Epilogue Notes: A short time ago, I received an email from TithenFeredir, and in this email, I discovered a wonderful little gift: the following drabble. It brings some much needed closure for our unnamed elf and pulls together threads that I hadn't even realized were left dangling. I fell in love with it immediately, and my most heartfelt thanks go out to TithenFeredir for writing it. So with permission, I'm posting this as an epilogue to the story "Back to the Valley," because I think such a profound little drabble needs to be shared. Many thanks again for one of the best presents I've ever received!
Written by TithenFeredir
The elf had yearned for release in death and had tried to bring it upon himself uncounted times, but now as the floor bucked under his feet and the walls shuddered all around, the room filled with choking dust and the deep rumble of the tower collapsing above them grew to a deafening roar, his heart seized in a brief paroxysm of mortal fear. Death had arrived to claim them all at last. The ceiling came down to the floor in a single piece and everything went black. For a split second he felt his body horribly distorted, the bones breaking, his flesh torn asunder and mingled with the shattering stones.
And then it was gone.
As simple and absolute as closing the cover of a book just finished it was over. Silence gently enfolded him. All of the pain and horror were washed away in the blessed ease of nothingness. He was light and clean and whole again and he moved toward a beckoning presence. That presence called his proper name and with a swelling of unspeakable joy he answered it. He had held to his purpose to the very end and now, having won, at last he could remember everything.