MOON LETTERS : CREATIVE WRITING
Flight From Doriath - By Allison B.
Author's note: Míriel has is a character of my own imagination. She has nothing to do with the mother of Fëanor, or Tar-Míriel queen of Númenor. I simply liked the name. Any comments feel free to E-Mail me.
Twilight had set in Doriath. The stars began to sparkle in the cloudless night sky. Míriel wandered through the trees until she arrived at the glades beside Esgalduin. Singing softly under her breath, she glanced up at the shimmering stars before sinking to the ground. Míriel looked about her in fascination. So this was the place. She had often made to come here but had always been hindered. Tonight, however, was different, as the longing to visit had been too great to ignore.
Leaning her head against the sturdy trunk of the tree, Míriel's thoughts began to wander. She thought of her friend, Lúthien, who while dancing here so long ago, had set a spell on Beren, sealing both his doom and hers. Míriel missed Lúthien, especially now that she was gone forever from the circles of the world. News of Lúthien's death had come several days ago. Míriel had heard of it from Elwing.
Elwing, now that alone was a story in itself. When Elwing and her family had arrived years ago, although Elwing was still young, she and Míriel had become friends almost instantly. Elwing reminded her so much of Lúthien. Her voice, laugh, and eyes that looked deep into your soul, even some of the her mannerisms, resembled so much those of her grandmother that Míriel had at first mistaken Elwing for Lúthien.
She tilted her head back to feel the breeze flow gently through her hair. Lifting her eyes to the heavens, she gazed in wonder at the stars, and later at the moon as it rose in the sky.
~ ~ ~
Winter had come to Doriath. The tree branches were naked of leaves. A cold, harsh wind swept through the forest. Míriel shuddered as the biting air seemed to go right to her very bones. Pulling her cloak tightly around her; Míriel followed Elwing to the entrance of the Thousand Caves. They entered through the gate and hurried into the Great Hall.
Míriel and Elwing walked silently down the hall. Míriel stared in fascination at the beautiful tapestries that graced the halls. They never ceased to amaze her. Míriel concentrated on the tapestry, trying to memorize every thread and stitch that were woven together; becoming the design that made that tapestry beautiful in its own unique way.
"Much like our lives," Míriel mused. "Insignificant in themselves, yet all are woven together to shape the fate of the world." Míriel's thoughts again began to wander when she had the horrid feeling that something was terribly wrong. Looking about her in panic; she realized that the whole palace seemed to have an eerie silence about it. Everything was still, almost stifling. Something was wrong, horribly wrong.
The silence was shattered by a piercing scream. It was quickly cut off, only to be replaced by the sounds of more screaming and the ringing of metal against metal. Elves fled through the halls to the gate, desperately trying to escape whatever was going on in the back rooms. Míriel and Elwing stood frozen; their minds blank with terror. Elwing started to run toward the back halls, the opposite of where everyone else was fleeing. Míriel came to her senses and grabbed Elwing's arm.
"Elwing! What are you doing?!" Míriel shrieked over the chaos.
"Daddy's back there!" Elwing said, struggling to break Míriel's grip. She managed to yank her arm free and broke into a mad sprint down the hall. After knocking down several elves, she slammed right into Aerandir, a good friend of Míriel. He managed to catch Elwing with one hand, while carefully balancing a rather awkward bundle with the other.
"Elwing! We have to get you out of here now!" Aerandir yelled in her ear.
"It's too late, Elwing. Now our main concern is you." He said, gently turning her. Aerandir began guiding her toward the exit.
"Yes..." She said slowly. Her eyes were open wide; staring blankly ahead in a daze.
"Míriel." Aerandir repeated; snapping his fingers in front of her face. She blinked and looked up. He thrust the bundle at her.
"Take this. Hold on to it; do not let it go, no matter what. Guard it with your life. Do you understand, Míriel?" he said sternly.
"Yes, Aerandir, I understand." She reached out and took the bundle; hugging it to herself. "What is it?"
"Never mind now, just go!" Aerandir practically dragged a sobbing Elwing out the gate. Míriel followed along behind.
