Disclaimer: I own naught here but the tale and words. The shipwright and Ereinion are Professor Tolkien's creations and an estate owns them. I have no doubts they would be happier with me, but copyright laws are what they are.

This is a tiny bit, a looking glass into a moment in time and not really a story proper. A conversation, if you will. It's fluff.

It will make far more sense if you have read Dragon Confused's The Prince and the Shipwright, though this Círdan is my take on the mariner. T'was written for a Flufflings Group challenge and did not quite fit even that. I post it here for my dragonish friend, who has braved much and now faces a challenge I know she will excel at. ~.^

Ebb Tide
by Levade

~*~*~

I was never a child.

I Awoke, opening my eyes to see first starlight, and then the waters of Cuiviénen. Of course we lived in darkness then, but only foolish mortals would call it dark because they cannot see well at night and stumble about.

Children. sigh You must understand that with no other light in our world, the stars were incredibly bright. Incandescent, blazing jewels that inflamed the senses of those who came to call themselves the Noldor much later. It was not dark; think of a world washed in the softest of silver and blue. A world still fresh and offering much to be discovered.

Yes, we did discover there was darkness skulking about, waiting to grab the unwary. We were innocents then, and sought only to escape, never to fight.

I built my first ship on those shores, of reeds. Of course it floated, child! Do I look like a heavy-handed Naugrim to you? It floated, and we made it at least most of the way across the lake.

T'was a valuable lesson, and I assure you my second boat was made of sterner stuff. If not for ...well, I shan't name names of those long-since gone on to Aman, but let me just say that there were foolish elves even then who tried the most insane of things.

And sank my second boat.

Rafts sufficed then, for a time, for why build something only to have it corrupted by fools who see it only as a means to seek the deepest waters and find more fish? snort

It wasn't until we came to the ocean that I fell in love. Aye, she is the love of my life, and never shall I tire of hearing her sighs rise and fall upon the sands. I dream of her caresses on my skin, of her white-capped beauty, and the swell of her tides. Her anger is fearsome, powerful enough to crush the unwary. Always do I seek to find the vessel worthy of gliding across her blue surface, one as beautiful and wild as the endless depths.

No, I was never small, young one. Never had to grow to my height and grace, or be told to go to bed or bathe my dusty feet. I never had an Ammë or Adar to tuck me in, and sing soft songs to lull me to sleep.

No, child. I did not have a beloved stuffed creature to carry to bed with me either. No, I cannot say I miss what I never knew, now cease your questions and lay still!

Aiya...I know, my hands are rough from hours of working with wood and ropes. Humph! If you go to sleep before dawn I shall consider taking you to see my great ships, my gifts to my lady's grace and beauty. But you shall have to cease moving your mouth, Ereinion.

Yes. I know, little one. You miss them.

I do as well.

But are we not all Ilúvatar's children? Now...don't sniffle, lad.

You shall see them again, I promise. Look out there, now. Go on...look. See where the horizon blends into the darkness of the night sky?

There. That is where they are, just below those stars that burn so brightly.

Yes, child. I have been there, many times, and shall be there again. No. No, Ereinion, I will not take you. Not yet. Some day, my lad, when you are much, much older. Then I shall sail you there and you will again see your parents.

No...I do not think you shall be so old then as to have a beard. snort

I promise, lad. I promise. Here. Feel my heart beating? How steady it is? So are my promises.

Now sleep.

~*~*~

FIN