Silmarillion Writers' Guild Five Bells by Dawn Felagund


The bell tolled, and for a moment, all of Tirion held its breath. Then life resumed.

Finwë's fingers were spread across his eyes, and he was trying without much success not to be ill. What had come up his throat with the first tolling of the bell he had swallowed again, but the acidic taste remained. What torment, that sound! How had he remained so long ignorant of it, hearing it whenever an announcement was to be made? Once, at Cuiviénen, he had fallen from a high branch and flat upon his back to the ground below. The reverberations of the impact throughout his bones had been much like the sound of that bell.

Tonight, during Telperion's fifth hour, the pronouncement would go out to the city. With each toll of the bell, the knot sealing the fate of his wife--and his fate with hers--tightened till it would not be unwoven, even by Vairë's silver fingers.

The silence swelled to fill where the sound of the bell had been. Growing braver, Finwë drew his fingers from his eyes and carefully straightened. Swallowed around the seeming obstruction in his throat. And then was sick.

Outside his door, the cautious voices of his counselors moved in upon the silence. Finwë retched silently, his hands framing his fevered face between his knees, hot tears permitted by his illness to ease from his eyes.

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