[identity profile] engarian.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] lotrchallenges
Author:  Erulisse (one L)
Title:  Flight
Rating:  PG
Theme:  "Show Don't Tell"
Elements:  tossed his/her head
Beta:  None - any and all errors are solely my own oops!
Word Count:  807

Summary:  Galadriel crosses the Helcaraxë.

Author’s Notes:  Disclaimer:  Tolkien built the sand box; I only play with the bucket and shovel that he left for me.  No money, profit or non, is made from the publication of this story.



The clouds were rolling angrily, quickly covering the stars and casting their surroundings in gloom. A short time before, Lord Námo had stood atop the nearby cliff, wrath painting his face with unaccustomed emotion. In sonorous tones, he declared Manwë's judgment upon all who planned to continue their journey beyond the boundaries of Valinor. She tossed her head as she heard his words, refusing to leave the side of her brother and other relations. No. She would not return to Tirion like a beaten dog. She would pay no heed to the sentence of permanent exile. Instead, she would take advantage of this singular opportunity to fashion a new life based on her own talents, turning her back on living a desolate and joyless life under the control of her family and the High King.

Curious, she turned and looked behind her. The bobbing torchlights of friends and relatives who were returning to beg forgiveness at the feet of the Valar were shrinking, disappearing behind the sea cliffs they had all stumbled over a short while before. For a moment, she entertained a stray thought wondering how they would measure the passage of time. The Trees were destroyed and old terms such as 'mingling' could no longer be applied.

As she resumed walking away from Valinor, an involuntary shudder moved through her. She began running, increasing her pace to catch up to her brother and his friends. They had lingered, waiting on her, but had still pulled ahead onto the ice fields. As she caught up to them, she looked at her closest friends carefully. Each elf's clothing bore the bloody witness of the battles at the docks of Alqualondë. Finrod still wore a blood-caked bandage around his head, a reminder of how close a boat hook had come to staving in his head and ending his life. Her quick shot had saved his life and, in turn, he had held her as she succumbed to retching and tears at having taken the life of an elf. She had regained her normal equanimity as she cleaned and bound his wound.

Now she was committed, there would be no returning to her old life. She stumbled on a pressure ridge of ice, only catching herself by gripping Finrod's arm tightly. He tucked her arm into the crook of his elbow and they strode forward together, noses in the air, with the haughty attitude acquired through years of practice walking the shaded promenades of Tirion. They were children of The Twenty - families who claimed close bloodlines with the King and even, in some cases, the High King. She thought briefly of her parents. How disappointed they would be when they realized neither of their children had chosen to return home.

Her eyes grew hard even as a snide smile crossed her face. Her mother would now be unable to arrange the stellar marriage she had been working so hard to achieve for her daughter, and her father would continue to raise and race his horses, missing her as much as he would miss a fine brood mare. How she had hated hearing the polite words that meant nothing, receiving the gentle kisses on the back of her hand from suitors who were only after her body and her family's prestigious position. How she had fought against the rigorous rules of behavior her parents had forced her to follow. She knew they were children of one of the original couples brought over on Ulmo's island. She honored their history. What she could not understand was why this heritage entitled them to certain perquisites within elven society.

Shaking her head as she tried to push the memories away from her, she looked ahead and saw several whirling columns of sleet falling to the ice from the shrouded sky above. The snowfall was increasing while the visibility was declining with each step. Soon many smaller groups of elves had joined hands to increase their safety in the whiteout conditions caused by the snow-filled tornadoes. They walked until they fell down from exhaustion. Then, lying on the ice, they huddled together to sleep, shifting positions regularly so that no single person had their back facing the winds for long. The hours turned into days and the days turned into weeks. When asked later, few could guess at how much time they had spent crossing the ice. It wasn't the count of days they remembered, it was each weary step they took through the hell of cold, wind and snow.

Finally, the end of the ice fields was before them. Their losses had been staggering and many would begin their new lives in mourning. As they watched the new light rise into the sky and the flowers bloom, she held her brother's hand and lifted her chin proudly. She would make this new world her own.
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