Outside the gate, a small group of about 25 had gathered. There were a few men, but mostly women and children. They were all carrying light packs filled with hastily gathered food and clothing. Several women were weeping, but most had an expression of grim resolution in their grey eyes. Everyone looked up and shouldered their packs as Aerandir, Elwing, and Míriel hurried towards them.
"Are we ready?" Aerandir asked one of the men.
"As ready as we will ever be," was his reply.
"Good then." Aerandir said. He walked hastily to the edge of the forest and disappeared into the trees. Everyone followed behind quickly; the sobbing women guided by those whose eyes were dry; the children helped by those who were strong.
The remnant of the people of the once untouchable realm of Doriath fled through the forest. They pressed on for many hours although all felt near exhaustion. Soon a halt was called. The people stopped gratefully and quickly set up a makeshift camp. Míriel made her way over to Aerandir and tugged on his sleeve. He turned to face her.
"Aerandir, would you please tell me what is going on?"
"You been you have not yet been told?" he asked in surprise.
"No, of course not. Nobody tells me anything. Now, would you please enlighten me?"
Aerandir sighed and ran his hand through his dark hair.
"Where to begin? Well, remember how the news of Lúthien and Beren's death arrived?"
"Yes. Elwing's father, King Dior, received a messenger who brought the Silmaril to him. Then Dior knew that indeed his parents, Lúthien and Beren, had passed forever from the circles of this world."
"Correct, Míriel. So Dior took the Silmaril for himself. Surely you remember the oath of the sons of Fëanor?"
"To pursue with hatred to the end of the world any creature that possessed the Silmaril and tried to keep it from their possession?"
"Basically, yes." Aerandir sighed heavily. "This morning, the sons of Fëanor came for the Silmaril. They slew Dior and his wife, Nimloth. They took Elwing's brothers captive, and would have taken her too, had she not escaped."
Míriel glanced at Elwing, who was sitting apart from the others, staring blankly into the trees. Míriel's heart went out to her. How devastating it must be to lose your entire family in a single day!
"Aerandir, where is the Silmaril now?" she asked thoughtfully. She looked up at Aerandir, who was gazing intently at the bundle in her arms. She followed his line of vision to the bundle. A look of realization appeared on her face. With shaking hands she pulled back the dark cloth covering the bundle. As she did, radiant light poured out, brighter, more pure, lovelier then the stars shining in the heavens. Míriel gazed in wonder at the brilliant jewel that she held in her hands. It was the Silmaril.
The people looked up as the light of the Silmaril spread; touching their upturned faces. Every flower, every leaf, every tree, and even the grass shone anew, drinking in the liquid light. The stars seemed as if to dim in comparison. Their hearts felt renewed; their spirits revived.
Míriel gazed in wonder at the brilliant light she held in her hands. As she stared at it, a desire came over her to posses it forever. Míriel pushed the thought aside, and taking the dark cloth, hid the Silmaril from view. She reverently carried it over to Elwing and knelt beside her. Elwing lifted her tear-streaked face up and looked Míriel in the eye. Taking a deep breath, Míriel extended the Silmaril to Elwing.
"My dear friend, although I know that nothing could ease the loss of your family, may the light of the Silmaril help rekindle the hope in your heart! Take it, and remember dearly Beren and Lúthien who brought it beyond all hope from Morgoth."
Elwing slowly reached out and laid her hands upon the jewel. Tears clouded her vision.
"Thank you Míriel. Beyond all hope this jewel now comes to me. I will wear it in memory of Beren and Lúthien, and my mother and father." Saying this, she removed the cloth from the Silmaril and clasped it about her neck. The flame of the stars now shone in her eyes. She blinked back the tears; new hope and courage had sprung within.
"I know now what I must do," she said. "We will make for the River Sirion, and follow to its end. For there maybe the lands will be fair and unspoiled, if only for a little while. Also, listen! I hear the sea calling."
Aerandir nodded slowly. "So be it. We will follow you, my lady, as you are now the last hope for the people of the once-mighty Realm of Doriath."
Elwing cast him a grateful look; then set her gaze upon the stars.