Disclaimer: The Tolkien estate holds the rights to the works of JRR Tolkien, I am merely borrowing them to play with and gain only pleasure from doing so!

Author's note: These are the thoughts of one woman, sitting in Minas Tirith waiting for darkness to fall.


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This city was a haven in times of peace. I had a little garden, and grew herbs and so on. My sons would play in the streets, happy and carefree. My husband had a position of standing, a Guard of the Tower in sable and silver, but he ran no danger.

Of course, the term "peace" is relative. Some might say that this city has seen no peace since the death of the last king, and that is many years past now. Yet we were happy here, we have been happy here since the birth of Saranthir, our eldest, and it grieves me to think of leaving.

There have been rumours now for several weeks that soon the Lord Denethor would order a withdrawal to the country. It seems that now our fears are to come to pass. My beloved, my Huor, returned last night from his duties in the Tower to tell me that the order will go out tomorrow; all women, children and the old to leave the City. The first wains leave next week for a safer haven in the fights to come. Huor says he knows not why the Steward has ordered this, and that if Denethor fears the City is in danger of falling, then the end must indeed be nigh. Neither of us spoke the words, but we both looked out towards the Nameless Land and thought with dread of the power that lurks there, a power which is growing. That we should have lived to see such times fills me with horror.

This afternoon is bright and clear; cold, but not so that it stings your bones. I sit in the window which overlooks the Pelennor, where men are repairing breaches in the Rammas far distant. I can hear Saranthir and Beren arguing over some trifle in the garden below. I would go down to them, but to spoil their innocent pleasure now is not in me. I know Saranthir will beg to stay here. All the boys wish to remain, to help their fathers in the Guard in some small way if they can. Beren is too little to help at all and he must come with me when we leave, yet he will ask to stay with his brother and his friends too.

In the corner of the room I have opened the chest and begun to lay clothes in it for the times ahead. Who knows how long we shall be away? It is best, Huor said, to prepare for a lengthy absence both materially and mentally. So I will sort my summer garments and put them with my thicker winter ones; add sandals as well as the boys' heavy shoes they wear now. But I cannot take this house, this beautiful house that is our home, and I cannot take my husband for he must stay here. His duty is to the City as well as to his family, and the City is a harder taskmaster. To be a Guard is an honour, and I know he loves it. Though it may be hard to stand for endless hours at the doors to the Steward's chamber, receiving little in return, this is the highest position a man can attain in these days, and I believe Huor would not exchange it for any number of fields out near the Sea, nor for a fleet of ships or a whole troop of horses from Rohan. Nor indeed would I, because it makes him happy and when he is happy, so am I.

I remember when Huor came to court me. My father too was a Guard, and as a child I played in the same streets which are now the realms of my sons and their playmates. I grew, instructed in herblore, cookery and the art of sewing by my mother, and I attracted the attention of this tall Guardsman, fair of face and of body. He and I were younger then, and we wandered in the gardens of the City and eventually plighted our troth, and were wedded with the sound of the City's bells ringing in our ears. I have never left this place, I have always slept with the flanks of Mindolluin at my back and the safe green fields of the Pelennor before. My family's history say we are descended from a man who sailed from NĂºmenor ere its fall. That, though, is something everyone tries to claim to. For me it is sufficient that we are Men of Gondor. That we live in the White City under the silver flag of the Stewards. And now I must leave; climb in a wain with the other women and watch the Tower recede into the distance. I dread that moment. What lies before us is a terrible adventure, and I am frightened. I trust that at that time, my love of the City and of he who I must leave behind will sustain me and mine, and that soon we may return and resume our lives. It may be a vain hope, but I will cling to it. I must cling to it, for I fear it is the only hope we have.