Chapter 20

1K 44 0

The Fellowship climb a winding way among the great trees. They ascend the path until night falls. In the blue glow of a moonlit night, the Fellowship climbs a twisting stair about the trunk of a tree, past glimmering lights of silver & blue.

Miyuki [awe]: "So beautiful..."

Far above, the silhouetted shapes of the shadowy tree-branches loom. Passing numerous platforms, they come to a great palace in the trees, lit with silvery lights. A curving walkway lies before them, leading up a low stair to an archway. Gathering before the arch, Haldir steps to one side. A glowing couple, hand in hand, descend to meet the Fellowship. The Fellowship stares in awe. Aragorn touches his head in greeting. The light dims & before the Fellowship the Lord & Lady, Galadriel & Celeborn, halt.

Celeborn: "The enemy knows you have entered here. What hope you had in secrecy is now gone. Ten there are here, yet eleven there were, set out from Rivendell. Tell me, where is Gandalf?"

Galadriel's eyes, which have been focused on Frodo,  flicker to Aragorn's, who looks up.

Celeborn: "For I much desire to speak with him...I can no longer see him from afar."

Galadriel: "Gandalf the Grey did not pass the borders of this land. He has fallen into shadow."

Aragorn nods slightly. Celeborn turns to Galadriel.

Legolas: "He was taken by both Shadow & Flame: a Balrog of Morgoth. For we went needlessly into the net of Moria."

Gimli bows his head, sadly.

Galadriel: "Needless were none of the deeds of Gandalf in life. We do not yet know his whole purpose. Do not let the great emptiness of Khazad-dûm fill your heart, Gimli, son of Glóin."

The dwarf looks up at her words.

Galadriel: "For the world has grown full of peril. And in all lands, love is now mingled with grief."

Boromir turns his pained face to the Lady, blinking & swallowing hard. The Lady stares back. Boromir looks away, weeping.

Celeborn: "What now becomes of this Fellowship? Without Gandalf, hope is lost."

Galadriel: "The quest stands upon the edge of a knife. Stray but a little & it will fail to the ruin of all."

Boromir looks back up at her, unsure.

Galadriel: "Yet hope remains while the company is true."

Galadriel looks at Sam & smiles.

Galadriel: "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Go now & rest for you are weary with sorrow & much toil. Tonight you will sleep in peace."

She casts a sideways glance at Frodo, who looks startled for a moment. Then she looks at Miyuki & Raiden, both of whom have remained silent. Miyuki hears the Lady's voice in her head.

Galadriel: "Welcome Dragon Master...the one who will tip the balance!"


Back on the ground, the hobbits are settling down to rest. Elf song can be heard.

Female Elf: "A Olórin i yaresse (Olórin who once was) Mentaner i Numeherui (Sent by the Lords of the West) Tírien i Rómenóri (To guard the Lands of the East)"

Other Elves: "Melme nóren sina (Our love for this land)  núra ala (Is deeper than the deeps) Eäro (Of the sea)"

Legolas: "A lament for Gandalf."

The elf, holding a jug of water, stops to listen to the song. Aragorn sharpens his sword as Gimli sleeps beside him.

Merry: "What do they say about him?"

Legolas: "I have not the heart to tell you. For me the grief is still too near."

Elves: "Maiaron i Oiosaila (Wisest of all Maiar), Manan elye etevanne (What drove you to leave) Nórie i malanelye That which you loved)? Ilfirin nairelma (Yet we will cast all away) ullume nucuvalme (Rather that submit). Nauva i nauva (What should be shall be)."

Sam crouches down to make his bed.

Sam (to Merry): "I bet they don't mention his fireworks. There should be a verse about them."

The hobbit stands up.

Sam: "The finest rockets ever seen, They burst in stars of blue & green..."

Gimli snores loudly.

Sam: "Or after thunder...silver showers..."

Aragorn turns, annoyed & swats the dwarf's pillow, eliciting a grunt from Gimli. Standing, Miyuki leaves the group, disappearing between the trees. Raiden follows.

Sam: "Came falling like a...rain of flowers..."

He squats down again.

Sam: "Oh, that doesn't do them justice by a long road."

Aragorn walks over to Boromir, who is seated alone on a great tree root.

Elves: "Ú-reniathach (No more will you wander) i amar galen (The green fields of this earth) I reniad lín ne môr, nuithannen (Your journey has ended in darkness)."

Aragorn: "Take some rest. These borders are well protected."

Boromir: "I will find no rest here. I heard her voice inside my head. She spoke of my father & the fall of Gondor. She said to me, 'Even now, there is hope left.' But I cannot see it. It is long since we had any hope."

Aragorn sits beside Boromir.

Boromir: "My father is a noble man, but his rule is failing. And now our...our people lose faith. He looks to me to make things right & I...I would do it. I would see the glory of Gondor restored."

The Gondorian turns to the Ranger.

Boromir: "Have you ever seen it Aragorn? The White Tower of Ecthelion, glimmering like a spike of pearl & silver. Its banners caught high in the morning breeze. Have you ever been called home by the clear ringing of silver trumpets?"

Aragorn: "I have seen the White City, long ago."

Boromir: "One day, our paths will lead us there. And the tower guard shall take up the call: "'The Lords of Gondor have returned!'"

Aragorn smiles slightly, then looks away. Legolas approaches Aragorn.

Legolas: "Aragorn, have you seen Miyuki?"

Looking around, the Dragon Master & her dragon are nowhere to be seen. Aragorn shakes his head. He had not seen them.

Pippin: "She went somewhere. Raiden followed her. I don't know where though."

Legolas glances into the trees. Miyuki had been oddly quiet since they met Haldir & meeting the lady had made her even more withdrawn. She had always been quiet but for some reason, this lack of speech concerned the elf.

Aragorn: "Maybe she wants some time alone. Leave her. I'm sure she'll come back, Legolas."

The Heart's Key [On Hiatus]Read this story for FREE!