By Kielle (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Written For: Jen Littlebottom
Rated: PG (albeit aNgStY)
Disclaimer: All are Tolkien's.
Author's Note: An apology for leaving the abovementioned Jen hanging for so long in an RPG. I've had this idea banging around in my head for quite some time now. It's yours now. Here you go. Yes, dahling, it's good old-fashioned Noldor-angst...and yet it doesn't mention Maedhros/Fingon even once! WOW! :)
The first five were his.
A mother gives to her children, of course. What else is a mother for? She gives them life and love and warmth -- laughter and language come later -- and before them all, a mother gives each child a piece of her own fea. Her soul.
And in this I failed.
I meant to give them more. I should have given them more. Perhaps I could have averted what happened if the children had been more my own and less his.
But the inferno which burned in my sons' eyes on that awful day of oaths and blood and madness...that fire was their father's alone, and none of mine. Even my brave eldest, who looks so much like his grandfather...even my gentle second-born...even the twins, my youngest, who (too late, too late, not enough) bear more of my own spirit than any of their elder brothers...all caught up in the roaring flames of my husband's wrath, and lost. All lost.
All because five times -- one for either finger on my hand, my hand which will never again stroke the unruly raven-and-crimson of my children's hair -- five times their mother looked up into their father's eyes and recalled the dark whispers of how his own mother had given too much. Five times when I should have been filled only with love (for my husband, and for our child-to-be) I was instead seized by cold dread that Miriel's fate could become my own...
Five times I beheld death in my beloved's adoring gaze.
And five times, afraid, I held back when I should have given.
Because of this fear, because I relinquished so little of myself, I was able to bear seven children. Seven fine sons! No other House has ever been so blessed, before or after. Blessed? Once they called the House of Feanor blessed. But no more. Never more. Now even my own father reviles my husband's name when he should instead curse mine. Nerdanel the Coward, a woman fearful when she should have been selfless. Again and again and again and again and again...
I have paid the price in loss, and yet I continue to pay in loneliness and regret. One more conception could be my redemption, one last child given all I have left to give...but my husband is gone. There will be no eighth. Guilt twists and sears within me -- or is it the very soulfire that could have saved my sons from their fate? Food has no taste, sunlight no warmth. I cannot sing. I cannot laugh. I cannot rest.
And I cannot fade.
Miriel's fate no longer seems such a terrible thing.