Torn in Heart

            A stranger came to Nargothrond this morning.  As did my lord and love, Gwindor.  How different he looks, so old and worn.  Our people are not supposed to age; what could have happened?  He still smiles when he sees me.  But, who is the man with him?  He is mortal, but has the bearing of one of the Eldar.  Tall, dark haired, and handsome, he acts as though he bears a heavy burden.  Why does he call himself "Bloodstained, son of Ill-fate"?  My dear father, Orodreth, names him Adanedhel, the Elf-Man.  What maiden of either race would not desire him?  No, stop these preposterous thoughts.  Gwindor is my love, not a mere mortal.  My dear Gwindor, what have you been through?

            Gwindor came to me this night.  He told me all that happened to him.  I am amazed that he survived Angband's pits.  The years of hardship show on him, both in body and spirit.  He is not the handsome, rash Eldar lord I once knew.  Does this mean I no longer love him?  Of course not.  Then, why do I feel so torn?  Is it this man that came with Gwindor?  This man, who drove a sword through Beleg Cuthalion, his dearest friend and mentor?  How could I possibly care for such a creature?  Yet, I do.  I am torn, both in heart and in mind.  Gwindor senses my pain.  He puts his arm around me as I begin to cry.  He warns me that, though man and Elf have wedded before, it was not normal and would only lead me to misery.  I tell him that Turin, the true name of Adanedhel, could never love me.  I was doomed to be torn between the two I cared for most.  Gwindor turns my face to his.  No matter what happens, no matter who I choose, I will always be first in his heart.  I look in his eyes and know this to be true. 

            Turin persuaded my father to build a bridge over the river, and it was done.  He said it would bring riches and prosperity to Nargothrond.  To me, it only leaves us more vulnerable to attack.  And, he has finally begun to return my attentions.  Some of the weight seems to be lifting from him.  He still calls me "Lady Finduilas".  Perhaps, someday, he will lose this formal manner, when we are married.  I still see Gwindor, my dearest friend.  I see the pain in his eyes when I am with Turin.  He is the last person in the world I wanted to hurt. 

            My father burst into my chambers.  He tells me to flee; Nargothrond is under attack.  The bridge could not be destroyed in time.  Now orcs are crossing the river, followed by a dragon.  My father tells me again to leave; I will not.  I will stay with him and those I hold dear.  I get my sword; there is no time to put on armor.  I already see that there is little hope for us.  Most of our guard is already dead.  My father and Gwindor fight side by side.  Turin is nearby.  The fight is hopeless.  I am certain I cried out when my father fell.  The orcs hacked his body like a piece of meat.  Gwindor is also wounded, to the death, perhaps.  The orcs bind me along with the other prisoners.  As they lead us out, I see Turin frozen by the gaze of the dragon.  Turin, my love, why have you forsaken me?  He cannot help us.  I lose sight of him as we are lead away. 

            We are led through the woods.  Most of the captives are weeping, fearful of what is to come.  I know this place; we are near Brethil.  A cry of alarm is sounded ahead.  Several orcs fall, pierced with arrows.  I can see the shadows of men with bows in the trees.  Our rescue is at hand!  The other captives begin screaming.  The orcs would rather slaughter us than give us up.  Most of the captives are already dead.  An orc hurls me against a tree.  Next came the searing pain in my chest.  I look down in confusion, and see the spear pinning me to the tree.  All grows dim as I feel the life leaving my body.  Even the pain begins to fade.  I whisper something about Turin, the one who abandoned me.  But my last thoughts rest on another, the one I had forsaken.  Oh, my dear Gwindor, I am so sorry.