Little Brother

Pattering down the dark hallway, Boromir son of Denethor clutched the candleholder's iron handle tighter and gulped down the forming lump in his throat. He hid some of the light from his candle with a small hand and hurriedly glanced at the shadows that followed him. His thoughts tumbled inside his mind. Why had he done such a stupid thing? It had only been a vase, so why had it mattered so much to his father? Boromir cast his gaze down to the floor.

The distinct memory flashed into his mind of an hour ago. He had been chasing Faramir down the halls in another little tag game of theirs. His four-year-old brother had been quick, but he was undoubtedly faster at his more mature age of nine. The chase had eventually led them into their father's office where Faramir had scrambled around the large desk to put some amount of distance between them. Boromir had almost caught him when he tripped on the rug and flung his arm out to catch the side of the wooden desk. Unfortunately, his arm did not have the best aim, knocking the small porcelain vase off the desk, and it shattered upon the stone floor with an audible crash.

At that moment, Denethor had hastened into the room and had demanded an explanation. Upon noticing the smashed vase, he had immediately gone after Faramir and deafeningly hollered at the cowering boy. Boromir bravely intervened, explaining that he had been the one who had broken the vase and apologized for his clumsiness. His father had not been too happy with him, to say the least; but it had drawn his attention away from Faramir, and Boromir was glad of that. Yet, the punishment had probably affected Faramir just as much. Not only did Boromir have to pick up every last shard until the floor was completely clean, but as an additional little punishment, Faramir, who had been having terrible nightmares lately, was not allowed to sleep in the same room with him for a week.

Boromir connected the punishment to his father's stress. After all, his mother had once again been taken terribly ill, and countless piles of work had mounted onto his father's desk.

He sighed, returning to the present, and glanced around. It was past his bedtime, and he did not want to be caught sneaking around only to end up in further punishment. He admitted to himself that he was tired, but he just needed to check in shortly with Faramir to make sure the boy slept peacefully. He doubted, however, that he would find the little one in peace.

Finally, he stopped outside the bedroom door and grasped the handle with his free hand, turning it a little and then silently inching open the door until he could see inside. The bedroom was barely lit by a small candle, slowly burning down farther upon the wick. A small bed was all there was on the left side of the room, and on it lay Faramir, wrapped in countless blankets. Tossing slightly, Faramir tightly squeezed his large pillow and hugged it to his chest. His pale face curled into a frown, and a shiver wracked his small frame. He gave a small gasp and curled his hands into fists.

Boromir sighed, glided the door open with a slight push, and tiptoed to his side. He reached out and tenderly brushed a lock of stray golden hair away from Faramir's brow. "Faramir?" he gently called, leaning in closer. "Faramir, brother. Wake up," he whispered and softly stroked the little one's forehead.

Faramir's eyes fluttered open and came to rest on Boromir's face. He smiled and reached up with a small hand to grasp a larger, reassuring hand. "Boromir," he whispered.

Boromir nodded and sat down on the edge of the bed. "Are you all right?"

"No. I had another bad dream."

"About Mama?"

"About Mama." Boromir frowned and held out his arms so that Faramir could slip into his comforting embrace, which the small boy did. "I don't like those dreams, Boromir. They scare me."

"I know."

"And I can't sleep some of the time."


"But I'm all right when you're here." Boromir remained silent and let Faramir rest his head upon his shoulder. "I love you, Boromir."

"Love you, too, Faramir," he mumbled. He was still for a few moments, allowing the young boy to cling to him. Then he sighed, letting go of the boy and standing.

"Don't go, Boromir!" Faramir cried in a pleading tone. "Stay here. I don't want any more bad dreams."

"You sure I'll be able to help?"

Faramir nodded vigorously and waited.

Boromir sighed. "All right. I'll stay." He climbed onto the bed and wrapped reassuring arms around Faramir's small body as both lay down. "Now go back to sleep."

The younger nodded again and closed his eyes while snuggling up to Boromir. "Night."

"Good-night, Faramir."

"You won't leave me?"


"Good," he replied and settled down, dropping off to sleep within minutes.

Boromir smiled and lay his head next to Faramir's. "When you wake, I'll go; but not now. Father can't keep me that far from you. I'll just learn to be less clumsy," he whispered, though he knew Faramir could not hear him.

He sighed and hoped that he would have enough time to sneak back to his bedroom before anyone found them. It was his last thought before dropping off into a light sleep and pulling Faramir close, guarding the boys dreams as well as his own.