Secrets & Candles: A Note

A note rustles in the early morning wind, held down only by a small rock and accompanied by an unlit candle. Both are short, fat, and appear to be heavy for their size. The note was abandoned to its post by the usual brown-garbed resident of the campsite with little more than a worried look around before scurrying away.

I can’t write, but my friend Ian is writing this note. He was at the circle meeting, in purple. He can be trusted. That’s why this is written well.

I don’t know how long your kind lives or whatnot, or if they don’t have a sense of time, but I need to see you more often. I can’t sleep outside for much longer. It isn’t safe.

I need to talk to you about it.

– Rabbit

Letters to Minas Tirith: “An Indefinite Amount of Time”

Dearest Mother:

I write you yet again. I apologize if the weekly ramblings of your youngest son begin to wear you away with boredom; I do not mean such! Yet know I miss you terribly. Your warm and loving conversation has been most missed these days. Let me start by assuring you, once again, that I am hale. I have managed to slightly injure my wrist, but already it is almost completely healed. As you can see, I write to you regardless! So therefore it is not so bad. How fare you, my brothers, Father? Please remember: I do think upon you all every day, every hour. With fondness, of course. Merileth has received her own letter this time, so do not think I shun my beloved sister!

The snow in this land is most curious. When I last wrote, I had finished an experimental house made of snow. It has sadly begun to melt – this is such a perplexing idea! How can something so cold, in such cold air, melt? The sun is truly a powerful force. Soon it shall be nothing more than a pile of cold, white powder. Ah, the snow as it falls, mother! It glistens as stars falling to the earth: a gift from the Valar. What I would not give to see your reaction to such beauty. I can picture you, even now, standing in the yard and bundled in furs, looking to the sky as the snow floats around you, sparkling like diamonds. It is dreadfully cold business, however wondrous. I stay indoors whenever I find the opportunity.

Yet that is not the most important thing which weighs on my mind. I have past written to you of my current plans to remain in Bree for a time; I now wish to beg your forgiveness. “A time” has become “an indefinite amount of time.” It is not the weather, nor my health. I must be discreet, for various reasons which I am unable to disclose to even you, but I can no longer hold this façade. I beg of you, truly, truly beg of you to tell no one: not even Father. It is a matter of utmost secrecy, and even as I write these words, I worry for putting them to paper. I will not request something as dramatic as to burn it after reading, or anything like that…yet I must implore silence.

I stay for another. She is not learned, not compared to the education in which you raised me, and she is not what most in your circles would consider a graceful lady; yet she stirs deep within me something which I have never dreamed possible. I am a poet; if there is one thing I have read over and over throughout my life, it has been descriptions of meeting someone who can take your breath away with merely a look. After Nídhil, I questioned if that were even possible: if someone as beautiful, intelligent, and well-bred as her could not cause the skipping of a heartbeat, who could? I now see that was folly on my part – foolish brooding. You of all people know my fondness for speech, being the one who instilled it in me so well, but now there are times when even I am brought to utter silence by a look or touch.

This letter may come as a shock, my words seemingly scribbled upon the page. My apologies if any are hard to read. I find myself unable to speak to all but one confidant, and even he is unable to truly understand her. Even when described through my own eyes, her demeanor around others skews his opinion too much. She is keenly intelligent, proud, strong, and harbors a deep, abiding sense of hope as well as love of the fanciful. There are many layers to her, each different and a joy to learn. She inspires something altogether new to me, Mother. Protection.

I desire to protect her. Naturally, I have always wished to do as I am able to help protect those I care for, but this is a far more fierce need. When I see tears begin to bead in the corner of her bright eyes, my heart aches to stop whatever is causing it. I want nothing more than to hold her for so long that her worries and sadness dissipate. It is new, and almost disconcerting in its intensity. I aspire to be a better person – nay, a better man – for her. It is far too soon to speak of that which I know you are already wondering. Far too soon. Yet know I am beyond smitten.

I know this should not surprise you, but I do feel obligated to tell you: she is not from the same place as you or me. I do not mean the city proper, either: my meaning is of status. It matters not to me. I care only for the warm, delicate swan hidden behind the mask; not whom her parents may be, nor anything else that could be considered something to be undesirable by my peers at home. Her accent is rough and her hands have callouses; her hair is haphazardly cut and her dresses plain – all these things help to shape who she is, each desirable in their own fashion. I cannot apologize enough for not staying behind and marrying well. I truly cannot, for it was a selfish action. Yet I beg more forgiveness from you still as you read the next line: I will never regret it. I am not sorry, for it brought me here, to this quiet and green land with snow and blossoms of twilight.

