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Marshland by Linaewen

Author: Linaewen
Title: Marshland
Rating: G
Theme: Back to Middle-earth Month
Elements: Photo of Marsh
Author's Notes: This short tale is derived from a chapter in a story that has yet to be posted, about Boromir's journey north to Rivendell. The photo providing the inspiration is one that I took myself while camping.
Summary: Boromir rests during his journey north and does some fishing.
Word Count: 972 as counted by Jarte

Marshland

The good weather lasted only a few more days, and then the rain began. It started slowly, with overcast skies and intermittent showers, but by the end of another week, the rain was coming down in torrents. There was no getting away from the soaking rain and no getting dry. During the first torrential storms, when visibility was so poor that he could not even see his hand before his face because of the downpour, Boromir was forced to take what shelter he could find and wait the storms out -- a canopy of trees that grew close enough together to block the wind and some of the rain from overhead was the best he could do. He suffered from the cold dampness that chilled him to the bone, and his sodden cloak did little to warm him. It was a dull, miserable time.

Eventually, the downpour abated to a light but steady rainfall. Weary of crouching in the mud under the dripping trees, Boromir set out again. There was no reason not to go on, for he would get no wetter than he already was, and at least now he could see where he was going. Progress was slow, however, for the grass was treacherously wet and muddy. The unceasing downpour had dulled his senses so that he was unable to differentiate the noise of the river he followed from the sound of the wind and rain; the distant mountains to his right were little more than a far dark curtain in the rainy gloom, but they served to show him that he was still heading north.

At last the weather improved and Boromir rejoiced to see the sun. Autumn was approaching, but the air was still warm and the sun was hot on Boromir's face as he walked. The river he followed flowed wide and straight for a time, but before long, he had passed into a marshy land of reeds and willows and the bank of the river was lost in the long grass and sedges. The sound of birds and insects filled the air and swans could be seen at times out in the middle of the waterway.

Boromir halted under a low-hanging willow tree. Here a narrow arm of the river cut through the reeds and came close to a grassy bank that went down to the water's edge. This would be a pleasant place to camp for awhile and replenish his food supplies. He sorely needed the rest, and what little food he had remaining in his wallet would last no more than a day.

Though he was a capable hunter, he had no bow or quiver, having lost them along with his horse at Tharbad.  Hunting down waterfowl with a sword did not seem like a good use of his time or energy, so he would have to set a snare or two with the strong twine he had stored in his belt pack. Thankfully, his pack also contained line and hooks, so fishing could be managed, and he had managed to keep his flint and tinder dry in spite of his recent drenching. Here was all he would need: a wide expanse of water teeming with birds and fish, cattails and other edible plants in the marsh, mud for making a makeshift oven for smoking the meat, and willow trees for the wood. Boromir made camp, then set about getting organized for the task ahead.

***

Boromir sat on the edge of the bank, willow-pole in hand, fishing. It was good to relax for a bit, he had been working hard the last few days.  He had managed to snare a number of small waterfowl that he had dressed and was now smoking in the oven made from mud and reeds. A small pile of fish was at his side, some of which he would prepare for smoking; the others would serve for his meals while he waited out the smoking process.

He was thankful for the survival training he had received in his younger days from the men in the Tower Guard who had been assigned to him and Faramir as teachers. It was certainly proving useful on this journey! Boromir had been eager to learn everything he could that would fit him to be a good soldier and a good leader. Faramir, five years the younger, was eager to do everything his older brother did. He had been as avid a pupil as Boromir, in spite of the belief held by some that he was less capable because he preferred reading and study to fighting. Whenever they could get leave from their father, they had practiced their training together. That had been a good time, before the shadow of Mordor had lengthened to darken their land and their father's days...
 Boromir's thoughts were interrupted by a tug on the line; another fish had swalled the baited hook.  That would be enough for now. He rose, and gathering the fish he had caught, moved downwind from his camp. As he gutted and boned the fish, he mentally reviewed the next part of his journey.  He did not have a clear idea of where he was, or how much further he must travel, but he was certain that if he followed the river and kept the distant mountains on his right, he would eventually reach his goal.  Traversing the marshland while keeping the riverbank in sight could prove to be hazardous, but he had traveled such terrain before and he was confident in his ability to pass through. He was eager now to get on with the journey. The sooner he found the Elf-lord Elrond in his home of Imladris and heard his counsel concerning the riddling dream, the sooner he could get back to his father, to his brother, and to his City.

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
shirebound
May. 27th, 2015 03:32 pm (UTC)
I like this gap filler. What long, lonely journey that must have been.
lignota
May. 27th, 2015 07:19 pm (UTC)
Hunting down waterfowl with a sword did not seem like a good use of his time or energy,

Haha, no indeed, though the image made me laugh. *g*

I liked this story (and that's a beautiful picture as well -- such vivid greens). I love the descriptions of nature here, and Boromir is appropriately confident and determined in meeting the difficulties and dangers.
talullahred
Jun. 25th, 2015 07:23 am (UTC)
I like very much how you paint Boromir's inner and outer landscape. It is so sad that he will never be back, but it is lovely that he has time to reflect. I am glad he caught something, too!
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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