Maglor had made a great production of throwing the Silmaril into the waters, a great production filled with so much hatred and despair that it would have brought tears to the eyes of anyone who always cried when romantic movies ended happily. He was, he knew himself to be an artist, and after the earth had broken open under his feet and after the sea had come to drown in turn the lands ravaged by fire and after the death of his older brother and after he had blinked at finding himself alone on the beach strewn with things that made him want to retch and not conjecture about what they were or once had been – he had blinked because it had been at that moment that the fact he was not a prince anymore had chosen to sink into him – he knew also that this gesture he was about to make was the closing geste of a breathtaking tale, a tale of breathtaking valour and stupidity. He had paused then and taken his time, and had a think about things, because oddly he wasn't feeling anything like vengeful or despaired enough, and he thought that it would have been appropriate, what with the stone torturing his palm with the billion daggers of irony. But the pain had lasted for so long and his fingers were wrapped so tight around the stone that they had become quite numb, and he couldn't really spare a thought to the agony of his skin because his mind had really quite begun to focus on all the internal anguish he should be undergoing, but he couldn't really concentrate on that as was adequate because the pain was still overall quite too much to not be distracting, and it was all quite confusing. So he attempted a graceful movement to throw the stone as far away as possible into the water, but as everyone knew – and he had inconveniently forgotten at that moment – the sudden spring into action from a lengthy period of immobility was never very prone to be graceful, and he almost lost his balance as he hurled it into the air. The Silmaril, however, described a perfectly beautiful curve, seeming at a point to stay suspended in mid-air for a fraction of a second, before continuing to pursue its faultless trajectory towards the water surface. Maglor scowled at it. But then again, he had had no audience, except for his horse, and that was a stolen horse he knew nothing about, and he had never acted – nor sung – well for only strangers he did not care about.
Then he had collapsed onto the fine sand and the pebbles and the bits of things he hadn't had the heart to identify – but Maglor had always thought the weeds that came from the sea looked horribly slimy and dark green and disgusting in every possible way – stared at the sky for a second without understanding where that had popped up from, and then he had fallen asleep.
When he awoke the next day – or week or month – it was because the horse was nuzzling him – the horse hadn't been kind to him at first when he was being stolen, but he supposed animals were keen to sense pain in people – and when he screamed at the top of his voice it was because the Silmaril lay in front of his eyes.
The horse blinked. It did not look overly alarmed by his new and enforced owner's display of mind-numbing fear, and Maglor had wondered whether it was because the horse had been expecting it.
The waves must have washed it ashore, he deducted with the force of his inner logic. So he took the stone up again and hurled it at the sea with a vengeance.
The next morning, the waves gently laid the jewel down again at his feet, and this time Maglor understood, and all the weariness in the world came crashing down upon his shoulders; and he picked up the Silmaril that shone like a star just like it had shone in his father's hands and tossed it back into the water, that swallowed it silently.
He unbridled the horse and bade it to go wherever it may please, and the horse went away five feet from there and began, to Maglor's great horror, to graze at the seaweed. To his lesser horror – because he had much expected it – he found that he had been rendered unable to play any sort of stringed instrument anymore: the skin of his left palm was scarred so badly that it hindered his fingers from moving as easily as they did before, and playing without playing perfectly had never been an option to Maglor. It had been the first thought that had crossed his mind as that night he had grabbed the stone, after ERU THAT HURTS: Oh Eru I won't ever be able to make music again if I hold onto this but then he had seen Maedhros' eyes and Maedhros' eyes told him that Maedhros was going to die, and he had closed his fingers tightly around it and drawn his sword with his other hand, so that both could be sullied equally. Well not really, because fighting with the hand that held the Silmaril would just have been stupid and unpractical, but when had stupid stopped them in this war before?
He was not annoyed, only felt slightly empty and disoriented, and just sat there looking at the sea because he knew that that was what he would have to spend the rest of his life doing, stare at the sea, and every morning see the beautiful jewel of his crimes being washed up to him, and every morning the stone would weigh heavier and heavier in his hands.
Over the course of time he named the horse with the name Eär. It was sort of a white horse, with grey spots on it, and large dark eyes – as was the wont of all horses – and he had chosen it in the panic of retreat mainly because it was the closest one that he could run to. But it was intelligent, in a way: Maglor was glad at least that, having come from the Blessed Realm, it hadn't been too stuck up about being mounted by a Fëanorian, and then had stayed with him.
Centuries passed, and then millennia: Maglor did not leave the seashore, because the Silmaril kept being washed up by the waves. Seeing it every morning at his feet had become a habit of some sort; like the old horse Eär who had since long died of its noble, natural death, it had become sort of like a friend in the immense solitude that was the beach haunted by the memories of horrible things, as the dwellers of those regions used to qualify it, and no one every came to these parts. He would scoop it up and with time the pain that came with the gesture faded away, and gently, almost paternally throw it back to the waters. To occupy his time Maglor walked a lot, and swam a great deal, trying to make up for the lack up tension in his muscles now that wartimes were over and his sword had long been reduced to pile of rust by the seaside humidity, and after a long time he had even come to accepting to compose songs which did not require him to make too nimble a use of his left hand.
One day the Silmaril had no appeared at the usual time. Maglor fretted a little at first, and paced the beach nervously, looking for it under rocks and at the bottom of pools, but he could not find it, and could not put his mind at rest either that night as he tried to sleep. But then the next day he did not see it either, and neither the day after that; after the seventh night, Maglor stood up in the morning from the most peaceful slumber he had had since crossing the threshold of Formenos, back a long, long time ago when he had been young, and stretched in the damp, freezing air of dawn laden with dewdrops hanging in mid-air; and he took a last, satisfied look around his haunted little beach and turned around to leave.
He left behind him the whiteness of the sand and behind him the greyness of the sky, and the greyness of the sea and the greyness of the horizon where everything seemed to merge, and the pallor of the sun and the immaculate light of the star in the ocean and took with him the dark, dark years of his life. He smiled as he left with that burden, and resolutely turned his back to the West at which he had been staring for so long, and his bare feet were light treading on the harsh ground. He walked for some time. He walked for some time along a road, and that some times from hours became days, and weeks, and he could have ran along it with elven speed – and indeed he did so, sometimes, and hollered loud about senseless things and sang love ballads at the stars and picked flowers from the roadside with shame in his heart as if it had been theft – but more often than not he just walked, feeling confidence in the steady pace of his vast, easy strides and the scent of grass in the air. The first person he met on the road was a little girl, and she was carrying sticks on her back, and gaping at him as if he had just stepped out of the smoke of a storyteller's pipe under her very eyes. He smiled at her, and offered her a withered flower he had been playing with for a while, but she hadn't been able to take it since that would have meant letting go of some of the sticks that she carried. She hurried away, as it was beginning to rain, and Maglor remained motionless under the downpour, with the withered flower still between his fingers, like some ridiculous love-struck adolescent frozen into place by the spell of falling raindrops, from the sky, the desolate, desolate sky.