Author's note: As always I own nothing! …but it would be nice to…


Epilogue

We cannot know what will occur…
Just make our journey worth the taking…
And pray we're wiser than we were…
In the beginning.
Children of Eden

Gaellyn looked outside his window, the light shone upon the White City; it struck the towers of the citadel, sending up a clear beacon. The dreams had woken him again, left him grasping for what he could never reach. For frost, and fire… silently he slipped into his clothing and snuck downstairs.

His mother was still asleep, his father, a Captain of the royal guard, was still on duty. He looked about for a moment, shaking the feeling of strangeness the night had left behind. All was as it should be… and yet… from the stable out back his colt whistled, and he ran out the door. The beast was prancing in his stall, missing his older companion. Gaellyn rubbed his nose, and put fresh straw in his feed box. The stars were quickly disappearing from the sky, he turned, paused. His head arched, his gaze skyward, a breeze rustled his hair. The streets were calling, the mist cooling his legs before the sun ruled for the rest of the day. His colt snorted, sensing something perhaps that the boy did not.

Gaellyn patted the beast once more, this was his future, this horse. The king of Gondor wished to create a group of rangers to roam the borders. That would be him, he was sure. Riding in all weather, free of all chains save one, and even that removable if need be, for they were coming with him. Swiftly he trekked to the city's sleeping marketplace, footsteps muffled in the morning's dampness. They were waiting, his companions, stretched out upon the steps of a merchant's home. Secyn waved to him, and then tossed a pebble at Tunvan. Rhar and Owaen whispered to each other under their breath. Syrym looked at him shyly, and behind him Aethegwir and Lebryn noted his appearance with interest. The first to speak was Gwerraent. "You had it again too, didn't you? I saw something this time! It looked kinda like a stick." Secyn snorted,

"A stick? I saw a weird snake! Really! And it was like… like a pet? You see? A pet that liked me, I think…" Tunvan laughed, soon everyone was laughing, except Secyn. "I did! And it was! Oh, what would any of you know about it, huh? Huh?" Gaellyn raised his hands for silence.

"I didn't see anything, I never do. You always see something at least, but I am yet to see even a stick, or a stone. I heard something though… it was almost… a scream." The group fell still. The sun was up now; the merchants were setting up their stalls. No one paid much attention to the children on the steps. Tunvan made a short motion, a (we better get going or our mothers will scold,) the others nodded. They dispersed slowly, returning to their homes before their parents realized they were missing. Sacyn brushed by Gaellyn as he passed, turned and looked at him a moment.

"…you were there too, in my dream. I couldn't see you, but I think you were there." He turned and ran off. Tunvan cocked his head, amused, Gaellyn shrugged. The others were gone now, save them.

"…You aren't missing much, not having them. They leave me feeling… odd, you know? Somewhat lost…" Gaellyn nodded,

"I feel lost as well, every morning. I know the feel. Why do you think..? …? …what are you humming?" Tunvan stopped. His eyes clouded for a moment,

"I think… I think it's a lullaby. Don't you know it? Light filters through the trees… and the breeze blows through the glen… the streams all flash with silver… from the little fish, within… you know it, don't you?"

Gaellyn said nothing; he turned his head to the wind again, smelling the air. "…we should go home." Tunvan nodded, his head turned to the wind as well.

"I knew it." He ran off and was gone.

So Gaellyn was the last to go, and not before he had managed to procure an apple from a fruit stand. Munching thoughtfully he turned and headed for home. The tune was haunting… he had heard it before… as if, in a dream. His mother was awake now, she raised her eyebrow at him, told him his appetite for breakfast was probably ruined, and went upstairs to fetch her basket for market. The child shook his head and smiled.

Alone in the kitchen Gaellyn walked to the window. The sunlight warmed his skin, set off the blue in his almost grey eyes. Suddenly he sprang away with a cry, he shuddered against the floor for a few moments, then, slowly, walked back to the window and looked out again...

It was gone. The shadow. It had been there, he was sure of it… a huge figure, wearing a thorny helm and holding a blade. But it was gone now, his own shadow greeted him. Lost, he drew away. It had been a trick of the light, like any other. But for a moment… just a moment… it had all seemed so clear. Free again of doubt he ran back to the stable, his colt was ready to run.

So the wheel goes round, and the ages pass, and the cycle of live bears fruit and withers in the same breath. One life is ended, another begun, and while we may suspect the truth, who can say who we were? When the wheel spun a different way, and life itself stopped, and men became both more and less than men.

But that, was a different story.


Author's note: Here's a big thank you to all those who read this story! (and all those who reviewed!) Possumgurl, SeXem, Lauren K, Gandalf-Dumbledor-Obi Wan, and recently Zanathir and Aphel! Last but by no means least. Thank you Frodofreak88.

Thank you!

P.S. Considering writing something about the future, these 'children'. Should I do it? Let me know. If not, well, you can't end them much better than this. Thank you.