By S. Dorman
Word Count: 718
Summary: A story set in Tolkien’s Silmarillion.
‘Twas in autumn on the borders of Beleriand when, astride his golden mount, came Finrod Felegund. He was parted from the hunters as they rode far in the land. Trees of the vale were as flames of gold, of crimson, and copper shining. Upon his mount, the Elven King rode o’er greensward nigh unto River Gelion. Far from the hunters, he looked upon high peaks of Ered Luin, aglow. Felegund gave himself unto adventure.
Crashing down into the ford of Sam Arthrad, the horse’s hooves flung cobbles and droplets. Rising thence on the farther shore, Finrod took the Dwarf-road eastward. Shadows of evening were cast on golden mountains, even as the sun fell behind foothills. But the king and his mount rode southward a league, and wending far from the road. He reined to dismount, and went about to encamp. Softly he spoke to Laurea, the horse.
Great was the golden horse and, when loosed, she wandered toward the stream. There on borders nigh Ossiriand, stood the wood, yet this side grew grasses tall where fallow deer might sleep. There would Laurea graze while the king took rest.
He had no need of fire, for in his pouch was roast of partridge, folded in yellow leaves of the sweet grape. And this Golden King, as he was known, opened his cloak in the grass, cool beneath the stars. He reposed, drawing forth fragrant fruit (shrunken by the sun) to eat with partridge. From a skin, he swallowed red wine. But greater nourishment took Finrod from looking on the stars.
And when the horse returned, he was supine. Her dark shape moved close above, a’blotting out the Seven Stars. He spoke to her and she looked on him, swinging soft her tail. Night had fallen, grave and whole, and lighted high with stars. The horse soon slept upon her feet, an image great above the elf. And slowly rose the constellation, coming northward o’er Laurea’s head.
Unlike a horse, elves do but rarely sleep, having no need. Yet her stillness deep did quiet him. Thence soon, and looking on the stars, he fell to restful dreaming, as immortals will. In dreams he went to Valinor and stood off below Ezellohar, where stood The Trees astream with light. He gazed upon their blessedness, these two, long dead now save in these dreams. And, still in this dream, ‘twas his favored hour: Laurelin the Golden Tree was waning, while Teleperion waxed silver. Light from these Two Trees was mingling soft, the more to please him than if each were full of its own light.
Now (all in this dream), went Felegund from there across the plain of Valinor, and saw great Varda’s lakes of light with their nimbi rising. He stood and gazed agoing back, a dream within a dream, toward the time of the great Singing for Two Trees. He dreamed of mighty Varda, Star Queen, as she went about to fashion Valacirca and fix it in the heaven. There she put its Seven Stars, meant for the Waking of the Elves. And it became a sign flung far of evil’s doom, foretelling its defeat.
But then, with these dreaming recollections, came the image dark of Melkor, who was Morgoth; and so the dream did change: Finrod fell into a weltering of images quickly changing. He was among the host who gathered high on Taniquetail to witness reconciliation when, afar across the plain, they saw the light was quenched—Ezellohar made dark. Again dreams change: he came to shores among the elven hosts, and here was a battle roaring—confounding him, the sight of elf-lord slaying elf-lord there upon the quays. Anon the scene did change once more and Finrod fought through storm. Fierce and cold, snow fell on him, with ice uncertain at his feet. And there was Fim, a child who dropped beneath the icy crust. And she went down within the cracks of ice and snow, forever lost, though he sought her overlong.
“Varda,” whispered Finrod, toiling. And his breath came hissing, as overhead his horse slept. Nickering, she moved a bit.
Finrod dropped his dreams. He reached to stroke her fetlock. Repining the while, he stroked her, and the ring upon his finger glimmered in the light of stars.