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Author's Chapter Notes: Written for the B2MeM 2010 challenge for Armenelos: Our characters often hold strong opinions, whether they be as serious as FŰanor's convictions about freedom from the Valar or as seemingly frivolous as Merry's belief in the superiority of Longbottom Leaf. Write a story, poem, or create an artwork in which a character must defend or discovers the opposite of a strongly held opinion.
The sad thing about "simple truths" is that they're never actually simple. Daeron sees the truth he's always clung to turned lie; Maglor fights for a conviction he no longer believes in; Amandil is forced to lie to keep his family safe.
Three double drabbles (as counted by Open Office Writer).
The Simple Truth
See her dance to my tune, my sweet L˙thien! One day we will marry, and I will dance with her. Until then, I remain hidden in the trees, watching, playing my flute.
One day we will marry, and it will be a fine match, for we both love music and our fathers approve. Until then, I watch my love and wait.
Today an oaf, a clumsy mortal crawls out of the undergrowth. A toy for my love! He sees her and is struck, of course. What a laugh! How she flies! How he tramples after her! What a precious game!
But it grows better yet, for he tries poetry! Hear him call out, "Tin˙viel!" How trite, how boorish – how untrue! My love, you sing fairer than any nightingale and you are certainly more beautiful. Mortal wretch, do not insult my beloved!
Now she stands. I watch the comedy unfold. Now surely my beloved will tell him off, will make him crawl back into the brambles. Tell the mortal fool that you are mine, beloved, make his heart bleed for his insolence! And I will watch and laugh my fill. A precious game indeed!
Except... wait... are they kissing?!
"It is ours," Tyelko had said, and Curvo, and Pityo. I was loyal to Nelyo and said nothing, but thought the same. What Moryo thought I cannot say.
I would not speak against Nelyo, but neither would I speak for him. He spoke for himself, of gratitude and obligations, priorities, the crown that stood between us and those whose support we needed: powerful arguments, ringing true.
Tyelko wiped them away: "On the other hand, it is ours by right."
And Nelyo had looked him in the eye, and said, "I have no other hand."
That was that.
He blackmailed me again, much later. "They are ours," he said. "After all we've gone through…"
I thought bitterly, You mean, after all you have gone through. How tired I was, so tired! For all I cared E÷nwŰ could take the accursed things. We, I thought, were damned either way.
But Nelyo was right. We had duties.
"They are ours", he repeated.
I nodded my agreement. "They are ours", I said, "and E÷nwŰ will see that, and return them to us. Let us wait."
Did I believe it? Not for a second.
Neither did Nelyo.
"The Temple will be finished soon," Khephaz˘n observed.
"Temple?" Amandil said.
"You didn't know? The King commanded that a great Temple for the Giver of Freedom, the Lord of All* be built. A proper temple, not some windy field upon a rock! Perhaps you will go there to pray for your grandson's recovery?"
"Perhaps," Amandil agreed.
"That's surprising," Anßrion said afterwards. "The Lord of All. Who'd have thought the King would turn back to rightful worship?"
Amandil sighed. "Even you, Anßrion, son of a nobleman, should know the difference between father and lord."
Despite the black smoke and the stench of Nimloth's wood, and (worse yet) the smell of burnt hair and flesh, a certain sapling that grew in hiding chose that dark day to bring forth leaves. The following day (ErukyermŰ by the old reckoning), Isildur awoke and said that he was hungry.
Khephaz˘n the messenger saw him seated on the porch in the spring sun, pale but conscious.
"Look at that!" he said by way of greeting. "One day's prayer, and he is back to the living. Bountiful is Melkor!"
Amandil almost gritted his teeth. "Yes," he said. "Bountiful is Melkor."
Chapter End Notes: *"Giver of Freedom" and "Lord of All" are among the titles Sauron bestows upon Melkor when first seducing Ar-Pharaz˘n. I assumed those titles would also have been in common usage: While at least some people might vaguely remember that Melkor was kind of a bad guy, pretty epithets like "Giver of Freedom" sound a lot more harmless and worship-worthy until people were used to the idea...