Silmarillion Writers' Guild Five Bells by Dawn Felagund


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

Upon Taniquetil, the bell was out of earreach of even the sharpest sentinels, but Indis felt it nonetheless as an increasing heaviness in her heart. That morning, a letter had arrived from Tirion; briefly, she had seen Finwë's seal flash past in the messenger's hand. A female, disregarded except as an object of beauty much like a throw pillow, to be carefully arranged and admired and lost into the background, she gathered details about the world around her in whispers and glimpses. Too, she had pressed her ear to Ingwë's door, listening as he conferred with her father after the arrival of the letter. She wished she hadn't.

Queen Míriel was dying.

Although that wasn't precisely the word for it. Ingwë had read Finwë's words to express what, exactly, transpired with the Noldorin queen, but even those had been awkward, wrought without the usual Noldorin skill and heavy even when read in Ingwë's fair voice. Queen Míriel had chosen to relinquish life for weariness. Indis failed to fully understand.

She had forgotten Finwë, or so she thought. Gone were the days when he had often climbed the road to Valmar and filled the King's hall with voice louder than permitted by the careful grace of the Vanyar. Laughter had seemingly perched ever upon his tongue. Indis had wished him well at his marriage with full sincerity. Of course he had chosen Míriel; he had never even seen Indis but from afar at feasts. That he was content with his choice rang in his laughter and brightened his eyes.

But this--had she the gift of foresight, Indis indulged the fantasy of arresting his progress across the hall when he'd arrived, laughing, long ago to announce his betrothal to Ingwë, clasping his feet, whispering the bitter words of a harbinger: She will forsake you.

She ached with pain for the Noldorin king, with whom she'd never even spoken but had long loved. Around her, the palace bustled, but the news carried by the bell would arrive soon enough, and those of the royal house would be off to Tirion to offer their condolences. She needn't rehearse her tears; they dropped unceasing from her eyes.

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