Silmarillion Writers' Guild Five Bells by Dawn Felagund


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

For the moment anyhow. Estë's maidens fanned the fevered body of Míriel Þerindë. Briefly, she had shown signs of waking, when the bell had tolled for the fifth time, as though reconsidering her choice with the finality of the fifth bell summoning her people to hear of her death. She had drawn a quick breath as though pinched. It held, her breast slightly lifted. The maidens fanned faster.

Her thoughts were a tumult of agonies. There was no room for consideration of Finwë, even Fëanáro. Her body was failing her as the bodies of the Eldar were not supposed to do. Her blood coursed hot, then cold. Pain sang along her bones. With each beat, her heart was wrung of blood with the same labor as a rock was wrung of water and then lay in her veins like lead. Her spirit dashed against these confines with the same desperate determination as a caged bird, unable to find release, be it through freedom or death.

Námo came along beside her. The fans fell to the maidens' sides as his bloodless hand pressed Míriel's mouth. Some of the maidens turned away. Others' curiosity compelled them to stay, watching with eyes stretched wide.

Míriel's breast collapsed and did not rise again. Her gown showed the skeletal outline of her ribs. Even the watchful among the maidens barely saw her panicked spirit flee.

"It is done," said Námo. The last of the reverberations flattened into silence.

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