in two interior locations, a coffee shop during the mornings and early afternoons, and a tavern where I can set up for the evening and night hours. Sometimes I play for weddings and bar mitzvahs. These jobs pay well, but part of the money goes to rent appropriate clothing and a room with a bath so that my appearance will not embarrass my employers. I enjoy these opportunities to hold an audience spellbound again, and I get a good meal or two from each event as well as money in my pocket.

It is late and the moon has almost set. It is time.

I put my guitar into its case and pull it across my back. A small cloth bundle behind me holds my few possessions, such as they are.

The reef rocks are beginning to take on the appearance of stepping-stones while the light of Isil is coalescing into a silvered pathway in the far distance. It looks like a short jump from the last of the watered islands of the channel. The Valar have kept their promise to me, now I must gather the courage to accept their one and only offer of forgiveness.

Jumping down from the wall, I walk toward the first of the many stepping-stones. The path will be solid for my feet and the West awaits me. I begin my walk and do not turn around. Nothing remains behind for me. I am focusing on my future - a life that I will spend with my loved ones. I long to once more feel my mother's embrace. Increasing my pace, I hasten toward the light.

Look, you, and see. The road across the Sundering Sea is woven from moonlight for elven feet.

Comments

( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
shirebound
Oct. 16th, 2013 01:58 pm (UTC)
Oh my goodness, how beautiful, chilling, and how very hopeful. A perfect story for a perfect photo.
engarian
Oct. 16th, 2013 07:02 pm (UTC)
I couldn't have been much happier when I saw the picture. I knew exactly what I wanted to write about. The challenge turned out to be the fact that he wanted to say his own story and that I wanted it to be 1000 words. And of course, now that I read it through again, there are still more points of editing that I would like to do *sigh*.

- Erulisse (one L)
leianora
Oct. 16th, 2013 02:15 pm (UTC)
Oh, wow! I love how you placed him in some ambiguous modern town on the coast somewhere that could be anywhere. Awesome story!
engarian
Oct. 16th, 2013 07:03 pm (UTC)
Thank you so very much! Although Maglor told me a lot when he told his story to me, the specifics of which city he was in was never mentioned :-)

- Erulisse (one L)
dreamflower02
Oct. 16th, 2013 02:42 pm (UTC)
This is such a perfect use of the visual prompt! And I love the determination and hope at the end.

BTW--I just noticed the formatting error. I'm leaving for work soon, but when I get home, I'll log in to the admin account and fix it.
OK, now it seems to have fixed itself! Never mind!

Edited at 2013-10-16 02:45 pm (UTC)
engarian
Oct. 16th, 2013 07:05 pm (UTC)
Thank you, thank you! And once more just for spice - "Thank you."

- Erulisse (one L)
curiouswombat
Oct. 16th, 2013 06:45 pm (UTC)
Oh - I do love the idea that he will be able to walk his way home on the silver sea road.
engarian
Oct. 16th, 2013 07:06 pm (UTC)
I loved the picture from the second I saw it and knew exactly what I wanted to write. I'm delighted you enjoyed my tale.

- Erulisse (one L)
lindahoyland
Oct. 16th, 2013 11:13 pm (UTC)
what a lovely idea and a great use of the picture!I enjoyed this glimpse of Maglor in our world.
engarian
Oct. 17th, 2013 01:25 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Linda. I've always felt that of all of Feanor's sons, Maglor would be best suited to survive into modern times and still be able to make a living to feed himself and get shelter when needed.

- Erulisse (one L)
ellfine
Oct. 16th, 2013 11:32 pm (UTC)
The Path Home
How beautiful the moonlight to guide his way a midst the long horrible memories. At least he has a promise of hope at what he will find at journey's end when he finally goes home. Loved that last line. Nicely done!
engarian
Oct. 17th, 2013 01:26 pm (UTC)
Re: The Path Home
Thank you very kindly. I loved the picture, so it was easy to allow Maglor to tell his story.

- Erulisse (one L)
ellynn_ithilwen
Oct. 17th, 2013 02:42 pm (UTC)
My corner is sheltered from most of the city lights, although every year they shine brighter, pushing the stars away from their harsh illumination.

You knew I'd notice this detail, didn't you? :)

Anyway, such a poignant story, with beautiful descriptions. So well done.
engarian
Oct. 17th, 2013 06:57 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much. Yes, I knew you'd understand the light pollution better than most.

I'll be answering your message within a day or so - I'm a bit swamped right now :-)

- Erulisse (one L)
kayleelupin
Oct. 17th, 2013 06:06 pm (UTC)
This is breathtaking, Erulisse! I do so love your Maglor *walking* home over the stepping-stones of the Sundering Sea! What an amazing feat!

You will tell us if he makes it, won't you? Will Nerdanel be there to greet him?

Kaylee
engarian
Oct. 17th, 2013 06:59 pm (UTC)
I may write a sequel down the road if Maglor insists on it. Right now he's being a good boy and allowing mist to fall down on his pathway cutting him off from our world.

I very much appreciate your kind comments :-)

- Erulisse (one L)
(And I'm quite sure that if Nerdanel was at all able to be at path's end to welcome her second son home, she would be.)
blslarner
Oct. 18th, 2013 10:26 pm (UTC)
What gorgeous imagery, Erulisse! I can so imagine Maglor following this path Home!
engarian
Oct. 19th, 2013 01:36 am (UTC)
Thank you so much. As always, it means so much to me when you like what I have written.

The picture told me what it was the moment I saw it and the piece just wrote itself. I love it when a story comes easily like this one did :-)

- Erulisse (one L)
hhimring
Oct. 23rd, 2013 07:59 am (UTC)
Lovely idea and a great last sentence!
engarian
Oct. 23rd, 2013 10:20 am (UTC)
Thank you so very much! I loved the way the last line came together also :-)

- Erulisse (one L)
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )

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