This is not the letter you were expecting, no doubt. Yet it is more truth than most would dare speak. I am slowly falling for a woman of no social stature in a land with little true education, and nothing in this world fills me with more joy and nervous hope. You and Father were considered a proper match, so I am aware that the situations are not the same…yet if you would write me your counsel, it would be most welcome. You once did something rash and followed your heart; it brought love and happiness to your life. Did it scare you as much as it sometimes does me? The reward, the future which could theoretically happen, is more than worth the risk: this I know for certain. I only wonder if it is supposed to cause disquietude, or I am truly such a fool. Regardless of my status as “fool” or “not a fool,” I fear I have caused enough distress for you in this letter, Mother.

Forgive your foolish son, and please do but love him still. My address is stationary as of now, and as long as the envelope is addressed to Tegil, it shall find its way to my hands. Please write.

You are the only one for whom I will still sign a letter as such.
Your son, with all his love,

Dínendir

At Rest: Hair

Yet again! Up late as hell, and totally worth it. Another short one, given pretty much every single one of my characters ended up having a very interesting night. Another installation of the incredibly addictive “At Rest” meme. I added my own little twist, every single one starts with their hair! Ooh and this also includes a newbie character. 😀

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Strawberry blonde hair, silvered far more blonde than red in the moonlight, spread across a pillow. Bright eyes, still awake in the late hours of the night, continued to rest upon her husband. Husband! She grinned widely when she realized – for the third time this evening – that she could say it out loud now. In fact, she was going to do it right then. Curling up to the very unconscious man sprawled on the bed, her mouth eventually found its way to his ear. She whispered, “I love you, husband,” before moving to kiss his cheek. He responded with by taking a deep half-snore breath and grunting at the noise. She smiled softly and continued watching him sleep into the night.

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Tousled brown hair shone crookedly in the shaft of moonlight through their window, the near-permanent waves from her ponytail catching it. She pretended to reread the letter for what felt like the thousandth time. As if having to track down an old literate friend wasn’t embarrassing enough, when the letter was read, she about died. Thankfully he was fairly daft despite his literacy and just smiled at her when the letter was read. What did it mean? She knew the campsite all too well, it’s where she entrusted Ian with her life’s secret. Ah, would he be there? That would make her feel much safer. Perhaps…ah! She would show up early, and hide. If she didn’t recognize anyone she trusted, she wouldn’t reveal herself. Yes, that would be the best course of action. This…meeting…worried her. But on the off chance it was true, a real meeting of like minds, she had to attend. She just had to. She clutched the parchment to her quietly and resolved – for the thousandth time – to go and see.

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Black hair splayed across a pillow case, free from its bonds at last. Its owner stared at the ceiling, grinning stupidly to himself. A secret romance, eh? If that’s what it came down to, so be it. There was something intriguing about that sort of thing…like a estranged but loyal couple, fighting against great odds! There were no truly great odds; not that she would ever admit it to him. Well, for now he was merely glad – nay, ecstatic – to have the resolution they currently held with one another. Grabbing his second pillow, he pulled it to his torso and held it tight as he drifted to sleep. Fanciful if sweet dreams shortly followed.

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Long, straight blonde hair tangled around a calm if tired face. She dreamt of home and hearth, listening to her father’s stories and smelling her mother’s cooking. The bow by her bed was ready as always, standing quietly next to her headrest – only a moment’s reach away. The only implement closer than that was her knife, under the pillow as expected. These beds were not so comfortable, but nothing was to be done for it. Eventually they would reach Bree and she could find real lodging. This Forsaken Inn – what a horrible name – was woefully inadequate, even to one trained to sleep on the ground. Unfortunately, she wasn’t allowed to sleep outside. She tried.

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Jet black hair tumbled over the edge of the bed, wrinkled and wavy. It was attached to a woman waking from a deep if fitful dream. She still hadn’t banished the nightmares from her rest. They were disturbing and frightening. The hardest obstacle to her sleep this night wasn’t her own consciousness, but rather the baby girl laying next to her. She was in the worst of her first teething, and letting her mother know about it with quiet moans and cries throughout the wee hours of the morning. Stumbling to the window, she reached out and broke off another piece of ice and gave it to her daughter to chew upon. Eventually it did its job and she fell asleep, gums temporarily numbed by the ice; but she would be awake in an hour at best, crying once again. Shutting her eyes and begging the spirits to take the horrid dreams away, her mother prayed she could get some real sleep.

Questions

((Whenever I stay up really late, is when I seem to get the most inspired. Another short installation of Questions. These are slightly more vague. I’m very curious if people can guess!! Enjoy! :D))

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Should I leave now? Should I ask him for help?

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Why would someone ask such a question?

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Everything’s going to be fine, they won’t hate me forever…

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I need to tell them. I’ll probably be punched out cold, but this needs to happen.

