|The RiverWoman's Daughter
Author: Imladviel PM
The River-Woman, a maia who has forgotten her name, has one dream in life. She wants a child to cradle in her waves. One day, she finds an opportunity to achieve her dream...Rated: Fiction T - English - Fantasy/Romance - Words: 672 - Reviews: 5 - Favs: 4 - Published: 10-10-09 - Status: Complete - id: 5433233
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The River-Woman had a name once. Once she sang as a voice in the choir of choirs. Once she sang and what she sang became flowing water, a river in the woods of Yavanna. To Yavanna she belonged but to Ulmo also did she give her allegiance. She was a thing of waterlilies and fish scales, slippery like a dream on the moment of waking, utterly enchanting like a ray of light on a stream. And she made her dwelling in the waters she had sung, and became forgotten, and the Olvar and Kelvar called her the River-Woman, and she forgot her own name, and forgot all the world outside the reach of her waters. And turned within herself she thought long and streamed sweetly, her long waterlily-white hair flowing into the stream of her belonging. The river had names, given and forgotten, and through all its names it flowed, changing its course now and then, and remained her domain. Ages went past, her surface reflected Illuin, and then star-spangled darkness, and then the rays of Anar the radiant, and Ithil the fair. Under the water fish swam and dreams brewed, and the River-Woman gave birth to an obsession in her mind.
Fish had children. Ducks had children. Even willow trees had their offspring. She only was childless. She had long ago forgotten why this was so. All she knew was it made her unhappy. She wanted a child to rock in her waves and swim through her hair. She set about to find out how ducks had their children, and once she had found out, she settled herself to wait.
Arien travelled through the sky times unnumbered. And one summer day a wanderer came to the stream to soak his weary feet in the waters. Old Man Willow was about to snatch him to his clutches, for he had gone rotten in his mind already, but the River-Woman stopped him with a song, causing the traveller to see her resting on the riverbank, clad in waterweed and her radiant hair.
He was an elf, Neldohir by name. He was of the Teleri, and later than late in his journey to the West beyond the West, for that was were he was going. When he saw the fair maiden his heart missed a beat and he forgot all thoughts of ships and gull-song, long though they had held him in thrall.
She approached him, singing all the while. Animals of the water and forest gathered to surround them, listening to her song mesmerized, hunter and hunted side by side.
The River-Womans voice was like flowing water. She had no words in her song, words were another thing she had forgotten. And yet there was meaning there, and as the waterweed parted, the elven lordling found he could not resist the summons of this radiant being. As her mouth was silenced with kisses, the animals broke free from the enchantment, leaving them alone on the riverbank.
Night had fallen before Neldohir had another sensible thought in his mind. He woke alone, wrapped in his cloak and nothing else. Though he looked long, he never could find a trace of his lovely companion. He began to believe she had been a dream only, something brought along by the natural magic he could sense in the place. He left the woods and resumed his journey, and boarded a ship in the Grey Havens. But he never forgot.
Three seasons passed and the River-Woman gave birth to a little daughter. And in bearing a half-elven child, one of the Quendi, speech and names had returned to her to some degree, and she named the child Goldberry, for like Neldohirs hair, hers was golden like the rays of lovely Anar.
Note: All accents removed from names such as Illuin and Neldohir because if I use accent apparently this website deletes the entire letter. Also the typo fixed in the word 'clad'.