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I should leave. Now. And never come back. Right?

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Yule-time Gifts!

Yule Gifts for All!

Well, not for all. For most that my characters know. They’re all described, if notes are attached, and the like. Happy Holidays and Yule-time to you all, ICly and OOCly. ❤

Lori:

  • Tarlanc – “Having an official marriage ceremony counts, right? As a gift to each other? I mean, we’ve got to find tokens for each other and dress up and all that…”
  • Ian – Two small figurines. The first is a small male figure in a robe and with pulled back hair; a small detail that may take him some time to see – or not – is a teeny snakehead peeking out of the robe’s sleeve. The second is a borderline comical representation of Ian, mid-swinging dance step. Stained to a deep red color, both figures are small enough to hide in a pocket. A note attached simply says, “Now you both can be with each other all the time, one for each. – L
  • Helvia – A perfectly round baby’s rattle, with intricate nettles and honeysuckles intertwined in three carved rings around it. If she ever counts it, she may notice there are nine nettles and nine flowers per ring. The enclosed note says, “I counted 27 beans inside: three sets of nine. Very safe rattle! – L
  • Guradan – A small bundle of notes, wrapped with the rattle. There is no note, but his name is written on the parchment that holds them together. It consists of an accurate family tree of his mother’s side, along with a few notes of remembrance from those who knew the family well.
  • Gis – Chairs! A note is left in her friend’s mailbox: “I have two chairs waiting for you, they match your table perfectly! Don’t want to leave them in the snow, so come and get them whenever you’re able. – L
  • Rosie & Course – A lightweight wooden rattle, much like the one given to Helvia, only the decorations are roses and vines, two large rings instead of three; a small note says, “For the three of you. – L
  • Caraeglir – Wrapped in paper, a set of very authentic and sturdy hand-spades and other gardening tools, clearly imported from Gondor. For little Civrennil, yet another rattle covered in roses as well as a well-made wool hat.
  • Ceswyn – A sturdy stick, smooth and with a leather-wrapped handle. Attached to it is a small, stuffed mouse made of durable fur. A little note, “Hope you and Snowball enjoy!” is attached.
  • Nethali – Old and strong, a very nice smelling bottle of aged scotch.
  • Cynewynne – A large pair of incredibly bright socks; most (including Lori) would call them “in poor taste,” alternating waves of bright green and purple. Also a well-loved copy of some rather torrid poetry.

Skyrah:

  • Ian – Two tall and wide candles, swirled purple and white; small flecks of silver and gold foil are folded into it.
  • Luned – Tall and slender candle, swirls of black and white. Small silver flecks of foil speckled throughout.

Tegil:

  • Ian – A hat and pair of gloves, very warm wool. Knit with two colors of yarn, one showing on each side. One color is a light lavender, the other a royal purple.

Tuija:

  • Daeline – A spicy, heavy loaf of traditional Yule-time bread from Sûri-kylä, along with a carefully knitted cap. It is both made with delicate and soft yarn and very stylish (even if very Lossoth-esque).

 

Wandering Poet: Snippets

Tegil inspects her for a few moments before turning his head to the moon. “The most beautiful sight I have ever seen was at night, on a full moon; south of here. I was walking along the road when I was overtaken by a scent. A beautiful smell, flowery and fresh. I followed it and ended up in a meadow. Upon looking around, I noticed one plant shining above the rest, white. It glowed almost as if it were silver. I immediately ran to inspect such a unique seeming plant. It was a flower, gleaming even more clearly than opal or any pearl. The full moon’s light gave it a luminescent quality unlike anything I had ever seen before. I stayed until the sun rose, and it seemed as if the flower hid from the sun’s rays. I have since learned the flower is called a primrose. They only bloom at night, and in the summer time. Yet ‘primrose’ does not accurately describe such glorious beauty.”

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“As the moon lazily drifts across the sky, it allows us to take stock of what has passed us by; throughout the day’s busy and arduous tasks, to rest is all of us the moon does but ask.”

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“Ah! Dear barmaid, permit me a poem before you take my order. Freckles dot your face like stars in the nighttime sky, and your hair glows red like a delicious strawberry pie! I would be honored if you would grace me with a wine, red, like your locks.”
“Behold! I spot a man dressed in hues of lavender! I wonder what a walk through his thoughts would render! You all should call me Tegil, as that is my name!”
“What a tall and courageous woman you look! And more than that, what a wonderful cook! What more talents lurk beneath that red hair? Perhaps you dance, unless I err?”

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“Nay. You are as a rose, with many petals and layers; both beautiful and mysterious. Yet, you hide behind thorns for protection’s sake. I cannot blame you for being suspicious, but please.. do not belittle yourself.”